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Comparison: Snapdragon 652 vs. Snapdragon 820

Comparison of characteristics and functionality of two popular mobile processors in 2016.



Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 mobile system was an advanced product from the first half of 2016 and has found application in many of the flagship smartphones of this time. The not so well-known Snapdragon 652 chip also turned out to be quite in demand as a more budgetary option, among others by joining HTC 10 Lifestyle and LG G5 SE smartphones.

These smartphones are lightweight versions of the flagships of 2016 at lower prices. Those who want to save can look at the difference between the two Snapdragon processors.


You can immediately notice the difference in the configuration of the computing cores. The Snapdragon 820 is a 4-core Qualcomm Kryo processor. Snapdragon 652 uses the big.LITTLE architecture and consists of four high-performance ARM Cortex-A72 cores and four Cortex-A53 cores with lower power consumption. In this regard, it resembles the Snapdragon 810 processor released a year earlier, but in the latter, the less powerful Cortex-A57 cores were used.

Cortex-A72 and Kryo are powerful cores, so smart phones based on them have no problems with computing performance. Each processor is able to scale its actions well for single-threaded and multi-threaded tasks. The main difference is in energy management, heat dissipation and task loading, but it all depends on the application scenario.

The Snapdragon 652 is based on a larger and cheaper 28 nm process, the Snapdragon 810 is manufactured on a 20 nm process technology, and the Snapdragon 820 is 14 nm. The lower this value, the better the performance and lower the power consumption, so the Snapdragon 820 leads the way. It does not follow from this that the Snapdragon 652 is experiencing problems with heating, but here the correct load distribution is more important for engineers.

Perhaps avoiding the heat allowed the decision to set the core clock frequency of Cortex-A72 at 1.8 GHz versus 2.2 GHz in Kryo. The maximum value of Cortex-A72 at 28 nm can be 2 GHz, and at 16 nm it grows to 2.5 GHz.

The additional space occupied by eight cores takes up space from the graphics chip. The difference in graphics between these processes is more noticeable. Snapdragon 820 uses the Adreno 530, the best version of a year and a half ago, while the Snapdragon 652 is content with the Adreno 510. The latter cannot even compare to the Adreno 430 in the Snapdragon 810, but is comparable in power to the Adreno 418 in the Snapdragon 808.

Thus, gamers may be disappointed with the capabilities of Snapdragon 652. For those who run games occasionally, speed may suffice. It will be at the level of the LG G4 in Snapdragon 808.

In the benchmark, the AnTuTu Snapdragon 652 is located next to the Snapdragon 810 and above the 6-core Snapdragon 808. The Snapdragon 820 outperforms them by a significant margin due to its superiority in the GPU.

Before completing the topic of performance, let's call the last significant difference. The Snapdragon 820 supports the much faster dual-channel LPDDR4 RAM with a clock speed of up to 1866 MHz, and on the Snapdragon 652 only the dual-channel LPDDR3 is 933 MHz. Thus, even if the amount of RAM in the smartphones on these processors is the same, the speeds will be different. This has a significant effect on application launch time and gaming performance.


The Snapdragon 820 supports the Qualcomm Hexagon 680 digital signal processor and the Spectra image processor, which can be used to process audio, video and graphics. On these coprocessors, processing is more efficient and consumes less energy. As in the case of RAM, it is necessary that device manufacturers use them.

There are not so noticeable differences between processors. Since the Snapdragon 820 was the flagship model, its functionality is more extensive than that of the Snapdragon 652. Here again, the availability of different functionality depends on their device manufacturers, so you need to carefully look at the hardware characteristics of smartphones.

Both processors support the Quick Charge 3.0 standard for fast charging, so the charging time should be the same. Only the Snapdragon 820 supports WiPower wireless charging. Snapdragon 652 does not support USB 3.0 protocol either, so transferring large files will take longer.

As for the LTE communication standard, the Snapdragon 820 uses an X12 modem, which has a theoretical speed higher than that of the X8 modem inside the Snapdragon 652. Incoming and outgoing speeds are 450 and 150 Mbps versus 300 and 100 Mbps due to additional carrier aggregation . Many users will not notice the difference in speed of access to the Internet.

Thus, the functionality of the Snapdragon 652 can not be compared with the Snapdragon 820, had to reduce the possibilities to make the processor cheaper for cheaper smartphones. Despite this, the difference in performance and options between the upper and middle market segments is constantly shrinking.

Source: www.androidauthority.com

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