If you’re looking to upgrade your high-end smartphone in 2023, chances are you’ll be choosing between devices powered by one of two chipsets – Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and Apple A16 Bionic.
The A16 can be found in the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, while the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will be available in a number of yet to be announced Android phones.
Read on to discover the biggest similarities and differences between Apple’s A16 Bionic and Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is equipped with Kryo CPU, which is a 64-bit processor based on a 4nm process. The CPU consists of 1 core core, 4 performance cores and 3 efficiency cores, which delivers 35% faster performance and 40% better power efficiency compared to its predecessor Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
But, how does it compare to the A16 Bionic?
A16 features a 6-core CPU, including 2 high-performance cores and 4 high-efficiency cores, which means it has two more efficient cores but fewer cores overall.
Like the 8 Gen 2, the A16 CPU is also based on a 4nm architecture, allowing 16 billion transistors for faster performance than chips based on the previous 5nm process.
Apple claims that the processor can handle demanding workloads and is 40% faster than its competitors. The company did not mention any specific competitor in its press release, but if Apple is referring to the eighth generation from the first generation, then the 35% performance increase in the eighth generation from the second generation will bring the platform more in line with the A16 Bionic in terms of performance.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 features the Adreno GPU, which enables support for Unreal Engine 5, photorealistic human characters with Metahuman, as well as, for the first time on a smartphone chip, real-time ray tracing with hardware acceleration.
Apple has equipped its A16 Bionic with an accelerated five-core GPU. The chip also benefits from 50% more memory bandwidth than the A15 Bionic which it says powers more graphics-intensive games and apps.
With the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Qualcomm has launched its first-ever AI camera processor, the Spectra 18-bit Triple Cognitive ISP.
Cognitive ISP supports semantic segmentation, which enables the camera to separately identify and enhance different layers—such as faces, clothes, and backgrounds, and adjust color, tone, sharpness, and noise reduction in real time. Qualcomm compares this process to Photoshop layers but captured at an ISP.
The ISP also allows up to 200MP photos and 8K video capture in 10-bit HDR, while the iPhone 14 Pro powered by the A16 Bionic is limited to 4K video and 48MP photos.
Like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the A16 Bionic takes advantage of AI technologies to support its computational photography features. The CPU, GPU, neural engine, and ISP combine to complete up to 4 trillion operations for each image captured with the iPhone 14 Pro’s quad-pixel camera sensor.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 features Qualcomm’s most advanced AI engine yet with up to 4.35x faster performance than its predecessor and cross-platform AI improvements.
Qualcomm Sensing Hub now features dual AI processors. Devices powered by the main chipset will be able to determine whether it should be portrait or landscape based on the orientation of your face, detect horizons to shoot sunsets and achieve multilingual translations.
Always Sensing Camera can also automatically open QR codes without you having to unlock your phone and head to the camera app manually, making scanning menus in restaurants a much faster experience.
Meanwhile, the A16 Bionic is equipped with Apple’s latest 16-core Neural Engine, which the company says is capable of performing approximately 17 trillion operations per second.
Both devices also consume less power than their predecessors. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 uses Micro Tile Inference technology to do more AI processing and consume less power, while A16 Bionic uses fusion architecture to deliver performance and power saving.