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Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Google Tensor: Which Chip Is Better?

Here are all the differences between the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip and Tensor, the first mobile platform Google has built for its latest smartphones.

Qualcomm has just unveiled its latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, which will replace the previous flagship Snapdragon 888 and will become the main chip for premium Android phones in 2022.

While we haven’t had a chance to test the latest chip yet, here’s everything we know about the Qualcomm chip and how it compares to the already available Google Tensor, which debuted on the Google Pixel 6 line of smartphones.


Qualcomm’s latest chipset is now the second mobile platform to be manufactured using a 4nm process technology, while Google Tensor still uses Samsung’s previous generation 5nm system.

Smaller processes suggest the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 could potentially have better performance than Google Tensor.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is also based on the ARM v9 architecture, which will likely offer improved thermal performance over the Snapdragon 888, which has been known for overheating issues. While we won’t have a final verdict until the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phone goes for testing, we can expect the ARM v9 architecture to be more efficient than Tensor.


The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 comes with a redesigned Qualcomm Adreno GPU that offers 30% more power and 25% more efficiency than its predecessor.

Google Tensor, meanwhile, uses a 20-core version of the ARM Mali-G78 MP20 GPU, which is a high-end integrated graphics.

We’ll check the numbers on the Snapdragon 8 when we get the chance, but we know Tensor scores 6,300 in the 3DMark Wildlife Benchmark, so we’ll need to see how Qualcomm compares.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 block diagram
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1


The latest chip from Qualcomm is the world’s first 18-bit Image Signal Processor (ISP) that can capture 4,000 times more camera data than its predecessor. The Snapdragon 888 has a 14-bit ISP, which means it can’t capture that much data that fast.

Snapdragon Sight is the brand of the new ISP; it can capture up to 3.2Gbps and also record 8K HDR video at 30fps. You can also record in 4K at a higher 120fps.

On the other hand, Google Tensor uses the HDRnet algorithm to process Live HDR + videos. It can record in 4K at 60fps, but that’s where it ends. However, Tensor offers other possibilities from a camera perspective, with the Magic Eraser tool, which allows users to remove unwanted objects or people from their photos.

Some other new features include Real Tone, which is better at displaying different skin tones in videos and photos. Since we haven’t tested the Snapdragon 8 yet, we can’t draw any definitive conclusions, but it looks like Qualcomm is more interested in internal improvements, while Google is keen to create a user-friendliness for its users.


The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is powered by the 7th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine, which now offers 2x faster tensor accelerator and shared memory than the Snapdragon 888 chip could.

Qualcomm has also updated its Sensing Hub; this 3rd generation model handles more data and has improved AI-powered imaging capabilities as mentioned earlier in the Camera Capabilities section.

The new chip also has a Face Hugging feature that can analyze and prioritize your notifications for a better experience. The AI ​​on the Sonde Health device can also analyze the user’s voice, which in turn can check for possible health conditions such as asthma, depression, or Covid-19.

In the same vein as before, Google Tensor offers its own features like Live Translate, which translates your speech in real time into the language of your choice. There is also a motion mode that allows users to take long exposure and panning shots. The combination of these features results in a still image that retains its dynamic motion but does not appear blurry.

Google Tensor Image
Tensor SoC from Google


Qualcomm is now using the Snapdragon X65 5G modem. The company hasn’t disclosed download speeds yet, but the modem may offer download speeds up to 10Gbps.

We know that Google Tensor uses Samsung’s Exynos 5123 modem, which offers 7.35 Gbps and a maximum upload and download speed of 3.67 Gbps.

Both chips also support Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, as well as Bluetooth 5.2.


Until we can do some internal testing, it’s too early to tell which chipset is definitely better. However, if these specs from Qualcomm are to be believed, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is vastly superior to Google’s Tensor chipset.

At the moment, Tensor is still in the same league as the Snapdragon 888 as they both have the same 5nm architecture. It looks like Google is more interested in creating an experience for users and giving them the opportunity to get creative with their phones, while Qualcomm is looking to make certain improvements in various areas of the chip to create an overall more powerful device.

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