Sony just debuted a handful of new Xperia models, and while reading up on the changes, one detail might have caught your eye: both the Z2 and Z2 Tablet run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 SoC. The 800 we’re well familiar with from recent flagships, and last fall we saw Qualcomm announce the 805, but what’s all this 801 business? Qualcomm officially announced the 801 at the MWC this morning, but it turns out that this is one chip we’ve already had on our radar.
Let’s back up for a moment: the Snapdragon 800 so many of us know and love is Qualcomm’s MSM8974 – and specifically, the MSM8974-AA revision. Beyond that, we’ve also heard about an upgraded AB edition of the chip being used in a few recent phones, and have also been aware of an AC version of the chip, popping up often in rumors of upcoming hardware.
The Snapdragon 801 is none other than that MSM8974-AC; AA and AB remain part of the 800 family, but the AC gets this new 801 designation.
What does this mean for you, and phones using this chip? Well, there’s the same Krait 400 design, but running at a slightly higher clock speed; GPU speed also sees its own bump. Qualcomm puts a new focus on image processing, and claims a 45% improvement over the 800 in working with camera sensor data. There’s also enhanced eMMC support, for improved flash access speeds, and dual-SIM support is baked-in.
As you can already tell from that Sony news, the 801 will be in phones almost immediately, with the Xperia Z2 shipping in March.