Snapdragon 820 chip to offer 600 Mbps LTE speeds and faster Quick Charge 3.0

Qualcomm says its Quick Charge 3.0 will boost your phone's battery from zero to 80 percent in 35 minutes.

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Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 820 chip may help you forget you ever wanted a phone with a removable battery.

That’s because the processor will support Qualcomm’s new Quick Charge 3.0 technology, which promises an even more rapid speed of battery replenishment. Qualcomm says in a blog post that the follow-up to Quick Charge 2.0 is 38 percent more efficient and can take a 3,300 mAh battery from zero to 60 percent in 30 minutes. It's backward compatible with Quick Charge 1.0 and 2.0 chargers, and works with almost any type of connector a phone maker cares to implement. 

But the new chip isn’t just about better charging. Qualcomm says it will support LTE Advanced bands that can get up to 600Mbps download speeds. Of course, what the chip is capable of and what day-to-day performance turns out to be are different things. Carriers have to improve their networks, and we’re not likely to see any type of 5G speeds rolled out to the public until a few more years. 

However, Qualcomm will help future devices get smarter about switching to Wi-Fi and using power more efficiently for these tasks. 

Here’s a full list of the connectivity features that Qualcomm says are baked in to the Snapdragon 820.:

  • LTE Advanced speeds
    • Cat 12 (up to 600 Mbps) in the downlink
    • Cat 13 (up to 150 Mbps) in the uplink
    • Up to 4x4 MIMO on one downlink LTE carrier
  • Breakthrough connectivity support in unlicensed spectrum:
    • 2x2 MU-MIMO (802.11ac)
    • Multi-gigabit 802.11ad
    • LTE-U and LTE+Wi-Fi Link Aggregation (LWA)
  • Comprehensive service across connection types
    • Next Gen HD Voice and Video calling over LTE and Wi-Fi
    • Call Continuity across Wi-Fi, LTE, 3G, and 2G
  • RF front end innovations
    • Advanced Closed Loop Antenna Tuner
    • Qualcomm RF360 front end solution with CA
    • Wi-Fi/LTE antenna sharing

Why this matters: The improvements to processor technology from the likes of Qualcomm and Samsung have been the primary drivers in making our smartphones more powerful. While Qualcomm stumbled with its 810 over heat management issues, the company clearly has a lot it wants to show off with its new 820. It’s also promoting that Quick Charge 3.0 will be widely available, working with the lower-performance 620, 618, 617, and 420 chips.

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