While the Snapdragon 865 is out, many of us are still stuck with older flagships. And, to be honest, upgrading to an 855 device is much cheaper. However, try making the comparison of Snapdragon 845 VS 855 and you'll probably agree that making the upgrade isn't worth it.
Just keep in mind that we're only talking about raw performance here. Other specs such as the battery, display, RAM, and camera are a different story.
So, with that out of the way, let us see why upgrading to a Snapdragon 855 device may not be the best choice.
Snapdragon 845 VS 855: Performance
Let's start with the one thing that most of us are interested in - performance. Scrolling smoothness, app launching speed, multitasking, gaming smoothness, etc.
Since there are a lot of factors aside from the chipset that can make a difference, we decided to pick the Galaxy S9 as our Snapdragon 845 contestant and the Galaxy S10 as the 855! Both are running the same UI and have more or less the same amount of bloatware. So, we'd say that they make for a good comparison.
As expected, when you compare the Snapdragon 855 against the 845, the newer one will almost always come ahead. At least as far as everyday tasks are concerned - which is what most of us are doing with our phones anyway.
And while the S10 seems to be handling multitasking much better, do keep in mind that this is also a matter of RAM and RAM management - which obviously matters a lot as well.
Now, how about something that's a bit more demanding? Something like PS2 emulation?
PS2 emulators are very tough to run for both computers and smartphones. Especially smartphones as they've got much less power to work with.
In this test, we see that the Snapdragon 855 pulls ahead once again - but only by a small margin. Except in Tekken as it needs 60FPS instead of 30.
But whether that little bit of extra performance is worth spending at least $600 or not is completely up to you. At the time of writing this article:
Snapdragon 845 VS 855: Power Consumption
When it comes to smartphones, battery life is just as important as performance. After all, what's the point of having a powerful smartphone if it can barely get you through the day?
On this subject, there is no doubt that the newer Snapdragon variant is not just more powerful - but more power-efficient as well. And that should theoretically give us much better battery life. The only question is just how much.
That's actually one of the toughest things to judge by chipset alone because things like the screen, UI, OS version, bloatware, and the battery itself can make a huge difference. Our best bet was once again to take the Snapdragon variants of the S9 and S10 and perform a benchmark with them.
They both share the same screen technology with the exception that the S10 is slightly larger and that it also has a slightly larger battery. So, that's as fair as this comparison can get.
As you can see, the Snapdragon 855 does indeed offer better battery life. But, we're talking about 34 extra minutes here.
Similarly, GSMArena has also put the two smartphones about an hour apart. So, the difference is once again very small.
A chipset is the heart of a smartphone. So, it's not all about performance. A newer chipset can offer better video recording capabilities, support for more powerful cameras and displays, better connectivity, and more/better features in general.
So, how about the 855? Here are some extra features that you won't find on older chipsets!
- 5G connectivity (For smartphones that support it)
- Further AI support for CPU, GPU, and DSP
- Bluetooth 5.1
- Peak Wi-Fi speeds of 10 Gbps
- Support for the 60 GHz band
- HDR10 video recording and support for HDR10+ certified displays
And that's about it for the highlights.
5G is quite possibly one of the biggest selling points. But, don't forget that just because a phone comes with an 855 or a newer chipset, does not automatically mean that you'll also have 5G connectivity.
First, the phone needs to support it - and secondly, your area must also have the necessary infrastructure to support the band. Not to mention anything about carriers.
Other than that, HDR is also another selling point. But, then again, 99% of the content that we watch is non-HDR. Your mileage may vary, though - so definitely make your research on that one.
Overall, we'd say that the Snapdragon 855 may be better. But, not to the point that it's worth upgrading to from a Snapdragon 845-powered device.
But, keep in mind that this is only when talking strictly about the chipset itself. There is more to keep in mind when buying a smartphone apart from the chipset. Cameras, display, design, battery size, extra features, ports, RAM, storage, etc.
That's all for now. Feel like we forgot to mention something important? Got anything wrong? Do you have any questions? Then let us and everyone else know all about it in the comments section down below!