Snapdragon 800 CPU – Big Brother in Your Smartphone

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Snapdragon 800 CPU - Big Brother in Your Smartphone

A decade ago the thing most computer manufactures strove for was the fastest and most stable CPU they could cram into their PC. That has slowly changed to cramming in more cores and improving energy consumption. On the mobile side, we’re seeing another CPU race, this time between Qualcomm, Samsung and Nvidia. Qualcomm has recently announced their next CPU in this effort, The Snapdragon 800.

What is special about the Snapdragon 800?

The Snapdragon 800 is unique because it has a feature that is called voice activation. This feature allows the phone to have an always-listening mode without sucking up tons of power. This will help things like Google’s Google Now, which is a voice assistant.

Services like Google now would be even more interesting if they were always listening. If you are driving and you want access to Google now, but don’t want to risk an accident, simply say “Hey Google” and ask your question like “Where is the nearest Pizza place?” Google could then give you the answer without you having to touch your device.

There are privacy concerns

With the new Snapdragon 800 in your phone, you might have the option of an always-on assistant that can give you any information.

Snapdragon 800 in your phone

It would also mean that companies like Google could harvest every sound you speak or are around and use it for financial advantage. Google makes its money not buy selling Android, but by selling advertising. They could, theoretically, take all the information they collect via voice activation and use it to sell you ads.

Other companies, who have apps on your phone, might also have access to the information. Some companies don’t have any problems selling your info, even if you haven’t opted into that.

A Technological Trade-off

As with any technological advance, there will be a weighing of convenience versus inconvenience. Is it more important for you to have this technology or is it more important for you to keep your privacy? The best example of this is Facebook. Facebook has value for some people; it allows them to connect with their friends no matter the distance. On the other hand it requires users to give up information on themselves for the benefit of advertisers. This is the trade off. Which is more valuable?


Just like any new processor announcement, this will take a while to show up in devices. Qualcomm says the chip itself won’t come out until mid-2013, which means we won’t see it in devices until the holiday season. Then we might see manufacturers come up with the software to implement the always-on feature.

There are other features of this new chip. The Snapdragon 800 has a quick charge feature that means the device will charge 75% faster than normal. The charger required for this miracle won’t be out until 2014, so it won’t matter too many of the phones out this spring, but they will be compatible when the charger does come.

For me the speed of the charge isn’t the problem most phones face. I want a phone that will last several days on a charge without sacrificing power. When that comes out, I’ll be truly interested.

Written By Darren Wall aka prepay

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