What you need to know
- Samsung's new Galaxy S24 lineup of flagship smartphones are powered by Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy platform.
- The chip is said to have an improved NPU, which has helped Samsung turn the S24 series into a group of AI smartphones.
- The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy platform powers the Galaxy S24 Ultra in all markets, but the S24 and S24 Plus use Samsung's Exynos chips in some regions.
Alongside the release of Samsung's new Galaxy S24 lineup, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy mobile platform that powers those new smartphones. The upgraded chipset has an improved Neural Processing Unit, also known as an NPU, that is aimed at performing well during artificial intelligence-related tasks.
Much like Google did with the release of the Pixel 8 series, Samsung is creating "AI smartphones" with the Galaxy S24 series. Galaxy AI encompasses a variety of AI tools, from ones that quickly transcribe recordings to others that automatically suggest edits for photos. All of these features are aided by the NPU in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset.
Qualcomm's new mobile platform is largely similar to the existing Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 platform, with some tweaks for Galaxy devices specifically. The base Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip has one prime core, five performance cores, and two efficiency cores. The CPU has a clock speed of 3.3 GHz, and the chip features Qualcomm's Adreno GPU onboard.
The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chip has the same core configuration as the base Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 platform, but it could have different clock speeds. Leaker Yogesh Brar on X claimed last November that the prime core in the Galaxy version of the chip would be clocked higher than the regular chip. However, Brar said that the performance and efficiency cores would be clocked down just slightly.
Neither Qualcomm nor Samsung has shared the official clock speeds for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset yet. Samsung's advancements in cooling made with Galaxy S24 smartphones could explain how Qualcomm might have been able to overclock the prime core in its system-on-a-chip. According to Samsung, the vapor chamber in the Galaxy S24 Ultra is 1.9 times larger than the previous Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Notably, Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy platform powers the Galaxy S24 Ultra in all markets, but the S24 and S24 Plus use Samsung's Exynos chips "in select regions." This differs from last year, which saw the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset appear in all of Samsung's Galaxy S23 phones globally.
We've reached out to Samsung and Qualcomm regarding region availability for Snapdragon and Exynos and will update this article when we hear back.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy makes Galaxy AI features possible
The improved NPU in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy platform has allowed Samsung to widely expand its AI-powered features on the Galaxy S24 series.
The company is debuting what it calls a ProVisual Engine, which is a collection of AI features related to photos and video. An Edit Suggestion feature uses AI to suggest tweaks to a photo in post-processing, and a Generative Edit tool can fill the background of an image using generative AI.
There are even more advanced options available while capturing media, like the ability to adjust the position of a subject in an existing photo. There's also an Instant Slow-mo feature that creates extra frames out of thin air to reduce motion blur and the pacing of a quick shot.
Outside of the camera system, there are more AI features available. Note Assist can create a summary of a note in the Samsung Notes app, and Chat Assist can refine the tone of text conversations before they are sent, for example.
These types of AI tools aren't new. However, the idea is that Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for Galaxy chipset — with an NPU in tow — will move more of the required processing on-device.
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Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.