Snapdragon 8 Gen 4: News, specs, rumors, and everything else you need to know

Snapdragon 8 Gen 4
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm is hard at work on its next-gen chipset, and we know what it will be called: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4. Although the chip vendor doesn't usually detail its launch plans, we got confirmation of the name as well as the release date. Qualcomm is set to showcase the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 at its annual summit in Hawaii in the month of October.

There's a lot to be excited about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4; it is set to feature custom cores that should deliver better performance than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, along with decent gains in other areas. While the launch is still some way away, a slate of leaks give us a good indication as to what the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will have to offer, so let's dive in.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 4: Specs

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm is known to switch up the core configuration of its chipsets, and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 will see the biggest shift in this regard in nearly a decade. That's down to the introduction of Oryon cores that will be used in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4; the key talking point is that these Oryon cores utilize a fully custom design.

Qualcomm used a semi-custom design in recent years, where it would basically license Arm cores and add a few custom features, and retain Kryo branding. However, with the Oryon cores, Qualcomm is using Arm's architectural license; it takes the instruction set from Arm and then builds the core from the ground up, allowing it much better flexibility.

This is similar to Apple's approach with its A series chipsets, and although Qualcomm used to do the same in the past, we haven't seen fully custom cores from the chip vendor following the Snapdragon 805. Qualcomm is once again able to deliver custom designs thanks to its acquisition of Nuvia back in 2021.

While details are light at the moment, a leak out of China suggests these custom cores could go up to 4.3GHz, a sizeable increase over the 3.39GHz that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 goes up to. This obviously leads to a higher power draw, and it will be interesting to see how Qualcomm manages thermals.

Anyway, the return to custom cores should give the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 a sizeable advantage, and close the gap to Apple's silicon. Although we don't have many details on the Adreno front, the node shift to 3nm should give Qualcomm more breathing room to increase shaders.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 4: Launch

A mountain in Hawaii

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Qualcomm isn't deviating from its usual launch schedule, and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 is set to debut in Hawaii in October. We don't know the launch date just yet, but if history is any indication, it will be the last week of the month. The best Android phones feature Qualcomm's designs, and with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 launching at the end of October, we should start seeing the first set of devices coming at the end of the year.

Xiaomi is a launch partner for Qualcomm, and it isn't unlikely to see the Xiaomi 15 being one of the first phones to feature the upcoming silicon. OnePlus also followed a similar strategy with the OnePlus 12, where it launched the device in its home market ahead of global availability, and it's a good bet that the Chinese manufacturer will seek to do the same this time as well.

Ideally, it will be early 2025 before we can go hands-on with Snapdragon 8 Gen 4-powered devices. Considering just how good the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 has been, I'm excited in seeing what Qualcomm offers with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, and how those custom cores make a difference.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.