Qualcomm announced its latest processor, the Snapdragon 845, at Snapdragon Tech Summit in December 2017. This is the successor of the famous Snapdragon 835 that powers most Android flagships in 2017. We won’t be surprised if all the best Android smartphones in 2018 come with the new Snapdragon 845 processor.
In this article, we’re going to introduce new features of the SD845 and a list of all smartphones coming with the new SoC.
The new Qualcomm processor is manufactured on Samsung Foundry’s lines and it features the same 10nm manufacturing process as its predecessor. The focuses of the processor are immersive XR experiences, a smart personal assistant, and vault-like security. This is a very powerful mobile platform, so it is planned to power some Windows 10 laptops as well.
The chip is engineered with the Kryo 385 CPU with the clock speed of up to 2.8 GHz, and the Adreno 630 GPU with 30% improvement in graphics rendering. It features the Qualcomm Spectra 280 ISP (image signal processor) for a premium camera and AR/VR experience. This allows capturing 10-bit 4K Ultra HD videos at 60 FPS, 720p videos at 480fps, and 16MP images at 60 frames per second.
Besides, the system has the 3rd-gen Hexagon 685 DSP for AI processing, the new Secure Processing Unit to protect personal data, the Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem supporting Gigabit LTE service, all-day battery life, and Quick Charge 4+ technology.
Qualcomm promises a 25% performance uplift as compared to the Snapdragon 835.
Read also: The Best Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Smartphones
List of Smartphones with Snapdragon 845 SoC
1. Samsung Galaxy S9 & Galaxy S9 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are the first Snapdragon 845 smartphone. Although some versions will come with the Samsung’s in-house Exynos 9 Series 9810 SoC, you will receive the Snapdragon processor when buying the S9 in the United States. The phones have support for T-Mobile’s new 600MHz network. Besides, the S9 Plus features a 6.2″ Quad HD+ Super AMOLED display while the S9 has a 5.8″ display. The best upgrade of the S9 Plus is the dual-camera setup with a 12MP telephoto lens and a 12MP wide-angle lens with dual apertures (f/1.5 and f/2.4).
You can buy the factory-unlocked S9 for $550 and S9 Plus for $659.
2. Sony Xperia XZ2 & XZ2 Compact
Sony upgrades their flagship lineup with the XZ2 and XZ2 Compact. The duo gets rid of the OmniBalance design as found on previous Xperia devices, so now we have a much more modern design. Both of them have the same SnapDragon 845 processor, 19MP rear camera capable of 4K HDR and 960fps FHD slow-mo video recording, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The differences are just the battery capacity and screen size (5 inches and 5.7 inches).
3. Xiaomi Mi 8
In late May 2018, Xiaomi announced 2 versions of the new Xiaomi Mi 8 powered by the Snapdragon 845; We have the Xiaomi Mi 8 and Mi 8 Explorer Edition.
Both of them feature a 6.21-inch AMOLED Full HD+ display with a notch on top housing front camera and infrared sensors, and vertically stacked 12MP dual-rear camera modules.
The Mi 8 Explorer Edition has some more special features like a see-through glass back, 3D face unlock, and a pressure-sensitive in-display fingerprint scanner.
The international version is priced at just over $400 on Amazon.
4. Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Released in August 2018, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is undoubtedly among the best smartphones powered by Snapdragon 845.
It doesn’t have significant changes as compared to its predecessor, however, Samsung has beefed up the phone with the Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 processor, 6GB or 8GB RAM, 128GB or 512GB internal storage, and a huge 4,000mAh battery. Another notable change is the new S-Pen featuring Bluetooth LE and a built-in battery; Now you can use it as a remote control for your phone.
The 128GB model cost $999.99 unlocked while the 512GB one was priced at $1,249 at launch. However, you can buy the Note 9 for around $600 at the moment.
5. Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
Xiaomi released the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S in Shanghai in late March 2018. It is touted as the combination of technology and art with the nearly bezel-less design, a ceramic body, and an aluminum frame.
In terms of hardware, The Mi Mix 2S is powered by Snapdragon 845, a 5.99-inch AMOLED display with the resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels, 6GB/8GB of RAM, 64GB/128GB/256GB of internal storage, and 3400 mAh battery. The dual camera setup is quite impressive as it earns an overall score of 97 at DxoMark and the Photo sub-score even reaches 101 points.
Pricing of the global version of the Mi Mix 2S starts at $599.
6. Razer Phone 2
The new generation of Razer’s gaming smartphone was released in October 2018. Apart from some similar hardware like Snapdragon 845, 8GB of RAM, 64GB/128GB of expandable storage, or a dual rear camera setup, there are some features that mobile gamers will appreciate. The most notable features are the 120Hz IGZO LCD 1440p display, 4,000mAh battery, Chroma lighting, and a vapor chamber cooling system.
The starting price of the Razer Phone 2 is $650.
7. Asus Zenfone 5Z
Asus Zenfone 5Z has an almost identical design as the Apple iPhone X with the rear dual cameras and a notch on top of the display. The specs include an IPS LCD 6.2-inch display with Full-HD Plus resolution, a fingerprint scanner on the back, 4GB/6GB/8GB RAM, and 64GB/128GB/256GB of internal storage.
The Zenfone is priced at $450 on Amazon.
8. Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
The Xperia XZ2 Premium was announced just 2 months after the XZ2 and this is a much more powerful smartphone. It is upgraded in every aspect including the display, camera, and battery. It boasts a 5.8″ 4K HDR display, a bigger 3540mAh battery, and dual rear cameras that are capable of shooting low light photos at ISO51200, 960 fps Super slow motion and 4K HDR video recording. It also ships with Android 8.0 Oreo and Snapdragon 845 SoC.
9. Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
Google announced its Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL flagship smartphones in October 2018. The two phones have similar internal specs like the processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of storage, and new OLED displays. The differences are the larger display with a notch on the Pixel 3 XL.
The new Pixel phones run on Android 9.0 with all the latest camera features like the new AI-powered Top Shot, Photobooth, Super Res Zoom, and Night Sight.
The prices for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL start at $799 and $899 respectively.
10. Sony Xperia XZ3
Sony released the Xperia XZ3 in November 2018, yet another Android flagship running Snapdragon 845 in the same year. This is essentially the XZ2 with an improved selfie camera, a slightly bigger battery, and a bigger and better display. Specifically, we have a 6-inch Quad HD+ OLED screen, a 3,330mAh battery, and a 13MP front camera with the aperture of f/1.9.
The XZ3 is currently priced at $799 on Amazon and you can choose among the black, green, and silver colors.
11. Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is one of a few full-screen display phones without a notch and they accomplished this by using a unique magnetic slider. The Mi Mix 3 is still a beast in terms of specs; It features a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED full HD+ display, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, dual 12-megapixel rear cameras with 2x optical zoom, and we even have a wireless charging pad inside the box.
The Mi Mix 3 was released in November 2018 and started hitting markets around the world in early 2019. Its price in the US is quite reasonable at less than $599.
12. Nokia 9 PureView
There are some phones with triple or even quadruple rear camera setup but none of them cam beat the setup on Nokia 9 PureView. The phone was introduced in February 2019 and it is launched as a limited edition device for photography nerds. The most interesting feature of the phone is 5 Zeiss lenses on the back. Notably, all of them are 12MP sensors and only two shoot it color; The 3 remaining are monochrome sensors to enhance contrast and details. The setup is joined by a flash and a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor for depth mapping.
The Nokia 9 features a 5.99-inch 2K QHD pOLED display, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, an in-screen fingerprint sensor, and a 3,320mAh battery.
13. LG G7 ThinQ
The LG G7 ThinQ debuted in New York in early May 2018. Notably, the phone has a 6.1-inch QHD+ FullVision Super Bright display with a notch up top. Another feature worth noting is a dedicated button on the left side to launch Google Assistant and Google Lens. Apart from those things, we still have powerful specs with Snapdragon 845, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, Android 8.1 Oreo, and a 3,000mAh battery. It’s also equipped with a dual camera setup on the back, including a primary 16MP f/1.6 sensor and a 16MP f/1.9 sensor with a super wide-angle lens.
A few months later, LG also launched the LG G7+ ThinQ in India. This is the 6GB RAM/128GB storage variant of the G7.
They are priced from $399 in the US.
14. OnePlus 6
OnePlus always tries to pack the latest tech into their products at an affordable price, and the OnePlus 6 is not an exception. It features a tall 6.3-inch AMOLED display with a notch cutout on top, a metal frame, and Gorilla Glass back with curved edges. It comes in some variants with RAM options of 6GB and 8GB and storage options of 64GB, 128GB, and 256 GB. On the back, we have a dual-camera setup including a 16MP sensor with f/1.7 aperture and a supported 20MP sensor.
The OnePlus 6 started shipping in May 2018 and pricing starts from $529.
15. OnePlus 6T
The OnePlus 6T started shipping in November 2018. As compared to the OnePlus 6, the OnePlus 6T comes with a few changes such as the slightly larger 6.41-inch display, the redesigned front notch, a larger 3,700mAh battery, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Pricing starts from $549 for the version with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage.
16. Xiaomi Black Shark
Black Shark is a gaming smartphone built in the partnership with the gaming product company Black Shark Technology. The phone is available exclusively in China and its starting price is just $467 for the 6GB/64GB variant. It features a 6-inch display with the resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 pixels, Snapdragon 845 chipset, a dual 12MP + 20MP rear-camera setup, and a 4,000mAh battery.
Notably, it has some features dedicated to gamers. You can use the one-sided gamepad connected to this phone via Bluetooth, its battery life could reach 30 hours. Besides, Black Shark is equipped with a liquid cooling system to avoid overheating during gaming.
17. HTC U12+
The HTC U12 Plus is the brand’s flagship for 2018. The phone has a new design with ultra thin borders, a beautiful Translucent Blue color, and the removal of all physical buttons. The buttons are replaced by pressure sensitive buttons which will give you tactile feedback. The most notable feature is Edge Sense 2 which offers new gestures like holding and tapping, apart from the existing squeezing on the sides of the phone.
The pricing starts at $799 for the 64GB variant.
18. LG V35 ThinQ
The LG V35 has the same design as its successors like V30 or V30S. There are just some internal upgrades including the Snapdragon 845 SoC, 6GB of RAM, DTS:X 3D surround sound, enhanced far-field voice recognition, and the camera setup which is upgraded to 16MP(F/1.9)+16MP(F/1.6) and an 8MP selfie shooter.
The V35 has similar specs as the LG G7 ThinQ, except that it has no notch and the display is upgraded to a P-OLED screen. You can buy the V35 on Amazon for $649.
19. Asus ROG Smartphone
Asus ROG is the new gaming smartphone which is based on the Snapdragon 845 SoC. The processor is clocked up to 2.96GHz, nearly 200MHz higher than the standard one. Another important feature is the new GameCool system with a copper heat spreader and 3D vapor chamber for better heat dissipation during gaming. Besides, it has a 6.0″ 18:9 (2160×1080) AMOLED display with the 90Hz refresh rate and HDR support, and dedicated ultrasonic AirTriggers buttons.
You can use the smartphone with accessories like Gamevice controller, a WiGig Dock to cast wirelessly to TV, a TwinView Dock with a secondary screen, and a Mobile Desktop Dock to hook up to your monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
20. Sharp Aquos R2
The AQUOS R2 is available exclusively for the Japanese market, just like many other Sharp’s smartphones. It has a dual-camera setup on the back like many recent phones, however, the most interesting feature is that they use one as a dedicated video camera. That is the 16.3MP super wide-angle (135 degrees) sensor with electronic video stabilization that can produce beautiful cinematic footages.
Some other specs include the 6-inch IGZO LCD screen with the 3,040 x 1,440 resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of expandable storage, Dolby Vision for HDR content, and Dolby Atmos audio support.
21. Smartisan R1
Smartisan R1 was announced in May 2018 for the Chinese market. The most notable feature of the phone is that there is a variant with 1TB of UFS 2.1 storage which costs approximately $1,400. Other specs include a 6.17-inch 2,242 x 1,080 notched LCD display, 6GB/8GB of RAM, 64GB/128GB/1TB of internal storage, a dual rear camera setup with a 12MP Sony IMX363 sensor (f/1.8 aperture) and a 20MP Sony IMX350 sensor (f/1.75 aperture), and a 3,600mAh battery.
22. Vivo NEX S
Vivo, a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, released the Vivo NEX S in India in July 2018. It is considered the first smartphone with a truly bezel-less display (91.24% screen-to-body ratio). Another interesting feature is the pop-up selfie camera that will show up when you open the Camera app.
Some other specs include a 6.59-inch Super AMOLED display, 12MP + 5MP dual camera, 4000mAh battery, an in-display fingerprint sensor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB/256GB of internal storage.
23. Oppo Find X
Oppo introduced the Oppo Find X in June 2018 and it is one step closer to a full-screen smartphone (the screen-to-body ratio is 93.8%). They made it possible by removing all buttons on the front and adding motorized slide-out cameras. The whole camera system is only revealed when you need to unlock the phone using 3D face scanning of the front camera or when you open the Camera app.
Apart from the unique design, we see familiar specs like Snapdragon 845, 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB storage, and a 6.4-inch OLED screen.
24. Meizu 16 & Meizu 16 Plus
The Meizu 16 and Meizu 16 Plus were released for the Chinese market in August 2018. Both of them feature tiny bezels, full HD+ AMOLED display, and an under display fingerprint reader. The screen sizes are 6.0″ and 6.5″ respectively.
The dual camera setup includes a 12MP camera (f/1.8, 1.55µm) with OIS and a 20MP telephoto camera (f/2.6, 1.0µm).
Pricing for the Meizu 16 starts at CNY 2,700 ($395) while the Meizu 16 Plus starts at 3,200 ($470).
25. Pocophone F1
Pocophone (global) or Poco (India) is a new sub-brand of Xiaomi and they made the most affordable flagship with Snapdragon 845. The Pocophone F1 might not have the premium design as they use a plastic back cover. However, the specs are quite impressive with Snapdragon 845 processor, a liquid cooling system, a 4,000mAh battery, Quick Charge 3, USB Type-C port, a fingerprint sensor, and a 5.99-inch IPS LCD display with the resolution of 1080 x 2246 pixels. We also have a dual camera setup with a 12MP main sensor and a 5MP secondary one.
The phone was launched first in India with the starting price of $299 for the version with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage.
26. ZTE Nubia Z18
ZTE launched the new Nubia Z18 in September 2018 in China. It features a near bezel-less design with a 91.8% screen-to-body ratio and a tiny notch on the front which is similar to the Essential Phone. The hardware includes the newest Snapdragon SoC, 6GB or 8GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of non-expandable storage, a 1080×2160 IPS LCD panel, a 3,450mAh battery, and a dual camera setup on the back.
The prices start at CNY 2,799 (~$409) for the 6GB/64GB version.
27. Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro
Xiaomi Mi 8 Pro was launched in September 2018 in China. This is an upgrade of the Mi 8 and it comes with some new features like an in-display fingerprint sensor, connectivity options and new colors including black with transparent back, meteorite black, and Shuguangjin (twilight gold gradient color). Notably, the in-display fingerprint scanner is 29% faster than the one on Mi 8 Explorer Edition.
The phone features a 6.21-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 6GB/8GB of RAM and 128GB non-expandable storage.
The starting price is around $529 in the US.
28. LG V40 ThinQ
LG launched another flagship with Snapdragon 845 in October 2018. The V40 ThinQ features a new notched OLED display and a rear camera setup with three different lenses. The specs are also top of the line with 6GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, 32-bit quad DAC, a 3,300mAh battery, and a dual rear camera setup (16 MP, f/1.8 and 24 MP, f/1.7).
29. ZTE Nubia X
The Nubia X by ZTE solves the notch problem by dual displays. The second display on the back eliminate the need for a front-facing camera. The phone features a 6.26-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 2,280 x 1,080 pixels on the front, an OLED screen with a resolution of 1,520 x 720 pixels on the back, Snapdragon 845, a 3,800mAh battery, 6GB/8GB of RAM, 64GB/128GB/256GB of onboard storage,
Some upcoming smartphones that would be powered by the Snapdragon 845 include Samsung W2019, MOTO Z, and Nubia Red Magic 2.
This is a developing article; I will continue updating this post as soon as new devices are announced.
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