Okay, don’t get excited, the death of PCs and smartphones won’t happen tomorrow. Qualcomm also did not publicly announce its demise at the company’s annual Snapdragon Technology Summit last week in Hawaii. However, it has announced a level of performance that will eventually make current smartphone and PC designs obsolete.
Qualcomm’s launch of the new Snapdragon 8 platform promises the start of a technological revolution that could quickly make everything available in the market obsolete.
In addition, the results will be said to be far beyond anything we’ve seen so far, and it won’t be long until someone finds out both of these market segments will soon come together and create something new, powerful, and almost magical.
For example, if your smartphone can take better photos than a professional SLR camera, offering superior music quality than a high-end audio system, and AI capabilities that make existing translators and digital assistants obsolete, is it really another smartphone or something greater?
Let’s talk about the new Snapdragon platform. Then we’ll end up with my product of the week, a new Qualcomm-based gaming platform developed in conjunction with Razor that can change the game on the console forever.
A revolution is coming.
Often, if we talk about blended products like amphibious cars, flying cars or even flying boats, you get some things that underperform.
Wading cars are bad cars and tend to sink, flying cars are sucked up like cars and tend to fall out of the air spectacularly, and flying boats or amphibious aircraft can’t compete with ships or planes except for some special situations when you have water but nowhere to put an airport.
The exception to this rule is that smartphones initially eclipse pure mobile phones, and MP3 players do well or better than centralized devices.
We know that this type of device will continue to evolve from the wave of iPhones that began this transition. But over the years, evolution takes place gradually – and as things gradually progress, we often miss the revolution that is approaching rapidly as technology becomes so good that it is no longer logical to buy any centralized equipment.
Devices currently on the list that become obsolete are said to include traditional iPhones and PCs.
The camera is better than the SLR.
I am a former professional photographer. Although I haven’t practiced in decades, I know what solutions professionals look for. For a while, we’ve had smartphones that are definitely more portable than a dedicated camera but largely due to space constraints, they can’t reach the quality of a phone because no one wants to carry a phone with a real camera lens. Into it.
Motorola, a few years ago, created a back camera for their phones, but when attached, it made the device too big to actually use as a phone and it was still an impressive product, but mostly a niche.
We’ve had high-resolution sensors for some time but solving the lens problem seems to be a bridge too far. We’ve also got advanced photo and video editing tools that photographers can use to achieve SLR quality, but they’re expensive and need to be trained to do it right.
What Qualcomm has announced is the application of its AI tool to make automatic photo improvements; therefore, not only solve the lens problem and fit or exceed what a dedicated SLR camera can do, but also do some things better, such as a panoramic photo with one click.
Usually, with panoramas, you have to rotate the photos while the phone takes a series of photos and then piece them together to create a big picture. With the Snapdragon 8 solution, users only need to take one shot in panoramic mode to get a 140-degree photo.
So far the AI capabilities on the phone are virtually non-existent. With the Snapdragon 8, the included AI will become a major function in the phone.
It not only significantly improves images and videos but can also be used for things like noise cancellation of inputs and outputs and creating a much smarter digital assistant than we are today.
AI could also be used to render digital avatars for future video conferencing products, and use phone sensors to measure the body to allow those avatars to look more realistic — an important step in our progress toward eventually working in the metaverse.
Gaming consoles have two major problems: most are not portable, and they usually have a five-year refresh cycle because of the razor and blade patterns the segment uses.
What if you could get comparable performance from a smartphone or a dedicated Android game system almost mobile?
Qualcomm has presented both concepts, the smartphone’s capabilities are on par with the game console and will evolve at smartphone speeds, with lower-cost games without having to pay hardware costs, and the handheld developer platform was originally announced with Razer.
We’ll go into more detail about the game system later – but the level of performance in this initial try was impressive in terms of both visuals and sound, leaving me wondering if the console was about to become obsolete.
The musical performance uses a particularly impressive stream of lossless sound.
They connected the demo phone to a pair of $7K speakers and the sound was amazing. The depth and sound range are on par with some of the best high-end sound systems I’ve heard before; and while I suspect any of us will buy $7K speakers to listen to music from our phones, we buy high-end audio systems for our cars. This will make it even better to listen to music on our phones on those systems.
So far, it seems that paying for a high-end car audio system is a bit wasteful if you’re listening to the typical compressed audio lines that phones now offer. But with this new platform, I’m waiting to see what the results will be when I connect to the premium sound system on my car (yes, I paid extra anyway and really wanted to get value from my purchase).
When you can demonstrate PC-level performance on a smartphone, you start to question whether a smartphone can take over the PC with the right set of accessories.
Lenovo introduced its head-mounted display at the event, and it has the best mobile keyboard on the market. While they haven’t announced a single combined product yet, I imagine they will eventually and in a few months we may be wondering if most people who are increasingly running their apps in the cloud need both devices.
Currently, Lenovo is focusing on laptops with Snapdragon processors. However, with this level of performance, you start to wonder if you really need two devices with similar levels of performance.
Smartphones that will use this new Snapdragon platform will start to be announced before the end of the year, and you’ll especially want to see the Motorola version that I heard will be great. This next generation promises to be a better player, better camera, better gaming platform and a good phone.
I think this is the beginning of a revolution. As companies like Razer, Lenovo, Acer, and HP, all of which have shown high levels of creativity over the years, find the potential to revolutionize the market and use the revolution to dominate it, then the change will be incredible and enormous. I can hardly wait.
Qualcomm / Razer Gaming Platform
Sadly, you won’t be able to buy this gaming system for a while as it’s in prototype form at the moment. Although at Qualcomm’s event, I was surprised at e-sports’ huge interest in smartphone gaming in Asia.
I understand why it’s fun to play games while switching on a smartphone, but when you’re standing still at an event, why would you limit yourself in the same way? This is like being at home watching a movie on your phone while sitting in front of a 4K TV that you can use instead.
In addition, the limited screen is controlled by the game and your fingers take up when you play – and players have to turn off many graphics to limit latency. This makes sense if you just want to win the game, but part of the fun of gaming, at least for me, is enjoying the richness of the graphics.
Now, what if you created a smartphone just for gaming? True that’s been done before without much success, but much of the problem with previous gaming phones is that gaming content is designed for non-gaming phones, so you have the downside of a dedicated device without the downside of a device that actually experiences better.
But thanks to the interest, again, largely in Asia, for games approaching console games in terms of graphics and richness as well as performance advances as we have seen with Qualcomm’s previous high-performance processors, we now have rich content.
So Qualcomm has partnered with Razer, one of the leading gaming laptop manufacturers, to create a smartphone-based gaming system that focuses on gaming — and it looks great.
It’s the perfect size to use when traveling in the upcoming wave of self-driving cars and I would be sorry if there was one on a six-hour plane trip to and from Hawaii to the Qualcomm event.
While you can’t afford one for Christmas this year, it’s not too late to prepare for next year – and given the supply shortage, you might be better off planning early. In any case, Qualcomm and Razer’s new gaming platform is my product of the week.