“We take a look at the phones powered by the Snapdragon 821 processor”
Smartphones and the technology powering these pocket computers have come a long way. Five years ago, a smartphone with a single core processor multitasking between three applications with its 512MB RAM was considered the benchmark to beat. These days, smartphones pack octa-core processors and 6 gigs of memory, and are able to grunt through a ton of pixels to give users buttery-smooth performance, be it in everyday use or graphically intensive gaming. Suffice it to say, the performance of a smartphone has become an integral factor to consider before buying one. The Snapdragon 821 is among the fastest processors in the market right now, and we decided to list some of the best phones which draw power from this chip.
LG officially kickstarted the flagship battle for 2017 at MWC this year, where the brand unveiled its flagship smartphone, the G6. The G6 brings a lot of changes from its predecessor, the LG G5 (review) and features a completely new modularity-free design language. The smartphone also ups its footprint by packing a massive 5.7-inch Quad HD display which, owing to the handset’s slim bezels, can be easily used with one hand. Underneath its glass back rests the brains of the smartphone in the form of a Snapdragon 821 processor which works alongside 4GB of RAM. For storage, the LG G6 comes with 32 or 64GB of memory on board, which can be further extended up to 2TB with the use of a microSD card. The device comes with a dual-camera setup on the back which comprises a pair of 13MP shooters along with a 12MP front-facing sensor. Fuelled by a 3,300mAh battery, the device runs Android Nougat upon boot.
Related read: LG G6 review
While HTC already has the U11 (review) as its flagship of this year, the Taiwanese brand also introduced a premium offering in the form the U Ultra back in January 2017. The smartphone gets a huge facelift as compared to last year’s flagship, the HTC 10 (review), and can be seen encased in a glass body. Underneath the hood of the U Ultra, users will find the very best from Qualcomm in the form of Snapdragon 821 processor which works in tandem with 4 gigs of RAM. The smartphone features a Quad HD 5.7-inch display and comes with a 2-inch secondary display too, similar to what we saw on the LG V10 and V20 (review) smartphones. For photography, the handset employs a 12MP UltraPixel sensor that boasts OIS, PDAF and laser autofocus. Fuelled by a 3,000mAh battery, the HTC U Ultra runs Android Nougat upon boot.
Related read: HTC U Ultra first impressions
The Pixel smartphones brought about a lot of new changes when compared to the Nexus line. Just like their predecessors, both the Pixel as well as the Pixel XL are powered by the latest processor, case in point the Snapdragon 821. The SD821 is a quad-core chip comprising two cores clocked at 2.15GHz and the other two at 1.6GHz. Both the Pixel devices come with 4GB of RAM and the Adreno 530 GPU, which handles the graphics. The Pixel XL sports a 5.5-inch quad HD display and a 3,450mAh battery whereas the smaller Pixel smartphone packs a 5-inch full HD panel along with a 2,770mAh battery. Rest of the specs of the two smartphones are identical with both featuring a 12.3MP rear-facing camera and an 8MP front facing shooter.
Related read: Google Pixel XL review
OnePlus 3T (Rs 29,999)
The OnePlus 3T came as a mid-year performance upgrade over the popular OnePlus 3. While the OnePlus 3 sourced its power from a Snapdragon 820 chip, the OnePlus 3T upped the ante by featuring a Snapdragon 821 chip. The SD 821 SoC found on the 3T comes with faster clock speeds – than the one found on Google’s Pixels – featuring two high-performance cores clocked at 2.35GHz each and two energy-saving cores clocked at 1.6GHz each. Besides the improved processor, the 3T also got a bump in the camera department with the front facing camera now bearing a 16MP sensor. The battery of the 3T has been improved by 13 percent as well with the 3T now drawing its power from a 3,400mAh battery. Rest of the specifications of the smartphone remain the same as the OnePlus 3.
Related read: OnePlus 3T review
Next on the list is the ASUS Zenfone 3 Deluxe, which incidentally holds the distinction of being the first phone to feature the Snapdragon 821 chip. The Zenfone 3 lineup from the Taiwanese giant brought about a huge design overhaul from the Zenfone 2 series and has been touted as being the most stylish Zenfone lineup to date. The ASUS Zenfone 3 Deluxe comes encased in a unibody metal design with the smartphone sporting a 5.7-inch full HD display. The smartphone comes with 6GB of RAM and offers 256GB onboard storage. For cameras, ASUS has provided users with a 23MP rear facing sensor and an 8MP front-facing camera. Backed by a 3,000mAh battery, the Zenfone 3 Deluxe runs Android Marshmallow with a skin of Zen UI 3.0 on top.
Related read: ASUS Zenfone 3 Deluxe review
That brings us to the end of our list. The aforementioned smartphones are extremely capable devices which should be able to handle anything you throw at them without breaking a sweat. Although the SD 835 is powering 2017’s flagships, these smartphones are still quite capable of offering a smooth performance. Let us know if you plan to upgrade to a Snapdragon 821-powered smartphone or would go for the newer and faster SoC in the comments below.