David Court

Sunday Star-Times - - Business - Tech­nol­ogy

The smart­phone in­dus­try is a bit odd. It’s one of the few in­dus­tries where de­vices are getting big­ger and prices are go­ing up. It’s pretty much the op­po­site of Moore’s law.

It is also one of the few ar­eas of tech where the logo on the back is of­ten a de­vice’s most no­table point of dif­fer­ence.

This is be­cause the ma­jor­ity of An­droid smart­phones – Sam­sung, Google, HTC, LG, ZTE, Nokia, ASUS, Mo­torola, OPPO, OnePlus and Xiaomi – all rely on the same com­pany for their smart­phone’s chipset.

That com­pany is Qual­comm. And this week, at the Snap­dragon Sum­mit in Hawaii, Qual­comm re­vealed its lat­est mo­bile chip, the Snap­dragon 855.

This is a sig­nif­i­cant mo­ment for the in­dus­try as Snap­dragon chips hold the

Store twice as many pho­tos and videos per GB: For me, this is the most ex­cit­ing new fea­ture. And a bit mind-blow­ing. The Snap­dragon 855 brings with it a fea­ture called HEIF: An in­cred­i­bly un­sexy acro­nym that stands for High-Ef­fi­ciency Im­age For­mat.

This new for­mat com­presses an im­age so that it takes up roughly half the space of a cur­rent jpeg, thus al­low­ing you to store twice as many pho­tos.

But it’s more than that. HEIF will also serve as a new me­dia con­tainer, al­low­ing you to keep a va­ri­ety of images – a stan­dard still, burst mode, raw file and depth-of-field im­age – in its for­mat. Rat­ing: 10/10

Por­trait video mode: This fea­ture, also aw­fully-named, refers to a cam­era’s depth-of-field abil­ity rather than its por­trait/land­scape

45 per cent faster CPU and 20 per cent faster graph­ics: Mo­bile gamers 10/10

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