Here are the impressive LTE and VoLTE features in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820

The Snapdragon 820 system on a chip (SoC) from Qualcomm would be the obvious choice of powertrain for flagship smartphones that will be coming out later this year. Apart from the usual performance improvements in CPU and graphics, the Snapdragon 820 features a new communication array designed to make LTE the de-facto communication standard for both voice and data. Here are some of the features of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset:

The X12 LTE Modem
Snapdragon X12 LTE
The new X12 LTE modem can bond together three LTE connections using LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation and treat them like a single faster connection. For uplink, it can send data to the tower on two LTE connections simultaneously (using the carrier aggregation feature). The Snapdragon 820 is the first processor to offer LTE support for 4×4 Multi-Input Multi-Output (MIMO), designed to double the download throughput speeds on a single LTE carrier.

  • Compared to LTE Cat 9 (450 Mbps) featured in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, LTE Category 12 provides 33 percent faster speeds at 600 Mbps.
  • LTE Category 13 uplink speeds (up to 150 Mbps): At 150 Mbps, LTE Cat 13 is three times faster than upload speeds supported by the Snapdragon 810.
  • LLTE + Wi-Fi Link Aggregation (LWA): The X12 LTE modem can even bond LTE and Wi-Fi links together to boost download speeds using LTE + Wi-Fi Link Aggregation.

Smart VoLTE/Wi-Fi calling
VoLTE is now considered the primary mode for voice calls over a 4G LTE network. The X12 LTE modem supports next-generation HD Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Video over LTE (ViLTE) calling services. The modem is designed to choose automatically between LTE and Wi-Fi, depending on signal quality, end-to-end speed, and Internet reachability. This will ensure seamless switching of a call over Wi-Fi to LTE without dropping the call. That’s impressive, isn’t it? Moreover, it also support HD Voice over 3G connection.

LTE in Unlicensed (LTE-U)

LTE-U makes it possible for operators to offer LTE over unlicensed bands. This would allow operators to deploy small cells in areas with a lot of demand for LTE data. When in the range of a LTE-U small cells, phones equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 will be able to connect using at least two LTE connections; one in the operator’s regular licensed spectrum, and a new LTE connection in unlicensed spectrum. The two connections are bonded together using carrier aggregation to act like a bigger, faster connection.

Multi-gigabit WiFi

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 not only packs in support for Wi-Fi 802.11 ac/b/g/n with 2×2 MU-MIMO, but also has support the latest Wi-Fi 802.11 ad — which supports multi-gigabit speeds. The peak rate of 2×2 80 MHz Wi-Fi ac is up to 867 Mbps, while the Wi-Fi ad standard has a peak rate is up to 4.6 Gbps. We are talking about a wireless connection, which is as fast as one of the fastest wired connection available (USB 3.0). This makes it possible for carrying out 4K video streaming, peer-to-peer large file sharing, or a full backup of your device wirelessly within matter of seconds.

VoLTE in India

Like 4G was a new thing to us Indians a couple of years ago, VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling are still foreign to the Indian telecom space. Market leaders such as Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea are the only carriers considering VoLTE for the future deployment when device ecosystem becomes available. However, new entrant in 4G space, Reliance Jio, will be banking on VoLTE for voice support in its 4G network. The Lyf brand of 4G devices from Jio is said to support both VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 will be released along with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 652. The Samsung Galaxy S7 is expected to be the first smartphone to be equipped with the Snapdragon 820. However, the Snapdragon 820 equipped variant of the Galaxy S7 is expected to be released only in the US and China. In India and Europe, the Galaxy S7 will be released with Samsung’s own Exynos 8890 chipset, which features a new-generation Shannon modem with Cat. 12/13 LTE connectivity as well, similar to the Snapdragon 820’s feature set.

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25 Comments on "Here are the impressive LTE and VoLTE features in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820"


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[…] a new chipset under its Snapdragon lineup – the Snapdragon 835, which is a successor to the Snapdragon 820. With this new chipset, smartphone makers will be able to execute their plans for future-ready […]

January 4, 2016 2:30 pm 2:30 PM

HP(Yes, HP is entering smartphone market too!! ) has CONFIRMED and is first to equip its smartphone ‘HP Falcon’ with SD 820.. It will be released after MWC 2016 event..

Kiran Fernandes
January 4, 2016 5:47 pm 5:47 PM

including Nokia. They are planning to grab a share of the smartphone market soon.

Kiran Fernandes
January 4, 2016 12:36 pm 12:36 PM
Thats why you should buy a snapdragon 820 device. Micromax with their Yutopia made a big headline “Most Powerful Phone in the world”. Go die Yu/Micromax :3 . The snapdragon 820 is the best considering the features it has and packed with a powerful processor that beat the other rivals, Mediatek Helio x20, Kirin 950 etc. . Now, manufacturers just need to pack some good specs with this chip… 4GB ddr4 is enough, 5000mah removable battery, dual sim, dual active(Comes with the chipset) and 5.5 inch screens. Although Samsung is not gonna let the other guys steal the snapdragon 820… Read more »
Jyotirmoy Manna
January 4, 2016 8:54 pm 8:54 PM

We know we should buy. Can you speculate the price of such a device?

Kiran Fernandes
January 4, 2016 9:14 pm 9:14 PM

If you grab a Samsung/Sony/HTC/LG with s820, yeah you will be expecting a price of 60k xD

Sayed Ejaz
January 4, 2016 1:42 pm 1:42 PM

Exynos will also be capable of same features mentioned above.

January 4, 2016 2:46 pm 2:46 PM

But the Qn is whether Samsung is ready to release source code to the public with all the necessary documents that are required to develop a Custom ROM likewise Snapdragon????

Jyotirmoy Manna
January 5, 2016 5:41 am 5:41 AM

I think they will not.
I personally does not like heavily modified menu of Android.However in case of most user it is not true.

Kiran Fernandes
January 5, 2016 7:56 pm 7:56 PM

The name is Jiayu s3. Bought it from aliexpress. Has good dev support.

January 5, 2016 10:11 pm 10:11 PM

Ya Jiayu has a gud Dev suppor !

Kiran Fernandes
January 4, 2016 5:50 pm 5:50 PM

maybe Samsung doesnt. Thats why a lot of samsung phones with exynos chip doesnt have good rom ports, or probably a poor port. So, its best to take snapdragon. Even Mediatek doesnt give source codes, but somehow they have done it for the current generation of devices like 6582, 6752,6753 etc.

Jyotirmoy Manna
January 5, 2016 9:02 pm 9:02 PM

For Mtk you will get many custom roms.

January 5, 2016 2:12 am 2:12 AM

Yep always Snapdragon is the best!

Jyotirmoy Manna
January 5, 2016 5:25 am 5:25 AM

Mind it MTK is a cheap chip and hard to brick. Easy to flash also. Should not be compared.

Kiran Fernandes
January 5, 2016 4:47 pm 4:47 PM
Actually, You’re right. Mediatek is hard to brick. Ive never bricked my phone, in fact, i could always flash a custom rom easily. Currently I own this phone which is a mediatek having the mt6752 chip, and im pretty satisfied with everything except the battery. Ordered a custom battery from aliexpress. I hope that battery is good enough. the current battery has a drop from 15% to 1%, and it drops by a percentage every 10 seconds. tried a lot of roms, and found the battery to be same. So i realized its the battery that has the problem, and… Read more »
Jyotirmoy Manna
January 5, 2016 6:49 pm 6:49 PM

Kernel has an effect on battery life. Also processor settings. Also custom rom.
By the way which mtk handset have you been using? Or have used?

Kiran Fernandes
January 4, 2016 2:41 pm 2:41 PM

Yea but phones with exynos chip dont get custom aosp roms as opposed to snapdragon where the dev support is very good, and you can port roms from other devices. And snapdragon chips also have a lot more features than mediatek or exynos.
The 820 will not be able to beat the exynos 8890 because samsung made the 820 so…

Jyotirmoy Manna
January 5, 2016 5:30 am 5:30 AM

I am using QC800 but bad dev support.

Kiran Fernandes
January 5, 2016 7:01 pm 7:01 PM

The problem is that its a Xolo handset. And Xolo makes some crappy handsets, so people avoid Xolo. When researching a phone/tablet, see that a lot of people are buying it. Devs buy it too, and they start supporting that handset.

Jyotirmoy Manna
January 5, 2016 8:41 pm 8:41 PM

QC800 tab or Q800 handset?
I have QC800 but no proper software update from Xolo but contains snapdragon.
Also devs are not interested. Don’t know why.

Sayed Ejaz
January 4, 2016 3:42 pm 3:42 PM

Therefore dev support are never going to effect the common people .
It will only effect very small countable amount of people.

Jyotirmoy Manna
January 5, 2016 5:33 am 5:33 AM


Kiran Fernandes
January 4, 2016 5:54 pm 5:54 PM

Now a lot of people are planning to root their phones and flash a custom rom in it… Thats the reason why oneplus one made a large no of sales. Only some noobs will keep their phone on stock.

Sayed Ejaz
January 4, 2016 3:40 pm 3:40 PM

Actualy as you might aware AOSP custom rom flashing and rooting things are done by very minority of people.

Probably only a small amount, say 5%. The rest are totally ok with the phone as it comes out of the box, and that’s fine.

Also samsung wil make sure E8890 to meet same performance as that of worries.