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Qualcomm Snapdragon 810: Hands-on with the mobile chip of 2015

We get an early look at Qualcomm's new system on a chip before it arrives on smartphones and tablets in early 2015.

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Dan Graziano
Dan Graziano is an associate editor for CNET. His work has appeared on BGR, Fox News, Fox Business, and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn't tinkering with the latest gadgets and gizmos, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.
Dan Graziano
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1 of 9 Dan Graziano/CNET

Qualcomm invited CNET to give its new Snapdragon 810 system on a chip a spin before it arrives in devices in early 2015.

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The chip was shown off in a reference device designed to showcase the Snapdragon 810's power. The tablet is made specifically for developers and won't be available to purchase for consumers.

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Photo quality will get a boost thanks to the chip's 14-bit dual image signal processors, which support image capture up to 55 megapixels and high dynamic range (HDR) video.

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Like we saw with this year's Moto X, devices that are powered by the Snapdragon 810 are always listening. A command such as, "OK, Google" can be used to launch apps, even when the display is turned off.

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Trying to take a video in a crowded place? Not a problem. The Snapdragon 810 has the power to suppress background noise while recording video. Simply point the phone or tablet to the source and the chip does the rest.

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The future is all about 4K, also known as Ultra HD. The Snapdragon 810 supports smartphones and tablets with 4K resolution displays. That's 3,840x2,160 pixels, or four times the resolution of your current HD display.

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The iPhone 6 won't be the only device with a 64-bit processor. The Snapdragon 810 supports 64-bit processors with up to eight cores. As for gaming performance, the integrated Adreno 430 GPU delivers a 30 percent boost from earlier models. Qualcomm boasts that the performance and graphics are on par with gaming consoles. That's right: Snapdragon 810 devices can play both 3D and 4K games.

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Not only will you be able to capture and watch 4K content on your smartphone or tablet, but you can also share 4K content to streaming media devices, such as the Chromecast.

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The Snapdragon 810 supports wireless docking, allowing your mobile device to transform into a full-fledged computer, complete with USB ports, external hard drives and more.

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