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Qualcomm's supercharged chip for premium phones promises 10 percent faster performance

The Snapdragon 821 is a brawnier alternative to the chip powering phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7. We'll start seeing it in devices by fall.

James Martin/CNET

Who would say no to a faster, more powerful phone or tablet? Nobody, says Qualcomm, which announced the new Snapdragon 821 processor for high-end mobile devices. The 820 currently runs phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5 and Xiaomi Mi 5.

The 821 promises 10 percent faster speeds than the 820, which is still considered a top chipset for driving smartphone and tablet performance. Qualcomm's goal here isn't to oust the 820 we see in important flagship devices, the company said in a blog post. But it does want to provide an alternative for device makers that will help make resource-hungry experiences even speedier and smoother, like VR, for instance.

The first devices using the Snapdragon 821 processor should arrive in the second half of 2016.