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Your phone’s processor is the unsung hero of the device because it is largely responsible for powering every cool, advanced feature that you’ve come to know and love about your smartphone. Qualcomm’s latest chip will push your next Android capabilities even further, especially when it comes to AI. 

On Sunday, Qualcomm unveiled its newest mobile platform — the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3. In alignment with the industry shift toward on-device AI, this new chip is designed to unleash a new wave of generative AI functionality on smartphones. 

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“With capabilities including on-device generative AI and advanced photography features, Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 is designed to enhance user experiences, fostering creativity and productivity in their daily lives,” said Chris Patrick, SVP and general manager of handsets at Qualcomm. 

Qualcomm has not revealed which flagship phones will be sporting the new chip. However, it did share that the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 will be adopted by leading manufacturers including Honor, iQOO, realme, Redmi, and Xiaomi — all Chinese OEMs — with the first device scheduled for release as early as March. 

What exactly can you expect to see in those phones? We rounded up the top three AI features. 

1. Generative AI virtual assistants

We’re all familiar with voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, but what about an assistant that has a voice and a face? According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 will make that possible. 

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The virtual assistant would be supported by the Qualcomm Sensing Hub, which can securely compile all of the user’s data — such as their favorite activities, locations, and more — to make the virtual assistant’s suggestions and responses more tailored toward the individual’s preferences. 

2. Fast on-device image and text generation 

There’s been an increased interest this year in on-device AI, which offers advantages such as increased speed and security. The Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 supports on-device generative AI at up to 10B parameters, supporting more than 30 large language models (LLMs) and large vision models (LVMs) at impressively high speeds. 

To put the speed into perspective, it can generate images in a fraction of a second whereas the standard image generator takes about 10 seconds on average. LLM models can run up to 20 tokens per second, which the company claims is one of the fastest in the smartphone industry. 

Also: The best AI image generators to try right now

3. On-device photo expansion

Similar to the Adobe Photoshop Generative Fill feature, Photo Expansion can generate content beyond the photo’s frame and blend it with the original photo, right on a user’s smartphone. The feature is particularly useful for editing a photo you wish you had framed better or for providing a different view of the same shot. 

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