17 February 2020
The newly-launched and yet-to-commercialize Snapdragon 865 processor unlocks several key abilities, including a 20% boost in performance from last year. It also includes Adreno 650 GPU that aims to offer a massive 25% boost in the overall experience. However, there is one more thing that stands the processor apart from other flagship-tier processors and it is about updating the Adreno driver via Play Store.
Qualcomm will start delivering GPU updates to OEMs so they can pass them to their phones via Play Store. Note that the capability is only available with the Adreno 650 GPU present in the Snapdragon 865. This is similar to what NVIDIA and AMD do on PCs. For instance, NVIDIA updates its Game Ready drivers regularly to ensure games play without any issues.
That’s a great support Qualcomm is coming with since Android games are constantly updated with new features and an updated driver will help in executing everything smoothly. The support will help Qualcomm to address specific game-related issues like frequent crashes or gameplay lag better.
Note that these updates were previously delivered via annual platform version updates or bundled with monthly security updates in case of hotfixes. So feeding the updates directly from the Play Store is a big deal. The credit behind this capability goes to Project Mainline that brought the biggest change to Android updates so that your phone can get essential updates without waiting for a rollout from your carrier.
While Qualcomm takes control of updating the flagship-tier Adreno 650 GPU, you can’t accept the same support for the Adreno 620 GPU present in the Snapdragon 765 processor, even when its Snapdragon 765G version is meant for gaming phones. However, we shouldn’t lose hope as this is just a start and we may see some mid-tier Adreno chipsets getting the support as well.