Product review

Google Tensor G2 vs Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 Which is Better

Google Tensor G2 vs Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1: The Google Tensor G2 is the chipset used in the newly released Google Pixel 7 Pro. But, this chipset is coming to the Android market where the likes of the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset used in the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra already rules. So, is the Tensor G2 chipset good enough to compete with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset?

There is no arguing the fact that the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is one of the best chipsets of 2022. This explains why lots of OEMs used it in their flagship and premium phones. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 has fast CPU cores and a very powerful GPU. However, the Tensor G2 chipset might not be as powerful as the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 but there is something it does way better. So, in this Google Tensor G2 vs Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, we’ll highlight all the specs of these chipsets for you to understand the differences and decide which is better.

Google Tensor G2 vs Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1

Process Technology & Power Management

The Google Tensor G2 and Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipsets are both built on a 4nm process technology. Chipsets on the 4nm process are usually fast and use less power to send and received data. The reason why these chipsets are faster and more efficient is that the components are close to each other and can easily and quickly communicate, hence the faster data transfer using less power.

However, according to Qualcomm, the CPU performance of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset is about 30% better than that of the Tensor G2. Qualcomm also hints that the power efficiency of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is also about 30% better than the Tensor G2. This means the phones powered by the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset process data faster and uses less power when doing so.

This is not so surprising because the CPU cores and GPU used in the Tensor G2 chipsets are of an older generation of the Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset (Snapdragon 888 to be precise). We’ve highlighted the differences between both chipsets in the table below.

Google Tensor G2 vs Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1: CPU

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The Tensor G2 features an Octa-core CPU. It has two power cores (2x Cortex-X1) with a CPU speed of 2.85GHz, two big efficiency cores (2x Cortex-A78) with a CPU speed of 2.35GHz, and four small efficiency cores (4x Cortex-A55) with a CPU speed of 1.80GHz. In comparison, the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 has one power core (1x Cortex-X2) with a CPU speed of 3.2GHz, three big efficiency cores (3x Cortex-A710) with a CPU speed of 2.75GHz, and four small efficiency cores (4x Cortex-A510) with a CPU speed of 2.00GHz.

The CPU cores and GPU of the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset are faster and more powerful than those of the Tensor G2. As earlier stated, the Tensor 2 is equipped with the older Cortex X1 power CPU while the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 is equipped with the latest Cortex X2 power CPU. The same is true for the other six efficiency cores. Note that this does not mean that the CPU cores of the Tensor G2 are not fast or not power efficient. It only means that those of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset are better. See Geekbench tests of the Google Tensor G2 and Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipsets in the table below.

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Google Tensor G2 vs Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1: GPU & AI

The Google Tensor G2 features the Mali-G710 MC10 GPU while the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 features the Adreno 730 GPU. The Mali-G710 MC10 GPU is no match for the Adreno 730 GPU when it comes to graphics rendering. The Adreno 730 GPU renders graphics faster and can perform at its optimum for longer because it uses less power. But there is a twist when it comes to AI.

It seems the intention of Google with the Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro is not just about power but also integration and automation. The Tensor G2 chipset has one of the best AI integration you can think of. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset is also very good in the AI department but it seems Google sacrificed power to enhance the AI capabilities of the Tensor G2 chip.
Another reason why Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 phones are not as good as the Pixel 7 series phone when it comes to AI is that most OEMs are not utilizing the full Ai potential of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. Let’s talk about some of the AI capabilities of the Tensor G2 in its ISP below.

 

Google Tensor G2 vs Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1: ISP

The Image Signal Processing (ISP) on the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 is the Qualcomm Spectra while that of the Google Tensor G2 is the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU). The TPU in the Tensor G2 is Google’s custom next-generation Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) and it brings some major improvements over its predecessor and some really impressive automation.

The new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) supports up to a 108MP camera sensor while the Qualcomm Spectra currently supports a 200MP camera sensor. Both ISPs allow devices to record videos in RAW format and support Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, 4K video recording, etc. With the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), you can enjoy features such as Guided Frame, Photo Unblur, Pro Level Zoom, etc.

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The Guided Frame is a new feature that allows blind people to take perfect selfie photos. Once turned on, Pixel 7 with the help of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) will use a voice guide to direct blind people to place the camera on the phone and take a perfect selfie photo. Photo Unblur is another impressive feature that allows users to clear out any blur from photos. The new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) also now makes it possible for users to scan more than 100 languages and automatically translate them.

These are the few impressive new automatic features that the Tensor G2 chipset brings. Yes, it might not have those powerful Cores as the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, but it sure has those small important daily features that are very useful for every user. Now, there are lots of things that can be done using the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 but sadly, most OEMs don’t utilize these features in their smartphones else the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 could easily win the Tensor G2 in this category.

 

Google Tensor G2 vs Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1: Connectivity

The connectivity options available on both chipsets are very similar. Both chipsets have support for 5G connectivity but have different 5G MODEM inside. The Tensor G2 has the G5300B 5G MODEM from Samsung while the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 has the X65 MODEM from Qualcomm.

Other connectivity options available on both chipsets are NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, GPS, Ultra Wideband (UWB) support, an online payment system, Wi-Fi 6E, etc. The peak download speed of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is up to 10Gbps and this is faster than the peak download speed of the Tensor G2 which is estimated to be about 7Gbps.

Google Tensor G2 vs Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1: Conclusion

So, between the Google Tensor G2 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 which is better? Well, when it comes to performance and power efficiency, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset is better than the Google Tensor G2 chipset. This is because the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 has faster CPU cores and a more powerful GPU. But this Google Tensor G2 vs Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 comparison has shown that power is not everything.

The Tensor G2 chipset might not be as powerful as the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset but it makes up for it with its extra AI features. These features are simple but very useful features for everyday users while also maintaining a decent-performing chipset. Note that the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset has these extra AI features but most of the OEMs don’t utilize these features in their smartphones.
So, if you’re the type of person that loves playing games and doing heavy graphics work with your smartphone, it’s better you buy a phone powered by the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset. But if you’re like me who is not a heavy gamer but someone who loves AI and automation a lot, then you’ll find the extra AI features of the Tensor G2 chipset to be very useful (just like I do).

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