Qualcomm showcases Snapdragon 801’s Hexagon DSP capabilities in music playback

August 11, 2014

OnePlus One Qualcomm Snapdragon

Touted as the ‘flagship killer’ when it was launched, the OnePlus One aimed to challenge top-selling smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S5 but without the premium price. Offered at a $299 starting price, the One promised reasonable performance with its Snapdragon 801 chipset, 5.5-inch LTPS display and decent kit for the price. One other thing that this industry newcomer offers: stellar battery life. (Read our full review here.)

At least this is what Qualcomm, which manufactures the Snapdragon 801 chipset that powers the One, is trying to highlight. In a recent blog post, Qualcomm touted the One’s battery capabilities in music playback, which reached 60 hours straight, with the device outputting audio to stereo speakers with its 3.5-mm audio jack. The company says is due to the Hexagon DSP found in the Snapdragon 801 processor, aided by the phone’s 3,100 mAh battery.

Of course, used as a daily driver, the One is likely to be limited to one day under moderate to heavy use, and you will definitely want to plug in your device at the office, in the car or before you sleep, to make sure you have enough juice when you need it. Qualcomm’s tests were done in a very controlled environment, meaning the OnePlus One did not have a SIM, and the wireless radios (WiFi, Bluetooth) were turned off.

Still, if you’re fond of using your smartphone as a digital music player, then Qualcomm’s Hexagon DSP will be a big help in reducing the processing overhead. As per Qualcomm, smartphones powered by other processors still rely on the CPU to play back music. But with certain Snapdragon processors, playback is handled by the DSP, which uses much less power. This lets the application processor sleep while music is being played back, thereby resulting in reduced battery consumption.

Will your OnePlus One last 60 hours on a single charge? Probably not in regular use. But it’s good to know that chipmakers are designing their hardware with power efficiency in mind, especially in common tasks like playing music.

Comments

  • Leandro BrandĂŁo

    so not every s801 have this dsp?

    • Woe of [S]unjΔy

      I think everyone does but I may be wrong. If yes, the Xperia Z2 should last even longer because it has a 3,200 mAh battery.

      • Mike Reid

        At least some prior to s801 have Hexagon too. I’ve been seeing it in tech documents 2 years old now.

        But this is cross-promotion for both HTC’s latest and Qualcomms’ almost latest.

        • Woe of [S]unjΔy

          Great if older devices have it.

    • Gon

      All s801 has it.

  • joser116

    They should do these audio tests while having mobile and WiFi turned on.

    • crutchcorn

      Why? They’re testing music playback, assuming you have it downloaded

      • joser116

        To make the battery tests more realistic, at least have the dat mobile data on.

        • crutchcorn

          But for me the tests are realistic. I don’t use data normally. I leave it off, just download the music and go

          • joser116

            Most people have data on all the time

          • crutchcorn

            I understand that, but that’s not what they’re testing for. :P

          • joser116

            They’re testing how much playback time you’ll get, I’m just saying they should test it with data on to get a more realistic estimate of how many hours of music playback the consider will get on a fully functioning device.

          • crutchcorn

            Shhh….. Stop making valid points.

          • Mike Reid

            LOL. Yeah.

            It’s a benchmark they can brag about. It’s… semi-valid, sorta…

          • crutchcorn

            Exactly what I’m saying! He gets it!

          • joser116

            :)

          • Mr. Mark

            This is like trying to sell your car on the idea that it can run for 72 hours straight in Park before running out of gas and claiming how fuel efficient your car is because you can technically run the engine for 3 days before it needs refueled. It’s not a useful benchmark for anyone.

  • crutchcorn

    This is nice. I listen to music so much I’m glad Qualcom recognizes that they need to do something about the battery

  • xoj_21

    wolfson is better

  • Rye

    I’ll keep this post and hope that this will soon be a reality. I currently use ASUS Zenfone and it is quite disappointing for its battery life. Though it is 1600mAh, it only takes about 5 songs to decrease it’s battery to 1%.