Qualcomm shared some interesting news today with the press at CES in Las Vegas and spilled the beans on the first Snapdragon 820 smartphone – the LeTV Le Max Pro. The company’s first attempt to break into the absolutely insane US market. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf excitedly unveiled the smartphone, the Letv Le Max Pro, during the company’s CES press conference on Tuesday.
The first announcement was the automotive version of the Snapdragon 820 chip called Snapdragon 820Am. It is capable of processing simultaneously huge amounts of data – it can track the driver’s movements via sensors and cameras, output picture on few 4K displays, provide real-time navigation and assistance, among other things.
Mollenkopf didn’t give us a full rundown of the smartphone’s specs, but revealed that the 820 chip makes the Letv Le Max Pro the first Qualcomm Sense ID smartphone. This ultrasonic fingerprint scanner technology can read moist or lotion-covered fingers. It works by bouncing ultrasonic waves off a finger, picking up the pattern and depth of contours, unlike current capacitive options that essentially use a camera to capture a print.
This also means that it can be placed anywhere on a device, as the sensor can read prints through glass, metal and sapphire. In this case, Letv has positioned the metal-clad sensor on the rear of the device, but when we got hands-on with the technology last year, Qualcomm showed it in action built into a glass display.
“The car is being reinvented based on being connected,” Mollenkopf said. “The innovation that’s happening in the car is really tremendous. It’s changing the way cars are used and serviced.”
The Snapdragon 820A will also offer support for QNX, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Qualcomm expects the first hardware samples to be sent out in the first quarter of this year.