The AV1 codec is a royalty free and open source video codec that offers better video quality and up to 30% less file size than the High Efficiency Video (HEVC) codec used by many companies and content services today.
In short, with the AV1 codec you can expect the same quality with smaller file size or better quality with the same file size. Anyone understands that this is the goal of technology: to give more for less.
These advantages have led mobile chipsets from Samsung, Google, MediaTek and now Qualcomm to support HEVC decoding/playback. In addition, Netflix and YouTube have been offering AV1 video streams to compatible Android phones since 2020, using this codec to save users bandwidth.
However, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and newer processors from other brands are still using the old HEVC codec to record video on phones and the reality is that we won’t be seeing AV1 on our phones anytime soon, to our dismay.
Qualcomm will skip this codec due to its “high cost”
Qualcomm’s vice president of product management for cameras, Judd Heape, has suggested to the Android Authority that the company will skip AV1 encoding in favor of a future video codec.
“I don’t see that AV1 encoding is going to get much traction on mobile, let me put it that way,” Heape said in an interview, adding that thethe company thought that VVC (Versatile Video Codec) would be better than AV1 in terms of coding efficiency.
Heape also explained that the AV1 encoder is “quite complicated” and that its “cost-benefit ratio” is probably not as attractive for mobile compared to current HEVC encoding support.
The representative of Qualcomm noted that it will offer support for the AV1 codec in other segmentsbut that legacy H.264 and HEVC encoding capabilities are “going to last us a few more years” on mobile.