Fans of high-end mobile performance take note – Qualcomm has officially unveiled its most powerful chip-set to date. The Snapdragon 865 Plus is a reboot of Qualcomm’s current flagship chip, the 865 – the market leader for Android devices in its own right. Much like the introduction of the souped-up 855 Plus last year, the development of an 865-with-extras is aimed specifically at resource-intensive applications like gaming and AI.
Overall, the 865 Plus promises 10% faster CPU, 10% faster graphics rendering and industry-leading Wi-Fi connection speeds. Qualcomm claims in its specifications that the 865 Plus is the first chip to break the 3GHz CPU barrier, while its 3.6Gbps Wi-Fi speeds also puts it ahead of Apple’s latest A13 Bionic chip.
With these specs, the 865 Plus will further boost the ‘5G-ready’ credentials of Qualcomm chips, offering faster connections to bigger, more powerful apps over mobile data. As with the 865, there is no 5G modem capability built into the 865 Plus itself, but it will be paired by default with Qualcomm’s X55 5G modem instead.
In the Game?
It will be interesting to monitor how many devices we end up seeing the 865 Plus in. The Snapdragon 865 has quickly established itself as the chip of choice for ‘class of 2020’ premium Android handsets, appearing in the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, the LG V60 ThinQ and Xiaomi Mi 10 so far this year. The 855 Plus largely stuck to a niche market, appearing in specialist gaming-focused smartphones like the Asus ROG Phone II and Black Shark 2 Pro.
It is notable that the first device confirmed to carry the new Snapdragon chip is the Asus ROG Phone III, due to be officially unveiled in the coming weeks.
More “Gaming First” Handsets
What Qualcomm is surely banking on is that more mainstream mobile manufacturers see the potential of the still small ‘gaming first’ handset category and start to take an interest in building top-end gaming capabilities into their standard devices.
This will surely be helped by the growing prominence of technologies like AI, AR, VR and, of course, 5G. Ultra-fast, high bandwidth 5G connections not only allow the most sophisticated, graphically detailed games to run smoothly over data connections.
What more could it do?
They also open the door to immersive AR/VR-driven experiences on the move, whether for the purposes of gaming, shopping or adding ‘telepresence’ to video meetings, all of which can be further enabled by the most powerful AI tools.
But as well as requiring fast enough mobile connections, these sophisticated future-facing technologies also demand devices with high CPU speeds and performance. If that’s the direction the next generation of smartphones take, the Snapdragon looks to put Qualcomm in a strong position to take advantage.