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Qualcomm unveils its latest flagship Snapdragon chip

US mobile chip giant Qualcomm is so happy with its latest top-end SoC that it has even revamped the naming scheme.

The3 successor to the Snapdragon 888 is called the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, for some reason. Presumably the next one will be Gen 2, and so on, and maybe the option to change the 8 will come when Qualcomm reckons its managed something revolutionary. Whatever. All that really matters is whether there’s enough of a performance enhancement to keep Qualcomm ahead of the likes of Mediatek when smartphone makers are deciding what should power their flagship devices.

“As the world’s most advanced mobile platform, Snapdragon is synonymous with premium Android experiences and the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 sets the standard for the next generation of flagship mobile devices,” said Alex Katouzian, GM of mobile, compute, and infrastructure at Qualcomm. “It delivers connectivity, photography, AI, gaming, sound, and security experiences never before available in a smartphone.”

The connectivity is dealt with by the X65 5G Modem-RF System, which can apparently support up to 10 Gbps download speeds and the latest flavours of wifi are also supported. Qualcomm insists the photography capabilities are ‘beyond pro’, without specifying where that leaves us. The dedicated AI processing bits are twice as fast as their predecessor, we’re told, and the upgraded Adreno graphics core has 30% better performance than the last one. Lastly, this is the first Snapdragon to have a dedicated Trust Management Engine, which sounds reassuring.

Of course Qualcomm is going to be all hyperbolic about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but what do neutral third parties think. Anandtech has been our go-to site for chip analysis for years and its first impressions are that it’s a solid upgrade.  Having said that SemiAccurate also knows its stuff and is less impressed. Regardless, the signs are it will appear in flagship phones from mainly Chinese OEMs early next year.

Here’s a vid.


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