Premium Android smartphones will have a new Qualcomm Snapdragon processor option when they debut this fall: The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which will boost GPU performance by about 10 percent while tacking on an extra hour of battery life. Qualcomm also announced the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, a similar upgrade to its next performance tier of Snapdragon processors. According to Qualcomm, the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will power phones by Asus ROG, Black Shark, Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, Oppo, OSOM, Realme, RedMagic, Redmi, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE when the phones debut in the third quarter. Honor, OPPO, and Xiaomi will use the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 beginning in the second quarter. According to Mike Roberts, the vice president of global product marketing for Qualcomm, the justification for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is a simple one: the company sees more consumers turning to premium smartphones.
While Qualcomm has integrated several gaming-specific technologies into its Snapdragon mobile processors, on Tuesday the company announced something a little different: a version of its Snapdragon 730 optimized for gaming, dubbed the Snapdragon 730G. Though mobile gaming may be an idle pastime with American consumers, it's a way of life overseas. Over 586 million mobile gamers are in China alone--twice the population of the United States, according to Qualcomm's Hiren Bhinde at Qualcomm's technology summit last December. It isn't clear which phones and mobile devices Qualcomm has in mind for the Snapdragon 730G, but recent gaming phones from Asus ROG and Razer indicate that Qualcomm was designing for what they hope will be a trend. Though most premium smartphones use Qualcomm's 8-series CPUs like the Snapdragon 855, the new 7-series chips are designed for a slightly cheaper but still premium phone.
Qualcomm has had a busy few weeks. After announcing new chips for midrange 5G phones and next-gen smartwatches alongside a robotics platform and networking inventions, the company is unveiling today its latest premium mobile chipset. The Snapdragon 865 Plus is a follow-up to the Snapdragon 865 launched late last year, and, like each iteration before it, promises better performance and battery life. ASUS also announced today that the ROG Phone 3 will come equipped with the 865 Plus, while Lenovo said its Legion sub-brand is working on a 5G mobile gaming device that will use the chipset. ASUS hasn't officially unveiled more details about the third-gen ROG Phone, and says full specs will be coming in the next few weeks.
Qualcomm has officially launched the Snapdragon 778G 5G processor, which will power the Honor 50 series and other upcoming mid-to-high-end devices. It joins the Snapdragon 780G, which Qualcomm introduced in March, as one of the company's options for upper mid-range phones. The 778G SoC uses Kryo 670 CPU, which Qualcomm says can enhance overall CPU performance by 40 percent. Meanwhile, its Adreno 642L GPU is designed to deliver up to 40 percent faster graphics rendering compared to the previous generation. The chipset comes with the latest (6th generation) Qualcomm AI Engine, as well.
Qualcomm's chips are powering some of the most powerful Android phones around, and now the company has a new flagship chip that is both faster and more energy efficient than its predecessor. The awkwardly named Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (seriously, what's wrong with just a simple number?) is up to 10% faster than its predecessor, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, while drawing 30% less power. These improvements should be visible both in mobile gaming and regular use, thanks to the chip's new Adreno GPU and the new Kryo CPU. For an idea of what you can expect performance-wise, some of the phones touting Snapdragon's last chip include the OnePlus 10 Pro and the Xiaomi 12 Pro. The new chip will enable phones to take 8K HDR video, with support for the HDR10 format.