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Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G SoC Announced, OnePlus and Xiaomi Confirm Next Flagships

Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G SoC Announced, OnePlus and Xiaomi Confirm Next Flagships

The Snapdragon 870 sits above last year’s Snapdragon 865 SoC, but falls just below this year’s absolute flagship SoC from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 888.

Qualcomm has announced the launch of the Snapdragon 870 5G SoC. The new chipset marks the first time that Qualcomm has pulled off two flagship grade chipset launches in one year, after previously announcing the Snapdragon 888 in late 2020. While the Snapdragon 888 has already been confirmed to feature in certain flagship phones including the Mi 11 from Xiaomi, the Snapdragon 870 now comes in with incrementally improved performance, connectivity and efficiency from the Snapdragon 865+, which in turn suggests that the new SoC may feature in the value-centric flagship smartphones that are launched by myriad companies each year.

In terms of its specifications, the Snapdragon 870 is based on 7nm processor architecture, unlike the 5nm-based Snapdragon 888. However, it does get most of the goodies from the latter, while sharing some with the yesteryear flagship. Its performance core, instead of being the Kryo 680 of this year, is the Kryo 585 from last year that operates here at peak clock speed of 3.2GHz. The 100MHz additional speed from the core can help in incrementally improving the peak performance that a smartphone based on this processor can deliver.

Interestingly, in the GPU department, the Snapdragon 870 is a slight step-down from the 865 Plus. The latter featured the Adreno 660 that also featured in the Snapdragon 888 (alongside the Snapdragon Elite Gaming feature suite), while the Snapdragon 870 features the Adreno 650 GPU. Other features include the previous generation Hexagon 698 co-processor that takes care of myriad tasks such as background services, AI-based augmented reality processing and so on. It also gets the efficiency-focused ultra low-power Qualcomm Sensing Hub, and connectivity chops are headed by the Snapdragon X55 5G modem.

The chipset will support Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2, as well as USB-C 3.1. For imaging, it features the Spectra 480 ISP that supports 4K videos at up to 120fps, 8K videos at up to 30fps, 64-megapixel single camera without shutter lags (at wide buffer peak) and up to 200-megapixel sensors. It also supports up to 4K displays at 60Hz response rates, or QHD+ displays at 144Hz response rates, further suggesting support of new generation flagships. It comes with QuickCharge 4+ standard of fast charging, and is compatible with NavIC in its myriad geolocation features.

Upon its announcement, Qualcomm has confirmed that the Snapdragon 870 5G SoC will feature in commercially available devices before March 2021, and OEMs that are making smartphones based on this chipset include Motorola, iQoo, OnePlus, Oppo and Xiaomi. This essentially confirms that with about two months at hand, smartphone enthusiasts around the world can expect flagship-grade smartphone launches from each or every of these OEMs in the next few weeks.