Qualcomm has announced a new mobile processor, the Snapdragon 870 that sits between its current flagship Snapdragon 888 SoC and its erstwhile flagship Snapdragon 865 Plus SoC. The arrival of the Snapdragon 870 is also rather interesting as it offers a minor upgrade from its predecessor, but that could be a selling-point for OEMs that are planning to launch a 'Lite' variant of their next flagships. To make it clear, smartphone brands love flaunting new tech and hardware on their devices, especially when it comes to their latest premium smartphones. You may have come across terms such as "faster," "more premium," and even "better" during launch events, that essentially signifies their commitment to providing an enhanced experience over old-gen devices.
Therefore, Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 870 processor is a fitting answer for those users who are planning to upgrade their Snapdragon 865-powered handset to a faster-yet-more powerful Android device, but are not too keen on spending a hefty price for the Snapdragon 888-enabled smartphones. To recall, Snapdragon 865 Plus (and even Snapdragon 865) is by no means a less powerful chipset. It comes with several top-end smartphones such as Asus ROG Phone 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 (select regions), and Lenovo Legion Phone Duel. Even the vanilla Snapdragon 865 features on multiple well-reviewed smartphones like Mi 10 series, OnePlus 8 series, Motorola Edge Plus, and more.
In terms of features, the Snapdragon 870 SoC comes with a higher clock speed of 3.2GHz for the top-end CPU core, up 100MHz from the old chip. Otherwise, it retains the same three-tiered CPU setup (one Cortex-A77 core at 3.2GHz, three Cortex-A77 CPU cores at 2.4GHz, and four lightweight Cortex-A55 cores at 1.8GHz), Adreno 650 GPU, external Snapdragon X55 modem (with mmWave and sub-6GHz support), and 7nm design as the Snapdragon 865 Plus.
But that won't stop OEMs from adopting the latest chipset on their new not-so-flagship devices despite having the similar option of the Snapdragon 865 Plus. Among the smartphone brands Xiaomi, Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, and Vivo's iQoo have confirmed new devices with the Snapdragon 870 - without revealing many details. Speaking over the collaboration with Qualcomm, OnePlus says, "We look forward to delivering lightning-fast 5G speeds and ultra-smooth mobile experiences to more users." On the other hand, Xiaomi says that its Snapdragon 870-powered smartphone will "bring more surprises to global consumers regarding 5G, camera, AI, and more." The moniker of these smartphones is not yet disclosed, though past leaks have given us a fair idea about the next device with the latest Qualcomm processor. Therefore, here is everything we know about the devices so far:
Motorola Edge S: Lenovo-owned Motorola hours has announced that upcoming Motorola Edge S will feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 SoC. The smartphone is reportedly being developed under the codename Nio which has appeared in multiple leaks over the last couple of weeks. The upcoming smartphone might carry a quad rear camera setup with a 64-megapixel primary sensor. It also reported to house dual front cameras inside a hole-punch cutout.
OnePlus 9 Lite: The OnePlus 9 series has been a part of the rumour mill since December 2020. The next smartphone series is said to pack the vanilla OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro and an OnePlus 9 Lite. Though the regular and Pro models might carry the Snapdragon 888 SoC, the Lite variant is said to be a minor upgrade of the OnePlus 8T that packs Snapdragon 865 SoC. This makes the phone a likely candidate to feature the latest Qualcomm chipset.
Redmi K40: Xiaomi sub-brand Redmi has confirmed that the next-generation Redmi K40 will launch next month, though its exact launch date remains unclear. The new K40 series is said to pack the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, though the company Product Director Wang Teng Thomas recently suggested the arrival of a new device (a variant of K40) alongside Redmi K40 next month. Notably, the second-new device could also be Redmi's first gaming smartphone with the newly launched MediaTek Dimensity 1200 SoC. However, some reports speculate the device will feature a Qualcomm processor - likely the Snapdragon 870. The phone will reportedly carry a triple camera setup with a 48MP primary camera.