Qualcomm’s next gen flagship has been announced and it is known as the Snapdragon 888.
Qualcomm’s three previous flagships were Snapdragons 845, 855 and 865. It is only natural to assume that the latest instalment was going to be named Snapdragon 875 with possibly a plus variant (875+) in the coming months.
When the news leaked of the announcement of a new SoC from the company, a lot of writers jumped the gun and excitedly wrote about how the new SD 875 would fare. This was especially against Apple’s A14 Bionic and Kirin 9000.
When the day came, Qualcomm had a shocker for everyone. The new flagship would be named Snapdragon 888. The rationale behind this name change was that 8 is a lucky number in China so they went all out for the 8s. A Snapdragon 870 could be released later on, but this is just speculation on my part.
With that out of the way, lets see what next gen features came packed in the Snapdragon 888.
Microarchitecture (CPU Cores)
The SD 888 packs an all new Kryo 680 CPU. It is an octacore CPU with a 1+3+4 DynamiQ arrangement.
It has one X1 Prime core clocked at 2.84GHz, three “big” Kryo 680 Gold (A78) cores running at 2.4GHz and four “small” Kryo 680 Silver cores maxed out at 1.8GHz.
As usual, the prime core would handle the heavy tasks. It would be supported by the big cores. The smaller less CPU intensive tasks would be taken care of by the small cores. DynamiQ would make it easier for the CPU to intelligently handle tasks thrown at it.
Qualcomm promises that this new CPU core setup 25% more performance and power efficient than the previous flagship, SD865+.
The CPU cores are built on ARMv8.2-A and the transistor size is 5nm.
The SD888 comes fully equipped with Qualcomm’s Adreno 660. Qualcomm says it is 35% faster in rendering graphics and it is 20% more power efficient than the previous flagship GPU.
Adreno 660 is currently the best GPU in the android space currently and Qualcomm armed it with an arsenal of features. The full suite of Qualcomm® Snapdragon Elite Gaming™ includes Variable Rate Shading (VRS) for up to 30% performance improvement and Qualcomm® Game Quick Touch as well as increasing responsiveness up to 20%.
These, plus a boosted CPU and Qualcomm® Adreno™ GPU make gameplay richer with 35% faster graphics rendering (Qualcomm, 2020).
Qualcomm was tight lipped about the RAM used but we can only assume that the module on board should be an LPDDR5. The speed should be anything between 2500MHz to 5000MHz. We’ll update this page as soon as we get concrete information.
SD888 ships with flagship grade Spectra 580 Triple ISP with a redesigned Hexagon 780 DSP.
This means that the ISP can handle camera resolutions of up to 200MP, a dual 64MP + 25MP setup or a 28MP+28MP+28MP triple camera arrangement.
It can also capture video at 8K at 30fps, 4K at 120fps and the much touted 4K HDR.
The maximum on-device display supported by SD888 are 4K at 60 Hz or QHD+ at 144 Hz. It also supports HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision, HDR10.
The new SD888 is 5G capable and has the premium Snapdragon X60 5G modem integrated on board. This integration should reduce power consumption and lag while increasing efficiency guaranteeing a smooth user experience. The X60 is capable of uplink speeds of 3Gbps and downlink speeds of 7.5Gbps. Absolutely massive.SD888 supports Bluetooth 5.2 and WiFi 6/6E. Qualcomm claims to have the fastest mobile WiFi 6 speeds of 3.6Gbps. It also supports USB 3.1 as well. Support for NFC is also present.
Qualcomm has a new form of security for the SD888 called the Hypervisor. It is like second space on Xiaomi phones but on a hardware level. You can set up different profiles and use them safely and securely.
Lei Jun of Xiaomi has already confirmed that Xiaomi MI 11 is going to be the first device to use the SD 888. Samsung S21 Ultra us also another one given Samsung’s penchant of using Snapdragon SoCs for their phones. Others include One Plus 9, Oppo Find X3 and others etc.
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