Snapdragon 685 comes out of nowhere

According to reports filtering through to me, there is apparently a new SoC from Qualcomm. The name of this SoC is the Snapdragon 685.

The Snapdragon 685 was recently discovered inside the Redmi Note 12 4G. The Redmi Note 12 4G is new lower midrange device from Xiaomi.

Snapdragon 685

The main specifications for the Snapdragon 685 are as follows:

  • Big cores: 4 Kryo 265 Gold Cortex A73 (2.8GHz)
  • Small cores: 4 Kryo 265 Silver Cortex A53 (1.9GHz)
  • GPU: Adreno 610
  • ISA: ARMv8
  • Fab: 6nm TSMC
  • RAM: LPDDR4x
  • Storage: eMMC 5.1, UFS 2.2
  • ISP: Spectra 346
  • AI: Hexagon DSP 686
  • Camera: 64MP
  • Video: 1080p @30fps
  • Display: 2520 × 1080p
  • Modem: Snapdragon X11 LTE
  • Bluetooth: 5.1
  • WiFi: 5

Please note that this review is based on tentative reports and will be updated constantly as I get more information.


A good look at this SoC shows that it is an over locked Snapdragon 680 which can be found on lower midrange devices like the Redmi Note 11, Redmi 10C, Samsung Galaxy A23 and so many other devices.

Basically, Qualcomm took the Snapdragon 680 and over clocked it from 2.4GHz to 2.8GHz. According to Qualcomm, maximum clock speed for the ARM Cortex A73 CPU cores are 2.8GHz. So this news does check out.

Overclocking the SD680 should lead to a boost in CPU performance which should be seen when the device is gaming or handling heavy tasks. However, from my investigations, the SD685 performance leap over the SD680 on Geekbench is not all that great.

Snapdragon 680

  • Single core: 374
  • Multi core: 1562

Snapdragon 685

  • Single core: 371
  • Multi core: 1600

This begs the question, why overclock when the benefits seem rather minimal?

Another thing is, whilst better performance is always a good thing, I am quite worried about the possible heating and increased battery consumption. With more (CPU) power comes great responsibility (heating and battery consumption), not to mention thermal throttling.

So far, there’s been no word from Qualcomm (or Xiaomi) about the Snapdragon 685 and possible heat mitigation strategies in place. This has made me raise an eyebrow.

We can trust in the 6nm fab from TSMC but clocking a CPU close to it’s max limit is something that hasn’t really been done on lower midrangers in a while.

The GPU is the same as the one on the Snapdragon 680 and there’s no word on if it has been overclocked so we’re assuming it is not. There’s also support for LPDDR4x RAM.

Other specs

The ISP maxes out at 64MP and outputs 1080p video at 30fps. It can drive displays up to 1080p (Full High Definition) and it has a Snapdragon X11 on board for network connectivity.

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