Qualcomm Boosts Flagship Processor with Snapdragon 855 Plus
Today, Qualcomm released a speed boost to its flagship phone processor. The Snapdragon 855 Plus now runs at up to 2.96GHz with 15 percent faster graphics. Devices with the chip will be available later this year with the Asus being the first adopter in its upcoming ROG Phone II.
The chip, which was announced at the annual Snapdragon Technology Summit in December, will be aimed at gaming phones, 5G devices, artificial intelligence, and augmented and virtual reality. The down side though is that the built-in modem won’t be able to handle 5G, so a separate X50 modem will be required to reach the next-gen networks.
“Snapdragon 855 Plus will raise the bar for elite gamers with the increase in CPU and GPU performance and elevate experiences for 5G, gaming, AI and XR, which is something our OEM customers look to us to deliver,” said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Snapdragon 855 Plus is our most advanced mobile platform to date and will build upon the success of the 2019 Android flagship Snapdragon 855 5G mobile platform.”
While this mid-year upgrade is rare for Qualcomm, it’s not the first time a chip saw a speed boost ahead of a new flagship. The Snapdragon 821 was released at almost the exact same time in 2016 with a 10 percent performance increase over the Snapdragon 820. A few phones featured the Snapdragon 821 including the original Google Pixel, the LG G6, and the HTC U Ultra.
In addition to the ROG Phone II, a few outlets are predicting that we could see the Snapdragon 855 Plus in phones like the Google Pixel 4 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. Since gaming phones have become a main driver of smartphone sales, the promise of a chip capable of supporting 5G is convincing enough for smartphone makers to adopt the Snapdragon 855 Plus ahead of the next flagship.