These are the first few smartphones to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888

Joanna Estrada
January 21, 2021

The processing speed is up to 35% higher than the previous generation platform.

Starting with the CPU, Qualcomm is rejiggering its approach once again, featuring a new ARM Cortex-X1 "supercore" alongside 3 smaller mid-core and 4 small cores, making up what Qualcomm calls the Kryo 680.

Qualcomm also threw shade at competitors by claiming its chip is created to sustain performance over long periods of time without running into throttling issues. The already-announced X60 modem will allow mobile operators to implement sub-6GHz 5G carrier aggregation, significantly easing the transition to 5G in the coming years.

The SoC embeds the Adreno 660 GPU and Qualcomm claims that it delivers 35 percent faster graphics and 20 percent improved power efficiency when compared to Snapdragon 865's GPU.

Xiaomi's CEO Lei Jun did confirm that the brand will be the first to launch a Snapdragon 888-powered model which will be the Mi 11 expected in January 2021. On the Wi-Fi end of things, Qualcomm says the 888 will support the new Wi-Fi 6E spectrum, but there's no guarantee its smartphone vendors will, as the new FastConnect 6900 platform is an optional part of the 888, which most phonemakers opt not to use.

The flagship processor also comes with the new 6th-gen AI Engine. The chip will be smart too, with a 6th generation Qualcomm AI Engine that's enhanced by a 2nd generation Qualcomm Sensing Hub.

From a photography perspective, the company is most excited about the processor's Qualcomm Spectra 580 Triple Image Signal Processor (ISP), which is capable of capturing images and video from three cameras simultaneously at speeds of up to 2.87 gigapixels per second. The ISP also features a new architecture to help with low-light images. It also is able to perform photo capture in 10-bit HEIF format, allowing for the reproduction of over a billion shades of color.

During the keynote, Qualcomm also demonstrated the 5G capabilities of the Snapdragon 888 through a radio-controlled race auto connected by mmWave 5G.

The silicon also has many security measures in place to protect on-device user data, including the Type-1 Hypervisor that secures and isolates data between apps and the operating system. The processor equally provides a fully integrated 5G modem. Whenever Qualcomm releases a new flagship chip, there is always a fight for "who will be first". At the event, Qualcomm did not reveal the first to use this chip. The original story continues below. Snapdragon 875 was an unofficial temporary name given to Qualcomm's upcoming flagship-grade chipset but the actual product turned out to carry the Snapdragon 888 moniker.

Qualcomm Inc. has shared technical details about the Snapdragon 888, its new flagship mobile processor, which is likely to power many of next year's top-end Android smartphones and tablets.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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