Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 Chip for Android Flagships

Image: Qualcomm

Qualcomm has unveiled two new SoCs for Android — the flagship-grade Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, and the more budget-oriented Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 (via The Verge).

The communications and chip design giant said in its announcement that the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 delivers 10% faster CPU performance and 10% faster GPU clock speeds while using 15% less battery than its predecessor.

According to Qualcomm, the new platform actually achieves “up to 30 percent” better power efficiency from both the CPU and GPU, allowing for “nearly 1 hour” of extra gameplay. Oh yes — Qualcomm was particularly boastful of the chip’s gaming performance. The company promised sustained performance and maintained clock speeds as your device heats up during longer gaming sessions.

Qualcomm also touted better AI performance from the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. 20% better AI performance per watt, to be precise.

The Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 will succeed last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 as the bleeding edge for flagship Android devices — well, kind of. The new chip will exist alongside its predecessor, much like the Snapdragon 888 Plus and Snapdragon 888 platforms from the previous generation.

However, we are all but sure to see phone makers flock to the new chip to power their next Android flagships. Likely candidates include the Samsung S23 lineup, rumoured for an early 2023 release, and Xiaomi’s follow-up to the Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro later this year.

Predictably, the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 has drawn the interest of “gaming phone makers” Asus ROG and Black Shark. Honor, iQOO, Lenovo, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, OPPO, OSOM, realme, RedMagic, Redmi, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE, have all also enlisted to get their hands on the new SoC for upcoming devices.

Compared to the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 is a lower-tier offering that is meant to supersede all previous entrants in the company’s 7-series of mobile processors.

Qualcomm said the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 offers a 20% increase in graphics performance over the previous generation. The chip also comes with features that were previously exclusive to Qualcomm’s higher-end offerings, like Adreno Frame Motion Engine, which makes games run smoother by interpolating frames.

The more pocket-friendly chip is also targeted at gamers, albeit at a lower price point than its beefier sibling.

It’ll be interesting to see how Qualcomm’s next-gen flagship Android chip stacks up against Apple’s A16 Bionic, which will reportedly power the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro.

The first devices with Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 under the hood are expected to arrive in the third quarter of this year, while the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 will make its debut sooner, sometime in Q2.

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