Qualcomm has introduced an upgraded version of its current generation flagship chipset that was launched in December last year. During MWC 2021, the new mid-year SoC refresh is revealed to be known as the Snapdragon 888 Plus and would feature significant upgrades over the original in terms of clock speed and AI capabilities.
A mid-year refresh is expected from the manufacturer, as it has introduced updated versions of most of its current and even last generation chipsets before. Prior to this, Qualcomm had introduced the Plus variant of its 2019 Snapdragon 855 SoC and also the Snapdragon 870, which is a significant upgrade of its 2020 Snapdragon 865 flagship.
Back to the Snapdragon 888 Plus. The manufacturer says the chipset is equipped with a tweaked Kyro 680 CPU that offers an increased core clock speed at up to 2.995GHz, therefore overcoming its predecessor’s performance of 2.84GHz. Also onboard are integrated Snapdragon Elite Gaming features, which provides further enhancements to optimisation, performance, response rate, audio, and graphics.
Qualcomm also took the opportunity to introduce an upgraded sixth-gen AI Engine on the Plus variant of its flagship SoC. According to the company, the Snapdragon 888 Plus is capable of performing 32 trillion operations per second (TOPS) for AI tasks, which is 20% more powerful than its predecessor’s capability of 26 TOPS.
Other than that, the upgraded chipset comes with the manufacturer’s Spectra 580 ISP for faster high resolution imaging, and Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 technology that supports 0-100% charging in less than 15 minutes. It also comes with various connectivity support such as 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC.
It was revealed during Qualcomm’s MWC 2021 presentation that several smartphone makers have confirmed to feature the new Snapdragon 888 Plus on their upcoming products. These include Motorola, Vivo and Xiaomi, although it is revealed which smartphone models will come with the new chipset. Meanwhile, Honor confirmed that its upcoming Magic 3 flagship will indeed feature the Plus, and ASUS also noted that the SoC will also be powering its next ROG smartphone.
While the list appears small for now, it is certain that other well-known smartphone brands in the market will definitely feature the Snapdragon 888 Plus on their potential flagship devices as well. That being said, it is likely that we’ll be hearing from them in the weeks or even months to come.