Qualcomm announced its new Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765 / 765G mobile platforms yesterday, but the company preferred to keep quiet about certain details other than saying both were 5G enabled. Today we get a complete picture of what to expect when the first devices with these chips follow next year, along with a clearer picture of the 5G modem situation with the appropriate platforms.
At the beginning is the Snapdragon 865, which is the leading SoC replacement for the Snapdragon 855/855 +. The Snapdragon 865 is paired with a separate Snapdragon X55 5G modem; which is an interesting development. It’s not an integrated 5G solution, meaning the flagship Android smartphone will still need to have a dual-chip solution to enable 5G connectivity, meaning more real estate occupied inside the chassis and increased power consumption.
On the other hand, the Snapdragon X55 5G modem provides some tangible advantages over its predecessor the Snapdragon X50. It offers increased peak downlink speeds, which now reach 7.5Gbps, while uplink speeds are limited to 3Gbps. The Snapdragon X55 also remains a 5G solution that supports mmWave and a sub-6GHz spectrum that will support implementations of all global operators.
With this two-chip solution there is another wrinkle. Reportedly, Qualcomm orders that OEMs will only be able to buy the Snapdragon 865 bundled with the Snapdragon X55. There will be no option to buy the Snapdragon 865 separately, which means we won’t see (at least not any time soon) Snapdragon 865 smartphones without a 5G connection.
As for the Snapdragon 865’s gut, Qualcomm has announced that it consists of a Kryo 585 CPU of unknown core configuration. However, the company cites a 25 percent increase in performance over the Snapdragon 855. Also on the drive is a new Adreno 650 GPU that also offers a 25 percent performance increase. This performance is likely to be further enhanced by support for up to 16 GB of LPDDR5 (2750MHz) memory; LPDDR4x memory is also supported up to 2133MHz.
As you can imagine in this world of AI-focused technology, Qualcomm has added another 15 TOPS computing performance to its fifth-generation AI engine, doubling its performance over its predecessor while reducing power consumption by 35 percent. Other auxiliary items include the Spectra 480 ISP, which supports up to a 200MP sensor and up to 64MP dual cameras. 4K / 120fps and 8K videos are also supported, with 720p / 960fps slow motion recording. The Snapdragon 865 also includes integrated support for current Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 wireless standards.
Update, 14:56, 12.12.19: Qualcomm also highlights the fact that the Snapdragon 865 will deliver 15 TOPS of total bandwidth, of all its computing machines, in total, and over 2 times more than the previous generation Snapdragon 855. In addition, the company claims the right to machine learning with a new mobile platform in a popular contagious burden.
The company notes that the first leading Android smartphones using the Snapdragon 865 will arrive in the first quarter of 2020, and we would expect LG, OnePlus and Samsung to be among the first to use the SoC + 5G modem solution.
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