Snapdragon 888 ‘Pro’ said to be in development; another minor upgrade?

The Snapdragon 888 is Qualcomm’s current top-of-the-line platform for smartphones. Though, that might be about to change soon, as the company is reportedly already testing its successor.

Supposedly called the Snapdragon 888 Pro, it is likely to be a slightly improved version of its non-Pro counterpart, with the prime Cortex X1 core being clocked a little higher than the current 2.84GHz, with other cores remaining unchanged. 

Qualcomm is no stranger to this approach. Almost every year, it adds an upgraded version of its top Snapdragon 8 series chipset to its portfolio. Historically, this has involved opting for a ‘Plus’ moniker, so the decision to go with ‘Pro’ this year could be an indication of bigger improvements. However, we wouldn’t hold our breath over this as it could just be a translation error. 

(Image credit: Digital Chat Station)

Digital Chat Station, a leakster with sources from China, says that the Snapdragon 888 Pro will make its debut on phones launched in Q3 of this year, but could not confirm an OEM partner. He further added that the chipset is already being tested by a few smartphone manufacturers in China and expects more local brands to adopt it for their flagships slated for later in the year.

For context, the Snapdragon 865 Plus was seen only on a handful of devices across the world, with the notable ones being Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and other foldables, Asus ROG Phone 3, Lenovo Legion gaming phone, etc. 

While an improved processor does enable more powerful smartphones, brands don’t always prefer to opt for newer platforms as they would have to work on optimizing their devices for an entirely new chipset. And since these follow-up chipsets usually offer only incremental upgrades over their forerunner, OEMs could just achieve the same level of improvement via better optimizations.

The source also touched upon the overheating issues on the current Snapdragon 888 and said that Qualcomm would have to be careful with increasing the clock speeds further, as that is almost certain to cause more heat and affect the battery efficiency.

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