Snapdragon 888 Plus announced with big AI and performance gains

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 platform powered most flagship smartphones this year. The keep the ball rolling, the Snapdragon 888 Plus was launched today with upgrades for upcoming high-end smartphones.

The announcement came at the company’s MWC 2021 keynote alongside updates on Qualcomm’s 5G R&D roadmap, additional commitments to mmWave 5G, new testbeds for innovative applications, and the FSM200xx RAN platform. The biggest consumer-centric development was the new Snapdragon 888 Plus chipset.

As the name suggests, it is an upgraded version of the Snapdragon 888 with minor improvements across numerous aspects. The biggest change is the beefed-up AI Engine which is now capable of 32 TOPS of throughput, a 20% increase over its predecessor. It will help in applications such as video upscaling, portrait mode photos and videos, semantic segmentation, subject enhancement, better video call clarity, etc.

The other key improvement of the Snapdragon 888 Plus is the levelled-up CPU cluster. The prime Kryo 680 core (based on the Cortex X1) is now clocked at 3GHz — a rare milestone in the world of smartphones. This 5% uptick should help in intensive tasks such as gaming and video rendering, but it could also result in overheating, which was a common complain on the 2.84GHz Snapdragon 888. 

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Other premium features such as global 5G via the Snapdragon X60 modem, better connectivity with Wi-Fi 6E, support for multiple cameras, 144Hz display refresh rate at QHD+ resolutions, fast charging and biometrics are all present.     

“Snapdragon is synonymous with premium Android experiences. Our latest flagship Snapdragon 888 Plus 5G Mobile Platform will help deliver the premium entertainment, connectivity, and gaming experiences users deserve,” said Christopher Patrick, senior vice president and general manager, mobile handset business, Qualcomm.

Confirmed Snapdragon 888+ devices and OEMs include Asus ROG, Honor Magic 3 series, Motorola, Vivo and Xiaomi. The first wave of products powered by the processor will launch in the third quarter of 2021.

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