Why the premium Snapdragon 888 could be the end of Qualcomm’s U.S. dominance

    Qualcomm has unveiled its newest flagship processor for the next group of premium Android phones and as at all times, the Snapdragon 888 brings a slew of enhancements over the 865 in addition to a larger-than-expected leap in numbering all the best way as much as 888. Granted, Qualcomm hasn’t actually caught to a deliberate naming scheme for its chips, however the previous few variations (starting with the 835) have elevated by a a number of of 10. Skipping 23 numbers indicators that the Snapdragon chipset is coming into a brand new period in its improvement.

    So why 888? The most rational reply is due to China. The tradition locations important emphasis on numbers. OnePlus went from the 3T to the 5 as a result of the quantity for “4” sounds too near the phrase for “death” in Chinese, for instance—and it doesn’t get any extra superstitious than the quantity 8. Since 888 interprets to triple fortune, it’s extraordinarily fortunate in Chinese numerology.

    But whereas respecting Chinese superstitions is sensible for OnePlus, Qualcomm is a U.S. firm, which makes the selection of 888 for its Snapdragon numbering system slightly curious. While there are some wonderful Snapdragon-based handsets popping out of China, the Snapdragon 8 Series processors have historically powered among the greatest U.S. telephones from Samsung, LG, and Google, and we assumed that might proceed with the subsequent era of chips.

    Michael Simon/IDG

    The greatest Android telephones of 2021 won’t use Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 888 processor.

    That won’t be the case. While Qualcomm’s announcement was crammed with the same old rhetoric about how the 888 will “will set the benchmark for flagship smartphones in 2021,” there was a conspicuous lack of firms who promote telephones within the U.S. among the many record of early adopters, chief amongst them Samsung. While that might simply be for a dramatic entrance, there’s lots of proof to counsel Qualcomm is shedding its greatest companion.

    Enter Exynos

    The Snapdragon 888 is well the best processor Qualcomm has ever made, a minimum of on paper. Along with a 25-percent efficiency enhance and 35 % quicker graphics rendering in comparison with the 865, it options an built-in third era Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System, which can “deliver the world’s fastest commercially available 5G speeds, up to 7.5 Gbps” and do a greater job with warmth and energy calls for.

    Also on board is “the biggest architectural leap forward in AI” with the sixth-gen Qualcomm AI engine in addition to Spectra 580 ISP, the primary to function a triple Image Signal Processor able to capturing three photographs or 4K HDR movies on the similar time. And you’ll get safety enhancements, gaming boosts, and OLED enhancements, Wi-Fi 6e help, and “a new class of crisp, reliable and responsive audio.”

    galaxy s20 ultra puzzle Christopher Hebert/IDG

    The Galaxy S20 Ultra could be the final premium Galaxy S telephone to make use of a Snapdragon processor.

    Those are all options and enhancements that might make the Galaxy S21 fairly unbelievable, however this yr Samsung won’t be on board. It’s not simply that the corporate wasn’t a part of Qualcomm’s announcement. It’s additionally that Samsung has but to announce its next-generation Exynos flagship processor, which normally arrives within the fall forward of Qualcomm’s latest chip.

    Rumored to be named the Exynos 2100, Samsung has reportedly re-engineered the chip with a custom AMD Radeon GPU and the identical Cortex-X1 CPU that powers the 888. Samsung has historically struggled to meet the graphics and power efficiency benchmarks that Qualcomm delivers in its 8 Series chips, but when the corporate has solved these points with the 2100, it may very well be a game-changer. Qualcomm’s phrases and pricing have been notoriously strict with the 865, resulting in some sky-high costs for Samsung’s top-of-the-line handsets, and switching to its personal home-grown chips might alleviate these prices.

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