Home Tech Editorials 3 Biggest Upgrades of Snapdragon 888

3 Biggest Upgrades of Snapdragon 888


Snapdragon 875 is out; Snapdragon 888 is in! Despite the weird naming scheme, Qualcomm has a competitive flagship chipset in 2021 that will go toe-to-toe against Apple A14 Bionic, Huawei Kirin 9000, and as well as Samsung and MediaTek counterparts. 

Every year, there are significant improvements that may or may not tempt you to switch to the next device. However, this year is a bit different. Qualcomm is boasting its biggest leap yet for its Snapdragon lineup. As for what they are, well, here are the biggest improvements brought to the 888 SoC.

Up to 35% Faster GPU and CPU

Much like smartphones, chipset upgrades are, more or less, incremental. A few boosts in clock speed can improve performance, but not by a huge margin. But thanks to a new ARM CPU and a highly-boosted GPU, the Snapdragon 888 takes performance to a significant level. 

With the new Kryo 680 CPU, the high-performance Cortex-X1 provides up to 25% more performance than Snapdragon 865 that already goes up to 2.84GHz clock speed. On the GPU side of things, the Adreno 660 gets a huge 35% jump compared with the previous generation. The summit actually focused on the gaming capabilities of the 888, ensuring gamers will get the best mobile gaming experience on an Android device. 

Aside from better performance, Snapdragon 888 will also take advantage of the new 5nm process node for better battery efficiency. Qualcomm claims that the CPU is 25% more efficient, with the GPU at 20%. 

Built-in 5G Modem

Unlike the Snapdragon 875, the 888 finally uses a built-in 5G modem that not only saves space in the motherboard but also saves battery. The X50 modem on the 875 allowed for 5G capabilities, but that’s in exchange for more battery consumption. On top of that, Qualcomm sold the chipset to manufacturers at a steep price, hence the overpriced flagship that we experienced this year. 

Although we can’t say for sure that having a built-in 5G X60 modem would put the price of oC at a lower cost, at the very least, 5G connectivity won’t be as taxing to the battery as before. 

Speed and coverage-wise, the X60 modem will feature better carrier aggregation for uninterrupted 5G connection and download speeds of up to 7.5Gbps.

Triple ISP Means Better Camera Quality

Snapdragon 888 is the first Qualcomm chip with a triple ISP setup, thanks to the Spectra 580. This allows for capturing three 4K HDR video streams simultaneously or three 28MP photos at once, making it 35% faster than the previous generation. There’s also up to 120 photo burst mode at 10MP. 

With the iPhone 12 Series now capable of recording, editing, and sharing HDR videos, Qualcomm felt the need to improve its HDR game as well. This time, there’s computational HDR to 4K videos and the option to shoot photos in 10-bit HEIF.  

Hopefully, manufacturers will take advantage most, if not all, of these features.

Qualcomm has also introduced the new Hexagon 780 that offers up to 26 TOPS for better AI performance and power efficiency when using AI-based applications, like real-time filters, voice recognition, voice alteration.

If you’re wondering what phones will use Snapdragon 888 SoC, check out this article where we list them all.

READ: Top Features of MediaTek Dimensity 800U

Snapdragon 888 Specs  — CPU, GPU, AI

Specs Snapdragon 888
Process (node) 5nm
CPU 1x 2.84GHz (Cortex-X1)
3x 2.4GHz (Cortex-A78)
4x 1.8GHz (Cortex-A55)
GPU Qualcomm® Adreno™ 660 GPU
NPU Single NPU
DSP Hexagon 780
(fused scalar, tensor, and vector)
Image Signal Processor (ISP)
  • 200MP single shot
    • 84MP single with zero shutter lag
    • 64MP+25MP with zero shutter lag
    • Triple 24MP with zero shutter lag
    • Hybrid AF
    • 10-bit HEIF image capture
    • HDR video
    • multi-frame noise reduction
    • Real-time object classification, segmentation, and replacement
Bluetooth 5.2
Charging Quick Charge 4+
Quick Charge AI
Modem Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ X60 5G Modem-RF System (7.5Gbps DL / 3Gbps UL)
Video Recording 8K @ 30fps
4K UHD @ 120fps
720p @ 960fps
Display 8K
4K HDR up to 120fps
H.265 and VP9 video decoder
360 degree
Security Qualcomm® 3D Sonic, Qualcomm® 3D Sonic MaxBiometric Authentication (Fingerprint, Iris, Voice, Face)

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