After the Plus variants of the Snapdragon 855 and 865 in the last two years, Qualcomm has now come up with a boosted version of the Snapdragon 888, called the Snapdragon 888 Plus. The announcement falls in line with Qualcomm’s ritual of bringing a mid-year update for its most powerful mobile SoC. The Snapdragon 888 will continue to be available to smartphone manufacturers. Also Read – Snapdragon 888 variants rumoured to come soon: Overclocked 4G-only and 5G versions
On the face of it, the Snapdragon 888 Plus has some decent percentages to show for improvements. The CPU performance sees a minor boost in speeds, thanks to the higher clockspeed. Instead of the 2.8GHz rating for the main performance core, the Plus variant takes it up to 2.99GHz, which is rounded up to be presented as 3GHz. Also Read – Google gives another reason to consider Snapdragon-based Android devices
Snapdragon 888 Plus is the new hero of the town
The other major upgrade comes to an unconventional area: AI performance. Qualcomm says that Hexagon 780 DSP can now deliver a maximum AI processing performance of 32TOPS, which is much higher than 26TOPS on the vanilla Snapdragon 888. There’s no reason as to why Qualcomm chose to boost the AI performance by such a margin. Also Read – Snapdragon 778G launches for premium Android smartphones with support for 144Hz display
Sadly, there’s no boost in the GPU performance on this new chip. Hence, mobile gamers expecting more oomph from late 2021 flagships will have to wait for next year’s successor to this chip. Rest of all the features remain unchanged, including the ISP and other performance bits.
While the changes are conservative, several OEMs have confirmed using this chip on their phones. Honor will debut the chip on its Magic 3 series. Xiaomi, Asus, Vivo, and Motorola are also bringing phones running on this Snapdragon 888 Plus.
What Qualcomm didn’t shed light on was whether they solved issues related to overheating, which is a common complaint from uses of smartphones with the Snapdragon 888. A rumoured 4G only variant of the Snapdragon 888 didn’t get announced at the MWC 2021 yet. Maybe Qualcomm is saving something for later?
At the moment, the Snapdragon 888 is the fastest chipset that you can find on the Android side of things. In India, the list of most affordable smartphones using the Snapdragon 888 includes the iQOO 7 Legend and Xiaomi Mi 11X Pro, both of them starting at Rs 40,000. The OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro are two other option in the premium space using this chip. The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra also uses the Snapdragon 888.