Motorola May Deliver The First Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Smartphone This Year
Qualcomm is expected to announce a new generation of its flagship Snapdragon chips later this year, and Motorola might be the first to take advantage. This news comes by way of chatter on the Chinese Weibo social network. It's far from a sure thing. Bigger OEMs like Samsung and Xiaomi could still beat Moto to the punch, but Motorola is in a strong position after several quarters of growth. Being first out the door with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 device would solidify its return to the flagship space.
Digital Chat Station on Weibo posted recently that the Gen 2 chip is set to debut after this year's Snapdragon Summit, which will probably take place in November. Shortly after the DCS post, an executive from Lenovo (which owns Motorola) reposted the allegation and suggested that Moto would be the first to reveal a Gen 2 phone. However, the company releases some phones only in China—see the new Razr, for example. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 first appeared in the Motorola Edge X30 for the Chinese market, so this would not be unprecedented.
Motorola's business model in recent years has been to release a phone in every conceivable pricing niche. While that might seem confusing or inefficient, it has been working. Moto's market share has been climbing, even in the US where it's notoriously difficult to gain traction against Samsung and Apple. Most of Moto's recent success have come in the budget segment, but it still releases devices in the Edge line where we'd likely see a Gen 2 chip.
The new Gen 2 rumors are vague—it's unclear if the talk about "being first" is a reference to release or simply announcement. It's possible Motorola could reveal a Gen 2 phone before anyone else, but Xiaomi or Samsung could beat it to market. Samsung is rumored to be using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in all variants of its Galaxy S23 family, dropping Exynos entirely. Qualcomm would probably need to reserve some chips for Samsung to snag that deal.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip has been at the heart of phones like the Galaxy S22 and OnePlus 10 Pro. It was the first Qualcomm chip to use Arm v9 CPU cores as well as Samsung’s 4nm process node technology. In our experience, the Gen 1 runs noticeably warmer in most phones than last year's flagship Snapdragon 888. The newer "Plus" revision of the Gen 1 has performed better overall. Rumors suggest the Gen 2 will continue this trend with even better efficiency than the 888. Some reports also claim it will have an unusual four-island CPU configuration with a few older A510 cores to run 32-bit apps.