Qualcomm's New Snapdragon 888+ Chip Cranks 3GHz And Big AI Gains For Flagship 5G Phones

snapdragon 888 plus
We all knew it was coming, and Qualcomm today announced the more powerful version of its Snapdragon 888, aptly named the Snapdragon 888+. Like the Snapdragon 865+ and Snapdragon 855+ that came before it, the Snapdragon 888+ has the same basic blueprint as its namesake, with higher clocks for increased performance.

This time around, the prime Kryo CPU core is clocked at up to 3GHz (2.995GHz to be exact), compared to 2.84GHz (just over a 5 percent boost). This should be enough to eke slightly better overall performance than the standard-issue Snapdragon 888. The other performance increase comes from Qualcomm's 6th generation AI Engine (Hexagon 780), which gets a 20 percent performance boost from 26 TOPS to 32 TOPS.

Interestingly, there's no indication that the Adreno 660 GPU has been massaged to offer better performance via faster clocks. Since Qualcomm made no specific mention of it, we're going to assume that performance is unchanged. This is a significant change from years past where Qualcomm paid particular attention to increasing GPU performance to help boost fps in games. Perhaps Qualcomm was butting up against thermal limits as-is with the Snapdragon 888+ and didn't have the power budget to address the GPU.

With that said, everything else about the Snapdragon 888+ mirrors that of the preceding Snapdragon 888. That means you'll find a Spectra 580 ISP, support for Wi-Fi 6E, and an integrated Snapdragon X60 5G modem with peak download speeds of 7.5Gbps (with both sub-6GHz and mmWave bands supported).

"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, SVP and GM for Qualcomm's mobile handset business. "We're excited to see OEMs launch with products based on our highest performing platform."

According to Qualcomm, major OEMs like ASUS, HONOR, Motorola, Vivo, and Xiaomi have all signed on to deliver flagship smartphones equipped with Snapdragon 888+. All the devices will begin shipping during the third quarter.