For flagship Android smartphones that have launched during the first half of 2019, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 has been the go-to option to get the best performance. The Snapdragon 855 is used in everything from the Samsung Galaxy S10 family to the OnePlus 7 Pro to the ASUS ZenFone 6 to the LG G8 ThinQ.
However, out of left field, Qualcomm has dropped a bombshell on the tech community with the announcement of the new Snapdragon 855 Plus. The Snapdragon 855 Plus is not a huge departure from its "non-Plus" counterpart, but it does offer a Kryo 485 Prime core with a clock speed of 2.96GHz (up from 2.84GHz). In addition, the Adreno 640 GPU sees its performance improved by roughly 15 percent.
And that's it with regards to differences compared to the garden variety Snapdragon 855. That means that this still an octa-core SoC with one "Prime" core, three high-performance cores (2.42GHz each), and four efficiency cores (1.8GHz each). The processor is still built on a 7nm manufacturing process and includes an integrated Snapdragon X24 4G LTE modem. 5G is also supported when the Snapdragon 855 Plus is paired with an add-on Snapdragon X50 modem.
“Snapdragon 855 Plus will raise the bar for elite gamers with the increase in CPU and GPU performance and elevate experiences for 5G, gaming, AI and XR, which is something our OEM customers look to us to deliver,” said Kedar Kondap, who serves Qualcomm's VP of product management. “Snapdragon 855 Plus is our most advanced mobile platform to date and will build upon the success of the 2019 Android flagship Snapdragon 855 5G mobile platform.”
Qualcomm says that it developed the Snapdragon 855 Plus to give its OEM partners higher performing parts to complete the Snapdragon Elite Gaming experience. With that in mind, it's not likely that we will see the Snapdragon 855 Plus installed in many run-of-the-mill flagships; it will instead be featured in high-performance gaming smartphones (think along the lines of the Razer Phone 2 and Xiaomi Black Shark).
According to Qualcomm, the first smartphones equipped with Snapdragon 855 Plus will arrive during the second half of 2019.