ASUS and Qualcomm have teamed up to make a smartphone that shows off some of the latter's mobile tech. Although the phone is ostensibly for the 1.6 million members of the Snapdragon Insiders program (which is a bit like Microsoft's Windows Insider early-access scheme), it'll be more broadly available by August.
The snappily named Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders harnesses Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 5G chipset (but not the latest Snapdragon 888+). It has a 2.84 GHz octa-core processor and the Adreno 660 GPU. It has what Qualcomm describes as "the most comprehensive support for all key 5G sub-6 and mmWave bands" of any device, along with WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E support with speeds of up to 3.6 Gbps. You'll get 16GB of LPDDR5 memory and 512GB of storage.
The 6.78-inch AMOLED display from Samsung has a 144 Hz refresh rate, which could help make it a solid gaming phone. The screen has up to 1,200 nits of brightness and it's HDR10 and HDR10+ certified. The phone has three rear cameras: a 64MP main lens, 12MP ultrawide camera and 8MP telephoto. The array can capture video in up to 8K. The device also has a 24MP front camera and AI auto-zoom.
Qualcomm says this is one of the first phones to support Snapdragon Sound, which has features including low Bluetooth latency, listening profiles, active noise cancellation (ANC) and high-resolution audio support up to 24-bit 96kHz. Along with stereo speakers, the phone comes with Master & Dynamic true wireless ANC earbuds and a charging case for them.
There's also Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 support, which should charge the 4000mAh battery up to 70 percent of capacity in half an hour or fully in 52 minutes, according to the company. In addition, the phone has dual SIM slots and it runs on stock Android 11.
The device draws from previous ASUS smartphones. It pulls from the ROG Phone 5's body design and the ZenFone 8 Flip's camera module. Still, it's a showcase for Qualcomm's mobile tech. The company is facing some challenges on the mobile processor front, with many phone makers working on their own chips. Showing off its knowhow with its own smartphone seems like a solid idea for Qualcomm. That way, it can perhaps remind people what it can do.
The ASUS-designed Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders will initially be available in a few countries, including the US, UK, Japan and South Korea. It'll arrive in India later. You'll be able to buy the $1,499 device at ASUSTeK’s eShop and other retailers.