Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 delivers faster, longer-lasting Android flagships

There's also a Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 for mid-range devices.


Qualcomm is keeping up its habit of releasing speed-bumped chips in the middle of the year, albeit with a couple of twists. The company has introduced a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 system-on-chip that delivers both the usual performance boost and, importantly, battery life. Qualcomm claims a 10 percent processing speed increase and 20 percent higher performance-per-Watt for AI, but it's also boasting a 30 percent power reduction — in theory, you'll wring an extra hour of gameplay out of your flagship-class Android handset.

There won't be a shortage of device partners. Qualcomm expects products to begin arriving in the third quarter (summer) from big-name brands like ASUS, Honor, Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo and Xiaomi. These are more likely to be subtle revisions than major overhauls, but that still means you'll be getting top-of-the-line processing power.

A second announcement is more of a pleasant surprise for budget buyers. Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, a sequel to the 778G aimed at upper-mid-range Android hardware. An upgraded Adreno GPU should be about 20 percent faster, while AI processing is about 30 percent quicker. There are a few firsts for the 7 series, too. You can shoot simultaneously from three cameras, take advantage of on-chip data security upgrades and share in the audio upgrades from the 8 Gen 1.

The first Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 phones are due by the end of the second quarter (no later than June) from brands like Honor, Oppo and Xiaomi. You might not see many of these products in the US, then. Still, they could make a big difference in a category where price is often as important as features and gaming frame rates.