Want a cheaper flagship phone? A Snapdragon 888 chip without 5G is allegedly in the works.
The Snapdragon 888 is currently Qualcomm’s latest flagship chip that’s manufactured based on a 5nm process and it comes with an integrated 5G modem. It’s currently found on the Xiaomi Mi 11, Samsung Galaxy S21 (Qualcomm version) and the Nubia Red Magic 6. If you’re looking for a cheaper Qualcomm-powered flagship device, you would have to settle for a phone that runs on a Snapdragon 870, which is essentially an overclocked Snapdragon 865+.
It’s widely reported that 5G has driven up the price for new flagship phones. Now it appears that Qualcomm has acknowledged that there’s still a market for a powerful flagship chip without the need for high-speed mobile connectivity built-in. According to serial leakster Roland Quandt, Qualcomm is working on a lower-spec Snapdragon 888 that carries the code name SM8325. The key difference is the lack of an integrated 5G modem.
Apart from the lack of 5G built-in, it isn’t clear if the SM8325 has other drawbacks. If price is the factor, the new chip may utilise lower-clocked cores and potentially a different GPU. However, we reckon it might be possible to offer 5G with this new chip. Device makers could pair the new SoC with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 5G modem, however, it wouldn’t be as power efficient as an integrated solution.
In the end of the day, it all depends on how much savings can consumers get with this Snapdragon 888 “Lite”. Qualcomm already has a variety of top-tier mid-range processors with the Snapdragon 700 series which offers flagship-class performance at a lower price. If you’re about to spend over a thousand dollars, are you willing to save around $50 for not having a full fledged Snapdragon 888 chip with integrated 5G?