Friday, March 12, 2021

Qualcomm May Be Working On A Non-5G Variant Of The Snapdragon 888

Qualcomm may be working on a new variant of its flagship Snapdragon 888 chipset, according to renown leakster and WinFuture editor Roland Quandt via Twitter. Unlike the original, this version of the SoC will lack one major component: an integrated 5G modem.

Android smartphone makers such as Samsung and Xiaomi have been offering their recent and upcoming flagship handsets with 5G enabled capabilities – often marketed to consumers as a form of preparation for the inevitable change in infrastructure. The inclusion of 5G support is a guarantee for smartphones that are equipped with Qualcomm’s latest top-of-the-line chipset, the Snapdragon 888, due to the fact that it comes with an integrated 5G modem.

Quandt’s recent claim suggests that Qualcomm is looking to offer smartphone manufacturers with a more affordable non-5G alternative of its Snapdragon 888 chipset. As mentioned earlier, this version of the SoC – allegedly known by its model number SM8325 – will exclude the 5G modem and would instead support up to LTE connectivity. On top of enabling brands to introduce 4G-only versions, this significant change also entails a reduction in price for flagship-tier handsets – a plus point that will definitely delight Android smartphone consumers.

The idea to launch non-5G variants of flagships is not entirely new. An example of this would be the LTE-only model of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE smartphone that was released last year – just a month after the launch of the original. However, it is worth noting that the initial model features a 5G-enabled Snapdragon 865 chipset, while the LTE version comes with the brand’s own Exynos 990 instead – therefore, both versions of the phone differed in terms of performance. Regardless, the major point of comparison between the two is the difference in pricing – where the original Samsung Galaxy S20 FE launched at RM3,399, while the later model is offered at RM2,699.

If Quandt’s information is proven to be accurate, we can expect non-5G versions of Snapdragon 888-equipped flagship smartphones such as the OPPO Find X3 and Xiaomi Mi 11 to also be offered at a more affordable price range. Provided that the brands decide to introduce these variants in the near future, that is.

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