Qualcomm Unveils Snapdragon 870: A Flagship Chipset for Flagship Killers

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After announcing its flagship chipset for 2021, Qualcomm is back with another chipset, the Snapdragon 870, making its portfolio even more confusing. As the name suggests, the Snapdragon 870 fills the gap between Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 888 and last year’s Snapdragon 865 and 865+. To sum it up, it’s a tuned Snapdragon 865+ offering some minor performance improvements over its predecessor

Kryo 585 configuration in Snapdragon 865

The Snapdragon 870 features the same Kryo 585 CPU and Adreno 650 GPU found in last year’s Snapdragon 865 and 865+, but there’s one minor change. The Cortex A77 prime core is now clocked at 3.2GHz, promising a 10% improvement over the last generation.

Snapdragon 870 or Snapdragon 865++

Apart from increased clock speed, there’s nothing new with the Snapdragon 870. It is still built on the 7nm process node and features the same Spectra 480 ISP and X-55 5G modem as Snapdragon 865 and 865+. Well, the FastConnect 6800 now supports WiFi 6 instead of WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.

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Meanwhile, the Snapdragon 888 features the latest Kryo 680 CPU, the first CPU out there to use ARM’s Cortex X-1 core, and Adreno 660 GPU, which is said to offer 35% faster graphics rendering.

“Building upon the success of Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus, the new Snapdragon 870 was designed to address OEM and mobile industry requirements,” said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. 

With Snapdragon 870, Qualcomm is trying to capitalize on the demand for affordable flagships or, as many call it, the flagship killers. The OEMs will be using the Snapdragon 870 for their upcoming affordable flagships, where customers don’t need the absolute best out there. However, they need a flagship, and Snapdragon 870 comes to the rescue with more power and specifications that still work out and, most importantly, with not so high price tag.

There’s another aspect to the Snapdragon 870, and that is branding. Even considering a slight improvement, Qualcomm is still selling a year old chipset but with a fresh tag, making it sound like an upgrade and making consumers believe that they are buying a 2021 flagship when they are not. But this all seems appropriate since Snapdragon 865 was quite a good chipset, and settling for something good instead of great for less price is not that bad. So, it’s a win-win situation for both.

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Many OEMs have announced their partnership with Qualcomm for the latest Snapdragon 870, including OnePlus, Oppo, Xiaomi, IQOO, and Motorola. Well, Motorola announced that their Snapdragon 870 powered smartphone is coming soon, and we expect that the company is talking about the Edge S.

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Abhinav Kaustubh
Jack of all trades, master of none

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