Qualcomm partners with ASUS to make a phone for “Snapdragon Insiders”

Qualcomm partners with ASUS to make a phone for “Snapdragon Insiders”

If you ever wished to see a smartphone made by Qualcomm, your dream is coming true. Well, sort of. Qualcomm today announced the “Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders.”  That’s a really odd name, but it gets a pass because it’s not directed at average users. Rather it’s meant for Snapdragon Insiders, a community of Snapdragon fans and enthusiasts that Qualcomm announced in March.

The phone is designed and manufactured by ASUS, who will also be handling the distribution and sales. Basically, this is a Qualcomm smartphone in name only, as it’s in fact the mysterious ASUS “picasso” device we spotted a few months ago. This is possibly the same phone that ASUS and Qualcomm have been rumored to be working on since last year, though at the time it was believed to be a gaming-centric phone. We recently spotted it on TENAA with a Snapdragon logo slapped right on the back, but little did we know it would turn out to be a phone for Snapdragon Insiders.


Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders: Specifications

Specification Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders
Dimensions and Weight
  • 173.15 x 77.25 x 9.5mm
  • 210g
  • 6.78″ 20.4:9 (2448 x 1080) Samsung AMOLED
  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • Delta-E < 1
  • 800 nits outdoor-readable brightness
  • 1,200 nits peak brightness
  • HDR10 and HDR10+ certified
  • 111.23% DCI-P3, 106.87% NTSC, 150.89% sRGB
    color gamut coverage
  • Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888:
    • 1x Kryo 680 Prime Core @ 2.84GHz
    • 3x Kryo 680 Performance Cores @ 2.4GHz
    • 4x Kryo 680 Efficiency Cores @ 1.8GHz
  • Adreno 660
  • Snapdragon Elite Gaming features
RAM and Storage
  • 16GB LPDDR5
  • 512GB UFS 3.1 (non-expandable)
Battery & Charging
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • 65W fast charger
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 support
Rear Camera
  • Primary:
    • Sony IMX686 64 MP image sensor
    • 1/1.73” large sensor size
    • 0.8 µm pixel size
    • f/1.8 aperture
    • 26.6 mm equivalent focal length
    • 6P lens
    • 78.3° field of view
    • 2×1 On-chip-lens phase detection autofocus
    • 4-axis, optical image stabilization
    • Dual LED flash
    • Instant cameras switching
  • Secondary: (Ultra-wide)
    • Sony IMX363 12 MP dual pixel
      image sensor
    • 1/2.55” sensor size
    • 1.4 µm pixel size
    • f/2.2 aperture
    • Real-time distortion correction
    • 4.3 mm equivalent focal length
    • Supports 4 cm Macro shots
  • Tertiary: (Telephoto)
    • 8MP
    • 3x optical zoom
    • 12x digital zoom
  • 8K video recording at 30fps
  • 4K video recording at 60fps/30fps
Front Camera
  • 24MP
  • USB Type-C port
  • 3rd Gen Snapdragon X60 5G modem
  • 5G:
    • Sub-6GHz
    • mmWave
  • NFC
  • Qualcomm FastConnect 6900
  • Wi-Fi 6/Wi-Fi 6E
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Qualcomm aptX Adaptive
  • Snapdragon Sound
  • Navigation:
    • GPS (L1/L5)
    • GLONASS (L1)
    • BDS(B1/B2a)
    • GALILEO (E1/E5a)
    • QZSS (L1/L5)
    • NavIC (L5)
Audio & Security
  • Audio
    • Dual stereo speakers
    • Four HDR microphones with 111dB dynamic range
    • Snapdragon Sound Technology with
      multiple listening profiles including music,
      videos, games, and voice enhancements
    • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Security
    • Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2 (rear-mounted)
  • Android 11

The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders is a unique phone in that it brings together the best of Qualcomm’s hardware and software technologies in one package. From processor and modem-RF system to charging protocol to sound, everything gets a Snapdragon touch.

The phone’s design is clearly inspired by the ROG Phone 5, but it doesn’t have the same loud back panel design. Instead, the back has an illuminated Snapdragon fireball logo and Snapdragon branding underneath. The only mention of ASUS is the small “designed by ASUS” text on the bottom. The rear also has Qualcomm’s second-generation 3D Sonic Sensor, an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. The reason it’s on the rear instead of the front is because the phone’s display is rigid, and the under-display option requires the phone to have a flexible OLED panel.

Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders from different angles

Over on the front, you get a 6.78-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a 144Hz screen refresh rate, 111.23% DCI-P3 coverage, and 1200 nits peak brightness. On the inside, the phone will be powered by the Snapdragon 888. Qualcomm tells us they skipped Snapdragon 888 Plus because the device went into development much earlier, and the regular 888 was the right choice at the time.

The triple camera setup is headlined by a 64MP Sony IMX686 primary shooter, flanked by a 12MP Sony IMX363 ultra-wide sensor and an 8MP telephoto lens. ASUS tuned the image processing software, so we can expect the overall image quality to be similar to recent ASUS phones.

The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders’ connectivity is its strongest suit. It has the most comprehensive support for all key 5G sub-6GHz and mmWave bands and combinations. It also has the 3rd Gen Snapdragon X60 5G modem and Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 system for the best-in-class Wi-Fi experience over Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E networks.

A 4,000mAh battery keeps the show running, and a 65W fast charger with Qualcomm Quick Charge 5.0 support ensures the battery is fully charged in under an hour. A Quick Charge 5 adapter is included in the package along with a braided USB-C to USB-C cable.

The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders is also one of the first phones to support the Snapdragon Sound platform, which offers 24-bit, 96Hz music streaming over compatible earphones and headphones.

On the software front, the device runs a near-stock version of Android 11 out of the box, and without any bloatware. The exact length of software support is still being figured out, but Qualcomm recently announced that its Snapdragon 888 platform will be supported for 4 versions of Android. Update distribution will be handled by ASUS, however.

Pricing & Availability

If you consider yourself a Snapdragon fan and wish to get hold of the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders, get ready to empty your wallet. The phone will retail at an exorbitant price of $1500 in the US. It will also be making its way to the UK, Canada, Germany, Korea, Japan, China, and India. It will be available from ASUS’s eShop website sometime in August. Those who purchase the phone will also receive a pair of MW08SI earbuds from Master & Dynamic; these true wireless earbuds support active noise cancelling and feature Qualcomm’s QCC5141 audio SoC and 24-bit/96kHz playback. In addition, a rubber bumper is included in the box.

The pricing for all regions is as follows:

  • $1499 (US)
  • £1099 (UK)
  • €1299 (Europe)
  • ₹111,990 (India)

About author

Kishan Vyas
Kishan Vyas

A loyal Android user since Android 2.1 Eclair. Direct inquiries to [email protected]

We are reader supported. External links may earn us a commission.