Rumored Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 lite could make flagships more affordable, thanks to optional 5G
Qualcomm has a diverse portfolio of mobile computing platforms with most of its products dedicated to smartphones. As one of the biggest mobile semiconductor companies in the world, Qualcomm mobile chipsets cater to the processing needs of Andoird smartphones and tablets across all price brackets. While the Snapdragon 888 is its top-of-the-line mobile processor, the company also released the Snapdragon 870 — a souped-up version of last year’s Snapdragon 865 — to help reduce the prices of flagship killer smartphones. The fact remains that irrespective of its branding, the Snapdragon 870 is a modified version of a last-gen processor. But, a new leak suggests Qualcomm could be working on a lower-end variant of the Snapdragon 888 without an integrated 5G modem to reduce the cost of the chipset without any compromise in performance.
Renowned leaker Roland Quandt shared some details about the purported chipset with model name SM8325. Quandt is confident that a “lower end derivate” of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 — which is known by its model name SM8350 — is under development. The said chipset will help manufacturers provide the processing capabilities of the latest processor while also enjoying the option to exclude the pricey mandatory 5G.
Qualcomm has a lower end derivate of the Snapdragon 888 (SM8350) in the works. SM8325 is the model number and there seems to be NO integrated 5G modem on this one. #CheapFlagshipPhones
— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) March 8, 2021
To clarify, this does not mean the purported will lack 5G support at all. While the Snapdragon 888 comes with an integrated Snapdragon X60 5G modem, older flagship chipsets including the Snapdragon 865 and the Snapdragon 865 Plus came without an inbuilt modem. This allowed manufacturers to either add 5G support at an additional cost or skip 5G support to keep the price of their flagship smartphones under a reasonable value. The latter approach was taken by Vivo’s spin-off brand iQOO to launch 4G-only variants of the Snapdragon 865-powered iQOO 3 in India at an incredibly low price.
Quandt does not specify any other details about the processor the leaked chipset might be fabricated using a 5nm process, unlike the Snapdragon 870, which is a 7nm chipset. With this mix-and-match, Qualcomm should be able to render yet another option for smartphone manufacturers to offer flagship-grade performance without 5G in countries where 5G is either not yet available or not much relevant.
It is worth noting that this may not be the same chipset as the alleged Snapdragon 775, which is the company’s upcoming higher mid-range chipset with 5G.
Do you think the said Snapdragon 888 lite version could be a key processor for flagship killers in 2021? Let us know in the comments below!