Snapdragon 888 vs Snapdragon 865 Specs Appeal

This week, Qualcomm introduced its next-generation chipset that you'll see in next year's flagship Android smartphones. It's called the Snapdragon 888, and it represents one of the biggest improvements that we've seen in a chipset in years.

The prime core of the CPU is Cortex-X1, which is the best that ARM has to offer right now. Cortex-X1 is meant to be more customizable, and when it was announced, Arm promised a 30% increase in performance over Cortex-A77. The new architecture is definitely something that you should be excited about if you care about premium performance. It also comes with three Cortex-A78 cores and four Cortex-A55 cores.

On top of the new CPU architecture, almost everything else has been redesigned as well. It has Qualcomm's sixth-generation AI Engine with the Hexagon 780 processor, promising three times the performance per watt. The Spectra 580 ISP is now a triple ISP, meaning that it can capture images from three sensors at the same time. And then there's the Adreno 660 GPU, which promises 35% faster graphics rendering and 20% better power efficiency that the Adreno 650 that was in the last generation, the Snapdragon 865.

Like I said, there's a lot that's improved over the Snapdragon 865. Here are the two chips side-by-side:

Snapdragon 888 Snapdragon 865
CPU Kryo 680 CPU
Up to 2.84GHz, with Arm Cortex-X1 technology
64-bit Architecture
Kryo 585 CPU
Up to 2.84GHz
64-bit Architecture
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 660 GPU
Volumetric VR video playback, 8K 360 VR video playback
OpenCL 2.0 FP, OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan 1.1, DX12
Qualcomm Adreno 650 GPU
Volumetric VR video playback, 8K 360 VR video playback
OpenCL 2.0 FP, OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan 1.1, DX12
Cellular modem Qualcomm Snapdragon X60 5G Modem-RF System

Peak Download Speed: 7.5 Gbps
Peak Upload Speed: 3 Gbps
Performance Enhancement Technologies: Qualcomm AI-Enhanced Signal Boost adaptive antenna tuning, Qualcomm Wideband Envelope Tracking, Qualcomm Smart Transmit technology, Qualcomm 5G PowerSave
5G Spectrum: Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), mmWave, sub-6 GHz
5G mmWave specs: 800 MHz bandwidth, 8 carriers, 2x2 MIMO
5G sub-6 GHz specs: 200 MHz bandwidth, 4x4 MIMO
Multi-SIM features: Global 5G multi-SIM
Cellular Technology: 5G NR, LTE including CBRS support, HSPA, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, CDMA 1x, EV-DO, GSM/EDGE

Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G modem-RF system
Peak Download Speed: 7.5 Gbps
Peak Upload Speed: 3 Gbps
Performance Enhancement Technologies: Qualcomm Wideband Envelope Tracking, Qualcomm Smart Transmit technology, Qualcomm Signal Boost adaptive antenna tuning, Qualcomm 5G PowerSave
5G Spectrum: Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), mmWave, sub-6 GHz
5G mmWave specs: 800 MHz bandwidth, 8 carriers, 2x2 MIMO
5G sub-6 GHz specs: 200 MHz bandwidth, 4x4 MIMO
Multi-SIM features: Global 5G multi-SIM
Cellular Technology: HSPA, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA, CDMA 1x, EV-DO, GSM/EDGE, LTE including CBRS support
AI Engine

6th-gen AI Engine
AIE GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 660 GPU
AIE CPU: Qualcomm Kryo 680 CPU
Hexagon Processor: Qualcomm Hexagon 780 Processor; 2nd gen Qualcomm Sensing Hub, Large shared AI memory, Qualcomm Hexagon Voice Assistant Accelerator, Qualcomm Hexagon Scalar Accelerator, Qualcomm Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX), Qualcomm Hexagon Tensor Accelerator

5th-gen AI Engine
AIE GPU: Qualcomm Adreno 650 GPU
AIE CPU: Qualcomm Kryo 585 CPU
AIE DSP: Qualcomm Hexagon Scalar Accelerator, Qualcomm Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX), Qualcomm Hexagon Tensor Accelerator, Qualcomm Sensing Hub, Qualcomm Hexagon 698 Processor

Process 5nm 7nm
Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi Standards: Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 5, 802.11a/b/g, 802.11n
Qualcomm Wi-Fi 6 technology features: MU-MIMO (Uplink and Downlink), 8x8 sounding, 160 MHz channel support, OFDMA (Uplink and Downlink), 4K QAM, WPA3 security support, 6 GHz operation (Wi-Fi 6E)
Wi-Fi Spectral Bands: 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 6GHz

Wi-Fi Standards: Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6-ready, 802.11ad, 802.11ay, 802.11ac Wave 2, 802.11a/b/g, 802.11n
Qualcomm Wi-Fi 6 technology features: MU-MIMO (Uplink and Downlink), 8x8 sounding, OFDMA (Uplink and Downlink), 1024 QAM, Dual-band simultaneous (DBS), WPA3 security support, Target Wake Time
Wi-Fi Spectral Bands: 2.4GHz, 5GHz, 60GHz

Bluetooth Bluetooth Audio:  Qualcomm aptX Adaptive Audio,  LE Audio Features, Qualcomm TrueWireless Technology, Bluetooth 5.2

Qualcomm aptX Adaptive Audio, aptX Voice audio for super wide band voice calls, Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo, Bluetooth 5.1

NFC Supported
Location Satellite Systems Support: Beidou, Galileo, GLONASS, Dual frequency GNSS, NavIC, NavIC enabled, GPS, GNSS, QZSS, SBAS
USB USB Version: USB 3.1, USB-C
Qualcomm FastConnect System

Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Subsystem: Qualcomm FastConnect 6900
Bluetooth Features: Qualcomm aptX Voice, Qualcomm TrueWireless Technology, Bluetooth 5.2, LE Audio Features (broadcast audio), Qualcomm aptX™ Adaptive Audio, Dual Bluetooth Antennas
Wi-Fi 6 features: MU-MIMO (Uplink and Downlink), 8x8 sounding, 6 GHz operation (Wi-Fi 6E), OFDMA (Uplink and Downlink), 4K QAM, Dual-band simultaneous (DBS), WPA3 security support, 4-Stream Dual-band simultaneous, Target Wake Time, 160 MHz channel support

Wi-Fi/Bluetooth Subsystem: Qualcomm FastConnect 6800
60 GHz Wi-Fi features: Always-on Wi-Fi sensing, Wire-equivalent latency
Bluetooth Features: 1-to-many Bluetooth broadcast, Qualcomm TrueWireless Stereo, Bluetooth 5.1, Qualcomm aptX Voice audio for super wide band voice calls, Qualcomm aptX Adaptive Audio
Wi-Fi 6 features: MU-MIMO (Uplink and Downlink), 8x8 sounding, OFDMA (Uplink and Downlink), 1024 QAM, Dual-band simultaneous (DBS), WPA3 security support, Target Wake Time

Camera

Image Signal Processor: Qualcomm Spectra 580 image signal processor, Triple 14-bit CV-ISPs, Hardware accelerator for computer vision (CV-ISP)
Dual Camera, MFNR, ZSL, 30fps: Up to 64 MP
Triple Camera, MFNR,, 30fps, ZSL: Up to 28 MP
Single Camera, MFNR, ZSL, 30fps: Up to 84 MP
Single Camera: Up to 200 MP
Camera Features: Real-time object classification, Low light photography architecture, 10-bit HDR HEIF photo capture, Multi-frame Noise Reduction (MFNR)
Slow Motion Video Capture: 720p @ 960 FPS
Video Capture Formats: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HEVC
Video Capture Features: Rec. 2020 color gamut video capture, 4K HDR with Computational HD, 8K video capture at 30fps, Up to 10-bit color depth video capture

Image Signal Processor: Qualcomm Spectra 480 image signal processor, Hardware accelerator for computer vision (CV-ISP), Dual 14-bit CV-ISPs
Dual Camera, ZSL, 30fps: Up to 25 MP
Single Camera, MFNR, ZSL, 30fps: Up to 64 MP
Single Camera: Up to 200 MP
Camera Features: HEIF photo capture
Slow Motion Video Capture: 720p @ 960 FPS
Video Capture Formats: Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HEVC
Video Capture Features: 4K video capture with simultaneous 64MP photo capture, Rec. 2020 color gamut video capture, Up to 10-bit color depth video capture

Video Codec Support: Dolby Vision, H.265 (HEVC), HDR10+, HLG, HDR10, H.264 (AVC), VP8, VP9
Display

Max On-Device Display: 4K @ 60 Hz, QHD+ @ 144 Hz
Display Features: Demura and subpixel rendering for OLED uniformity
Max External Display: 4K @ 60 Hz
HDR: HDR10+, HLG, Dolby Vision, HDR10
Color Depth: Up to 10-bit
Color Gamut: Rec2020

Max On-Device Display: 4K @ 60 Hz, QHD+ @ 144 Hz
Max External Display: 4K @ 60 Hz
HDR: HDR10+, HDR10
Color Depth: Up to 10-bit
Color Gamut: Rec2020

General Audio Qualcomm Aqstic smart speaker amplifier up to Qualcomm WSA8835, Qualcomm Hexagon Voice Assistant Accelerator, Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec up to Qualcomm WCD9385, Qualcomm Aqstic audio technology Audio Technology: Qualcomm Hexagon Voice Assistant Accelerator, Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec up to Qualcomm WCD9385, Qualcomm Aqstic smart speaker amplifier up to Qualcomm WSA8815, Qualcomm Aqstic audio technology
Security Support

Fingerprint Sensor: Qualcomm 3D Sonic, Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max
Secure Processing Unit: Biometric Authentication (Fingerprint, Iris, Voice, Face)

These specs are from Qualcomm's product listings for the Snapdragon 865 and the Snapdragon 888.

Qualcomm also introduced a Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset in-between last year and this year, although it's supposed to be aimed more at gaming handsets. It's mostly identical to the Snapdragon 865, but the CPU is overclocked to 3.1GHz, and the Adreno 650 GPU is boosted as well.

One thing that specs won't tell you is what real-world performance is like. One thing that's clear though is that the Snapdragon 888 is a heck of an improvement in just about every area. It's going to be fun to test it out next year when devices start to arrive.

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