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Snapdragon chipset leak could mean big things for 2022’s Android phones

Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c Gen 2
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

It was only a matter of time before Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 888 chipset was replaced by a better model. And judging from these first few details, it might be a very big step forward.

The news comes from long-time and well-reputed leaker Evan Blass. Apparently the chip will not only be smaller than the Snapdragon 888 (4nm instead of 5nm), it’s also set to come with improvements to both power and efficiency. 

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The Snapdragon 888 is right at the top of Qualcomm’s portfolio, and powers high-end phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 range, OnePlus 9, and others. Qualcomm would naturally take everything the 888 has to offer, and improve upon it for future phones.

That’s especially important given the increasing amount of competition in the mobile chip industry. The Snapdragon 888 may be more powerful than previous Android devices, according to our testing, but Qualcomm is already lagging behind Apple’s A series chips. 

Our own benchmark tests showed that the recently-released iPhone 12 (and A14 Bionic) was easily able to outperform the U.S. Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra, both of which are powered by the Snapdragon 888.

Plus there’s a growing trend of phone makers who have been developing bespoke chips, rather than use ones made by Qualcomm. Samsung has famously used the Exynos chipsets outside the U.S. market for several years, and rumors claim that the Google Pixel 6 will be powered by a chip developed in-house.

Blass also claims that the next Snapdragon flagship will be powered by an Adreno 730 GPU. The number change is particularly interesting, since the Snapdragon 888’s GPU is the Adreno 660 and last year’s Snapdragon 865 has an Adreno 650. 

Product numbering doesn’t exactly tell us anything specific, but we do wonder why there’s set to be such a big jump. PhoneArena points out that the last time the numbers jumped this much was back with the Snapdragon 845, and that did coincide with a major performance boost. Here’s hoping it’s the same situation this time round.

But in any case, it’s looking like 2022’s Android flagships are going to be something special. We’ll bring you more on this new chip as and when we hear it. 

Tom Pritchard

Tom covers a little bit of everything at Tom’s Guide, ranging from the latest electric cars all the way down to hot takes on why Christopher Nolan is wrong about everything. Appliances are also muscling their way into his routine, which is a pretty long way from his days as Editor at Gizmodo UK. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.