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Qualcomm Snapdragon 780G could supercharge the Google Pixel 6

Google Pixel 6 could have a big boost over the Pixel 5 thanks to the Snapdragon 780G
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Mid-range Android phones could be getting a lot more high-end features, if Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 780G chipset is anything to go by. 

Designed to replace the Snapdragon 765G and 768G — the former can be found in the Google Pixel 5 — the 780G gets a suite of features that have filtered down from the high-end Snapdragon 888, currently found in the Samsung Galaxy S21, Oppo Find X3 Pro and OnePlus 9 Pro.  

The Snapdragon 780G will, according to Qualcomm, deliver a 40% boost in processor performance thanks to using the Kryo 670 CPU. And the system-on-a-chip will offer a 50% boost in graphics power with the new Adreno 643 GPU. 

But a hike in power is pretty much expected for a new generation chipset. The more interesting thing here is that the Snapdragon 780G will get the Spectra 570 triple-image signal processor (ISP) from the Snapdragon 888. 

That processor will let phones with the 780G capture three images at once from a triple rear-camera array for better photos and more flexible photography, as well as better low-light performance. The same will also apply to video recording, which will also get HDR10+ video capture. 

A more intelligent chipset

But improved photos and video capture may not be the only upgrade, The Snapdragon 780G should also facilitate smarter mid-range smartphones. 

That’s because it’s got the Snapdragon 888’s sixth-generation Qualcomm AI Engine with the Hexagon 770 processor designed to deliver 12 TOPs (trillion operations per second) of AI performance; translated to 2x the power of its predecessor. 

As such, phones with the 780G can expect better AI performance leading to improved feats like smart noise-suppression on calls and voice-command recognition. Also taken from the Snapdragon 888 is the Sensing Hub, which uses a dedicated low-power AI processor to help with audio processing. 

The Snapdragon 780G also comes with the Snapdragon X53 5G Modem-RF System to enable 3.3 Gbps on sub-6 GHz frequencies. And it will also support Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth audio features found in the Snapdragon 888. 

High-end features on mid-range phones

In short, all this means is that more affordable mid-range phones, likely ranging from the rumored OnePlus Nord 2 to the Google Pixel 6, will have the option of a chipset that has a lot of high-end features but isn’t prohibitively expensive to include. 

That should lead to phones in the $500 to $700 range offering improved performance, more capable cameras, smart features and better sound and connectivity. 

We expect to see the Snapdragon 780G pop up in a series of smartphones as the year progresses. We might even see it in the Google Pixel 5a first, if that rumored phone launches this spring. 

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer is U.K. Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.