Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 888 Plus processor, an upgraded version of the current Snapdragon 888 chip found in many top smartphones, and various phone makers have already confirmed it will be powering future devices.
The Snapdragon 888 Plus has been given a power boost for a clock speed of just under 3.0GHz, compared to the Snapdragon 888’s 2.84GHz, plus the 6th generation of Qualcomm’s AI Engine for a 20% improvement in Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) performance. Like the Snapdragon 865 Plus released in 2020 it’s a gaming powerhouse, with all the same Snapdragon Elite Gaming features from the Snapdragon 888, plus updatable drivers for the best possible performance at all times. It shares many other features with the existing 888 platform, including the X60 5G modem and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity.
Which phone makers will use the new Snapdragon 888 Plus chip? Several companies have already pledged to include the processor in the near future, and some have been surprisingly candid about the devices we should expect.
Asus will use the Snapdragon 888 Plus in a future ROG Phone, which is explicitly made to appeal to gamers. Asus used the Snapdragon 865 Plus inside the ROG Phone 3, but it only announced the ROG Phone 5 with the Snapdragon 888 in March, meaning a sequel is a year away. However, it’s possible Asus could launch a special revised edition of the phone, similar to the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate Edition, with the new chip inside before then.
Motorola has said it will use the Snapdragon 888 Plus chip in its “portfolio,” without specifically mentioning a device. This is a surprise, as Motorola has not concentrated on flagship, high-spec smartphones for a while, preferring to release low and mid-range devices like the Moto G Power. At the end of 2020, Motorola’s parent company Lenovo teased a Snapdragon 888-powered Motorola phone would arrive, but no device has been released yet.
Newly single smartphone company Honor has stated the forthcoming Honor Magic 3 will use the Snapdragon 888 Plus processor. No longer owned by Huawei, Honor is able to release phones with Qualcomm chips and with Google’s Android software and Mobile Services, and has recently confirmed the Magic 3 will arrive in the near future.
Xiaomi will use the Snapdragon 888 Plus in a future smartphone, as will Vivo, but neither have said when a device with the new chip will arrive. Xiaomi uses the Snapdragon 888 in its Mi 11 range, and Vivo packages the chip inside the X60 Pro Plus. Neither company used the Snapdragon 865 Plus chip.
So far, Samsung has not gone on record saying it will use the Snapdragon 888 Plus chip yet, but it previously used the Snapdragon 865 Plus in the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, and the Galaxy Z Fold 2. It’s possible Lenovo and Red Magic will also release gaming smartphones with the new processor, as both used the 865 Plus in the past.
Qualcomm expects phones with the Snapdragon 865 Plus chip to be announced between July and September this year, so we don’t have long to wait until the first devices with it are revealed.