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What is Snapdragon G2? Qualcomm’s mid-range Android gaming platform explained

Qualcomm has announced a new three-strong line-up of handheld gaming chip, with the Snapdragon G2 taking up the middle spot.

You may or may not remember that US chip maker Qualcomm teamed up with gaming accessory maker Razer in 2021 to showcase its new Snapdragon G Series, which was a version of its ubiquitous mobile system-on-chip focused on dedicated mobile gaming handhelds. That prototype eventually culminated in the Razer Edge 5G, released earlier this year.

Now, at Gamescom 2023, Qualcomm has announced a fresh three-pronged assault on the mobile gaming handheld space: the Snapdragon G1, the Snapdragon G2, and the Snapdragon G3. We’re here to explain where the Snapdragon G2 fits into the equation.

What is Snapdragon G2?

Put simply, the Snapdragon G2 is one of three new SoCs (System-on-Chip) from Qualcomm with a particular focus on portable gaming.

An SoC combines CPU, GPU, and other key processing functions onto a single compact chip, just like the one you’ll find in your smartphone. In the case of the new Snapdragon G-series, the intended host devices are dedicated gaming handhelds like the aforementioned Razer Edge 5G, which tend to run on Android.

The Snapdragon G2 is Qualcomm’s mid-tier provision, which the company says will provide “Mobile Gaming Perfected”. It’s been designed to be able to play all of your favourite mobile games locally at high frame rates, as well as being optimised for cloud and remote console game streaming.

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How powerful is the Snapdragon G2?

The Snapdragon G2 Gen 1 (to give the current chip its full name) comes with an 8-core Kryo CPU, like the rest of the range, accompanied by a gaming-optimised Adreno A21 GPU.

Qualcomm estimates that this will be sufficient to support FHD+ Android gaming at super-smooth frame rates of 144fps.

Snapdragon G2 Gen 1

What will battery life be like?

Qualcomm isn’t supplying any specifics on battery life, as this will obviously be particular to the gaming hardware that chooses to utilise the Snapdragon G2 chip. However, it is promising a combination of “sustained graphics performance” and “long battery life”.

It also notes that the Snapdragon G2 is designed for fanless dedicated gaming devices, which promises to keep battery drain to a bare minimum.

What connectivity does the Snapdragon G2 support?

The Snapdragon G2 supports up to Wi-Fi 6E with its Qualcomm FastConnect 6700, as well as 5G mmWave (Sub-6) courtesy of a Snapdragon X62 5G Modem. It also supports Bluetooth 5.0.

Where does the Snapdragon G2 fit within the range?

The Snapdragon G2 Gen 1 sits in between the the Snapdragon G1 Gen 1 and the Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 in Qualcomm’s new gaming-focused SoC range.

The Snapdragon G1 Gen 1 is from the entry-level tier, with an onus on lag-free game streaming rather than intensive locally driven gameplay. While it too has an 8-core Qualcomm Kryo CPU, it uses a more limited Adreno A11 GPU.

The Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 is the “Enthusiast Class” chip with best-in-class Android gaming performance in mind, with a range-topping Adreno A32 GPU and support for faster connectivity standards like Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 7.

Snapdragon G1, G2, and G3

What’s with the Gen 1 and Gen 2?

Both the Snapdragon G2 and the G1 are brand new products, hence the Gen 1 suffix. However, the new Snapdragon G3 chip is a direct follow-up to the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 chip that powered the Razer Edge 5G, which is why it’s being described as Gen 2.

When will we see Snapdragon G2 devices?

Qualcomm claims that “the Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 Handheld Gaming Reference Design is now available and sampling to select OEMs and ODMs”, with “Customer-specific product announcements to follow.”

There’s no indication as to when we might see those first products coming to market, but stay tuned for any announcements.

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