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What is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy?

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series is official, and for the first time ever, it sports a custom version of Qualcomm’s top-end chipset dubbed the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy.

It’s a first for chip-maker Qualcomm to work exclusively on a chipset for a single smartphone manufacturer, so all eyes are on the custom chipset and what it offers compared to the regular Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 expected in most upcoming flagships.

What’s equally as exciting – for European fans anyway – is that the Snapdragon variant of the Galaxy S23 series will be available worldwide, doing away with the European-focused Exynos variants of its flagship range for the past few years. 

Anyway, here’s everything you need to know about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy including key differences between it and the standard 8 Gen 2, and a list of all supported devices right now. 

What is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy?

As revealed at the Samsung Unpacked event which saw the release of the new Samsung Galaxy S23 range, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy is a special version of Qualcomm’s latest chipset with specific improvements that should, on paper at least, give Samsung the edge over other flagships that feature the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

That said, all the additional new features that come with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset – like support for ray tracing in games, improved camera AI processing dubbed Snapdragon Sight and improved 5G connectivity – should be available to any 8 Gen 2-equipped phone as long as the manufacturer wants to take advantage of them. 

What’s the difference between it and the regular Snapdragon 8 Gen 2?

There are a couple of key differences between the special ‘for Galaxy’ variant and the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

The biggest difference is in the CPU department with Samsung’s Snapdragon chipset boasting improved clock speeds at 3.36GHz compared to the 3.2GHz of the standard chipset, which should be enough for it to beat most of the competition – in benchmarks at least.

It’s a similar story in the graphics department, with the Adreno GPU within the ‘for Galaxy’ chipset said to offer both better gameplay performance and better battery efficiency. 

Holding a Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in-hand with plants in the background
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is one of the first to sport the new chipset

Though there aren’t numbers to back up the claim, it’ll certainly be interesting to see how the latest Samsung smartphones compare to regular Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-equipped phones in benchmarks, though in reality, you’re unlikely to see much of a difference in day-to-day performance. 

Both the regular and custom Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipsets are at the very top end of the mobile chipset market, and you should expect flagship performance as a result. 

Where there could be a notable difference is in terms of battery life depending on just how much more energy efficient it is than the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. We saw significant improvements with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 compared to the original Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, so there’s certainly potential there.  

Which devices feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy?

As you might’ve guessed by the name, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy is exclusively available for Samsung Galaxy devices. 

Right now that’s only the S23 range, though there’s a possibility that it could also make an appearance on the next-gen Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 which are expected later this year. 

For reference, here’s every Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy-equipped smartphone available right now:

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