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Fast Charge: The Snapdragon 780G gives us some big hints about the Pixel 6

Qualcomm has finally announced the successor to its wildly popular mid-range 5G Snapdragon 765G chip with the 780G. 

If you scroll through our list of the best mid-range phones then there’s a good chance you’ll stop on a phone powered by the 765G. It was a monumental step forward in bringing powerful performance down to an affordable price.

It also made 5G far more accessible and it was the first Qualcomm chip to embed the 5G modem inside the chipset, rather than having it separate. This lead to slimmer, lighter 5G phones.

I have been patiently waiting for the successor for months now, wondering what it could bring to the party and if it could be as influential as its predecessor, and now we know.

On paper, the 780G seems like a big upgrade and it could bring about big boosts in many areas for the cheaper flagship phones of the year.

Google even used the Snapdragon 756G on its flagship Pixel 5 device, so this could give us our first look at the upgrades we could expect in the Pixel 6.

The Snapdragon 780G is built using the 5nm process, making it more efficient than the 765G. Qualcomm has also touted twice the AI performance and 40% more power.

There are a lot of camera improvements too, including the ability to capture images from three different camera sensors at the same time. 4K HDR video capture is supported, something that would be lovely to see on the Pixel 6.

The biggest upgrades, though, are in the gaming skills of the chip. They’ll be support for 10-bit HDR and 144Hz displays, two features previously restricted to the high-end Snapdragon 888.

Now, this is not confirmation that every phone that boasts this chip will pack all these features. I can’t imagine, for instance, the Pixel 6 will boast a 144Hz screen – but it should give the phone a boost in the gaming performance stakes anyway. It should also mean we’ll see cheaper gaming-specific phones, hopefully a more affordable version of the ROG Phone 5.

The Pixel 5 was a great phone, standing out amongst the crowd of best Android phones by being smaller and cheaper, but still capable. The upgrades offered by the 780G make me even more excited about the prospect of the Pixel 6, because they could take all these perks to the next level.

A boost to the performance would be welcome and more efficient processor would let the phone have much better better battery life. The expanded camera capabilities could also help the Pixel 6 re-cement the line’s legacy as a leader in mobile photography.

I’ve written before about how the Pixel 6 is big for Google and that it needs to start afresh with a new sensor if it wants to once again be the best camera phone. It is also unknown at this stage whether or not Google will once again try its hands at a true flagship with the best processor going.

I’d be happy to see Google focus on the camera hardware and once again utilise a mid-range chip, ideally the 780G, to once again give us a flagship camera without the price-tag.

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