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Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G: New Android flagship chipset named

Qualcomm unveils new top-of-the-line chip to take on the Apple A13 Bionic — but has it got what it takes to be the best in the business?

The new flagship mobile chip from Qualcomm is named the Snapdragon 865 5G. Despite the naming convention at launch, this chip will not have an integrated 5G modem, instead relying on the Snapdragon X55 modem to provide the next-gen connectivity.

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Qualcomm has named three main areas in which the Snapdragon 865 will improve on its predecessor:

  • Artificial Intelligence: The 865 can perform 15 Tera Ops Per Second (TOPS), which is a 2x improvement over the 855 and reportedly 3x better than Android competitors
  • Photography: The new chip can process 2 Gigapixels per second
  • Gaming: Qualcomm claims that the 865 will bring “desktop features” to mobile gaming

Despite the immense power that the Snapdragon 865 will undoubtedly offer, the chip itself is miniscule in size, hopefully promising great efficiency. The image below displays the size of the chip relative to the human hand:

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip held between fingers

We were very impressed with the performance of last year’s Snapdragon 855 processor, found on the OnePlus 7 Pro, Google Pixel 4, and Sony Xperia 1, among many other flagship Android devices — so we can’t wait to put the new silicon through its paces in our reviews.

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What’s perhaps even more exciting is that one version of the Snapdragon 765 processor is actually set to boast an integrated 5G modem, bringing the new mobile data standard to mid-range as well as the most premium devices on the market in a move that could greatly popularise the faster mobile data connectivity. In fact by the end of 2020, Qualcomm predicts a total of 200 million 5G subcribers worldwide, with that number rising exponentially to 2.8 billion by 2025.

Currently there are relatively few 5G smartphones available compared to the vast range of 4G devices on the market, though the current 5G range does include impressive devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G. So can next year’s devices, including those running Qualcomm’s very latest chips, improve further on these performances?

You can re-watch the 2019 Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Conference as it happens via this livestream:

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