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Snapdragon 865 could bring built-in 5G to phones like the Galaxy S11

While Qualcomm’s 2018 top-tier mobile chipset – the Snapdragon 855 – has now made its way onto the majority of this year’s flagship smartphones, word of its successor has already emerged and it trumps the existing Snapdragon in at least one important way.

Based on claims from established tipster, Roland Quandt (@rquandt on Twitter, where he posted his findings), the next best-in-class Snapdragon is expected to feature an integrated 5G modem.

The current Snapdragon 855 is 5G-ready but requires the likes of Qualcomm’s dedicated X50 5G modem to feature as part of a device’s infrastructure in order to support 5G connectivity.

It’s this makeup that’s used across the likes of the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G (check out our initial tests on EE’s 5G network with this phone here), Oppo Reno 5G and LG V50. Based on Quandt’s claims, the 865 may simply assimilate the modem into its own architecture.

Quandt posits that the Snapdragon 865 will take two forms, one with and one without an integrated 5G modem (likely the Snapdragon X55). Despite this, it’s likely that the modem-free iteration will still support 5G, relying on a similar setup to the current solution used by 5G devices rocking an 855.

In an earlier tweet from May, Quandt stated that that ‘Kona’ build of the 865 would make use of an external modem, leaving the ‘Huracan’ build of the 865 to offer integrated 5G connectivity.

If this all rings true, beyond this key difference both variants are expected to employ the same architecture and offer a similar feature-set. The use of yet-unreleased LPDDR5 memory should bring both faster read/write speeds and lesser power consumption over previous SoCs (system-on-chips). UFS 3.0 compatibility is also slated to endure from the 855 – a feature that we’ve already seen integrated into the likes of the OnePlus 7 Pro and the ill-fated Samsung Galaxy Fold.

Nowadays, Qualcomm launches its best and brightest mobile chipsets annually, during its Snapdragon Tech Summit event, which has taken place in Hawaii for the last few years.

If Quandt’s claims about the 865 to turn out to be on the money, we’ll likely see the first handsets using this 5G-laden processor setup as early as January 2020 and manufacturers like Samsung, Sony and Google, undoubtedly making use of it in their first flagships of the year.