Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC: Can It Take On The Big Guns?


If there is one smartphone chipset maker that is likely to power a range of flagship smartphones, it is Qualcomm. The company has now officially launched the Snapdragon 888 5G -- the most powerful Mobile Solution for Android smartphones.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC: Can It Take On The Big Guns?

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G is set to take on the big guns like the Apple A14 Bionic that powers the Apple iPhone 12 series along with the HiSilicon Kirin 9000 featured on the Huawei Mate 40. Here are some of the less-known features of the latest flagship silicon from Qualcomm.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC CPU

Just like most premium flagship smartphone chipsets from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 888 5G also has an octa-core CPU setup with three different clusters. There is a primary CPU core based on the ARM Cortex-X1 with a CPU clock speed of up to 2.84GHz, which is slightly less than the Snapdragon 865+ and identical to the Snapdragon 865 SoC.

Then comes the mid-range CPU cluster with three cores based on ARM Cortex-A78 with a frequency of 2.42GHz. Lastly, there are four energy-efficient CPU cores based on ARM Cortex-A55 with a clock speed of 1.80GHz.

Though the CPU clock speed of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G is exactly similar to the Snapdragon 865, the latest entrant offers better performance and energy efficiency due to the newer CPU architecture and latest 5nm fabrication. Hence, a phone with Snapdragon 888 5G SoC will outperform a phone with Snapdragon 865 without any additional power draw.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC GPU

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Solution also has a new Adreno 660 GPU, which is said to the 25 percent more efficient and 35 percent faster than the Adreno 650 GPU found on the Snapdragon 865 SoC. Just like the Andreno 650, the Android 660 is also an upgradable GPU (software update).


The Adreno 660 is also the first mobile GPU to support Variable Rate Shading (VRS), which is also found on the latest generation consoles. When compared to the traditional graphics rendering process, VRS uses AI and breakdown the scene into different parts and smartly allocates resources, thus, improving graphics quality and frame rate. Not just that, the Adreno 660 is also capable of sustaining peak performance for an extended period.

The processor can support a single 4K display at 60fps, or a 1440p display with up to 144Hz with 10-bit color-depth and Rec. 2020 color gamut.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC NPU/DSP

The Snapdragon 888 5G SoC also comes with an improved AI engine, which can now offer a peak performance of 26 TOPS AI (CPU + GPU+ HVX + Tensor), with the Hexagon 780 NPU. This will be useful to achieve a better overall performance in almost every aspect of smartphone usages like battery life, connectivity, camera, gaming, and a lot more. On contrary, the AI performance of the Snapdragon 865 is 15 TOPS AI.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC Camera/ISP

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Solution comes with a brand new triple 14-bit Spectra 580 ISP, capable of processing a single 200/84 MP camera or a dual 64+25MP cameras, or even a triple camera setup with 28MP sensors. The processor can capture and process 8K videos at 30fps and can even capture 960fps slow-motion videos at 720p resolution.

The ISP is capable of encoding and decoding HDR 10, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+ video formats. However, do note that not all phones powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC might support these features, as it will be OEM who decides the feature set, and to get some of these features, an OEM also has a pay a premium.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC Connectivity

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G SoC comes with an integrated 5G modem -- the Snapdragon X60, unlike the Snapdragon 865, which has to be paired with an external Snapdragon X55 modem. 4G download/upload speeds on the Snapdragon 888 and the Snapdragon 865 are identical with 2500 Mbps/350Mbps, respectively.

When it comes to 5G, the Snapdragon X60 outperforms the Snapdragon X55 by offering a peak download speed of 7500 Mbps and a peak upload speed of 3000 Mbps. Do note that, these are the max-theoretical numbers and it is highly unlikely to achieve these speeds in real-life, even if you are standing right next to a 5G antenna.

The processor does support the latest Bluetooth 5.2 with Bluetooth LE. Lastly, it supports Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) with a peak speed of 3.6Gbps. Wireless network security features like WPA3-Enterprise, WPA3- Enhanced Open, WPA3 Easy Connect, WPA3-Personal are also part of the package.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Solution Specifications

  • CPU:
  • 1x Cortex-X1@ 2.84GHz
  • 3x Cortex-A78 @ 2.42GHz
  • 4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.80GHz
  • GPU:
  • Adreno 660
  • DSP/NPU:
  • Hexagon 780 (26 TOPS AI)
  • Memory:
  • Up To 16GB LPDDR5 @3200MHz
  • ISP/Camera:
  • Qualcomm Spectra 580 Image Signal Processor
  • Up to 200MP
  • Networking:
  • Snapdragon X60 Up to 7500Mbps
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