Xiaomi already spilled the beans
on a new midrange Snapdragon processor with integrated 5G connectivity, and today Qualcomm made the Snapdragon 768G official
. Who says that leaks don't translate into reality now?
The fact of the matter is that phones with 5G connectivity are expensive, and those with the flagship Snapdragon 865 even more so. The reasons vary, but in a nutshell you need to get a separate X55 modem from Qualcomm to use the 865 in your phone, and pay for a bunch of extra antennas if you want your handset to support the fast mmWave 5G networks like Verizon's.
You also need a bigger battery in an increasingly restricted space squished by said antennas, as 5G connectivity is a battery hog, especially of the fastest kind. These realities make Snapdragon 865-laden phones an expensive proposition to make, and the cost increase gets passed onto the end user, as exemplified by the current rise in average phone prices... again.
Thus, there is a growing demand and a dearth of midrange chipsets that have the 5G modem integrated, lowering the cost for both phone makers and customers to more palatable levels. Qualcomm addressed this market with its first chipset with integrated 5G modem, the Snapdragon 765 in the LG Velvet, and is now updating its midrange 5G silicon portfolio with another one.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G (Pixel 5) vs Snapdragon 765 (LG Velvet) specs and features
As the name implies, the 768G is an upgrade to the first intergrated Snapdragon 765 chipset of Qualcomm, and it is actually quite a huge leap, as the name doesn't really imply. They are both done with the latest 7nm process, just like Snapdragon 865, but the upgraded 768 is much faster.
Main Snapdragon 768G vs Snapdragon 765 specs differences:
- A Kryo 475 processor core clock speed up to 2.8 GHz (from 2.4 GHz)
- An Adreno 620 GPU with 15% graphics performance boost
- Updateable graphics drivers
- 120Hz display refresh rate support
The best part is that the 768G is pin- and software-compatible with Snapdragon 765G, so manufacturers don't need to do much to retool their next upper midrange 5G handsets for the new and improved chipset.
The new Snapdragon 768G may end up in the Google Pixel 5
What piqued out interest the most, however, were the updateable graphics drivers that will keep your phone relevant longer than the fixed solutions:
This is the first 7-series platform to support Adreno Updateable GPU Drivers, giving players control of their GPU driver updates and settings to provide peak display refresh rates that unlock premium visual fidelity on their favorite games. Combined with a bolstered Adreno 620 GPU for up to 15% faster graphics rendering than Snapdragon 765G and support for 120Hz display, users can enjoy life-like gaming experiences and leading performance per unit power.
In addition, Qualcomm divulged that Snapdragon 768G comes with "the latest 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine, combined with the X52 5G Modem-RF System, enhances nearly every mobile experience including camera, audio, voice and gaming."
So, what extra Google Pixel
5 features can we expect from with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G chip?
- Global 5G connectivity with mmWave networks support
- 120Hz refresh rate display
- Gaming performance boost
Not bad at all, considering that such features were heretofore an exclusive realm of high-end phones with the Snapdragon 865 chipset that usually start from at least $999 if 120Hz displays are involved.
The Snapdragon 768G announcement should make these features trickle down to the midrange, and the 5G modem integration means that the phones that will carry them would be a cheaper gateway to the wonderful world of 5G connectivity than what we have now. We'll keep an eye for the first handsets that are rumored to land with Snapdragon 768G, abd their telling price tag.