Qualcomm just announced its latest chipsets at the company’s annual Snapdragon Tech Summit, and it’s quite a peculiar lineup. There’s the flagship Snapdragon 865, which will power most of 2020’s flagship smartphones, and the upper mid-range Snapdragon 765 family. What’s so peculiar about this? Well, out of the two chips, only the Snapdragon 765 has integrated 5G.
That’s right, the mid-range Snapdragon 765 has 5G built-in, but not the flagship Snapdragon 865. Instead, the top-of-the-line chipset has to rely on a separate 5G modem instead. In this case, it would be Qualcomm’s own X55 modem.
To top it off, if manufacturers want to use the Snapdragon 865, they have to get the X55 modem as well; it’s a package deal, according to Qualcomm’s statement to The Verge.
Regardless, the X55 modem that’s paired with the Snapdragon 865 offers fast performance. When connected to a 5G network, it can do 7Gbps and 3Gbps peak download and upload speeds respectively. Of course, the X55 modem also has LTE, 3G, and 2G support, which is important for markets where 5G connectivity is not widely available yet (like Malaysia).
As for the Snapdragon 765 – which is also available in 765G form – its integrated “X52” 5G modem is, unsurprisingly, slower. With a peak download speed of 3.7Gbps, that’s about half of what the X55 modem is capable of. Granted, the Snapdragon 765 is meant to power mid-range devices anyway, so this level of performance is expected.
Besides that, not much information has been revealed for both the Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765/765G; more information on these two new chipsets will only be revealed tomorrow. What we do know, however, is the fact that the Snapdragon 865 will be found in a number of flagship smartphones next year, including the Xiaomi Mi 10 and an upcoming Oppo flagship phone.
Qualcomm also unveiled its second generation ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint reader. Dubbed 3D Sonic Max, this new sensor is 17 times bigger than its predecessor. In fact, it’s large enough to authenticate two separate fingerprints at the same time. Thanks to this change, it should be easier to activate the sensor.
Unfortunately, Qualcomm mentioned that 3D Sonic Max will still take roughly the same amount of time to authenticate a fingerprint, so there won’t be any improvement in speed. It’ll be interesting to see if it will be more accurate though, given that the first generation sensor – which is used in Samsung’s flagship smartphones – isn’t particularly great in this aspect.