While most top-end Android phones from the first half of 2021 have used the Snapdragon 888 chipset from Qualcomm, a new Plus version of that processor has been launched, and we could see it in the likes of the Xiaomi Mi 11T and OnePlus 9T.
This is the Snapdragon 888 Plus, which is - as the name suggests - a tweaked version of that aforementioned chipset that was used in the OnePlus 9 and Xiaomi Mi 11 (and more phones like the Oppo Find X3 Pro and Realme GT). Qualcomm announced the new chipset via a post on its blog (opens in new tab).
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So what's new with this Plus-spec'd chipset? The main thing seems to be improved AI power, so the processor can handle 20% more tasks at once - the clock speeds are also a bit higher. To cut through the technobabble, this basically means the processor will be a touch faster than its predecessor, especially for tasks that use AI, like scene optimization for photos.
Sure, that's not the biggest improvement in the world, but that's the nature of these top-end Android phone chips.
When will the Snapdragon 888 Plus appear?
We'll likely see the Snapdragon 888 Plus turn up in phones very soon, as according to Qualcomm, the first handsets with it will show up 'Q3 2021', which means July, August or September. Honor has already confirmed its upcoming Honor Magic 3 will use the chipset, and Xiaomi, Motorola, Asus and Vivo have stated they'll have phones with it too, but we don't know what.
The two biggest-name phones that could use the chipset are the aforementioned Xiaomi Mi 11T and OnePlus 9T, as Xiaomi and OnePlus tend to use these upgraded chipsets in their late-year phones. We could see it in the Motorola Edge 2 too, since Moto's name is on the list, and that's the only premium handset we're expecting from that company.
All in all, it's not exactly clear when this chipset will start being used heavily, or by whom, or even if it'll make a marked difference in terms of speeds. We'll have to wait for those phones to launch to see.