Most of the best Android handsets are powered by the top Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset of any given year, and in 2021 that’s expected to be the Snapdragon 875 – a chipset that hasn’t yet been unveiled, but likely will be on December 1 or 2, before finding its way into the Samsung Galaxy S21.
Qualcomm has confirmed that the keynotes for its Snapdragon Tech Summit Digital 2020 are happening on those days, and among all the talk about AI, gaming, connectivity and more, Qualcomm has said it will “share news on the company’s latest flagship Snapdragon 5G mobile platform”.
We’ll also apparently be shown “what the next generation of premium 5G mobile experiences will enable”. So while the Snapdragon 875 isn’t mentioned by name, it certainly sounds like the company is talking about its next top mobile chipset – and the Snapdragon 865 was announced at this event in 2019, so we’d fully expect to see its successor unveiled here.
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Almost every phone except Apple's
Based on past form, we’d expect the Snapdragon 875 to power US models of the Samsung Galaxy S21 (with some other regions likely getting an Exynos chipset instead). It will also probably be used in the OnePlus 9, Sony Xperia 1 III, and the majority of other top-end phones next year.
Other than Samsung handsets in select regions, the main exceptions will be the iPhone 13 range, which will use Apple’s own chipsets, and the likes of the Huawei P50 and Huawei Mate 50. Otherwise, if you buy a high-end phone in 2021, it will probably use Qualcomm’s upcoming chipset.
We don’t know much about the Snapdragon 875 yet, but we’d expect it to be very powerful, and early benchmarks certainly suggest as much.
If you want to tune in to Qualcomm’s keynotes you’ll be able to, as they’re being livestreamed at 7am PT / 10am ET / 3pm GMT on December 1 and 2, or at 2am AEDT the following mornings, but TechRadar will also bring you all the details of the Snapdragon 875 if it makes an appearance, so stay tuned.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.