This new top smartphone chipset is coming to Motorola, OnePlus and Xiaomi phones

Qualcomm Snapdragon
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Most years, chipset maker Qualcomm makes one top-end processor that goes in most of the best phones of the year - in 2021 it seems the brand has two.

Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon 870 5G chipset, a new piece of tech for its top-end 800-series line of processors. This sits alongside the Snapdragon 888 already out in the Xiaomi Mi 11 and Samsung Galaxy S21.

The details on the Snapdragon 870 5G are vague, but we know a few things. The chipset has a high clock speed, making it great for gaming, and it also supports improved AI compared to its predecessor the Snapdragon 865. As the name suggests, it also has a 5G modem.

What phones will get the Snapdragon 870 5G?

We don't know any particular phones that will get the Snapdragon 870 5G, but a few brands have stated they're going to use it.

These include Motorola, likely with the Edge 2; Oppo, perhaps with a member of the Find X3 line; OnePlus, possibly in the rumored 'Lite' member of the OnePlus 9 series; Xiaomi, likely with one of the many, many mid-range phones it puts out; and iQoo, Vivo's gaming sub-brand that doesn't release phones in the west.

It likely won't be long until we see the first Snapdragon 870 5G phones, as the company states "commercial devices based on Snapdragon 870 are expected to be announced in the first quarter of 2021".

So then we can test out how well it runs, and if it rivals the company's own Snapdragon 888 - though given the 870's lower number it probably won't be quite as good.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.