In late 2019, smartphone processor manufacturer Qualcomm, which provides chipsets for many Android handsets, released the Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, an improved version of its main flagship chipset for the year. We were expecting the same to happen in 2020, but it seems the Snapdragon 865 is not going to receive a Plus equivalent.
This news comes from Wan Zhiqiang, the CMO of Meizu, a Chinese smartphone company (which hasn't really brought its phones to many Western countries yet), in a post on Chinese social media platform Weibo, as reported by Mydrivers. In the post, Zhiqiang confirmed that there would be no Snapdragon 865 Plus chipset in 2020.
As an official in a smartphone company, presumably Zhiqiang would have accurate information on the new processor, so it seems very likely that the information is correct. TechRadar reached out to Qualcomm for clarification on the matter, but received no comment.
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What does this mean for you?
The Snapdragon 855 Plus was a version of the 855 largely designed for gaming, with tweaks and optimizations on the base chipset for this goal.
Many smartphones used it, including the OnePlus 7T, Black Shark 2 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and more, and as a result we would have expected that phones in those series released in late 2020, like the OnePlus 8T for example, would follow the same pattern and use the Snapdragon 865 Plus.
However this seems not to be the case, and late-2020 flagships will likely stick with the Snapdragon 865 which started being used in smartphones in early 2020. For example the OnePlus 8T will have the same chipset as the OnePlus 8, and other similar phones will see no improvements.
If you're a regular phone user, the differences between the Snapdragon 855 and 855 Plus were pretty negligible, and only dedicated smartphone gamers really noticed a performance difference. So for most people the lack of an 865 Plus processor won't mean much, but there are some who might care.