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Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 Plus is a beefed-up version of its latest flagship

The Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC offers a modest CPU clock speed boost and a solid GPU improvement over the standard 855.

Published onJuly 15, 2019

Qualcomm first announced the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform in December 2018, and since then it’s made its way into a huge number of flagship smartphones. Nearly every major manufacturer has made at least one device utilizing the chipset, which brings a pretty substantial leap in performance over the Snapdragon 845. Now, Qualcomm is making a mid-year chipset improvement with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus.

The 855 Plus is primarily targeted at mobile gamers and brings CPU and GPU improvements to elevate the mobile gaming experience.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ Mobile Platform Badge
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Overall, there’s not a lot new here. The primary change is the overclocked Kryo 485 CPU Prime core, now clocked at 2.96GHz. This is in contrast to the Prime core in the standard Snapdragon 855, which clocked up to 2.84GHz. Technically, this is only a four percent improvement, so we’ll have to see how it impacts performance and benchmarks once we get a device in our hands.

The GPU is where things get a little more interesting. Qualcomm says the Adreno 640 is getting a 15 percent increase in performance. While Qualcomm wouldn’t comment on any actual numbers, we’ll have to perform our own tests soon to see if this claim holds true.

Besides these two changes, most of the SoC spec remains the same. The Snapdragon 855 Plus is still utilizing the X24 multi-gigabit 4G LTE modem and X50 5G modem and brings improvements over the Snapdragon 845 like the fourth-generation multi-core AI engine and support for Vulcan 1.1.

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As a personal take, games like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite Mobile are capped at 30 or 60fps on most phones. If you’re already hitting those frames, you won’t see much difference here, save for more consistent performance. The biggest change will be on games without a capped frame rate — especially on phones that have higher refresh rates than 60fps. For example, if the OnePlus 7T Pro with its 90Hz screen ends up running an 855 Plus, you would see an improvement in games that are capable of running at 90 frames per second.

Qualcomm says devices utilizing the chipset will be available in the second half of 2019. That’s a pretty broad spectrum, especially considering it’s already July. That said, rumors of the ASUS ROG Phone 2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Pro give us confidence that we’ll see the chip hit the market sooner rather than later.

Do you have thoughts about Snapdragon 855 Plus? Drop your hot takes in the comments section below.

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