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Qualcomm wants everyone to have a 5G phone, announces two new Snapdragon chips

Qualcomm's 5G-capable chipset lineup has two new entries: the flagship Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765.

Published onDecember 3, 2019

Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit 2019

Qualcomm’s annual Tech Summit in Maui, Hawaii kicked off today with company President Cristiano Amon delivering the opening keynote. The takeaway theme this year, much like last year, is that Qualcomm is betting big on 5G and AI.

To that end, Qualcomm is announcing not one, but two 5G mobile chipsets this year, along with a whole host of other 5G talking points across various market segments.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 replaces the Snapdragon 855 as Qualcomm’s premium-tier mobile application processor. For 2020’s affordable flagship smartphones, there’s the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 and Snapdragon 765G. Both models supersede the Snapdragon 730 and 730G as more affordable, high-performance chipsets. All three chips boast next-gen AI and 5G networking capabilities.

Also read: Qualcomm’s new in-display fingerprint sensor is way, way bigger

Making 5G ubiquitous

As a flagship chip, the Snapdragon 865 boasts Qualcomm’s highest-performing hardware to date across a huge range of the chip’s components.

We can talk more about the technical specifications tomorrow, but what we can say right now is that the chip is paired with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X55 modem, the company’s second-generation 5G modem. It builds on the X50 modem we’ve already seen paired up with the Snapdragon 855 inside the first wave of 5G smartphones. Qualcomm is billing the Snapdragon 865 as a 5G platform, so expect to see a lot more 5G-capable flagship phones in 2020.

The Snapdragon 765 offers integrated 5G connectivity via a new Snapdragon modem. Qualcomm’s 700-series chipsets target the upper end of the mid-tier market. With 5G antennas and other components in tow, the Snapdragon 765 won’t make for cheap 5G phones, but it will certainly lower the entry price point compared to the 800 series.

There are actually two variants of this chip: the Snapdragon 765 and Snapdragon 765G. Just like the previous generation, the G model offers increased performance and features specifically targeted at mobile gamers. Both still offer the same advanced AI and integrated 5G capabilities.

Hitting the market in 2020

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G Mobile Platform Chip Front

Qualcomm promised to bring 5G to more affordable price points back at IFA 2019 and has delivered with the Snapdragon 765 and 765G. At the time, twelve device manufacturers were reportedly working on 5G phones featuring Snapdragon 700 series chips. The first of these should be with us in early 2020.

In the flagship tier, the Snapdragon 865 will undoubtedly power most of 2020’s premium smartphones, most of which will now boast 5G capabilities. The first of these handsets will likely be announced in Q1 2020 as well. Xiaomi says its Xiaomi Mi 10 flagship will launch with the Snapdragon 865 in Q1 2020. OPPO also confirmed it will launch an unnamed flagship powered by the 865 in Q1 2020.

Stay tuned for more coverage from the Snapdragon Tech Summit, between December 3 and December 5.