If the usual annual upgrade cycle persists, it’s nearly time for Qualcomm to unleash its next flagship mobile chipset that’ll invariably power the best Android phones of 2023.
The Weibo leaker Digital Chat Station has posted some purported insights into what Qualcomm’s latest and greatest will look like. The post (opens in new tab) is in Chinese and comes out a little garbled through multiple online translation engines, but the gist seems to be that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset could have an “ultra-high frequency” version capable of reaching speeds of 3.4 to 3.5GHz. The current Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 clocks in at 3.2GHz.
The post also hints at significant GPU upgrades and suggests that the chip could beat the graphical performance offered by the iPhone 14 Pro and its A16 Bionic chipset.
That’s quite a bold claim given Qualcomm has struggled to keep pace in the benchmark stakes in recent years. Our latest tests show that both the iPhone 14 Pro and even the regular iPhone 14 with its older chipset comfortably beat the top Android performers in CPU and GPU performance.
It’s not exactly an even playing field. Apple has the huge advantage of producing both the operating system and chips itself, meaning that performance and efficiency can be optimized without the hassle of coordinating with others.
A company like Samsung, meanwhile, has to work with both Google for the Android OS and Qualcomm for the chipset to eke the best possible performance from its handsets. While Samsung has its own Exynos chipset, it’s fared even worse, and the company has signalled that it’ll only be using Qualcomm chips in the Galaxy S23 when it arrives next year.
In truth, the performance differences between the top Android phones and Apple’s flagships aren’t that significant, even if they are real. Both will run the best, most demanding apps fluidly, and you wouldn’t notice a difference unless you had the two side by side.
All the same, it does give Apple significant bragging rights, and it would be very helpful to Qualcomm if it could give the Snapdragon chipset a shot in the arm for next year. We’ll likely see what the chipmaker has in mind at its upcoming Snapdragon Summit, currently scheduled for November 15-17.