Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 Lite: Why it makes sense
Qualcomm is nearing the resumption of its annual Snapdragon conference, with Chipmaker unveiling its latest flagship processor, which will appear on phones next year. We are all hoping to launch the Snapdragon 875 this year.
Complained to be a lite version of its flagship processor, it has been dubbed the Snapdragon 870, which could be a higher clock speed (3.2Ghz or higher) than the Snapdragon 865 Plus.
Whatever Qualcomm finally shows in December, it makes a lot of sense for the Snapdragon 870 or “Snapdragon 875 Lite” company and the smartphone industry in general.
Before we understand why the lite version of the Snapdragon 875 makes sense, we must first look at the current state of Qualcomm’s top silicon.
Snapdragon 865 represents a somewhat controversial approach in Qualcomm’s flagship chipset history. You have unlimited 960fps recording, 8K video recording, world-class graphics and super-fast mmWave 5G. But the biggest strike against chipsets is its price, which is higher than last year’s Snapdragon 855 series. In fact, Xiaomi claims that the cost of the Mi 10 chipset and modem has more than doubled compared to the Mi 9 last year.
Read more: History of Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Series
As a precedent, in 2020 we saw some of the flagship devices that Qualcomm could afford with the top chipset. Samsung has stepped up its reach with the highly competitive Galaxy S20 FE, and we have seen a rise in the price of phones like the flagship flagship phone. To name a few, the Xiaomi Mi 10, OnePlus 8, Poco F2 Pro, and Realme X50 Pro were all more expensive than their predecessors.
Not surprisingly, among the record costs of the Snapdragon 865 series is the use of the more expensive mmWave 5G in some markets (adding another $ 100 to the mmWave variant) and the lack of any truly competitive silicon on the market. The brand travels with upper mid-level silicone instead of paying premiums.
The rise in price of the Snapdragon 865 forced some brands to jump to mid-mid silicon.
More precisely, we saw Qualcomm’s cheap Snapdragon 765G processor going on the flagship devices, especially with the Google Pixel 5 and LG Velvet. Thought is also easy to understand. The mid-range chipset offers good performance for everyday use as well as high-end features compatible with the Snapdragon 865 like 5G, fast charging, high-resolution camera support and high fresh rate capabilities.
The Snapdragon 765G has one major drawback, but it’s on the GPU side.
Filling the graphic gap
Our own test has shown that the Snapdragon 765G 2018 is weaker than the Snapdragon 845 flagship processor. Those who want to play as much as possible through power-hungry sports or retro sports emulators can be disappointed. But how many people want this on their phones?
Unfortunately, this gap in GPU power will be particularly relevant in 2020, and higher fresh rate screens will increase performance requirements in 2021 and beyond. We ran GFXBench on 5 pixels and another talked about the Snapdragon 765G phone with a 90Hz screen – OnePlus Nord. The results clearly show that the chipset cannot run technologically advanced software above 60fps. In fact, the pixel 5 is less than 30fps from the Manhattan test. By comparison, since 2019, both the Snapdragon 855 series chipset and the Asus ROG 2 and Nubia Red Magic 3, both phones with higher upgrade rate displays, have been able to get closer to their target frame rate.
The benchmarks are not really directly related to everyday performance and you expect better performance in web browsing, system navigation and lightweight games on a phone like the Pixel 5 or OnePlus Nord.
However, it does lead us to think that many 3D games with a high freshness rate do not turn into stable performance. Between PUBG Mobile, Fortnight and the desired console / PC ports, you may have to settle for 60fps.
So, how do you bridge the GPU gap between the affordable 700 series and the 800 premium series? That’s where the Snapdragon 875 Lite can make a big difference.
What brings a Snapdragon 875 light to the table?
loans: Ryan-Thomas Show / Android Authority
With a GPU similar to the Snapdragon 865, the Snapdragon 875 Lite or maybe even the 855/855 Plus can go a long way in ensuring that you actually see higher frame rates when using a phone with a high fresh rate panel. But graphical performance is just one of the few potential ups and downs.
In addition to reducing the GPU power gap between the Snapdragon 765G and Flashship Silicon, a light processor with a more advanced CPU can enhance multimedia functionality and connectivity capabilities. The Snapdragon 765G has only two heavyweight cores compared to four of the 800 Series, lags behind in machine learning power and does not support bleeding features such as 8K recording, super fast ISP and LPDDR5 RAM.
A Snapdragon 875 Lite processor can create a huge gap between the 700 series and the 800 series.
Based on this model, a light processor provides faster and better camera settings (eg HDR +), higher resolution multi-frame settings, faster application launch and loading, higher quality video options, and more realistic features such as face filters. Will be provided.
This opens the door to affordable flagship phones with real power. Phones like the Pixel 6 or LG Velvet 2 can stick to 2021 at a lower price without sacrificing performance. The leading client may return, and OEMs should no longer choose between paying a high dollar for premium performance or having a strict agreement with other aspects such as display, storage, build quality or camera experience. Does a phone with a slightly lower 800 series processor still qualify as a true flagship? It’s another day’s a philosophical question.
There are some risks involved in developing a light-style processor. Qualcomm will want to draw a fine line between performance, features and pricing. The last thing anyone wants is a high-priced refurbished Snapdragon 700 series chipset. This is an expensive light release that can tarnish the reputation of the Snapdragon 800 family. We already see this in the laptop space as low power chips are used by top brands to get more sales.
Another risk is if Qualcomm releases a light processor similar to the flagship chipset but significantly cheaper. This can be a huge win for consumers, but can also be a problem for the chip maker, as a result of which the company loses revenue. OEMs use a light chip instead of a more expensive silicon.
We’ll have to wait and see when Qualcomm’s new processors are unveiled this December.
Would you like to see Qualcomm release a lite version of its flagship processor? Let us know via the poll above!