What you need to know
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is rumored to launch early this year.
- The early launch may see Qualcomm ditch the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2 SoC variant.
- It is also expected to be 25% higher in performance and 20% higher in efficiency than the previous SoC.
Qualcomm is known for its fantastic flagship SoCs annually powering some of the best Android smartphones. The chipset maker is known to have a new flagship chip at the top of the year and a Plus variant with slightly beefed-up performance traits for devices in the second half of the year. However, this year, Qualcomm may change up its strategy.
As noted by Android Authority, a rumor now hints at Qualcomm ditching the Plus variant of its flagship SoC altogether in favor of a direct successor. This may move the launch of its next flagship chipset to October, a month earlier than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which already launched a month earlier than its predecessor.
The rumor also details the desired features of the alleged Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, which is said to be 25% higher in performance and 20% better in efficiency than the previous SoC.
Further, the SD 8 Gen 3 is codenamed "Lanai" and bears the SM8650 model number. It is also expected to have a 1+5+2 core configuration, which differs from the current Snapdragon 8 Gen 2's 1+4+3 configuration.
Recent Android flagship phones like the OnePlus 11 shipped with this year's flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, and the 8 Gen 2 is expected to ship to more Android phones throughout at least the first half of the year.
Meanwhile, for the first time, the Galaxy S23 models, including the Galaxy S23 Ultra, shipped globally with a slightly tweaked "Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy" SoC sporting a higher clock speed for improved performance.
The future models, probably the OnePlus 11T or the upcoming foldable phones from Samsung, were naturally expected to ship with a Plus variant of the Qualcomm flagship processor, given the history of the previously released models. However, Samsung could still opt for the 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy when launching its upcoming foldables.
While it's still just a rumor at this point, Qualcomm's shifting schedule could be a result of the ongoing semiconductor shortage and the company looking to streamline its products. Qualcomm's recent earnings didn't exactly paint a rosy picture for the company amid falling smartphone demand.
Still, launching a new successor chip so early would be an interesting move, and it would be hard to imagine Android devices running on two different flagships SoCs in the same year.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23+ both gain new designs and bigger batteries. The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy also gives the phones better performance than the other players on the market. These will be the phones to beat in 2023.
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Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.