Qualcomm Snapdragon X80 debut could mean a huge connectivity upgrade for smartphones

Qualcomm logo
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Qualcomm introduces the Snapdragon X80, a successor to the X75, enhancing 5G Advanced technology with increased power and new AI features.
  • The X80 claims industry firsts, being the first 5G modem to integrate satellite communications and supporting six carrier aggregation.
  • It also introduces a dedicated 5G AI processor with tensor acceleration for improved data speeds, reduced latency, and enhanced coverage.
  • The AI system embedded in the X80 handles crucial tasks like tower and band selection, optimizing power efficiency, and fast performance through on-device machine learning.

Some of the upcoming Android phones might be in for a serious connectivity boost following Qualcomm's announcement at MWC 2024.

Qualcomm announced its new Snapdragon X80 5G Modem-RF system, a follow-up to last year's Snapdragon X75 that cranks up the 5G Advanced technology with more power and fresh AI features.

The company is hyping up the new modem with a bunch of industry firsts. This seventh-generation modem is making waves as the first 5G modem to bring satellite communications into the mix using non-terrestrial networks (NTNs). Plus, it's claimed to be the first to handle six-carrier aggregation across its six-antenna setup.

The Snapdragon X80 5G is breaking ground as the first to merge in a dedicated 5G AI processor. Packed with a dedicated tensor accelerator for AI tricks, Qualcomm claims it's going to increase data speeds, reduce latency, and improve coverage and location accuracy—all while keeping power usage low.

Its AI system is also taking charge of key tasks such as choosing the best towers and bands for your smartphone and other devices. And that's not all—it's also capable of juggling power efficiency and speedy performance with on-device machine learning that examines how you use your device and the 5G networks and frequencies around you.

Qualcomm Snapdragon X80 modem

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

These capabilities mean your phone experience is about to get a serious upgrade. Qualcomm is promising speed, reliability, and efficiency. The X80 modem is also set to support 3GPP Release 17 and is totally ready for Release 18, as per Qualcomm.

When it comes to performance boosts, the chipmaker says the chip promises a 30% improvement in location accuracy, a 20% cut in the time it takes to pick the best cell, and 10% less power usage in connected mode for mmWave.

And that's not all—the X80 modem is said to provide downlink speeds hitting up to 10 Mbps and uplink speeds soaring to 3.5 Mbps.

Qualcomm says consumer devices running the X80 modem will hit the market in the second half of the year. This means the modem is expected to be baked into the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 processor.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.