What you need to know
- Qualcomm has released a smartphone aimed at Snapdragon and mobile enthusiasts.
- The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders features some of the best of Qualcomm's tech inside a single device.
- The smartphone comes with a pair of noise-canceling earbuds by Master & Dynamic.
- The device retails for $1500 and will be available for purchase in select countries.
Qualcomm has partnered with ASUS on its very own smartphone to showcase some of the best of its mobile technology.
The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders may have an uninspiring name, but the device is far from boring. It takes its design largely from the ASUS ROG Phone 5 and packs some impressive specifications that rival even some of the best Android phones on the market, many of which already use Qualcomm technology. The difference here is that while smartphone OEMs pick and choose which technologies to include in their smartphones, Qualcomm's new phone takes the kitchen sink approach.
The device runs stock Android 11 and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. The display is a QHD+ AMOLED built by Samsung and running at a 144Hz refresh rate. It's covered by Gorilla Glass Victus, so it should be able to take a beating.
For gamers, the display also comes with Qualcomm Quick Touch, which the company says increases responsiveness by 20% for quick reaction times.
On the rear is a triple-camera array with a 64MP Sony IMX686 main sensor capable of 8K/30fps and 4K/60fps video recording. The 12MP ultrawide camera features real-time distortion correction, and rounding off the rear cameras is an 8MP 3x telephoto lens. Upfront is a 24MP selfie camera.
On the audio front, Qualcomm boasts a quad HDR microphone setup for an increased dynamic range up to 114dB. The stereo speakers are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound, making it one of the first phones to feature the technology. Snapdragon Sound brings together Qualcomm's best audio tech for a comprehensive listening experience with different sound profiles to match what's happening on screen.
DXOMARK gave the smartphone an audio score of 77, saying that the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders is the best recording device they've measured and that it "establishes itself as a fierce competitor in the audio arena."
To match the audio experience, Qualcomm is bundling the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders with a pair of premium ANC earbuds by Master & Dynamic with support for 24-bit audio and low-latency Bluetooth. They feature Qualcomm's active echo and noise suppression and strong connectivity for busy RF environments.
As for connectivity, Qualcomm says the smartphone comes with the "most comprehensive support for all key 5G sub 6 and mmWave bands and combinations in a single device." Thanks to the 3rd Gen X60 5G modem and Qualcomm's push for better mmWave support, the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders should be able to connect seamlessly with global carriers. The phone also has dual-SIM support for 5G+5G, WiFi 6E and 6GHz Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.2.
Keeping all this tech running is a 4,000mAh battery, which sounds fairly small given everything packed into this phone. However, Qualcomm is pairing the device with a Quick Charge 5.0 adapter capable of 65W charging, which it says can fill the battery in less than an hour. Interestingly, there's no wireless charging on board. The company also went with a rear fingerprint sensor instead of an in-display sensor found on other Snapdragon devices like the Samsung Galaxy S21 or the ROG Phone 5.
Qualcomm launched its Snapdragon Insider program back in March as a way to engage with mobile tech enthusiasts. The program consists of member exclusives like contests, event invites, and AMAs with Qualcomm experts, including CEO-elect Cristiano Amon. Since its launch, the company has amassed more than 1.6 million members, consisting of the kind of techies that would want to buy a phone filled with the best that Qualcomm has to offer. And if you're reading this, you might be wondering if this is the right phone for you.
For anyone interested in Qualcomm's latest project, the device doesn't come cheap. Qualcomm says the device will retail for $1500 when it ships this August. It will be available in select countries, including the United States, China, Germany, the UK, Japan, South Korea, and eventually India.
The Qualcomm phone
Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders
For the fanboys
Qualcomm's Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders is the ultimate device to showcase the best mobile tech that the company has to offer. It even comes with a pair of earbuds to show off the Qualcomm's powerful Snapdragon Sound for a premium audio experience.