Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus is here with 10% better gaming performance

Snapdragon 865 Plus
Snapdragon 865 Plus (Image credit: Qualcomm)

What you need to know

  • Qualcomm has unveiled the Snapdragon 865 Plus, with the chipset offering modest performance gains over the regular Snapdragon 865.
  • Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 865 Plus delivers 10% more performance in gaming and AI-related tasks.
  • The first phones to feature the Snapdragon 865 Plus will be from ASUS and Lenovo.

We're just five months into availability of phones powered by the Snapdragon 865, and Qualcomm is already announcing a mid-cycle refresh that's aimed at the gaming segment. The Snapdragon 865 Plus is now official, and Qualcomm says the chipset delivers 10% more power in gaming and AI-related use cases.

Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 865 Plus will enable "desktop-quality" gaming at up to 144fps and 10-bit HDR gaming. Qualcomm hasn't changed too many things here, and there are three key takeaways:

  • The Cortex A77-based prime core is now clocked at 3.1GHz, which is a 10% increase over the regular 865. This makes the 865 Plus platform the first mobile chipset to be clocked at over 3GHz.
  • The Adreno 650 GPU has been turned up, and Qualcomm says it delivers 10% better gaming performance. Qualcomm doesn't detail the frequency of the Adreno 650, so we'll have to wait until we get our hands on it to know more.
  • Device vendors will be able to pair the 865 Plus with Qualcomm's FastConnect 6900 platform to deliver Wi-Fi 6E connectivity with a total bandwidth of up to 3.6GHz.

The Snapdragon 865 is no slouch, but it is clear that Qualcomm is positioning the Snapdragon 865 Plus as a gaming-focused option. The Snapdragon 865 Plus will make its debut on ASUS' ROG Phone 3, and it will also make its way to Lenovo's Legion-branded gaming device that's slated to launch shortly. We'll also likely see more manufacturers launch devices based on the chipset in the coming months.

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Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • This to me doesn't seem like a worthy upgrade. It seems like they just did it just to get over 3GHz for the clock speed. Watch they try to charge a premium for it as well while not reducing the price of the original 865.
  • I think this is now part of the issue. Processors have kind of hit a standstill in terms of mobile. I feel alot of business need to look at 2 year cycles now rather than 12 months. I look at the note 8 which I have just upgraded from and the note 10 which was an option and nothing really had me excited to get it. I feel battery life is not improving with them to. Although that said the battery life on my p40 pro is amazing but this is a different chipset.
  • Will it be on the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra?
  • No. Generally the updated Qualcomm SOCs released in late summer don't come to America. They go overseas. That has been a major sticking point with the Pixels. Unlike Samsung, who releases their Note phones in August which is too late to pick up the souped up Qualcomms, Google - despite having two extra months to adopt the latest silicon and even the option of delaying it or offering a "Plus" version that would ship later ... but no. Gogle insists on being "like Apple" and saying "we don't need great specs because software experience." It really stinks. US customers have to wait until the next year to get the new Snapdragons.
  • Rumors suggest it will in fact come with the 865+. Samsung has apparently grabbed up most of the available stock, depending on who you get your news from.
  • I thought I read that somewhere as well.
  • I'd love to see how the Snapdragon 865 Plus does against the champ, the A13 bionic chip.
  • The 865+ core benefit is WiFi 6E compatibility, which you can read about elsewhere. Apple doesn't do WiFi 6E yet. Of course, you can't seriously compare Apple/Android CPU... They run different software.... No Android user cares about Apple CPU chips... Seriously.
  • Fornite runs in 1080p90 fps on low on SD865 on OnePlus 8/Pro and this 10% performance bump will enable 144 fps? Yeah, no.