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Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 vs. Snapdragon 888 Plus: What's the difference?

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (Image credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 888 Plus, with the chipset set to power the best Android phones launching in the latter half of the year. As was the case last year, Qualcomm isn't changing too many things; after all, the Snapdragon 888 is one of the fastest chipsets in the world, delivering excellent performance figures and global 5G connectivity.

But for manufacturers releasing flagships in the latter half of 2021, Qualcomm is offering an even faster version of the Snapdragon 888. At its core, that's what the Snapdragon 888 Plus; with the clocks on the Cortex A1 core now going up to 2.996GHz, the chipset will deliver incremental performance gains over the regular Snapdragon 888. The chipset also delivers 20% better performance in AI tasks while using the same Hexagon 780 module.

Other than the increase in AI performance and clock speeds, the Snapdragon 888 Plus is identical to the Snapdragon 888. In essence, the chipset is a higher-binned version of the Snapdragon 888. Here's the full hardware rundown:

Snapdragon 888 vs. Snapdragon 888 Plus

CategorySnapdragon 888Snapdragon 888 Plus
CPU Cores1 x 2.84GHz Cortex X1
3 x 2.42GHz Cortex A78
4 x 1.80GHz Cortex A55
1 x 2.995GHz Cortex X1
3 x 2.42GHz Cortex A78
4 x 1.80GHz Cortex A55
GPUAdreno 660
25% faster than Adreno 650
Adreno 660
25% faster than Adreno 650
AI EngineHexagon 780
26 TOPS
Hexagon 780
32 TOPS
20% more than SD888
5G ModemSnapdragon X60 (Integrated)
5G NR Sub-6 + mmWave
Up to 7.5Gbps down
Up to 3Gbps uplink
Dynamic Spectrum Sharing
Snapdragon X60 (Integrated)
5G NR Sub-6 + mmWave
Up to 7.5Gbps down
Up to 3Gbps uplink
Dynamic Spectrum Sharing
ConnectivityFastConnect 6900
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
FastConnect 6900
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.2
DisplayQHD+ at 144Hz
4K at 60Hz
HDR10+, 10-bit color
QHD+ at 144Hz
4K at 60Hz
HDR10+, 10-bit color
MemoryLPDDR5 up to 3200MHz
Up to 16GB RAM
LPDDR5 up to 3200MHz
Up to 16GB RAM
ISP14-bit Spectra 580
4K video at 120fps
8K at 30fps
14-bit Spectra 580
4K video at 120fps
8K at 30fps
Node5nm5nm

Qualcomm isn't changing too many things with the Snapdragon 888 Plus because it doesn't need to. The chipset will be limited to devices that are aimed at gamers or flagships that want to make use of the latest silicon. And if the Snapdragon 865 Plus was any indication last year, you won't be able to notice any difference between the Snapdragon 888 and the Plus model in day-to-day use.

The power on offer with the Snapdragon 888 is more than adequate for even the most demanding of games, so if you just got a phone powered by the chipset, you don't have to worry about it being obsolete. The likes of Motorola, Xiaomi, ASUS, Vivo, and Honor set to roll out phones with the Snapdragon 888 Plus starting in Q3, so if you're interested in seeing what Qualcomm's latest chipset has to offer, hang tight. If you don't want to wait, any of the Snapdragon 888-powered phones will serve you just fine.

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.

1 Comment
  • Soooooo, the biggest difference is the name. It's exactly the same as the 888. The nonsense about improved AI capacity is marketing lingo