Qualcomm usually starts talking about its new Snapdragon 800 series system-on-chips right now, as we expect to see phones with the latest chip early next year. This time, we are gearing up for the Snapdragon 898, which will likely work with most of the best Android phones of 2022, including the Samsung Galaxy S22.
This year, we’ve gotten some leaked benchmarks and even a rumor about a name change. So far, the Snapdragon 898 doesn’t look that impressive compared to the A15 Bionic on the iPhone 13, but there are still a lot of details that need to be completed.
Here’s everything we know about the Snapdragon 898 so far, including a new name that Qualcomm will unveil in full later this month.
Snapdragon 898 Latest News and Rumors (Updated Nov 22)
- Qualcomm has announced that the Snapdragon 898 will not actually be called that. Instead, Qualcomm says it is going with a new naming scheme for its chips that eliminates the three-digit numbers. Instead, we will get the serial number, 8 in this case, plus the generation of the chip.
Snapdragon 898 availability
Typically, the first phones with the newest Snapdragon chips arrive in early 2022, but some rumors suggest that we will see devices with the processor before the end of 2021. A leaker says that Xiaomi is already working hard to prepare the Mi 12, while apparently Motorola is lining up to launch a Snapdragon 898 phone in 2021 as well.
Of course, the Snapdragon 898 will power many of the best Android phones in 2022, which means that Qualcomm is probably already starting chip production right now.
Qualcomm holds its annual technology summit beginning November 30. It’s at this event that Qualcomm usually showcases the latest Snapdragon chipset, and that seems likely to be the case at this year’s event.
Snapdragon 898 Specifications
We’re not sure what the entire Snapdragon 898 will have at its disposal. For reference, the Snapdragon 888 had a single main Cortex-X1 core, three Cortex-A78 cores, and four high-efficiency Cortex-A55 cores. For 5G, the 888 had the X60 modem and for graphics, it used Qualcomm’s Adreno 660 GPU.
The full breakdown of the Snapdragon 898 remains a mystery at the moment, but you should expect a similar core build, an improved GPU, and possibly a new modem (X65?).
Snapdragon 898 Name: 898, 895, or 8 Gen1?
Until the Snapdragon 888, Qualcomm kept its naming scheme pretty consistent for a few years. But it jumped from 865 to 888, leaving some people confused. So this year, we are suspicious of what will be the name of the next chip. Current thinking is Snapdragon 898, but it could also be 895 if Qualcomm decides to revert to its old naming convention.
This is not a joke. Qualcomm seems to actually call the Snapdragon 898 “Snapdragon 8 gen1”November 15, 2021
However, that could create a problem when the successor to the 898 comes out. Would Qualcomm start again at 808 or would it run into 900? A new rumor suggests that Qualcomm could avoid this problem with a new name: Snapdragon 8 Gen1.
And apparently that’s the direction Qualcomm is headed. The company announced a simplified naming scheme that removes three-digit numbers like “888” in favor of the chipset’s serial number and generation number. While Qualcomm hasn’t revealed an official name, that Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 rumor seems stronger than ever.
For now, we’ll continue to call out the next Snapdragon 898 chip, just to avoid confusion over previous rumors and leaks.
Snapdragon 898 benchmarks leaked
Speaking of leaks, two sets of benchmarks have been leaked for devices supposedly running the Snapdragon 898, both from Samsung. The first was a Geekbench 5 result for a supposed Galaxy Tab S8. The results were disappointing with a single-core score of 1211 and a multi-core score of 3193.
The multi-core score gives us pause, considering it’s lower than the score some Snapdragon 888 devices got, like the 3,685 on the OnePlus 9 Pro. This could be an optimization problem as Qualcomm and Samsung prepare the chips for sale. But it’s definitely weird.
Even stranger are the leaked benchmarks of a supposedly Galaxy S22 running a Snapdragon 898. That device scored 1,163 single-core and 2,728 multi-core. That blew us away as, again, we saw Snapdragon 888 multi-core scores in the region of 3,600.
Geekbench isn’t the ultimate solution for chip performance, so we shouldn’t be too quick to judge the Snapdragon 898 until we get our hands on devices that have the processor. Still, these leaks leave us a bit concerned about how the Snapdragon 898 will compare to Apple’s A15 Bionic.
Snapdragon 898 Phones
It’s pretty obvious which phones we can expect to use the Snapdragon 898, including high-end options from Samsung, OnePlus, and Xiaomi. These are the phones that we’re pretty sure the 898 will have.
- Samsung Galaxy S22
- OnePlus 10
- Xiaomi Mi 12
- Asus Zenfone 9
- Asus ROG 6 Phone
- Nubia RedMagic 7
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
- Motorola phone (rumored)
You may have noticed one glaring omission: the Google Pixel 7. That’s because, starting with the Pixel 6, Google went its own way with its flagship chips. The company started its own line of processors called Tensor, which offers vastly improved artificial intelligence capabilities over the Snapdragon 888. We expect Google to continue Tensor in 2022 with the Pixel 7, although the budget Pixel 6a could still use a Snapdragon chip.