Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus vs 888 Chipsets Compared – Has much changed?

Yesterday, for the first day of the Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm announced their new Snapdragon 888+ chipset.

Much like the launch of the Snapdragon 865+, not much has changed, it looks like the improvements are even more incremental than last year.

5% CPU frequency improvement

The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ is effectively just a speed binned version of the predecessor. The single Arm Cortex-X1 CPU gets a 5.5% bump from 2.84GHz to 2.995GHz.

Last year we saw a slightly more impressive improvement of 9.2%, going from 2.84GHz to 3.1Ghz.

No changes with the GPU

What hasn’t been improved this year is the GPU performance, which is an interesting decision. Last year the SD865+ was geared towards gaming phones, so a GPU boost was a decent selling point for consumers.

The minor CPU upgrade and lack of a GPU upgrade could be a sign of the poor power efficiency we have seen with this years SD888. It may be an incredibly powerful chipset, but it has suffered from thermal throttling and a reduction in battery performance compared to previous years. Making something more powerful and creating more heat doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense at this point.

Significant AI improvements

The chipset has had improvements elsewhere, though. Qualcomm hasn’t detailed any specifics, but they have stated that the AI performance has improved by an impressive 20% going from 26 TOPS to 32 TOPS. Of cour, the CPU affects the AI throughput but not enough for such a significant improvement.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus vs 888 Specification Compared

SoCSnapdragon 888+Snapdragon 888
CPU1x Cortex-X1 @ 2.995GHz
3x Cortex-A78 @ 2.42GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.80GHz 
1x Cortex-X1 @ 2.84GHz
3x Cortex-A78 @ 2.42GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.80GHz 
GPUAdreno 660 @ 840MHzAdreno 660 @ 840MHz
DSP / NPUHexagon 780
32 TOPS AI
(Total CPU+GPU+HVX+Tensor)
Hexagon 780
26 TOPS AI
(Total CPU+GPU+HVX+Tensor)
All storage, memory, camera and modem specs are identical, so I omitted them from this table

Phones launching with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+

Numerous brands have come out stating they will launch phones using the new chipset. So far, this includes ASUS, HONOR, Vivo and Xiaomi.

Honor has also confirmed that it will be the Magic3 series that implements the new chipset and it has been 3 years since the launch of the Magic 2 with its sliding screen. Since their separation from Huawei, Honor can now also use Google services. They are yet to announce a new phone in the Western market but I would hope we will see one soon.

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