Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 870 5G with a mild upgrade over the 865+

Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G Chipset Features Specifications Comparisons
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After the announcement of the Snapdragon 888 last month, Qualcomm has unveiled yet another chipset for premium smartphones. The introduction of the new Snapdragon 875 seems a bit weird as the chipset is based on the Snapdragon 865 of last year. That being said, let’s take a look at the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G and the improvements it brings over the regular Snapdragon 865 and the SD 865+.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G Overview:

Prime Cortex-A77 @ 3.2 GHz

As mentioned earlier, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G based on last year’s SD 865 and it is not even the first refresh of the premium chipset. We saw Snapdragon release the Snapdragon 865+ with an overclocked prime core. With its Cortex-A77 core reaching up to 3.1GHz, it was the first smartphone chipset to go cross the 3GHz barrier. Qualcomm has taken a step further with the Snapdragon 870 in which the Prime Cortex-A77 core has a maximum clock speed of up to 3.2GHz.

Snapdragon 870 5G

Rest of the specs

And that is all the difference between the Snapdragon 865+ and 870. The moniker Snapdragon 870 may give an initial impression of substantial upgrades over the 865+ but that is not the case here. Both feature the same Adreno 650 clocked at 670MHz. The GPU here has a slightly higher clock speed compared to the regular Snapdragon 865.

Other than that, all three chipsets are based on TSMC’s 7nm process node. They feature 8 CPU cores arranged in a 1+3+4 configuration. Besides the Prime Cortex-A77 core, the other three Cores-A77 (Performance core) and the four Cortex-A55 (Efficiency cores) are clocked at 2.42GHz and 1.80GHz, respectively. These chipsets don’t have an integrated 5G modem and are bundled with the Snapdragon X55 modems for 5G connectivity.

Snapdragon 865 Vs 865+ Vs 870: Specifications

865 865+ 870
Process 7nm FinFet (TSMC)
CPU Cores
  • 1x Cortex A77 @ 2.84 GHz
  • 3x Cortex A77 @ 2.42 GHz
  • 4x Cortex A55 @ 1.80 GHz
  • 1x Cortex A77 @ 3.1 GHz
  • 3x Cortex A77 @ 2.42 GHz
  • 4x Cortex A55 @ 1.80 GHz
  • 1x Cortex A77 @ 3.2 GHz
  • 3x Cortex A77 @ 2.42 GHz
  • 4x Cortex A55 @ 1.80 GHz
GPU Adreno 650 (587 Mhz) Adreno 650 (670 MHz)
DSP Hexagon 698
ISP Dual 14-bit Spectra ISP
5G Modem Bundled with Snapdragon X55 (no integrated modem)

Initial performance tests

Qualcomm has not disclosed the performance improvements of the Snapdragon 870 over the 865 and 865+. However, popular tipster Digital Chat Station had shared the Geekbench scores of the Snapdragon 870, days before the chipset was officially announced. Vivo V2045 with the Snapdragon 870 was able to achieve a 1034 single-core score and a 3,513 multi-core score. When compared with the OnePlus 8 Pro, the Vivo V2045 (most probably an iQOO device) had 18.04% and 15.07% better performance in single-core and multi-core performance.

Snapdragon 870 vs 888 vs 865

When compared to Vivo V2049A (assumed to be the iQOO 7), the V2045 was behind by 8.98% in the single-core score and 5.05% in the multi-core score. This initial test shows that the Snapdragon 870 is closer to the Snapdragon 888 than it is to the SD 865 in terms of performance.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G Availability

Qualcomm has confirmed that Snapdragon 870 5G will be powering some of the flagship devices in 2021. Brands like Motorola, iQOO, OnePlus, Oppo and Xiaomi have already confirmed to use the device in their premium smartphones. Rumors suggest that Xiaomi will be unveiling a variant of the Redmi K40 with the Snapdragon 870 that will be cheaper than the regular K40 with Snapdragon 888.

Smartphone Chipset Availability
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 2021
  • Check out our review of the Samsung Galaxy M02s.