Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 vs Snapdragon 888 Plus: What’s different?

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus Announced 888+ flagship processor
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On the first day of the Mobile World Congress 2021, Qualcomm has announced a mini-refresh to its flagship Snapdragon SoC in the form of Snapdragon 888 Plus. The chipset will power the device in the second half of the year. 

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus Overview:

The new chipset is essentially a rehash of the current Snapdragon 888, with nearly identical architectures and components. It is just that Qualcomm is able to overclock the Prime core once the manufacturing node matures. If you recall, Snapdragon 865 Plus was announced with a minor performance boost against standard 865. The new Snapdragon 888 Plus will go the same path, which means you won’t notice any significant differences when using it.

What’s changed?

At its heart, the Snapdragon 888 Plus chipset is still an octa-core processor with 1+3+4 core structures. That equates to one Cortex X1, three Cortex A78, and four Cortex A55 cores. What has changed is the X1 core’s clock speed, which has been increased from 2.84GHz to 2.995GHz. It is aimed at delivering a 5.2% performance upgrade over the standard Snapdragon 888. 

Furthermore, the AI engine’s performance has improved, leading to an increase in throughput from 26 TOPS to 32 TOPS. While utilizing the same Hexagon 780 module, Snapdragon 888 Plus offers 20% higher performance in AI workloads.

This time, Qualcomm hasn’t really upgraded the GPU, as we’ve seen in prior years’ releases of plus variants. It’s probably because the Snapdragon 888 is already using Adreno 660 at extremely high frequencies which is more than enough for most demanding titles. Thus, further increasing frequencies would bring very nominal change.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 vs Snapdragon 888 Plus

SoC Snapdragon 888+ Snapdragon 888
  • 1x 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 
GPU Adreno 660 @ 840MHz
AI Engine Hexagon 780 (32 TOPS AI) Hexagon 780 (26 TOPS AI)
  • 4K @ 60 Hz, QHD+ @ 144 Hz (on-device) / 4K @ 60 Hz (external)
  • 10-bit color, HDR10+
  • LPDDR5 up to 3200MHz 
  • Up to 16GB RAM
ISP 14-bit Spectra 580 ISP
  • Single – 200MP
  • Dual – 64 + 25MP
  • Triple – 28MP
  • 4K video at 120fps 
  • 8K at 30fps
Codec Dolby Vision, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG, H.264 (AVC), H.265 (HEVC), VP8, VP9
  • Snapdragon X60 (integrated)
  • 5G NR Sub-6 + mmWave
  • DL = 7500 Mbps
  • UL = 3000 Mbps
  • Qualcomm FastConnect 6900
  • Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 5, 802.11a/b/g, 802.11n
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • USB 3.1
Process 5nm (Samsung)

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus Availability

Asus, Xiaomi, Motorola, Vivo, and Honor are all working on a Snapdragon 888 Plus phone that will be released in the third quarter of this year. So we’ll have to wait and see how this new chipset improves the device’s performance.

Chipset Availability
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus Q3, 2021
  • Meanwhile, check out our review of the Exynos 2100.