Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 Chip Might Bring Flagship Features to Cheaper Phones

Qualcomm’s chips power many popular mobile devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S24 series, the Meta Quest VR headsets, and ARM-based Windows PCs. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is the company’s top mobile chip, and now Qualcomm has revealed a new variant that could bring premium features to slightly-cheaper phones.

Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 Mobile Platform, “delivering the most sought-after 8 series capabilities to more Android flagship smartphones, for extraordinary, premium experiences.” It’s now the first step down the chipset ladder from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which is used in the Galaxy S24 series, OnePlus 12, ASUS ROG Phone 8, and other 2024 flagship Android phones. Qualcomm expects the new chip will be used in phones in the $500-800 price range.

Qualcomm already makes other chips intended for upper-midrange and budget flagship phones, like the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3, but this new option is a bit closer to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. The Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 has a slightly worse CPU (one fewer Performance core and a lower clock speed) and a Snapdragon X70 modem instead of an X75 (with a maximum downlink of 5 Gbps instead of 10 Gbps). The camera capabilities are also slightly trimmed down, with a maximum video capture of 4K instead of 8K and more limited Night Vision capabilities. You still get a fast CPU and GPU, Wi-Fi 7, extensive 5G capabilities, and most of the other features you would expect in a premium 2024 smartphone.

Collage highlighting features of Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 processor with graphics and people using technology.

Qualcomm’s main selling point here is that the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 can use many of the same on-device generative AI models as the more expensive Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. There are over 30 large language models (LLMs) currently supported, including Google’s new Gemini Nano.

There’s one big question still unanswered: which phones will use the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3, and will they be noticeably less expensive than flagship phones using the full-powered Snapdragon 8 Gen 3? Our best guess is that it might show up in a possible Galaxy S24 FE later this year—the last model was released in October 2023, so a newer model could arrive in six or seven months. In a call with How-To Geek, Qualcomm confirmed that there will be at least one device coming to the United States using the new chip, but the company didn’t provide further details.

Source: Qualcomm

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