Many of this year’s Android flagship phones will ship with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor that was announced in December. But it looks like some near flagships may ship with a different chip.

Qualcomm has introduced the Snapdragon 870 processor. It’s basically a slightly faster version of last year’s Snapdragon 865+ and Snapdragon 865. While it lacks some of the features found in Qualcomm’s latest flagship, it marks an expansion of the 800 series and could show up in upper mid-range phones like the upcoming Motorola Moto G (Nio) and/or Motorola Edge S.

For the most part, the new chip is identical to the Snapdragon 865+, but I can spot two differences. First, the chip’s fastest ARM Cortex-A77 CPU core can hit frequencies up to 3.2 GHz, which is an upgrade over the 3.09 GHz top speed for the SD865+.

Second, Qualcomm seems to have gone with the FastConnect 6800 wireless system, which means it tops out at WiFi 6 rather than the WiFi 6E and BT 5.2 that are supported by the Snapdragon 865+.

Here’s how Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 800 chips stack up against one another, with the stand-out features marked in bold.

Snapdragon 888Snapdragon 870Snapdragon 865 PlusSnapdragon 865
CPU1 x Kryo 680 Cortex-X1 up to 2.84 GHz
3 x Cortex-A78 up to 2.42 GHz
4 x Cortex-A55 up to 1.8 GHz
1 x Kryo 585 Cortex-A77 up to 3.2 GHz
3 x Cortex-A77 up to 2.42 GHz
4 x Cortex-A55 up to 1.8 GHz
1 x Kryo 585 Cortex-A77 up to 3.09 GHz
3 x Cortex-A77 up to 2.42 GHz
4 x Cortex-A55 up to 1.8 GHz
1 x Kryo 585 Cortex-A77 up to 2.84 GHz
3 x Cortex-A77 up to 2.442 GHz
4 x Cortex-A55 up to 1.8 GHz
GPUAdreno 660Adreno 650 (670 MHz)Adreno 650 (670 MHz)Adreno 650 (587 MHz)
WirelessFastConnect 6900 (WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2)
Snapdragon X60 5G modem (integrated)
FastConnect 6800 (WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2)FastConnect 6900 (WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2)FastConnect 6800 (WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1)
AI6th-gen Qualcomm AI Engine5th-gen Qualcomm AI Engine5th-gen Qualcomm AI Engine5th-gen Qualcomm AI Engine
ISPSpectra 580Spectra 480Spectra 480Spectra 480
DSPHexagon 780Hexagon 698Hexagon 698Hexagon 698

press release and product info

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One reply on “Qualcomm expands its Snapdragon 800 series with Snapdragon 870, which falls between the SD865+ and SD888)”

  1. I’d say that the absence of Wifi 6E is a non-issue for now. The first Wifi 6E routers are just hitting the market this month, and so far the US is the only country that has provided regulatory approval for 6ghz.

    And to be honest, I’m not interested in investing any money into Wifi 6E hardware until it has been around for a while. The first generation of Wifi 6E hardware will be very expensive, and possibly inferior to the next wave of Wifi 6E hardware.

    If past generations of Wifi have shown us anything, the industry will drastically improve hardware after several months of being on the market. Every past generation of Wifi hasn’t achieved its performance potential until being on the market for about a year.

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