Qualcomm Snapdragon 768G aims to game-boost midrange 5G phones

Qualcomm has launched a new midrange gaming-focused smartphone chipset, with the Snapdragon 768G promising 5G along with a speed boost and features cherry-picked from the flagship Snapdragon 865. It's the latest in the Snapdragon series to bear the "G" suffix, which Qualcomm has used to denote its gamer-friendly chips for players on a tighter budget.

That follows the Snapdragon 765G, announced late in 2019. Compared to that chipset, Qualcomm says, you're looking at the Key 475 CPU Prime core clock speed rising from 2.4 GHz to 2.8 GHz.

The Adreno 620 GPU, meanwhile, is also up, with Qualcomm claiming up to a 15-percent performance increase. Adreno Updatable GPU driver support has been added too, which allows upgrades to the graphics chips' software independent of the rest of the OS.

There's support for 120Hz displays, too, though of course those panels for midrange phones are still in relatively short supply. Perhaps more useful, then, will be the select Snapdragon Elite Gaming features that that Snapdragon 768G grabs from its flagship cousin. They offer things like 10-bit HDR support, as well as other enhancements for smoother gameplay and visuals.

Just as with the Snapdragon 765, 765G, and the 765, the Snapdragon 768G will be a 5G-only chipset. It'll use the Snapdragon X52 5G modem, with support for both mmWave and sub-6 GHz versions of 5G. There's SA and NSA modes, TDD and FDD with Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, and multi-SIM support. Network-depending, Qualcomm suggests, you could see downloads of up to 3.7 Gbps and uploads of up to 1.6 Gbps. There'll also be WiFi 6 support, Bluetooth 5.2, and support for Quick Charge 4+.

While it may be faster, the Snapdragon 768G is actually pin- and software-compatible with the Snapdragon 765/765G. That should make it easier for phone-makers to upgrade to the newer chip in their products. Indeed the first phone to use the chipset, the Redmi K30 5G Racing Edition, has already been announced. Sure enough, it has a 120Hz display and up to a 64-megapixel camera, as well as 5G.

Building out its midrange 7-series chips is an important strategy for Qualcomm. The company has faced some criticism in recent months for its focus on making 5G the standard, and thus leaving some manufacturers feeling pressured into using expensive chipsets that their audience may not fully use, but which they feel they need because of the difficulty in certain markets – like the US – of selling midrange devices.