Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 successor leak reveals key spec

Qualcomm's branding for Snapdragon chips doesn't always make sense. The Snapdragon 810 was succeeded by the 820/821, but that was followed by the 835, in turn. After the Snapdragon 865, however, came the 888, with the 870 following not far behind. In that light, there's still some debate whether the next Qualcomm premium chip will be the Snapdragon 895 or 898, but regardless of its name, it will have one upgrade that could set the tone for next year's smartphones.

Except for a few missteps, every new Snapdragon generation offers a significant boost, whether in raw processing power or in supported features. One of the biggest jumps happened with the Snapdragon 888, which switched to Arm's new Cortex-X1 core design. Following that pattern, the Snapdragon 898 will also be embracing the newest Cortex-X2, which Arm promised to have a significant performance boost over the Cortex-X1.

The Snapdragon 898 actually comes from Ice universe on Weibo who revealed the speed of that single Cortex-X2 core. According to the tipster, it will be running at around 3.09GHz, up from the 2.84GHz of the Snapdragon 888's single Cortex-X1. The 10% faster speed might not be that staggering, but that won't be the only upgrade in the Snapdragon 898.

Among other things, Qualcomm's next flagship chip is expected to be built using a 4nm process, most likely from Samsung. The Snapdragon 898 Kryo 780 CPU will most likely also use the newest Arm core designs, which should also give a boost in overall performance. And then there's the Adreno 730 GPU and 4nm X65 5G modem rumored for the system-on-chip, representing notable upgrades across the board.

The bigger question that some might have, however, is the Snapdragon 898's thermal management. Earlier phones using the Snapdragon 888 have reportedly had heat issues to the point that OnePlus decided to take matters into its own hand and throttle performance without telling OnePlus 9 owners. Additional power will definitely mean even more heat generation, and Qualcomm will have hopefully addressed that concern before the first flagship phones hit the market in early 2022.