Snapdragon 888 powered phones to watch out for in 2021

At the virtual Snapdragon Tech Summit 2020 came the expected announcement of Qualcomm's best chipset that'll set the benchmark for phones in 2021. The Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform is loaded with immense firepower and an AI brain that lets it do more than just data processing. Along with the remarkable CPU and GPU performance, the 5nm architecture-based chipset opens up new avenues and hardware advancements for phone manufacturer's to leverage.

From next-gen camera AI processing, augmented reality applications and gaming to advanced security, superior 5G connectivity and battery optimization – Qualcomm's latest chipset is right in the groove to dethrone Apple's A14 Bionic chipset. It has already received excellent benchmarking scores to prove it. However, a flagship processor is as good as the phone it powers – so it is time we take a sneak-peak into the smartphones that'll be able to do the Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform full justice.

Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro

By the look of things, Xiaomi will bring the first-ever Snapdragon 888 SoC powered phone to the market. The Xiaomi Mi 11 series is set for an announcement in Q1 2021, though rumors also hint at the possibility of an announcement as early as this month. According to a leak by trusted tipster Ice Universe, the Mi 11 and Mi 11 Pro are slated for a late December 2020 release.

Whenever it's released, Mi 11 Pro will have an innovative four-curved screen design and it might also trickle down to the Mi 11. If we go by Xiaomi's standards for its flagship devices, the Pro version should get at least 120Hz refresh rate, QHD+ display. Xiaomi will look to take advantage of a stellar 108MP main camera lens using the 4-in-1-pixel binning technology to shoot 50MP images. The advanced AI will bring 30x zoom levels on the phone.

Redmi K40 Pro

Another phone that's certain to get the Snapdragon 888 processor is the Redmi K40 Pro. It will be amid some of the front-runners to leverage the tech. Redmi K40 series is rumored to launch early next year so it is arguable that Xiaomi Mi 11 series will lead the Snapdragon 888 to the market before it makes it to the K40 Pro.

Just like its predecessor – K30 Pro, the upcoming flagship from Redmi will be on the radar of buyers who want to experience the goodness of Qualcomm's flagship in 2021. The phone will most likely see a 108MP main sensor, 12GB RAM, 120Hz refresh rate screen, a battery pack of 4,500mAh with fast charging capability courtesy (at least) a 33W power brick. Other than that not much is known about the device – it is firmly under the wraps for now.

Realme Race

Another early contender to jump into the Snapdragon 888 bandwagon is the Realme "Race" (codename). Relame has officially teased the smartphone to come with the flagship processor and it should be unveiled in February or March next year. It could even be earlier, but there is nothing concrete about the official launch date yet.

Of course, the codename Race signifies the swiftness of the device that in all probability will be a successor to the Realme X50 Pro 5G. Given that Realme is very sharp when it comes to hardware configuration, the device should have 12GB RAM, 256GB storage, and a powerful camera setup. Realme "Race" will run on the 2.0 UI on top of the Android 11 out-of-the-box.

OnePlus 9 series

Talk of upcoming Android devices and the OnePlus 9 scheduled for release next year instantly pops into the frame. Unlike other OEMs running in the bid to be the first to release a snapdragon powered device – OnePlus will introduce the 9 series as per its usual release cycle – that should be in Q1 2021. OnePlus has stamped its authority in the Android world as one of the most refined phone companies – thanks to the superior hardware and software integration.

Expect nothing less as OnePlus will fully leverage the flagship chipset's capabilities for a seamless user experience. On the hardware front, the phone will have AMOLED fluid display 6.7-inch curved screen with a 144Hz refresh rate. The cameras on the Pro version are going to be impressive and yes you'll get ultra-fast charging speeds and wireless capability too. The OnePlus 9 Pro is one phone that you need to watch out for as it will take the game to a whole new level with the Snapdragon 888 powering its guts.

Black Shark 4

Talk of the fastest processors available and you can't count out the gaming-centric devices. Although there will be a number of phones powered by the flagship processor in 2021, Black Shark 4 is the only gaming smartphone for now that's confirmed to receive the Snapdragon 888 processor. The phone will be announced in Q1 2021, somewhere around the same time as the OnePlus 9 series.

The gaming phone will have 144Hz refresh rate screen, at least 5,000mAh battery with 55W fast charging, and a respectable camera setup. It will be interesting to see how the phone will take advantage of Snapdragon 888's advanced gaming engine.

Other smartphones

Like we said, as time passes by we will see a whole lot of smartphones featuring the flagship Qualcomm processor. OPPO has announced that Find X (probably Find X3 and X3 Pro) series will be the brand's first phones to with the new processor. Samsung has just tested a mystery device on Geekbench with Snapdragon 888 processor – probably the upcoming Galaxy S21. Although Samsung would have liked to fit all of its Galaxy S21 series phones with in-house 5nm based Exynos flagship, but Snapdragon is hard to resist, especially with what's apparent. Nothing is known about the device as of now, so we'll keep our fingers crossed.

One more device that'll get Qualcomm's processor is the LG V70 ThinQ. Given that the V60 ThinQ had Snapdragon 865, expect the next LG flagship to have the best hardware out there. 2021 is already looking exciting for the smartphone arena, which was getting a bit stale with minimal hardware evolution. Snapdragon 888 brings a new dimension of possibilities, thereby, giving manufacturers more to play around with and make their devices stand out. It's going to be an Android feast next year and Apple better watch out.