Qualcomm might not launch a new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 2 SoC this year. This becomes evident from the fact that the RedMagic 8S Pro’s SoC is the same overclocked variant as the 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy that Qualcomm offers for Samsung’s 2023 flagship and foldable lineup. While this makes business sense for Qualcomm, customers will be required to do their due diligence.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has proved itself to be an exceptional flagship SoC for 2023 Android smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S23 series were defined by the 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy variant that Qualcomm developed exclusively for this series and also for the new Z Flip5 and the Z Fold5 foldables. Looks like this exclusivity is now over and the 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy might actually be the 8+ Gen 2 that we’ve been anticipating.
The original part number of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is SM8550-AB, and this features a 3.2 GHz Cortex-X3 Prime Core and a 680 MHz Adreno 740 GPU. The 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, on the other hand, carries the part number SM8550-AC and comes with the Prime Core clocked at 3.36 GHz and the Adreno 740 GPU running at 719 MHz.
Our friends over at XDA Developers noticed that the RedMagic 8S Pro‘s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC has the same identifier as that of the 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. The clock speeds of the Prime Core and the GPU also matched with those of the Samsung-exclusive chipset. The publication reached out to Qualcomm, who provided them the below response:
There are no specification differences between Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy and this new variant of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with 3.36GHz peak CPU speeds.
Following our expanded strategic partnership announcement in July 2022, we worked closely with Samsung to uniquely customize Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy for Flip5/Fold5/Tab9. For example, Samsung provided their proprietary camera IP to for us to integrate into the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy.
Given the minor adjustment to CPU prime core frequency, we’re treating this platform as a variant of the original platform (Snapdragon 8 Gen 2). Our goal is to maintain our simplified naming structure that was introduced in November 2021 so it’s easier for OEMs and consumers to discover and choose devices powered by Snapdragon.”
It is becoming apparent that Qualcomm has silently started offering overclocked 8 Gen 2 chipsets to OEMs and is unlikely to announce an 8+ Gen 2 SKU specifically.
Comparatively, the transition from the 8 Gen 1 to the 8+ Gen 1 was more profound as the fab change from Samsung 4 nm to TSMC 4 nm proved to be very beneficial in terms of performance and efficiency.
We are only seeing a slight bump in clocks this time around with no other changes, so it is understandable why Qualcomm isn’t interested in creating hype around this refresh.
Besides, Qualcomm has even brought forward its annual Snapdragon Summit to end-October this year wherein the company will unveil its next-generation Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC. We’ve already seen first leaks of this upcoming flagship SoC in a purported Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus.
While this new strategy might make business sense for Qualcomm, customers will have to seek out ways of finding out which SoC variant is powering their upcoming smartphone purchase.
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2023-08- 6 (Update: 2023-08- 6)