Skip to main content

Qualcomm’s ‘new’ Snapdragon 870 is basically just a Snapdragon 865+

In a surprise announcement, Qualcomm has taken the wraps off of a new chipset: The Snapdragon 870. Take a slightly deeper look, however, and you will find a lot of similarities between the Snapdragon 870 and the 865+ — they’re almost identical.

Like the Snapdragon 865+, the Snapdragon 870 is built in Qualcomm’s Kryo 585 CPU cores, however it ups the clock speed to 3.2GHz from 3.1GHz, leading us to believe that it’s probably just a higher-binned version of the same product. Looking down the spec sheet, it is otherwise identical — same GPU, same supporting coprocessors, same modem, all down the line.

“Building upon the success of Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus, the new Snapdragon 870 was designed to address OEM and mobile industry requirements,” said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Snapdragon 870 will power a selection of flagship devices from key customers including Motorola, iQOO, OnePlus, OPPO, and Xiaomi.”

While the launch of the “new” chip does seem to be a bit of a cash grab, the Snapdragon 865+ wasn’t a bad product — it was Qualcomm’s most powerful chipset for 2020. It was featured in the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, the Asus ROG Phone 3, and more great phones.

It is interesting to see that a number of smartphone manufacturers have also signed on to build phones with the Snapdragon 870, and ultimately, we’ll have to see how many opt for this chipset over the 2021 flagship Snapdragon 888. Qualcomm doesn’t disclose pricing for its chipsets to the public, but we can only assume that the Snapdragon 888 is quite expensive, like the Snapdragon 865 was rumored to be when it was the top-end chip. A number of manufacturers including Google with the Pixel 5, ended up opting for a 7-series chipset instead of the 865 last year.

Chip binning essentially refers to the fact that during the manufacturing process of building chipsets, some end up higher quality than others, and thus able to achieve a higher level of performance. A good example of this is the Intel Core series — if an Intel CPU fails to achieve the performance requirements of an Intel Core i5, it may bin it as a Core i3 instead. It’s entirely possible that Qualcomm found it economical to keep manufacturing Snapdragon 865 components, and has turned the best of those into the new Snapdragon 870.

Beyond the companies that have already been announced, we’ll have to wait and see just how many make use of the Snapdragon 870.

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X35 will bring 5G to your next smartwatch
Qualcomm Snapdragon X35.

Qualcomm is poised to deliver 5G capabilities to a whole new class of mobile devices with a new modem chip that bridges the gap between today's best smartphones and much lower-bandwidth devices like payment terminals and home accessories.

Announced today, Qualcomm's Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF system is the world's first to adopt NR-Light, a new 5G standard for midtier devices that don't require the power and performance of a 5G-capable smartphone or tablet — but can still take advantage of the lower latency and power consumption offered by 5G technology.
Filling the 5G void

Read more
This exclusive Snapdragon chip supercharges the Galaxy S23 in 4 big ways
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra on a desk.

The Samsung Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and Galaxy S23 Ultra all use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor — but it’s not just any Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. It’s the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 For Galaxy, and it’s a little different from the chip found in other, non-Samsung smartphones.

No, it's not just a marketing gimmick for Samsung. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 inside a Galaxy S23 is different from than one that'll be used in other Android phones throughout 2023. Here are four of the most important ways the processor changed, and what it means for the Galaxy S23.

Read more
Samsung might launch a third folding phone this year, but there’s a catch
Galaxy Z Fold 6 unfolded

Samsung recently unveiled the Galaxy Z Fold 6 and Galaxy Z Flip 6. However, there's a rumor that another foldable phone from the company will be released before the end of the year. However, this news comes with a huge asterisk. According to reliable leaker Max Jambor, Samsung reportedly plans to launch another foldable phone, possibly the "Galaxy Z Fold 6 Ultra" or "Galaxy Z Fold 6 Slim." This new phone may be announced around the same time as Samsung's latest tablets, likely in October.

The catch? The new phone might only be available in South Korea and China.

Read more