Qualcomm recently announced the Snapdragon 865 SoC (System on a Chip), which will power most of the flagship phones in 2020. The Snapdragon 865 is the successor to the Snapdragon 855 SoC and brings in a lot of performance gains. In addition to that, it has full support for 5G connectivity. In this article, we will learn all that is new on this 2020 flagship Qualcomm processor.

Except for Apple and Huawei, all the other smartphone manufacturers use Qualcomm SoCs on their flagship phones. So, brands such as Samsung, LG, Xiaomi, Realme, HTC, Oppo, Vivo, Redmi, Sony, Motorola, and Nubia all heavily rely on Qualcomm processors on their phones.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Processor At A Glance

  • 1x 2.84GHz (Cortex A77), 3x 2.4GHz (Cortex A77), 4x 1.8GHz (Cortex A55
  • Adreno 650 GPU
  • 7nm FinFET Process
  • Support for 200MP Camera Module
  • Support for 8K@30fps, 4K UHD @120fps Video Recording
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ Charging
  • X55 5G Connectivity Modem

The Best Processor You Will Find On An Android Phone In 2020

Image Source: Android Authority

While Huawei and Samsung make their own custom CPUs, neither make CPUs that are as good as the one offered by Qualcomm.

The Snapdragon 865 is so good that Samsung is planning to use it on Samsung Galaxy S11 models in all regions (except for Europe) and ditch its in-house Exynos 990 SoC. A few years ago, Samsung used Exynos processors in most parts of the world and relied on Qualcomm processors only on select regions.

The Snapdragon 865 has 8 cores- one central core, 3 performance cores, and 4 efficiency cores. The main core is an ARM Cortex-A77 clocked @ 2.85GHz. Thanks to this setup, Qualcomm claims that users will see a 25% gain in both performance and power efficiency with the 865 SoC.

The GPU improvements are even more impressive. The company promises that users will see a 25% boost in graphics performance while witnessing energy efficiency improvement by a massive 35%.

That’s not all. The new Snapdragon 865 SoC supports QHD+ displays running at up to 144Hz.

There’s more good news for gamers. The Adreno 650 GPU on this Qualcomm SoC can be updated via a software update from the Google Play Store.

This is the first time we will be seeing a GPU driver update feature on a phone. It will be interesting to see how this will play out. We expect to see new features, better game optimizations, and performance improvements over time with this feature.

Greater Artificial Intelligence Prowess

Artificial Intelligence(AI) and Machine Learning are the future. In the past few years, companies like Qualcomm, Intel, and Apple are pushing technologies that integrate AI and Machine Learning more than ever.

The Snapdragon 865 takes it a step further. This SoC includes a new Hexagon 698 DSP with a Tensor accelerator that specifically handles the machine learning workloads. It offers 4x TOPS performance and is 35% more energy-efficient compared to the Snapdragon 855.

When you combine the CPU, GPU, and the Digital Signal Processor(DSP) computing capabilities, the result is a whopping 15TOPS of Machine Learning performance. This is an industry-leading performance and is more potent than even the A13 Bionic chip found on the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

5G Connectivity


The Snapdragon X55 5G modem is unquestionably the highlight of the Snapdragon 865 SoC. Unlike the Snapdragon 855 SoC which could be had without a 5G module, all phones equipped with Snapdragon 865 will have a 5G module on it.

Even though the X55 modem is separate from the SoC itself, the company has bundled the two together. The X55 5G modem supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz spectrum. Theoretically, the modem can hit download speeds of 7.6Gbps and upload speed of 3Gbps.

Reference: Android Authority || The Verge