Qualcomm has announced the mid-cycle update for the Snapdragon 888, the Snapdragon 888 Plus. As usual, this is the exact same chip as the previous version that hit the market in February, just with a faster clock speed. Those looking for a serious – or even noticeable – upgrade will be disappointed. This is the smallest “Plus” upgrade Qualcomm has ever made.
Qualcomm says the Prime CPU core — one of the chip’s eight cores — can now hit 3.0 GHz, which is a five percent improvement over the base chip’s 2.84 GHz. After the Prime core (which handles things like foreground processing and main thread tasks), the three “medium” and four “minor” cores remain unchanged.
The company also mentioned that the “AI Engine” is now 20 percent faster. This is a vague measure of how the whole phone – CPU, GPU, DSP and software – handles AI tasks. It’s not a single concrete object you can reference that’s clocked higher, and good luck pairing overhyped AI performance with actual performance gains in the real world.
That’s all of the changes to the Snapdragon 888 Plus. Last year’s Snapdragon 865 Plus added Wi-Fi 6E support and a 10 percent faster CPU and GPU, so this is a disappointment in comparison. It’s the bare minimum Qualcomm could do to justify a new chip release, and this update probably only exists to deliver on its roadmap promises to partners.
Qualcomm says Asus, Honor, Motorola, Vivo and Xiaomi are lining up to ship Snapdragon 888 Plus phones, which are set to arrive sometime in the third quarter.