Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 855 Plus

Posted on July 15, 2019 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile with 9 Comments

Qualcomm today announced a new, overclocked version of its Snapdragon 855 mobile chipset that is optimized for 5G, gaming, AI, and XR.

“Snapdragon 855 Plus will raise the bar for elite gamers with the increase in CPU and GPU performance and elevate experiences for 5G, gaming, AI, and XR, which is something [device makers] look to us to deliver,” Qualcomm vice president Kedar Kondap said in a prepared statement. “Snapdragon 855 Plus is our most advanced mobile platform to date and will build upon the success of the 2019 Android flagship Snapdragon 855 5G mobile platform.”

Compared to its predecessor, the 855 Plus is beefier, with Kryo 485 CPU Prime core clock speeds up to 2.96 GHz (vs. 2.84 GHz in the 855) and an Adreno 640 GPU that Qualcomm says offers a 15 percent performance boost. The Snapdragon Elite Gaming Experience includes a Vulkan 1.1 graphics driver that is 20 percent more power efficient than Open GL ES, plus software enhancements such as Game Jank Reducer, Game Fast Loader, Game AntiCheat Extensions, and more.

For AI, the 855 Plus will provide a 4th-generation multi-core Qualcomm AI Engine. The Snapdragon 855 Plus will ship with an integrated multi-gigabit Snapdragon X24 LTE 4G modem, but it will also support 5G networking if paired with an external X50 5G modem.

This release is rather unusual for Qualcomm, in that it has never released a mid-stream upgrade to an existing flagship mobile chipset. But with the firm expanding into more and more markets with customized chipsets, a “pro” or “plus” version of its mainstream mobile chipset could be arriving at an opportune time.

Devices built on the Snapdragon 855 Plus platform should arrive in the second half of 2019, Qualcomm says. That could help firms, like Samsung, Google, and OnePlus, that tend to ship flagship handsets in that time frame.

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