Qualcomm has recently introduced the flagship Snapdragon 888 SoC, but the company is already working hard on its successor. The promising SoC is called Waipio, and its catalog number is SM8450.
Waipio is both a valley and a village on the island of Oahu, Hawaii; Qualcomm often codenames its products with some geographic places in the archipelago. From the local language, the word can be translated as “curved water”.
There are no technical details about the SM8450, but there is something interesting. The Waipio test platform is reportedly equipped with 12GB LPDDR5 memory, 256GB UFS flash and a camera module named Leica1. Apparently, the successor to the Snapdragon 888 will delight with some serious innovations in the camera, which are being created in cooperation with Leica specialists. This company has been cooperating with Huawei for a long time, whose smartphones regularly occupy the highest places in various ratings, so it is possible that some developments from Huawei smartphones regarding the camera will migrate to other models based on the SM8450.
The premiere of the upcoming top-end Qualcomm SoC is expected in early December this year. In addition to the SM8450, Qualcomm is also working on a cheaper version of the Snapdragon 888 – without a built-in 5G modem.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Lite 4G coming at a cheaper price tag
Qualcomm has a huge portfolio of mobile computing platforms with most of its products dedicated to smartphones. The brand is one of the biggest mobile semiconductor companies in the world, and probably the most popular in the smartphone scene. The brand has been expanding its portfolio in recent years to not lose space to the competition. Nowadays, the chipmaker has a multitude of cheap for 4G and 5G segments at various pricing points.
In 2021, the brand has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 as its top-of-the-line mobile processor. But it also released the Snapdragon 870 for cost-effective flagships. This chipset is basically a revamped Snapdragon 865 that allows brands to keep bringing flagship killer smartphones. Now, a new leak suggests that Qualcomm could be working on a lower-end variant of the Snapdragon 888 Lite without an integrated 5G modem to reduce the cost of the chipset without sacrificing performance. Nowadays, everything is all about 5G, but would you get a cheap 4G phone with the performance of a flagship?
The new info comes from the renowned leaker Roland Quandt. He shared some details about the purported chipset with the model name SM8325. Quandt is confident that a “lower end derivate” of the Snapdragon 888 is under development with this model number. Let’s call it Snapdragon 888 Lite, for now. It will help manufacturers to provide the processing capabilities of the latest processor while also enjoying the option to exclude the pricey mandatory 5G modem.
Qualcomm has a lower end derivate of the Snapdragon 888 (SM8350) in the works. SM8325 is the model number and there seems to be NO integrated 5G modem on this one. #CheapFlagshipPhones
— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) March 8, 2021
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (4G) may be a great choice in countries without 5G networks
This does not mean that the new chipset will lack 5G support at all. The Snapdragon 888 is the only option that requires a mandatory Snapdragon X60 5G modem. The Snapdragon 865, for instance, came without an inbuilt modem. This allowed companies to either add 5G support at an additional cost or skip 5G support to keep their smartphones at a reasonable value. Vivo took advantage of this by launching 4G-only variants of the iQOO 3 featuring Snapdragon 865. The devices came at an incredibly low price tag.
Unfortunately, the leakster does not bring any other details about the processor, however, he does state that it should be made using a 5nm process. This alone gives it a certain advantage over the Snapdragon 870 that is a 7nm-based chipset. This particular variant of the Snapdragon 888 may be a strong contender in countries where 5G is far from being a reality.