Qualcomm produces many of the mobile chips found in Android phones and tablets. Today the company revealed the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2, a new chip that aims to give premium features to more affordable phones.
The Snapdragon 7 series is a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) design intended for mid-range phones and tablets, and previous iterations were used for the Motorola Edge 30, Samsung Galaxy A52S, and others. It’s one step below the Snapdragon 8 series, which is Qualcomm’s top-tier chip lineup found in phones like the Galaxy S23. In PC terms, the Snapdragon 8 is like an Intel Core i7, and the Snapdragon 7 is like an Intel Core i5.
The new Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 introduces several features to the 7 series that were previously only available on Qualcomm’s premium chips. Support for aptX Losless and Qualcomm High Speed Link is new, which provides higher quality for Bluetooth audio, with less glitching and fewer dropped connections. Auto Variable Rate Shading (VRS) has been added to improve performance in games, by rendering the most important parts of the screen at full resolution, and the background at a lower resolution. There’s also the usual mix of performance improvements, with up to 50% improved processing speed and 13% better efficiency compared to last year’s Snapdragon 7 Gen 1.
Connectivity is pretty important for phones, and the included Snapdragon X62 5G Modem-RF System is impressive on paper. It supports both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G, as well as Wi-Fi 6E. Qualcomm is promising download speeds of up to 4.4 Gbps over 5G and 3.6 Gbps over Wi-Fi, but that’s probably only in the best possible conditions with the best equipment available. This is also the first Snapdragon 7 series chip with 5G/4G Dual-Sim Dual Active (DSDA) support, and it will support satellite connectivity, depending on which device you get.
Qualcomm has also been working to improve camera quality and performance, and the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 has a few upgrades. The company said, “Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 features an 18-bit Triple ISP, allowing users to capture in mega low light mode—snapping 30 images and merging the best parts into one shot for brighter, clearer, more colorful photos after dark.”
Qualcomm confirmed the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 will be used in phones by Redmi and Realme, which will go on sale later in March. It’s not clear who else might build devices with the chip — many of Samsung’s phones use the company’s own Exynos chips, like the Galaxy A54 5G that was just announced.