The big picture: MediaTek overtook Qualcomm last year as a major supplier of smartphone chips. And now Qualcomm is responding to efforts to forge some mindful partnerships with mobile consumers. In particular, the company has made a phone for Snapdragon fans, but it's not an inspiring Pixel device. Instead, it's an Asus phone that reminds you that the Snapdragon still lags behind its chipset in terms of performance and technology innovation.
Launched earlier this year by Qualcomm Snapdragon Insiders, it is a community of mobile technology enthusiasts who want to check out the latest innovations before the company launches a variety of products. Then this week, the company revealed its first Snapdragon Insiders smartphone, a $1,500 piece made in collaboration with Asus. "It's never been so perfect," says Mike Roberts, CEO of Qualcomm. "The Snapdragon experience is packed with an amazing device," but that really decides the number of Snapdragon Insider users to be 1.6 million.
This phone borrows many design features from Asus phones such as the ZenFone 8 and ROG Phone 5. So this phone is closer to the Asus phone, despite the presence of the Snapdragon icon on the back. Oddly enough, the operating system supports the Snapdragon 888 5G mobile platform, although last month they released a slightly improved version of the Snapdragon 888+.
Beside the display, it supports 16GB LPDDR5 memory chipset and 512GB storage. This is a 6.78-inch Samsung AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate and a maximum brightness of 1200 nits, and it's HDR10+ certified. p>
Incognito The top edge is a 24-megapixel selfie camera and a camera module. The back includes a 64MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide lens, and an 8MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. Qualcomm promises the camera module in conjunction with the Spectra 580 Triple ISP. Capable of producing "high-quality" photos and videos at a maximum resolution of up to 8K at 30 frames per second. The phone is also the first to be certified with Snapdragon Sound, which means it has a tech chain to ensure Bluetooth latency reduction, active noise cancellation, and support for high-resolution audio up to 24-bit 96kHz. Another notable feature is Quick Charge 5.0 support, which means you can charge the 4,000mAh battery in 30 minutes, to 70%, or in about an hour, to 100%. On the software side, you get to experience Android 11, and Qualcomm is committed to four years of security updates (whether that's enough or not, we'll have to see in the long run). p>
Headset Master & Dynamic MW08 wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation, USB Type-C to USB Type-A and USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable, 65W charging bricks and rubber shield.
If you have ever done this before, you might be wondering what special features this device has. The answer is unclear, as Qualcomm itself has admitted that it is not trying to compete with OEMs, although it is an apparent attempt to remind many of you that the Snapdragon is at the heart of your phone and has the potential to do so.
When you look at Microsoft and Google, they also built the coveted range of Surface and Pixel devices, but they also have two popular operating systems. Qualcomm is not in the same position, so if it wants to prevent its OEM partners from competing - Samsung, MediaTek, or even Huawei HiSilicon, it has to take matters into its own hands. At the same time, this has resulted in an expensive phone that does not have many new or distinctive features compared to the current flagship.
For people interested in a Snapdragon phone, it will be available in the Asus online store and at various retailers starting next month. Restrictions are expected to be available at launch, so even if you want to buy a Snapdragon Insider phone, you won't be able to do so unless you're in the US, UK, South Korea, or Japan. p>
Qualcomm is working with Asus to build a phone for Snapdragon Insiders