Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 — rumored release date, performance and phones


It’s almost time for Qualcomm to unveil its next mobile chipset: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. This is the silicon that will power many of 2023’s best Android phones — including the Samsung Galaxy S23 series.

If you’re interested in smartphone performance, it’s worth paying attention to all the details about the chipset once they become available. For now, we’ve only seen some leaked benchmarks hinting at the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s potential performance chops. And based on those, Android phones arriving next year are going to have a lot of power.

Here’s what we’ve heard about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 so far.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 news (updated November 4)

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Possible release date

Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 on November 29, 2021 and the Snapdragon 888 on December 1, 2020. If Qualcomm sticks to that announcement schedule, that would mean an announcement toward the end of November.

In fact, Qualcomm has confirmed plans to hold a Snapdragon event (opens in new tab) in Hawaii from November 15-17. That’s where and when we’re likely to hear about any new silicon.

Assuming we do get our first glimpse the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in November, you’d expect to see phones using this chipset appear as earlier as the end of 2022, with the bulk of devices arriving in the new year.

In the past, Samsung’s Galaxy S devices have generally been the first phones featuring Qualcomm’s new silicon to appear. The upcoming model, the Galaxy S23, is rumored to be arriving in January.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Performance

While we won’t know what Qualcomm’s new chipset will deliver until its official release, we’ve heard some rumors about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s performance. The most intriguing rumor claims that it will out-muscle the iPhone 14 and its A15 Bionic chipset. 

That information comes from leaker Digital Chat Station on Weibo, who claimed that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 could ramp up to 3.4-3.5GHz.  The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 tops out at 3.2GHz.

Further, we’ve seen some leaked benchmarks showing devices that supposedly use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, or so we believe. The first comes from a device believed to be the Galaxy S23. It clocked in a single-core score of 1,524 and a multicore score of 4,597, the latter of which bests what we recorded when testing the iPhone 14. 

The iPhone 14 Pro, powered by a newer A16 Bionic chipset, posted higher scores than those attributed to the rumored Galaxy S23.

Geekbench 5 leaked results
Single-core Multi-core
Galaxy S23 Plus (alleged) 1,485 4,844
Galaxy S23 (alleged) 1,524 4,597
iPhone 14 1,727 4,553
iPhone 14 Pro 1,891 5,469
Google Pixel 7 Pro 1,060 3,046

A second Samsung device appeared on Geekbench, this one thought to be the Galaxy S23 Plus. It posted similar results to the previous leak, which you can see above. 

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is expected to be manufactured on TSMC’s 4nm process, equipped with an Adreno 740 GPU. As for the core design, it will likely take on Qualcomm’s new layout with one large core, four medium cores, and three little cores.

(Image credit: SamMobile)

The results from the image above say the chip was an octa-core design with three small cores at 3.02GHz, four medium-sized cores at 2.8GHz, and one large core at 3.36GHz. (That last figure rounded up would be 3.4GHz, which would line up with Digital Chat Station’s claims.) 

This also squares with previous rumors, which point to a single Cortex-X3, two Cortex-A715, two Cortex-A710, and three Cortex-A510. A previous leak mentioned a Cortext-A720, which doesn’t exist. However, the Cortex-A715 and A710 do exist. The Cortex-X3 is ARM’s most powerful core yet.

Of course, we wonder why Qualcomm would use both a Cortex-A715 and an A710. The former is supposed to replace the latter, but it and the X3 are both 64-bit only. The A710 and A510 support 32-bit, meaning that Qualcomm may want to include support for legacy 32-bit applications.

The Adreno 740 GPU should also impress, with some rumors claiming it can match the iPhone 14 Pro. We’ll have to wait to see if that holds true or not.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Phones

Image of leaked renders of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

(Image credit: OnLeaks/SmartPrix)

Of course, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will likely power many flagship Android phones in 2023, aside from the Pixel 8, which we’d expect to use Google’s own Tensor silicon. All Galaxy S23 models, for example, are expected to have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 at their hearts, as will the OnePlus 11 Pro.

We also expect Xiaomi, Oppo, and Motorola to all launch Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 handsets in the next month or so as they all race to be the “first” with the new chip. It’s basically a given that the best gaming phones like the ROG Phone 7 and RedMagic 8 would also use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 to great effect.

We also might see handheld gaming devices running the new chip as everyone makes a bid for that market currently dominated by the Nintendo Switch — plus the Steam Deck. Qualcomm has made a big fuss about its chips’ gaming performance recently and we expect that to continue.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: Outlook

By all appearances, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 will be an impressive chip, perhaps even enough to give Apple pause. (Cupertino has been keen on noting the performance delta between its chips and the competition’s.) Those leaked benchmarks certainly give us hope that Qualcomm is closing the gap.

We don’t have to wait long to learn all we want to know about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and not much after that to start seeing the first phones to use the chip. Be sure to keep it locked here for all of the latest news as it happens.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *