While Qualcomm has officially announced its 5nm-based Snapdragon 888 last December (with the Mi 11, iQOO 7, and the Galaxy S21 series in some markets being one of the first to use the 2021 flagship processor), Qualcomm still thinks it can still max out the 7nm-based Snapdragon 865 further and push beyond its more powerful Snapdragon 865+ sibling.
The result? A new flagship processor called the Snapdragon 870. Being based on the Snapdragon 865+, the Snapdragon 870 boosts its Kryo 585 core further to 3.2Ghz, making it the fastest single-core speed on a smartphone processor (prior to that, that crown belonged to the Kirin 9000, which had a prime core running at 3.13Ghz).
Is It Better than the Snapdragon 888?
Despite having a faster clock speed than the Snapdragon 888, the Snapdragon 870 uses previous-generation Cortex-A77 cores, so the Snapdragon 888 is still better in terms of overall efficiency with its Cortex-A78 and Cortex-X1 cores.
Save for the bump in clock speed for the prime core, the Snapdragon 870 is practically the same as the Snapdragon 865+, which means that it needs a separate modem for 5G connectivity.
We don’t need to wait long for the first Snapdragon 870-powered phone, as Motorola will be unveiling the Edge S in China on January 26. Details remain scant, though it is expected to be similar to the Edge save for a few internal upgrades.