The new wave of flagship Android smartphones are coming in 2020 and almost all of them will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC. The new processor is expected to deliver ultimate speed and power to turn these phones into 5G, gaming and camera powerhouses. Let’s dive deeper to see all the new features and the new smartphones coming with Snapdragon 865.
As compared to the Snapdragon 855, the Snapdragon 865 has been vastly improved in terms of performance and features. The CPU features ARM’s newest 1x Cortex A77 @ 2.84GHz 1x512KB pL2, 3x Cortex A77 @ 2.42GHz 3x256KB pL2, and 4x Cortex A55 @ 1.80GHz 4x128KB pL2 cores. The new A77 cores are said to lift the Kryo 585 CPU’s performance by 25%. The GPU is updated to the latest Adreno 650 which also provides up to 25% performance boost from its predecessor.
Some other important upgrades include new Tensor cores in the Hexagon 698, the integration of a new hybrid LPDDR5 and LPDDR4X memory controller, and new camera capabilities like 8K video recording, Dolby Vision video capture, or 200MP photo taking. The upgrades are meaningful for power users as they will be able to experience faster processing time for complicated tasks, Gigapixel speed photography, and desktop-level gaming features.
The most important feature of the Snapdragon 865 is the 5G connectivity. Unfortunately, there is no modem integration which means the SoC requires an extra Snapdragon X55 5G Modem. In theory, the modem covers both sub-6GHz and mmWave bands with the maximum download speed up to 7000 Mbps and upload speed up to 3000 Mbps.
Both 5G and 4G chips of the Snapdragon SoC are separated into the X55 modem, so there are some disadvantages like the size and power consumption of the new smartphones. The decision can be explained by the short development time and phone manufacturer also needs more time to integrate a completely new SoC into new phones. We wouldn’t be surprised if the cellular modem is re-integrated into the SoC next year. In fact, Qualcomm also released the Snapdragon 765G SoC this year which includes the onboard 4G/5G modem; However, flagship devices might not use the 765G because its performance is significantly lower than 865’s.
The List of All Snapdragon 865 Smartphones
1. Samsung Galaxy S20, S20 Plus, S20 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy models have always been the first Android flagships launched globally every year and the Galaxy S20 series is not an exception. They come in some variants including S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. The Galaxy S20 Ultra is the highest-end version as it comes with a complicated quad camera setup including an 108MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, a 48MP telephoto camera, and a DepthVision camera. The camera features Space Zoom with Hybrid Optic Zoom 10X and Super Resolution Zoom up to 100X. Besides, it features up to 512GB internal storage and a microSD card slot, a 5,000 mAh battery, and 45W super fast charging.
The whole S20 lineup has a 120Hz Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED display, Dolby Atmos speaker, screen sizes ranging from 6.2″ to 6.9″, and 5G connectivity. The S20 is the cheapest version and is perfectly fine for most average consumers; Its only shortcoming is the lack of mmWave 5G and you can use the sub-6 GHz 5G connectivity only.
The phones are available starting March 2020 with prices ranging from $999.99 to $1,599.99.
2. Xiaomi Mi 10 & Mi 10 Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10 is among the first Snapdragon 865 phones as it was announced in December 2019 and starts shipping in February 2020. Xiaomi released two versions this year, which are the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro. The phones feature a 6.67-inch curved FHD+ AMOLED display with HDR 10+ support and 90Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 865, 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB/512GB of UFS 3.0 storage, 4,780 mAh/4,500 mAh battery, dual-mode 5G connectivity, and a quad-camera setup. Notably, the main camera features a HMX 108MP sensor developed in collaboration with Samsung. The Mi 10 Pro is equipped with a 2x optical telephoto lens and a 5x optical long-range telephoto lens.
The launch prices are 799€ and 999€ in Europe.
3. LG V60 ThinQ 5G
The LG V60 ThinQ was launched in February 2020 and it features a huge 6.8-inch FullVision P-OLED display with a 20.5:9 aspect ratio. As compared to its predecessor, the V60’s most important upgrades are the massive 5,000mAh battery and the rear camera setup including a 64 MP main sensor, a 13MP super-wide-angle lens, and a 3D time-of-flight (ToF) sensor. The 5G phone is powered by Snapdragon 865 SoC and the Snapdragon X55 modem.
4. Sony Xperia 1 II
Sony announced the Xperia 1 II in February 2020 and it is pronounced as Xperia 1 Mark Ⅱ. As compared to the first generation, the Mark II bumped up the specs with the new Snapdragon SoC, 256GB storage, 8GB RAM, 4,000mAh battery, and an extra 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor. The phone focuses on camera as it features a triple lens setup with up to 20 fps AF / AE for ultra-fast focus and real-time eye AF. You can also enjoy watching content on the 6.5″ 21:9 CinemaWide 4K HDR OLED display. It is available in the US at a price tag of $1,199.
5. OnePlus 8 & OnePlus 8 Pro
The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro went on sale in the United States in April 2020. OnePlus has always been known for affordable smartphones with top-notch specs, however, the new generation is getting more expensive with the original price tags starting from $699 and $899 respectively.
Both versions feature an edgeless design, the latest Snapdragon processor, OxygenOS, Fluid AMOLED display, 8GB/12GB of RAM, and 128/256GB of UFS 3.0 2-LANE storage. However, the Pro version has some important upgrades like 120Hz refresh rate, LPDDR5 RAM, a larger 4510 mAh battery, 30W wireless charging, and a higher-quality camera setup with 3x hybrid zoom.
The OnePlus 8 phones are available on Amazon starting from $619.
6. Redmi K30 Pro & K30 Pro Zoom
Redmi, a Xiaomi’s sub-brand, has launched the K30 Pro and K30 Pro Zoom in China and they come with surprisingly low prices of just 2,999 yuan ($426) and 4,499 yuan ($640). The internal specs are fairly impressive for such cheap phones. We can spot the newest Snapdragon processor with 5G support, a 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen with HDR10+ support, up to 8GB/12GB of RAM, up to 256GB/512GB of storage, a 4,700mAh battery, and a pop-up selfie camera. They both are equipped with a quad rear camera setup but the K30 Pro Zoom has an 8MP telephoto lens to deliver 3X optical zoom and 30X digital zoom.
7. Realme X50 Pro & X50 Pro Player
Realme X50 Pro 5G is another contender for the best budget flagship. It was announced in February 2020 for the price of 599€. Its spec sheet is on par with most Android flagships as it sports the new SD865, up to 12GB of RAM, 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage, a 6.44-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate, and a 4,200mAh battery. The rear quad camera setup includes a 64MP Samsung sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide macro, a 12MP 2x telephoto, and a monochrome depth sensor.
The X50 Pro Player is the gaming edition which is cheaper than the X50 Pro. Their specs are quite similar, except the toned-down camera module on the Player version.
8. Oppo Find X2 & Find X2 Pro
Announced in March 2020, the Find X2 and Find X2 Pro are the Oppo’s flagships of the year. They both feature an identical design, a 6.7-inch Ultra Vision AMOLED display with QHD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate, 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 65W fast wired charging and a triple rear camera system. The Find X2 Pro features a large Sony IMX689 sensor which has wider dynamic range and can even capture 12-bit RAW files. Besides, it supports 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, and 60x digital zoom. The Find X2 Pro also has a slightly larger battery, higher IP68 water resistance, 512GB of storage, and an attractive Vegan Leather option.
9. Oppo Ace 2
Oppo launched the Ace 2 in April 2020. Notably, this is their first phone coming with wireless charging and moreover, its 40W AirVOOC system is the world’s fastest wireless charging speed. The wired charging speed is also amazing with 65W SuperVOOC 2.0 system, which means it can be fully charged in just 35 minutes. The specs sheet is quite impressive with 5G support, 6.5-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel featuring 90Hz refresh rate, 8GB/12GB of RAM, 128/256GB of UFS3.0 storage, and a quad rear camera setup (including a 48MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide camera, and a pair of 2MP portrait sensors).
Prices start from 3,999 yuan ($565) in China.
10. POCO F2 Pro
Xiaomi spin-off POCO launched the F2 Pro in May 2020. This is a high-end all-screen phone featuring a 6.67-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display, in-screen fingerprint scanner, liquid cooling, 5G, a pop-up front camera, and a 64MP quad-camera setup. This is the international version of the Xiaomi Redmi K30 Pro and you can buy it on GearBest for $499.
11. ZTE Nubia Red Magic 5G
Red Magic 5G is a gaming smartphone released in March 2020. It offers high performance of Snapdragon 865, 8GB/12GB RAM, 128GB/256GB internal storage, a 6.65-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen with a 144Hz refresh rate, active cooling, and hardware shoulder buttons. The price tag is quite reasonable at $579.
12. Black Shark 3 & 3 Pro
Xiaomi subsidiary Black Shark announced the Black Shark 3 and Black Shark 3 Pro gaming phones in March 2020. They both feature the latest SD865, up to 12GB LPDDR5 RAM, up to 256GB UFS 3.0 storage, a liquid cooling system, a 65W fast charger that can fully charge the phones in 38 minutes, and a massive 7.1-inch 1440p display with 90Hz refresh rate and 270Hz touch sampling rate. They are available in China only.
13. Vivo X50 Pro+
The Vivo X50 trio launched in China and some other Asian markets in July 2020. Among the 3 versions, the Vivo X50 Pro+ is the high-end one with Snapdragon 865 processor. The main selling point of the phone is a rear quad camera setup featuring Samsung’s 50MP 1/1.3-inch ISOCELL GN1 sensor, 5-axis VIS video image stabilization, and 60x optical/digital zoom mix. The specs are admirable with a 6.56-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, 8GB/12GB LPDDR5 RAM, 128GB (UFS 3.1) /256GB (UFS 3.1) storage, 5G SA/ NSA support, and a 4350mAh battery with 44W fast charging.
We will keep updating this post once a new Snapdragon 865 phone is announced. Some other phones include the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Google Pixel 5, LG G9, Vivo NEX 3S 5G, Asus Zenfone 7, Asus ROG Phone 3, Oppo Find X2 Pro, and Sony Xperia Pro.
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