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Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 chip is a notch below its flagship processor

If you’re not interested in a midrange smartphone but don’t want to pay flagship prices either, Qualcomm has a possible solution. The company just unveiled the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 processor that offers flagship features, but performance just below the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

It’s built using a 4-nanometer (nm) process with a 1+4+3 core setup (one prime ARM Cortex X4 at 3.0GHz, four performance cores at 2.8Ghz and three 2.0GHz efficiency cores. That compares with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s 1+5+2 setup, so the “s” model swaps a performance core for an efficiency core. The prime core on the flagship chip also runs a bit faster at 3.4Ghz.

The chip uses a previous-gen X70 5G modem, though it still offers Wi-Fi 7 support. You also get hardware-accelerated ray tracing for more realistic gameplay.

There’s on-device multimodal generative AI that can run large language models (LLMs) with up to 10 billion parameters, meaning it’ll support model’s like Gemini Nano, along with AI assistants. However, it lacks some AI features found on the 8 Gen 3 chip. It also comes with the always-sensing ISP introduced with the last-gen Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip.

The new chip adds another sub-category to Qualcomm’s lineup, particularly if you count the last-gen chips still used in devices like the OnePlus 12R. The chip will appear in Honor, iQOO, Realme, Redmi and Xiaomi smartphones announced later this month — so it’ll be interesting to see how they’re priced compared to the flagship models.

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