Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 870 is just a reheated SD865+ and that’s just fine

Snapdragon 870

Having launched its brand new flagship chip, the Snapdragon 888 in December 2020, Qualcomm is back with another new chip called the Snapdragon 870. Basically a tweaked Snapdragon 865+, the SD870 looks to take on the role of providing flagship performance for brands looking at producing affordable flagship smartphones, as evidenced by the brands that have already thrown their hats in the ring.

“Building upon the success of Snapdragon 865 and 865 Plus, the new Snapdragon 870 was designed to address OEM and mobile industry requirements,� said Kedar Kondap, vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Snapdragon 870 will power a selection of flagship devices from key customers including Motorola, iQOO, OnePlus, OPPO, and Xiaomi.�

As for the actual chip, Qualcomm says that the SD870 builds upon the success of the Snapdragon 865 and 865+, with a slightly higher clock speed of 3.2GHz and the company’s FastConnect 6800 system with support WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. Perhaps the biggest change will be in cost in that this is proven hardware with little in the way of development costs for the chipmaker, which means that some savings should be passed on to smartphone makers who otherwise might have gone down the Snapdragon 768 route.

The launch of the Snapdragon 870 could give brands the option of taking a 2-tiered approach to flagships with the base model powered by the SD870 and the Ultra or Pro model by the Snapdragon 888. And rather cynically, it also gives them the ability to say a phone is powered by the ‘new’ chip instead of last year’s Snapdragon 865.


He’s been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries an OPPO Find X2 Pro in his pockets, a Galaxy Tab S5e in his backpack, and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around the world. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he’s an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).

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