Qualcomm has made the unusual move of producing its own smartphone. While the Qualcomm name is synonymous with smartphones, you now have the chance to get a Snapdragon phone.
If you love specs, here’s everything you need to know about it
Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders price
There is only one version of this phone, which keeps the pricing simple: it will cost $1499 in the US, £1099 in the UK and €1299 in Europe.
We will bring more details once the phone actually goes on sale.
Qualcomm has said that the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders will be available in August 2021, but hasn’t given the specifics on when it will be available.
It will be available in US, China, Germany, UK, Japan and Korea, followed by India, but there are no specific dates on that.
Design and build
173.15 x 77.25 x 9.55mm, 210gMidnight blueIlluminated Snapdragon fireball logoGorilla Glass Victus
The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders will only come in one version and it is a Midnight Blue, with an illuminated Snapdragon fireball logo on the rear of the phone.
There’s a rear fingerprint scanner in a phone that’s pretty large, but it has a large display, so that’s to be expected.
There’s some bezel to the top and bottom of the display, with the front camera set into the top bezel, so the display remains clear. It’s a flat display design, topped with Gorilla Glass Victus.
Qualcomm hasn’t confirmed the rear material, but as this phone is built by Asus, we’re expecting a metal frame and glass rear too.
This is a big phone: compared to other premium phones, it’s larger than the S21 Ultra, larger than the Find X3 Pro.
There are stereo speakers, with a front-firing top speaker and side-firing bottom speaker.
There will be a bumper for protection in the box – along with other bundled accessories which we’ll discuss below.
6.78in Samsung AMOLED2448 x 1080 pixels, 144HzHDR10+ support800 nit, 1200 nit peak
There’s 6.78-inch display on the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders, meaning this comes in about the same size as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The arrangement of the display with bezels top and bottom suggest that it’s setup for gaming, as those bezels give off-screen space to grip the phone in landscape – it also has a 144Hz refresh rate, something that gamers are keen on.
It’s a Samsung AMOLED panel, so should give great quality visuals, while it supports HDR10+, with a typical brightness of 800 nits and a peak of 1200 nits.
The resolution comes in a 2448 x 1080 pixels, which isn’t the higher resolution you’ll find on phones, but is typical of gaming phones, again.
Power and hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G16GB RAM, 512GB storageDual SIM4000mAh battery, 65W charging
This phone is all about showcasing power and there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 at the heart – note that this isn’t the Snapdragon 888+ that has been recently announced.
There’s 16GB of RAM and 512GB storage and, again, these are the only versions of the phone – there are no variants.
As such, this phone supports 5G globally, so the one phone is equipped with all the 5G bands.
The battery capacity is 4000mAh and this sounds a little light for a device of this size and positioning, but it does support 65W charging, with that changer also coming in the box. There are also two braided USB-C cables for charging.
This is a pure Android phone, it will come with Android 11 and there’s no additional bloatware from Qualcomm, it’s stock Android.
Triple camera system:Main: Sony IMX686, 64MP, 1/1.78in, 0.8μm, f/1.8, OISUltrawide: Sony IMX363, 12MP, 1/2.55in, 1.4μm, f/2.2Telephoto: 8MP, 3x optical, OISFront: 24MP
There’s a triple camera system on the rear of the Qualcomm device and with this phone having been built by Asus, it’s no surprise to find that the main camera and the ultrawide match those found on the Zenfone 8. That’s no bad thing, because those cameras are pretty good.
Exactly how they will perform remains to be seen, we don’t know if this will be an Asus experience, or a Qualcomm experience, but Qualcomm has said it will be offering an AI auto zoom on video to help you stay focused on the important stuff. It will also offer 8K video capture (thanks to that high resolution main sensor).
The addition of a proper telephoto lens gives the option for 3x optical photos too and that means there’s a cluster of sensible cameras on the rear of this phone – but whether it can compete with strong offerings from other flagships remains to be seen.
The front camera is a 24-megapixel camera and this is different to the Zenfone 8, so we really have no idea what the performance will be like.
What’s in the box?
Phone65W charger (35W in India)Braided cablesHeadphonesBumper
As this is a pretty special phone, it’s going to come as a package along with additional extras (again, a bit like the way gaming phones are sold).
The box will contain the phone of course, as well as the 65W charger we’ve mentioned and the braided cables to charge the phone and the bundled headphones. India will get a 35W charger.
Those headphones aren’t just any old headphones, they are a pair of custom Master & Dynamic MW08 headphones, worth $300. These are great true wireless headphones, so getting them in the box is a pretty big deal – and they do make up some of the overall cost.
The reason these headphones are in the box is because Qualcomm is keen to use this phone to showcase Snapdragon Sound. It’s one of the first phones to offer it and it looks like Qualcomm is hoping that it sets new standards for device audio going forward. Qualcomm’s big play here is for 24 bit 96kHz wireless audio – exactly how that works out, or indeed how well supported that is in a wider context, remains to be seen.
Aside from those bits, there’s also a bumper to protect your phone. Overall, it’s a great package!