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Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 weaker than predecessor

Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 phone chip in Beijing, China, March 18, 2024. /Qualcomm
Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 phone chip in Beijing, China, March 18, 2024. /Qualcomm

Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 phone chip in Beijing, China, March 18, 2024. /Qualcomm

Despite the additional letter "s," Qualcomm's latest smartphone chip, the Snapdragon 8s Gen 3, has been identified as less powerful than the company's 8 Gen 3, which was released in 2023.

The U.S. chip designer revealed the new product on Monday at a press conference in Beijing, which was delivered in Chinese.

Qualcomm said the chip features one super core clocked at 3.0 gigahertz, slower than the 3.3-GHz core found in 8 Gen 3. The performance and efficiency cores followed suit, and both were slower than the true flagship items.

Made for cheaper flagships

"The new chip is positioned below the 8 Gen 3 and above the previous 8 Gen 2," Wang Teng, general manager of Xiaomi's Redmi brand, said in a Weibo post.

Many tech media outlets said the chip would be used in flagship phones, but it would be priced at a lower price point.

The 8s Gen 3 also features AI functionalities like the 8 Gen 3, which can run large AI models locally on a phone. Qualcomm also touted the chip's photography and gaming performance.

"Qualcomm's main argument is that they didn't axe any of 8s Gen 3's peripheral functions," read another Weibo post, which became a hot post on the platform.

Xiaomi said their Civi 4 Pro will be the world's first phone to pack the new chip, which will be available in China in March. Other local brands like Honor, iQOO, Realme and Redmi will also join the fight.

7+ Gen 3 not mentioned

It was previously rumored that Qualcomm would also release the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 3 chip, but that did not materialize. According to initial testing shared by tech vloggers, the 7+ Gen 3 is expected to be slower than the 8 Gen 2.

Therefore, Qualcomm's best phone chip remains the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, followed by the 8s Gen 3, 8 Gen 2 and 7+ Gen 3, respectively.

Smartphone users in China have also been voicing their frustration over Qualcomm's confusing naming scheme. After the introduction of 8s Gen 3, they created a new meme suggesting that the letter "s" in the new name stands for "slow" and the real name of the chip should be "7++ Gen 3."

That said, Qualcomm's recent chips have been performing well. The graphic cores benchmarked better than Apple's A17 Pro in many real-world tests, breaking the longtime stereotype about the Snapdragon series.

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