Qualcomm is inside many smartphones but it doesn’t make any smartphones. That’s still true, but it does have one that it can call it’s very own — a new handset made in partnership with Asus called the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders. Kinda just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
The catch? You’ve got to belong to the company’s new Snapdragon Insider community in order to purchase one. Oh, and it’ll cost you at least R22,000 ($1,500).
Quality control from Qualcomm
But is Qualcomm’s new, awkwardly-named device worth shelling out more than twenty grand for? On the face of it, sure — if you’re paying the price without much of a markup (which you won’t, here in SA). Because the hardware is being made by Asus, it’s bound to be difficult to obtain here, but there’s at least a decent crop of specs going into the smartphone.
Qualcomm’s sticking in one of its Snapdragon 888 chipsets, with an Adreno 66o GPU, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The display is a 6.78in OLED panel made by Samsung, which hits up to 1,200 nits at peak brightness and there’s a 4,000mAh battery in there keeping the lights on.
The main rear camera sensors are a 64MP IMX686 and a 12MP IMX363 ultrawide made by Sony, as well as a third 8MP telephoto to round out the rear. Up front is a 24MP selfie camera. The phone records video up to 8K at 30fps and 4K at up to 60fps. All decent features, but you can also get all of them from other flagships this year. What makes Qualcomm’s smartphone special?
Er… not much, really. The processor maker is touting “… the fastest, truly global 5G available, super-fast Wi-Fi 6/6E, and of course, Bluetooth” as well as “… a curated collection of Snapdragon mobile platform experiences”.
But the features outlined… just aren’t that special, though its audio chops (with playback of up to 24-bit 96kHz and a set of Master and Dynamic headphones included in the box) and 5G performance may make your eyebrows lift a little. But while we’d never kick this phone out of bed, you can get just about everything it offers elsewhere. It launches this August in the States, China, UK, and Germany, with other locations to follow later. Hopefully, we’re one of them.