OPINION: Qualcomm just unveiled the upgraded Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 2, a chipset that stands simply below its flagship 8 Gen series. It sounds like a nice upgrade with some previously exclusive 8 Gen features moving to a slightly more affordable chipset, but the question is, will manufacturers use it? I’m not so sure.
Don’t get me wrong, my skepticism doesn’t come from the fact that it’s not a very good chipset – quite the opposite. According to for Qualcomm, the new Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 2 boasts a performance boost of up to 50% over its predecessor with up to 2.91GHz clock speed, 2x Adreno GPU boost and 13% boost in energy efficiency.
It’s also designed to stay cool under pressure, and is claimed to be capable of delivering over 40 minutes of intense gameplay without any frame rate degradation. Add features like lossless aptXauto shading with variable speed and two SIM cards with dual active capabilities previously exclusive to the top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen seriesand you have a reliable mobile chipset.
Instead, my concern about widespread adoption stems from the fact that the previous generation’s Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 remained a niche chipset that appeared in very few phones. Although it has been used in several Chinese smartphones such as the Xiaomi Civi 2, it has only appeared in the global market with the Xiaomi 12 Lite 5G NE and, more recently, the Xiaomi 13 Lite.
This certainly doesn’t bode well for the upgraded Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 2. But why aren’t manufacturers using it more often?
It’s a tough question that will likely have a different answer depending on which brand you’re talking to, but in my opinion it comes down to a mix of pricing and branding.
Qualcomm sees the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 2 being used in premium mid-range smartphones priced between $400 and $600. The problem is that at this price, some manufacturers simply choose to choose the older Snapdragon 8 Gen chipset. We’ve seen it with the likes of $599 Realme GT 2 Pro
Not only does it perform better and have access to the full 8 Gen premium feature set, but it also looks better to consumers since it was a chipset that was used in top-of-the-line flagships not too long ago.
Will this change with the release of the Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 2 in 2023? Maybe, but I have my doubts. Qualcomm has confirmed that two phone partners are interested in using the new 7 Plus Gen 2 chipset in future smartphones, but that pales in comparison to the array of companies committing to top-of-the-line Snapdragon 8 Gen chipsets.