Qualcomm launches its first own-brand smartphone at $1,500

Qualcomm launches its first own-brand smartphone at $1,500

by Emily Smith
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Qualcomm has announced its first smartphone, which for now doesn’t seem to have a proper name, as it is dubbed the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders. The device has been designed by Asus for Qualcomm and looks rather nondescript, as you can see from the video/images here. However, the component choice is definitely premium, something reflected very starkly in the ambitious pricing – US$1,500. Qualcomm encourages those interested to sign up to become a Snapdragon Insider and be notified about further details and availability.

Of course, the new Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders features a Qualcomm processor, and the Snapdragon 888 has been chosen for this device. That is Qualcomm’s current flagship mobile SoC – but for a device that isn’t available, yet one wonders why the recently announced SD888+ wasn’t the natural premium choice. Without further ado, let me bullet point the key specs, so you can get a good overall feel for this device:

  • Processor: 3nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 octa-core processor with Adreno 660 GPU
  • Memory/storage: 16GB LPDDR5 RAM, 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage on board
  • Display: 6.78-inch 2448 x 1080 pixels 144Hz / 1ms Samsung AMOLED display with HDR10, 1,200 nits peak brightness, 150.89% sRGB colour gamut, and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection
  • Front camera: 24MP, with 27mm equivalent lens hidden in the top bezel – so there are no notches or holes in the display
  • Rear cameras: triple cam setup with a 64MP main camera featuring Sony IMX686 sensor and OIS, a 12MP ultra-wide shooter with macro capabilities, and an 8MP telephoto camera with OIS provides 3x optical (10x digital) zoom. Dual-LED flash is present. Cameras are capable of recording 8K videos at 30fps, and 4K videos at 30fps or 60fps
  • Audio: Snapdragon Sound technology which delivers 24-bit, 96kHz high-resolution music streaming, as well as aptX Voice, and the device comes with stereo speakers built-in
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, Dual 5G SIM support is standard
  • Battery: a 4,000mAh cell with Quick Charge 5.0 should see you through a day
  • Others: fingerprint sensor, other standard sensors including navigation sensors, and Android 11, are present
  • In the box: the 210g and 173.15 x 77.25 x 9.55mm smartphone, Premium Earbuds and Charging Case, Quick Charge 5 power adapter (65W), Phone case, Documentation (User Guides, Warranty Cards), USB-C to USB-C Cable for Quick Charge 5 adapter (1 meter), USB-C to USB-A Cable for earbuds charging case (50cm), Ejector pin (SIM tray needle).

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In summary, this seems to be a capable but unexciting new smartphone which is somewhat overpriced. UK and Euro purchasers don’t seem to be getting ripped off in the currency exchange rates, with the new mobile touted to become available “soon” at $1,499 / £1,099 / €1,299.

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