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Upcoming Snapdragon 888 smartphones in 2021: Xiaomi, OnePlus, Nubia, OnePlus & More


2020 isn’t over yet but it already feels like a new year as smartphone companies have announced plans for the next iteration of flagship devices. That is, the plans to bring a flagship with Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC next year. The race has begun and hence, let’s look at the list of contenders for the “flagship of the year with Snapdragon 888 processor”.

Credit: Qualcomm; partners of Snapdragon 888

As always, we have got Chinese companies spearheading the list. In fact, Qualcomm itself has named the SoC based on the ‘888’ sentiment of China. This shows how much the American MNC values the Chinese vendors. Anyway, the list includes brands like Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, OnePlus, Motorola, iQOO, realme, Red Magic, Nubia, ZTE, Redmi.

Xiaomi(Mi 11), Redmi(K40?)

Xiaomi Mi 11

First off, as reported earlier, Lei Jun confirmed that Xiaomi Mi 11 will be the first flagship to launch with Snapdragon 888 SoC. The lineup will probably include Mi 11, and Mi 11 Pro. A leak of specifications shows that the devices will have an AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 20MP selfie shooter, LPDDR5 RAM, UFS 3.1 storage, in-display fingerprint sensor, and face unlock, RAM likely from 8GB, and storage starting at 128GB as common. However, the devices will differ in Camera, Battery, charging, and Price.

The Mi 11 will have a 4,780mAh battery, 50W wired, and 30W wireless charging, triple-camera with 108MP sensor, 13MP ultrawide, and 5MP Macro lens. The Mi 11 Pro will have a lesser 4,500mAh battery, 120W wired and 80W wireless charging, triple-camera with 48MP OmniVision OV48C sensor, 20MP ultra-wide, 12MP Telephoto(2x-Optical). They are rumored to be announced this month at 4,499($686), and 5,499yuan($838) respectively.

In addition to Xiaomi, Redmi also announced that it will launch the first batch of devices with Snapdragon 888 SoC. In our guess, it could be the K 40 series of devices. And with leaks surrounding

them already, we don’t think it would take that long. The Redmi K40 is likely to host a 120Hz OLED display, and fast charging tech(maybe 50W wired).

Nubia(Red Magic 6, Z), ZTE(Ax on 30)

Nubia(independent entity since 2015) and its ex-affiliate ZTE brands also confirmed that they will launch flagships with Snapdragon 888 SoC next year. Among this, the Red Magic 6 series will be the first gaming smartphone to launch with the SoC. Considering the March launch window of Red Magic 5, we can expect the next iteration to launch around the same time.

That said, Nubia also announced the Nubia Z, a new series with the flagship SoC. ZTE, on the other hand, confirmed that it is bringing the ZTE Axon 30 with a Snapdragon 888 version. If we recall, the company recently teased the camera features of Axon 30 that is probably coming very soon.

OPPO (Find X3)

OPPO announced the OPPO Find X3 at the INNO DAY 2020 back in November. Later, as Qualcomm announced the new SoC, the company confirmed that the “Find X series will bring an unparalleled new experience to users worldwide”. The device is coming in Q1 2021 and since the Find X3 is already announced, it is safe to assume that Find X3 will host the Snapdragon 888 SoC.

OPPO Find X3 Display Technology

Called the “Full-Path color management system”, the device will support DCI-P3 wide color gamut. And native 10-bit color depth across “capture, storage, and display” to offer accurate colors. Additionally, it will have a JNCD≤0.4, 10-bit HEIF capture & storage, a Sony IMX7xx sensor, and more. Let’s wait for more details.

OnePlus (OnePlus 9 Series)

Although OnePlus officially confirmed it as a high-end flagship launching with Snapdragon 888 in H1 2021, rumors predict that it’s the OnePlus 9 series. And that the series is probably coming in mid-March of 2021. Recent leaks say that the series will also include a OnePlus 9E apart from 9, 9 Pro.

Anyway, as per the info we have, the OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro will have a slightly different design with and without curved displays, respectively. They will likely have an AMOLED 120Hz display(6.72-inch on 9 Pro, 6.65-inch on OnePlus 9), run the latest OxygenOS 11, have faster charging(at least 65W Warp Charge). Regarding the camera, the OnePlus 9 could also have a dual 48MP lens(primary, ultra-wide) on the back. Let’s wait for more leaks in the coming days.

realme (RACE)

realme, one of the fastest-growing brands in the world, announced a Snapdragon 888 flagship codenamed ‘RACE’. Assuming the company’s last realme X50 flagship launched around February, we can expect the same with the ‘RACE’.

realme Race

Anyway, the device, as confirmed by the company will probably adopt the ‘ACE’ series that was allegedly handed over to the company by OPPO. To corroborate this, a realme device similar to OPPO Ace2 surfaced online recently. According to the leak, the device, having model number RMX2202, will have 12GB RAM, 256GB storage, run realme UI 2.0 based on Android 11.

Vivo (V2056A), iQOO

After the confirmation of launching ‘mobile products’ with Snapdragon 888 SoC officially, a Vivo device hit the Geekbench listing recently. Being a first, the device has a model number V2056A and the benchmark shows 11.06GB(~Typical 12GB) RAM, Android 11 OS(could be OriginOS). While the listing doesn’t give away any other info, we feel that the Vivo would bring the SoC on its next NEX flagship.

Vivo Logo Featured

This is because the company’s COO Hu Boshan, in a video released on Qualcomm event page, talks about Vivo, and its sub-brand iQOO flagships. He mentions that the company launches NEX, X, S, and iQOO’s performance series of devices with flagship SoC. And will continue to do so with Snapdragon 888.

This strongly suggests that the Snapdragon 888 device could be NEX 4 and iQOO number series(maybe 7). That’s considering the next Vivo X60 is already tipped to launch with Exynos 1080 SoC.

Motorola Moto G series

Motorola Logo Featured

Lenovo-owned Motorola surprised everyone by announcing a Snapdragon 8xx series-powered “G series” device for 2021. The company says since it’s the 10th anniversary of the Moto G family, it would like to crank it up a notch with the flagship SoC. While the 8xx could be anything, we can safely assume that it will at least be a Snapdragon 865/888 considering the announcement was at the event.

Motorola also announced a few upcoming Android 11 features like the Video calling using an “ultra-wide lens”, “desktop mode” for gaming, media, productivity. The Media launcher mode will be a separate interface after hooking the device to a TV, Monitor for streaming Apps, Games, Content.

1Other Brands to launch Snapdragon 888 devices

  • LG
    • LG executive Matthew Crowley confirmed that LG devices will leverage the Snapdragon 888 SoC in 2021. Reminding us of the first 5G in the USA, V50 ThinQ 5G, and LG’s first-swivel LG Wing 5G, the company said it would continue to work with Qualcomm and take advantage of the flagship processors.
  • Asus

    • Asus’ GM Brian Chen says the next ROG phone would make use of the flagship Snapdragon 888 SoC in 2021. He says the company would tap into the ultra-fast 5G, performance, and graphics performance of the Qualcomm SoC to make the device a gamer’s delight. However, considering the ROG Phone 3 launched back in July 2020, we aren’t sure if the brand would be so quick to bring the successor.
  • Black Shark

    • Luo Yuzhou of Black Shark Tech says that the company will launch the first batch of Black Shark products equipped with Snapdragon 888 in Q1 2021. He says, just like the Black Shark 3, that emphasized on the Snapdragon 865 5G to become the first 5G gaming phone, future products will make use of the faster AI, 5G, and performance of the latest processor.

Sadly, just like 2019, biggies like Samsung, Google, and Sony are missing at the event. In addition to these companies, brands like SHARP, MEIZU have also announced their partnership with Qualcomm. So things are bound to get interesting in the coming months.

Stay tuned and follow our social media to get all the updates on time!

UP NEXT: Chip Battle: Snapdragon 888 versus Kirin 9000


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