In brief: Following Qualcomm's announcement of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which many thought would be called the Snapdragon 898, we now know who will be the first phone company to use the SoC in one of its devices. Once again, it's Xiaomi.
Xiaomi has long been the first to feature Qualcomm's latest flagship mobile chip in its phones, and that continues with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. It will appear in the Chinese company's Xiaomi 12 range—it no longer uses the Mi brand. According to Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, the device will be arriving "soon." Rumors point to a release before the year is out, with a reveal possibly taking place on December 16.
.@Qualcomm has always been one of the most important partners of Xiaomi. Today I'm proud to announce that after months of joint effort between Xiaomi and Qualcomm, Xiaomi 12 Series will be the world's first smartphones powered by the new @Snapdragon 8 5G Gen 1 mobile platform. pic.twitter.com/U7l3BytRce— leijun (@leijun) December 1, 2021
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is based on ARM's new ARMv9 architecture and is manufactured on Samsung's 4nm process node. It uses the Cortex-X2, Cortex-A710, and Cortex-A510 in a big, middle, and little setup (1+3+4).
The chip features a new Adreno GPU (currently unnamed but may be called the Adreno 730) that is up to 60% more performant in Vulkan than the Snapdragon 888. It also boasts Qualcomm's new X65 5G modem that can deliver a theoretical 10 Gbps over 5G networks, along with an 18-bit triple ISP.
Qualcomm's bottom line is that the new Snapdragon offers 20% faster CPU performance, 30% more power-efficient CPU, 30% GPU performance improvements, and 25% GPU-related power savings compared to its predecessor.
As for the Xiaomi 12, it's rumored to feature three camera sensors, including one 50MP Samsung ISOCELL GN1/Sony IMX700, reports Notebook Check, and will utilize the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1's always-on functionality so the selfie cam can double as a biometric authenticator.