Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors power almost all of the best Android phones out there right now, and the semiconductor giant is expected to unveil its latest and greatest chipset – likely called the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 – at its annual Snapdragon Summit later this year.
Qualcomm typically uses this summit to talk up its role in shaping the future of mobile, automotive, audio and mixed reality experiences, meaning we’re likely to get a better idea of how future flagship phones from the likes of Samsung, Xiaomi and OnePlus might perform, too.
Below, we’ve rounded up all the latest news and rumors surrounding the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, including details on its specs, release date and the devices in which the chipset could soon feature.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Expected to be Qualcomm’s new flagship mobile chipset
- When is it out? Rumored for Q4 2023 (i.e. between October and December)
- How much will it cost? As with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Qualcomm will likely sell the 8 Gen 3 directly to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). The flagship phones set to use it, though, will cost north of $800 / £700 / AU$1,200.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3: release date
Qualcomm typically unveils its new and improved Snapdragon processors at its annual Snapdragon Summit, which takes place in November, and we expect the manufacturer to stick with this tradition in 2023.
That said, although the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 was unveiled in November and began arriving in phones as soon as December, leaker Digital Chat Station (via NotebookCheck) has suggested that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 could actually arrive slightly earlier this year. They make no mention of specific dates, though, so we’d still expect to see the chipset launch sometime between October and December.
As such, while the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 may end up being announced earlier than November 2023, that announcement probably won’t have many (if any) implications for the phones set to use the new chipset.
Potentially, we could see a device feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 as soon as October this year – which wouldn’t have been possible if the chipset didn’t land until November – but there aren’t many obvious candidates in that month, as far as we can tell right now.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3: news and leaks
Since we’re still a while away from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s expected Q4 2023 launch, news and leaks surrounding the in-development processor are few and far between.
Many of the phones using Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 – like those in the Samsung Galaxy S23 and OnePlus 11 lines – have only recently launched, too, so it’s hard to speculate about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3’s capabilities when we’re only just getting to grips with those of its predecessor.
That said, we have already heard a smattering of rumors about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. Specifically, two Twitter leakers – RGcloudS and Revegnus – claim to have seen detailed performance specs for the upcoming chipset, though the pair disagree on the figures.
Both tipsters suggest that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will be manufactured by TSMC using the latter’s 4nm process node, but while RGcloudS expects the upcoming chipset to feature one high-performance Cortex-X4 core, four performance cores and three efficiency cores – a setup akin to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 – Revegnus proposes a 1-5-2 configuration.
To get more granular, RGcloudS claims that this high-performance core will be clocked at 3.7GHz, which would mark a 15% speed increase over the 3.2GHz clock speed of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Revegnus, however, expects the 8 Gen 3’s main core to boast the same 3.2GHz clock speed as its predecessor, albeit with the additions of an Adreno 750 GPU and Snapdragon’s X75 5G modem (which, they say, will bring a 20% improvement in energy efficiency).
Snapdragon 8gen3 rumorsTSMC N4P 1 + 5 + 2 architecture, a Cortex-X4 mega-core 3.75GHzfive Cortex-A720 large core 3.0GHz two Cortex-A520 small core 2.0GHz than Snapdragon 8gen2 more than one performance core, less than the energy efficiency core. The GPU is Adreno750. pic.twitter.com/MTGOtnL46EMarch 9, 2023
A more recent rumor from a more reliable Android leaker and developer, Kuba Wojciechowski, claims that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will rock a different setup entirely. According to him, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will have “2x Arm codename Hayes (A5xx) ‘silver’ cores, 3x Arm codename Hunter (A7xx) ‘gold’ cores, 2x Arm codename, Hunter (A7xx) ‘titanium’ cores, and 1x Arm codename Hunter ELP (Xn) ‘gold+’ core.”
He also notes that the Hayes and Hunter cores were as yet unannounced by Qualcomm and would be dropping 32-bit app support on any Android phones that they powered. Google’s Tensor processor already dropped 32-bit, and Apple’s iOS as a whole did so years ago. The impact of this could be low, but a few Android apps still use 32-bit configuration.
Wojciechowski concurs that the 8 Gen 3 will be launching in late 2023, however.
🐉 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 to come with 2+3+2+1 next-gen Arm cores, Adreno 750, more: leak 🧵 pic.twitter.com/TAYu8GsDtoMarch 23, 2023
Though it’s hard for us to weigh in on the accuracy of any of these claims at this stage, Wojciechowski has a more solid track record overall, so we’re inclined to give his prediction the most credence. All that said, it’s clear that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 will deliver some form of significant performance improvements over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
Snapdragon 8 Gen 3: supported phones
As for the phones we expect to see use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the Samsung Galaxy S24 and its premium siblings will almost certainly be top of the list.
In their aforementioned tweet, RGcloudS claims that Samsung’s next flagship devices will once again boast a Galaxy-specific version of Qualcomm’s latest chipset, which, they say, will actually beat Apple’s upcoming A17 Bionic “on paper.”
In other words, phones in the Samsung Galaxy S24 line – which we expect to launch early next year – could be faster than the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and much-rumored iPhone 15 Ultra on paper. Of course, these speed gains are likely to be negligible, and Apple’s chips always pose a substantial challenge to Qualcomm, MediaTek, and Google alike. The leak nonetheless bodes well for the performance credentials of future Android devices.
We’re also expecting Samsung to offer Qualcomm chipsets across the board with the Samsung Galaxy S24 line. In years prior to the release of the S23 range, the company used either Snapdragon or Samsung Exynos processors in its flagship phones, depending on the regions in which customers were buying them. The lack of processor discrepancy between regions is a key part of the reason we rate Samsung’s latest phones so highly, so we think it’d be foolish of the company to undo all that good work with its next line of Galaxy S series devices.
Beyond the above, we haven’t heard much more about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, but we’ll be updating this page whenever we get wind of new leaks, news and rumors.