The upcoming flagship chip from Qualcomm dubbed the Snapdragon 888 recently made its debut in Xiaomi’s latest Mi 11 smartphone in China. A lot of smartphone enthusiasts had their eyes pinned on the latest SD chip as Qualcomm recently shifted its focus from synthetic benchmarks to real-world performance. As per the latest reviews, however, things look rather conflicting for SD 888.
According to the tester, Golder Reviewer, the SD 888 powerful than Apple’s A13 Bionic chip currently powering the iPhone 11 and SE. However, the surge is power comes at a very steep cost.
According to benchmarks, the SD 888 consumes a lot of power and overheats the phone on several occasions. The tests cast a shadow on the capabilities of the SD 888 chip and make one doubt its future potential, as it’ll debut on flagship devices from OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo etc.
Snapdragon 888 Heats Up The Scene, Literally!
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC made its debut a few weeks ago touting high level of power efficiency, camera performance and overall CPU/GPU improvement.
The claim of chip’s power efficiency seems a bit misleading considering its performance in industry-standard benchmarks like Geekbench, Antutu, PUBG Mobile and Genshin Impact.
For instance, in Geekbench the SD 88 achieved a higher performance score but lower efficiency scores as compared to Apple’s A13 Bionic chip.
Furthermore, in the Antutu Benchmarks, the SD 888 powered Mi 11 suffered a 12-degree rise in temperature, along with 4% battery loss. For comparison, most notable flagships only suffer 4–5-degree temperature increase during this benchmark.
According to experts, the new high-performance Cortex-X1 core introduced in the SD 888 is responsible for high performance as well as a higher power draw.
For example, in the SPECint benchmark, the Cortex-X1 performed 26% better than SD 865’s Cortex-A77 core at a similar clock speed. However, the former consumed 65% more power than the older Cortex-A77. Proving that the new design offers more performance but at a significant cost.
While playing games, the SD 888 didn’t perform well either. The chip managed to run PUBG mobile with HDR+ settings at 60+ FPS. In the first 30 minutes of gameplay, the battery dropped from 86% to 77%.
The SD 888 performed its worst while testing the latest open-world title Genshin Impact. The Xiaomi Mi 11 reached a maximum temperature of 50 degrees while playing the game, dropping the frames from 60 to 30 merely after 10 minutes of gameplay.
Is The Future of Snapdragon 888 Phones In Jeopardy?
The issue with Snapdragon 888 seems to be device-specific. It is entirely possible that manufacturers like OnePlus, Vivo, Oppo among others make efficient use of the SD 888 chip.
Qualcomm made huge claims during the launch of their new chip and reiterated its high-efficiency multiple times. The spokesperson further notified the audience to not focus too much on synthetic benchmarks this year as real-world applications and user experience will be more prioritised.
SD 888 also comes with dedicated sensors and modules to make sure power is consumed in every possible scenario. So, the above-mentioned benchmarks, although disappointing, are not enough to explain whether SD 888 is at fault here or the OEM.