Qualcomm has officially announced the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders. The phone will be made by Asus and is Qualcomm’s special edition phone for the Snapdragon Insiders, the community which the company says is now 1.6 million strong. The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders has been priced at $1499 (around Rs 1,11,940) and it will be available from August this year. Qualcomm says the Smartphone For Snapdragon Insiders will first roll out in US, China, Germany, UK, Japan and Korea, with the India availability soon after. The name may be a mouthful, but for the large amount of money you’ll be spending, the spec sheet makes for impressive reading. This will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G mobile platform with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. This makes it the next phone after the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra to offer the 16GB+512GB combination.
What’ll set this phone apart is the illuminated Snapdragon fireball icon on the back panel, which should be a nice visual element to have, for sure. You’ll be interfacing with stock Android, and that’ll be Android 11 out of the box. Asus and Qualcomm will be confirming the Android OS update and monthly security update plans, ahead of the official release of the phone. The Qualcomm Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders made by Asus will have a 6.78-inch AMOLED display, supplied by Samsung. This is rated at 1200 nits of peak brightness and will have the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection as well.
You may be wondering this, and the reason why the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders smartphone runs the Snapdragon 888 chip and not the newer Snapdragon 888+ chip is because the product development started well before the Snapdragon 888+ 5G mobile platform was announced. If Qualcomm and Asus had indeed gone back to the drawing board, we’d probably not have seen this phone launching in this calendar year. There will be just one variant, with 16GB RAM and 512GB storage. The storage is UFS 3.1, the fastest standard available in smartphones at this time.
Qualcomm says that the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders buyers will get a complete experience, because bundled with the phone will be premium wireless earbuds by Master & Dynamic (these would be the MW08SI) with active noise cancellation, a Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 power adapter, braided USB-C to USB-c cables and a rubber bumper case. This also becomes one of the first mobile devices to support Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sound technology, and paired with the buds, you’d get 24-bit, 96kHz music streaming. There are claims of ultra-low-latency for lag-free wireless gaming.
Speaking of which, gamers will probably find the 144Hz refresh rate much to their liking, while Qualcomm says the touch response will be enhanced by as much as 20% and the Qualcomm Adreno 660 graphics deliver 35% faster gaming than the predecessor graphics chips. The Snapdragon 888 has the 6th generation Qualcomm AI engine, and the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders will be 5G ready out of the box with support for 5G Sub6 NR bands and the 5G mmWave bands. We still do not know when 5G services will be available in India and what bands will be operational here.
At the back are three cameras—a 64-megapixel wide camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera. This will offer up to 3x optical zoom, 12x total zoom, optical image stabilization (OIS) and triple 14-bit Computer-Vision ISP as well as up to 8K video recording. The front facing camera is 24-megapixels. The cameras will take advantage of Qualcomm’s new Spectra 580 image signal processor as well as a new feature called AI auto zoom.
More details on the specifics about the India launch date and availability are awaited but expect the pricing of the Qualcomm and Asus’ Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders to be priced around the $1499 (around Rs 1,11,940) global pricing mark. You will most certainly be paying a lot of money for this phone, but it will surely have a flaunt value for Snapdragon fans.