The Snapdragon 888 is an improvement over the 865 in every category, you can read the detailed breakdown for more. However, Qualcomm had its focus on some areas in particular. The first batch of promo videos make it pretty clear what those were.
We start off with gaming. The Adreno 660 GPU is 35% faster than its predecessor as a baseline, but can gain another 30% with modern features such as Variable Rate Shading. With the third generation Snapdragon Elite Gaming, Qualcomm wants to positions the 888 as the chipset to have for serious gamers.
The chipset renders HDR graphics, lowers touch response times but also addresses other issues such as quashing acoustic feedback in voice chat during a match.
Here’s a rundown of all kinds of popular games intercut with graphical improvements brought on by the new chipset.
Interestingly, Qualcomm referred to itself as a camera company during its tech summit. It doesn’t make lenses or sensors, but its hardware enables the computational photography that allows those small lenses and sensors to produce stunning imagery.
The triple eight chipset is the first Snapdragon with a triple ISP, the Spectra 580. It enables 4K/120 fps capture and playback as well as 120 shots per second bursts, plus smoother transitions between the phone’s different cameras. The chipset captures images in 10-bit HEIF and has a new architecture for low-light photography.
Modern smartphone photography requires more than an ISP (or three), AI accelerators help boost image quality and enable various effects. The low power (sub-1 milliamp) Sensing Hub can detect various events, say, the motion of you picking up the phone or the sound of a baby crying.
The Snapdragon 888 also introduces Qualcomm’s new X60 5G modem, which offers fiber-like Internet speeds and low-latency. Local connectivity is also cutting edge, thanks to the FastConnect 6900 system.
That extends to low-latency sound for wireless headsets. To that end, the new chipset supports aptX Adaptive and TrueWireless, plus Aqstic that handles the audio coming out of the phone’s speakers.