Samsung-exclusive Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy makes its way to other devices, likely the 8 Plus Gen 2 Qualcomm hasn't talked about so far
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has proved itself to be an exceptional flagship SoC for 2023 Android smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy S23 series were defined by the 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy variant that Qualcomm developed exclusively for this series and also for the new Z Flip5 and the Z Fold5 foldables. Looks like this exclusivity is now over and the 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy might actually be the 8+ Gen 2 that we've been anticipating.
The original part number of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is SM8550-AB, and this features a 3.2 GHz Cortex-X3 Prime Core and a 680 MHz Adreno 740 GPU. The 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, on the other hand, carries the part number SM8550-AC and comes with the Prime Core clocked at 3.36 GHz and the Adreno 740 GPU running at 719 MHz.
Our friends over at XDA Developers noticed that the RedMagic 8S Pro's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC has the same identifier as that of the 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. The clock speeds of the Prime Core and the GPU also matched with those of the Samsung-exclusive chipset. The publication reached out to Qualcomm, who provided them the below response:
There are no specification differences between Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy and this new variant of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with 3.36GHz peak CPU speeds.
Following our expanded strategic partnership announcement in July 2022, we worked closely with Samsung to uniquely customize Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy for Flip5/Fold5/Tab9. For example, Samsung provided their proprietary camera IP to for us to integrate into the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy.
Given the minor adjustment to CPU prime core frequency, we’re treating this platform as a variant of the original platform (Snapdragon 8 Gen 2). Our goal is to maintain our simplified naming structure that was introduced in November 2021 so it’s easier for OEMs and consumers to discover and choose devices powered by Snapdragon."
It is becoming apparent that Qualcomm has silently started offering overclocked 8 Gen 2 chipsets to OEMs and is unlikely to announce an 8+ Gen 2 SKU specifically.
Comparatively, the transition from the 8 Gen 1 to the 8+ Gen 1 was more profound as the fab change from Samsung 4 nm to TSMC 4 nm proved to be very beneficial in terms of performance and efficiency.
We are only seeing a slight bump in clocks this time around with no other changes, so it is understandable why Qualcomm isn't interested in creating hype around this refresh.
Besides, Qualcomm has even brought forward its annual Snapdragon Summit to end-October this year wherein the company will unveil its next-generation Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC. We've already seen first leaks of this upcoming flagship SoC in a purported Samsung Galaxy S24 Plus.
While this new strategy might make business sense for Qualcomm, customers will have to seek out ways of finding out which SoC variant is powering their upcoming smartphone purchase.