The new Snapdragon 780G is a 5nm mid-range chip with flagship-grade modem

Peter, 25 March 2021

Qualcomm just unveiled what could be the premium mid-range chipset to beat – the Snapdragon 780G is one the first chipsets in its class to be built on a 5nm node (following the Exynos 1080) and it’s basically a lite version of the 888 powerhouse.

The Kryo 670 CPU is described with a vague “40% performance uplift” without a point of reference. The 600-series cores should be derived from the latest Cortex-A78, while the 768G chipset used A76-based cores, which sounds to be on target for a 40% performance increase.

Interestingly, despite being fabbed at a leading node, the cores clock up to only 2.4 GHz. That matches the big cores in the 888, though the flagship chip also has a Cortex-X1 prime core at 2.84 GHz.

Moving on to the GPU, the Adreno 642 should slot between the Snapdragon 855 and 865 in terms of performance. It supports updatable drivers, HDR10 and the display adapter can drive 1080p+ displays at up to 144 Hz.

The Snapdragon 780G is Qualcomm's first mid-range 5 nm chip with flagship-like hardware

The Snapdragon 780G (SM7350-AB) supports LPDDR4 RAM at up to 2.1 GHz frequency and up to 16 GB capacity. While real life performance is hard to predict from paper specs, it’s clear that this chipset will find its way in some of the best camera phones to come.

It has a triple spectra 570 ISP, a parred down version of what is inside the 888. A triple ISP means that the image streams from three cameras can be processed simultaneously, something only possible on new flagship chipsets until now.

This ISP supports 10-bit color depth for photos and videos (Rec. 2020 color gamut) and can record in several popular HDR formats: HDR10, HDR10+ and HLG. It can handle a single camera up to 84 MP with Zero Shutter Lag enabled or a single camera up to 192 MP otherwise.

The Hexagon 770 AI engine can offers an impressive 12 TOPS of performance. That’s double what the 768G could manage (5.4 TOPS) and close to what the 865/870 have to offer (15 TOPS). This will expand the limits of computational photography in the premium mid-range segment.

The Snapdragon 780G has excellent connectivity features to boot. The X53 5G modem offers peak download speeds of up to 3.3 Gbps. mmWave is strangely missing, however.

Still, the local connectivity is on par with Qualcomm’s top chip thanks to the FastConnect 6900 system. It is one of the few to support Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax on the 6 GHz band) with peak speeds that surpass even the 5G modem at 3.6 Gbps and (with “VR-class” low latency to boot). Bluetooth 5.2 is supported along with a smattering of Qualcomm’s advanced audio features (including a customizable “Golden Ears” filter).

On the wired side of things, the chip offers the usual USB 3.1 for data and Quick Charge 4+ for filling the battery.

The first phones to be powered by the Snapdragon 780G will be out in the next three months.

Snapdragon 750G Snapdragon 768G Snapdragon 780G Snapdragon 860 Dimensity 1200 Exynos 1080
Process Samsung 8 nm Samsung 7 nm EUV Samsung 5 nm 7 nm TSMC TSMC 6 nm Samsung 5 nm EUV
CPU (prime) - 1x Kryo 475 (A76) @ 2.8 GHz 1x Kryo 670 (A78) @ 2.4 GHz 1x Kryo 485 (A76) @ 2.96 GHz 1x Cortex-A78 @ 3.0 GHz 1x Cortex-A78 @ 2.8 GHz
CPU (big) 2x Kryo 570 (A77) @ 2.2 GHz 1x Kryo 475 (A76) @ 2.4 GHz 3x Kryo 670 (A78) @ 2.2 GHz 3x Kruo 845 (A76) @ 2.42 GHz 3x Cortex-A78 @ 2.7 GHz 3x Cortex-A78 @ 2.6 GHz
CPU (small) 6x Kryo 570 (A55) @ 1.8 GHz 6x Kryo 475 (A55) @ 1.8 GHz 4x Kryo 670 (A55) @ 1.9 GHz 4x Kryo 485 (A55) @ 1.8 GHz 4x Cortex-A55 @ 2.0 GHz 4x Cortex-A55 @ 2.0 GHz
GPU Adreno 619 Adreno 620 Adreno 642 Adreno 640 Mali-G77 MC9 Mali-G78 MP10
Display 1080p+ @ 120 Hz 1080p+ @ 120 Hz 1080p+ @ 144 Hz 4K @ 60 Hz, 1080p+ @ 90 Hz 1080p+ @ 168 Hz 1440p+ @ 90 Hz, 1080p+ @ 144 Hz
ISP 2 2 3 2 ? ?
NPU 4.7 TOPS 5.4 TOPS 12 TOPS 7 TOPS ? 5.7 TOPS
5G modem (downlink) X52, 3.7 Gbps X52, 3.7 Gbps X53, 3.3 Gbps X50, 2 Gbps 4.7 Gbps (sub-6) 3.67 Gbps (mmWave), 5.1 Gbps (sub-6)
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 6, 867 Mbps Wi-Fi 6E, 3.6 Gbps Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 6 Wi-Fi 6



Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 19 Dec 2021
  • Sdm

The 860 and 870 are literally flaghsip chipsets from the past The 860 being an improved 855+, and the 870 being an improved 865 Just because they're 2 and 1 years old flaghsips respectively doesn't mean they suck now, they perform j...

860 and 870 are not exactly flagship chipsets, specially with the SD860 being a reworked version of a 2 year old chipset, 870 is based off something a bit more recent still behind the 2021 flagships 888 and 888+

  • Anonymous
  • 10 Apr 2021
  • 3W4

Hold Up! Even the 780G is numbered as a mid range chipset, nothing about its antutu 8 Score of over 500000 is mid range, Who creates what sector it falls into?, Technically it seems more of a downgraded 888. It's significantly ahead of...

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