OnQ Blog

10 reasons why Snapdragon 865 is the most advanced 5G mobile platform

Mar 24, 2020

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform is the most advanced 5G mobile platform. Full stop.

Trusted by most phone manufacturers to power their 5G flagship devices in 2020, the Snapdragon 865 is found in more than 70 announced or in-development designs. Its success is the result of decades of our R&D, engineering work, a series of industry-first 5G milestones, and deep optimization for key applications such as Google Mobile Services, culminating in the premium mobile experiences you deserve.

By innovating in 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), camera, video, audio, security, and more, we’re helping our customers deliver cutting-edge performance and exceptional battery life. That means multi-gigabit-speed downloads, live concert streaming, real-time language translation, and responsive multiplayer mobile gaming – enabled by technical breakthroughs that debut in our premium Snapdragon 8-series platforms, and then quickly find their way into mainstream platforms such as Snapdragon 7- and 6-series that compare well with other companies’ top products.

There are many reasons why OEMs around the world rely on the Snapdragon 865 — and not other platforms — to enable this new generation of 5G phones. Here are 10, in no particular order:

1. 5G mmWave

5G is designed to tap a broad set of wireless frequencies, from low- and mid-bands in sub-6 GHz to higher frequencies called millimeter wave (mmWave). These higher bands play a crucial role in 5G development because they deliver extreme capacity and lightning-fast cellular speeds of up to 7.5 Gbps. No one can rightfully claim 5G leadership without mastering the technology.

Through the years, we spearheaded the research and development of mmWave. And when it came time to develop the Snapdragon 865, we made sure to integrate the Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System, which supports all key spectrum frequencies, from lower to higher bands. This is why Snapdragon 865 is generations ahead in enabling mmWave access in smartphones.

2. 5G sub-6 GHz aggregation

As mentioned above, the Snapdragon 865 not only supports mmWave, it’s also proven to deliver unsurpassed speeds and coverage at the sub-6 GHz bands. Its 200 MHz aggregation allows for more than double the sub-6 peak speeds of other flagship solutions, reaching up to 5 Gbps in downloads. In fact, we recently achieved 3.6 Gbps using carrier aggregation of 200 MHz TDD sub-6 spectrum with our Snapdragon X55 Modem-RF System.

3. 5G modem-to-antenna solution

While OEMs have the option to choose different RF front end components from multiple suppliers, we offer a comprehensive system. We’re unique in that we deliver a comprehensive modem-to-antenna solution, which includes a baseband, RF transceiver, RF front-end, and antenna modules that are tested and optimized to work together. This enhances 5G user experiences by delivering superior cellular speeds, coverage, and power-efficiency in sleek form factors.

4. Gigapixel ISP

One of the unique features of the Snapdragon 865 is our Qualcomm Spectra 480 ISP. It can process professional-quality photos and videos at 2 Gigapixels per second. With these speeds, the ISP supports camera features that were once unprecedented, such as 8K video capture, Dolby Vision video capture, 200-megapixel photo capture, and 960 FPS slow-motion video capture with no recording limit.

5. Fifth (5th) Gen AI Engine

Breakthrough user experiences in areas like camera capture, audio playback, mobile gaming, and real-time translation depend on exceptional AI performance. Our 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine, which is found in the Snapdragon 865, tackles these demanding tasks with ease.

The Qualcomm AI Engine is unmatched when it comes to delivering 15 TOPS (Trillions Operations Per Second) at low power. This means that complex, AI-powered applications can run smoothly and efficiently on the Snapdragon 865. The platform’s superior AI capabilities can also be used in popular classification networks, such as Resnet 34, Inception V3, MobileNet SSD, and DeepLab V3+, and we’ve worked with over 60 software partners to accelerate their AI user experiences on our 5th Gen AI engine.

6. Sustained graphics performance

Simply put, the Qualcomm Adreno 650 GPU is leading the way in sustained Android graphics performance. Integrated in the Snapdragon 865, the GPU enables rich and smooth graphics while withstanding long periods of gameplay or usage. Other GPUs degrade in performance over time.

7. Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming features

Mobile is the future of gaming. Studies show more than 80 percent of gamers now play on mobile devices, and with the impact of 5G, 2.7 billion people worldwide will game on mobile by 2021. That’s why we engineered the Snapdragon 865 to deliver unprecedented mobile gaming performance and rendering quality that deliver desktop-level features. Its Snapdragon Elite Gaming features, including Desktop Forward Rendering, updateable GPU drivers, HDR10 support, and 144Hz refresh rates, which aren’t currently found in competing platforms.

8. Wi-Fi 6 Dual Band Simultaneous (2x2 + 2x2)

The Snapdragon 865 also includes the Qualcomm FastConnect 6800 Mobile Connectivity Subsystem. This subsystem boasts a unique implementation of Wi-Fi 6 Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) for mobile. This allows Snapdragon 865-powered smartphones to harness Wi-Fi 6 performance across 2.4- and 5 GHz bands simultaneously in a 2x2 + 2x2 DBS configuration. By employing this DBS innovation, speed and low-latency performances are greatly improved, enabling more immersive mobile Wi-Fi experiences.

9. Super Wideband Bluetooth Voice

Another important pillar of mobile connectivity with significant impact on user experiences is Bluetooth. Addressing the burgeoning wireless audio trend, the Snapdragon 865 uniquely supports Qualcomm aptX Voice. This new voice audio codec was designed to deliver crystal-clear voice calls at 32kHz quality over Bluetooth wireless technology, so users can enjoy seamless voice communication even when sporting wireless earbuds.

10. Global commercialization

What it comes down to is this: Snapdragon equates to superior user experience. It’s the reason why Snapdragon platforms are trusted by most phone manufacturers around the world. The Snapdragon 865, with its leading technologies and rich feature set, is the mobile platform of choice in virtually all countries that offer mobile 5G phones and services.

Users deserve a superior mobile experience, which is why they should look for the Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform in their next premium device purchase. As the most advanced 5G mobile platform in the world, it enables our customers and partners to innovate and grow globally.


Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm Spectra, Qualcomm Adreno, Qualcomm AI Engine, Qualcomm FastConnect Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming, and Qualcomm aptX are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.


Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Alex Katouzian

SVP & GM, Mobile, Compute and Infrastructure, Qualcomm Technologies