Upcoming flagships could be priced even lower with the Snapdragon 888 ‘Lite’


When the Galaxy S21 was unveiled earlier in the year, one of the most compelling reasons to pick this phone was not just the updated specs, flat display, or the slightly-tweaked design. Instead, it was the fact that the base price started at just $799, which was $200 cheaper than the Galaxy S20 lineup. That saving was brought to all three models, including the behemoth Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Some of the reason for the lower price has to do with the Snapdragon 888, which not only powers these handsets but also features an integrated 5G modem. The Snapdragon 865 chipset, which powered many of last year’s processors, sported a separate 5G, but Qualcomm seemingly forced OEM’s to purchase the 5G modem if they intended to use the SD865.

A “lite” version could be on the way

According to Roland Quandt of WinFuture, it seems that Qualcomm is working on a “Lite” version of the Snapdragon 888. It’s still early days, but it appears as though this would still provide the performance gains of the standard Snapdragon 888, but would not feature an integrated 5G modem.

Removing the 5G modem would more than likely bring down the cost of the processor for the phone makers, which should mean that we could have cheaper flagship phones. The biggest benefit of this would be to bring a flagship experience without forcing customers or phone makers to try to adopt 5G networks. While the 5G race in the U.S. continues to heat up between the three big carriers, 5G is not available everywhere in the States, or in every region around the world just yet.

This is huge, as it would give phone makers more opportunities to get flagship phones in the hands of their customers even cheaper than the price reduction that we’ve seen from the current crop of flagships. Plus, you wouldn’t have to worry about the headaches surrounding whether your carrier supports 5G where you live, or deal with the potential battery drain if your live in an area where you are in between LTE and 5G towers.

There’s no telling when this potential SD888 Lite would be announced or released, but it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see some type of announcement over the few months.


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