Should you buy a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phone now, or wait for Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 phones?

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With the launch of the Asus ROG Phone 6, the first phone with Qualcomm’s upgraded Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset has officially arrived in the Indian market. And more phones are expected to join this list, with devices from OnePlus, iQOO and other brands on the way. However, many devices like the Xiaomi 12 Pro, iQOO 9 Pro, OnePlus 10 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S22 series are still available in the market, powered by the last-gen Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chips.

This brings us to one of the most common standoffs in the smartphone market that we face each year. Should you buy a phone with the older Qualcomm flagship chipset right now, or wait for a newer launch? While waiting for phones powered by newer, more powerful chipsets does come down to ‘personal preference’, this year there’s some debate between the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and its successor, the newer Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1.

We take a look at whether you should wait for the newer phones or if it might be the right time to bag a flagship with the older chipset.

The ‘problem’ with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

While it was the most powerful chipset Qualcomm ever made for a phone, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was criticised for its thermal performance with users reporting quickly rising temperatures and consequently poor battery life. Qualcomm announced the newer Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, promising to fix issues people faced with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs 8+ Gen 1: What’s different?

On paper, the two chipsets, both launched months apart, may not have much of a difference. The 8+ Gen 1 does have a higher clock speed and Bluetooth 5.3 support instead of Bluetooth 5.2. However, the rest of the spec-sheet between the phones is the same, down to the core architecture, the GPU and more.

However, the key difference is the processing technology. The new Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is manufactured by TSMC instead of at the Samsung foundry. While switching foundries for a mid-cycle update is not something Qualcomm does often, it speaks volumes about the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 not living up to its expectations in some areas. Early benchmarks and reports have suggested that the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 indeed outperforms the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, both in benchmarks and in real-life usage.

While users who have had a chance to compare phones with the two chipsets side-by-side have reported a significant difference in thermal and general performance, a leak by tipster Mukul Sharma (@stufflistings) has also revealed that an upcoming OnePlus phone powered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 gets an AnTuTu score of 11,31,151, much higher than the OnePlus 10 Pro which as per AnTuTu rankings, gets an 8,46,261 score. That’s quite the difference for a mid-cycle chip update.

So, which chipset is for you?

One aspect to consider here is availability. Flagship phones powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 like the Realme GT 2 Pro, iQOO 9 Pro and OnePlus 10 Pro are available in the market immediately, while most phones with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 are yet to launch in the country. Given the supply chain crisis in general, these could take a few months to get here.

The second is pricing. Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 phones are likely to be more expensive, not just because of the newer chip being an upgrade, but also due to the prices of chipsets going up in general. Overall macro-economic factors also indicate rising inflation globally, which is expected to push up prices further for most products.

Meanwhile, Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered phones could perhaps see a further drop in price after the newer chip is released, similar to how Snapdragon 888 phones can now be bought for really competitive prices.

The crucial aspect is the performance and how it affects your usage. If you’re looking to buy a flagship device to just have a snappy phone in your pocket that you can take great photos with and occasionally play games on, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (which is no slouch either) may make more sense for you.

However, power users and gamers who are buying a flagship to squeeze the most out of these powerful phones may want to hang on a bit longer for the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 phones to hit the market. These phones will likely be not just powerful, but also more stable for longer gameplays, better general performance and good thermal efficiency.





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