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Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 Improves Efficiency and Performance in the Mid-Range Market

Snapdragon 7gen2 hero
© Qualcomm

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Qualcomm announced today its new mid-range processor for 2023, with the promise of improved availability and—most importantly—better performance and energy efficiency. Keep reading to learn what the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 brings to the heated intermediate market.

With the increasing threat of not only MediaTek’s Dimensity line but also Samsung LSI’s competitive mid-range Exynos and the slowly approaching UniSOC processors, Qualcomm practically stood still with its Snapdragon 778G SoC, announced in May 2021.

    Qualcomm   MediaTek Samsung
Processor Snapdragon 778G Dimensity 8200 Exynos 1380
CPU 1x Cortex-X2 @ 2.91 GHz
3x Cortex A710 @ 2.49 GHz
4x Cortex-A510 @ 1.8 GHz
1x Cortex-A710 @ 2.4 GHz
3x Cortex-A710 @ 2.36 GHz
4x Cortex-A510 @ 1.8 GHz
1x Cortex-A78 @ 2.4 GHz
3x Cortex-A78 @ 2.2 GHz 
4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.9 GHz
1x Cortex-A78 @ 3.1 GHz
3x Cortex-A78 @ 3.0 GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 2.0 GHz

4x Cortex-A78 @ 2.4 GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 2.0 GHz
GPU "Adreno" "Adreno" Adreno 642L 6x ARM Mali-G610 5x ARM Mali-G68
ISP "Spectra"
Triple 18-bit ISP
Up to 200 megapixels 
Triple 14-bit ISP
Up to 200 megapixels
Spectra 570L
Triple 14-bit ISP
Up to 200 megapixels
Imagiq 785
Triple 14-bit ISP
Up to 320 megapixels

Triple ISP
Up to 200 megapixels
Cellular Snapdragon X62
Up to 4.4 Gbps
Snapdragon X53
Up to 3.7 Gbps
Helio M70
Up to 4.7 Gbps
Up to 3.79 Gbps
Connectivity FastConnect 6900
Wi-Fi 6E up to 3.6 Gbps
Bluetooth 5.3
FastConnect 6700
Wi-Fi 6E up to 2.9 Gbps
Bluetooth 5.2

Wi-Fi 6E 
Bluetooth 5.3

Wi-Fi 6E 
Bluetooth 5.2
Manufacturing TSMC N4 ("4 nm") Samsung 4LPE ("4 nm") TSMC N6 ("6 nm") TSMC N4 ("4 nm") Samsung 5LPE ("5 nm")

Faster, less power hungry

Anyway, Qualcomm is promising a big leap in performance and power efficiency, and took the opportunity to skip a couple of mid-generations going from the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 straight to the 7+ Gen 2.

Like previous generations and even flagship processors, Qualcomm is using a 1+3+4 layout, with one prime CPU clocked at up to 2.91 GHz, an impressive 20% jump in processing frequency. In total, the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 promises up to 50% improvement in processing performance, partially also to using TSMC’s N4 manufacturing instead of the Samsung Foundry one previously used.

As we saw previously with the Snapdragons 780G > 778G, and 8 Gen 1 > 8+ Gen 1, refreshes, switching fabs importantly resulted in improved energy efficiency. In that field, Qualcomm cites up to 13% power savings, despite the jump in CPU clocks.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 cores diagram
Big performance jumps over the (barely seen) Snapdragon 7 Gen 1, / © Qualcomm

More frames per second

Gamers shopping for mid-range phones will be pleased to know that the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 promises faster framerates—both 100% against its predecessor and 25% over an unnamed rival.

Qualcomm also briefly mentioned its “Adreno Frame Motion Engine”, which apparently uses AI tech to interpolate frames. Machine Learning can also be used to upscale graphics, similar to what PC gamers are enjoying with acronyms like Nvidia’s DLSS, AMD’s FSR, and Intel’s XeSS.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 gaming
Gaming is once again a big talking point for the new processor. / © Qualcomm

5G and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity 

In the wireless department, the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 is compatible with 5G networks, with the Snapdragon X62 modem offering up to 4.4 Gbps of downstream performance, the same specs as the 7Gen1.

When it comes to WLAN, the new processor brings an updated FastConnect core, compatible with both Wi-Fi 6E (2.4, 5, and 6 GHz bands) and Bluetooth 5.3.

Qualcomm didn’t mention support for Wi-Fi 7, or Snapdragon Satellite, which looks like will remain exclusive for premium SoCs for a little while, despite announcements made during MWC 2023.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2
The traditional "bento box" recap for the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 most important features. / © Qualcomm

Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2: Availability

With two of the past three 7-Series Snapdragons being relegated to a single device in the West, both from Xiaomi, it looks like the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 will have better availability. 

Despite launching the succeeding Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 one year after the 778G, the only smartphone so far released in the West with it was the recently announced Xiaomi 13 Lite, repeating the same pattern of the 780G, found only on the Xiaomi Mi 12 Lite 5G, quickly replaced by the otherwise similar Xiaomi 12 Lite 5G NE.

When asked by NextPit about whether we would see the Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 in more devices, Qualcomm executives were quick to point out that the company already lined up two brands—Redmi and Realme—and that devices should start coming to market this month.

The new Snapdragon 7+ Gen 2 seems to bring to the mid-range market the same jump in performance and efficiency seen in the flagship sector. By replacing Samsung Foundry's troubled 4LPE process with TSMC's proven N4, Qualcomm looks ready to improve the limited supply found with the MIA 7 Gen 1 (and 780G before it) and counter the rival's advances in the heated intermediate market.

Share your thoughts on the latest processor: Is a mid-range option sufficient for your requirements, or do you prefer a smartphone powered by a top-tier SoC? Weigh in now and make an informed decision!

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Rubens Eishima

Rubens Eishima

Having written about technology since 2008 for a number of websites in Brazil, Spain, Denmark, and Germany, I specialize in the mobile ecosystem, including various models, components, and apps. I tend to not only value performance and specifications, but also things like repairability, durability, and manufacturer support. I tend to prioritize the end-user's point of view whenever possible.

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