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Snapdragon 888 phones: which handsets will benefit from the next-gen features?

Snapdragon 888
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm has unveiled its new Snapdragon 888 top-tier SoC (system-on-chip) which will be powering some of the biggest flagship smartphones in 2021, and we've got a good idea of what many of those handsets will be.

Qualcomm has already confirmed a number of manufacturers who will be using it's brand-new chipset, which boasts improvements in 5G connectivity, AI smarts, gaming and photography.

The phone makers set to use the Snapdragon 888 in future handsets are: Asus, BlackShark, Lenovo, LG, Meizu, Motorola, Nubia, Realme, OnePlus, Oppo, Sharp, Sony, Vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.

A few of these have already confirmed the first phones that will use the chipset too, while for most of the others we've made predictions, all of which you'll find below.

Update: Oppo, Realme and Xiaomi have confirmed the first phones they'll launch with the Snapdragon 888.

Snapdragon 888 phones: our predictions 

Asus

Snapdragon 888 phone prediction: Asus Zenfone 8

If we look at Asus' 2020 phones, this Zenfone 7 was the main handset with the 865 chip, so it makes sense for the Zenfone 8 (if it launches) will come with the Snapdragon 888. It's worth noting Asus also has its gaming-focused ROG line-up, but previous generations have used an update 'plus' variant of Qualcomm's top-end chip - so keep an eye of for the 888+ in 2021.

Black Shark

Snapdragon 888 phone prediction: Black Shark 4, Black Shark 4 Pro

Xiaomi-owned Black Shark will be particularly interested in the new Snapdragon Elite Gaming features packed into the Snapdragon 888, as it builds gaming-focused smartphones. We wouldn't be surprised it the Black Shark 4 shows up with a 144Hz screen for ultra-smooth refresh rate action.

LG

Snapdragon 888 phone prediction: LG V70 ThinQ 5G

LG no-longer has its G-series of flagship phones, but its V-series of high-end handsets are still going strong and the next one in line for launch is the LG V70 ThinQ. It will be interesting to see what LG can do with the Snapdragon 888, as the South Korean firm tends to think outside the box for some truly unique offerings.

Motorola

Snapdragon 888 phone prediction: Motorola Edge+ 2

Motorola's most exciting phone of 2020 was its Razr 5G foldable, but that features a Snapdragon 7 series chip, which leaves just the Edge+ as the only recent Moto phone with Qualcomm's top chip inside. With that in mind, we'd expect the successor to this handset to come with the Snapdragon 888. The company has said that a Moto G model will have an 800-series chipset, but we'd imagine it will be an older version.

  • Motorola Edge 2: why we want to see a follow-up to the coolest Motorola phone

OnePlus

Snapdragon 888 phone prediction: OnePlus 9, OnePlus 9 Pro

The OnePlus launch schedule has become predictable over the years, and we fully expect the Chinese manufacturer to follow up on 2020's 8 and 8 Pro with the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro in 2021 with the Snapdragon 888 inside.

  • OnePlus 9 release date, price, news and rumors

Oppo

Snapdragon 888 phone: Oppo Find X3, Oppo Find X3 Pro

Oppo has confirmed that its next Find X flagship will use the Snapdragon 888. It hasn't revealed the full name of the phone but it almost certainly means the Oppo Find X3 and likely also the Oppo Find X3 Pro. This Find X flagship is scheduled to land in the first quarter of 2021.

  • Oppo Find X3 release date, price, leaks and potential delays

Realme

Snapdragon 888 phone: Realme Race

Realme has confirmed that a handset codenamed 'Race' will be among the first to use the Snapdragon 888, so it's presumably launching soon - though since that's a codename it may not be called the Realme Race when it does. Nothing else is known for sure about the phone, but leaks suggest it has 12GB of RAM and a quad-lens camera.

Sony

Snapdragon 888 phone prediction: Sony Xperia 1 III

Questionable naming aside, Sony's flagship smartphones tend to have a big camera focus, so we expect it to take advantage of the new ISP features on the Snapdragon 888 for its next handset - which will likely be the Sony Xperia 1 III.

Xiaomi

Snapdragon 888 phone: Xiaomi Mi 11

Xiaomi has confirmed that the Xiaomi Mi 11 will be one of the first handsets to launch with Snapdragon 888.

And more

We expect for manufacturers to be confirmed over the coming months as well. 

One of the big names missing from the initial list is Samsung, and it's worth noting the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and Galaxy Z Flip both use Qualcomm's top-tier Snapdragon chips around the world.

Even if the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy Note 21 feature Samsung's own Exynos processors - we could well see its next generation of foldable phones pack the Snapdragon 888.

John McCann

Global Managing Editor

John got his first phone aged 12 and since then he's been fixated on all things mobile. Previously Phones Editor, John now looks after the day-to-day running of the site. When he's not got his head buried in mobile tech, you'll find John sitting behind the wheel in his regular TR Drives column.