Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Qualcomm has introduced the Snapdragon 870 to power 2021 sub-flagship Android phones. It'll sit under the Snapdragon 888 introduced last month and is essentially a slightly faster version of the Snapdragon 865 Plus introduced in the middle of last year. 

The fact Qualcomm is having to produce a chipset that sits directly under Snapdragon 888 should be a compliment to rivals, particularly Mediatek with its Dimensity 800 and 1000. 

Once again Snapdragon 870 is a 7nm process-based, 5G-capable platform with Kryo 585 CPU cores clocked up to 3.2Ghz, so performance should be pretty sweet. However, that's only slightly faster than the 865 Plus at 3.1Ghz. 

The other key specs are almost the same and once again the X55 5G modem is used rather than the newer X60. The 5G support includes the fastest mmWave-based 5G spec (in addition to low and mid-band support that's more commonplace) as you'd expect from a flagship 5G platform now. 

MacBook Pro, Pixel 6, and more - Pocket-lint Podcast 126

There's Qualcomm's 5th gen AI Engine in addition to Wi-Fi 6 and 4K display support thanks once again to the same Adreno 650 GPU. 

The announcement names several well-known and predictable names that will use the new chipset including Motorola, OnePlus, Oppo, and Xiaomi - all long-term Qualcomm partners. Vivo was also reported to be announcing a new handset featuring Snapdragon 870, too, while Qualcomm has also confirmed iQOO as a customer for the new chipset. This could be the platform used in the new OnePlus 9

All these companies have also committed to using Snapdragon 888 in flagship devices as well. Devices featuring both Snapdragon 870 are set to be announced in the coming weeks. We're set to get more Snapdragon 888 announcements, too - the Samsung Galaxy S21 series features the Snapdragon 888 in the US and China. 

Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 19 January 2021.