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Fragging hell: Qualcomm rolls out mid-tier 5G gaming chipset

768G SoC supports upgradeable drivers, claims 15% performance boost

Gaming phones are an increasingly lucrative niche within the smartphone market, particularly in Asia, where vendors like Xiaomi's Black Shark, ZTE's Nubia, and Asus all vie for dominance. Catering to this segment is Qualcomm, which today rolled out the Snapdragon 768G platform.

This chip is a follow-up to 2019's Snapdragon 765G, and displays the usual emphasis on performance you'd expect from a multimedia-friendly platform. The primary Kryo 475 CPU has seen a clock speed increase from 2.4GHz to 2.8GHz. Meanwhile, the Adreno 620 GPU has been overclocked, with Qualcomm promising graphics performance boosts of up to 15 per cent.

Speaking of which, this chip also supports upgradable GPU drivers. Qualcomm first announced this feature late last year, albeit in an extremely limited form, with just a handful of devices (primarily Pixel phones and Samsung flagships) supported. It's therefore interesting to see upgradable drivers make their way to a chip intended for mid-tier blowers.

On the networking side, there's an integrated Snapdragon X52 modem with support for sub-6GHz and mmWave (5G operating from 24GHz to 100GHz) frequencies, with regional band compatibility emphasised. Qualcomm reckons the Snapdragon 768G tops out at 3.7Gbps down and 1.6Gbps up – although that would inevitably rely on the user being close enough to a mmWave base station to make David Icke uneasy.

However, as Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon himself has pointed out, next-gen mobile broadband on mmWave networks might not be fully ubiquitous commercially until 2021.

Elsewhere, there's support for 120Hz displays, Bluetooth 5.2, up to 12GB of RAM, and cameras with 192MP sensors.

The inaugural phone to carry the Snapdragon 768G will be the Redmi K30 5G Racing Edition, which is already available to pre-order in China for ¥2,000 (about £230). It's not clear if this phone will see a wider international release, however. ®

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