Qualcomm supercharges 5G mobile gaming with new Snapdragon 865 Plus

Asus and Lenovo are two companies that plan to use the processor in their upcoming gaming phones.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 865 Plus will enable intensive gaming over 5G. 


Qualcomm's high-end Snapdragon processor is getting a speed bump to make mobile gaming even more immersive. And one of the first phones to use the chip will be the upcoming Asus ROG Phone 3.

Qualcomm on Wednesday said its Snapdragon 865 Plus has 10% quicker graphics rendering and a 10% faster CPU clock speed than its sibling, the Snapdragon 865. And the company's Quick Charge AI monitors battery life to help the devices last longer. 

The Snapdragon 865 Plus also works with Qualcomm's FastConnect 6900 technology, which enables Wi-Fi download speeds of up to 3.6 Gbps. It takes advantage of Wi-Fi 6E, a new category of connectivity that taps into the 6 GHz spectrum. It's "less congested, insanely-fast and shockingly smooth," Qualcomm said, and will enable ultra responsive devices, even in crowded spaces where a lot of devices are connected at once. 

And like the Snapdragon 865, the new chip taps into the 5G networks that are rolling out across the globe. It pairs with the x55 modem that's capable of up to 7.5 Gbps download speeds. 

The continued advance of 5G is more critical than ever now that the coronavirus has radically changed our world. People are stuck at home and are maintaining their distance from each other, forcing them to rely on home broadband service -- something 5G could amp up. The next-generation cellular technology, which boasts anywhere from 10 to 100 times the speed of 4G and rapid-fire responsiveness, could improve everything from simple video conferencing to telemedicine and advanced augmented and virtual reality. Gaming is one area that's expected to benefit from 5G's responsiveness and fast speeds. 

Asus and Lenovo are two companies that plan to use the 865 Plus in their new devices, coming later this year. The ROG Phone 3, which will be announced "in the coming weeks," will see its "overall performance ... take yet another leap forward," Bryan Chang, general manager Asus' smartphone business unit, said in a press release. 

And Lenovo will use the Snapdragon 865 Plus in its upcoming family of Legion mobile gaming devices.

"Three years after the launch of the Lenovo Legion PC portfolio, we're bringing our beloved gaming sub-brand's core values of speed and powerful performance to 5G mobile gaming -- where Lenovo Legion will be amongst the first to offer the new Snapdragon 865 Plus in our expanding family of gaming devices this year," Jerry Tsao, vice president of Lenovo's mobile gaming group for emerging markets, said in a press release.

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