Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Tomorrow's Top-Tier Android Modem Promises to Boost Lackluster 5G Signals

With the Snapdragon X75 5G modem, Qualcomm wants to help you keep your high-speed signal when in elevators and subways.

David Lumb Mobile Reporter
David Lumb is a mobile reporter covering how on-the-go gadgets like phones, tablets and smartwatches change our lives. Over the last decade, he's reviewed phones for TechRadar as well as covered tech, gaming, and culture for Engadget, Popular Mechanics, NBC Asian America, Increment, Fast Company and others. As a true Californian, he lives for coffee, beaches and burritos.
Expertise smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, telecom industry, mobile semiconductors, mobile gaming
David Lumb
2 min read
Qualcomm's wordmark, shown on a smartphone.

Qualcomm says several internal upgrades mean that its Snapdragon X75 5G modem offers better connections to 5G networks.

Getty Images

Frustrated with lackluster 5G? Top-tier Android phones could get better connections to the next-gen networks later this year, when they start packing Qualcomm's next premium modem chipset. 

The Snapdragon X75 5G is the next generation of Qualcomm's smartphone modem, superseding the X70 used in the just-released Samsung Galaxy S23 series. Qualcomm says the new modem features improvements to 5G connectivity, lower power drain, and over twice as much AI processing capability as its predecessor, for better connections to networks. 

Upgraded software in the modem is designed to do a better job of sustaining network connections in areas that typically block phone signals, like elevators, subway trains, airports and parking garages, the company says.

We won't know how much better the new modem will be at connecting to 5G networks until phones start using it in the second half of 2023. But the focus on improving smartphone connectivity reflects how much the industry is moving toward standalone 5G, where networks will stop relying on 4G LTE and connect with smartphones using only next-gen 5G frequencies. 

In addition to connecting to the lower-frequency sub-6 5G and higher-speed millimeter wave 5G, the X75 also supports Snapdragon Satellite, which lets smartphones send text messages and data via satellites. Qualcomm announced the feature at CES 2023 and said it would be available for phones with the company's current X70 modem later in the year, so it isn't a surprise it'll be supported in the new X75.

The Snapdragon X75 will make its way into premium phones as well as tablets, Internet of Things devices, and automobiles, Qualcomm said, though it didn't announce any specific devices that would feature the modem.