Xiaomi, Oppo, Motorola, Nokia: Some of the first phones using Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 5G chips

At least four companies commit to releasing new smartphones with the chips in early 2020, including Xiaomi's Mi 10 flagship.

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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

Xiaomi Vice Chairman Bin Lin said the company's next flagship smartphone, the Mi 10, will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 chip and arrive in the first quarter.

Shara Tibken/CNET

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon processors are here, and on Tuesday, at least four handset makers said they'll be using them in upcoming phones in early 2020.

Motorola, Nokia phone maker HMD, Oppo and Xiaomi joined Qualcomm onstage at the Snapdragon Tech Summit to commit to using the Snapdragon 865 and 765 processors for new devices. 

Qualcomm introduced the new processors earlier Tuesday during a press conference in Hawaii. The Snapdragon 865 will be in premium smartphones. It doesn't come with a modem, so phone makers that want to connect their devices to a 5G network must also buy Qualcomm's X55 modem. But if phone makers want a single chip that acts as the brains of a device and connects to 5G, they can instead opt for Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 765 or 765G (the G stands for gaming) that use the slower X52 modem. The 765 and 765G processors will be aimed at less expensive smartphones than devices using the 865. 

Watch this: 5G made simple

Xioami Vice Chairman Bin Lin said Tuesday that the high-end Snapdragon 865 will be in the company's Mi 10 flagship phone in the first quarter of 2020. He didn't give details about the phone but said many more 5G phones will follow in 2020.

"For the whole year next year, we will launch more than 10 devices running 5G, starting with premium tier, then midtier" and so forth, Lin said. 

Alen Wu, Oppo's president of global sales, said his company also will release a premium flagship phone with the Snapdragon 865 in the first quarter, as well as introduce its Reno 3 Pro with the Snapdragon 765G.

"In 2020, there's going to be a new wave of explosive growth of 5G phones," Wu said through a translator.

Motorola, meanwhile, will use Qualcomm's 865 and 765 processors, President Sergio Buniac said, though he didn't provide details about any particular products. 

And HMD Product Chief Juho Sarvikas said Nokia "will deliver an affordable, next-generation 5G mobile phone" that still has premium features despite its lower price, thanks to the Snapdragon 765. The midrange phone will include a Zeiss camera, with UHD 4K video.

5G promises to significantly boost the speed, coverage and responsiveness of wireless networks. It can run 10 to 100 times faster than a typical cellular connection today, and it'll also boost how fast a device will connect to the network, with speeds as quick as a millisecond to start your download or upload. Operators around the globe began rolling out their networks in 2019.