It was mere weeks ago that we reported on Apple's M2 processor having a rumoured Qualcomm rival coming down the tracks. Now, the American chip-maker has officially revealed its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform for mobile – which could be seen as a clear opponent to the A15 Bionic as found in the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
Apple has staggered the power structure of its recent flagship phones: the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus feature the generation-older A14 Bionic processor on board, while the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max bring the A15 Bionic. Either way, neither of those are as powerful as the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform.
Not that you'll find this Qualcomm chip in Apple's phones (the exception being 5G modems, of course). As is increasingly common, big brands are going in-house and maintaining control of their own chipsets: Google has Tensor; Samsung has Exynos; while Android's presence of MediaTek and Qualcomm chips gives the platform's phone-makers a wide range of power options.
So that's good news for those who are fans of the best Android phones, such as the rumoured forthcoming Samsung Galaxy S23. But while Apple's A15 Bionic may be a whisker less powerful when it comes to graphics, given Qualcomm's Adreno GPU, there's a lot to be said for Apple's end-to-end ecosystem and software in delivering the experience users want.
Key specs of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 include a 3.2GHz prime core, complemented by a trio of 2.8GHz performance cores and four 2.0GHz efficiency cores as part of its Kryo CPU. There's a big push towards enhanced artificial intelligence (AI), with a suite of systems able to auto-recognise and activate contextually, plus power-saving efficiencies. In the right hands this chipset is a clear rival to Apple's current best-on-market, although the iPhone 15 is expected to raise the bar once more in late 2023.