We haven’t seen the most powerful phone of 2019 yet – but it’s coming

Qualcomm announced on Monday its new Snapdragon 855 Plus, a more powerful version of its current Snapdragon 855 chip that’s running in 2019 Android flagship phones.
The new Snapdragon 855 Plus is slightly faster than the standard Snapdragon 855. Qualcomm said it’s designed for “enhanced performance and experiences in 5G, gaming, AI, and XR [mixed reality].” Altogether, the new chip is designed to boost gaming on smartphones.

The new Snapdragon 855 Plus offers smartphone makers a way to differentiate gaming-oriented devices from standard flagship devices. Most gaming smartphones released so far come with the same chip – therefore similar performance – as a standard flagship device.

In the past, most gaming smartphones have typically differentiated themselves with features like better cooling and screens that offer smoother gameplay. The Snapdragon 855 Plus is designed to offer a tangible boost in performance for power-hungry mobile games like “Fortnite” and others in the Google Play Store.

How tangible or perceivable the performance boost will be in phones running the Snapdragon 855 Plus has yet to be seen. Qualcomm said the Snapdragon 855 Plus’s graphics processing unit (GPU) will have a 15% boost over the standard Snapdragon 855. The main processor is also set to run at slightly higher speeds than the standard Snapdragon 855.

Apart from gaming performance, it’s unclear if the Snapdragon 855 Plus will make standard apps and the Android operating system run faster or more smoothly.

Qualcomm expects phones running on the Snapdragon 855 Plus to release in the second half of 2019. So, basically, from now on.

So far, Asus announced its ROG Phone II will run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Plus. Asus hasn’t set a release date, but the original ROG Phone was released in October 2018, so the ROG Phone II could be announced in October.

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