As 5G is expected to become a lot more popular in the premium segment next year, Qualcomm was rumored to ship its next-generation Snapdragon 865 chipset with an integrated 5G modem. According to a new leak, however, that may not actually be the case.
At the Mobile World Congress this year, quite a few Android OEMs showcased their first 5G-capable smartphones. By the end of the year, the number of 5G smartphones is expected to grow by a significant margin. Qualcomm’s current flagship mobile chipset, the Snapdragon 855 does not come with an integrated 5G modem.
Reputed leakster and journalist Roland Quandt has revealed that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset will be made available in two different versions. The only major difference between the two versions of Qualcomm’s next flagship mobile chipset will be the 5G modem. While the Qualcomm Snapdragon “Kona55” Fusion version will have an optional external 5G modem, the other version will come with an integrated 5G modem.
Qualcomm Snapdragon "Kona55" Fusion sounds like SM8250 + external 5G modem. _Not_ internal. I thought they were gonna merge 5G into the main SoC with the next gen?
— Roland Quandt (@rquandt) May 3, 2019
A chipset with an integrated 5G solution will no doubt appeal to manufacturers as it allows them to free up space inside the phone for additional components such as enhanced audio DACs or even a larger battery. At the same time, however, it is important to keep in mind that 5G is not expected to go mainstream in many markets even by the end of 2020. Currently, 5G services are only available in the US and South Korea.
While the Snapdragon 865 version with an integrated 5G modem will likely be the first preference for manufacturers such as Samsung that sell flagship phones both in the US and South Korea, some of the other manufacturers may prefer paying a little less for the version with a 4G modem. While no major details regarding the key features of the Snapdragon 865 are available yet, a recent leak had claimed the next-gen flagship mobile SoC from Qualcomm will have support for LPDDR5 RAM.