If you’re not interested in a mid-range smartphone but don’t want to pay flagship prices either, Qualcomm has a possible solution. The company has just introduced Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 processor which offers flagship features but performance slightly below the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

It is built using a 4-nanometer (nm) process with a 1+4+3 core setup (one main ARM Cortex X4 at 3.0 GHz, four cores with a performance of 2.8 Ghz and three cores with an efficiency of 2, 0 GHz. This compares to the Snapdragon 8 Gen The 3’s setup is 1+5+2, so the “s” model replaces a performance core with an efficiency core. The main core of the flagship chip also runs slightly faster -fast at 3.4 Ghz.

The chip uses a previous generation X70 5G modem, although it still offers Wi-Fi 7 support. You also get hardware-accelerated ray tracing for more realistic gameplay.

It has built-in multimodal generative AI that can handle large language models (LLMs) with up to 10 billion parameters, meaning it will support models like the Gemini Nano, along with AI assistants. However, it lacks some AI features found in the 8 Gen 3 chip. It also comes with the ever-sensing ISP introduced with the last-gen Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip.

The new chip adds another sub-category to Qualcomm’s lineup, especially if you count the last-generation chips still in use in devices like OnePlus 12R. The chip will appear in Honor, iQOO, Realme, Redmi and Xiaomi smartphones announced later this month — so it will be interesting to see how they fare against the flagships.

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