Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Plus chip is built for gaming and VR

Qualcomm is shaking up its once-a-year approach to updating its flagship mobile processor, and it could be good news for Android phone fans who crave raw performance. The chip maker has introduced an upgraded Snapdragon 855 Plus that wrings extra performance out of the familiar 855 design. The eight-core Kryo 485 CPU now runs at up to 2.96GHz instead of the earlier 2.84GHz, and the Adreno 640 graphics should deliver a 15 percent speed boost.

Those aren’t giant leaps, but Qualcomm is betting that they’ll be ideal for gaming, where GPU performance is more important than raw number crunching. The tweaks also make the 855 Plus helpful for AR and VR experiences, AI and anything else that’s particularly taxing. This isn’t your dream chip for 5G, though. The built-in modem can’t handle more than LTE, so devices will still need a separate X50 modem (and potentially make compromises in size and battery life) to reach next-gen cellular speeds…

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