While Snapdragon 845 entered production over the past month or two, it’s expected to debut at the end of the month on the Galaxy S9. Meanwhile there’s already talk about the Snapdragon 850, which may be found on more than just phones, also tablets and laptops, being a component associated with the 5G age.
Qualcomm is rumored to be working on Snapdragon 850 already and it will start offering it on Windows 10 on ARM devices, similar to those launched last year with S835, but this time with 5G. There’s already a plan to put S845 on tablets and laptops too, so it makes sense to go this way.
The result is a series of always connected laptops, with 20 or 30 hours of battery life and crazy 1 Gbps speeds. Snapdragon 850 will be an incremental update, like the Snapdragon 821 was for S820 and it should also come this year. It should arrive on time for the fall lineup of laptops and tablets and maybe even inaugurate some 5G models.
One source mentions the Qualcomm X50 modem as the key here. Even though it’s a 2016 product, it only comes now as the first consumer 5G modem. Basically, the S850 is a Snapdragon 845 with the X50 modem in tow. 5G networks will start being used at the end of the current year, but major deployment starts in 2019.
Qualcomm has an edge, especially if they’re bought by Broadcom and have access to their tech too. With the South Korean Olympics just around the corner we should be able to see 5G tested soon.