Photo Credit: Qualcomm
Qualcomm on Thursday launched its first smartphone in collaboration with Asus. Dubbed “Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders,” the premium phone is designed specifically for the company's loyalty programme called Snapdragon Insiders that was launched in March. It comes with top-notch specifications that include Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, 144Hz AMOLED display, and 512GB of onboard storage. The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders also comes with a stock Android 11 experience and is preloaded with some of the major technologies developed by the San Diego-based chipmaker. Additionally, it comes bundled with true wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds.
The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders carries a price tag of $1,499 (roughly Rs. 1,12,200) for the sole 6GB + 512GB storage configuration. The phone comes in a Midnight Blue colour option and will be available for purchase through Asus' online and offline retail channels starting August. It will initially be available in China, Germany, Japan, Korea, US, and UK, followed by India. The smartphone will go on sale in the Indian market with a price tag of Rs. 1,11,990.
Although Qualcomm is marketing the new smartphone as a special model designed for its Snapdragon Insider community members, it will be available for all customers. The phone will also come with an MW08SI active noise cancelling TWS earbuds manufactured by New York-based Master & Dynamic and is packed with a Qualcomm Quick Charge 5 charger (65W in global/ 35W in India), custom rubber bumper, and two USB Type-C to USB Type-C braided cables.
Qualcomm has brought the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders essentially to demonstrate its different technologies that are often being cherry-picked by manufacturers based on their market requirements. The phone is equipped with third-generation Snapdragon X60 5G modem with support for all key 5G sub-6 and mmWave bands and includes Qualcomm Signal Boost and Smart Transmit technologies for enhanced connectivity. It also features Qualcomm's Snapdragon Sound that is designed to deliver 24-bit, 96kHz music streaming along with ultra-low latency and super wideband voice delivery. Customers will also get Qualcomm's Spectra 580 image signal processor that will enable 4K and 8K video recording and offers an artificial intelligence-backed AI Auto Zoom feature.
In terms of specifications, the dual-SIM (Nano) Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders runs on Android 11. It features a 6.78-inch full-HD+ (1,080x2,448 pixels) Samsung AMOLED display with up to 1,200 nits of peak brightness, 20.4:9 aspect ratio, and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection. The display is also HDR10 and HDR10+ certified and covers 111.23 percent of DCI-P3 and 106.87 percent of NTSC colour gamut. Under the hood, there is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, along with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Qualcomm said in a briefing that the phone opted for the Snapdragon 888 instead of Snapdragon 888+ as Asus started its development last year — and the new chip was announced just late last month.
The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders features a triple rear camera setup that houses a 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 primary sensor with an f/1.8 lens. The camera setup also includes a 12-megapixel Sony IMX363 sensor with an f/2.2 ultra-wide lens and an 8-megapixel telephoto shooter. The primary and telephoto cameras are also equipped with optical image stabilisation (OIS).
For selfies and video chats, the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders has a 24-megapixel selfie camera at the front.
The phone comes with dual stereo speakers that are paired with a smart AMP and Snapdragon Sound. There are also quad HDR microphones with 114dB dynamic range.
On the storage front, the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders has 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Connectivity options include 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v5.2 with aptX Adaptive support, NFC, GPS/ A-GPS/ NavIC, and a USB Type-C port.
Sensors on the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor. There is also a fingerprint sensor on the back that is a Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2. Additionally, the phone has an Illuminated Snapdragon fireball icon on the back that illuminates in white when you get a new voice call or message. You can also keep it on or off from the settings.
The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders packs a 4,000mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 5.0 charging support. Besides, the phone measures 173.15x77.25x9.55mm and weighs 210 grams.
The bundled MW08SI TWS earbuds come with support for 24-bit, 96kHz audio along with ultra-low latency streaming over Bluetooth. The earbuds are powered by Qualcomm QCC5141 and include Qualcomm Active Noise Cancellation as well as cVc echo cancellation and noise suppression technologies. Moreover, the company claims that the earbuds can be connected to the smartphone even in busy RF environments.