Performance enthusiasts have been quite disappointed (rightly so) in this year’s best flagship smartphones. High-end 2022 smartphones powered by premium silicon from Samsung and Qualcomm run hot, resulting in problems ranging from overly warm devices to throttling and poor sustained gaming performance. The common thread is that affected chipsets have been manufactured on Samsung Semiconductor’s 4nm node.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was built on Samsung’s 4nm node, but its Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 refresh is manufactured on TSMC’s 4nm rival. Although mid-year chip refreshes are now the norm, moving manufacturer mid-cycle is a first and one that leads us to suspect Qualcomm wasn’t impressed with the state of its Samsung-produced chip. We know we certainly haven’t been. Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 handsets have, predominantly, handed in benchmark scores closer to last year’s Snapdragon 888 and, by and large, struggled with excess heat and sustained performance under more rigorous testing.