We’re using the term ‘their own smartphone’ a little loosely here, as it’s actually being made by Asus through a partnership deal. It has all the usual flagship Android smartphone specs such as the Snapdragon 888 SoC, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of storage. The Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders also has a 6.78-inch FHD+ 144Hz AMOLED display capable of a peak brightness of 1,200 nits. The Samsung-made display is also HDR10 and HDR10+ certified and has Gorilla Glass Victus on it for protection.
Camera-wise it has a three-camera setup on the rear, with a 64MP Sony IMX686 sensor as its main shooter—the same one from the Asus Zenfone 7 Pro. It’s flanked by a 12MP Sony IMX363 ultrawide sensor and an 8MP telephoto sensor. On the front, you’ll get a 24MP selfie camera. Qualcomm claims that this is a professional-quality camera setup capable, with the Qualcomm Spectra 580 ISP and AI auto-zoom letting you capture quality pictures and videos with ease.
Other features of note include a 4,000mAh battery with 65W Qualcomm Quick Charge 5, a rear fingerprint scanner with Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor 2 technology and 5G support. There’s also Snapdragon Sound technology baked into the device, offering 24-bit 96kHz music streaming with ultra-low latency. Qualcomm has also thrown Master & Dynamic MW08 SI ANC wireless earbuds; the usual MW08 earbuds retail for USD 299. The premium-looking box comes with the device, a 65W charger, a custom rubber bumper and two USB cables.
We have to say though that for a smartphone priced at USD 1,499 (~RM6,283.06), it certainly doesn’t offer the most cutting edge features that Qualcomm offers. For starters, as a Qualcomm-branded device, the choice to not go Snapdragon 888+ is a little bit odd. It also doesn’t take advantage of the Snapdragon 888’s ability to shoot three 4K HDR video streams simultaneously. Even the 65W fast charging isn’t the maximum 100W Qualcomm’s own Quick Charge 5 is capable of.
One advantage the Qualcomm phone does have though is a near universal support for network frequencies. Everything from GSM to LTE and even 5G mmWave is supported by the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders.
At that price point, it would likely be going up against other headline Android smartphones such as the Sony Xperia 1 III or the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra. It also lacks some of the specs that these other devices have; the 2448 x 1080 resolution for example is a far cry from the 1440p display on the Galaxy S21 Ultra and the 4K display on the Xperia 1 III. And to top it off, the 256GB Xperia 1 III and 512GB Galaxy S21 Ultra costs RM 5,799 and RM 5,899 respectively, somehow still priced less than the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders.
The Qualcomm Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders will be available in August via Asus’ online stores. Malaysians looking for it will have to wait though as the US, China, Germany, Japan and Korea will get it first. For more information on the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders, you can visit its product page on their website.