Simply put, phones will be more expensive and power hungry than an integrated solution.
Along with the Snapdragon 865, Qualcomm introduced a downstream processor, the Snapdragon 765 which will have a built-in 5G modem. But it will be less powerful than the Snapdragon 865.
For months, Qualcomm has been promising chips and processors with integrated 5G modem. Even in September it said it would bring one of the 700 series with 5G integrated. But the surprise is that the company has chosen not to offer its most powerful processor with 5G. Snapdragon 865 will offer 5G technology just like the Snapdragon 855 with a separate 5G modem which will follow the Snapdragon X55.
In fact if a company wants the Snapdragon 865 processor, it will have to include the 5G modem that comes as a package. As a result, companies can’t produce phones with Snapdragon 865 and 4G processors.
With the Snapdragon 765 coming with 5G built-in, we expect to see some mid-range 5G phones. What Qualcomm would reveal with the Snapdragon 865 would set expectations for future flagships such as the Galaxy S11, OnePlus 8, Pixel 5, Galaxy Note 11, LG G9 and more.
Snapdragon 865 can be combined with the Snapdragon X55 Modem, which is a descendant of the X50 Modem and offers a new and more efficient processor. The X55 also offers theoretically higher download/upload speeds and supports SA/NSA networks. The X55 modem will support both mmWave and Sub-6 GHz 5G networks with improved traffic.
Another interesting announcement from Qualcomm was the new finger sensor in-display technology, dubbed 3D Sonic Max. The new fingerprint reader has a larger detection area, and also enables users to double-finger verify (for example, with two thumbs). The scanner’s accuracy has also improved significantly.