Qualcomm’s new gaming chipset wants to bring Steam Deck power to Android


  • Qualcomm has announced three new Snapdragon G Series SoCs designed specifically for mobile gaming devices, with the aim of dipping its toes into the mobile gaming segment.
  • The G1 chip is designed for lag-free game streaming, while the G2 chip supports 5G and Wi-Fi 6/6E for mobile and cloud gaming.
  • The standout feature is the G3x Gen 2 chip, which offers improved CPU and GPU performance over the first generation, including support for ray tracing, but is not yet ready to handle PC gaming. Console makers are showing interest in using this chip in their devices.

Qualcomm chipsets do more than power our favorite Android phones. You’ll also find Snapdragon-branded SoC chips inside some of the best Android gaming mobile devices, and for good reason. The chips are powerful enough for gaming phones. However, Qualcomm has its eyes on the burgeoning mobile gaming sector that includes the likes of the Valve Steam Deck and Nintendo Switch, reviving an industry that’s been all but forgotten since the death of the Sony PSP. To that end, Qualcomm is announcing three new SoC chips designed specifically for mobile gaming devices at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, this week.

Call Snapdragon G seriesThe group consists of G1, G2 and G3x Gen 2 SoCs. G1 supports lag-free game streaming locally or from the cloud. The company has designed this chip for long hours of gaming over Wi-Fi Edge reports, it should be north of the 10 hour mark. In an interaction with Qualcomm Director of Games Mithun Chandrasekhar, The Verge learned that devices with the G1 chip should cost less than $200, without Verizon support.

Snapdragon-G1-Gen 1

Source: Qualcomm

Qualcomm Snapdragon G1 first generation

Meanwhile, the new G2 chip is for mobile and cloud gaming with the added benefit of 5G and Wi-Fi 6/6E support. The Snapdragon G2 Gen 1 will be the first chip to carry this branding. It will have an octa-core Kryo CPU and Adreno A21 GPU optimized for gaming on the go.

Snapdragon-G2-Gen 1

Source: Qualcomm

Qualcomm Snapdragon G2 first generation

The highlight of Qualcomm’s new chipset is the G3x Gen 2 — a chip that can take the fight to gaming greats like AMD’s Aerith SoC that powers Steam Deck. With the second generation, Qualcomm has increased the performance of the Kryo octa-core CPU by 30%, while maintaining package power draw in the ballpark of 15-18 watts. Learning from community feedback about the G3x Gen 1-powered Razer Edge, the brand has equipped the second generation with an Adreno A32 GPU that has twice the performance. It enables top-notch sustained performance with features like ray tracing. It’s a complete package for mobile gamers, supporting filling for Wi-Fi 7 and PCIe Gen 4 SSDs that you might use on your PC.

However, the observer may notice that these technical specifications cannot outperform the leading gaming consoles in the industry so far. Chandrasekhar told The Verge that they could theoretically raise the clock speeds on the new SoC to obliterate the competition, but it would result in lower battery life for the console. This means that console brands could be showing interest in the new G3x Gen 2, even though they aren’t quite ready to handle PC gaming just yet.


Source: Qualcomm

Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x 2nd generation

This is evidenced by the Android reference design console. Although it has a powerful new chip under the hood and a 6.8-inch OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate, it didn’t impress The Verge with its gaming performance. This is mostly because current-generation Android games are optimized for smartphone SoCs, not dedicated gaming chipsets. Moreover, some heavy titles such as PUBG: Mobile Completely lacking support for external controllers.

However, Qualcomm is bypassing the Android and Windows gaming ecosystems. Console makers like AyaNeo, Huaqin, Inventec, and Thundercomm are already lining up to include the new Qualcomm G3x Gen 2 in their devices. Chandrasekhar also confirmed that Qualcomm is pinning its hopes on these chips to exit the gaming phone market and lure gamers with customized and optimized mobile devices at different price points.

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