Qualcomm unveils $1,500 smartphone for 'Snapdragon insiders'

Triple-lens handset made by Asus with Qualcomm technology will be available "soon"

Qualcomm, the company behind the processors that power nearly every Android-based mobile, is launching its own handset known as the "Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders".

The device has actually been built by Asus and will cost $1,500 (£1,085), but it has been designed to showcase the best of Qualcomm's technology.

As its name suggests, the device will be sold directly to the members of Qualcomm's Snapdragon Insider fan community, which the company set up earlier in the year. This is a club for tech enthusiasts that want to be among the first to see and experience new Snapdragon offerings.

"This is the ultimate extra, built for you, our Snapdragon Insiders community," the company said on its website. "It's a connectivity powerhouse (think the fastest, truly global 5G available, super-fast Wi-Fi 6/6E, and of course, Bluetooth) so you can stay in touch from virtually anywhere. And no matter what you're into, we've got you covered with a curated collection of Snapdragon mobile platform experiences."

The phone's specifications are by no means groundbreaking, with features users will have seen or used elsewhere in 2021, or even 2020. It comes with Android 11, a Snapdragon 888 CPU, 512GB storage, 16GB of RAM, a 6.78in Samsung OLED display with Gorilla Glass Victus, and a finger scanner located on the back of the handset. There is also a 4,000mAh battery with Qualcomm's Quick Charge technology (65W).

Smartphones are largely judged on their camera technology and the Snapdragon for Insiders will come with a triple-lens setup on the back featuring a 64MP Sony image sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide lens and an 8MP telephoto lens with 3 x optical zoom. There will also be a 24MP selfie lens on the front, but this is a little below the likes of the iPhone 12 or the Samsung S21, which are similar in price - although it does also shoot in 8K at 30 frames per second.

The handset will be available "soon" to insiders in the US, UK, Germany, and China, with more regions to be announced soon.

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