Android gamers may get a new flagship smartphone this year from a surprising source

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

While Android fans aren't likely feeling as if they lack options in the smartphone market right now, that abundance is one of the advantages of the platform versus iOS, so why not embrace it?

While a more mid-tier flagship class of smartphone like the Pixel 5 and Galaxy S20 FE have had a moment in the sun lately, a new Digitimes report indicates that another true high-end flagship may arrive before the end of the year from the company that powers virtually every high-end Android smartphone on the market: Qualcomm (via TechRadar).

Qualcomm won't actually be manufacturing the smartphone itself, it will reportedly be calling on Asus to bring its design to life. While Asus doesn't have a lot of brand awareness as a smartphone manufacturer in the U.S., its powerful Republic of Gamers (ROG) smartphones have a dedicated fanbase internationally. According to the Digitimes report, Qualcomm will be targeting the same market with its branded smartphone. 

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 875 chipset should be announced at Qualcomm's annual Snapdragon Tech Summit on December 1 and 2 this year. While it almost certainly won't be able to catch the iPhone 12 and its A14 Bionic processor, it should at least close the gap a bit between the two.

Other than the general gaming focus and a pretty small initial production goal of roughly 500,000 smartphones, there isn't much more to go on yet regarding this potential new flagship Android competitor. Digitimes did indicate that Asus would be producing roughly the same number of ROG Phones next year, leading some to believe that there might be quite a bit of shared hardware between the two in order to bring down costs across the board.

Given the top-of-the-line Snapdragon processor, a high refresh rate display, and the low production run, we imagine this product will fall into the $1,000 and up smartphone market where there would be stiff competition for the newcomer. 

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.