Chipset company MediaTek has unveiled its latest flagship smartphone silicon: the Dimensity 9000+.
In case the name doesn’t give it away, this is positioned as an upgrade to the Dimensity 9000 flagship the company launched last November. Like that chip, this is high-end hardware intended for premium phones only.
This isn’t a true successor – expect that to arrive some time towards the end of the year – but a half-step upgrade, with enhancements made to the same base 4nm hardware.
The key change is an upgrade to the CPU’s Cortex-X2 prime core, which runs at 3.2GHz in the 9000 Pro – up from 3.05GHz in the regular 9000 – though the remaining seven CPU cores are unchanged from the previous iteration, resulting in an overall performance improvement of around 5%.
The GPU has had an upgrade too. The 9000+ still uses a Mali-G710 chip, but MediaTek says it’s made tweaks to deliver a 10% boost in graphics performance.
Those might not sound like dramatic gains, but they’re enough to bring the 9000+ right in line with rival Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, itself announced almost exactly a month ago. That chip also upgraded to a 3.2GHz clock speed on its prime CPU core, and boasts 10% GPU gains along with some power efficiency improvements.
As always, the big question is which phones will be powered by the Dimensity 9000+. While Qualcomm has already announced the 8+ Gen 1 will appear in phones from Asus, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and more, MediaTek usually waits a few weeks to announce OEM partners, so there are no phones or manufacturers confirmed so far – though the company has confirmed the first handsets should arrive in Q3 2022, aka July-September.
Despite excellent performance results in benchmarks, the Dimensity 9000 has suffered from surprisingly limited uptake so far. It can only be found in the Honor 70 Pro+, the Redmi K50 Pro, and the Vivo X80, along with special Dimensity editions of the Vivo X80 Pro and Oppo Find X5 Pro. Few of those have launched outside of China however, and none so far in Europe or the US.
The 9000+ could well be even more niche. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon ‘+’ chips tend to be found mostly in gaming-focussed smartphones where the incentive to pack the absolute latest chipset is more powerful, and it’s likely the same will be true here.
Whether any of those phones make it to the West is another matter though. A widespread US launch is especially unlikely, as while the Dimensity 9000+ features 5G networking, that doesn’t include support for the mmWave standard that’s demanded by carriers in the States. MediaTek first introduced mmWave support in the more affordable Dimensity 1050 chip, which it launched last month, but we’ll have to wait for the next generation to see the full spread of 5G signals supported by a Dimensity flagship.