MediaTek launched its flagship Dimensity 9000 chipset last month, and has now followed up by confirming the first manufacturers set to use the chip in flagship phones next year: Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Honor. 

The first devices will go on sale some time in the first quarter of 2022 – so, potentially, as soon as January – though only Xiaomi and Oppo have so far confirmed any specifics: the chip will be used in at least one phone in each of the Redmi K50 and Oppo Find X4 series.

Rumour has it that the K50 phone will be the Redmi K50 Gaming Edition, which could be released outside of China as the Poco F4 GT, but Xiaomi didn’t say as much. 

Since the Dimensity 9000 was first announced, MediaTek’s main rival Qualcomm has unveiled its own 2022 flagship: the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.  

Both chips use the same Armv9 architecture and a 4nm process, use the same CPU design (albeit with different clock speeds), and include 5G support. Qualcomm is bullish about its AI and image processing capabilities, while the MediaTek chip has the edge in supporting more recent Bluetooth and RAM standards. 

Unlike the Dimensity 9000, the 8 Gen 1 has already begun appearing in phones. Motorola launched the Edge X30 in China last week, and the Xiaomi 12 is expected to be unveiled any day now. 

It has to be said that while MediaTek’s support from Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Honor is important, all four of those companies have also promised to use Qualcomm’s chip – along with Black Shark, iQoo, Motorola, Nubia, OnePlus, Realme, Sharp, Sony, and ZTE. 

Still, Qualcomm enjoys somewhat of a legacy advantage, and it’s likely that MediaTek will make swift ground catching up. The Dimensity 9000 is the company’s first true flagship chip, with specs on paper that match – and in some cases exceed – Qualcomm's offering. 

While early leaked benchmarks suggest that the Snapdragon chip may still have a very slight edge in performance, it’s still too close to call. The real test will be when we get phones with the latest Snapdragon and Dimensity chips side by side. But that won’t happen until next month at the earliest.

For more on what phones to expect, check out our guide to the best phones coming in 2022.