Now that 5G phones are more affordable, Qualcomm wants to make those cheap devices more desirable. The company has introduced three new systems on a chip that all promise improved performance for budget 5G hardware. The star is the easy Snapdragon 695. This 6nm based 690 extension adds a much faster 5G millimeter wave (important for operators like AT&T and Verizon) while delivering up to 30 percent faster graphics and 15 percent faster CPU tasks. Your next mid-range phone could be much more suitable for gaming and big downloads.
The Snapdragon 480 Plus and 778G Plus, meanwhile, are iterations of the 480 and 778G that give smaller advantages to CPU and GPU performance through increased clock speeds. Think of them as settings for entry-level and mid-range phones, respectively – you won’t have to settle for a chip a few months old.
There’s also a lone LTE chip, the Snapdragon 680, that shares a 6nm 695 process at no extra 5G cost. It is aimed at markets where 5G service is either limited or too expensive.
All four parts should arrive for delivery before the end of 2021. Honor, Motorola, Nokia (or HMD Global), Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi expect to use one or more new Snapdragons in their phones.
Pragmatism is at work. 6nm parts (including the 778G Plus) help Qualcomm continue to serve a large portion of the smartphone market despite limited stocks of 5nm parts such as the 780G. It does not have to rely on a truly old process. Still, it’s noticeable that the chipmaker is launching so many chips with speed in the first place – the company is clearly determined to defend itself against heavyweights like MediaTek that are advancing on budget and mid-range hardware.
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