Qualcomm updates its entry-level and mid-range SoCs to make 5G more accessible

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While waiting for a possible Snapdragon 898, Qualcomm lifts the veil on four new chips in the 400, 600 and 700 series. These fall updates aim to boost smartphone performance and make 5G more affordable.

The end of the year is approaching and Qualcomm, as usual, takes the opportunity to update its famous SoCs. The American manufacturer should notably renew its top of the range in December by presenting a potential Snapdragon 898, but the battle is mainly played on the entry and the mid-range. Mistreated by its rival MediaTek, which is now in the lead, Qualcomm is also faced with the ambitions of smartphone manufacturers who are developing their own chips on ARM architecture. The essential Apple, Samsung or Huawei have been joined by Google and soon by Oppo. A new threat which pushes Qualcomm to react by renewing its series 7,6 and 4.

Qualcomm is staying true to its principles when it comes to introducing its Snapdragon 778G Plus 5G, 695 5G, 480 Plus 5G and 680 4G. These four SoCs arrive to provide manufacturers “More resources to meet existing demand”, promising “Increased performance and capacity” for all types of devices. In fact, they offer the possibility for the manufacturer to offer features and performance hitherto reserved for premium chips. “Mid-range smartphones are expected to be the main driver of the accelerated adoption of 5G devices, especially in emerging countries”, explains Deepu John, senior director of product management at Qualcomm Technologies. The announced objective is therefore to take advantage of the interest in 5G by democratizing network access, which is progressing everywhere in the world, without necessarily gaining unanimity among consumers.

5G, a bit of 4G and boosted performance

To achieve this, the supplier is particularly relying on the chips from its 7 series. The latter has grown by 44% last year and the Snapdragon 778G Plus takes over from the Snapdragon 778G. The latter had accompanied the Snapdragon 780G and Qualcomm decided to refine its copy by promising increased performance for the GPU and CPU, as well as AI capabilities. Without going into details, the firm evokes better performance in games and an improved experience in photo and video.

The Snapdragon 778G Plus, Snapdragon 695 5G, Snapdragon 480 Plus and Snapdragon 680 4G SoCs. © Qualcomm

The 6 Series is also gaining favor from Qualcomm, as “Emerging consumer trends show that mid-range smartphones will be the main driver of 5G adoption”. It is with these elements in mind that the manufacturer presents the Snapdragon 695 5G, compatible with millimeter waves and sub-6 GHz frequencies. This new platform claims graphics performance up to 30% and an improved CPU performance of 15, compared to the Snapdragon 690. It is accompanied by a Snapdragon 680 4G engraved in 6 nm which also claims better performance in games. A little less ambitious, it focuses on demand ” keep on going “ in terms of 4G smartphones.

Several manufacturers will use these chips in the coming months

Finally, the Snapdragon 480 Plus 5G is an entry-level SoC which should help Qualcomm accentuate its position on very affordable and 5G compatible smartphones. According to the firm, more than 85 devices have used the Snapdragon 480 in less than a year.

HMD Global (which operates the Nokia license), Honor, Motorola, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi and have already expressed their intention to use these new chips in their next smartphones.

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