New Qualcomm chips reshape the mid-tier smartphone world

Qualcomm 4, 6, and 7 series

The new Qualcomm 4, 6, and 7 series 5G systems-on-a-chip (SoC) set new smartphone performance bars in the value to the mid-tier world. COVID shortages aside, we expect to see smartphones with these later this year.

In essence, cutting edge features from the Snapdragon SD888 flow down to the 7-series, and its features flow down to the 6-series etc. The new 5G SoCs include Snapdragon 778G Plus, 695 and 480 Plus. A ramped-up 680 4G allows for high-end features in 4G handsets.

“Mid-range smartphones are the main driver for accelerating 5G devices. These three new additions create a significant opportunity for our OEM customers.

Deepu John, senior director, product management, Qualcomm

And John is not wrong – so far, more than 85 new models based on the 480 Plus are fuelling the mid-range (we call then value range in Australia – typically under $400).

New Qualcomm 4, 6, and 7 series overview

Snapdragon 778G Plus 5G: Updates the SD778G with boosted GPU and CPU performance, especially for mobile gaming and accelerated artificial intelligence (AI). 5nm, X53 Modem, QC 4+, support for FHD+@144Hz screen.

Snapdragon 695 5G: Global 5G with support for both mmWave and sub-6 GHz. It is up to 30% faster graphics rendering and 15% improvement in CPU performance (compared to Snapdragon 690), enabling immersive gaming, high-end capture, and increased productivity. 6nm, X51 modem, Adreno 619 GPU, QC 4+ fast charge and support for 1080p@120Hz screen.

Snapdragon 480 Plus 5G: Building on the SD480 with global 5G connectivity and boosted performance to power productivity and entertainment experiences. 8nm, X51 modem, Adreno 619 GPU, QC 4+ fast charge and support for 1080p@120Hz screen.

Snapdragon 680 4G: There is life still in 4G, and this new energy-efficient SoC supports triple ISP (image signal processors) for AI-enhanced low light capture technology. 6nm, X11 LTE  modem, Adreno 610, QC 3.0 and support for 1080p@90Hz screen.

In addition, most of these will support Wi-Fi 6 (or 6E) and Bluetooth 5.2.

GadgetGuy’s take

In 2021 COVID induced shortages left OEMs scrambling for SoCs and the significant number of MediaTek Dimensity 700 and 800 SoCs used in value and mid-range phones. There is nothing wrong with that, but Qualcomm has the proven ability to get far stronger 4 and 5G signal strengths – precisely what a big country needs.

In H1 2021, Qualcomm supplied 55% of the market (mainly 5G) and MediaTek 43% – the rest was Samsung Exynos and a few generic ARM producers. The new Qualcomm SoCs are what we need to take 5G sales to the next level, especially as 5G reception is minimal and rare here.

Check out our Best Android phones $100-1000 – most are now 5G.