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.
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.
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.