Qualcomm lowers 5G price barrier with SD480 5G

SD480

Until now the lowest cost Qualcomm 5G System-on-a-Chip (SoC) was its SD690. It has lowered the price point with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon SD480 5G. 5G for under $500!

We won’t make comparisons between the SD480 and the SD690 as these service different market segments.

The SD480 should enable 5G phones to come in under A$500, reducing the 4G LTE/5G price gap to almost nothing.

SD480

The chip is unusually well-specified compared to its SD460 4G LTE model offering scope for larger cameras and faster charging.

Snapdragon 460 (11 nm)Snapdragon 480 (8 nm)
CPUOcta-core up to 1.8 GHzOcta-core up to 2 GHz claiming >100% performance increase
GPUAdreno 610Adreno 619 and 120Hz 1080p screens claiming >100% performance increase
PhotoSpectra 340
Up to 48 MP; 1080p @ 60 fps
Spectra 345
Up to 64MP; 1080p @ 60 fps
AI claims >70% increase
ModemSnapdragon X11 LTESnapdragon X51 5G
ConnectivityDual VoLTE
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.1
Sub-6Ghz and mmWave
 Wi-Fi 6 2×2 MU-MIMO VHT80
Bluetooth 5.1
Fast chargingQuick Charge 3Quick Charge 4+

Coincidentally GadgetGuy has just written analysis of What will power your next smartphone or PC?. We predicted the sub-$500 bracket would be dominated by the MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G series SoC. The Qualcomm SD48- chip is in some ways, is better with its proven X51 modem.

A note on 5G

5G transmission is not ubiquitous, and for the next few years, 4G LTE may present faster speeds in many more places than Australia’s sub-6Ghz 5G. This SoC allows lower-cost phones to have 5G, although only the lucky few living or working in a reception area will use it.

Both Qualcomm and MediaTek have licensing plans based on bands and channels. So, while SoCs may be capable of both sub-6Ghz and mmWave, they likely won’t be enabled or the two different antennas fitted in lower-cost smartphones.

Similarly, features like 2×2 Wi-Fi 6, BT 5.1, NFC, USB-C 3.1 Gen 1, or QC4+ may not be in lower-cost phones that have to meet certain price points.

The Qualcomm release is here