Ever since Qualcomm announced the flagship Snapdragon 865 and the mid-tier Snapdragon 765 and Snapdragon 765G processors ‘specifically’ for 5G phones, there’s growing concern about how original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will be able to make best use of latest technology without bumping up product prices, you know, for the non-5G crowd. If not, does this mean, they’ll have to make India-specific products with dialed-down specs just so they can continue to offer them at aggressive prices – compared to the rest of the world. Either way, it’s not a good scenario.
Qualcomm believes its newly announced Snapdragon 720G, Snapdragon 662 and Snapdragon 460 processors will help fill that gap to some extent so OEMs will be able to use next-generation technology without paying ‘extra’ for a 5G modem – integrated or otherwise. In other words, the Snapdragon 720G, Snapdragon 662 and Snapdragon 460 processors are designed from scratch for the non-5G crowd. Announced during Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Media Day in the National Capital on Tuesday, it takes no genius to ascertain that the Snapdragon 720G, Snapdragon 662 and Snapdragon 460 processors are built for India.
Not just because they’re LTE-based, but also because they are Qualcomm’s first mobile chips to support India's NavIC satellite positioning system developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This means, smartphones based on Snapdragon 720G, Snapdragon 662 and Snapdragon 460 processors, will theoretically be able to squeeze seemingly more accurate geolocation data in both urban as well as remote areas of India. Qualcomm’s newly announced mobile processors, in addition, also support Wi-Fi 6 (that’s the fastest Wi-Fi available today) and Bluetooth 5.2, plus, they’ll bring ‘enhanced’ AI and imaging capabilities to mid-range phones.
Qualcomm says smartphones equipped with the Snapdragon 720G will arrive in the first quarter of this year. Xiaomi and Realme will be among the first OEMs to make use of this processor. Smartphones equipped with the Snapdragon 662 and Snapdragon 460 will meanwhile be available by the end of this year.
Coming to the chips themselves, the Snapdragon 720G is the most powerful of the lot. The 8nm-based Snapdragon 720G has an octa-core configuration with two Cortex A76 cores (clocked at up to 2.3GHz) and six Cortex A55 cores (at up to 1.8GHz) paired with the Adreno 618 GPU. The ‘G’ moniker obviously means that it’s gaming-centric so stuff like 10-bit HDR support are on the table as part of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Elite Gaming features. But the biggest draw will be the chip’s integrated X15 LTE modem for download speeds as fast as 800Mbps. Lastly, Qualcomm’s Hexagon 692 DSP will bring support for 4K video recording and 192MP still images to Snapdragon 720G-based phones.
Next in line is the Snapdragon 662. It has an octa-core configuration with four Cortex A73 cores (clocked at up to 2GHz) and four Cortex A53 cores (at up to 1.8GHz) paired with the Adreno 610 GPU. This one packs an X11 LTE modem for download speeds of up to 390Mbps. The main draw here will be support for “new triple camera configurations (with up to a 48MP primary sensor) and smooth switching between them.”
The entry-level Snapdragon 460 is meanwhile said to be over 50 per cent faster than the existing Snapdragon 450. It has the same modem and AI engine as the Snapdragon 662.