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Qualcomm’s new chips will power a new generation of mid-range phones

Published Oct 26th, 2021 11:00AM EDT
New Qualcomm Platforms
Image: Qualcomm

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Over the past few years, premium phones have gotten increasingly expensive. The Snapdragon 888, Qualcomm’s highest-performance chip to date, is really only found in devices that approach $1,000. But the result of that is that there’s more demand for mid-range phones, and Qualcomm wants to power those phones too. The company has launched four new mobile platforms, in the 4-series, 6-series, and 7-series.

The Snapdragon 480 Plus, 680, 695, and 778 Plus, are built to power the next generation of mid-range and premium mid-range phones. According to Qualcomm, mid-range phones are expected to power the adoption of 5G, especially in emerging regions. To that end, three of the four new platforms support 5G. Here’s a rundown of the chips and what they have to offer.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 Plus

The Snapdragon 480 Plus is the lowest end of Qualcomm’s new chips. It takes the original Snapdragon 480, and increases the clock speed from 2GHz up to 2.2GHz. You’ll still get the same Kryo 460 CPU, Adreno 619 GPU, and Snapdragon X51 5G modem. As a result, the Snapdragon 480 Plus should be a great option for manufacturers who want decent performance in their lower-end devices. The original Snapdragon 480 can be found in devices like the Nokia XR20, and Motorola Moto G50.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 680

New Qualcomm Platforms
New Qualcomm Platforms

Next up is the Snapdragon 680, which replaces the Snapdragon 678, but is built on a 6nm process instead of an 11nm one. It’s not quite as powerful as the Snapdragon 690, but it does represent decent performance at a more reasonable price.

The Snapdragon 680 is the only platform Qualcomm announced to not support 5G, and it’s aimed more at emerging markets, that don’t have built-out 5G networks yet. The platform offers Qualcomm’s triple ISP tech for concurrent images, along with a Kryo 265 CPU, Adreno 610 GPU, and Snapdragon X11 LTE modem.

The previous-gen Snapdragon 678 was featured in phones like the Moto G Stylus and Redmi Note 10. We expect the Snapdragon 680 to be included in phones around the $300 mark.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 695

Next up is the Snapdragon 695, which not only supports 5G, but it supports both Sub-6 and mmWave networks. That means that you should get decent speeds around the country, thanks to the built-in Snapdragon X51 5G modem.

The platform should offer decent performance too. You’ll get the Kryo 660 CPU, which delivers a 15% performance boost over the previous-generation Snapdragon 690. That’s coupled with the Adreno 619 GPU.

The Snapdragon 695 will likely feature in slightly higher-end mid-range phones, with the Snapdragon 690 being included in phones like the OnePlus Nord N10, TCL 20, and more.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 778 Plus

Last but not least is the new Snapdragon 778 Plus chip, which is built for so-called “premium mid-range” phones that offer solid performance without hitting those $800+ prices. As the name suggests, the Snapdragon 778 Plus is essentially an overclocked version of the Snapdragon 778. Originally, the Snapdragon 778 was clocked at 2.4GHz, while the Snapdragon 778 Plus hits 2.5GHz. It’s a minor improvement but should deliver slightly better performance for phones that include it.

Phones that came with the original Snapdragon 778 include the likes of the Samsung Galaxy A52s, Xiaomi 11, and so on.

Christian de Looper Senior Reviews Editor

Christian de Looper is based in sunny Santa Cruz, California. He has been expertly reviewing tech products for more than 8 years, and brings experience in deep technical analysis of consumer electronics devices to BGR's reviews channel.

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