Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Qualcomm’s new processor means next year’s cheap Android phones will suck a little less

Published May 24th, 2018 6:54PM EDT
Snapdragon 710 vs. 660
Image: DENIS POROY/AP/REX/Shutterstock

If you buy through a BGR link, we may earn an affiliate commission, helping support our expert product labs.

Not every smartphone buyer out there goes for the most expensive smartphone in town, as the price is still a significant factor when buying a new handset. But that doesn’t mean that going forward, you have to sacrifice performance if you decide to purchase a mid-tier Android handset.

That’s because Qualcomm just unveiled a brand new processor targeting mid-range Android devices, the Snapdragon 710, and it’s supposed to bring several high-end smartphone features to cheaper devices.

The Snapdragon 710 packs a bunch of improvements over the Snapdragon 660 that currently powers some of the more affordable handsets out there, mostly related to artificial intelligence, cameras, display, battery, and connectivity.

The Snapdragon 810 is built on 10nm architecture, which means you’re going to get both performance improvements and better battery life. The phone is supposed to be 20% faster than the Snapdragon 660, and deliver 25% faster web browsing, and 15% faster app launch times compared to the previous mid-tier chip. When it comes to power consumption, you can expect up to 40% reduction in energy consumption for gaming and 4K HDR playback, and up to 20% reduction in power consumption when streaming video.

Speaking of streaming, the Snapdragon 710 comes with a built-in Snapdragon X15 LTE modem that supports up to 800Mbps speeds. “Cutting edge Wi-Fi” and Bluetooth 5 are also included in the chip.

Snapdragon 710-powered phones will get 4K HDR playback support, as well as displays that support wider color gamut and color depth. The Snapdragon 660 already powers one Android phone you may have heard of, the Galaxy S Lite Luxury Edition (Galaxy S8 Lite), so you can expect the 710 to do an even better job on all-screen devices.

Camera-wise, the new platform brings support for 32-megapixel single-lens cameras, or 20-megapixel dual-lens cameras. That’s because the chip includes the new Qualcomm Spectra 250 image signal processor, which can support, among other things, features like deep portrait modes (bokeh) and “Face ID / unlock with active depth sensing.”

AI is also about to get a major boost, as the new chip will deliver up to two times better performance in AI apps, Qualcomm says.

Expect Snapdragon 710 smartphones to hit the market this quarter, although we don’t have any actual product examples for you just yet.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.