Qualcomm’s New Batch of Mobile Chips Could Bring 5G to More Affordable Phones

Qualcomm’s New Batch of Mobile Chips Could Bring 5G to More Affordable Phones
Image: Qualcomm

While Google has moved away from Snapdragon and shifted to its in-house designed Tensor chip for the Pixel 6, Qualcomm is forging on with a new line of mobile chips designed to suit a wide range of budget- and mid-range devices.

Announced today, Qualcomm is releasing three new mobile processors with 5G connectivity in the Snapdragon 778G Plus, Snapdragon 695 5G, and Snapdragon 480 Plus 5G, while the new Snapdragon 680 4G chip is meant to support any devices still intended for use on LTE networks.

As the follow-up to the Snapdragon 778G, the 778G Plus was mainly designed to offer slightly faster CPU and GPU performance, along with a few other perks for gaming like 20% faster touch response thanks to Qualcomm’s Game Quick Touch tech.

It’s a similar story for the new Snapdragon 695 5G, though, for this chip, Qualcomm is touting some notable gains in performance over the last generation with Qualcomm saying the SD 695 5G provides 15% faster CPU speeds and 30% faster graphics rendering compared to the SD 690. However, the big upgrade on the SD 695 5G is built-in support for both sub-6GHz 5G and mmWave 5G, the latter of which has largely only been available on Qualcomm’s higher-end 700 and 800-series chips.

Meanwhile, for future 5G budget phones, the new Snapdragon 480 Plus 5G features a Snapdragon X51 5G modem that also supports both sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G. And despite being a chip meant for budget phones, the 480 Plus 5G can still enable some premium features like support for 120Hz displays and photo capture using up to three cameras at the same time.

Finally, for devices (or people) that aren’t quite ready to make the jump to 5G, there’s the Snapdragon 680 4G, which Qualcomm claims delivers 20% longer battery life, better power efficiency when streaming video, and support for up to 90Hz displays.

As always, while OEMs aren’t quite ready yet to name specific models or devices, a number of big names have already signed on to feature one of Qualcomm’s new chips in an upcoming device including Nokia, Motorola, Oppo, Vivi, Xiaomi, and more.

And while there aren’t any firm timetables, Qualcomm says devices featuring its new 4G and 5G Snapdragon chips should begin showing up on retail shelves as soon as Q4 2021.

Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.