Qualcomm unveils latest mobile chips for mid-range and budget devices

Qualcomm's Snapdragon October 2021 refresh
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

Qualcomm has added four new Snapdragon mobile chips to its portfolio for both 4G and 5G-capable handsets at varying budget ranges.

The Snapdragon 778G Plus 5G, 695 5G, 480 Plus 5G, and 680 4G chips are now official, and Qualcomm says that the new processors will provide increased performance to the next-generation of mid-range smartphones.

The new chips are also poised to help ease the strain placed on OEMs amid the global chip shortage. The four new additions are expected to offer additional options for manufacturers to help meet the existing demand.

Inheriting a number of features from the Snapdragon 8-series chips, all four of the new processors feature a triple ISP for improved photography - something previously only found on the Snapdragon 888. All four of the new chips also feature AI engines and sensing hubs that stem from the Snapdragon 8-series platforms too.

Snapdragon October 2021 new platforms

Additionally, the three 5G chips all inherit both the mmWave and sub-6 GHz capabilities of the 8-series chips too, maximising the spectrum band connectivity of mobile devices. The four new 5G and 4G platforms are expected to launch in Q4 2021.

“Mid-range smartphones are expected to be the main driver for accelerating 5G device adoption – especially in emerging regions,” said Deepu John, senior director of product management at Qualcomm.

“These four new additions to our roadmap create significant opportunity for our OEM customers and provides additional options to continue to meet the growing demand for our 5G and 4G mobile platforms.”

The Snapdragon 778G Plus is the new iteration on the Snapdragon 778G found in devices like the Samsung A52S, Huawei Nova 9, and the Honor 50. It aims to deliver boosted CPU and GPU performance over its predecessor and is designed to enable accelerated artificial intelligence for improved image and video experiences, and gaming applications.

The mid-tier Snapdragon 695 5G chip is a mid-range mobile gaming workhorse. A boosted GPU enables 120fps FHD+ gaming performance users can take on the move thanks to wide 5G network accessibility or enjoy indoors thanks to Wi-Fi 6.

On the budget end of the spectrum, the Snapdragon 480 Plus 5G brings what Qualcomm calls “truly global 5G connectivity” and boosted performance to the more affordable devices on the market.

While 5G is proliferating across the world, 4G is still used by the majority and holds significant importance for worldwide connectivity. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 680 brings incremental upgrades such as the aforementioned triple ISP and AI-enhanced low-light image capture to devices not yet equipped for 5G technology.

Connor Jones
News and Analysis Editor

Connor Jones has been at the forefront of global cyber security news coverage for the past few years, breaking developments on major stories such as LockBit’s ransomware attack on Royal Mail International, and many others. He has also made sporadic appearances on the ITPro Podcast discussing topics from home desk setups all the way to hacking systems using prosthetic limbs. He has a master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from the University of Sheffield, and has previously written for the likes of Red Bull Esports and UNILAD tech during his career that started in 2015.