Mediatek Logo  next to a buildingSource: Android Central

What you need to know

  • MediaTek today announced the new Dimensity 820 SoC.
  • It's the first of its 800-series, bringing 5G to affordable flagships.
  • The chip supports sub-6GHz carriers in Asia, Europe, and North America.

5G phones are expensive, and chips like the Snapdragon 865 are a big reason for that. But Qualcomm's not the only name in the game, and MediaTek is one competitor building 5G capable SoCs, driving down the cost of entry. The company today announced its new SoC, the Dimensity 820, its new chip for value flagships. It's the first of the Dimensity 800 series line to launch since the line was announced back at CES, and it's the first that'll be shipping in phones later this year.

Dr. Yenchi Lee, Assistant General Manager of MediaTek's Wireless Communications Business Unit said:

Our Dimensity 1000 is already powering impressive flagship 5G devices in a number of markets. With the new Dimensity 820, we're now making 5G much more accessible. The Dimensity 820 stands out beyond competitors by offering four high-performance Arm Cortex-A76 cores at 2.6GHz within its octa-core CPU, delivering superb performance and responsiveness, among its incredible AI, gaming and photography experiences.

Dimensity 820Source: Mediatek

The 820 will also boast competent camera support. MediaTek's APU (AI Processing Unit) 3.0 will provide more powerful photo capture features for concurrent image and photo capture. The ISP (Imaging Signal Processor), the Imagiq 5.0, will support a quad-camera set up with up to 80 MP sensors. There's also support for Multframe 4k Video HDR and enhanced gaming.

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The real star of the show here remains its 5G support. Dimensity 820 supports global sub-6GHz 5G networks in Asia, North America, and Europe. While not as fast as mmWave 5G, sub-6Ghz 5G is still important for pushing us into a 5G future. Android Central's Samuel Contreras writes:

One of the most important aspects of Sub-6 5G is massive MIMO (multiple input multiple output) which allows for more simultaneous connections, better consistency in dense areas, and a stronger base to grow on. As time goes on, mmWave 5G will slowly cover more people and carry us into a wireless future. For the immediate future, 5G on Sub-6 will do more to bring better speeds and greater consistency to mobile broadband with a clear upgrade path for faster 5G deployments.

MediaTek says its chip also provides "higher average speeds and a seamless handover between two 5G connection areas for the most reliable connectivity on the go." Support for dual SIM phones (vital in some parts of the word) and dual standby 5G is also present. The 820 sounds impressive, on paper, but we'll have to see how well it'll do against Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765 and 768 processors when equipped in real, shipping phones.

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