Qualcomm Snapdragon Mid RangeSource: Qualcomm

What you need to know

  • Qualcomm launches new mid-range smartphone chipsets.
  • Plus variants of the Snapdragon 778G and 480 offer boosted GPU and CPU performance.
  • The Snadragon 695 and 680 are the latest 5G and LTE chipsets from Qualcomm.

Qualcomm has announced a slew of mid-range chipsets with boosted specs and upgrades to usher mid-range devices into 2022. Two of the chips are upgrades over existing platforms, while the other two are brand new chipsets.

The upgraded Snapdragon 778G+ and 480+ bring improved performance over their non-Plus counterparts. The 778G+ has a slight bump in CPU speed over its predecessor, which powers premium mid-range phones like the new Honor 50. This takes it from 2.4GHz to 2.5GHz with "boosted" GPU performance that Qualcomm says is 20% faster, making it ideal for mid-range gaming smartphones.

While the Snapdragon 480 performed reasonably well on devices like the OnePlus Nord N200, the Snapdragon 480+ also gets a CPU bump from 2.0GHz to 2.2GHz for faster processing. 5G performance is also improved, with peak upload speeds topping 1.5Gbps, up from 660Mbps on the non-Plus variant. This is likely supported by the inclusion of mmWave support, which Qualcomm has pledged to expand to more regions.

The Snapdragon 695 is a new 5G chipset that builds on the Snapdragon 690. It's built on a more efficient 6nm process and offers an updated Kryo 660 CPU with a 15% boost over its predecessor and a 30% faster GPU. There's also an updated Image Signal Processor (ISP) and support for mmWave 5G.

Lastly, there's the Snapdragon 680, which is the only LTE chip in the bunch. Compared to the 11nm Snapdragon 678, which was launched late last year, it's built on a much more efficient 6nm process. However, it's a bit of a step back regarding the CPU, GPU, ISP, and LTE modem. Qualcomm is clearly targeting lower-end phones with this chipset.

Companies such as HMD Global (Nokia), Xiaomi, and OPPO have all expressed interest in the new chips, and Qualcomm expects them to be available this quarter, so it won't be long until we see new competition among the best budget Android phones.