17 February 2020
Qualcomm has announced new mid-tier and entry-level processors at an event in New Delhi, India. These are Snapdragon 720G, Snapdragon 662 and 460 SoCs that include new key features, including the Wi-Fi 6-readiness, Bluetooth 5.1, improved AI features and more. These are 4G-only chipsets that have been specifically tailored for the Indian market. Also, they all receive NavIC positioning technology, an on-board GNSS chip for connecting to dual frequencies.
These are the first chipsets to support India’s newly announced satellite positioning system- NavIC. This is the Indian version of Global Positioning System (GPS) and the chipset has been designed to provide accurate positioning information service to users in India. Going by some prior information that appeared earlier this month, Xiaomi may become the first company to bring a smartphone equipping the Snapdragon 720G that has NavIC.
The Snapdragon 720G processor is an upgrade over the Snapdragon 710/712 mobile platform and the suffix “G” is pretty evident that this will join Qualcomm’s lineup of gaming-focused chipsets. The Snapdragon 720G SoC is manufactured on an 8nm process and uses newer Kryo 465 cores in Arm’s big.LITTLE configuration. The chipset comes with an improved AI engine for better gaming, photography, and overall performance. It also has an updated Spectra 360L ISP for improved image processing.
Coming to the next SoC, we have the Snapdragon 662 that fills the space between the Snapdragon 660 and the Snapdragon 665. It comes with a new Spectra 340T ISP which improves imaging in low-light scenarios and can add support for augmented reality features via the camera. It gets Wi-Fi 6 support via Qualcomm’s FastConnect 6100 but the LTE modem has been downgraded. This chipset also gets support for NavIC.
Both the Snapdragon 720G and the Snapdragon 660 get the Bluetooth 5.1 along with aptX TrueWireless Surround codec support for high-quality low-latency wireless audio playback.
The last of the bunch is the Snapdragon 460 mobile platform which has been designed for entry-level devices and it is devoid of a few key features which are available in the other two mid-range chipsets announced with it. But with improvements done around the performance, it is safe to say that Qualcomm is pretty serious for the entry-level phones and wants to give them more power.
The chipset is more like a successor to the Snapdragon 450 and as Qualcomm claims, the new performance cores in the processor bring a massive 70% boost in performance.
The chipset also includes Adreno 610 GPU which traditionally belongs to the 600 series and this brings up to a 60% boost in GPU performance compared to the Snapdragon 450. According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 460 delivers 2x system performance compared to the Snapdragon 450. The new GPU makes it clear that Qualcomm is aiming to allow affordable phone lovers to play graphics-heavy mobile games. The new chipset comes with a new DSP for improvements in AI-related applications especially associated with voice operations.
The Snapdragon 460 also has an improved ISP, new Snapdragon X11 modem for 4G peak speeds.
The first set of devices utilizing the latest Snapdragon 720G will be available in the market within the first quarter of 2020. And, the devices based on the Snapdragon 662 and Snapdragon 460 will not be available until late 2020, which is a long period to wait.