what’s new for affordable smartphones?

Qualcomm unveils two new platforms for mid-range and entry-level smartphones. The Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 and 4 Gen 1 follow in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and 7 Gen 1 footsteps, promising more power and better power efficiency.

At the end of 2021, Qualcomm was changing the nomenclature of its high-end processors. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (and 8+ Gen 1) then the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 were born with the firm intention of thwart MediaTek’s plans (Dimensions 9000, 8000…). The American giant does not intend to stop in such a good way and reveals the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 and Snapdragon 4 Gen 1. For the first time, cheaper chips benefit from the name change; what facilitate the understanding of the range.

While the Snapdragon 8 equip the crème de la crème under Android; the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 should equip high/mid-range devices. Qualcomm’s latest 6-series and 4-series aim more affordable modelspopular models among manufacturers.

Snapdragon 6 Gen 1: a new name, 4 nm engraving and great promises

The Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 is inspired by its big brothers with a 4 nm engraving. A far from trivial change for Qualcomm which promises a marked improvement in the user experience. Two areas are particularly targeted: Photo and the performance.

The part dedicated to the photo of the 6 Gen 1 evolves to integrate a triple ISP capable of managing photo sensors up to 108 megapixels. It is also able to support three 13-megapixel sensors. On the video side, the SoC now records in 4K at 30 frames per second. A great step forward for this series which now supports screens in Full HD+ at 120Hz and Quick Charge 4+ fast charging.

© Qualcomm

As far as performance is concerned, 4nm etching should bring better energy efficiency to the chip. The latter is based on a eight-core architecture (four Cortex-A78 cores and four Cortex-A55 cores) to widen the gap on the Snapdragon 695 5G. Compared to its predecessor, Qualcomm claims a performance gain of around 35% on the graphic part and of 40% CPU.

Compatible with LPDDR5 RAM (up to 12GB), the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 supports modern technologies such as 5G where the wifi 6E. It is expected to debut in new models launched from the first quarter of 2023. Motorola already confirms that it will use this chip, probably in a Moto G series device.

Snapdragon 4 Gen 1: for efficient and accessible smartphones

At the same time, Qualcomm formalizes the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1. This chip benefits from 6 nm engraving (compared to 8 nm for the old SoCs of the 4 series); it is intended for even more affordable smartphones. Compared to the current Snapdragon 480 5G that it replaces, this new SoC claims a rather modest improvement in performance: 15% for the CPU part and 10% for the GPU.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1
© Qualcomm

Like the 6 Gen 1, this chip supports a 108 megapixel camera. On the other hand, it ignores 4K and focuses on 1080p at 60 frames per second. In detail, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 has two Cortex-A78 cores and six “low-power” cores (Cortex-A55), making a total of eight hearts. The presence of the X51 modem ensures compatibility 5G, wi-fi 5LTE and Bluetooth 5.2. What to offer the necessary to terminals which do not want to explode the invoice.

The first models equipped with the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 will see the light of day in third quarter 2022.

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