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Qualcomm revealed a new lineup of Snapdragon processors that are slated to arrive later this year. The new catalog includes for new chips. Each chip should improve the performance of entry-level smartphones.
Most of the chips offer better performance than the current suite of Qualcomm processors, which makes it easier to multitask or run intense applications. But the Snapdragon 695 also brings improved 5G capabilities to the budget smartphone market. It’s unclear what sort of price tag will accompany devices using the new chips. Still, popular companies such as Motorola and Xiaomi are already looking at ways to incorporate them into their designs.
Each of the new Snapdragon chips achieves a specific goal without breaking your budget. Here’s a closer look at what all four are hoping to offer when they arrive later this year:
Snapdragon 695: Likely to become the most popular of the bunch, the Snapdragon 695 is built to offer improved 5G connectivity with both mmWave and sub-6GHz support. In other words, more carriers and manufacturers should now be able to develop affordable smartphones that make use of their lightning-fast 5G networks. Beyond better connectivity options, Qualcomm says the upcoming chip will improve CPU performance by 15% and graphics rendering by 30% when compared to the outgoing Snapdragon 690.
Snapdragon 680: If you’re not ready to jump on the 5G bandwagon, be on the lookout for phones equipped with the 680 next year. Although it lacks 5G support, it features a robust LTE-only design that should still provide plenty of cellular coverage — at a price that won’t break the bank.
Snapdragon 778G Plus: Although it’s not as exciting as the two chips above, the 778G Plus is still a huge leap forward for Qualcomm. This reworked chip offers a 2.5GHz CPU (up from 2.4GHz on the non-plus model) and should offer a slight performance bump for anyone seeking a mid-range phone that can handle power-hungry apps. This is the most powerful of the four chips and will likely only be available in more expensive handsets.
Snapdragon 480 Plus: The 480 Plus makes a slightly larger technical leap than the 778G Plus, bumping performance up from 2.0GHz seen on the non-plus model to 2.2GHz on the new model. Entry-level tablets and smartphones will utilize the chip.
What Does This Mean for Budget Smartphones?
Qualcomm is planning to make the new chips available in Q4 2021. Unfortunately, we don’t know just yet when we’ll see them in upcoming smartphones. We do know that several high-profile companies are interested in using Qualcomm chips in newer devices, including Motorola and Xiaomi. The latter is primarily looking to incorporate the Snapdragon 778G Plus and 695 into its catalog. That means you can expect to see a few mid-range products arrive in the coming year.
Taken together, however, it’s clear that affordable smartphones are going to become more capable and connected throughout 2022. The inclusion of both mmWave and sub-6GHz support in the Snapdragon 695 is a massive win for consumers. The chip willbring the best version of 5G to budget smartphones. It’ll be interesting to see how manufacturers make use of Qualcomm’s processor in 2022.
Not interested in picking up ultra-expensive flagships from Apple or Samsung? Expect to have plenty of viable alternatives in the very near future. Most smartphones that incorporate these Qualcomm chips likely won’t inch too far above the $500 range. There’s never been a better time to be a frugal consumer.
The Best Current Deals on Affordable Smartphones
Affordable smartphones have a bright future ahead of them. Unfortunately, you could be waiting more than a year before Qualcomm’s latest chips find their way into a worthwhile product. If you’re in need of a powerful, affordable smartphone today, here are a few deals you’ll want to peruse:
More to consider:
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