Qualcomm today announced that it will soon be releasing successors to three of its popular mid-range chipsets. Called Snapdragon 653, Snapdragon 626 and Snapdragon 427, these chipsets bring minor upgrades over their predecessors. There is a new X9 LTE modem for improved network flexibility, up to 10 percent performance boost and support for Qualcomm s Quick Charge 3.0 for fast charging. The new chipsets also get support for Qualcomm s Clear Sight technology for dual camera setups. Also Read - Google gives another reason to consider Snapdragon-based Android devicesAlso Read - Snapdragon 778G launches for premium Android smartphones with support for 144Hz display
Starting with Snapdragon 653, it is an incremental upgrade over the Snapdragon 652, offering up to 10 percent performance boost and RAM support up to 8GB. It also comes with X9 LTE modem with better support for VoLTE and Ultra HD voice, compared to X8 LTE modem on the Snapdragon 652. It can attain peak download speeds of 300Mbps (Cat. 7) and peak upload speeds of 150Mbps (Cat.13). The Snapdragon 653 is a 64-bit octa-core processor (four Cortex A53 cores + four Cortex A72 cores) with clock speed up to 1.95GHz, up from 1.8GHz on Snapdragon 652. Also Read - This Qualcomm chip bug affects around 30 percent of phones globally: Report
Next is the Snapdragon 626, which is an upgrade over Snapdragon 625. Besides 10 percent improvement in performance, new X9 LTE model, the chipset also includes TruSignal antenna boost technology, which Qualcomm claims to offer an improved signal reception in congested areas. Snapdragon 626 comes has a 64-bit architecture, octa-core processor (eight Cortex A53 cores) with maximum clock speed of 2.2GHz, up from 2GHz on Snapdragon 625.
Lastly, there is the Snapdragon 427, which is an upgrade over Snapdragon 425. It brings CPU and GPU performance improvements, X9 LTE modem and TruSignal antenna boost technology, which makes it the first SoC in Snapdragon 400-series to gain these capabilities. The Snapdragon 427 is based on 64-bit architecture, a quad-core chipset with four Cortex A53 cores and clock speed up to 1.4GHz, which is the same as Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 SoC. ALSO READ: Qualcomm wants to bring dual-cameras that can see like the human eye to Android smartphones
Qualcomm has done a commendable job of extending support of its Quick Charge 3.0 rapid charging feature and Clear Sight technology to mid-range chipsets. Previously, Clear Sight tech was only supported on Snapdragon 820 and 821 chipsets. It will not only be interesting to see more phones getting dual-camera setups, but also makes us wonder how the quality of these setups on mid-range smartphone will compare with the flagship ones.
Manufacturers such as HTC and Xiaomi (on Redmi Pro), used one camera for clicking pictures and other for sensing depth to add DSLR-like bokeh effects. LG implemented a standard lens and wide-angle lens, Apple uses a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens for 2X optical zoom functionality on the iPhone 7 Plus. The Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus and Honor 8 uses an RGB (color) sensor and a monochrome sensor for capturing sharp photos, even in low-light. The Mi 5s Plus uses Qualcomm s Clear Sight technology, whereas Honor 8 uses a similar technology on its homebrew Kirin 950 SoC. ALSO READ: Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset now optimized for Google s Project Tango
Coming to availability, the Snapdragon 653 and Snapdragon 626 will be commercially available by the end of 2016. In fact, the Snapdragon 653 chipset has already been spotted on a yet to be announced Oppo R9s Plus smartphone. The Snapdragon 427, on the other hand, will make its way to smartphones sometime in early 2017. This also means that we can start seeing smartphones running on the new chipsets sometime in the first quarter of next year.
Along with the new Snapdragon chipsets, Qualcomm has also announced Snapdragon X50, the company s first 5G modem chipset solution. While there is no official 5G radio yet, Qualcomm aims to make it easier for OEMs and network operators in early testing and deployment of the next-gen cellular technology. Designed for handheld and mobile devices, it can also be used in home broadband. With Gigabit Class LTE, the X50 5G modem can attain theoretical peak download speeds of up to 5Gbps on 800MHz bandwidth.
The modem will work on 28GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) band and will use MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology along with advanced signal processing technologies. This is still early phase and for 5G speeds to become a reality, a lot of infrastructure setup will be needed.