The Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 will be a game-changer on the mid-range market. This processor finally brings 5G connectivity at a lower price point. The new connectivity is made possible by the new X51 modem.
This new processor opens up new capabilities on budget devices besides 5G connectivity. Mid-range Android devices are getting these features soon.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 has a 2Ghz Octa-core processor. It is composed of two Cortex-A77 cores and six Cortex-A55 cores. Qualcomm claims that the new SoC will provide a 20% performance boost compared to the older Snapdragon 675.
Better graphics performance is expected from devices carrying this chip. The company boasts a 60% performance increase over its predecessor.
The advantage of having this performance jump is the capability to run 120Hz screens. Budget devices from Realme and Xiaomi are carrying 90Hz or higher refresh rates this year.
However, having this new processor may allow companies to price their high refresh rate devices lower. Although, this is only up to Full HD+ resolution. Devices with 2K display or higher are still stuck with a 60Hz refresh rate.
There is also an improved AI and machine-learning capabilities with the new processor. This will provide better facial recognition features.
Unfortunately, Qualcomm has announced that the Snapdragon Elite Gaming features will remain on its flagship processor. The Snapdragon 865 and Snapdragon 765G are the top SoCs that will carry the feature.
The Snapdragon Elite Gaming includes “jank reducer.” It helps in reducing game stuttering and frame drops when playing mobile games.
Another feature of the Snapdragon Elite Gaming is the anti-cheat extensions. It allows users to detect and block players who are using cheat engines. This feature would have made the new SoC better for entry-level devices.
Following the trend of 600-series devices, it is likely that the budget smartphones from Motorola, Nokia, and LG to carry this processor.
The Snapdragon 600-series power the Moto G and Moto E devices. The Nokia 7-series also have the same processor.
With that being said, the price range for Snapdragon 690 devices shall be between US$200 [AU$291] to US$400 [AU$583].
As of the moment, only TCL, Motorola, Sharp, LG, and Nokia have revealed their interest in the new processor.
Qualcomm has announced that the Snapdragon 690 will support image processing of up to 192-megapixel images. It can also work with 47-megapixel images that include multi-frame processing. Dual camera systems are also supported as long as it maxes out at 32 megapixels and 16 megapixels.
This is great news for mobile photography lovers. This means that budget devices will take better images soon.
It is the first time that the Snapdragon 600-series will be able to process 4K resolution videos. The image and video formats will have HEIC and HEVC for better file size management.
Qualcomm said that the new devices carrying the processor will be revealed in the second half of the year.
But, it is not disclosed whether it will arrive in 2020 or early next year. The production of smartphones is still hindered by the pandemic. It is highly likely that the reveal will be this year but the official launch will wait until the upcoming year.
The long wait actually makes it better for consumers. It means that there will be more choices in the market. Having 5G connectivity at this price point will also affect the expansion of 5G all throughout the globe.
The Snapdragon 690 will change the landscape of budget devices. It may also prompt Mediatek to create a contender similar to the Helio G90T.
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