Qualcomm’s new mid-range Snapdragon 636 SoC leaves the old 630 in the dust

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With Snapdragon 835’s marginal 836 upgrade reportedly delayed or even canceled altogether as a full-on SD845 sequel must be drawing near, and a new upper mid-range Snapdragon 670 not yet ready to replace the 660 that was barely unveiled five months ago, Qualcomm is left having to take the wraps off a single SoC today.

As the name suggests, the Snapdragon 636 “mobile platform” is not a powerhouse, but it’s no pushover either, improving the overall device performance of an already respectable Snapdragon 630 chip by a solid 40 percent.

That’s because this is actually Qualcomm’s most modest mobile platform yet equipped with one of the company’s custom Kryo CPUs, which were previously exclusive to Snapdragon 800-series chips, as well as the SD660.

The Kryo 260 now powering the SD636 is in fact the same force behind the central processing speed of the Snapdragon 660, although the former’s eight CPU cores are understandably clocked lower, at up to 1.8 GHz.

Based on a frugal 14nm FinFet fabrication process, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 is pin and software-compatible with the 660 and 630, which should allow smartphone manufacturers to very quickly and efficiently adopt the new mid-end SoC. At a lower price than the 660, of course, and with the massive aforementioned CPU enhancement compared to the 630.

Also, around 10 percent more gaming and browsing performance than the platform’s “previous generation”, brand-new support for “modern” ultra-wide FHD+ displays, the same old Snapdragon X12 LTE modem in tow, and a 14-bit Qualcomm Spectra 160 ISP with up to 24MP camera compatibility. This right here is an affordable beast that’s going to help bring tomorrow’s Android mid-rangers mighty close to today’s flagships.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).