Nowhere near as successful as Qualcomm, and lacking Samsung’s expansion and in-house manufacturing resources, MediaTek remains a very popular chip supplier for low-cost, low to mid-end smartphones sold primarily in China or India.

After unveiling the 12nm-based Helio P60 SoC that quickly found its way inside several interesting OPPO and Vivo products, the Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company boldly decided to bring the same advanced 12-nanometer technology to an even humbler processor.

Meet the Helio P22, which is already in “volume production”, eyeing availability in “consumer devices by the end of Q2 2018.” Its 12nm roots should translate into significantly improved energy efficiency compared to 16nm designs like the P25 and P30 or even Qualcomm’s 14nm-fabricated Snapdragon 450.

In theory, the P22 chipset should also be physically smaller than all the above, facilitating either thinner phones or larger batteries. But the thing we’re most curious about is the no doubt extreme affordability of future 12nm-based, P22-powered handsets.

The Realme1 is already crazy affordable, and there’s no comparing the raw speed of the new guy with that of the P60. The MediaTek Helio P22 CPU is composed of eight ARM Cortex-A53 cores clocked at up to 2.0GHz, combined with a 650MHz PowerVR GE8320 GPU.

Display resolution support caps off at a modest 1600 x 720 pixels (with a tall 20:9 aspect ratio), while dual rear-facing camera systems are limited at a 13+8MP combo.

On the bright side, the P22 does have a few nifty AI tricks up its sleeve, including “accelerated camera experiences” like Face ID, smart photo album and both single and dual shooter depth of field functionality. Last but not least, smartphone vendors interested in using MediaTek’s “new premium” SoC can put LTE connectivity at their users’ disposal on both SIM cards. Still, price points will definitely make or break Helio P22 handsets.

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).

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