Qualcomm wants to redefine low to mid-end phones again with Snapdragon 632, 439 and 429 SoCs
Qualcomm has a lot of exciting high-end products in the pipeline, looking to power everything from Always Connected PCs to traditional laptops and desktops, “Extended Reality” wearables and the next wave of Wear OS smartwatches.
But in addition to pushing the boundaries of so-called “affordable high-tier” phones, aka impressive upper mid-rangers like the impending Xiaomi Mi Max 3 Pro, the semiconductor giant is also aiming to bring “more premium technology advancements to lower Snapdragon tiers.”
Enter the all-new Snapdragon 632, 439 and 429 “mobile platforms”, scheduled to hit stores inside low to mid-end Android handsets sometime “in the second half of this year”, i.e. starting July.
The 632 processor is confusingly “built on the success” of the venerable 625 and 626 rather than improving on the capabilities of last year’s 630. Nonetheless, bargain hunters should be happy to hear 4K video recording support, artificial intelligence and “fast LTE speeds” are coming at a price point vaguely described as “affordable.”
Taking the 600-tier to the “next level”, the Snapdragon 632 SoC consists of eight Kryo 250 CPU cores clocked at up to 1.8GHz and a respectable Adreno 506 GPU, also including a Snapdragon X9 LTE modem with theoretical peak download speeds of 300 Mbps.
Compared to the Snapdragon 626, the 632 is capable of “up to 40% higher performance” while supporting FHD+ display resolution and either a single 24MP rear-facing camera or dual 13MP shooters.
The significantly humbler Snapdragon 439 and 429 chips share a frugal 12nm FinFET architecture and X6 LTE modems for up to 150 Mbps downloads. Battery efficiency is obviously a shared strong point as well, but the 439 is much more powerful, thanks to an octa-core CPU and Adreno 505 GPU.
Aiming to “redefine the entry-point of mid-tier platforms”, the Snapdragon 429 packs a modest quad-core CPU with up to 1.95 GHz Cortex A53 cores, as well as an Adreno 504 GPU. Both the 429 and 439 can accommodate dual 8MP cameras, but the latter supports up to a 21MP single shooter, compared to the former’s 16MP ceiling. The 439 also works with up to FHD+ screens, while the 429 caps off at HD+ resolution.
All in all, the future definitely looks bright for budget-friendly Android smartphones.