They may not be as revolutionary as the flagship Snapdragon 835, but Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 660 and 630 SoC (system-on-chip) will be in the next wave of premium midrange smartphones, and they bring some class-defining features.
As the next steps to the Snapdragon 653 and 626 processors — the former of which is found in handsets like the Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro — the Snapdragon 660 and 630 might seem like incremental updates if you look at their model names, but there’s a lot more to them than just a performance boost.
Here are six features to look forward to:
They’re built on the 14nm fabrication process
While it sounds like tech mumbo-jumbo, building an SoC on a smaller fabrication means greater efficiency, both in energy management and performance. Qualcomm-branded favorites like the Snapdragon 821 and 625 (equipped in excellent devices such as the OnePlus 3T and Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime) use the same 14nm node, meaning the Snapdragon 660 and 630 are destined to follow in their footsteps (if they could walk).
A lot more power
A total given: The two new processors are going to be a lot faster than their predecessors, thanks in part to the eight Kryo 260 cores and Adreno 512 graphics unit for the Snapdragon 660, and the eight Cortex-A53 cores and Adreno 508 graphics processor for the Snapdragon 630. Overall, performance enhancements reach as much as 30 percent more compared to the last generation.
Even faster charging this time
With every new generation of Snapdragon chipsets comes faster charging for our devices. Quick Charge 4.0, which you find on the Snapdragon 835, is also available on the Snapdragon 660 and 630 now. It’s rated at 20 percent faster and 30 percent more efficient than its predecessor, Quick Charge 3.0. If utilized properly by smartphone manufacturers, you could get a 50 percent charge for your phone in only 15 minutes.
Again, faster wireless connectivity
Notice a pattern yet? Yes, the new SoCs are all about efficiency and, most of all, speed. Qualcomm inserted a X12 LTE modem in the Snapdragon 660 and 630, which is a first for 600-tier processors. This previously flagship-exclusive feature supports download speeds of up to 600Mbps. In addition, they have Bluetooth 5, giving them double the range and speed of the previous version.
Full machine learning integration
Machine learning has become the new buzzword for greater user experience in consumer gadgets. The Snapdragon 660 and 630 have the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine SDK, meaning developers can optimize their phones’ interfaces to users’ specific needs. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Huawei has been applying this technology to its flagship Mate 9 and P10 smartphones.
General upgrades to multimedia output and security
The most important thing we learned during the launch of these two chips in Singapore is that they’re a lot more flagship-like than older 600-series generations. You can expect higher-quality photo and video processing; more accurate iris, facial, and fingerprint scanning; as well as several high-end audio-visual technologies for 4K video and Hi-Fi audio consumption.