Features

6 class-defining features of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 and 630

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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.

SEE ALSO: 5 key features of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor

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Hands-On

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Hands-on: Best phone of 2018?

Huawei outdoes itself again

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In an industry where incremental updates are the new norm, Huawei manages to wow us again — barely a year after the release of the P20 Pro. The Chinese company is back with the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro which might just be the best among the best this year.

In this video, we go over the phones’ new designs, updated cameras, and new memory card format. We also go through the differences between the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro.

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Features

Huawei Mate 20 vs Mate 20 Pro: What are the differences?

Price isn’t the only factor

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Huawei has once again launched two flagships phones at the same time; one comes with a Pro moniker, while the other does not. Like before, there are some significant differences between the Mate 20 pair to take note of.

While we wait to get our hands on the Porsche Design Mate 20 RS and Mate 20 X, here are the two phones we already know everything about.

Display

One obvious difference is in their displays. While the Mate 20 Pro goes for a notched 6.39-inch 1440p curved HDR OLED display — certainly a mouthful — the regular Mate 20 has a 6.53-inch 1080p RGBW HDR LCD with a much smaller notch.

The Pro model justifies the larger notch by housing a more complex camera system for secured facial recognition, but if that doesn’t matter to you, the regular variant’s Dew Drop notch may be more appealing — and definitely less intrusive.

In addition, the Mate 20 Pro’s OLED tech allows it to curve the edges and equip an in-display fingerprint scanner. It’s essentially the more modern-looking design of the pair.

Performance

Since both models have Huawei’s Kirin 980 chipset installed, pure performance is virtually identical. The Pro and non-Pro also share the same memory and storage configuration of 6GB and 128GB, respectively, although the plain Mate 20 has a more affordable 4GB memory variant available, too.

Another minor difference: The 4200mAh capacity of the Mate 20 Pro, along with the more energy-efficient OLED, provides it with potentially longer battery life than what the Mate 20’s 4000mAh capacity and LCD panel offer.

A more significant advantage for the Mate 20 Pro is its inclusion of a 40W SuperCharge adapter in the package — noticeably better than the 22.5W output of the Mate 20’s. Plus, the Pro version can charge other phones wirelessly using wireless reverse charging tech.

Cameras

Perhaps, you’ll care most about the difference in camera quality and performance. While it’s too early to make photo and video comparisons, an initial look at specs shows that the Mate 20 Pro may have an edge.

There are three modules in place for the Pro: One is a 40-megapixel main camera, another has 20 megapixels and an ultra-wide lens, and the final unit offers 8 megapixels with 3x optical zoom

As for the Mate 20, its main camera has only 12 megapixels, the ultra-wide shooter settles for 16 megapixels, and the 8-megapixel telephoto camera goes up to only 2x optical zoom.

Despite the larger notch of the Mate 20 Pro, they share the same 24-megapixel selfie camera.

Pricing and colors

This part largely depends on where you reside, but in an ideal setting, all five colors — Emerald Green, Midnight Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold, and Black — should be available for both models.

Pricing is another matter, and it again depends per region. In Europe, the Mate 20’s 4GB+128GB configuration retails for EUR 799 and its 6GB+128GB model goes for EUR 849. The Mate 20 Pro’s sole 6GB+128GB variant costs EUR 1,049, making it more expensive by EUR 250 and EUR 200, respectively.

In Singapore, the Mate 20’s 6GB+128GB setup retails for SG$ 998, while the Mate 20 Pro is at SG$ 1,348 — a difference of SG$ 350.

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Features

Huawei Mate 20 series first to have Nano Memory Card

Could this become a trend?

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Aside from introducing a host of flagship features to the freshly minted Mate 20 series, Huawei also introduced a new memory card standard, simply named Nano Memory Card.

It’s available on both the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, and it effectively replaces the microSD slot we’ve become so accustomed to. The question is: What’s so special about it?

The simplest answer is that it has the same size as the nano-SIM card inside any smartphone today. Because of the identical dimensions, the secondary card slot doesn’t have to be designed differently, like what has been done for microSD cards.

In the case of the Mate 20 series, the removable card tray has back-to-back slots: one for the nano-SIM, and the other for either another nano-SIM or separate Nano Memory Card.

As of writing, Huawei will be offering 128GB and 256GB NM Cards, with speeds of up to 90MB/s.

It’s certainly a more efficient way of adding physical storage to a handset, and allows manufactures like Huawei to use the saved space for other features, like a large battery.

Looking ahead, it seems only logical for other smartphone brands to follow suit, but that would mean consumers would have to buy into a whole new standard and let go of their microSD cards.

The same thing happened with the introduction of the USB-C port, wherein users had to replace their micro-USB cables for the newer, more intuitive system. It’s been a gradual process, but definitely rewarding.

It’ll take a while before we find out if this will become a trend, but for now, we should appreciate Huawei’s courage in taking the first, big step.

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