With the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 and Snapdragon 6 Gen 1, Qualcomm has unveiled new SoCs for the smartphone mid-range that follow the familiar naming scheme of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and are meant to provide increased performance with better efficiency in mid-priced devices.
Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 and Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 unveiled
The Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 will launch as Qualcomm’s low-cost mid-range SoC before the end of September 2022. It will be manufactured using the 6nm process and is said to work up to 15 percent faster (10 percent for the GPU, after all) than its predecessor, which is likely to be found in the Snapdragon 480+.
According to the manufacturer, it is supposed to offer “impressive performance and AI” and come up with advanced photography features, as well as enable a multi-day battery life. Qualcomm leaves concrete details about the clock rates of the individual cores open, but reveals that the chip is supposed to provide clear and detailed photos thanks to Tripple ISP and “Multi-Frame Noise Reduction”.
In terms of resolution, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 enables cameras with up to 108 megapixels. Displays with Full HD+ resolution and up to 120 Hz are supported. Also built in is the Snapdragon X51 5G modem-RF system, which enables downloads at up to 2.5 Gb/s via 5G, while FastConnect 6200 supports 2×2 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 to launch in 2023
A bit later, in early 2023, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 will launch, positioned between the 4 and 8 models in terms of performance. It also relies on a triple ISP and supports camera sensors with a resolution of up to 200 megapixels. Photos and videos can also be recorded in AI-supported HDR.
The seventh generation of the Qualcomm AI Engine is said to offer a threefold improvement in AI performance and come up with new features like AI-based activity tracking. The SoC is manufactured in the 4 nm process and should thus be particularly energy-efficient.
It is composed of four A78 and four Cortex A55 processing cores and an unspecified graphics unit and supports the faster Snapdragon X62 5G modem-RF system including 3GPP Release 16 5G for 2.9 GB/s download speed at peak and Qualcomm FastConnect 6700 for 2×2 Wi-Fi 6E.
Qualcomm is talking about up to 35 percent improvement in Andreno GPU performance, as well as up to 40 percent increase in CPU core performance, presumably compared to current top mid-range models like the Snapdragon 695.
Qualcomm did not reveal whether the manufacturer will follow up with optimized Plus models at a later date, as it did last time with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. We are curious to see what improvements the new SoCs have in store for the smartphone mid-range.