Here’s the mid-range chipset from Qualcomm that we’ve been waiting for, the Snapdragon 625. The company also brought faster LTE connectivity to the 400-series with the 425 and 435.
Despite its low model number, the S625 is the first 600-series chipset to be built on a power-efficient 14nm process. This allows its eight Cortex-A53 cores to be clocked at over 2GHz.
This is also the third 600-class chip (after the 650, 652) to record 4K video (with both AVC and HEVC codecs); it also supports up to 24MP cameras with its dual ISP.
It’s paired with an X9 modem for Cat. 7 LTE – up to 300Mbps downloads and 150Mbps uploads. The chipset also supports Wi-Fi ac. Other goodies include an Adreno 506 GPU and Quick Charge 3.0.
The only limiting factor is the display support – the Snapdragon 625 tops out at 1,900 x 1,200 at 60fps or 1080p at 30fps. So, we won’t see it in QHD flagships, but premium mid-rangers are about to get better. You can expect new devices with the 625 in the second half of this year.
Finally, Qualcomm mentioned that the 625 uses up to 35% less power than its Snapdragon 617 predecessor, so all the goodies won’t cost you anything in terms of battery life.
This one is built on the old 28nm process, so its eight Cortex-A53 cores top out at 1.4GHz. Also, it comes with Adreno 505 GPU and supports displays up to 1080p at 60fps.
It’s still a solid offering with an X8 modem (Cat. 7 for 300Mbps down, 100Mbps up), Wi-Fi ac and Quick Charge 3.0. This is the first 400-series chipset with Cat. 7 LTE.
The S435 chipset supports 1080p video recording (AVC and HEVC) from 21MP cameras.
A small difference in model number, a huge difference in hardware. The Snapdragon 425 chipset has a quad-core processor, Cortex-A53 up to 1.4GHz (28nm build), and an old Adreno 308 (which means no OpenGL ES 3.1 support).
Display support is capped at 1,280 x 800 at 60fps. At least you get to keep the 1080p video capture (max camera resolution is 16MP, though).
The Snapdragon 425 uses an older X6 modem, which puts its maximum speeds at Cat. 4 levels – 150Mbps down, 75Mbps up. You still get Wi-Fi ac. Quick Charge version 2.0 is supported.
Both the Snapdragon 435 and the 425 are pin-compatible with last year’s S430, so phone-makers have an easy upgrade path to the new chipsets.
You may have glossed over the modem designations, but to compare it quickly to the high end, the upcoming Snapdragon 820 chipset has an X12 chipset. It boasts download speeds of up to 600Mbps.
Today Qualcomm also announced the X16 – the first modem to reach 1Gbps (that’s 1,000Mbps) download speeds. It’s also the first modem to be built on a 14nm process (the X12 is at 20nm). This modem won’t arrive in consumer devices until 2017 though.
Anyway, the X16 modem also supports LTE-U, aka LTE-Unlicensed, which operates in the 5GHz spectrum, sharing room with household Wi-Fi.