Qualcomm officially revealed the company’s newest 5G-capable processor, the Snapdragon 480 5G, and the first in its Snapdragon 4-series of chips that power budget Android devices that appear to be much cheaper than most of Qualcomm’s 5G efforts to date.
Originally, the news of a 4-series 5G chip was teased at IFA 2020, but today’s announcement marks the first real knowledge of the new processor.
The Snapdragon 480 is fitted with an integrated Snapdragon X51 modem with both mmWave and sub-6GHz network support.
One of the biggest variables yet in making the next-generation networking standard more available to consumers around the world may be the addition of 5G to the 4-series.
Most 5G phones appear to cost upwards of $500 right now, and the device is usually restricted to mid-tier and flagship phones.
But Qualcomm is making it possible for manufacturers to quickly add 5G to their cheapest phones in the $125 to $250 range by adding it to the Snapdragon 4-series lineup. That implies that 2021 could be the year when 5G phones really arrive on budget.
But because of its 5G support, the Snapdragon 480 is not only fascinating, it also aims to deliver a huge leap in performance compared to its predecessor, the Snapdragon 460.
Qualcomm explicitly states that for both the CPU and GPU, the Snapdragon 480 can deliver twice the performance of the old model, with a 70 percent boost for AI tasks. (Through the recent Adreno 619 GPU, Kryo 460 CPU and Qualcomm Hexagon 686 chipsets in particular.)
There are also some features from previous premium Snapdragon products that have trickled down, making their debut for the first time on the budget line.
The Snapdragon 480 is the first 4-series chip to use an 8nm process, the first one to support Fast Charge 4 Plus, the first to support 120fps FHD+ panels, the first to provide 64-megapixel still images, and the first to provide a triple camera integration ISP that can take up to three photos at once.
Again, none of these are new features, but what budget-priced phones would be able to do should be greatly expanded, particularly when combined with increased performance to the CPU and GPU.
In Q1 2021, the first phones to use the Snapdragon 480 are scheduled to arrive. Among the major companies expected to release phones powered by the latest chip in the following days are Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, Motorola, and HMD’s Nokia.