Qualcomm has announced their new Snapdragon 700 series of processors for smartphones and other devices with the aim of bringing top-shelf, premium features to more gadgets in lower price points. This gives manufacturers an option between the 600 and 800 series chips and opens up a few more price points for smartphones and should see a decline in OEMs opting for older processors to save costs.
Some of the features Qualcomm is touting for the 700 series include support for on-device AI, camera improvements with the Qualcomm Spectra ISP, and Qualcomm’s Adreno Visual Processing system, among other platform-specific features. These are all things that we’ve previously only seen in devices using a Snapdragon 800 processor, and it will still support Qualcomm standard tech like Bluetooth 5.0, incredibly fast wireless speeds, and Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+.
It’s an odd move to start to shift premium features into cheaper hardware, but the move does make sense if Qualcomm wants to maintain their global market dominance. Consumers are demanding cheaper phones and are buying more mid-range and budget devices as opposed to a new flagship device every year, and by catering to that market Qualcomm can guarantee that most devices will continue to use Snapdragon processors year in and year out.
And for most of us, that means we’ll start to see high-end features in phones that don’t cost $800 in the next couple years, and that’s definitely a win.
Be sure to keep up with the rest of our MWC 2018 coverage!