BARCELONA — While everyone’s attention was focused on what Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 845 platform could do in phones like the just-announced Samsung Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XA2, the chipmaker debuted new hardware at Mobile World Congress for less expensive devices.
Qualcomm is calling it the Snapdragon 700 series, and it’s designed to sit between the midrange 600 and high-end 800 lineups.
Before the 700, the closest chipset Qualcomm produced to its flagship silicon was the 660, a platform not used in many devices (though you will find it powering the upcoming Nokia 7 Plus). Qualcomm says the 700 series will be 30 percent more efficient than the processor it replaces, while delivering AI performance that is two times faster thanks to its dedicated AI Engine.
Qualcomm isn’t spilling any details on the new Kryo CPU, Adreno GPU or Hexagon Vector Processor for the time being, though the company says all three work in tandem with heterogeneous computing, which should benefit the system’s ability to learn speech and keep its battery lasting longer.
Improvements have also been made to the Spectra ISP, though again, Qualcomm promises only “professional-grade camera features” with better low light performance, but remains tight-lipped on specifics.
What we do know for certain is that Snapdragon 700 chipsets will support QuickCharge 4+, which guarantees a 50 percent charge in only 15 minutes when connected to a compatible adapter.
The first Snapdragon 700 processors will reach device manufacturers in the first half of 2018, so it will likely be a while before you’re able to buy a phone powered by one.