Qualcomm Snapdragon 460, 662 and 720G mobile platforms announced: Massive performance bump and Wi-Fi 6 incoming

These will also be the first platforms to officially support India's IRNSS NavIC GPS system.

Qualcomm, the company that makes the chips that power just about every smartphone available today, announced three new platforms targeting entry-level, mid-range, and mid to high-end phones. These are the Snapdragon 460, Snapdragon 662 and gaming focussed Snapdragon 720G platforms.

The highlights of these new platforms include Wi-Fi 6 support at up to 8x8 speeds (a faster, more modern Wi-Fi standard), dual-SIM-dual-LTE, and support for India’s NavIC GPS system. Qualcomm also says that it’s now supporting something it’s calling “Ultra HD Voice” calls, a feature that’s supposed to improve the quality of voice communication over 4G networks.

An interesting feature of Wi-Fi 6 and the new Snapdragon platforms is a feature called target wakeup time. In essence, this is a battery-saving feature that allows the Snapdragon chip to negotiate a wake-up time with a Wi-Fi router. In other words, the chip’s Wi-Fi radio won’t wake up until a pre-set time, determined by various factors, thus saving battery life and improving network efficiency.

The new Snapdragon Mobile Platforms promise massive improvements in performance over previous designs, Image: Qualcomm.

The new Snapdragon Mobile Platforms promise massive improvements in performance over previous designs, Image: Qualcomm.

8x8 Wi-Fi also means that devices can now upload and download data at a much more efficient rate. In fact, groups of devices will also be better served if they support this standard.

Snapdragon 460: Huge performance gains

For the first time ever, the Snapdragon 400-series platforms sees the introduction of Kryo cores. Kryo is the name Qualcomm uses for its semi-custom CPU design normally found in higher end platforms. The new Adreno 610 GPU, Spectra 340 ISP (Image Signal Processor) and the presence of Hexagon Vextor Extensions means that, according to Qualcomm, we’ll also see a 60 percent boost to graphics performance — i.e. better gaming, better AI performance, and much better image quality.

The 400 series platform is usually found in budget phones in the under-Rs 10k range. The fact that we’re getting such huge performance improvements in this segment means that we should see budget phones with far fewer compromises than before, at least as far as performance is concerned.

The Snapdragon 460 supports QuickCharge 3.0 for fast charging.

Snapdragon 662: AI and camera upgrades

The 662 gets Kryo 260 CPU cores clocked at up to 2 GHz, an X11 LTE modem, an Adreno 610 GPU, Spectra 340T ISP (48 MP images) and QuickCharge 3.0 support. Qualcomm says that users will see camera and AI performance improvements on this platform, compared to the previous gen.

Snapdragon 720G: Gaming sweetspot?

The G in the 720G means that this is a gaming-focussed platform. Qualcomm would have worked on optimisations for the latest games, including the PUBG Mobile and Fortnite.

The Kryo 465 CPUs push performance up 65 percent compared to the previous gen chip, and the Adreno 618 GPUs push GPU performance gains to 75 percent. A Hexagon 692 chip for AI and Spectra 350L chip (support for 192 MP images and 4K video) round out the package.

This platform supports QuickCharge 4+ (0–50 percent in 15 minutes), as well as the more universal USB-PD power standard.

This chip is built on an 8 nm manufacturing process, making it more efficient than the 11 nm-based 662 and 460 platforms.

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