Qualcomm Reveals Snapdragon 700 SoC Series Bringing Flagship Features To Premium Mid-Range Phones

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When it comes to today's Android smartphones, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8xx series of processors get the bulk of the attention. Last year, it was the Snapdragon 835, while this year it is the Snapdragon 845. However, what about customers that want a taste of the "premium life" lavished on flagship devices in more affordable phones? That's where Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 700 series comes into play.

Qualcomm's current family of SoCs encompass the Snapdragon 200, 400, 600 and 800 series. The Snapdragon 200 carries the torch for the low-end market, while the Snapdragon 400 and 600 tackle the mid-range market, with the Snapdragon 800 of course handling the high-end. Given its numbering scheme, the Snapdragon 700 series is looking to occupy a tiny sliver of a niche between the mid-range and premium phone segments.

While Qualcomm isn't given us any concrete details on the Snapdragon 700 series like core counts and clock speeds, it is quick to point out that the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine from the Snapdragon 800 series is included. On the performance side of things, all Qualcomm is stating at this time is that it the Snapdragon 700 series offers a 2x uplift for on-device AI applications compared to the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform. And with the Spectra ISP, Kryo CPU and Adreno Visual Processing subsystem, the company further adds that up to a 30 percent improvement in power efficiency can be obtained compared to the Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform.

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Given what we've seen with the Adreno 600 series GPU in the Snapdragon 845 during our performance review, expect to similar performance from the Snapdragon 700 series in cheaper smartphones.

“The Snapdragon 700 Mobile Platform Series will bring premium tier technologies and features into more affordable devices, something our global OEM customers and consumers are demanding,” said Alex Katouzian, SVP and GM for Mobile at Qualcomm Technologies. “From our cutting-edge Qualcomm AI Engine to superior camera, device performance and power, the Snapdragon 700 Series is optimized to support the experiences consumers have come to expect from the most advanced mobile devices at a lower price point.”

Qualcomm made it a point in its press release announcing this new chip family that it is targeting the "increasing demands of the China smartphone ecosystem", so we could see the Snapdragon 700 series arrive in devices from the likes of Huawei, Xiaomi and OPPO (among others). It remains to be seen if other hardware OEMs like Samsung, LG, and Motorola will also adopt the chips to squeeze in another tier in their vast smartphone portfolios.

The first commercial samples of the Snapdragon 700 series processors will ship to customers during the first half of 2018.