Qualcomm's Snapdragon 210 Brings LTE and 1080p to Low-Cost Smartphones

The trickle-down effect has applied to technology for some time, but this feels more rapid than usual. Just a few years after LTE was introduced, and reserved only for flagship phones, Qualcomm has introduced a new SoC that could bring LTE access to millions of new users. The new Snapdragon 200 tier (namely the Snapdragon 210), will offer integrated multimode 3G/4G LTE and LTE Dual SIM for entry-level smartphones. QTI also today unveiled the company’s first LTE-equipped tablet reference design, enabling OEMs and ODMs to create and introduce a new class of multimode 3G/4G LTE connected tablets. Initial versions of the tablet reference design will be available with the Snapdragon 410 and 210 processors.

Despite being available for phones that could cost well below $150 off-contract, the 210 offers up fully integrated 4G LTE-Advanced Cat 4 Carrier Aggregation, LTE Broadcast and LTE Dual SIM/Dual Standby, 1080p video playback support, Adreno 304 graphics, support for 8MP camera systems, Quick Charge 2.0 support, and more. It's bringing a high-end feature set to low-cost handsets.

The Snapdragon 210 processor and QRD reference tablet are expected to be available in commercial devices in the first half of 2015, and we wouldn't be surprised if CES is the launch pad for a new breed of affordable phones that are actually enjoyable to use.