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MediaTek’s new smartphone chip looks like a beast

MediaTek Dimensity 9300 SoC inside Android phone.
Nadeem Sarwar / Digital Trends

MediaTek has typically played second fiddle to Qualcomm, at least when it comes to flagship Android phones in the U.S. But that may be set to change if the latest leak about the MediaTek Dimensity 9400 is to be believed. By all appearances, we have a chipset that may be able to compete with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 4.

The news comes via Weibo from leaker Digital Chat Station and reveals that MediaTek is using TSMC’s second-generation 3nm N3E node, which should result in 34% lower power consumption. The Dimensity 9400 is expected to have MT6991 as its model number and keep the same large core structure as the Dimensity 9300.

You’re looking at a Cortex-X5 performance core at 3.4GHz, with some indication that the frequency will increase when the chipset actually launches. There’s also a 3x Cortex-X4 core and 4x Cortex-A720 core. That would be in line with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, which is expected to hit 4.0GHz on its primary core, compared to the 3.4GHz the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 tops out at.

Poster with the MediaTek logo in orange.
Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The real reason for excitement is that the performance of the Dimensity 9400 has already leaked in Geekbench and AnTuTu benchmarks. On AnTuTu, the 9400 had a 10% higher overall score compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4, with a 12% higher CPU score and a 7% higher GPU score. That’s a serious performance upgrade, not just for general day-to-day usage, but also for other tasks. Another leak revealed that the Dimensity 9400 is expected to have an improved neural processing unit (NPU) that can generate Large Language Models and images 20% to 50% faster.

Breaking news out of #MediaTekAnalystDay: the first @MediaTek premium segment smartphone will launch in the US later this year. pic.twitter.com/oG1FgxA5yO

— Nirave 尼拉夫 (@nirave) May 2, 2024

Perhaps most interestingly, there’s also confirmation direct from MediaTek that a “premium segment” Android phone will launch in the U.S. later this year and likely come with the MediaTek Dimensity 9400 inside. For context, that’s pretty exceptional in the U.S. market. While MediaTek chips aren’t uncommon in the midrange and budget offerings from Motorola and Samsung, the only high-end chip we’ve seen on an Android device was 2023’s OnePlus Pad, which had a Dimensity 9000.

While it’s still not clear what device this new chip will launch on, speculation includes a new OnePlus foldable based on the Opp Find N3 Flip, which runs a Dimensity 9200, or a new Motorola flagship. A successful launch of a flagship with a MediaTek chipset could finally give Qualcomm some real competition in the top-tier market.

The MediaTek Dimensity 9400 is expected to be available on its first device later this year, but we’ll likely have more leaks before the official launch.

Ajay Kumar
Freelance Writer, Mobile
Ajay has worked in tech journalism for more than a decade as a reporter, analyst, and editor.
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