Qualcomm’s new 700 series could help create a new ‘premium midrange’

Qualcomm is here to usher in a new wave of midrange handsets. The company has taken the wraps off of the new Snapdragon 700 series of chipsets, which promise to deliver more power and efficiency than the 600 series ever did.

The 700 series isn’t necessarily aimed at replacing the 600 series. Instead, it will serve as Qualcomm’s so-called “sub-premium” range of chipsets, offering a compromise between power and price. As you may have gathered, it’ll sit above the 600 series of chips, and the flagship 800 series, which is currently lead by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845.

So what does the 700 series offer that the 600 series doesn’t? Well, Qualcomm is placing an emphasis on things like on-chip artificial intelligence and camera improvements. According to the company, the new series of chips will offer multi-core Qualcomm AI engines, which should offer two times the AI performance as the 600 series. The chipset will also offer Qualcomm’s Spectra image signal processor, which will enable things like slow-motion capture, low-light photography, and so on.

Next up is performance, and according to Qualcomm, the series of chips will offer up to 30 percent improvements in power efficiency, and will boast much better battery life compared to the Snapdragon 660.

“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,” Alex Katouzian, Qualcomm’s senior vice president and general manager of mobile, said in a blog post. “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 hasn’t given us any specific model numbers just yet, and details are slim as to when we can expect to see 700 series chips inside of a phone. Still, we do know that the company is planning on delivering the first chips to its partners in the first half of 2018 — meaning we may see phones with the chips towards the end of this year or the beginning of next. It will be very interesting to see what kinds of phones pop up using the new series.