Qualcomm reveals next generation of budget processors

Mobile technology is entering a phase that will place even higher demands on performance. And with an expected rocket launch for virtual reality, the display market will strive to meet demand for more tightly packed pixels, stable performance, and the implementation of high-end components into mid- and low-end devices.

Qualcomm Incorporated, Inc., has revealed in a press release the three new smartphone processors that aim to satisfy these emerging requirements. The processors include the mid-end Snapdragon 625, and the two low-end processors 435 and 425.

Some features are shared across all three of these processors. All models support LTE with carrier-specific alterations. They also support Snapdragon All Mode, enabling transceiver support for all major cellular technologies. Wi-Fi connections support the wireless networking standard 802.11ac with MU-MIMO (multiuser, multiple input, multiple output). If you have a router that supports MU-MIMO you can expect improved connectivity when using multiple devices simultaneously.

Android M is also supported thanks to power-efficient audio with sensor hub via the Qualcomm Hexagon DSP. Moreover, the Snapdragon 435 and 425 are pin compatible with each other as well as with the Snapdragon 430. Manufacturers can thus more freely choose which processors they wish to use without changing a phone’s design. All three processors are software compatible, and they’re all designed for a long-lasting battery life.

Qualcomm says that the Snapdragon 625 provides a “dramatic increase in performance” compared to the previous generation. A new addition is a 14nm FinFET technology which supposedly yields up to 35 percent reduction in power consumption. The processor uses an octa-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and carries an X9 LTE modem that supports 4G+, allegedly three times the speed of a traditional LTE device.

For anyone looking to share 4K material without Wi-Fi (we’ll hold a funeral for their data plan) that should make for a smoother process, says Qualcomm. The 625 also supports improved 4K video coding, recording, and playback. The company even hints at improvements for low-light situations. Manufacturers will also be able to offer a 24-megapixel rear camera, and a 14-megapixel camera at the front. The 625 GPU is a Qualcomm Adreno 506 which supports display resolutions up to 1,920 x 1,200. It’s designed to support the (hopefully) slightly delayed Vulkan API which has been referred to as the Next Generation OpenGL Initiative. All this should only mean more graphical fidelity and performance for the mid- and low-end consumer.

The Snapdragon 435 is obviously a little lacking in the powerhouse department. But considering that it will be used in the cheaper devices, you seem to be getting a lot for your money. It integrates an octa-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and is the first low-end processor to integrate the X8 LTE modem with support for 4G+ and speeds up to 300Mbps when downloading and 100Mbps when uploading. It supports user interfaces at 1080p at 60 frames per second, and for photos it supports 21 megapixel photos and hybrid autofocus. To watch all of that captured content you’ll be relying on the Adreno 505 GPU, which is also being designed to support the upcoming version of the Vulkan API.

The Snapdragon 425 is Qualcomm’s next entry-point processor. It offers a 64-bit, quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and an Adreno 308 GPU, and it displays HD material at 60FPS (meaning no entry-level 1080p crispness yet). The dual Image Signal Processors (ISP) support 15-megapixel photo support as well as “an improved camera and video experience.” There’s an integrated X6 LTE modem with upload speeds up to 75Mbps meant for high-speed LTE connectivity in emerging regions like China and India.

Overall it’s an improvement on data handling as well as image processing, which seems to be in line with the target market. Considering that none of these phones are expected to run the latest games or the most demanding applications, the optimization is likely targeted at social media use. Facebook is cramping up with more videos than before, and combined with platforms like Snapchat, the price class is best suited for battery-life optimization as well as sharing images and videos on social media.

We’ll have to wait to see how well all of these features perform via these processors. A distribution of samples to manufacturers is expected in mid-2016, and commercial devices are expected to land in the second half of 2016.

Product Review

Motorola One Action hands-on review

Motorola’s latest phone is called the Motorola One Action, and it wants to end vertical videos once and for all. The unique action camera lets you film in portrait orientation, yet still captures landscape footage.
News

Google was sharing Android user location data with carriers worldwide

Google quietly ended a service providing cell carriers with location data from customers. The service provided user data from Android devices on any carrier. Data was aggregated and anonymous, and carrier names weren't disclosed.
Deals

Looking for a good cheap phone? Get the Samsung Galaxy A10 for $145 on Amazon

Samsung's A-Series lineup features phone models from the low-end to the mid-tier. One of its cheaper ones, the Galaxy A10, is perhaps watered-down specs-wise but still boasts enough workable features that make it recommendable.
Deals

Snag this fantastic unlocked Samsung Galaxy A9 for $100 less on Amazon

Samsung has given the public a wide range of phone models that span from the dirt cheap to the high-end. One of its mid-tier offerings is the Galaxy A9, a premium looking phone with lots of nifty features. Get it for $347 on Amazon.
Product Review

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus Review in progress

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 Plus is here, and it’s the biggest and best Samsung phone ever. Its key feature is its looks, as it has an attractive rear design, highlighted by the new Aura Glow color, but little else has changed.
Mobile

Fitbit Versa 2 will reportedly roll out September 15 with OLED display, Alexa

Leaked images confirm that the Fitbit Versa 2 will come with an OLED display and Alexa integration, with more than four days of battery life. A source claims that the Fitbit Versa successor will be released on September 15.
Social Media

Twitter’s latest effort to tackle abusive content focuses on Direct Messages

Twitter launched a new feature designed to filter out abusive Direct Messages from people you don't follow. The content is collected in one place and can still be viewed if you want to periodically check what's coming in.
Mobile

3 to beam up: Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo collaborate on new file transfer feature

Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are working together on a new device-to-device file transfer feature for Android. The unnamed feature will be used instead of Android Beam when it's retired from Android in the near future.
Mobile

Nokia 7.2 case renders reveal a round triple-lens camera design

According to the latest rumors, we can expect the Nokia 7.2 to be a phone with a large screen over 6 inches and a triple-camera system. Here's all the news and rumors about the Nokia 7.2.
Mobile

MediaTek and Huawei’s partnership may mean cheap 5G phones in early 2020

Huawei has reportedly made a deal with MediaTek to use its new 5G SoC in a low-cost 5G smartphone expected to launch in early 2020. MediaTek launched the 5G SoC in May, and indicated the first phones to use it would come next year.
Mobile

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to get your Android phone into recovery mode.
Mobile

Huawei gets another short reprieve from ban, but the future doesn’t look hopeful

Huawei has been given another 90-day extension to the Temporary General License, which holds off the ban imposed on it by the U.S. government in May, meaning it’s allowed to continue trading with U.S. companies for now.
Mobile

Miami public transportation is getting Google Pay — and it could save you money

Google and the Miami-Dade Transit public transportation system have announced that the system will now support Google Pay -- meaning you can tap to pay at turnstiles, instead of having to buy a ticket for each ride.
Mobile

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.