Chipmaker Qualcomm has launched the Snapdragon 480, the company’s first 4-series mobile platform with 5G support. The chipset, which has been in development since September 2020, is set to bring 5G connectivity to the budget Android smartphone segment.

To give you an idea, most 5G smartphones today are mid-tier or flagship devices that cost more than RM1,000. With the addition of the Snapdragon 4-series lineup, this would make it possible for OEMs to add 5G to their cheapest phones which typically cost less than RM1,000.

The Snapdragon 480 features an integrated Snapdragon X51 5G modem that supports both millimetre wave (mmWave) and sub-6GHz networks. It should be noted however that mmWave band support is subjected to individual device manufacturers. Most 5G phones in Malaysia, including the latest iPhone 12 models, ship without support for mmWave.

Apart from its support for 5G, the new chipset promises significant gains in performance. The new Snapdragon 480 is built on the 8nm process, an upgrade over the Snapdragon 460 which is based on a 11nm architecture. It also features a Qualcomm Kryo 460 CPU clocked up to 2.0 GHz along with an Adreno 619 GPU.

Qualcomm claims that the new 4-series chipset will boast a two-fold increase in both CPU and GPU performance compared to the previous generation. The chipmaker added that AI tasks are set to benefit from a 70% boost in performance with the inclusion of the Qualcomm Hexagon 686 chipset.

The latest 4-series chip is also expected to bring a number of new features that will expand the capabilities of budget phones. This includes the support for Quick Charge 4+ that is said to charge a device up to 50% in only 15 minutes.

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Qualcomm said the new SoC offers up to Full HD+ display support and up to 120Hz refresh rate. The Snapdragon 480 also comes with Qualcomm’s Spectra 345 Image Signal Processor (ISP) that supports simultaneous capture from up to three camera sensors. Besides that, the new chipset also has WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity.

The first smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 480 are expected to launch in the next few months. Qualcomm said it is working with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Vivo, Oppo, Motorola, OnePlus and HMD Global to bring devices powered by the new SoC to market soon.

It is worth mentioning that Malaysia has postponed its 5G rollout plans until 2022. Under the JENDELA plan, the government is focusing its efforts on expanding 4G networks to serve as a strong foundation for 5G.

So, what do you think of the Qualcomm’s latest chipset? Will you be getting a 5G capable budget phone this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.


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