Phones

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon chips make cheaper phones better

The chipmaker's latest system-on-chip will give phones faster LTE, improved image quality and better gaming capabilities.

Qualcomm

The gap between midrange and premium phones is about to get smaller.

That is, if those midrange phones come packing Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 630 and 660 chips.

Announced Tuesday local time at a company event in Singapore, the two new system-on-chip (SoC) are the successors to the Snapdragon 625 and 652 processors, which are used in devices such as the Moto G5 Plus.

The new chips promise faster LTE and Wi-Fi speeds, a better image processor that supports cameras of up to 24-megapixels, faster CPU and GPU performance and Qualcomm Quick Charge 4 support.

The new Snapdragon 630 and 660 are manufactured using a 14nm process, which the company used on its last generation Snapdragon 820 and 821 flagship chips, and can display and capture 4K video. Snapdragon 660-powered phones will be able to support 2,560x1,440-pixel QHD displays.

Expect to see phones, particularly those from China such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo, sporting these new chips soon.

Qualcomm's announcement comes as the chipmaker is taking on Apple in a legal spat over licensing fees. The iPhone maker in January filed suit against Qualcomm, alleging the chipmaker didn't give fair licensing terms for its processor technology. Apple has since stopped paying patent royalties to Qualcomm, who in turn may ask the US International Trade Commission to ban Apple from importing iPhones into the US.

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