The mid-range segment has been booming recently, thanks to some attractively priced phones with some reliable on-board hardware such as the Snapdragon 652. Now, Qualcomm has set its sights on releasing the new Snapdragon 660 and has already sent out invites executives who will be among the chosen few to witness first-hand, the next standard in the mid-range segment.
Qualcomm is aiming at making the Snapdragon 660 a lot closer in terms of specification and power, to its current flagship processor – the Snapdragon 835. This will be an octa-core processor with Kryo 280 cores, which is the same as the 835. What will make this different from its older brother is that the 660 will be based on a 14nm process rather than the 10nm. That is still significantly smaller than the current Kirin flagship and the last of the A10 chips by Apple. The GPU on this SoC will be the Adreno 512, which will be an improvement over the previous generation, but by how much right now is not known just yet.
Based on Phandroid’s sources, it has been rumored that the Snapdragon 660 could be powering the new Nokia 7, the Xiaomi Mi Max 2, the Redmi Pro 2 as well as Samsung’s first dual-camera smartphone too. There is a lot already riding upon the success of the SD 660 so far, so we can expect it to be a power-house performer for the mid-range. The invite released by Qualcomm, stated that the launch of the new processor will be next Tuesday and will be marketed as an affordable alternative to the flagship of the brand. Even the clock-speed is rumored to be the same as the 835, with four cores being clocked at 2.2GHz and four others at 1.9GHz.
The new chipset should be able to support faster, dual-channel LPDDR4X-1866MHz RAM memory as well as UFS 2.1 flash memory. It will also support cameras with MP sizes of up to 24MP. On the networking front, the latest LTE Cat. 10 will be supported for superfast speeds and it will be possible to have three SIM cards at a time on the phone, which will be useful for the Asian markets. Benchmarking rumors indicate that the chipset will be as fast as the Snapdragon 820, which was seen on the OnePlus 3, as well as most of last year’s flagships. But where the 800 series of chipsets focus on power and performance, the 600 series is humbler, optimizing instead for reliability and battery
The chipset should come into mass production within the current quarter of the year, which means that new handsets which will be powered by the silicon, should arrive in no less than a month from the launch. Before the 800 series came along, the SD 600 was touted as being the most powerful mobile chipset before, powering the likes of HTC’s and Samsung’s Galaxy flagships. Right now, it seems like the 600 mid-range revamp has done itself well for the market.