Qualcomm brings LTE to entry-level smartphones with Snapdragon 210 chip


The introduction of the LTE-enabled Snapdragon 210 is Qualcomm's attempt to conquer the budget smartphone segment, eventually leading the competition against MediaTek. Likewise, the processor could help the company in their effort to increase presence in emerging markets such as Latin America, India and China where there is a strong base of rival MediaTek.

Qualcomm is also set to offer technical blueprints otherwise known as reference designs that are meant for LTE-enabled tablets. The company preps itself up in coaxing more device manufacturers to use their chips when making their gadgets.

The Snapdragon 210's most notable feature is the LTE Category 4 connectivity and dual-LTE connectivity for dual-SIM handsets. It boasts of a quad CPU together with a GPU of Adreno 304. It also supports 720p displays together with playback of 1080p and hardware HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding). The new chip also supports auto exposure, auto white balance, autofocus, HDR and up to 8 megapixel imaging sensors with Zero Shutter Lag. Lastly, the Snapdragon 210 features Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 technology. As the name implies, this feature enables a user to charge his battery at a faster rate of 75 percent.

Qualcomm is the largest smartphone chips manufacturer by shipments. The company has a dominant position in the tier of high-end mobile devices. Industry experts say that the Taiwan-based MediaTek is the company's biggest competition when it comes to wireless chips technology.

MediaTek has grown rapidly by placing more emphasis on the low-end market in emerging countries which is the company's take in a high volume but low profit venture. This year, MediaTek is introducing chunkier processors that offer top-of-the-line features and will cater to higher-end smartphones.

The Snapdragon 210 processor delivers enhanced power efficiency and performance for devices that belong in an entry level. This includes LTE which is a newer standard of broadband speed among wireless networks. Qualcomm believes that the chip could help them achieve a more competitive position in China where the 4G technology is growing in popularity.

"We are committed to delivering high-performance connected mobile experiences across all tiers of our product portfolio," said Jeff Lorbeck, Qualcomm Technologies' senior VP and chief operating officer in China. "These announcements further cement our commitment in broadly driving LTE and LTE Advanced to enable our customers the flexibility to deliver high-speed connectivity and an advanced mobile experience at affordable prices."

The devices with the Snapdragon 210 chip are speculated to launch in the first half of 2015. Qualcomm targets device manufacturers to hit the sub-$100 price point using the new chip.

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