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Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 And 617 Bring High-End Features To Midrange Chipsets

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Qualcomm has unveiled two new Snapdragon processors, Snapdragon 430 and Snapdragon 617. Intended for midrange smartphones, the advancements will give phone manufacturers the opportunity to level up their mobile devices in terms of multimedia and connectivity.

Emerging brands such as MyPhone, Oppo, and Huawei are likely to be benefit from the innovation. Samsung's A series and other midlevel phones from HTC and Xiaomei are also likely to gear up.

"As smartphones and tablets continue to spread to all corners of the globe, we recognize that users are becoming more discerning in what they want," says Alex Katouzian, senior vice president of Qualcomm's product management, in a release. "The introduction of these new processors is a clear indication that we are listening to the needs of our customers who want ever-improving cameras, faster connectivity, and better battery life across all available price points."

The upgrades will most likely be in these four areas:

1. Cameras With Higher Megapixels

The Snapdragon 430 supports excellent image quality for dual-camera configurations and sensors up to 21 MP.

However, 21 MP cameras are not a guarantee. While the processor might be ready for the advancement, the phone manufacturers will still have to purchase more expensive lenses.

Currently, the flagship phones of Apple and Samsung only have 8- and 16-MP cameras, respectively.

2. Longer Battery Life

Because the previous technological trend of fast-charging batteries did not satisfy on-the-go smartphone users who consume power with their data usage, processor manufacturers are forced to come up with less battery-consuming processors.

The Exynos 7420 powering the Samsung Galaxy S6 uses 14 nm technology to conserve energy. The internal parts of the processor were downsized. Now this trick is coming to midlevel smartphones.  

Both the Snapdragon 617 and 430 use the power-efficient ARM Cortex A53 CPUs in octa-core configurations.

Both technologies include support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0, the next generation of fast-charging technology.

3. Faster Connectivity

The Snapdragon 430 features X6 LTE, with Cat 4 downlink speeds of up to 150 Mbps and support of 2x10 MHz Carrier Aggregation, and Cat 5 uplink speed of up to 75 Mbps via support for 64-QAM, a first in this tier. The Snapdragon 430 uses the powerful new Qualcomm Adreno 505 GPU with features such as Open GL ES3.1, Android Extension Pack, and OpenCL 2.0.

Incorporating features that were previously limited to the high tier, the Snapdragon 617 improves on both the connectivity and capabilities of the Snapdragon 430.

The Snapdragon 617 integrates the X8 LTE modem, featuring support for Cat 7 download speeds of up to 300 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 100 Mbps using bidirectional 2x20 MHz carrier aggregation.

4. More Multitasking

Multitasking will be easier and faster since both processors are octa-core, PC World reported. For instance, one part of the processor functions independently for the camera while another functions for text messaging.  

Devices running on Snapdragon 430 are expected to be released in the second quarter of 2016, while Snapdragon 617 handsets will be available commercially before the end of 2015.

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