MediaTek has made its name with eight core CPUs that had the right balance of price and performance and started a new wave of affordable mainstream phones that offered a lot of performance in the $150-$250 market. The company is targeting customers with affordable devices with the latest features and performance at a price point everyone can afford. This was in MediaTek’s DNA all along.
The Taiwan based company wants to provide exceptional photography quality including a dual camera, faster and more efficient processing power and new form factors including modular phones.
Helio P23 and P30 at 16nm
Helio P23 and P30 both come with eight ARM Cortex A53 cores operating at 2.3GHz. MediaTek remains loyal to the very successful Cortex A53. ARM has announced its Cortex A55 successor, but we don't expect to see any A55 based SoCs anytime soon. ARM announced the Cortex A55 back in late May 2017 but the actual designs follow a year after. Until then, the Cortex A53 will continue to dominate the mainstream/performance market.
The main difference from the recently launched Helio P20 is the GPU. The Helio P23 and P30 use the G71 MP2 while the Helio P20 uses the Mali 880 MP2. There is enough space for all three Helio P series products in the market, there is absolutely no doubt about that.
Mali G71 MP2 GPU
The Helio P20 with Mali T880 MP2 GPU at 900 MHz was a huge jump from the Helio P10 with Mali 860 MP2 at 700 MHz, and the P23 and P30 will again show a big performance delta over the P20.
Helio P23 has the G71 MP2 at 770 MHz while the Helio P30 has the same GPU at 950 GHz.
Better camera setup
The MediaTek Helio P23 supports 13 + 13 megapixel dual-camera setups or a single camera operating mode of up to 24 megapixels. The faster MediaTek Helio P30 supports 16 + 16 megapixels dual-camera setup or a single camera operating mode of up to 25 megapixels.
Both new SoCs support MediaTek’s Imagiq 2.0 technology suite and Hardware Camera Control Unit (CCU). The updated Imagiq 2.0 brings a few updated features to the camera and DSP pipeline including minimizing grain, aliasing, chromatic operation, low light, different lightning. The main goal is to get the best crisp, clear picture.
Dual VoLTE / ViLTE 4G
There are some innovations on the LTE part of the SoC. The P23 delivers the world’s first +4G DSDS (Dual SIM Dual Standby) with Dual VoLTE/ViLTE support. Many probably do know that VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE and ViLTE stands for Video over LTE. Helio P23 has the 4G LTE World modem powered with TAS 2.0 smart antenna technology. Dual SIM is a very popular option for most China-based manufacturers and is used by many customers, mainly in China and India.
The TAS 2.0 smart antenna includes tunable antennas that will help customers to use one physical antenna and use two different directions of antenna. This will help when you hold the phone in portrait or landscape mode. Turning the phone changes the performance of the antenna - that is now increased by TAS 2.0. and so you should expect better data rate, a reduced antenna power and an increase of the voice quality.
The world modem supports CDMA and GSM/LTE standards in all parts of the world including USA, Europe, China and South America. It is safe to say that it supports other non-listed continents and territories.
Helio P30 is a different chip
We asked Finbarr Moynihan, general manager for international corporate sales, if the Helio P30 and P23 are the same chip and got a clear "no".
The Helio P30 has a few new features, especially the Tensilica 500 MHz DSP core, as well as a few camera unique features. Expect an enhanced processing speed too.
When asked about the cost, we got a range of prices. Of course, it will be up to MediaTek customers to design the phones, add the features and finalize the pricing. You can expect to see Helio P23 and P30 based phones ranging from $150 to $500.
The Helio P23 phones are expected to launch in Asia before the end of the year followed by a launch in Europe in early 2018 and a bit later in the USA. We were reminded that the USA has a very strict qualification procedure and it simply takes more time to bring the phones to operators, compared to some other markets.
The new Premium direction
New Premium is where MediaTek sees growth and innovation with a projected five billion people entering the mid-market by 2030. This is where the Helio P series fits.
Interestingly enough, yours truly had a conversation with a few MediaTek mobile phone executives implying that MediaTek should spend more time concentrating on a very successful Helio P series.
The conversation included Yen-Chi Lee Sr. Director, Product Management & Marketing, and Jeffry Ju, an EVP and Co-COO and the head of the mobile business and we stated repeatedly over the last few quarters that Helio P is the real deal. Apparently, they agreed with us and the focus on the Helio P23 and P30 is the proof.