At the Snapdragon tech summit 2018, Qualcomm announced its first 5G 8 series device and started shipping it in early 2019. It followed up with the 7th 5G enabled series device in December 2019, the 6th series in June 2020, and finally, in the first working days of January, it announced the first 4 series of the 5G capable SoC. Qualcomm sums it up that the 5G is accessible to over 3.5 billion people combined or early half of the world’s population.
Snapdragon 480 5G comes with nine firsts for the fourth series SoC. It is the first truly global 5G, first with FastConnect 6200, first 2x2 WiFi and WiFi 6 ready, first 4th series with 8nm process, and first with 120fps FHD+ display support. The list continues with the first 4 series with tripled ISP, the first 64-megapixel snapshot, the first AI-based echo cancellation, and background noise suppression, and last but certainly not least, the first 4 series to support Quick Charge 4+.
The new 8 nm LLP SoC is a big step forward. It comes with a 2 + 6 CPU core combo based on A76 and A55 derivates. The fast two cores are clocked at 2.0 GHz and based on Kryo 460 Gold – Cortex-A76 derivative, while the remaining six cores work at 1.8 GHz and are Kryo 460 Silver – Cortex-A55 derivative. Upgrading both CPU cores on a Snapdragon 480 is a considerable performance gain from the Snapdragon 480 based on four A73 derivates and four A55 cores.
100 percent faster GPU @ 120 Hz
Adreno 619 is the new GPU, and Qualcomm claims it is 100 percent faster than Snapdragon 460 Adreno 610. A Full HD+ @120Hz will make the devices more appealing for students and young professionals on a budget that will still want to play some games and remain productive and connected.
The new Spectra 345 ISP supports a 64 MP single camera and 25 megapixels at 30fps Dual Camera with ZSL. The platform supports LPDDR4X Dual-channel 16-bit (32-bit), 2133 MHz (17.0 GB/s).
Snapdragon 480 comes with an integrated 5G modem. The internal X51, 5G/LTE modem, supports 5G NR Sub-6: download up to 2.5 Gbit/s and upload up to 660 Mbit/s. The 4G LTE modem supports Cat 15 download speeds up to 800 Mbit/s, and the upload Cat 18 speeds up to 210 Mbit/s.
The Snapdragon 480 packs a lot of nice AI features. It is 70 percent faster in AI tasks from its 4 series predecessor, and it comes with Qualcomm Hexagon Vector eXtensions, Integrated Voice Assistant, and Qualcomm Sensing Hub support.
“Democratising technology is at the heart of what we do at HMD Global. Our close collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies is allowing us to bring fantastic technology to all. We introduced our first 5G smartphone (the Nokia 8.3 5G) less than a year ago and the new Snapdragon 480 5G Mobile Platform is a huge step towards global 5G access. We’re excited about the opportunities it will bring to our users,” said Adam Ferguson, global head of product marketing at HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones. “Congratulations to the team at Qualcomm Technologies – we look forward to showing the world what powerful chipsets, combined with quality hardware and secure software can do!”
“We can’t wait to deliver advanced 5G capabilities to the mass market through upcoming device based on the new Snapdragon 480 5G Mobile Platform”, said Kinder Liu, chief operating officer, OnePlus.
“We are excited to leverage the new Snapdragon 480 5G Mobile Platform to scale consumer access to and use of 5G globally”, said Brenda, product manager, OPPO. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration to bring consumers a wider selection of affordable smartphone choices with enhanced mobile experiences.”
“We share Qualcomm Technologies’ commitment to bring accessible 5G mobile devices to more people around the world”, said Heliang Liu, product director, vivo. “We are excited that with the new Snapdragon 480 5G Mobile Platform will be able to deliver 5G connectivity, low power capabilities, and new entertainment features on smartphones devices at scale.”
What you have seen with 5G-enabled 6 series chipsets in 2020 has now come down to the fourth series making these products extremely attractive at an entry-level price. The devices similar to a recently launched Poco M3 can now come with 5G support and still maintain their low price. It will help popularize 5G devices at carriers and end customers in 2021 as some market and customers simply don’t want to go over a certain price trashold.
The first commercial devices powered by the Snapdragon 480 5G Mobile Platform are expected to be announced in early 2021.