Qualcomm today announced its first 5G mobile platform in the 6-series, the Snapdragon 690 5G Mobile Platform. Given that 600 series chips tend to be in smartphones priced between $300 and $500, we can conclude that 5G is finally coming to the lower mid-range of the mobile market.
The 690 5G SoC follows the Snapdragon 865 and 765 processors that have an integrated 5G modem. Qualcomm says that its new platform is designed to make 5G user experiences even more broadly available around the world.
The Snapdragon 690 also supports on-device AI and "vibrant entertainment experiences". HMD Global, which manufacturers Nokia-branded smartphones, LG Electronics, Motorola, Sharp, TCL, and Wingtech are among the OEMs/ODMs expected to announce smartphones powered by Snapdragon 690.
The new Snapdragon X51 5G Modem-RF System has been optimized for the 6-series platform to bring multi-gigabit speeds and superior 5G coverage to the 6-series for the first time. It supports both NSA and SA modes, dynamic spectrum sharing, and download speeds of up to 2.5Gbps.
Aside from 5G, the Snapdragon 690 will bring some new mobile experiences to the 6 series such as 4K HDR (true 10-bit), capability of capturing more than a billion shades of color, and snapshots at up to 192 Megapixels. It also supports 120hz displays for fast refresh rates and smooth UI experiences. The Snapdragon 690 is equipped with the latest 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine, enabling smart camera and video, voice translation, advanced AI-based imaging, and AI-enhanced gaming experiences. Additionally, the 690 chip features a Qualcomm Kryo 560 CPU that is claimed to deliver up to 20% performance improvement compared to its predecessor.
"With over 375 5G designs launched or in development to date using Qualcomm Technologies’ 5G solutions, we are driving the proliferation of 5G across multiple tiers to make the next generation of camera, artificial intelligence, and gaming experiences more broadly available," said Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated. "Driving the expansion of 5G into the Snapdragon 6-series has the potential to make 5G accessible to more than 2 billion smartphone users around the world."
Juho Sarvikas, chief product officer, HMD Global, said: "You can expect 5G worthy experiences powered by our PureDisplay and ZEISS Imaging innovation, now at an even more affordable price. We can’t wait to share more details on this exciting product with you, stay tuned." We've already seen Nokia implement a Snapdragon 765G chip in the Nokia 8.3 5G, but we could see a 5G-ready version of the Nokia 5-series soon. The current Nokia 5.3, which costs around €200 in Europe, features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665.
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