Qualcomm have announced a new upgrade for the “low-end” segment. This “new” SoC is the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2.
Article updated on the 6th of September 2023
The Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 is the successor to last year’s Snapdragon 4 Gen 1. This SoC is made to service the low end market. However, neither the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 or its predecessor (the 4 Gen 1) are low end. They are actually midrange processors if we are to be frank. In fact, the older Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 is better than traditional midrangers like the Snapdragon 720G and the Snapdragon 732G in terms of performance.
So in a world where SoCs like the Snapdragon 680, Helio G88 and Unisoc T618 are still very popular; or where SoCs like the Helio G37, Exynos 850 and JLQ JR510 are still being used, it would be a gross disservice to label the 4 Gen 2 as low end.
Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 specs
The key specifications for the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 are as follows:
- CPU cores: 2 Cortex A78 (2.2GHz) + 6 Cortex A55 (2.0GHz)
- GPU: Adreno 613
- Fab: 4nm
- Gen: ARMv8
- RAM: LPDDR4X/LPDDR5 (3200MHz)
- Storage: UFS 3.1
- ISP: Dual Spectra ISP
- AI: Hexagon DSP
- Camera: 108MP
- Video: 1080p@60fps
- Modem: Snapdragon X61: 4G, 5G (2.5Gbps), Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi 6
- Charging: QC 4+
The 4 Gen 2 uses the same 2 A78 + 6 A55 CPU core microarchitecture as its predecessor with a slightly faster clock speed. However, the 4 Gen 2 supports a much better (and faster) LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage. These have allowed the 4 Gen 2 to completely destroy it’s predecessor in terms of performance.
- 4 Gen 2: 905/2589
- 4 Gen 1: 624/1856
It is better than other SoCs such as the SD750G, SD765, SD765G, SD695, and it is on par with the SD845. This is certainly not what you’ll call low end. This is clearly upper midrange performance.
The camera support here maxes out at 108MP as is expected at this level. The max video resolution supported is 1080p (Full HD) at 60fps. Qualcomm has decided to downgrade the ISP from a triple ISP to a dual ISP. That means that the camera performance might take a hit. They also have refused to name the Spectra and Hexagon DSP chips that are in use here.
My take is that this is a purely performance focused SoC that is designed to go blow for blow with MediaTek’s offerings.
This SoC is built on a 4nm process. This is (theoretically) supposed to help it maintain peak performance for longer whilst going easy on the battery. However Qualcomm are tight lipped on who made it. We are hoping that it had better be TSMC. For charging, it supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ technology (up to 100W).
Finally, another area where Qualcomm did go all out. The modem has been upgraded from the Snapdragon X51 (on the 4 Gen 1) to the Snapdragon X61. This is a better modem which is a lot faster and more battery friendly.
The Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 promises a lot of good things. The performance on offer and the network connection are very mouthwatering.
However, it is important to point out that these smartphone manufacturers aren’t jumping on these SoCs. I really don’t know why and this one may not really be any different so I’m not really pumped about this one.
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