Despite the fact that there are oodles of different Android manufacturers out there, the majority of them get their performance from Qualcomm, the San Diego company behind the Snapdragon line of processors and Systems-on-Chip that lie at the heart of our smartphones and tablets. Today, seemingly out of nowhere, Qualcomm is introducing a trio of new mobile processors, further stretching the company’s penchant for using numbers to distinguish their different models. Today, we can say hello to the Snapdragon 425, 435 and 625.
All three of these processors are cut from the same cloth, and feature support for dual camera ISP systems, compatibility with Android Marshmallow’s Sensor Hub, 802.11ac WiFi and of course LTE with carrier aggregation support. Starting at the bottom, the Snapdragon 425 is a quad-core Cortex-A53 64-bit processor with an Adreno 308 GPU. Designed to be the next evolution of entry-level Snapdragon processors, the 425 sports an X6 LTE modem sporting speeds up to 75mbps and will support up to 16-megapixel cameras. Stepping up a little bit to the Snapdragon 435 and Qualcomm have an entry-level octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU paired with an Adreno 505 GPU which Qualcomm says delivers “PC Class” graphics. LTE is taken care of by the popular X8 LTE modem allowing for speeds of up to 300 mbps down and 100 mbps up, and improved carrier aggregation. This model will support up to 21-megapixel cameras.
The top-tier processor that Qualcomm is announcing today is the Snapdragon 625, which will offer customers an octa-core Cortex-A53 CPU much like the 435, but will be developed with a 14nm FinFET production, delivering a 35% reduction in power usage compared to previous generation chips. A slight bump to the LTE speeds here come from the X9 LTE modem, which promises speeds of up to 300 mbps or more down and 150 mbps up. The Snapdragon 625 can support both 13-megapixel front-facing sensors as well as 21-megapixel rear-facing sensors in the same device and will be able to handle 4K video recording and playback with ease, according to Qualcomm.
These new processor releases aren’t the type of releases we’d expect from Qualcomm at this time of year, with the upcoming Snapdragon 820 launching soon, it’s surprising to see them offer three new chips, that arguably offer little improvement over previous-generation of entry-level and mid-range chips. Still, more choice for mid-range devices like the popular Moto G line could help make devices that don’t break the bank that bit more powerful the further we get into 2016.