Qualcomm have been producing the Snapdragon mobile processor since 2008 and whilst the chipset has been through much evolution, Qualcomm’s current processors are still named Snapdragon. We’ve seen the die size shrink (that is, the physical size of the processor; the smaller the die size, the easier it is to keep power consumption down and performance up), dual and then quad core chipsets and massive increases in graphic performance. Qualcomm have implemented additional features and improved existing ones, such as hardware security, dynamic antenna tuning for built-in modem support. Most of the well known Western handset manufacturers have at least one model with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor inside along with many handsets that are much less well known in Western smartphone circles.
The first unusual handset to write about is the Russian-built YotaPhone 2. This ‘phone’s distinguishing feature is that it comes with a 5.0-inch 1080p AMOLED screen on the front and a 4.7-inch 540 by 960 e-ink display on the back. It’s based around the Snapdragon 800 processor and is coming soon. The next dual-screen Android handset is the Sharp Aquos ‘phone, which is the first water-resistant Android handset with a 16 MP camera. It has a 3.4-inch, 480 by 854 pixel main screen and an external OLED display. The Aquos was released in 2011 based around a Snapdragon S2 processor. The next unusual Snapdragon-powered Android device is the IUNI U3, only sold in China. This handset has a 5.5-inch 1,440 by 2,560 pixel screen, a Snapdragon 801 processor with 3 GB of RAM and a 13 MP rear camera. I’ll also add the Russian build Highscreen Boost II, powered by a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor with either 3,000 mAh or 6,000 mAh (presumably so that you can start your car, right?!). It has a 5.0-inch, 720p resolution screen, 8 MP camera and 1 GB of RAM.
As well as powering Android devices, Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets are found in several Windows Phone handset such as the Fujitsu Toshiba IS12T, which was only sold in Japan. This is one of the first water-resistant handsets running Windows Phone 7. If you are familiar with Windows Phone, you’ll understand that these handsets must have at least a 1 GHz processor but did not support multi-core processors; it’s no surprise that most have a 1 GHz single core Snapdragon under the skin. Windows Phone 7.x also required a 480 by 800 pixel screen, which is what the IS12T comes with. You also get a 13 MP rear facing camera.
Does your device use a Snapdragon processor? Two of my regular devices do and two use a Samsung Exynos processor. But thinking about the last few years, the majority of my devices have been Snapdragon inside. Do you prefer a device with Snapdragon inside or does it not even factor into the buying decision? Let us know in the comments below.