As expected, 5G data connectivity will become a mainstream mobile technology in 2021, with its availability for budget users. The Snapdragon 480 will be available for budget smartphones in 2021. Despite being a low-cost chipset, the major feature would be undeniably be the 5G data support. It comes with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X51 5G with support for Sub-6GHz and mmWave 5G bands to ensure better compatibility with available networks around the world. For blazing fast downloads and uploads, the chipset also support multi-gigabit connections. The chipset is built around an octa-core processor with Kryo 460 cores clocked at 2GHz each. The GPU is Adreno 619, which should work well for lighter games. The digital signal processor is Qualcomm Hexagon 686. Compared to the previous Snapdragon 460, the new chipset should deliver 70 percent better performance in artificial intelligence and double the improvement in CPU and GPU performance.
There’s also built-in Quick Charge 4+ technology that allows manufacturers embed reliable quick charging feature for budget devices. The maximum supported resolution is Full HD+ at 120Hz display refresh rate. This ensures more fluid interface navigation and better gaming experience. There’s built-in optimisation to ensure faster load times of application. Users can benefit for smooth and seamless streaming of high-resolution HD content. First budget devices with this chipset should be available early this year with Vivo, Oppo, OnePlus and HMD Global showing interest for this chipset. Because smartphones with Snapdragon 690 is currently available for less than $300, it means that devices with Snapdragon 480 should be sold at around $200 or less. By more significant cost-cutting measures, it is theoretically possible to design a sub-$150 with Snapdragon 480, although it is quite unlikely for this year.
For photography performance, the Snapdragon 480 includes Qualcomm Spectra 345 ISP that supports up to three 13MP camera with wide, ultra-wide and telephoto capabilities. When shooting 720p videos, the ISP allows the three cameras to show simultaneously for improved video quality. The FastConnect 6200 module supports dual Wi-Fi antennas and various features specific to Wi-Fi 6 standards, including 8×8 sounding and significant improvements in speed and range. The Bluetooth 5.1 ensures better transfer of data with other devices. For more accurate location positioning, the Snapdragon 480 is equipped with NavIC and dual-frequency GPS. It will also be faster for the device to lock the GPS coordinate with the chipset.
It will be quite interesting to know what first device that will use the Snapdragon 480 chipset. Qualcomm’s low-cost offering could be a ground breaking change in the smartphone industry. Samsung, Mediatek and Huawei will soon release similar chipsets to better compete with Qualcomm’s low-cost chipset. 5G networks are being set up around the world and we could expect that it will begin to massively replace the current 4G LTE connectivity in 2022 and beyond. The year 2021 would still be a maturation stage for the 5G technology, as networks are being established. For the consumers’ side, we need to wait for critical mass to be achieved when enough users replace their devices with the 5G-capable ones.