Qualcomm unveils first mid-range 5G smartphone chip

Qualcomm has announced its first mid-range 6-series chip with 5G support – the Snapdragon 690.

Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon said the chip will make 5G more widely available around the world.

“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,” said Amon.

The Snapdragon 690 uses the new Snapdragon X51 5G Modem-RF system, which Qualcomm said is optimised to bring multi-gigabit speeds and better 5G coverage to the 6-series.

The Snapdragon 690 will bring a host of other features to mid-range smartphones, including 4K HDR – which it said supports the capture of over a billion shades of colour as well as pictures at up to 192MP.

It will also support 120Hz displays, as well as Qualcomm’s latest AI engine – which it said will enable a variety of features including smart camera and video capabilities, advanced AI-based imaging, and AI-enhanced gaming experiences.

The CPU used by the Snapdragon 690 is the Qualcomm Kryo 560, which Qualcomm said offers up to 20% better performance than its predecessor.

Wide usage

Qualcomm said that a variety of smartphone brands are expected to announce smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 690.

These brands include:

  • HMD Global (Nokia)
  • LG
  • Motorola
  • Sharp
  • TCL
  • Wingtech

“Now with the Snapdragon 690 Mobile Platform, we are excited that our vision of future-proof 5G and global 5G roaming can be made more accessible to even more fans of Nokia phones,” said HMD Global chief product officer Juho Sarvikas.

“LG is supportive of bringing this enabling technology down to lower-priced products through its integration of the Snapdragon 690 Mobile Platform,” said LG senior VP of 5G and network technology Dr In-Kyung Kim.

Smartphones that use the Snapdragon 690 chipset are expected to launch in the second half of 2020, Qualcomm said.

Now read: MTN 5G coming to South Africa – Here is how it will work

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Qualcomm unveils first mid-range 5G smartphone chip