For the past few years, Qualcomm has introduced a few chipsets in its 6-series and 7-series lineup that target the mid-range devices. With the 7-series, particularly made for the upper mid-range devices, the company recently announced the 765 (and 765G), bringing 5G connectivity to an affordable range. And today, the US chipmaker is finally bringing its latest 5G offering in the 6-series, the Snapdragon 690, which targets the lower mid-range devices, and is the first chipset in the 6-series to feature 5G. Here’s all you need to know about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 690.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 Features
To begin with, the newest offering in the 6-series lineup is an octa-core processor that features a 2+6 configuration. The configuration includes six ARM Cortex-A55 cores and two Kryo 560 cores — clocked at to 2.0GHz. It is built on the 8nm manufacturing process. Talking about other specifications, the chipset supports 2x 16-bit LPDDR4x memory, with a maximum of up to 8GB of RAM. It features the Adreno 619L GPU, which, according to the company, delivers up to 60% faster graphics rendering and is the first 6-series platform to support 120Hz display. When it comes to charging, the chipset promises to offer support for Quick Charge 4+ technology.
Aside from the processor and the graphics unit, the Snapdragon 690 also introduces the 5-Generation AI Engine. In addition, it also features the Hexagon Tensor Accelerator (HTA) — both of which happen to be the first in the 6-series — and as per the company provides faster speeds with increased efficiency. Besides, there is also Qualcomm’s Sensing Hub that aids with low power consumption in audio, voice, and sensors, along with a bunch of other improvements like support for multiple voice assistants, etc.
The ISP on the Snapdragon 690, which happens to be Spectra 355L, comprises of dual 14-bit ISPs that supports up to 192MP cameras and up to 48MP cameras with MFNR (multi-frame noise reduction). It brings support for 32+16MP dual cameras at 30fps with ZSL (zero shutter lag). Talking about video capabilities, the latest offering from Qualcomm introduces 4K HDR recording on the 6-series, which happens to be the first time on a 6-series chipset. Similarly, slow-mo capturing is now supported up to 1080p at 240fps. Moreover, the ISP now supports HEIF and HEVC formats to reduce the file size, and it can also shoot videos in HDR10 and HLG formats.
Aside from a few firsts mentioned above, the Snapdragon 690 also gets another first for the 6-series lineup by introducing FHD+ resolution supports at a 120Hz refresh rate. Similarly, it also offers support for QHD resolution at 60Hz on an external display. The SoC supports 10-bit color display with HDR10 and HDR10+.
Moving right along and talking about another crucial aspect: connectivity — the Snapdragon 690 features the Snapdragon X51 5G integrated modem-RF system. It comes with both standalone (SA) and non-standalone (NSA) modes with support for TDD (Time Division Duplex), FDD (Frequency Division Duplex), and DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing). However, unlike some of the other top-of-the-line offerings, which support both mmWave and sub-6GHz, the Snapdragon 690 only comes with sub-6GHz 5G, with 100MHz bandwidth with 4x MIMO. The SoC comes with Qualcomm 5G PowerSave that reduces battery consumption and offers an improved battery life. It includes multi-SIM support with up to 2.5Gbps downlink speeds on 5G and 1.2Gbps on LTE and up to 660Mbps uplink speeds on 5G and 210Mbps on LTE.
On the other hand, the Snapdragon 690 comes with FastConnect 6200 system for WiFi 6 standard connectivity (802.11ax), along with support for 802.11ac Wave 2, 802.11a/b/g, and 802.11n. The supported spectral band, as expected, is both 2.4GHz and 5GHz, with 20/40/80 MHz channel utilization. Moreover, it also gets a 2×2 (2-stream) MIMO configuration.
In terms of Bluetooth support, the latest Qualcomm offering gets support for Bluetooth 5.1, and it also brings along Qualcomm TrueWireless technology and aptX Adaptive — for better audio over Bluetooth with reduced latency.
The Snapdragon 690 comes with dual-frequency support, along with the usual slate of positioning systems such as GPS, Glonass, BeiDou, Galileo, QZSS, and SBAS. However, what’s interesting about the new chipset is that it is the first in Qualcomm’s 6-series lineup that provides support for the NavIC system.
Snapdragon 690: Availability
As for availability, the chipmaker suggests that the devices running on Snapdragon 690 will be available in the second half of 2020. Some OEMs like Nokia (HMD Global) have already announced that they will be coming out with devices running on Snapdragon 690 soon. Moreover, it also highlights that with the addition of its latest offering, more than 1800 devices would be announced or go into the development stage. All of which indicate a brighter future for smartphone manufacturers that are largely focussed on mid-range devices. Not to mention, the end consumers, who would get 5G connectivity (once it’s available), even on a lower budget.