The Snapdragon 480 Mobile Platform Brings 5G to Affordable Phones

5G phones under $250 is now a possibility

by: - Last updated on: January 4th, 2021

Key Takeaways

  • Qualcomm is now enabling OEMs to provide 5G capabilities on more affordable phones with the new Snapdragon 480 Mobile Platform.
  • Snapdragon 480 gets a Kryo 460 based CPU architecture with 8 cores clocked up to 2GHz.
  • The chip also gets the Hexagon 686 DSP along with the Spectra 345 ISP and support for sensors up to 64MP.

At this point, we all know that 5G is the future of wireless communication and smartphone brands have been marketing 5G on their smartphones right from last year despite the fact that 5G coverage is still very limited or even non-existent in most parts of the world. However, the positive angle to it is that if you have a 5G phone, you are ready for 5G whenever it is available to use in your location.

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While 5G is still a premium feature found on more expensive phones, Qualcomm is now enabling OEMs to provide 5G capabilities on more affordable phones with the new Snapdragon 480 Mobile Platform. What this can mean for the smartphone market, at least with regards to India, is that we may soon start seeing smartphones even under Rs. 10-15,000 with 5G capabilities. As 5G becomes more accessible to a larger demographic, it becomes vital to have phones with 5G capabilities that are affordable in order to help with the adoption rate.

The Snapdragon 480 5G Mobile Platform is aiming to do exactly that. The 400 series of chipsets from Qualcomm slot into the lower end of the spectrum below the 800, 700, and 600 series of chips and are generally found on budget-oriented smartphones priced under Rs. 10,000 or $150. However, with 5G antennas costing more than 4G modems, we might see prices go up a little, but it is still an interesting proposition to see 5G come down to cheaper smartphones and allow a lot more people to experience faster mobile data.

A smartphone is not all about fast internet speeds though. The processing capabilities of the chipset also matters and, in that regard, the Snapdragon 480 gets a Kryo 460 based CPU architecture with 8 cores clocked up to 2GHz. This is an improvement over the Snapdragon 460 SoC that the Snapdragon 480 is going to be replacing. The CPU is accompanied by the Adreno 619 GPU and the mobile platform is manufactured on the 8nm process.

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The chip also gets the Hexagon 686 DSP along with the Spectra 345 ISP. Smartphones with the Snapdragon 480 chipset can sport cameras up to a resolution of 64MP and can record videos up to 1080p at 60fps. For the display, the chip can drive a Full HD display up to 120Hz. The onboard modem that enables support for 5G on the Snapdragon 480 is the Snapdragon X51 5G modem which supports both mmWave and sub-6 GHz connectivity. The Snapdragon 480 also has support for Quick Charge 4+.

The first batch of 5G smartphones with the new Snapdragon 480 Mobile Platform is expected to go on sale in the early part of 2021. Nokia, Oppo, and Vivo have shown enthusiasm in being the first few brands to come out with 5G smartphones sporting the new Snapdragon 480 chipset.

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