- Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 mobile platform for upcoming entry-level Android devices.
- It comes with a few subtle updates and features a series of firsts: It’s the first 4nm chip in the Snapdragon 4 series, the first to support the improved 3GPP release 16 version of 5G, and also the first to get UFS 3.1 support.
- Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 will be seen on Redmi and Vivo smartphones, followed by more devices from other OEMs later this year.
Qualcomm has diversified its portfolio to include chipsets for devices at different price points. Last year, it ventured into creating more capable mobile platforms for entry-level devices than the current lot with the release of the Snapdragon 4 Series 1 mobile platform.
A year later, it’s bringing its successor, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2, for the upcoming affordable devices. The Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 comes with a few subtle updates and features a series of firsts: It’s the first 4nm chip in the Snapdragon 4 series, the first to support the improved 3GPP release 16 version of 5G, and also the first to get UFS 3.1 support.
Let’s dive in to take a closer look at the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 mobile platform and find out everything new it brings to the table.
Table of Contents
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 is the first chipset in the Snapdragon 4 Series based on the 4nm fabrication process. Architecturally, it’s still an octa-core processor with two performance cores and six efficiency cores, but with a few subtle differences.
One, it has a peak clock speed of 2.2GHz, which is a slight improvement over its predecessor. And two, Qualcomm claims this improved speed, combined with the smaller node, enables the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 to offer 10% better CPU performance than its predecessor, along with an overall improved efficiency.
When it comes to graphics processing, though, Qualcomm hasn’t shared much information about the processing unit, so we don’t think there’s going to be a significant jump in performance—if any, at all—compared to that of its predecessor.
Along with the CPU, another area where the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 gets some headway is storage. Unlike the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1, which comes with UFS 2.2 storage, its successor supports UFS 3.1, which is good news, as this means it will deliver significantly better transfer speeds on low-end smartphones.
Lastly, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 also promises a few AI enhancements. It brings an AI-enhanced low-light feature that promises to deliver sharper and more detailed shots in low-light scenarios. Similarly, Qualcomm has also put AI to use for background noise removal, which it claims is effective at offering clear voice on voice and video calls, even in noisy environments.
Longer Battery Life
Qualcomm’s decision to go with the 4nm node for the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 also comes with improved efficiency. This should ideally translate to better battery life, so we can expect entry-level devices to come with longer battery life than what the current lot offers. For charging, Qualcomm is sticking to the Quick Charge 4+ technology, the same as last year, which promises to charge the battery from 0 to 50% in just 15 minutes.
Sharper Stills and Footage
On the imaging front, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 gets downgraded to a dual-ISP. This means it now supports only up to two cameras. While it can still feature up to 108MP single camera, the dual camera configuration now supports a 16MP + 16MP system.
As for video capabilities, it’s mostly the same as the predecessor, and the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 can record up to 1080p videos at 60fps.
Even though Qualcomm has opted for a downgraded ISP, it still claims better camera performance on the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2, thanks to the addition of a few features.
First, the new platform comes with a new feature called Multi-Camera Temporal Filtering (MCTF), which promises to offer better noise reduction for videos. Then, it also benefits from the new AI-enhanced low-light feature, which is said to assist further with noise reduction in low-light conditions and offers bright and colorful shots.
Similarly, there’s the added support for EIS, which compensates for camera movements and allows for more stable shots and footage. And lastly, Qualcomm also promises faster auto-focus with the new chipset, which is a welcome change.
Connectivity is another area where the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 gets notable changes. To start with, Qualcomm has opted for a newer Snapdragon X61 5G modem on the latest chipset, which is an upgrade over the Snapdragon X51 on the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1.
The Snapdragon X61 is essentially a downscaled version of the X62 and X65 modems for low-end devices. And it also brings support for the newer 3GPP Release 16 5G version, which expands the 5G NR spectrum further to offer more reliable 5G connectivity on affordable devices.
Meanwhile, other connectivity fronts get some downgrades. For one, Qualcomm is downgrading Wi-Fi on the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2. While its predecessor offered a double antenna configuration, the newer chipset relies on a single antenna system.
Similarly, Qualcomm has also downgraded Bluetooth on the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 to Bluetooth 5.1. In comparison, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 used Bluetooth 5,2, which offered low latency and LE Audio (for reduced power consumption).
Qualcomm isn’t changing anything in terms of the on-device display support. The Snapdragon 4 Gen 2, just like the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1, still only powers up to FHD+ displays and supports a screen refresh rate of 120Hz. But considering the devices it’s going to power—and the price range they fall into—this should be fine.
|Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 Specifications|
When Will Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 Devices Come Out?
Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 4 Gen 2-powered smartphones are expected to arrive soon. According to Qualcomm, Redmi, and Vivo will be among the first OEMs to feature the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 chipset on their entry-level Android smartphones, and more OEMs will follow up later in the year.
As per some reports, the Redmi Note 12R will be the first budget phone powered by the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2.