Qualcomm is introducing a new series of Snapdragon 700 mobile processors that the company says will supercharge “high-tier mobile experiences” with features that the company previously only offered in its “premium” Snapdragon 800 series chips.

Lest you should get confused between the difference between high-tier and premium, the former means kind of expensive, while the latter means more expensive. I suspect we’ll see these chips show up in phones sold in the $400 – $500 price range, while Snapdragon 800 series chips continue to dominate higher priced phones.

Still, it sounds like the new Snapdragon 700 Mobile Platform Series should be a nice step up from Qualcomm’s already-pretty-decent Snapdragon 600 series.

The company says Snapdragon 700 series chips will offer up to 30 percent better power efficiency than a Snapdragon 660 chip, enabling improvements to both performance and battery life.

At this point Qualcomm is just talking about 700 Series chips in general rather than providing details about a specific system-on-a-chip. But here are some other highlights:

  • Multi-core AI engine for 2x faster on-device AI applications than Snapdragon 660 (thanks to the Kryo CPU, Hexagon Vector Processor, and Adreno Visual Processing subsystem working together)
  • Qualcomm Spectra ISP (image signal processor) for enhanced low-light photography, slow-motion video, and other camera features
  • Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ for a 50 percent charge in 15 minutes (assuming a 2750 mAh battery)
  • Bluetooth 5 support

Qualcomm says the first Snapdragon 700 Series samples will ship to customers in the first half of 2018, which means we could start to see phones powered by the new chips later this year.

I wonder how long it’ll be until Qualcomm decides to add 100, 300, and 500 series chips (to fill in the blanks surrounding the existing 200, 400, 600, and 800 series processors).

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8 replies on “Qualcomm introducing Snapdragon 700 platform for upper mid-range phones”

  1. Interesting news. I wonder if these new 700s and 650+ SoCs will coexist for long. The 700 series may make those higher-end 600s redundant. I’ve thought for a while that the 650 and higher would have been better off branded as a 700 series as they’re doing now to better differentiate them from the 615 and 625 SoCs. Either way, Qualcomm’s naming scheme is getting very messy.

  2. I am surprised Qualcomm would offer these processors. I expect them to become very popular as they will make vendor’s mid-high tier phones very attractive to customers (like myself) who are unwilling to spend $1,000 or more on a phone but would like the extra features, processor power, and energy efficiency. Truthfully the high end of the 600 series has been serving me well. The 700 series may erode the market for the 800 series more than Qualcomm thinks.

    1. Keep in mind, I may be way off on my guess about the pricing. Maybe instead of making this a new chip for $400 – $500 phones and reserving 800 series chips for $600 and up phones… maybe the 700 Series is the new 800 series, and phones with the Snapdragon 845 will all cost $800 and up.

      In fact, maybe the numbering scheme relates to price:

      Snapdragon $200 (and under)
      Snapdragon $400 (and under)
      Snapdragon $600 (and under)
      Snapdragon $700ish
      Snapdragon $800+

      1. If that is the case, which manufactures are going to make 5 different versions for the various price points (not including different size versions too)? It would seem some versions would just not be used by the manufactures as there would be too much overlap. I would think Qualcomm would prefer to dictate those transition points instead of the manufactures of the phones (by ordering some series but not others).

        1. Qualcomm is in a bit of a difficult situation.
          The market from 2017-onwards has allowed SoC to be sold to OEMs at a higher fee. The next stepping seems to be $99.

          Qualcomm offers an already high price of around $65-$85 for their SoC’s. Higher than the cost of Exynos or AppleA SoC’s (to their intern supply) which is estimated at around $50.

          However, as noted by other commenters the Cortex A55’s are 64-bit SoC, on their own finally offer performance equal to or above the Krait 450 and Cortex A17’s (flagships of 2013-2015). And they can now support more cache and better memory management, which resolves the issues of the early LITTLE.big latency. And definitely add in a BIG core in the same block as a LITTLE core.

          I’m thinking that we might see a 14nm (best value) SoC with 1x A75 (standard 2.5GHz), and 3x A55 (high-clockable 2.0GHz). And a Mali G73mp12 (600MHz). It should provide decent Single-Thread performance for those tasks that want it. And also provide adequate Multi-Thread performance for day to day use. And the GPU should be able to handle all tasks at least in the nearest future. Whilst overall it should be good efficiency for battery life. Especially when mated with 3,500mAh cells and Stock Android/AndroidOne for even more cost savings to the OEM.

          Such a chip should cost around $20 per unit. That’s the real danger to Qualcomm’s business, they would be wise to upsell to Broadcomm soon.

      2. Brad much of what you say makes sense, but when ARM introduced the new and still MIA A-75& A-55 with a different Big & Little arrangement one of the selling points was that it would allow much more variety in how the little cores and big cores are teemed up in the SOC…I think that might be at work here. They have to do this as Samsung, Mediatek, Kirin and others are sure to take advantage of this new flexibility to offer new price to performance ratios.

        1. I was mostly joking… at least about the price point matching the series number. But it’s pretty obvious that Qualcomm is positioning this as an upper mid-range processor.

          Right now you can get phones with SD600 series chips for around $250 – $400 and SD800 phones for around $600 and up (with a few lower-priced exceptions). I suspect the SD700 is aimed squarely at phones in the $500 price range.

          1. joke or not seems to match up pretty nicely with what we see on the market in the US in any case!

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