Qualcomm’s latest processor for upper mid-range smartphones is designed to offer up to 40 percent better performance than the Snapdragon 630 chip which launched less than half a year ago.
The new model is called the Snapdragon 636, and it also offers up to 10 percent better graphics performance.
The new chips are expected to ship this fall, which means we’ll start to see phones and other devices powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chips some time after that.
Many of the features are carry-overs from the Snapdragon 630, including a Snapdragon X12 LTE modem with top download speeds of 600 Mbps, a Spectra 160 ISP with support for zero shutter lag with cameras up to 24 megapixels, and the Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec which enables support for 192 kHz/24 bit audio.
But the new chip uses the same Kryo 260 PCU cores found in the Snapdragon 660 chip, making the Snapdragon 636 significantly more powerful than the 630. The GPU has also been upgraded from Adreno 508 graphics to Adreno 509 and Qualcomm says the processor is optimized for devices with full view displays with higher-than-1080p resolutions.
The new chip is pin and software compatible with the SD660 and SD630 chips, which should make it easy for device makers to make the switch from one of the older processors to the new one.
I am still using a QSD 625 in a Galaxy C7 and I have never had a problem with processor speed or graphics performance. I am not a gamer so I can’t speak to how well it would handle A+ games. The 5.7″, 1920×1080 AMOLED screen helps keep the battery drain in check and I can get two full days with light use. I am all for newer chips, but at this point I just want more battery life. Speed is almost a given if you are using newer 6xx or 8xx QSD processors.
My 625 packing Z Play is humming along smoothly as well. Main reason I’m thinking about getting a Z3 Play next year is not performance, but native Android 8’s project treble which changes how devices get some updates. As I understand it, not all phones updated to 8 from another version will get treble. But the 625 has never disappointed me, and while I don’t play like FPS or MMORPGs on my phone, I play Civilization Revolution sometimes, and it runs smooth.
A little depressing. I want to see a 10nm 625 successor before the Z3 Play comes out. So far every 625 successor has focused on performance instead of boosting what made the 625 pop. Screw performance, I want a week of battery life.
That’s reportedly the Snapdragon 670, and may be out the first half of next year.
I wouldn’t have guessed it from the model number, even with it being 10nm, but you do appear to be right. It sounds like they’re prioritizing efficiency for the 670. I sure hope Motorola picks the right chipset for Z3 Play.
Thanks for posting that 🙂
Brad just a heads up, it doesn’t have “Kryo 260” core standalone, since Qualcomm are deceptive and consumer unfriendly like Intel.
For instance, the QSD 660 has 2.2GHz “4x Kryo 260 Performance cores” (Cutdown-Cortex A73) and 1.8GHz “4x Kryo 260 Efficiency cores” (Overclocked-Cortex A53). However, Qualcomm lies about this on their website and claims them as a single-unit, which they are not.
We do not know if the QSD 630 is a further cutdown QSD 660, or a scaled-up QSD 625, because Qualcomm are usually deceptive with their (40% faster etc) claims.
– If its a scaled-up QSD 625, we’re probably seeing all 8x cores able to run heterogeneously, and each core providing a 1.8GHz frequency, and each core being the same Cortex A53 derived (in-order) design. It would simply be a refresh, on slightly more mature wafer with better sensors and GPU.
– If its a cutdown QSD 660, we’re probably seeing 4x Performance cores (Cutdown Cortex A73’s) underclocked to 1.8GHz and 4x Efficiency cores (Overclocked Cortex A53’s) also at the 1.8GHz mark, with the same mature wafer and same sensors, but a slightly weaker GPU.
It’s the latter since Qualcomm sees the impeding competition, so it wants the new QSD 636 to take the place of the old, popular, and successful QSD 625 (ie Mid-Range). There’s the Low-End which Qualcomm has some products for, but cannot maintain, due to better and cheaper SoC’s from competitors. They have the High-End with the QSD 835 which they will replace with the QSD 845, however, they’ll still manufacture and sell the QSD 835 in 2018 for Windows devices only. That leaves a gap in the market, the Upper-Midrange. Where the second-tier flagships got their success such as the QSD 650/652/653 back in 2016…. and the QSD 821 in 2017 (eg LG G6). This is where they’ll position the QSD 660 chipset.
That doesn’t make them *not* Kryo 260 cores. And it doesn’t make them not the same cores used in the 660. So I’m not sure what’s inaccurate in what I wrote.
We will probably have to wait either for Qualcomm to provide more details or for real-world tests before we know what kind of performance to expect.
If it’s anything like other 62x an 63x chips, I suspect you’re right about it being 8 lower performance cores. But that could mean better battery life, which could be one reason why Qualcomm is positioning the 636 as an alternative to the 660 as well as the 630.
I just meant that Qualcomm is openly deceptive about it. Someone who has a Kirin 960 SoC might get fooled into thinking the QSD 630 is faster, when in fact, this could be slower than the QSD 650. You should’ve added a little blurb next to it, to state that its unknown which core-type they’re talking about.
Example; But the new chip uses the same Kryo 260 CPU cores found in the Snapdragon 660 chip, it’s unknown at the time if this denotes the Performance variant or the Efficiency variant. If the Snapdragon 636 has the Kryo 260-Performance CPU cores, it should validate Qualcomm’s claims of making the Snapdragon 636 significantly more powerful than the 630.
Having better battery life is beside the point. I know more people care that their device gets a faster processor instead, to have a smooth experience. Especially since battery life is less quantifiable than performance, and it can be affected by many other factors (battery size, screen power drain, software etc etc)
You must know different people than I do, because battery life is the number one complaint I hear. 🙂
Anyway, having recently had a chance to spend a few weeks testing a device with a Snapdragon 630 chip, I can say that it feels pretty zippy compared to the SD 808 in my Nexus 5X.
I guess speed is always going to be in the eye of the beholder… and depend on what you’re using as a basis for comparison.
The speed comparison I use is my Moto G4+ is pretty much as fast as my old LG G4, if not faster (particularly at rendering web pages), but the battery life is probably at least 2x better on the newer Moto. For me battery life is much more important than speed.
Nah, we know the same people.
Everyone complains about battery life… but they want the battery life without compromising the experience, and a fast-smooth interface is one of the key points.
I’ve used a couple QSD 625 phones which were quite pleasant to use.
Definitely nothing like the hiccups experienced by 2015’s phones.
But still, there is a large performance gap between the QSD 450/61x/62x chipsets and the QSD 65x chipsets. If this QSD 636 ends up having Cortex A53 only cores, it will belong in the first camp. If it ends up having a variant of Cortex A73 cores, it will belong in the latter camp…. so overall, it does make a difference.
Just like if I told you, hypothetically, the new “Sports Car 2000” has 300 horsepower, but you had no idea if I was talking about at the wheels or the crank. You as a consumer would feel cheated if you found out it was only producing 240hp at the wheels. Especially if all the competitors were using whp (instead of bhp) but this manufacturer deliberately made it vague to confuse and mislead buyers.
Hence, why you are still wrong and possibly inaccurate with your reporting here. That’s why I thought you should’ve added a little note/caution there.
The page says a power and efficiency cluster… Granted, I don’t know if it is just a faster clocked efficiency core, it is somewhat unclear.
Slightly crippled SD660 with lower clocks, lesser wifi and lower res displays.
Its vulnerability is that it keeps clocks low to protect the SD660 and one could crush it with higher clocks and/or newer cores (could be just 2 big ones).
Qualcomm got blindsided a bit by 18:9 displays in the mid range as SD630 doesn’t support those so this seems like a quick fix but at higher perf and cost – MTK P30 does support 2160×1080.
I thought few users probably really needed anything more than the 625, but now it’s getting ridiculous. Very few users would need more than this device. I wonder how long people will keep buying flagship devices with power sucking electronics?
Awesome news. While the headlines talk about iPhones and Pixels and why we should pay $800 – $1200 for a phone, I’ll be happy with a good performance jump on my next cheap Moto G phone. Google was hoping that everyone would be willing to go up in price when they killed of the Nexus line. But the Moto phones are still good enough that I’ll just stay where it’s cheap.
I don’t think that’s true about Google. They know about the different segments of the mobile market just as well as anyone else. They made a conscious decision to switch to the flagship end of the market knowing (a) that’s where the margins are the most healthy and (b) the additional marketing muscle of pushing out the latest, greatest versions of Android on flagship phones first.
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