Samsung announced a new processor today, though not one that’s likely to show up in a flagship device like the soon-to-be-announced Galaxy S9. Instead, the latest member of the Exynos family is intended for mid-range phones.

That’s par for the course for Exynos 5 series processors like the new 7872. It’s a hexa-core chip built using Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process, and it looks to slot in as an upgrade to the Exynos 5260. The 7872 features a big.LITTLE setup with a pair of 2.0GHz dual-core Cortex-A73 processors and four power-sipping 1.6GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 processors.

Samsung claims the new chip offers twice the single-core performance and much better battery life compared to its predecessors. It can also connect to just about any wireless network you can think of, from LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD right on down to good ol’ CDMA. The Exynos 7872 also supports Bluetooth 5, which offers up to twice the speed and four times the range of Bluetooth 4.2.

There are more advanced multimedia abilities under the hood, too. For starters, the Exynos 7872 can encode and decode full HD video at 120fps using the VP8, h.264, and h.265 codecs (VP9, too, though only for decoding). It supports front and rear cameras up to 21.7 megapixels and iris scanners up to 8MP for better biometrics.

What locks the Exynos 7872 in as a chip for mid-range phones is a couple of notable limitations. It can only handle display resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 and it doesn’t offer 802.11ac connectivity. Tech-savvy folks might see that as a big downside, but plenty of prospective phone buyers will be just fine with WUXGA and 802.11n Wi-Fi — especially at a middle-of-the-road price point.

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Lee Mathews

Computer tech, blogger, husband, father, and avid MSI U100 user.