Snapdragon 625 SoC powers up mid-range mobile devices

Qualcomm has announced three new additions to its Snapdragon line of mobile SoCs: the Snapdragon 625, 435, and 425. The numbers suggest that these are intended for entry-level mobile devices rather than flagship smartphones, for which Qualcomm offers its more potent 800-series processors.

Still, the Snapdragon 625 is interesting for what it could bring to the crowded middle segment of the smartphone market. Like its big brother, the Snapdragon 820, the 625 is manufactured on a 14-nm FinFET process. As a result, Qualcomm claims to have improved power consumption over last-gen Snapdragons by as much as 35%. The 625 includes eight ARM Cortex-A53 CPU cores running at 2GHz, and comes with an X9 LTE modem. The SoC also supports dual 24-megapixel camera inputs and a variety of post-processing features. Additionally, the 625 supports 4k video recording and playback, and includes a next-generation HEVC codec.

With the Snapdragon 625, Qualcomm also appears to be introducing the Adreno 506 GPU. This graphics processor supports 1900×1200 displays and 4K video recording and playback. Somewhat intriguingly, Qualcomm touts the Adreno 506's support for the delayed Vulkan API. While the company's model-numbering scheme seems to indicate scaled-back performance from the Adreno 530 GPU that users get with the Snapdragon 820, we'll have to wait for phones with these GPUs to get out in the wild to see just how well they perform in the graphics department.

The other two Snapdragon processors appear to be destined for the budget-phone market. The Snapdragon 425, in Qualcomm's words, "ups the entry point" for mobile processors. It houses a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU and an Adreno 308 GPU, and it'll support "HD displays." With the Snapdragon 435, Qualcomm steps up to an octa-core CPU and an Adreno 505 GPU, and supports 1080p displays. All three processors are expected to appear in commercial devices in the second half of 2016.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 4 years ago

    So I have a Snapdragon 810 in my new phone, my previous phone was an 800, and in the interim I used a Snapdragon 410.

    Honestly, genuninely couldn’t tell the difference unless running a 3D game, and then surely the native resolution is the biggest decider of performance, since the 810 is pushing 4x the pixels of the display the 410 was using.

    Is there a table or chart somewhere that compares phone processors at a glance? I am well confused blud.

    • Jigar
    • 4 years ago

    I wonder how this chip would fare against Snapdragon 800.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 4 years ago

    So [b<]625[/b<] will have 8x A53 cores? I though [b<]620[/b<] will include at least 2x A72 cores?

    • brucethemoose
    • 4 years ago

    8 A53s? How much die space does that really save over, say, 2x A57s/A72s + 2 A53s?

    I know “8 cores” is a huge marketing bullet point in China, but come on….

      • guardianl
      • 4 years ago

      Very little. A72 core is 1.x mm2 at 16nm FF. A53 is less than 0.5 mm2.

      [url<]https://techreport.com/review/28189/inside-arm-cortex-a72-microarchitecture/2[/url<] This is all about market segmentation to Qualcomm. And yet they don't understand why the chinese SoC makers are rapidly eating their lunch. [url<]http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/sep/17/Qualcomm-layoffs-workers-samsung-cost-cutting[/url<]

      • lmc5b
      • 4 years ago

      The only one that seems to make sense is the snapdragon 650, pretty much an 808 with a72s, without the 800 pricetag.

      • Beahmont
      • 4 years ago

      I was pretty sure that not to long ago someone did a very nice work up that basically said that Android [s<]is[/s<] capable of using and receiving performance increases from all the cores you could throw at it. Iirc it had a lot to do with the Android translation layer being highly parallelized in conjunction with lots of threadlet spawning from the original process, but I'm not sure. I remember that the conclusion was clear that 8 cores improved performance. *shrug* I thought I'd bookmarked the article, but I can't seem to find it anymore in my files.

    • Narishma
    • 4 years ago

    Weren’t they making fun of Mediatek a couple of years back for making low end octa-core CPUs?

    • ronch
    • 4 years ago

    Serious question : Will ever increasing SoC horsepower be enough to entice folks to keep buying new phones? I reckon we have reached the ‘good enough’ level for most folks, even those with midrange ~$200 phones. Low end is a different story, but then I think the dynamics there are different.

    Edit – New SoCs are nice, but again, to bolster my thoughts earlier, I think we’ve reached the ‘good enough’ level for most folks, and we’re no longer falling all over ourselves to get the next phone with the next SoC (with the exception of Apple peeps, of course). It’s kinda like automobiles. Surely no one will replace their car just to get one with an engine that has marginally better power output or some newfangled feature that’s not really life-changing, but should you happen to buy a new car, it’s nice to have something new added in.

      • jessterman21
      • 4 years ago

      Yep, the Moto G is unbelievably snappy, IMO

        • jensend
        • 4 years ago

        Absolutely. Going from my old phone, which was stuck on Jelly Bean and had Touchwiz, to the 2015 Moto G (near-stock Marshmallow) was a *huge* responsiveness and performance improvement, even though things like Antutu say the Moto G’s processor is less than 30% faster.

      • DancinJack
      • 4 years ago

      It’s more about the typical upgrade cycle at this point, and platform features. New cameras, fingerprint readers, or better speakers entice more people than the raw performance of the SoC at this point I’d imagine.

      • chuckula
      • 4 years ago

      Phones have one big advantage in the upgrade cycle that PCs lack: They break easily.

      Very few people are obsessing over SoC details to run out and get an upgrade [anecdotes from readers of TR to the contrary show that the exception proves the rule]. However, once the screen on the old phone gets cracked, the old phone ends up underwater, or the non-replaceable battery in the old phone kicks the bucket, then there’s an upgrade.

      • Kretschmer
      • 4 years ago

      As SOCs get better TouchWiz will compensate. Have no fear.

      • kuttan
      • 4 years ago

      With the ever increasing intrusive ads in smartphones in general, more an more horse power needed for the same experience over time.

        • DreadCthulhu
        • 4 years ago

        Anyone who is technically savvy enough to browse this website should be capable of rooting their phone & installing AdAway. Problem solved. I do keep TR & few other websites I regularly visit whitelisted, of course.

    • NTMBK
    • 4 years ago

    14nm mid-range chips? Its about time. Give me that in a new <5″ Moto G, stat!

      • willmore
      • 4 years ago

      As much as I like my Moto phones, I’m not sure I am going to support them going forward–since Moto has decided not to support the phones.

      2nd gen E w/LTE will not get a software update. The first gen G w/LTE won’t see one in NA, but will in the rest of the world. Boy, am I glad I bought an unlocked phone from Moto. No, wait, I’m quite disappointed. I won’t be doing it again.

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