Snapdragon 700-series SoCs slot in between midrange and flagship

Today at the Mobile World Congress 2018, Qualcomm announced a forthcoming series of Snapdragon SoCs. Perhaps obviously, the new Snapdragon 700 series chips are intended to slot in between the 600- and 800-series offerings to fill the yawning performance chasm between those two. To that end, Qualcomm says it will outfit the 700-series SoCs with "features and performance" previously exclusive to the top-tier 800 series units.

The 700-series chips include Kryo-family CPU cores and Adreno GPUs that are likely a step up from those in the 660. Much like the rest of the Snapdragon family from the 660 and up, the coming chips also include the company's Spectra ISP (image signal processor) and Hexagon Vector Processor.

Qualcomm isn't really talking specifics with this announcement, so all we have to go on are the company's broad comparisons to the Snapdragon 660. Purportedly, the Snapdragon 700-series chips will perform twice as fast as the existing 660 when handling on-device AI applications. The company notes that the Spectra ISP onboard the 700s should help improve a device's image and video capture, though it didn't go into specifics. Qualcomm also says the new chips could offer a 30% improvement in power efficiency compared to the extant Snapdragon 660. Naturally, the 700-series chips will support the company's Quick Charge 4+ tech, as well as Bluetooth 5 and "ultra-fast" LTE.

It'll be a bit before you'll see the Snapdragon 700s in phones, though. Qualcomm isn't shipping samples of the chips to mobile vendors yet, but it says it expects to do so in the first half of this year. If we had to guess, we'll probably see Snapdragon 700-equipped devices announced at the end of the year to launch at next year's MWC.

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