Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 710 packs a mean midrange punch

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600-series SoCs have been common choices for midrange phones from a variety of vendors. Those aging chips are missing some of the features needed for the next wave of reasonably-priced handsets to stay competitive, particularly in the realms of graphics and image processing, so-called “AI” functions, and faster LTE connectivity. Qualcomm says the 10-nm-fabbed Snapdragon 710 delivers on all these fronts and packs a 20% overall performance boost and up to a 40% reduction in power consumption while gaming compared to the 14-nm Snapdragon 660.

The Snapdragon 710 improves upon the Snapdragon 660's setup of four Kryo 260 ARM Cortex-A72 cores at 2.2 GHz and four 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 cores churning at up to 1.8 GHz with a whole new loadout of two 2.2-GHz Kryo 360 Cortex-A75 cores and six Kryo 360 Cortex-A55 cores that run at a slower 1.7 GHz. The chip can peek and poke from a pool of up to 8 GB of 1866 MT/s LPDDR4X memory, though the exact configuration is up to the smartphone builder. Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 710 has an AI Engine that uses the integrated Hexagon 685 vector processor and the GPU together. 

As for graphics, the Adreno 512 IGP in the previous-gen chip gives way to a faster Adreno 616 setup. The new IGP gives the SoC the ability to play back 4K HDR video, which is a new feature for Qualcomm chips outside the high-end Snapdragon 800-series family. The maximum supported display resolution is 3360×1440, and there's HDR10 support on tap along with acceleration for the H.264, H.265, and VP9 codecs. The company says that the OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan, and DirectX 12 APIs are supported, suggesting that the chip could end up in a future Windows Always Connected PC.

Camera feeds go through Qualcomm's Spectra 250 image signal processor. The implementation in the Snapdragon 710 can handle input from a single 32-megapixel camera, or a 20-MP feed from an increasingly-ubiquitous dual-camera setup. The ISP can capture 4K video at 30 FPS and 1920×1080 video at up to 120 FPS.

The chip maker says users can expect a reduction in power consumption of up to 40% when watching 4K HDR video and playing games when compared to the current Snapdragon 660. The company goes on to say that users can expect 20% better efficiency when streaming HD video. Power replenishment is almost as important as power consumption, and Qualcomm says the Quick Charge 4+ tech baked into the Snapdragon 710 can help boost a dead battery to a 50% charge in as little as 15 minutes.

The integrated Snapdragon X15 LTE modem promises Cat 13 uplink and Cat 15 downlink capabilities. That translates into speeds up to 150 Mbps upstream and 800 Mbps downstream in ideal conditions. All this data flows through a 4×4 MIMO antenna setup supporting 3×20 MHz carrier aggregation, up to 256-QAM, and two carriers. Qualcomm says Wi-Fi connectivity has a 2×2 back end and dual-band 5 GHz support. Oddly enough, there's also a mention of “60 GHz” that would imply support for 802.11ad (WiGig), but the maker only mentions 802.11ac.

Qualcomm expects third-party products built around the Snapdragon 710 to start appearing on store shelves before the end of Q2 2018. This chip is Qualcomm's first SoC in the new 700-series. According to Anandtech, replacements for the higher-end members of the current 600-series lineup will move to 700-series branding and only the lower-specced chips will continue to wear 600-series badges.

Comments closed
    • tacitust
    • 1 year ago

    What are the odds we’ll actually see any 700 series phones? There still aren’t any 660 phones officially available in the US as far as I can tell.

      • fyo
      • 1 year ago

      Pretty much all the Chinese OEMs have a 660 phone, but Samsung nixed their A5 and A7 2018 editions, which were reported to feature the Snapdragon 660 chipset. Those models have instead been introduced as the A8 and A8 plus, but with Samsungs own Exynos offering.

      Samsung did just launch an S8 Lite with the 660 and the Nokia 7 Plus is powered by it as well. I would assume the latter becomes available in the US Real Soon Now.

    • fyo
    • 1 year ago

    It would be nice to see how this SoC compares with various members of the 800 series. Both in terms of performance and power consumption.

    Of course, performance only really matters if there’s a decent phone built around it, but if the performance is decent and power consumption good, that could make for a compelling product.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 1 year ago

      A couple of A75 cores *should* perform relatively well, but giving up any performance at all only matters if the phone is significantly cheaper. If a phone with this thing rings in at $400 or more I’d be sorely tempted to look at slightly older Snapdragon 835-based models (like the Galaxy S8) instead.

        • fyo
        • 1 year ago

        I’d be happy to give up some performance at the top end providing the overall power consumption is lower. There are a shocking number of apps (mainly games) out there that will use as much graphics power as you care to throw at them, without it actually resulting in any difference. I even have one game that will happily max out both CPU and GPU until my phone starts to throttle, after which it will start choking.

        That same game works perfectly on a 5 year old phone (as long as it doesn’t throttle).

        What I wouldn’t give to have proper CPU and GPU governors exposed in the OS…

    • ronch
    • 1 year ago

    Just curious. If they built a proper console around this thing, what past console would it be comparable to? PS3? Better or worse than PS3? Xbox 360?

    Edit – A question gets a thumbs down? Heh.

      • tipoo
      • 1 year ago

      The high end passed the PS3/360 GPUs in many areas, not sure about this one but the A10 is likely close to the 360 GPU on execution power but with a more modern featureset and FP16 acceleration, and then A10X doubled that up and doubled the bandwidth to 50GB/s. If the A10 wasn’t there for the 360s eDRAM and PS3s dedicated CPU/GPU bandwidth, the A10X probably well passed them.

      I think their CPUs would have been passed even earlier, except the PS3 on raw theoretical Gflops, but the Cell was just weird and what it did well is best done on graphics compute anyways nowadays.

    • ronch
    • 1 year ago

    [b<]VISUAL PROCESSING SYSTEM.[/b<] Wow.

    • Shobai
    • 1 year ago

    typo in the graphic… “Kyro™”

    • mad_one
    • 1 year ago

    Small correction: The chip has two A75 and six A55 cores, not 4+6.

      • morphine
      • 1 year ago

      Too much copy-pasta. Thanks.

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