Qualcomm announces the Snapdragon 400 and 200, for budget smartphones

February 20, 2013
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Last month, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Qualcomm killed the S4 brand and introduced the world to the Snapdragon 600 and Snapdragon 800. Both of those chips are meant for high end devices, and we can’t wait to benchmark them, but at the same time we also understand that not everyone can afford a $600 to $700 phone.

Enter the Snapdragon 400 and 200, which the company just announced. Let’s start with the lower end part, the 200. It has four ARM Cortex A5 cores at 1.4 GHz, an Adreno 203 GPU, and it also supports multiSIM configurations. How slow is ARM’s Cortex A5? We don’t really know since no one has been crazy enough to ship a phone that uses it. We’re pretty sure that phones using the Snapdragon 200 will never cost more than $200, but hey, you never know in today’s world.

Now as for the second part, the Snapdragon 400, it’s a bit of a head scratcher. It comes in two configurations. One configuration has two Krait cores clocked at 1.7 GHz. Could these be the very same Krait cores that make up today’s Snapdragon S4 chips? The second configuration uses four ARM Cortex A7 cores clocked at 1.4 GHz. Oddly enough, when we first wrote about quad core A7 chips, we said that they benchmarked about the same as a dual core S4, so this actually makes a lot of sense.

When will phones using these new chips hit the market? Qualcomm says this year, but doesn’t get any more specific than that. Considering we’re at the end of February, that’s a lot of time.

And as for the chip we really want to see, the Snapdragon 600, it’s inside HTC’s new One. We should be getting in for testing in a few weeks, and you bet your ass we’re going to benchmark the living hell out of it.

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