The MediaTek logo as seen at Mobile World Congress 2018.

  • The new MediaTek Helio P22 will give budget smartphones the ability to offer higher-end features like AI, dual cameras, and more.
  • MediaTek hopes that this new chip line will power what it calls the “new premium” smartphone market.
  • The MediaTek Helio P22 will likely appear in smartphones by the third quarter of 2018.


System-on-chip maker MediaTek announced a new mobile chipset today: the MediaTek Helio P22. This new processor is designed to power what MediaTek refers to as the “new premium” smartphone category; that is, mid-range phones with features traditionally found in higher-end models.

As such, the Helio P22 chipset will feature a 12nm manufacturing process, the first-of-its-kind in the mid-range mobile industry. The SoC will also feature an octacore Cortex-A53 CPU and a PowerVR GE8320 GPU. By comparison, Qualcomm’s budget-minded Snapdragon 450 processor features an identical eight core A53 setup, an Adreno 506 GPU, and a 14nm manufacturing process. In fact, MediaTek told us that the P22 is indeed “most comparable” to the Snapdragon 450.

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The Helio P22 will support a display resolution of up to 1,600 x 720, Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi speeds, and LTE connectivity on up to two SIM cards.

In the photography arena, the Helio P22 tops out at 21MP single or 13MP+8MP dual cameras. But we also see a variety of improvements and additions to the underlying camera experience. There’s multi-frame noise reduction, tweaked video stabilization, better low light performance, and improved digital zoom.

How does it compare to previous chips?

Unlike the Helio P60, the P22 doesn’t have dedicated AI silicon. Nevertheless, we see AI enhancements for bokeh effects, facial unlocking, and smart photo albums.

You have to wonder where the chipset fits in the MediaTek family though, as it seems like one of the least capable P-series processors. For example, 2016’s Helio P20 serves up full HD display resolution and 4K recording. Meanwhile, the new chip sports a 1,600 x 720 display resolution and 1080p/30fps video recording.

Nevertheless, the chip’s display resolution and octacore A53 cores means we’re probably looking at a processor for the $150 category. This would make it a good fit on paper for the likes of the ZTE Blade A-series, Lenovo’s K5 range, and other budget phones with HD+ (1,440 x 720) screens. And when you toss in the smaller 12nm manufacturing process, it should theoretically make for a power-efficient smartphone.

Read more: MediaTek’s big play for AI

The Helio P22 is in production now and will start showing up in consumer devices by the third quarter of this year.

With the mid-range market getting better and better phones and more high-end features making their way down to even devices in the sub-$200 range, MediaTek is likely hoping to capitalize on the consumer shift from high-priced flagships to more mid-range models – if consumers are buying smartphones at all.

Unfortunately, MediaTek does have a reputation for not keeping their SoC software up-to-date, which results in smartphones no longer receiving Android updates only months after release. However, the company has committed to changing that reputation.

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