• Qualcomm optimized the Snapdragon 675 for mainstream use.
  • The first smartphones using the Snapdragon 675 will ship in Q1 2019.
  • The 675 is Qualcomm’s third mid-range processor announced within the past six months.

During its annual 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong, Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 675. According to Qualcomm, this new processor is less about specifications and more about overall user experience. On paper, it doesn’t look like much of an upgrade over the three-month-old Snapdragon 670.

There are even a couple hardware downgrades with the 675. For example, the 675 is constructed with a 11nm process instead of a 10nm process like the Snapdragon 670. The GPU has been downgraded from an Adreno 615 to an Adreno 612, too.

 Snapdragon 675Snapdragon 670Snapdragon 710
CPU2x 2.0GHz Kryo 460 (Cortex-A76)
6x 1.7GHz Kryo 460 (Cortex-A55)
2x 2.0GHz Kryo 360 (Cortex-A75)
6x 1.7GHz Kryo 360 (Cortex-A55)
2x 2.2GHz Kryo 360 (Cortex-A75)
6x 1.7GHz Kryo 360 (Cortex-A55)
GPUAdreno 612Adreno 615Adreno 616
RAMLPDDR4X @ 1866MHzLPDDR4X @ 1866MHzLPDDR4X @ 1886MHz
DSPHexagon 685Hexagon 685Hexagon 685
ISPSpectra 250L
25MP single or 16MP dual
48MP snapshots
480fps HD Slo-Mo
Spectra 250
25MP single or 16MP dual
Spectra 250
32MP single or 20MP dual
ModemX12 LTE
600Mbps down
150Mbps up
600Mbps down
150Mbps up
800Mbps down
150Mbps up
Quick Charge4+4+4+
Process11nm LPP FinFET10nm LPP FinFET10nm LPP FinFET

With that said, Qualcomm assured us that the Snapdragon 675 performs considerably better than the Snapdragon 670 in real-world scenarios. Built-in game enhancements, for example, reduce “janks” or stutters by over 90 percent during game play.

In addition, the new fourth generation Kryo cores offer anywhere from 15 to 35 percent faster performance in common tasks like opening apps or browsing the web. Qualcomm has used these stats combined with reduced costs when justifying their decision to use an 11nm manufacturing process. Update: Qualcomm has confirmed to us that the Snapdragon 675 uses two semi-custom performance cores based on Arm’s Cortex-A76 technology, and six semi-custom efficiency cores based on the Cortex-A55 CPU core. The company adds that the core customizations include “optimizations for prioritization of memory bandwidth in heterogeneous use cases.”

Learn: Why everyone is rushing to 7nm

It’s no secret that Qualcomm has been focusing a lot on AI recently, so it should come as no surprise that they’ve included their Hexagon 685 digital signal processor. That’s the same DSP Qualcomm is using for the Snapdragon 845, 710, and 670.

While each smartphone manufacturer has the ultimate say on which AI features to include in their devices, the 675’s hardware should enable fast face detection, smart image processing, and high accuracy keyword detection for built-in voice assistants.

The largest improvements with the 675 come with its upgraded Spectra 250L image signal processor. With this ISP, the Snapdragon 675 offers more advanced camera features like high-resolution snapshots and slo-mo video. With the help of the Hexagon 685 AI smarts, Qualcomm is also offering a universal portrait mode with the 675. For those unfamiliar, the portrait mode creates an artificial bokeh effect after an image has been captured. This effect makes images seem more professional, as if they were taken with a DSLR camera.

Qualcomm has created a lot of confusion with their recent mid-range chipset release strategy

Despite these improvements, Qualcomm has created a lot of confusion with their recent mid-range chipset release strategy. When asked about the crowdedness of this space, Qualcomm’s VP of Product Management, Kedar Kondap, agreed that there were a lot of mid-range options but noted that Qualcomm was simply responding to OEM demand. Still, that’s not a great excuse for releasing three very similar processors within a matter of six months.

It’s puzzling why Qualcomm released the Snapdragon 670 just three months before today’s release and three months after the release of the Snapdragon 710. Since these processors are so similar to each other, we’re worried that this strategy will cause confusion for buyers.

In the future, we’d like to see Qualcomm either do away with its 700 series or use it to consolidate its high-600 chipsets. As of right now, there’s simply too many similar processors for the vast majority of consumers to understand the differences between them.

With that said, we do see the Snapdragon 675 as a nice upgrade to Qualcomm’s existing options. Let’s just hope there isn’t another mid-range processor release in three months from now.

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