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Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 launched: Light on power, but what about efficiency?

The Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 has a lot in common with the 4 Gen 1, which had a lot in common with the Snapdragon 695.

Published onJune 26, 2023

Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 reference design image
Supplied by Qualcomm
  • Qualcomm has announced the budget-tier Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 processor.
  • The chipset shares plenty in common with the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1.
  • Expect the first phones to arrive in H2 2023, with Redmi and vivo working on devices.

Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 back in September, effectively replacing the Snapdragon 400 naming convention in the low-end segment. Now, the chipmaker has announced the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2.

Look at the specs and you might realize that the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 doesn’t bring improvements in every category, even seeing a couple of downgrades. Qualcomm told Android Authority that the new chipset is meant to power cheaper devices than the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1.

Still, there are a couple of notable improvements here. The biggest upgrade is the switch from a 6nm TSMC process to a smaller 4nm Samsung design. A smaller process should theoretically result in improved efficiency, and Qualcomm says the new chipset brings a modest 5% efficiency boost over its predecessor.

Another notable upgrade is that the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 gains an X61 5G modem, with Qualcomm saying this brings Release 16 cellular capabilities to the table for the first time in the series. We’re still getting the same 2.5Gbps downlink and 900Mbps uplink speeds as before, though, along with sub-6GHz 5G support only.

A very familiar budget processor

Otherwise, the meat and potatoes are largely similar to the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1, which in turn bears similarities to the fairly old Snapdragon 695. That means an octa-core CPU consisting of two Cortex-A78 cores and six Cortex-A55 cores, as well as a similar unnamed Adreno GPU.

Qualcomm says you should expect 10% better CPU performance, with this gain primarily coming from a clock speed boost (from 2GHz to 2.2GHz). However, the company has also admitted that the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2’s GPU is slightly inferior to the GPU in last year’s SoC.

Things seem familiar when we look at the camera-related specs too, featuring up to 108MP camera support, 16MP+16MP dual camera, and 1080p/60fps video recording capabilities.

Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 reference design image 2
Supplied by Qualcomm

Yep, much like the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 and Snapdragon 695, phones powered by the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 won’t get 4K video recording support. That’s a real shame when 4K recording has been a thing on phones for over a decade now. On the upside, Qualcomm says the new chipset brings multi-camera temporal filtering to the Snapdragon 4 series for the first time, which should reduce noise in recorded videos.

Other notable features include Bluetooth 5.1 (down from Bluetooth 5.2), Quick Charge 4+ tech, a 120Hz refresh rate at FHD+ resolution, LPDDR5X RAM support (up from LPDDR4X), and Wi-Fi 5.

Expect the first Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 phones to land in markets in the second half of 2023, with the company specifically name-dropping Redmi and vivo as partners. Qualcomm also noted that it expects phones with these chipsets to come in below Rs 15,000 or under ~$200.

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