Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 and 4 Gen 1: Competition is good for technology and this is true on multiple levels. Both MediaTek and Qualcomm are playing a game of catch in the chipset industry. With MediaTek launching lots of chipsets in the mid-range segment, Qualcomm is now stepping up to meet demands. MediaTek took a large chunk of the chipset market from Qualcomm, thanks to the sales of sales in its chipsets in the mid-range segment, and now it seems Qualcomm has had enough.
Qualcomm is responding by launching two new chipsets targeted at mid-range phones. The company launched the Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 a few months back and now it has announced the release of the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 and Snapdragon 4 Gen 1.
These new chipsets are expected to be used on mid-range smartphones that will cost between $300 and $500. This means the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 and 4 Gen 1 will battle the likes of the MediaTek Dimensity 1050 series and Dimensity 900 series. But how good are the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 and 4 Gen 1?
Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 and 4 Gen 1
Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 is the new chipset from the company that succeeds all previous Snapdragon 6 series chipsets (Snapdragon 695, 680, 665, etc.). The part number of the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 is SM6450 (written in full will be Qualcomm SM6450 Snapdragon 6 Gen 1).
According to Qualcomm, the Adreno GPU inside the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 SoC is about 35% better than its predecessors and its CPU is about 40% better when it comes to performance. For displays, the new chipset supports an FHD+ 120Hz panel (1080p 120Hz) and this means faster, smoother, and more responsive displays for gamers.
This chipset will have support for both 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz connectivity and also support Wi-Fi 6E, as well as Bluetooth 5.2 with dual antennas. Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 SoC is also equipped with a new ISP for image processing and this is expected to improve the quality of photos and videos even in low-light conditions. The Qualcomm Spectra tripe 12-bit ISP in the chipset allows for simultaneous capture and parallel processing and smooth zooming between cameras.
Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 also has the 7th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine with the always-on 3rd Gen Qualcomm Sensing Hub. The 7th Gen Qualcomm AI Engine provides up to 3x improved AI performance and the new Fused Accelerator help to provide better and faster performance. The chipset also promises a longer battery life amidst all these increases in performance. Other improvements done in the chipset include improved AI-based noise cancellation, noise reduction, and contextual detection to improve performance.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 is the new chipset from the company that succeeds all previous Snapdragon 4 series chipsets (Snapdragon 495, 485, 465, etc.). This chipset will feature in even more affordable smartphones (phones between $200 and $400).
As for the display, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 supports displays up to FHD+ at 120Hz just like the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1. It’s a 5G chipset that supports 5G, sub-6 GHz, and Wi-Fi 5, as well as Bluetooth 5.2. It however does not have support for mmWave and Wi-Fi 6 and this is because it’s a chipset meant for low-entry phones. The Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 might have missed out on some network connectivity but its 5G modem still maintains an estimated download and upload speed of 2.5Gbps and 900Mbps.
According to Qualcomm, the performance of the new CPU is about 15% better than its predecessors while the performance of the new GPU improved by about 10%. The new Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 SoC also supports the Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ technology that can charge phones from 0 to 50% in about 15 minutes, and it also supports the USB Power Delivery (PD) standard.
The Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 SoC is also equipped with the Qualcomm Spectra Triple ISP that enables simultaneous capture. The new ISP allows a phone using this chipset to feature a 108MP camera sensor. Smartphones using this chipset have improved performance to capture better photos in all lighting environments.
The Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 and 4 Gen 1 chipsets are bringing major improvements to affordable phones. Qualcomm has included small but important improvements on these chipsets. An improved CPU, GPU, better ISP that promises better photo capture, fast AI processing, and improve efficiency are all good improvements. We look forward to seeing how these two chipsets compare with phones powered by MediaTek chipsets in the mid-range segment.