Alongside its new dedicated AI initiatives, Qualcomm today has announced an update to its mid-range mobile platforms. Representing a step down from its flagship 800-series parts, the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, 730, and 730G platforms aim to offer improved gaming, AI processing, photo and video imaging, and networking.
Starting with the mid-range Snapdragon 665, Qualcomm is focusing on AI and imaging improvements over raw performance. Compared to its predecessor, the Snapdragon 660, the new Snapdragon 665 is powered by the same Kryo 260 CPU, but includes upgrades to the Adreno 610 GPU, Hexagon 686 DSP, Spectra 165 ISP, and third-generation AI Engine.
For the end-user, this means support for capturing HDR images with resolutions up to 48 megapixels, support for triple camera designs with telephoto, wide, and ultra-wide fields of view, improved video image stabilization (thanks also to the implementation of Morpho stabilization technology), and improved AI-related camera features such as object detection, portrait relighting, and scene recognition.
The gaming experience is also improved, with support for the Vulkan 1.1 graphics driver. While not targeted as a “gaming-first” mobile platform, Qualcomm claims that the 665 can still hold its own in popular mobile games, hitting 60fps in the popular Honor of Kings (known as Arena of Valor in most western markets).
As for what stays the same compared to the Snapdragon 660, in addition to the aforementioned Kryo 260 CPU, the Snapdragon 665 also sports the same X12 LTE modem, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX support.
Stepping up to Qualcomm’s “high-end” 700-series, the new Snapdragon 730 brings a greater range of performance improvements over its predecessor, the Snapdragon 710.
Moving from 10nm to 8nm, other changes include a bump to the Kryo 470 CPU, Adreno 618 GPU, Hexagon 688 DSP, Spectra 350 ISP, fourth-generation AI Engine, and support for Wi-Fi 6 (f.k.a. 802.11ax) in some configurations.
End-user features as a result of these upgrades include a 4K HDR portrait mode with depth sensing at up to 60fps, support for 3D face unlock, support for images up to 192 megapixels (up to 48 megapixels with Multi-Frame Noise Reduction enabled), up to 800Mbps LTE bandwidth, and improved AI-powered voice capabilities.
The “G” in the Snapdragon 730G stands for “Gaming,” and that’s Qualcomm’s focus with this new platform. Starting from the same base technical specifications as the Snapdragon 730, the Snapdragon 730G increases the maximum resolution of supported on-device displays from 2520×1080 to 3360×1440 while adding support for HDR gaming.
It also includes Snapdragon “Elite Gaming” features, which Qualcomm says are optimizations targeted at the most popular mobile games that can squeeze out a bit more GPU horsepower, improve wireless latency, and even implement anti-cheat capabilities.
Compared to the Snapdragon 710, Qualcomm claims that the gaming-focused optimizations of the 730G and improved hardware give it up to 25 percent faster graphics rendering and up to 35 percent faster CPU performance.
Devices featuring these new Snapdragon parts are expected to hit the market in "mid 2019."