Snapdragon 660 and 630 Revealed: Cheaper phones just got a lot more powerful

Qualcomm has taken the wraps off its latest processors, revealing the Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 630, which promise high-end peformance at mid-tier pricing. Here’s everything we know so far including the specs and which phones will get the new Snapdragon chipsts.

Don’t fancy forking out upwards of £600 for a Snapdragon 835-powered flagship device like the (admittedly excellent) Galaxy S8? Qualcomm hasn’t forgotten about you, revealing its latest mid-range processors, the Snapdragon 660 and Snapdragon 630.

The pair are upgrades on 2016’s Snapdragon 652 and 625, respectively, and promise improvements across the board, including more power, better battery life, improved camera processing, and faster connectivity speeds.

Central to the new chipsets is Qualcomm’s X12 LTE modem – its second most advanced modem, behind only the X16 found on the Snapdragon 835 – as well as support for the new Bluetooth 5 standard and 2 x 2 MIMO Wi-Fi.

Related: Snapdragon 845

Speed bumps are also key, and while official benchmarks haven’t been revealed yet, Qualcomm claims the 660 offers 20% faster CPU speeds compared to the 652, while the 630 is 10% nippier.

The company is also touting significant battery life gains, saying that location services will now require between 50-75% less power, and downloading over Wi-Fi will be 60% more efficient. 

Both SoCs (system on-a-chip) were built using a 14nm process (the same as the previous generation), support up to 8GB of RAM, feature an octa-core CPU configuration, and come with Adreno GPUs – Adreno’s 512 GPU for the Snapdragon 660, and the 508 for the 630.

Finally, Qualcomm says that the 660 is already shipping and the 630 will be ready by the end of the month. Headline devices weren’t revealed, but to give you an idea, the Snapdragon 625 featured in handsets like the Moto Z Play and Huawei Nova in 2016, as well as the new BlackBerry KEYone this year.

Expect to see the new chipsets feature in the next wave of mid-range handsets from this summer, so if you’re in the market for an affordable new blower, it’s probably prudent to wait.

Related: Moto G5 review

Will you be buying a new mid-range phone this year, or as it flagship or bust? Sound off in the comments below.