The chips are down: MediaTek teases Snapdragon 855 Plus rival

MediaTek has unveiled its next flagship chipset with a fiery post on Chinese social media site Weibo. Will it have what it takes to compete with Snapdragon’s best?

Shortly after the announcement of Qualcomm’s souped-up Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC, MediaTek took to social media to deliver a feisty response. Staking its claim to be a genuine contender in the premium end of the market, MediaTek announced that its Helio G90 chip will be unveiled by the end of the month.

So far we’ve received no specification details about this mysterious processor, but here’s what we can expect from the firm based on track record.

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In general, MediaTek chips find their way on to smartphones in the lower end of the market. Mostly these phones retail in China and India, but there are examples here in the UK, such as the Xiaomi Redmi 6A which runs on a MediaTek Helio A22 chip. This track record doesn’t indicate that MediaTek is ready to take on the might of Qualcomm, whose Snapdragon chips are found on phones across the performance spectrum, including on muscular flagships such as the Google Pixel 3 and OnePlus 7 Pro.

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However, the announcement of the Helio G90 is not the first glint of ambition that we’ve seen from MediaTek. The firm was actually the first in the world to unveil a 5G mobile chip. Clearly it’s a manufacturer with serious aspirations, and we’re interested to see whether it can walk the walk as well as it talks the talk.

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While these two giants are facing off, there’s plenty more competition in the mobile processor market right now, increasingly from the smartphone manufacturers themselves. Samsung’s own Exynos range can be found on its  flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S10, and it has recently been confirmed that the latest Exynos 9825 will run on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 10.

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Despite their merits, all of the aforementioned brands still struggle to outperform Apple’s own-brand chips, which have performed excellently across a range of metrics in our reviews. What’s more, we won’t have to wait long to see the next in the series: the A13 processor is expected to be launched with the next generation of iPhones: the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR 2. In all probability, these chipsets will be the ones to beat.

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