Instead of using its 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong to unveil the next version of its flagship 800-series processor, Qualcomm instead showed off a brand-new mid-range chipset.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 platform is a chipset aimed squarely at the mid-range market, sitting below the flagship Snapdragon 845 and offering similar specs to the Snapdragon 710.
Even though it’s aimed at cheaper phones, the Snapdragon 675 packs plenty of features that fit far more into flagship territory with a particular focus at improving performance in games (notably online experiences like PUBG) and improving camera functionality.
During the announcement of the 675, Qualcomm reps were keen to impress how much the gaming experience has been improved here. Optimisation seems to be key and Qualcomm has worked with a variety of game developers, along with working on specific engines like Unreal Engine 4, to smooth out performance, reduce gaming lag and improve frame-rates.
Related: Best smartphones
Compared to the Snapdragon 670, which itself was only released in August, Qualcomm said the 675 will improve game launches 30% and open music apps 20% faster. We’ll have to really test these chips out ourselves before we can whether or not Qualcomm’s claims are true.
Gaming aside, there’s a lot of extra functionality inside the 675 for improving camera hardware. Using the second-generation Spectra ISP (image signal processor), the 675 supports a triple rear-facing camera array comprising wide, ultra-wide and telephoto sensors. Not every phone using the 675 will pack such optics of course, but the support is there.
Improved portrait mode bokeh support is here too, as is 3D face unlocking and depth sensing. Considering these are features normally restricted to high-end phones it’s great to see Qualcomm bringing support for the mid-range.
The final new camera feature is 720p 480fps slow-motion recording without a limit on how much can be captured.
Other benefits of the Snapdragon 675 include support for Quick Charge 4/4+ and aptX audio, download speeds of 600mbps thanks to the X12 modem and improved DSP security. AI tasks will be quicker too, 50% faster according to Qualcomm.
Related: Best Android phones
Display resolution is still capped at FHD+ though, so don’t expect any quad-HD+ (2960 x 1440) phones running this particular Qualcomm chipset.
We may know what features the Snapdragon 675 boasts, but we don’t know yet which phones will use it. However, Qualcomm stated it’ll start rolling out in Q1 of 2019 and Xiaomi teased it’ll have a device ready soon after.
Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @TrustedReviews.