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Qualcomm’s launched a trio of 4G chips: 5G ain’t going mainstream anytime soon

Qualcomm has launched new Snapdragon 720G, 662 and 460 chips designed for mid and low end 4G smartphones.

The firm unveiled the chips last night, via a press release. All three come with improved WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.

The 720G is the top end chip in the new 4G line up, but it’s still firmly a mid-range component designed for things like the Samsung Galaxy A series.

The chip has a mobile gaming focus and comes with Qualcomm’s “Snapdragon Elite Gaming” features. This offers a few performance improvements while gaming and will let phones with the 720G run games and movie content in HDR. The chip also features support for Qualcomm aptX audio and comes with an integrated X15 LTE modem.
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Phones with it will support 4K video recording and the ability to shoot 192-megapixel photos. As a final perk it also has Qualcomm’s latest fifth-generation AI engine. The engine has already been seen in the company’s top end chips and offers a number of optimisations for photography, performance and battery life.

Related: Best 5G phones

The Snapdragon 662 sits below the 720G. It’s stand out feature is triple lens camera support. This was a key missing feature on Qualomm’s older 6-series mobile chips and will let companies bring flagship phone-style rear camera setups to the more affordable market. Outside of this it’ll come with a new X11 LTE modem and Qualcomm’s third-generation AI engine.

The 460 is the cheapest chip in Qualcomm’s new line and will likely feature in affordable, £200 phones from the likes of Nokia and Motorola. Qualcomm hasn’t disclosed its full specs but claims it is “70% faster than the 450”. The only other details we have are that it features Qualcomm’s third-generation AI engine and an integrated X11 modem.

All three of the chips are available for companies to use now. Phones running them are expected to appear towards the end of the year.

The news comes during a push for 5G adoption by mobile carriers. 5G began rolling out to select regions of the UK in 2019. It aims to offer users next generation data connectivity that can easily run demanding services, like Google Stadia game streaming, and download entire TV series in minutes. The only downside is that most 5G contracts and phones are still fairly expensive.

Related: What is 5G?

Qualcomm vice president of product management Kedar Kondap said the company is still focussing on improving 4G, not bringing 5G, at the affordable end of the market.

“Today’s smartphone users want fast, seamless connectivity, advanced features and long-lasting battery life,” he said.

“This expansion of our 4G lineup enables our partners to offer sophisticated solutions that meet global demand and enable a remarkable gaming experience across multiple tiers and price segments.”

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