Qualcomm promises faster phones for everyone

A host of premium features are coming to mid-range handsets. — AFP pic
A host of premium features are coming to mid-range handsets. — AFP pic

NEW YORK, Oct 19 — At a Qualcomm-hosted conference on the developments in 4G and 5G connectivity one would expect news and announcements regarding when the next wave of super-fast phones are coming. 

And, according to the company whose chips power the majority of smartphones and tablets around the world, it's 2018.

That’s when its first 5G modem, the Snapdragon X50, launches. 

It promises upload and download speeds that could make current phones feel more like they’re using a dial up modem.

“We are thrilled to deliver a product that will help play a critical role in bringing 5G devices and networks to reality,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. 

“This shows that we're not just talking about 5G, we’re truly committed to it.”

However, the 5G network is in its infancy — the 5G standard itself is yet to be finalised. 

“The Snapdragon X50 5G modem heralds the arrival of 5G as operators and OEMs reach the cellular network and device testing phase,” said Amon, meaning that although the devices are coming, expect them to arrive in a trickle, rather than a tide and also expect them to arrive at the flagship end of the market.

But Qualcomm hasn't forgotten those of us firmly in the mainstream market and is bringing a number of flagship processor exclusive features to its broader range of chip sets now.

“It has always been (our) strategy to introduce industry-leading features first at the premium Snapdragon 800 tier design point, and then scale these features into our other Snapdragon products,” said Alex Katouzian, senior VP of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

The new Snapdragon 653, 626 and 427 processors promise more performance, better power management and smarter camera features.

The chips will support Qualcomm’s fast charging technology that can add 50% power to a phone's battery in as little as 30 minutes. 

The 653 will be able to address up to 8GB of RAM so multitasking and app switching should be as fast as it is smooth, while the 626 should be able to find and hold onto a strong signal even in the most congested areas where everyone is on the same network.

But best of all, the 427 will support handset designs that use dual cameras, the sort of tech that's one of the iPhone 7’s biggest selling points. 

“Doing this allows our customers and smartphone developers to reach a broad subscriber base with advanced features and great end-user experiences,” Katouzian said.

The first handsets with Snapdragon 653 or 626 processors will be here before the end of 2016 while the first with 427 chipsets arrive early 2017. — AFP-Relaxnews

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