Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 675, a mid-range smartphone SoC with some high-end features. Perhaps most notable is the fact that its new Kryo 460 architecture is built around ARM’s Cortex-A76 cores, which are designed for flagship devices and have not yet made their way into a Qualcomm chip. (The first major SoC with A76 is Huawei’s Kirin 980.)
The Snapdragon 675 has two performance-focused cores at 2.0GHz alongside six 1.78GHz cores designed for power efficiency. For comparison, the current flagship Snapdragon 845 uses four 2.8GHz performance cores based on the Cortex-A75, so it will still be a lot faster. The 845 is also built on a 1
0nm process versus the 675’s 11nm. But as Anandtech notes, it’s unusual to see Qualcomm launch a new CPU design on a mid-range product, especially considering that the results will probably outperform the ostensibly higher-tier (and not exactly old) Snapdragon 710.
Cores aside, the Snapdragon 675 appears to have designed for the reality that high-end features are no longer the exclusive preserve of flagship phones. The new image signal processor has been built with triple-camera setups in mind, while there are gaming enhancements for specific titles that sound similar to Huawei’s GPU Turbo optimizations. The 675 also includes Quick Charge 4+ support and a faster AI engine.
Qualcomm expects the Snapdragon 675 to make its way into consumer phones in the first quarter of 2019, so do not be surprised if it seems like every new device has three cameras on the back by then.