It has just been a week since Qualcomm officially announced the Snapdragon 450 Mobile Platform. The successor of the Snapdragon 435 SoC brings in several things which are, for the first time, available in a Snapdragon 400-Series chipset. Be it the newer 14 nm manufacturing process or the support for retina scanning, Snapdragon 450 doesn’t sound like a midrange offering.
On the other hand, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 435 has proved its mettle and offers commendable performance without being too heavy for your pocket. The same applies to the Snapdragon 430 SoC which is basically same as the SD 435 but with an inferior 4G modem.
However, both the chipsets are still relevant despite being around for more than a year.
Camera: Up to 13 MP + 13 MP Dual Camera, 21 MP single camera
Video Capture and Playback: Full HD (1080 x 1920) @ 60 fps
DSP (Digital Signal Processor): Qualcomm Hexagon 546
Wi-Fi:11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz) Up to 433 Mbps
Bluetooth:1, BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)
RAM: LPDDR3 933 MHz
Storage: SD 3.0 and eMMC 5.1
Charging: Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0
As you see, the Snapdragon 450 and the Snapdragon 435 chipsets share several identical specs, but there are some notable differences.
Let’s dive deeper.
According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 450 is about 25 percent more powerful than its predecessor. This is equally valid for both processing power and graphics performance. The CPU of the newer chipset is clocked at 1.8 GHz while it is 1.4 GHz for the Snapdragon 435. Coming to the GPU, the SD 450 features the Adreno 506 whereas the SD 435 sports the Adreno 505.
Moreover, the latest SoC is made using the more efficient 14 nm process in comparison to the older 28 nm Snapdragon 435. This significantly ramps up the thermals of the SD 450 resulting in a much more consistent performance and lesser throttling.
While both the contending chipsets support LPDDR3 RAM, the Snapdragon 450 can accommodate up to 933 MHz memory clock speed in contrast to 800 MHz of the older SoC. This would reduce the launch time of applications in the newer chip.
The Snapdragon 450 is currently the only 400-series chipset supporting USB 3.0.
The SD 435 maxes out at USB 2.0 and thus fares quite low in data transfer speeds.
Qualcomm has added some much-needed camera features to its latest chipset. The Snapdragon 450 is the first 400-series SoC to support live or real-time bokeh effects. Furthermore, the newer SoC can house 13 MP + 13 MP dual camera setup.
This is a notable improvement over the 8 MP + 8 MP support of the Snapdragon 435. Qualcomm has also added support for 60 fps Full HD (1080 x 1920) video recording in its newest chip.
Additionally, the Snapdragon 450 comes with an updated Hexagon 546 DSP. It brings with it enhanced multimedia performance, sensor processing, and camera.
The newest chipset from Qualcomm aims to take retina scanning mainstream. Snapdragon 450 is possibly the only SoC in its category to support the eye-based authentication.
With its 14 nm manufacturing process, the Snapdragon 450 is about 30 percent more power efficient. For a typical 2750mAh battery, the newer chip lasts about four hours longer than the Snapdragon 435.
So, what is the gist of the story? Well, it seems that Qualcomm has done a good job with the Snapdragon 450 Mobile Platform. Frankly, no Snapdragon 400-series chip can match up to the latest SoC. The SD 450 actually feels like a trimmed down variant of the Snapdragon 625.
Qualcomm aims to start sending commercial samples of the Snapdragon 450 in the third quarter of this year. You may expect smartphones with the new chip to arrive by Q4 2017.