The recent data suggests that the best-selling Android smartphones are hovering around the $200-$300 price tag. And so far, the majority is powered by mid-range champs Snapdragon 600 series or Huawei’s own Kirin 659 CPU.
In February 2018, Qualcomm announced the successor of the 600 series of chipsets with superior advancements and decided to call Snapdragon 700 series. Following that, Huawei introduced the Kirin 700 series chips in July 2018.
Despite the similarity in the numbering series, both are vastly different across all aspects. Both Snapdragon 710 and Kirin 710 are expected to boot up mainstream upper mid-range smartphones in 2019. So, we are pitting two chipsets against each other and figure out how do they differ in certain areas.
Note: Comparing both chipsets based on specs-sheet is our prima facie approach while the real-life performance is an entirely different scenario and highly subjective. Apart from chipset’s capability, the other factors such as software optimization, UI changes, and capable hardware also chimes in daily usage.
Specifications That Matter
4x ARM Cortex-A73 @ 2.2GHz and 4x ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.7GHz
8x Kryo 360 CPU up to 2.2 GHz
ARM Mali G51 MP4
Adreno 616 GPU with Vulkan API
LPDDR4X, UFS 2.1
LPDDR4X, UFS 2.1
Single Sensor up to 32MP and dual camera up to 20MP
Quick Charge 4.0
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Talking about the Kirin 710, the 64-bit octa-core consists of four ARM Cortex-A73 high-performance cores clocked at 2.2 GHz and four ARM Cortex-A53 high-efficiency cores clocked at 1.7 GHz.
The high-performance cores are used in heavy editing apps which requires more raw power from the CPU. The high-efficiency ones kick in during daily usage like web browsing and messaging apps.
Qualcomm is promising improved task-sharing capacities and reduced latency with the inclusion of eight Kryo 360 cores, which are based on ARM’s semi-custom Cortex-A75 CPUs.
The one area where they differ is on the manufacturing process. The Kirin 710 is built on a 12nm fabrication process whereas the Snapdragon 710 is manufactured on a 10nm process. Meaning, the Snapdragon 710 is more power efficient and battery friendly than its rival.
Note: You might have noticed new smartphones like Mi 9 SE coming out with Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 processor. It is basically the Snapdragon 710 but with a slight boost with Cortex-A75 cores at 2.3 GHz instead of 2.2 GHz.
Right off the bat, if smartphone gaming is your priority, then skip the Kirin 710 and instead buy a phone with Snapdragon 710 processor. The reason? The Kirin 710 uses an old ARM Mali-G51 MP4 GPU which is 1.3 times faster than Kirin 659’s GPU but pales in comparison to the Snapdragon 710’s Adreno 616 GPU (check the AnTuTu GPU scores of both devices).
Qualcomm is boasting 35% performance gain over the Adreno 512, and the inclusion of Vulkan API means it can handle the graphics intensive 4K games with ease.
Huawei includes a new ‘GPU Turbo Tech’ for a lag-free gaming experience. The GPU Turbo technology is built to boost gaming performance by accelerating the GPU hardware and eliminating the bottlenecks between the GPU and software.
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RAM and Storage Support
Both the chipsets have integrated the latest advancements when it comes to RAM and storage. It includes LPDDR4X RAM support and UFS 2.1 (Universal Flash Storage) for ROM, which offers better read/write speed over the eMMC 5.1 storage.
The support for UFS 2.1 doesn’t mean an actual advantage in real life. Manufacturers will need to step their game up and integrate the necessary elements in smartphone offering.
For example, the Nokia 8.1 packs a Snapdragon 710 processor and yet it ships with eMMC 5.1 type storage which eliminates the added gain.
Antutu CPU Score
Antutu GPU Score
3DMark (Sling Shot Extreme - OpenGL)
3DMark (Sling Shot Extreme - Vulkan)
The Snapdragon 710 supports display resolution up to Quad HD and is capable of running the show for the flagship smartphones.
Huawei is tight-lipped over the display support but considering that it’s powering phones like Huawei Nova 3i, we can expect support for Full HD displays at least.
Camera and AI
Qualcomm has dedicated resources to enhance camera and AI performance of the Snapdragon 710. The 710 comes with a new Spectra 250 ISP (Image Signal Processor), which enriches low-light images and supports a single 32-megapixel sensor or dual 20-megapixel sensors.
The Snapdragon 710 is also capable of video recording up to 4K@30fps while consuming less power.
Huawei isn’t sharing any megapixel numbers for the Kirin 710, but looking at the Nova 3i, it can smoothly record Full HD videos at 60fps.
As far as AI is concerned, the Kirin 710 doesn't have a dedicated neural processing unit. Instead, it uses the CPU and GPU for AI-related functions such as scene recognition, better low-light snaps, and Face Unlock among other things.
Qualcomm employs a multicore AI engine along with the NPE (Neural Processing Engine) which delivers up to 2x better performance in AI apps when compared to the previous generations.
Note: A capable camera hardware in CPU is only the half story for the image quality. The image processing software also plays a major role in the outcome of pictures.
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Snapdragon 710 takes advantage of Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 out-of-the-box. It claims to deliver five hours of usage within a five minute of charge.
Kirin 710 supports Huawei’s SuperCharge 2.0 tech. It can juice up the battery up to 50% under half an hour.
Though a handful of companies have released phones running Snapdragon 710 chip, none of them bundle a Quick Charge 4.0 capable adapter. Those companies mostly provide Quick Charge 3.0 certified adapter in the retail package. You can always buy a Quick Charge 4.0 certified adapter separately and take full advantage of faster charging speeds.
Similarity Only in Naming Scheme?
Looking at the comparison, you can see how smartly Qualcomm has focused on aspects like camera, AI, and GPU to carter the young audience. Huawei gave a compelling fight on CPU and charging department, but overall, the Snapdragon 710 is a way to go mid-range recommendation from us.
Next Up: The recent Galaxy M series of smartphones now come with Exynos 7904 CPU. Read the post below to see how it fares against the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor.