When Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 made its way to the phones in the market, the consumers really rejoiced about the new launch since the chipset promised of new features which were not available on the SoC of the price range which the Snapdragon 660 catered to. The 660 was also the SoC which made the gap between the premium and the mid-range phones thinner by providing the admirable performance to the users. However, it wasn’t that much liked by the OEMs for varied reasons, and currently, we have only a few devices with Snapdragon 660 chipset available in the market. In India, there are only two devices- the Nokia 7 Plus and the newly launched Vivo X21.
Qualcomm has recently made a new advancement in its SoC by introducing the 700 series of chipset which besides packing immense processing power, also comes with AI capabilities which are going to make this series of chipsets lean more towards the premium Snapdragon 845. Let’s dive right in and see how the Snapdragon 710 fares against its predecessor – the Snapdragon 660.
The major difference like we hinted above in the Snapdragon 710 is the presence of dedicated AI capabilities. The 700 series of chipsets come with Snapdragon Neural Processing (NPE) SDK and Hexagon Neural Network which lets it achieve 2x overall improvement in terms of AI performance when compared to its predecessor. Like many might expect, AI will assist with the camera, sound, security and gaming aspects of the device while working in sync with the Hexagon 685 DSP, the Adreno 616 GPU and the Kryo 360 cores. Whereas the older Snapdragon 660 wasn’t dedicated to the AI aspect, instead it relied on the machine learning capabilities of the device.
Speaking of the architecture, which makes a lot of difference while it’s about chipsets. The Snapdragon 710 is built on 10nm manufacturing process which makes it more power efficient in comparison to the 600-series which was built on 14nm FinFET. The 8 Kryo 360 CPU cores in total make up the 710 with 2x Cortex A75 cores which clock a speed of 2.2GHz each and 6x Cortex A55 cores each clocking a speed of 1.7GHz. This upgrade looks worthy on the paper, in comparison to the last Snapdragon 660 which was based on the 14nm manufacturing process and came with 8x Kryo 260 cores formed by 4x Cortex A73 cores each clocking a speed of 2.2GHz each and 4x Cortex A53 which clock 1.8GHz each.
The company is promising that the Snapdragon 710 takes a 20% improvement over the previous Snapdragon 660. Also, the chipset looks powerful and promising while showing more than enough capability to handle mid-range phones. Being a high-end processor, there are also expectations of high efficiency which are going to be fulfilled as Snapdragon claims that because of Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ on the 710 users will be able to charge their phone up to 50% in just 15 minutes.
The new Adreno 616 GPU is the one accompanying the Snapdragon 710. The new GPU pegs an impressive 35% improvement in graphical performance and 4K HDR playback when compared to the 660 which was paired with Adreno 512 GPU for graphics.
As for the connectivity, the 710 sports X15 LTE modem which will support up to 800 Mbps of download speeds as well as 300 Mbps Upload speeds. This is a good improvement over the previous X12 modem on the 660 which used to support download and upload speeds of up to 600 Mbps and 150 Mbps respectively. Like we mentioned before, the Snapdragon 710 leans more towards the SD 845 which along with the X20 modem supports download speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps.
The Snapdragon 710 hasn’t left any stone unturned in making improvements over the previous processor. In the image processing department also, the 710 beats the 660. The new Qualcomm Spectra 250 ISP promises of capturing more vibrant photos and videos owing to the changed architecture. Now with the new technology, 4K UHD video recording has been claimed to consume 40% less power, contrary to the older Spectra 160 ISP on the 660. With support for multi-frame noise reduction with accelerated image stabilisation, the Snapdragon 710 definitely shines.
A smarter camera can also be seen on the devices which will sport Snapdragon 710 owing to the newer Hexagon 685 DSP. Besides this, the DSP will also become the basis of amazing voice and gaming experience based on Qualcomm’s 3rd Gen Hexagon Vector Extensions (HVX) which is an improvement over the 2nd Gen implementation on the 680 DSP present in the Snapdragon 660 chipset.
With so many improvements on almost all fronts, the Snapdragon 710 surely gets ahead of the previous Snapdragon 660 chipset. It was also disappointing for Qualcomm to see that their Snapdragon 660 was not accepted widely by the OEMs. However, with this new addition, the company seeks to restore things. The Snapdragon 710 is sure to bring flagship like performance to the mid-range phones, along with packing dedicated AI abilities which will add to Qualcomm’s achievement.
Qualcomm already stated the Snapdragon 710 SoC is ready for manufacturer's usage. And on May 31, Xiaomi is expected to announce the first Snapdragon 710 chipset device, dubbed the Xiaomi Mi 8 SE (Special Edition).