After taking a stance on making better cores and not offering “more cores,” Qualcomm acquiesced last year with the launch of the Snapdragon 615, an octa-core 64-bit SoC designed to take the fight to MediaTek in the mid-range segment. After rolling out updates to its entry-level line, Qualcomm has now introduced the refreshed variant in the 6xx series, the Snapdragon 616.
As was the case with the Snapdragon 212 and 412, the differences in the Snapdragon 616 when compared to the Snapdragon 615 are minute. The SoC retains an octa-core CPU configuration, with four Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four energy-efficient Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.2GHz, an increase of 200MHz from the 615.
The also retains the Adreno 405 GPU, integrating Qualcomm’s X5 LTE Category 4 world modem with support for a wide variety of connectivity media, including LTE FDD, LTE TDD, WCDMA (DC-HSDPA, DC-HSUPA), CDMA1x, EV-DO, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE. For Wi-Fi connectivity, Qualcomm has bundled its Vive 1-stream Wi-Fi ac MU-MIMO solution. The vendor mentioned that the Snapdragon 616 will be able to work with display resolutions up to WQXGA (2560 x 1600), which has the potential to usher in QHD panels in the mid-tier segment. Also, a H.265 decoder allows full-HD playback.
Support for Quick Charge 2.0 is also included, although it is down to the manufacturers to include the feature in their offerings. Qualcomm has decided to stay with the 28nm LP manufacturing process, with the shift to 14nm FinFET coming later this year with the Snapdragon 820.
The first device to feature the Snapdragon 616 will be the Huawei Maimang 4, a version of the Huawei G8 that will go on sale in China shortly. The Maimang 4 comes with a 5.5-inch full-HD display, 2GB RAM/16GB internal memory, 3GB RAM/32GB storage, 13MP camera, 5MP front shooter, Category 4 LTE, 3,000mAh battery and Android 5.1 out of the box. The handset will be priced at around $240 for the 2GB variant.