Affordable smartphones are in one of the most popular categories, especially in India where shoppers want value for money. The intense competition between brands has already brought some interesting budget phones to the market. But due to some limitations of the chipset, makers can only do so much. Not anymore.
Qualcomm just launched its latest mobile processor that will enable new premium features we've never seen in budget phones. Longer lasting battery, better-looking tall displays, dual cameras and much more is in the offing, giving a major boost to the competition in the budget space.
There are several firsts with Snapdragon 215, a worthy successor to the Snapdragon 212. By removing the limitations of a chipset, smartphone makers can finally bring better features to budget phones in the sub-Rs 10,000 price range. But it remains to be seen how far OEMs are willing to go to leverage the available tech of Snapdragon 215.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 is based on 64-bit architecture, which is first in the SD200 series. This enables better performance for end users, a much-needed upgrade for budget phones. According to Qualcomm, Snapdragon 215 is 50 percent faster than its predecessor. But the improved performance isn't going to be at the cost of the battery.
Snapdragon 215 brings improved battery life. Thanks to a Hexagon digital signal processor (DSP), users can have five days of music playback, GPS usage is extended so you can use Maps for longer. Qualcomm also throws in a nifty goodie, Quick Charge, into the mix, giving up to 75 percent faster charging than a normal charger.
Interestingly enough, expect some visual changes in budget phones soon. The display, for instance, gets a huge upgrade. The latest chipset supports 19.9:9 aspect ratio and HD+ display. Another major improvement is an important one. The Snapdragon 215 supports dual cameras and enable better portrait results. The CPU can support 13MP capture and up to 1080p video recording.
If you seek entertainment from your phone, it is up to OEMs to take advantage of the Adreno 308 GPU, which enables 28 percent increased gaming performance and longer video playback, up to 10 hours, on the new tall displays.
Qualcomm has decided to go extra on its new chipset. The Snapdragon 215 also supports dual SIM with dual VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac and most importantly NFC Payment support on Android.
Looking at all these incremental upgrades, it is tempting to see what manufacturers have in store for us. Qualcomm says phones with the Snapdragon 215 are expected to arrive in the second half of 2019. Even though the chipset supports these features, it is not necessary we will see them in all budget phones out of the box. But it is a good start.