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We have ranked Qualcomm Snapdragon smartphone CPUs to help you choose better

One of the key factors that determine a phone purchase is the CPU and GPU. In smartphones, the chipset contains CPU, GPU, LTE(4G), RAM etc. One such chipset brand is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon. Snapdragon is popular choice among smartphone makers. There are lot of variants of Snapdragon chips. In this page, you get to know which chipset is better and which one better suites your needs.

CPU

Every smartphone chip maker uses ARM designed CPUs. They license the design from ARM, apply their modifications, package with other modules like LTE, ISP, DSP, wireless, GPU etc. ARM basically makes three versions of CPUs. 3 series (eg: Cortex A32) is meant to be used alongside better cores in big.LITTLE (4x faster cpus and 4x 3 series CPUs, packaged as octa core CPU). 5 series can be used as standalone cores or used alongside performance oriented 7 series cores in big.LITTLE setup.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon are currently the best available chipsets for smartphones, comparable only to the Apple A series chips that are used in iPhone. If you see chips like Snapragon 630, there are four A72 cpus and four A53 cpus. When there is heavy load involved, A72 CPUs take control of execution otherwide A53 chips take control. This way, the phone will consumer less battery life and generate less heat most of the time. For chips like Snapdragon 835 which requires heavy performance (to drive 4K display, resource intensive games, external display etc), Qualcomm has used eight top of the line Kryo CPUs (based on ARM Cortex A72) and these cores go up to 2.45GHz, delivering massive performance.

GPU

Unlike CPU comparison, it is very hard to compare GPUs of one brand with those of another brand. Qualcomm uses in-house designed Adreno GPUs in Snapdragon chips. Qualcomm acquired Imageon  from AMD (designed by ATI) in 2009 and renamed the products to Adreno. Since then, Adreno has near monopoly in smartphone GPU market. Unlike ARM, Qualcomm does not license their designs so any OEM who need GPU/CPU will have to buy from Qualcomm.

RAM

While LPDDR3 RAM is commonly used, we are now seeing phones with LPDDR4 and LPDDR4X RAMs which are much much faster and efficient when compared to older LPDDR3.

Fab Process (14nm, 28nm etc)

Semiconductor device fabrication is the process used to create the integrated circuits that are present in everyday electrical and electronic devices. It is a multiple-step sequence of photo lithographic and chemical processing steps during which electronic circuits are gradually created on a wafer made of pure semiconducting material. Silicon is almost always used, but various compound semiconductors are used for specialized applications.  -Wikipedia

CPUs and GPUs are filled with millions and millions of transistors. In chips, these function more like gates switching on and off, to allow electrons pass. In manufacturing plant, multiple chips are made out of single wafer of silicon. The nm figure that you see in specifications (14nm, 28nm etc) is the size of this transistor. When a company says that their chip is designed on 14nm fabrication process, in layman’s terms, it means that the size of the transistor/gate is 14nm. When the transistor size is reduced, there are various advantages. Electrons travel less distance and this improves efficiency and speed. Transistors require less power to turn on and this reduces amount of power required. As a result, there will be noticeable increase in processing power. Also, with smaller transistor size, the size of cpu decreases allowing phone makers to have more space for other components. For example, the battery can be bigger, niche features can be added, phone can be thinner.

Yield rate increases as manufacturing plants move to lower fabrication process. Take a scenario where the transistors are so big that you can only create two processors from a wafer. If one of these two processor is faulty, the yield rate for the wafer is just 50%. Shrink the size of transistor and now you can create 10 processor from the same wafer. If one is faulty ,the yield rate will be 90%. Now, create 100 processors from same wafer and if 1 is faulty, you have a yield rate of 99%. A smaller fabrication processor not only improves performance and power efficiency, it also lets chip manufacturing companies have higher yield rate, faster production and higher revenue.

Here is the order in which we rate the Qualcomm Snapdragon chips:

  1. Snapdragon 835
  2. Snapdragon 821
  3. Snapdragon 820
  4. Snapdragon 660
  5. Snapdragon 630
  6. Snapdragon 626
  7. Snapdragon 625
  8. Snapdragon 653
  9. Snapdragon 652
  10. Snapdragon 650
  11. Snapdragon 450
  12. Snapdragon 435
  13. Snapdragon 430
  14. Snapdragon 617
  15. Snapdragon 616
  16. Snapdragon 615
  17. Snapdragon 427
  18. Snapdragon 425

Snapdragon 835

  • 8x Qualcomm® Kryo™ 280 CPU (A72), Up to 2.45 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 540 GPU
  • Fab : 10 nm
  • LPDDR4X, up to 1866MHz, dual channel
  • Qualcomm Spectra™ 180 image sensor processor
  • Qualcomm® Clear Sight™ camera features
  • Up to 16 MP dual camera, up to 32 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Clear Sight™ camera features
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 4 technology
  • Qualcomm® WiPower™ wireless charging
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video capture @ 30FPS
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video playback @ 60 fps
  • Up to 4K UHD external display support
  • LTE Category 16 (downlink), LTE Category 13 (uplink)
  • X16 LTE  Peak DL/UL speeds: 1 Gbps / 150Mbps
  • Vulkan API support
  • UFS 3.1 storage, SD 3.0 (UHS-1) external
  • HDMI 2.0
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 11ad wireless support (tri band 2.4, 5, 60GHz), 867 Mbps
  • November 2016

Snapdragon 821

  • Gap to Snapdragon 835 : Very High
  • 4x Qualcomm® Kryo™ 280 CPU (A72), Up to 2.4 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 530 GPU
  • Fab : 14 nm
  • LPDDR4, up to 8GB, up to 1866MHz, dual channel
  • Qualcomm Spectra™ image sensor processor
  • Up to 28 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Clear Sight™ camera features
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 4 technology
  • Qualcomm® WiPower™ wireless charging
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video capture @ 30FPS
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video playback @ 60 fps
  • Up to 4K UHD external display support
  • LTE Category 12 (downlink), LTE Category 13 (uplink)
  • X12 LTE Peak DL/UL speeds : 600 Mbps / 150Mbps
  • Vulkan API support
  • UFS 2 storage, SD 3.0 (UHS-1) external
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 11ad wireless support (tri band 2.4, 5, 60GHz), 867 Mbps
  • July 2016

Snapdragon 820

  • Gap to Snapdragon 821 : Minor
  • 4x Qualcomm® Kryo™ 280 CPU (A72), Up to 2.2 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 530 GPU
  • Fab: 14 nm
  • LPDDR4, up to 1866MHz, dual channel
  • Qualcomm Spectra™ image sensor processor
  • Up to 28 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Clear Sight™ camera features
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3 technology
  • Qualcomm® WiPower™ wireless charging
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video capture @ 30FPS
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video playback @ 60 fps
  • Up to 4K UHD external display support
  • LTE Category 12 (downlink), LTE Category 13 (uplink)
  • X12 LTE Peak DL/UL speeds : 600 Mbps / 150Mbps
  • Vulkan API support
  • UFS 2 storage, SD 3.0 (UHS-1) external
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 11ad wireless support (tri band 2.4, 5, 60GHz), 867 Mbps
  • Early 2016

Snapdragon 660

  • Gap to Snapdragon 820 : More on GPU side, not much
  • 8x Qualcomm® Kryo™ 260 , Up to 2.2 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 512 GPU
  • Fab : 14 nm
  • LPDDR4, up to 8GB, dual channel
  • Qualcomm Spectra™ 160 image sensor processor
  • Up to 21 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm ClearSight Camera features
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 4 technology
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video capture @ 30FPS, 1080p@120fps
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video playback
  • Up to 4K UHD external display support
  • LTE Category 13 (uplink), LTE Category 12 (downlink)
  • X9 LTE 600 Mbps / 150Mbps
  • USB 3.1, Bluetooth 5.0
  • 802.11ac, dual band, up to 867Mbps
  • October 2016

Snapdragon 630

  • Gap to Snapdragon 650 : high
  • 8x ARM Cortex A53 , Up to 2.2 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 508 GPU
  • 14nm
  • LPDDR4, 1333MHz, up to 8GB, dual channel
  • Qualcomm Spectra™ 160 image sensor processor
  • Up to 24 MP single camera, 16mp dual camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3 technology
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video capture @ 30FPS, 1080p@120fps
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video playback
  • Up to 1080p external display support
  • LTE Category 13 (uplink), LTE Category 12 (downlink)
  • X9 LTE 600 Mbps / 150Mbps
  • UFS 2 storage, SD 3.0 (UHS-1) external
  • Bluetooth 5, USB 3.1
  • 802.11ac, dual band, up to 433 Mbps

Snapdragon 626

  • Gap to Snapdragon 450 : minor
  • 8x ARM Cortex A53 , Up to 2.2 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 506 GPU
  • 14nm
  • LPDDR3, 933MHz, single channel
  • 2x Image Sensor Processor
  • Up to 24 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3 technology
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video capture @ 30FPS, 1080p@120fps
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video playback
  • LTE Category 13 (uplink), LTE Category 7 (downlink)
  • X9 LTE 300 Mbps / 150Mbps
  • UFS 2 storage, SD 3.0 (UHS-1) external
  • Bluetooth 4.2, USB 3.0
  • 11ac, dual band, up to 433 Mbps
  • October 2016

Snapdragon 625

  • Gap to Snapdragon 626 : minor
  • 8x ARM Cortex A53 , Up to 2.0 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 506 GPU
  • 14nm
  • LPDDR3, 933MHz
  • 2x Image Sensor Processor
  • Up to 24 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3 technology
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video capture @ 30FPS, 1080p@120fps
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video playback
  • LTE Category 13 (uplink), LTE Category 7 (downlink)
  • X8 LTE 300 Mbps / 150Mbps
  • UFS 2 storage, SD 3.0 (UHS-1) external
  • Bluetooth 4.1, USB 3.0
  • 11ac, dual band, up to 433 Mbps
  • February 2016

Snapdragon 653

  • Gap to Snapdragon 660 : very high
  • 4x ARM Cortex A53 + 4x ARM Cortex A72, Up to 1.95 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 510 GPU
  • 28 nm
  • LPDDR3, 933MHz, up to 8GB, dual channel
  • 2x Image Sensor Processor
  • Up to 21 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3 technology
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video capture @ 30FPS, 1080p@120fps
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video playback
  • Up to 1080p FullHD external display support
  • LTE Category 13 (uplink), LTE Category 7 (downlink)
  • X9 LTE 300 Mbps / 150Mbps
  • USB 2.0,Bluetooth 4.1
  • 802.11ac, dual band, up to 433 Mbps
  • October 2016

Snapdragon 652

  • Gap to Snapdragon 653 : minor
  • 4x ARM Cortex A53 + 4x ARM Cortex A72, Up to 1.8 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 510 GPU
  • 28 nm
  • LPDDR3, 933MHz, up to 4GB, dual channel
  • 2x Image Sensor Processor
  • Up to 21 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3 technology
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video capture @ 30FPS, 1080p@120fps
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video playback
  • Up to 1080p FullHD external display support
  • LTE Category 13 (uplink), LTE Category 7 (downlink)
  • X8 LTE 300 Mbps / 150Mbps
  • USB 2.0,Bluetooth 4.1
  • 802.11ac, dual band, up to 433 Mbps
  • February 2015

Snapdragon 650

  • Gap to Snapdragon 652: minor
  • 4x ARM Cortex A53 + 2x ARM Cortex A72, Up to 1.8 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 510 GPU
  • 28 nm
  • LPDDR3, 933MHz, up to 4GB, dual channel
  • Up to 21 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3 technology
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video capture @ 30FPS, 1080p@120fps
  • Up to 4K Ultra HD video playback
  • Up to 1080p FullHD external display support
  • LTE Category 7 (downlink)
  • X8 LTE 300 Mbps / 150Mbps
  • USB 2.0,Bluetooth 4.1
  • 802.11ac, dual band, up to 433 Mbps
  • February 2015

Snapdragon 450

  • Gap to Snapdragon 630 : medium
  • 8x ARM Cortex A53 , Up to 1.4 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 506 GPU
  • 14nm
  • LPDDR3 single channel
  • Up to 21 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3 technology
  • Up to 1080p video capture @ 30FPS
  • Up to 1080p video playback
  • LTE Category 13 (uplink), LTE Category 7 (downlink)
  • X9 LTE 300 Mbps / 100Mbps
  • June 2017

Snapdragon 435

  • Gap to Snapdragon 625 : medium
  • 8x ARM Cortex A53 , Up to 1.4 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 505 GPU
  • 28 nm
  • LPDDR3 single channel
  • Up to 21 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3 technology
  • Up to 1080p video capture @ 30FPS
  • Up to 1080p video playback
  • LTE Category 13 (uplink), LTE Category 7 (downlink)
  • X9 LTE 300 Mbps / 100Mbps
  • February 2016

Snapdragon 430

  • Gap to Snapdragon 435 : minor
  • 8x ARM Cortex A53 , Up to 1.4 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 505 GPU
  • 28 nm
  • LPDDR3 single channel
  • Up to 21 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3 technology
  • Up to 1080p video capture @ 30FPS
  • Up to 1080p video playback
  • LTE Category 4 (downlink)
  • X6 LTE 150 Mbps / 75 Mbps
  • September 2015

Snapdragon 617

  • Gap to Snapdragon 430 : medium
  • 8x ARM Cortex A53 , Up to 1.5 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 405 GPU
  • 28nm LP
  • LPDDR3
  • Up to 21 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 2 technology
  • Up to 1080p video capture @ 60FPS
  • Up to 1080p video playback
  • LTE Category 13 (uplink), LTE Category 7 (downlink)
  • X8 LTE 300 Mbps / 100Mbps
  • September 2015

Snapdragon 616

  • Gap to Snapdragon 617 : minor
  • 8x ARM Cortex A53 , Up to 1.7 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 405 GPU
  • 28nm LP
  • LPDDR3 single channel
  • Up to 21 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 2 technology
  • Up to 1080p video capture @ 30FPS
  • Up to 1080p video playback
  • LTE Category 4 (downlink)
  • X5 LTE 150Mbps / 50 Mbps
  • July 2015

Snapdragon 615

  • Gap to Snapdragon 616 : minor
  • 8x ARM Cortex A53 , Up to 1.7 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 405 GPU
  • 28nm
  • LPDDR3 single channel
  • Up to 21 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 2 technology
  • Up to 1080p video capture @ 30FPS
  • Up to 1080p video playback
  • LTE Category 4 (downlink)
  • X5 LTE 150Mbps / 50 Mbps
  • February 2014

Snapdragon 427

  • Gap to Snapdragon 615 : medium
  • 4x ARM Cortex A53 , Up to 1.4 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 308 GPU
  • 28 nm
  • LPDDR3 single channel
  • Up to 16 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 3 technology
  • Up to 1080p video capture @ 30FPS
  • Up to 1080p video playback
  • LTE Category 13 (uplink), LTE Category 7 (downlink)
  • X9 LTE 300 Mbps / 150 Mbps
  • October 2016

Snapdragon 425

  • Gap to Snapdragon 427 : minor
  • 4x ARM Cortex A53 , Up to 1.4 GHz
  • Qualcomm® Adreno™ 308 GPU
  • 28 nm
  • LPDDR3 single channel
  • Up to 16 MP single camera
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 2 technology
  • Up to 1080p video capture @ 30FPS
  • Up to 1080p video playback
  • LTE Category 4 (downlink)
  • X6 LTE 150 Mbps / 75 Mbps
  • February 2015

About bandla

Co-Founder of GadgetDetail, gadget lover, addicted to American TV shows, fan of Ferrari and Federer, Bengalurian, FOOD LOVER, multiplex hater.

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