Updated – 18/01/2019

In somewhat of a surprising move Qualcomm has just launched the Snapdragon 675 which will supplant the Snapdragon 670 that was launched less than 3 months ago.

It will probably be several months before devices are released with the new system on chip but the mid-range SoC market is starting to get a little crowded and confusing with four upper mid-range chips available now in the form of the Snapdragon 670, 675, 710 and then the HiSilicon Kirin 710. Then other mid-range options in the form of the Snapdragon 660 and 636

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 675 does offer some noteworthy upgrades over the 670.  Its 8-core design now uses the Kryo 460 CPU for its performance cores which are based on the new Arm Cortex A76 cores. The A76 is the latest CPU microarchitecture by Arm and something that would usually be used in a flagship model first such as the HiSilicon Kirin 980.

The chips are laid it with two performance cores running at 2.0Ghz and then six Cortex A55 efficiency cores, running at up to 1.8GHz.

The new CPU upgrades allow the 675 to have improved speeds of  15% in-app launches, up to 35% in web browsing scenarios.

Qualcomm has been shy on the GPU used in the new SoC stating Adreno 61x series GPU, and I expect it to be in the performance range of the Adreno 615 or 616. However, the new chip has “gaming enhancements” that promise up to 90% fewer janks and is likely to be something very similar to the GPU Turbo mode found in Huawei/Honor devices.

The Snapdragon 675 will allow mid-range phones to use three cameras at once which will then accommodate 5x optical zoom, similar to the Mate 20 Pro.

With 2019 fast approaching, which then means MWC in February you are may be wondering what chips to look out for in your next phone. The flagship market is a bit simpler, often with just two options, which by 2019 should be the Kirin 980 and Snapdragon 855, but with the midrange market, you have multiple options in the upper midrange sector.

With western buyers, you can probably rule out the Snapdragon 710 as this appears to be aimed at the Asian market with phones currently using it being the OPPO R17 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 8 SE. Though if you import from Gearbest etc it is a worthy contender.

The new Snapdragon 675 is scheduled to be available in commercial devices in Q1 of 2019. As Snapdragon 670 devices have already started to launch, the two products will co-exist with each other for some time.

The below table offers the best specification comparison I can make of the 4 chips, but getting a detailed specification of the HiSilicon Kirin 710 seems to be quite hard.

Update

It is believed the new Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro will be the first phone to feature the Snapdragon 675. A recent AnTuTu score has indicated the new chip will offer superior performance than the Snapdragon 710 SoC.

However, the new chips uses the Adreno 612 GPU compared to Adreno 615 on the SD670 and the Adreno 616 on the SD710. This has slightly less memory available to it with 256+16 KB compared to 512KB. Beyond that the specification of the new GPU is unknown but it will likely offer lower performance than both the SD660 and SD675.

 Qualcomm Snapdragon 675Qualcomm Snapdragon 670Snapdragon 710HiSilicon Kirin 710
Process11nm LPP10nm LPP10nm LPP12 nm
CPU Cores Octa-Core, 64-bit Octa-Core, 64-bit Octa-Core, 64-bit Octa-Core, 64-bit
CPU2x Kryo 460 (CA76)
@ 2.0GHz
256KB L2
6x Kryo 460 (CA55)
@ 1.8GHz
64KB L2
4x Kryo 260 (CA73)
@ 2.2GHz
4x Kryo 260 (CA53)
@ 1.8GHz
2x Kryo 360 (CA75)
@ 2.2GHz
6x Kryo 360 (CA55)
@ 1.7GHz
4x Cortex-A73 @ 2.2 GHz
4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.7 GHz
GPUAdreno 612Adreno 615Adreno 616ARM Mali-G51 MP4
RAMMax 8GB LPDDR4Max 8GB LPDDR4Max 8GB LPDDR4Max 6GB LPDDR4
CameraSpectra 250 ISP
triple-camera support
Spectra 250 ISP
25MP single / 16MP dual
pectra 250 ISP
32MP single / 20MP dual
16MP + 24MP
Video Encode/Decode2160p30, 1080p120
H.264 & H.265
2160p30, 1080p120
H.264 & H.265
2160p30, 1080p120
H.264 & H.265
Decode: 1080p @ 60fps
Encode: 1080p @ 30fps