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Snapdragon 710 Jumps to Cortex-A75

May 29, 2018

Author: Linley Gwennap

Debuting a new numeric series, the Snapdragon 710 brings greater performance and new features to the smartphone market’s burgeoning mid-premium segment. It’s the first product to use 10nm technology for this segment, beating Samsung’s Exynos 9610 to market. The 710 also brings Arm’s Cortex-A75 CPU to mid-premium phones only a few months after it first appeared in premium phones. The new chip offers considerable improvements in GPU and AI performance over its predecessor, the Snapdragon 660, along with new camera features. It’s in production and should appear in phones later this quarter.

Although the 710 is the first chip in the new Snapdragon 700-series, it doesn’t represent a new tier in Qualcomm’s lineup. The company split the 600-series into two tiers in late 2015 when it rolled out the Snapdragon 652. Since then, Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 653 and 660 while continuing to introduce lower-cost 600-series products. Late last year, it unveiled the Snapdragon 636, bringing Cortex-A73 to the lower tier of the 600-series. The 710 increases differentiation over the 636 by packing a new CPU core, a faster modem, and other improvements.

The 700-series targets smartphones that sell for $300 to $500, a segment we call mid-premium because it sits between the midrange and premium segments. This price range was unpopular a few years ago, but many vendors now sell phones that look like an iPhone or Galaxy S while offering many of the same features at a lower price. This approach is particularly popular among emerging Chinese suppliers such as Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi that can’t charge the same premium prices as the top smartphone vendors. In this segment, Qualcomm competes against MediaTek as well as in-house processors from Huawei and Samsung.

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