Qualcomm waited over a year to deliver a successor to the Snapdragon 660, a well-received mid-range chipset launched in 2017 that ended up gracing a lengthy list of devices including the Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018), Asus ZenFone 4, and Nokia 7 Plus. The Snapdragon 670 arrived in August, promising enhanced AI performance and the usual performance improvements. Fast forward just a few months and Qualcomm has now doubled up, launching the Snapdragon 675 at its 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong. The aim? A chipset optimized for mobile gaming.

Designed for handsets in the $300 to $500 range, the chipset features an Adreno 612 GPU and fourth generation Kryo CPU with two performance cores clocked at 2GHz and six efficiency cores at 1.7GHz. The chip promises 30 percent faster game launches and 20 percent faster music launches. Qualcomm also optimized the system-on-a-chip to deliver a high rame rate — an all-important factor for a gaming phone. The Razer Phone 2, for instance, has a 120Hz refresh rate (double what you'd regularly see in a smartphone).

Snapdragon 675 improvements over Snapdragon 670.

Qualcomm confirmed that the 675 can support 120Hz — impressive for a mid-range GPU — but of course it'll come down to whether manufacturers see fit to provide that sort of tech in a mid-range smartphone. In a further effort to bring high-end gaming to the mid-range, the chip maker is working with games and game engines like Unity and Unreal to optimize for 600-series chipsets.

The San Diego-based chip company is also touting its AI improvements over the 670. Qualcomm says the 675 provides a 50 percent enhancement in AI application performance, achieved through the use of multiple cores — mainly, the Hexagon 685 DSP, Adreno 612 GPU, and Kryo 460 CPU.

Better camera processing is another selling point for the 675. The chip uses a Spectra 200 series image signal processor to support triple cameras and features including up to 5x optical zoom, real-time bokeh, super wide angle shots, and 3D face unlock. Additionally, the chipset stocks Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+ and the X12 modem, which offers download speeds of up to 600Mbps.

You can expect to see the first smartphones using the 675 platform to arrive in the first quarter of 2019, including an as yet unnamed device from Xiaomi that was confirmed at the summit.


Full disclosure: Qualcomm paid for travel and accommodations to attend the 4G/5G Summit.