Not long after it revealed its high-end 5G-integrated Dimensity 1000 chipset, MediaTek is now announcing a chip for mid-range phones: the Dimensity 800. Like its bigger brother (and its biggest competitor, Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 765), it packs an integrated 5G modem that claims to offer improved battery live compared to existing external modem solutions. The biggest catch — outside it being a MediaTek product of unknown performance — is the fact that it won't work with the 5G mmWave solutions US carriers are pushing.

Details in this initial announcement are pretty light, but basic specs are as follows:

Specs

CPU cores 4x 'big' ARM A76 at up to 2GHz, 4x 'little' ARM A55 at up to 2GHz.
GPU Quad-core "Dimensity 1000-class," whatever that means, combined with an undefined "HyperEngine."
Modem Supports 2G through 5G standards. 5G w/ 2CC CA, standalone and non-standalone network support, DSS, VoNR.
Node 7nm (probably TSMC)
Display Full HD+ up to 90Hz refresh rate
Camera Supports up to four concurrent cameras, up to 64MP sensors, video HDR, AI HDR, facial detection, AI-autofocus, auto white balance, noise reduction.
Misc. Quad-core APU

The company isn't too specific about some of the differences between the Dimensity 800 and the previously announced Dimensity 1000, but it sounds like it should share some of the same technology introduced with the series' flagship chip.

When it comes to 5G compatibility, the chip will be limited to sub-6GHz applications. That means it can probably connect to the new 5G network T-Mobile just rolled out and AT&T's low-band 5G network, but Verizon's mmWave network is out. This is in stark contrast to Qualcomm's mid-range 765 and 765G, which will support mmWave. The Dimensity 800 will support 2G, 3G, and 4G standards for "legacy" connectivity options, though.

It might be mid-range, but the Dimensity 800 has an eight-core architecture based on somewhat recent ARM reference designs — so it could be decently snappy, even if MediaTek chips have a low-end reputation. That will also depend on GPU performance, though, and the company hasn't revealed too much about what's powering the Dimensity 800, outside an abstract quad-core "Dimensity 1000-class GPU IP." Since the reference design for the Dimensity 1000's Mali G77 allows for a minimum of seven cores, we assume this will end up with something else. There's also an asymmetrical quad-core APU for AI-specific applications.

Apart from display compatibility (up to Full HD+, 90Hz), the only other big things MediaTek has revealed are camera details: The Dimensity 800 will support up to 64MP camera sensors, up to four simultaneous cameras, and inherits its bigger sibling's 4K Video HDR chops.

On paper, the Dimensity 800 doesn't hold much of a candle to Qualcomm's upcoming 765 and 765G, but it could be that MediaTek can compete on price. After all, there's "mid-range" and then there's mid-range; although they haven't been around too long, Qualcomm's 700-series chips don't end up in the cheapest devices.

Let's just hope the new chip arrives in phones in the US sometime soon. So far MediaTek hasn't provided a schedule, and based on how undefined some of the details seem to be based on this announcement, we could be in for an even longer wait than the bigger Dimensity 1000, which itself isn't expected to land in US phones until the second half of the year.