Qualcomm revealed the budget Snapdragon 768G just last month, but now the company is announcing another System-On-a-Chip intended for mid-range devices. The Snapdragon 690 will appear in phones later this year, and it aims to bring 5G connectivity to more affordable price points.

The Snapdragon 690 is a significant upgrade over previous 600-series chips in a few areas. Most notably, it's the first 6xx processor with 5G support, which was previously only available on higher-end 700x and 800x chips. That means we should start to see even cheaper devices with 5G over the coming months. However, the chipset does not appear to support mmWave 5G, which means it won't connect to AT&T and Verizon's existing 5G networks.

Video recording from a Snapdragon 690 phone

If you don't care about 5G at all, there are a few other key improvements worth mentioning. The Snapdragon 690 includes support for 4K HDR video capture at 30FPS, 120Hz displays, and Wi-Fi 6. The chipset also uses Qualcom's Kryo 560 CPU, reportedly offering a 20% performance boost over the Snapdragon 675's CPU. Artificial intelligence workloads (including video capture) should be faster as well, thanks to Qualcomm's fifth-generation AI engine.


CPU Kryo 560, 64-bit octa-core (up to 2 GHz)
GPU Adreno 619L with OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 FP, Vulkan 1.1, and DirectX 12
AI Engine Adreno 619L
RAM Up to 1766 MHz, 8GB RAM
Modem Snapdragon X51 5G, Downlink of up to 2.5Gbps (5G) and 1.2Gbps (LTE), Uplink of up to 660 Mbps (5G), 210 Mbps (LTE)
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax-ready, 802.11ac Wave 2, 802.11a/b/g, 802.11n), 2.4GHz and 5GHz, 8-stream sounding for 8x8 MU-MIMO, WPA-3 support
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.1 with Qualcomm TrueWireless and aptX Adaptive
Camera Qualcomm Spectra 355L Image Signal Processor, up to 192MP for still photos, slow-motion video at 720p @ 240FPS, HEIF photo capture, HEVC video capture, HDR10 support, 4K HDR video capture with Portrait Mode
Audio Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec (up to WCD9385), Qualcomm Aqstic smart speaker amplifier (up to WSA8815)
Display FHD @ 120Hz, HDR10 and HDR10+ support
Biometric Fingerprint, Iris, Voice, Face
Charging Qualcomm Quick Charge 4+

Interestingly, the Snapdragon 690 is built on a smaller 8nm process, which likely made some of those performance improvements possible. This is the first 8nm chip in the Snapdragon 600 series, though it still doesn't match the 7nm process that the Snapdragon 768G and 865 use.

Qualcomm expects that the Snapdragon 690 will be widely available in the second half of 2020. "HMD Global [Nokia], LG Electronics, Motorola, SHARP, TCL, and Wingtech are among the OEMs/ODMs expected to announce smartphones powered by Snapdragon 690," the company said in a press release.