Qualcomm is preparing to further expand its reach in the budget smartphone market with the new Snapdragon 210 processor. The main weapon in this arsenal is its ability to bring LTE capabilities to sub-US$100 (RM320) smartphones, which is something that competitor MediaTek has yet to achieve.
Manufactured on a 28nm process, the Snapdragon 210 provides a 1.1GHz quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU with an Adreno 304 GPU. Along side this is Bluetooth 4.1, 802.11n WiFi, NFC support, and display capabilities of up to 720p. This is a decent example of premium grade technology trickling down to the lower end market. Until now most of the phones that Qualcomm is targeting with this SoC has only offered the most basic of functionalities, and it will be interesting to see if this can make a dent in how we perceive smartphone features.
The pièce de résistance of the whole announcement is the dual-mode CAT4 LTE with 2x10MHz carrier aggregation. Co-president of Qualcomm Cristiano Amon told the press that the aim of the Snapdragon 210 is specifically the sub-US$100 smartphones; and having the only LTE-capable chipset in the category means that he does not have to worry about the competition.
Devices with the Snapdragon 210 are not expected to arrive until the first half of 2015; which gives MediaTek time to respond to the challenge. If anything, the budget consumers will have plenty to look forward to next year.