Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 730 and 665 chips for mid-range phones

Qualcomm has announced the Snapdragon 730, a new system-on-chip that will likely power mid-to-high-end phones later this year. Its predecessor, the 710, wound up in devices like Samsung’s Galaxy A8s and the Xiaomi Mi 8 SE, and while Qualcomm recently launched a slightly faster iteration called the 712, the 730 is a much bigger improvement.

The 8-core Snapdragon 730 uses Kryo 470 cores at up to 2.2GHz and is built on an 8nm process. It has an Adreno 618 GPU, a Hexagon 688 processor with a tensor accelerator, a Spectra 350 “computer vision” image signal processor, an X15 LTE modem, and support for Wi-Fi 6. Many of these elements should help bring AI-powered processing and imagery to not-quite-flagship devices.

There’s also a gaming-focused version called the 730G, with a GPU clocked higher for 15-percent faster performance. The 730G will support phones with 1440p displays, up from 1080p on the regular 730, and offers 960fps slow-motion video. Qualcomm also says that it enables a “Jank Reducer” feature that is capable of “reducing janks by up to 90 percent” in 30fps games. Which, okay.

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 730 and 665 chips for mid-range phones
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 665 reference design.

Qualcomm is further announcing the Snapdragon 665 today, the followup to 2017’s 660 — though the more recent launch of the 675 in phones like the Vivo V15 Pro makes the newer chip’s differentiation a little less obvious. Like the 675, the 665 is an 8-core chip built on an 11nm process, but uses slower Kryo 260 cores and an Adreno 610 GPU. It also enables support for triple cameras and 48-megapixel sensors.

Qualcomm expects devices with the Snapdragon 665, 730, and 730G to go on sale in mid-2019.