Cheap Android 5G phones with stellar specs are coming thanks to the new Snapdragon chip

Vivo and Motorola to harness power of Qualcomm's blazing new Snapdragon 480

Snapdragon 480 5G
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It's great news for 5G connectivity, as Qualcomm's Snapdragon 480 is announced as the company’s first 5G supported 4-series mobile platform.

It means high-speed connectivity for cheaper handsets. 5G still isn't widely adopted on the market, but Qualcomm's news should start to turn the tide in 2021. 

Qualcomm's new chip will signal a wave of budget phones' adoption of mobile's nippiest technology. Chipmaker Qualcomm is leading the charge with its new system-on-chip (SoC), which will target the high-volume smartphone sector. 

Confirmation of the list of budget devices that will receive the chip looks to be sometime in Spring 2021, but it’s speculated that the Vivo Y31s and Motorola Ibiza could house the SoC. But, Qualcomm is looking to steer away from the trend of premium 5G handsets by adding it to its 4-series platform and making it viable for more budget friendly models. Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm's President, tweeted that we should see a surge in phones with 5G in the $125 to $250 range throughout 2021, as a result of the technology.

Right now, 5G is more limited, entangled with multiple expensive names and models, though our essential guide to the best 5G phones on the market should help you dig out the best bang for your buck. Snapdragon’s 480 5G SoC is predicted to launch in early 2021, according to Qualcomm’s press statement. It's collaborating with several manufactures to get the hardware to market: OnePlus, HMD Global, and Vivo, among those named (via Times Now News). It's very easy to drown in 5G lexicon; if this sounds familiar, look no further than T3's 'What is 5G?' explainer to bring yourself up to speed with the game-changing technology and terminology. 

Although targeting budget models, Snapdragon’s 480 5G mobile platform will not skimp on its features. It’ll look to ramp up productivity and recharge time with the platform fuelled by the Qualcomm Kryo 460 CPU with up to 2.0 GHz; Qualcomm Adreno 619 GPU; and, to finish, the Qualcomm Hexagon 686 Processor to deliver up to 100% performance improvement in CPU and GPU. 

There has been an abundance of innovation across the budget-mid phone sector; in fact, we can't think of a field where the tech is growing so rapidly in affordability without sacrificing performance. If you feel swamped by the superb hardware available at the moment, fear not: you may just want to shoot straight past this and reach for a stellar handset. Our comprehensive rundown of the best smartphones available should give some clarity on where to put your money in line with your needs; after all, there is no one-size-fits-all, and we're here to help. 

With Qualcomm's Snapdragon 480, streaming and gaming experiences will be upgraded, too: using a 120fps FHD+ display for crystal clarity and seamless graphics rendering. If photography is your thing, the Qualcomm Spectra 345 ISP is first triple ISP in a 4 series, and helps all three cameras to capture simultaneously. 

Snapdragon’s new chip should breathe accessibility into an otherwise pricey sector with the press statement adding that it wants to make 5G accessible by “democratising the technology”. It comes less than a year after the launch of its first 5G smartphone that T3 covered in the shape of the Nokia 8.3 5G. Our verdict was that it was a solid mid-range that championed all of the features Nokia phones are known for: solid build, value and clean software. It delivers value in a hotly contested price point with the likes of Pixel 4a, the iPhone SE 2020, the OnePlus Nord, the Moto G 5G Plus.

It's great news for those looking to get in on the 5G action: more entry-level access to 5G should see a surge in the technology's popularity as we head into 2021. 

Source: Qualcomm 

Luke Wilson

Luke is a former news writer at T3 who covered all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets), Luke wrote about a wide-array of subjects for, including Android Auto, WhatsApp, Sky, Virgin Media, Amazon Kindle, Windows 11, Chromebooks, iPhones and much more, too.