Cheap 5G smartphones will be better than ever thanks to new Qualcomm chips

New processors hope to improve connectivity and performance

Qualcomm chips and phones
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Qualcomm has debuted four new Snapdragon mobile chipsets to grow its roster of 4G and 5G-capable handsets at varying budget ranges from the ultra-cheap to the top mid-range. Right now, there's a huge market for the best mid-range and best cheap phones that target entry-level consumers who don't need the latest flagship and for those who prize affordability and utility above everything else.

The point where these two converge is where Qualcomm focuses the brunt of its manufacturing interests. The Snapdragon 778G Plus 5G, 695 5G, 480 Plus 5G, and 680 4G chips are now official, and Qualcomm says that the new processors will provide increased performance for the next-gen of mid-range smartphones.

Let's be clear: none of these latest chipsets are intended to steal the crown from Snapdragon 888 Plus, which continues to reign supreme as Qualcomm's most powerful mobile chip. Instead, the new chips will help hopefully alleviate the strain placed on manufacturers amidst the unending shortage of chipsets.

All four of the new chips feature AI engines and sensing hubs that derive from the Snapdragon 8-series. Qualcomm anticipates that the chips will give manufacturers more options to meet the unprecedented demand for smartphones. Likewise, the 5G-enabled chips will form a key part of Qualcomm's Snapdragon roadmap, namely by boosting 5G adoption amongst customers. After all, 5G is multiplying everywhere, and mid-range smartphones are expected to be "The main driver for accelerating 5G device adoption – especially in emerging regions in 2022," according to Qualcomm's SD of Product, Deepu John.

Qualcomm chipsets and phones

(Image credit: Qualcomm)

The Snapdragon 778G Plus is the upgraded version of the Snapdragon 778G found in devices like the Xiaomi 11T, and it will deliver boosted CPU and GPU performance. Separately, the mid-range Snapdragon 695 5G chip sits comfortably at the mid-tier, with a cranked-up GPU that enables 120fps FHD+ gaming over a wide 5G network.

As the 5G market continues to expand, Qualcomm's boosted portfolio should go some way to ensuring customers don't run into further stock issues, with consumers on average expected to spend $80 more on their next smartphone. According to Qualcomm, 5G is now accessible to "over 3.5 billion people around the globe, highlighting the need for more hardware options," which it believes this new roadmap should help address.

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.