The story of the Snapdragon 480 is support for 5G, but a new, better-performing modem isn’t the only significant update Qualcomm has incorporated into its latest chip. If you’ve ever used a phone with a 400 series processor, you know it can be slow. Thanks to an 8nm manufacturing process and new CPU and GPU components, Qualcomm claims that the 480 offers up to 100% better performance than its previous generation Snapdragon 460. We’ll have to see how those claims translate into actual performance, but with support for on-chip high refresh rate displays, there is potential for a responsive experience there.
Other notable improvements include support for Bluetooth 5.1, some WiFi 6 technologies, and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4+ standard, which should translate to faster charging speeds – provided you have it. a compatible AC adapter, of course. There’s also a new on-chip image signal processor that Qualcomm says can capture stills and video from three cameras simultaneously. It’s one of those capabilities that’s cool in theory, but phone makers generally struggle to translate into practical functionality.
The Snapdragon 460 ended up appearing mostly in entry-level phones from Chinese manufacturers like Oppo and OnePlus. And it looks like it will be the case again with the Snapdragon 480. That doesn’t mean we won’t see it making its way to North America. OnePlus recently announced the North N100, which includes the 460 and is en route to the United States and Canada. Either way, Qualcomm says the first list of phones equipped with Snapdragon 480 will be announced within the next two months.