New Qualcomm Snapdragon 4-Series chips mean cheaper 5G phones in 2021


News that the next round of Qualcomm’s 4-Series Snapdragon chips will support 5G means that in 2021 more people than ever will be able to leverage this next-generation networking technology.

Qualcomm has established itself as the go-to smartphone chip-maker and its SoC’s can already be found across a range of price points – with this announcement, the company continues to democratise 5G technology amongst a wider audience.

5G, as one of the most prominent new mobile technologies, has already started to trickle down from the company’s recent flagship-class Snapdragon 8-Series chips, to its 7-Series (starting with the Snapdragon 765) and most-recently 6-Series, with the launch of the Snapdragon 690.

The announcement doesn’t detail how 2021’s Snapdragon 4-Series will implement 5G; whether the entire lineup will feature the technology without question or if it’ll just be limited to a subset of specific models.

We also don’t yet know if established sub-6 5G technology will be accompanied by more advanced and mmWave connectivity, which would be an interesting inclusion, considering the more affordable devices (think sub-£250) Snapdragon 4-Series chips usually reside in.

Related: Best cheap 5G phones 2020

While the likes of the top-tier Snapdragon 865 and 865+ still rely on a standalone 5G modem, Qualcomm has managed to integrate the component into the makeup of its more affordable chips in both the 7-Series and 6-Series. As such, it’s assumed that the same will be true of the 4-Series, which would delivery greater power efficiency compared to using a separate modem module.

Despite a lack of fine detail about regarding the 2021 4-Series’ capabilities, established phone makers in Motorola, Oppo and Xiaomi – all of whom have used previous generations of 4-Series chips in their devices – have stated that they’ll be bringing handsets to market using this new affordable 5G platform, once it’s available.

Qualcomm says it will reveal more about its 5G-capable Series 4 Snapdragon chips in the first quarter of 2021.

Read next: Best 5G phones 2020


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