Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 210 Brings LTE to Low-End Smartphones and Tablets

by Istvan Fekete on September 11, 2014

Qualcomm is known for dominating the premium and mid-range smartphone space, and MediaTek for taking care of the other end of the spectrum. This, however is about to change: MediaTek launched its premium LTE octa-core chipset recently, and since yesterday, Qualcomm is officially ready to supply LTE chipsets to low-end smartphone and tablet manufacturers.

A quick look at the Chinese smartphone market reveals that 40% of smartphones shipped in 2014 Q3 were powered by MediaTek’s LTE solutions. This compares to Qualcomm’s 27% share of the market, while NVIDIA and Intel each have less than a 1% share, according to the latest data provided by the IDC.

Since emerging markets are driving growth for cheap component manufacturers, Qualcomm has decided to strike back and has announced LTE-enabled SoC, the Snapdragon 210 for the entry-level market. As co-president Cristiano Amon reveals, this Qualcomm chip is aimed at smartphones that cost less than $100 off contract.

Since we are talking about cheap smartphones (less than $100), the low-power Snapdragon 210 is up to their standards, so don’t expect the powerhouse you get with premium smartphones. It is still a complete package, though: it can support up to 1.1 GHz, quad-core Cortex-A7 CPUs, the Adremo 304 GPU, Bluetooth 4.1 and 802.11n Wi-Fi, as well as display resolutions of up to 720 pixels, up to 8 MP cameras (1080 video capture and playback, H.265 codec supported), and QuickCharge 2.0, which, by the way, requires a separate chip.

“The Snapdragon 210 processor will offer integrated, multimode 3G/4G LTE Advanced and LTE Dual SIM for entry-level smartphones and tablets. LTE Advanced means that this processor supports Carrier Aggregation (up to 20MHz)—another first in the 200 tier– to help carriers achieve maximum 4G throughput (up to 150Mbps) via numerous RF band combinations. Dual SIM support is a popular feature in Asia and Europe, and Qualcomm is taking this feature to new heights by adding 4G LTE data support.”

Considering that Qualcomm has only just announced the chip, don’t expect to see it in devices launching in the fourth quarter of 2014. The first devices incorporating the Snapdragon 210 SoC will reportedly hit the market somewhere in the first half of next year.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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