Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 215: Brings trendy features to the entry-level smartphones

Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 chipset
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Did you know Qualcomm had 200-series chipsets? Well, they do, but are long forgotten. These Snapdragon 200-series chipsets are for entry level smartphones. But with the mid-range market expanding rapidly, the company was focusing on its Snapdragon 600 and 700-series processors. And so, after 4 years , Qualcomm announced another Snapdragon 200-chipset, the Snapdragon 215. It’s a successor to the Snapdragon 212, launched back in 2015.

So, yes, the Snapdragon 215 surely took a considerable amount of time. After such a long time, we expect significant upgrades. And it actually does.

Snapdragon 215 Overview

While the older SD212 had a 32-bit Cortex-A7 processor, the new SD215 comes with 64-bit Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 1.3 GHz. With this switch, Qualcomm promises a steep 50% boost in performance.

On to the graphics front, Qualcomm embedded the Adreno 308 GPU. It’s the same which is also employed by the SD 425, which was targeted at budget and lower-midrange phones at its launch. With that GPU, the SD215 will deliver a 28% bump in graphics performance.

And since multiple camera setups are a trend even on low-end phones, there’s a dual ISP in the Snapdragon 215 as well. This enables it unleash new possibilities in the entry-level camera phones, too. With the new Image Signal Processor on board, the chip can handle a single 13MP camera module, or two 8MP camera modules. This means the upcoming entry-level phones might be able to capture portrait images – at hardware level. Another notable upgrade on the optics department has to be its ability to record 1080p videos. The older SD212 could only record up to 720p.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 chipset first things

On the display side, it’s the same old story, though. The chip supports a maximum display resolution of 720p. But unlike the older SD212, which merely supports the 16:9 aspect ratio, this one can go up to 19.5:9.

Furthermore, the company managed to improve connectivity as well. The new chip comes with the support for Wi-Fi 5 (Wi-Fi ac) and Bluetooth 4.2. There is also the inclusion of NFC. That means even the upcoming entry-level devices will support the Android Pay feature. In addition, with VoLTE and EVS Voice calls (“Ultra HD Voice Calls”) support, the call quality can be expected to improve.

There surely are a lot of advancements. But even after all these years, some things haven’t changed. The first thing is the modem on this SoC. It still houses the X5 LTE modem (150/50 Mbps). Also, memory support is the same, too – LPDDR3 RAM, eMMC 4.5 built-in storage and UHS-I micro SD cards.

The Snapdragon 215 also promises a better battery life. Qualcomm has incorporated Hexagon digital signal processor (DSP), with which, users can get 10+ hours of video playback, 20+ hours of voice calls or days of music playback. However, the new chip only offers Quick Charge 1.0. The Snapdragon 212 used to support Quick Charge 2.0 charge, which used to accept power injection up to 18-watts. But the newbie can only handle power up to 10-watts. This is an odd step down, because after so much improvements, why compromise here, though?

Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 VS Snapdragon 212

Snapdragon 215 Snapdragon 212
Fabrication 28nm 28nm
CPU 4x Cortex-A53 (64-bit, 50% faster) 4x Cortex-A7 (32-bit)
GPU Adreno 308 (28% faster) Adreno 304
Modem X5 (150/50Mbps) X5 (150/50Mbps)
Camera 13MP or dual 8MP, 1080p video 8MP, 720p video
Display 1560x720px 1280x720px
Charging Quick Charge 1 Quick Charge 2
Connectivity Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1