Expect 5G smartphones for all budgets in 2021

Spread the word, 5G smartphones look set to go mainstream in 2021. Qualcomm has just unveiled a new System on Chip () compatible with the latest cellular standard that’s less powerful, but also less costly than previous chips. It’s destined to equip entry-level smartphones from this year. In other words, it will soon no longer be necessary to spend a small fortune to get your hands on a 5G-compatible mobile.

The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G is an SoC that’s destined for a very wide range of smartphones, including the most affordable models. The idea is that manufacturers can make massive use of the chip in numerous models, starting with entry-level devices, to put 5G in the hands of the public at large. In 2021, it should be possible to get a 5G-compatible smartphone for less than €200 (around $250 or P12,000).

The first 5G-compatible smartphones, which went on sale early in 2020 were high-end devices. Made by Samsung, Xiaomi and Oppo, they were all equipped with the power-packed Snapdragon 865 SoC. A little later in the year, a few more midrange models started to appear, running a Snapdragon 690 SoC.

In 2021, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G promises to roll out on a mass scale. It succeeds the Snapdragon 460 and promises twice the power. It also brings support for displays with an image refresh rate of up to 120 Hertz in full HD (1080p) resolution, as well as Wi-Fi 6 compatibility.

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