One of the best manufacturers of mobile chipsets in the world, Qualcomm, has many options for almost all segments. First, we have the 400 series of entry-level, then the series 600 and 700 for the mid-range market and for the high-end the 800 series is the one we see in almost all flagships. Today we will compare two chipsets of the 600 series against the flagship SoC of last year: Snapdragon 665 vs Snapdragon 845 vs Snapdragon 670.
The most popular chipset of the Snapdragon 600 series is the Snapdragon 660, which was launched in August 2017. But shortly after we met the successor Snapdragon 665, from which we all expect many improvements. Also, to further refresh the series, in September last year, Qualcomm surprised us with the Snapdragon 670 as a new offer and update. In contrast, in 2018 the Snapdragon 845 was launched as the company’s flagship, being the most powerful processor of the time. For this reason, since then a large number of smartphones, from different manufacturers, have been equipped with this SoC. What similarities and differences are between these 3 giants? Get ready to find out.
The Snapdragon 665 uses the same octa-core Kryo 260 CPU as the Snapdragon 660 but with lower clock speed. The Kryo 260 is made up of 4 main Cortex-A73 cores at 2.0 GHz and 4 secondary cores Cortex-A5D3 with a maximum speed of 1.7 GHz. The Snapdragon 665 is based on 11nm manufacturing process technology, which makes it more efficient in energy. The Snapdragon 670 is a Kryo 360 octa-core CPU. The configuration is 2-core principles based on ARM Cortex-A75 with a clock speed of 2.0GHB and 6 secondary cores based on Cortex-A55 with a maximum speed of 1.7GHz.
Now let’s review last year’s flagship. The Snapdragon 845 is manufactured in a process technology of 10nm and has a custom octa-core CPU Kryo 385. This CPU distributes its eight cores in two groups, power in the main and energy savings in the secondary. So, we have 4 Cortex-A75 cores at a primary clock speed of 2.8GHz and 4 Cortex-A55 cores at a secondary clock speed of 1.8GHz.
Although the manufacturing process of the Snapdragon 670 and the 845 are based on the 10 nm LPP node. The 10nm node of the Snapdragon 845 is 2nd generation, which means that the 845 will offer slightly better power efficiency than the 670 and 665. Likewise, the superb architecture of the Kryo 385 CPU makes the Snapdragon Dragon 845 more powerful with respect to Snapdragon 665 and 670.
In the graphic department, the Snapdragon 665 has an Adreno 610 GPU GPU and the Snapdragon 670 has an Adreno 615 GPU. Although this two have a great graphic performance, the Snapdragon 845 is much better in this category, having equipped an Adreno 630 GPU 730MHz GPU, which is the second-best GPU of the company so far, being a leader in the industry. The top Qualcomm GPU is Adreno 640, which was introduced in Snapdragon 855.
The Snapdragon 665 has API Support of OpenCL 2.0 Full, OpenGL ES 3.2, Vulkan 1.1 and DX12. While the Snapdragon 845 also features an API Support of Vulkan 1.1, OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0 full and DX12.
The Snapdragon 665 is compatible with Full HD + screens up to 2520 x 1080 pixels and max external display up to 1080p. While the Snapdragon 845 can support 4K Ultra HD Display that translates to max external display of 4K Ultra HD and UI FPS up to 60 FPS. Finally, the Snapdragon 670 has support for Full HD + screens with a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels but with a max external display 4K Ultra HD.
The Snapdragon 845 has an ISP Spectra 280 14-bit 2x processor. This allows it to support a dual camera of up to 16MP at 60FPS, 32MP at 30FPS, 48MP with the use of MFNR and 192MP without any manipulation. Now let’s move on to the Snapdragon 665, which has an ISP Spectra 165 equally of 14 bits 2x. It supports up to 16MP and 25MP dual cameras in a single camera. Qualcomm has also added the unique 48MP camera sensor with the use of MFNR.
Now, the Snapdragon 670 has an ISP Spectra 250 processor, also 14 bits. This is compatible with dual 16MP cameras, single 25MP camera and support for the single 48MP camera sensor with the use of MFNR. It can also support the 192MP single camera sensor.
The Spectra 280 is quite advanced with respect to the Spectra 165 and the 250. It has almost all the photography functions provided by Qualcomm with slow-motion video capture of up to 720p at 240FPS. Even so, between the Spectra 280 and 250, there is not much difference and the performance depends on the implementation of the camera of the smartphone manufacturer.
To handle all AI-related tasks, the Snapdragon 845 and the Snapdragon 670 have a third-generation Hexagon 685 DSP AI engine that performs well. The Snapdragon 665 was launched in 2019, so it has a small update in this section with the Hexagon 686 DSP engine, which is an updated version of the Hexagon 685. It has a Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX) for images and advanced computing. In general, either of these two Hexagon motors, together with an Adreno GPU and a Kryo CPU offer both scene and voice recognition. So in terms of AI features, you can choose any of the three SoCs.
In the connectivity department, the Snapdragon 670 has an X12 LTE modem that can provide a download speed of 600Mbps by using the download speed of LTE Cat.12 and 150Mbps upload speed with the use of LTE Cat. 13. Other options such as dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.1 and type C, NFC, GPS are also present. The Snapdragon 665 also has an X12 LTE modem. The specifications are the same as the Snapdragon 670: download speed of up to 600Mbps with LTE Cat. 12 and 150Mbps upload speed with LTE Cat. 13.
On the other hand, the Snapdragon 845 offers more advanced specifications with the X20 LTE modem. For download uses LTE Cat. 18 that offers speeds of up to 1.2Gbps and for load makes use of LTE Cat. 13 with speeds of 150Mbps. It also has dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, USB 3.1 and type C, NFC, GPS, and RF. As we can see the X20 LTE modem is very powerful, so it is very easy to understand Snapdragon 845 has a wide range of connectivity.
The 3 sets of chips have a different CPU and GPU architecture, which are evidently led by the Snapdragon 845. We could say that the only segment where the Snapdragon 665 leads is in the AI processing capacity. As we have been saying repeatedly, the Snapdragon 845 is the flagship processor of last year, so it has a great impact and is not yet obsolete. It is almost clear that Snapdragon 845 continues to be a powerful SOC.