Anyone planning on buying a new phone in the coming weeks or months will need to seriously consider 5G technology. The new standard means better calls, faster downloads and speedier browsing.
But it’s also only available on certain handsets. For example, Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max doesn’t support 5G. If you wanted to get hold of a 5G enabled handset, you would be looking at a costly purchase somewhere north of £600 for an Android handset like the Samsung Galaxy S20 or the OnePlus 8.
However, smartphone chip maker Qualcomm has just announced it’s bringing 5G tech to a new processor – the Snapdragon 690 – designed for phones costing between £300 and £500. San Diego-based Qualcomm is the biggest supplier of processors for smartphones and the modem chips that connect the phones to wireless data networks.
Phone makers such as HMD Global, the owner of the Nokia phone brand, LG Electronics Inc and Lenovo Group Ltd’s Motorola plan to use the chips, Qualcomm said. As well as 5G, the new Snapdragon 690 will support a few other techy features such as screens with 120Hz refresh rates and 4K HDR video camera capture if the phone’s camera supports it.
While it will take time for handsets to start appearing with the new chip on board, it’s a significant development as it means that 5G will start to hit mass appeal.