Android Smartphone: Review of the Most Popular Chipsets

by Garry Doran


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In February 2016 I brought you an article reviewing and comparing some of the most popular smartphone chipsets.


These chipsets included:


Entry Level

Mid- Range

High End

MT6580

MSM8909

MT6592

SC7731

MT6735

MT6753

MT6572

MSM8926

MT6755

*MT –Mediatek, MSM – Qualcomm, SC - Spreadtrum


This article will give you an update on the same topic and identify some new chipsets that have since become available and popular.


Of the above chipsets the MT6572, which had been released in 2013, has stopped production. That leaves the MT6580 and SC7731 as the more popular options left for 3G smartphones.


The MSM8909 was reviewed in the previous smartphone chipset review in February as well as last month’s telecom tablet chipset article. While it is still available for smartphones it has become more accessible for use in Telecom tablets rather than smartphones.


The newcomers to the list of popular mobile phone chipsets include Mediatek’s MT6737 and Spreadtrum’s SC9832 and SC9860GV. Below is a table that compares some of the key features of these new entrants in the market..




MT6737

SC9832

SC9860GV*

Released

2016

2015

2016

Cores

4

4

8

CPU Type

ARM Cortex-A53

ARM Cortex-A7

ARM Cortex-A53

Maximum Frequency

1.4 GHz

1.2GHz

2GHz

GPU

ARM Mali-T720 MP2

ARM Mali-400 MP2

ARM Mali-T880 MP4

Maximum Resolution

1920 x 1080

1280 x 800

2560 x 1600

Maximum Camera Resolution

13MP

8MP

26MP (13MP dual camera)

Maximum Internal Memory/ Storage

3GB RAM

64GB ROM

2GB RAM

32GB ROM

6GB RAM

64GB ROM

Mobile Broadband Signals

CDMA2000,  EDGE,  FDD / TDD LTE,  HSPA +,  TD-SCDMA

TD-LTE / FDD LTE / TD-SCDMA / WCDMA / EDGE

TD-LTE / FDD LTE / TD-SCDMA / WCDMA / EDGE

LTE

*SC8960GV is targeted towards domestic Chinese customers but is still accessible to all.



MT6737

The MT6737 delivers performance to support mid-range devices but also has features making it suitable for low cost entry level 4G devices. It achieves this versatility by minimizing BOM and, specifically, memory cost as it’s compatible with Android M which uses as little as 512MB DDR memory.


This is because there are a few variant of this chip including:

  • MT6737A - High level specs
  • MT6737T - High level specs
  • MT6737P - Medium level specs
  • MT6737M - Low level specs

A and T can both support 13MP camera resolution and full HD screen’s (1980x1080) while P and M are limited to 8MP and 5MP camera resolutions, respectively, and a standard HD screen (1280x720).


The performance of the MT6737 is 10%-20% better than that of the MT6735 which was reviewed in the previous smartphone chipsets article.


The MT6735 was popular in 2015 and continued that into 2016 as it’s the marquee budget SoC but it’s now positioned to take a backseat behind the MT6737.


In addition to the increased performance, the MT6737 can also save up to 25% battery power in comparison to the MT6735 with its new algorithm saving 52% idle power consumption.


The MT6737 can be found in a number or HomTom’s smartphones including the HT17 Pro.



Spreadtrum SC9832 and SC9860GV

Spreadtrum contributes two of the three chipsets reviewed in this article: SC9832 and SC9860GV.


The SC9832 provides a solution for mid-range smartphones as it is a cost effective option for 4G devices. It is an improved version of SC9830A (improved camera and connectivity) which was found in some tier 1 brands devices such as the Samsung Galaxy J3 and Samsung Z2 .


SC9832 has recently (Dec 2016) been adopted by Algerian cellphone brand Condor and will provide North African users with a high performance LTE solution.


SC9860GV targets the high end domestic market with its octa core ARM A53 64 bits CPU and dual core Mali T880 GPU.


Compared to other high-end chipsets reviewed in February’s article this chipset represents improvements in maximum screen resolution (2560 x 1600) and maximum camera resolution (Up to 26MP).


SC9860GV is not planned to support Android 7 so it has been targeted at the Chinese market however it is still available for use in devices sold overseas. Some of the large Chinese domestic companies have their own ROM or OS so not supporting Android 7 is not as much of an issue for these.  


Some of the top performing chipsets are currently only available to the top tier international brands but in time will become available to regional brands. When they do Hatch will report them to you and be able to design products around them.


If you have any questions on any of the above or any other chipsets please feel free to get in touch. If there is any other topic that you would like to learn more about please let me know.

As usual -> Hope this helps and that you enjoy!
Garry @ Hatch

PS: If there is any topic you'd like me to cover just send me an email or a tweet.

 

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