Android Tablets with 3G/4G: The Newest and Most Popular Chipsets

by Garry Doran

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This January I brought you an article reviewing and comparing some of the most popular chipsets for telecom tablets. These chipsets included:

  • MT6572
  • MT8312
  • SC7731
  • MT8382
  • MT8735
  • MSM8916

This article will update on the same topic and identify new chipsets that have since become available or have become more popular.

Of the chipsets above the SC7731, MT8735, MSM8916 are still quiet popular choices for telecom tablets.

MT6572 and MT8312 are both dual core chipsets that started production in 2013 and have become outdated as new apps require better performance and newer chipsets have come down in cost.

While they are still currently available, the delivery time can take up to 70 days with full payment required in advance as the IC companies are unlikely to be able to sell off these chips if the deal falls through.

Below is a table comparing some of the more popular current chipsets:

CPU TypeARM Cortex-A7ARM Cortex-A7ARM Cortex-A7
Maximum Frequency1.3 GHz1.5 GHz1.1 GHz
GPUMali-400Mali-400Adreno 304
Maximum Screen Resolution1280 x 8001280 x 8001280 x 800
Maximum Camera Res.8MP8MP13MP
Maximum Internal Memory/ Storage







Maximum External Storage32GB32GB32GB
Mobile Broadband SignalsUMTS, EDGE, HSPA+ R8,  TD-SCDMA,




All 3 of these new chipsets are quad core chipsets and were released in 2015.

Mediateks MT8321

Mediateks MT8321 joins Spreadtrums SC7731 in being the low cost popular chipset choice for 3G tablets. These chipsets are very similar in performance and ability however one notable difference is that MT8321 can support Bluetooth 4.0 whereas SC7731 can only support Bluetooth 2.1. Both of these options can be found in both smartphones and tablets.

MT8735 and MSM8916

The two LTE chipsets that were reviewed in January’s article (MT8735 and MSM8916) are still available but now have some extra competition coming from SC9832 and MSM8909.


MSM8909 has already been reviewed in my smartphone chipset article last February. It has since become a more popular option for tablets and can be found in the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3.

Spreadtrum’s SC9832

Spreadtrum’s SC9832 is a lower end LTE chipset option compared to the others. The maximum camera resolution it supports is slightly lower (8MP vs 13MP) while it’s GPU (Mali 400) is similar to the MSM8909 (Adreno 304) while being slightly lower than the MT8735 and MSM8916 which use Mali T720 and Adreno 306 respectively.

Telecom Tablet vs Smartphone

When does a smartphone become a telecom tablet or visa versa. The term that has been used for the device that is “too big to be a smartphone” is a Phablet.

As is seen in some of my previous chipset articles some of the chipsets that are used in smartphones are also used in telecom tablets. So what’s the difference?

Image source: Forrester Research

The image above shows us a good indication of where tablets and smartphones are used to access the internet. It shows that the living room is the only area where more people use a tablet to access the internet than a smartphone.

The tablet comes closer to the smartphone in the home than anywhere else. Considering that most homes have Wifi, the real need for the telecom function in tablets are for more specific niche markets.

I hope you found this article useful. If you have a project in mind or one that you are working on and need help to identify a suitable chipset, or if you have any questions about a particular chipset, please feel free to get in touch and we will do our best to help.
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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