The Snapdragon 690 processor was released by Qualcomm and with it, a major step towards mid-tier 5G smartphones becoming available was taken. These phones may begin coming out in the second half of the year while wireless carriers continue to build out their networks and establish a comprehensive 5G signal.
5G works on a variety of signal ranges coming in three main tiers: low-tier, mid-tier, and high-tier (mmWave). Lower tiered spectrum is capable of sending 5G signal the farthest but there is a severe lack of speed and data transfer that takes place. High-tier 5G allows for incredible download speeds of large amounts of data but is incapable of being sent far distances. Mid-tier is exactly what you would expect, right in the middle, and with its unique ability to offer faster speeds while sending its signal at a decent distance, mid-tier 5G coverage offers a lot of value in the infancy of this technology’s life cycle.
Mid-tier phones like the Moto G8 Plus and the Xiaomi A3 already have Qualcomm’s newest 6-series chips which are doing more than only delivering faster speeds. The processors are assisting phones to achieve better graphics through an improved GPU and a 60% faster rate of rendering graphics than its previous one.
Cultivating demand for these phones may take some time, however, for carriers and manufacturers as there are plenty of sizable obstacles to overcome.
The first being the fact that 5G is starting to become a nationwide resource but it still has a long way to go. Urban areas will see the expansion and benefits of 5G connections first but these efforts have been stifled as well due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting workers and supply chains. The lack of access to 5G may not have the demand as high as companies may hope.
Another obstacle facing mid-tier phones is just that, they are mid-tier. Many consumers are expecting the top of what 5G has to offer which is mmWave spectrum, a tier that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 doesn’t connect to. So, even if you are within a 5G network in a city, you may not ever have access due to the frequency at which wireless providers are transmitting.
The final major barrier mid-tier phones are facing will be the general downturn of the economy due to the coronavirus outbreak. Unemployment is still an issue, many families are saving more rather than spend, and as regulations become more relaxed, cases have spiked in numerous places. There are real concerns about a second wave as the world still grapples with the first. Simply put, the coronavirus may inspire people to save more and spend less on non-essentials.
Watching the last half of the year will be interesting in the world of 5G. What was poised to be a huge year for the technology has seen many ups and downs with another half to go; however, 5G has a long life ahead of it and even with obstacles and delays, taking these steps forward with the advancement in things such as Qualcomm’s processors are pushing us as a society in the right direction.
Source: Business Insider