In September 2022, Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1, effectively introducing a new nomenclature to the low-end segment and phasing out the Snapdragon 400 naming convention. Building upon this success, the chipmaker has recently made an announcement regarding the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2, further solidifying their commitment to innovation and advancement in this market segment.
Upon examining the specifications of the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2, one may notice that it doesn’t bring improvements across all categories, and in fact, features a few downgrades. Qualcomm has explicitly stated that the new chipset is designed to cater to more affordable devices compared to the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1. This strategic positioning allows for a wider range of devices to benefit from the capabilities of the Snapdragon 4 series, making it accessible to a broader market segment. While there may be some trade-offs in certain aspects, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 remains a compelling choice for cost-effective smartphone solutions.
The latest CPU configuration of the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 consists of two high-performance cores clocked at 2.2GHz, accompanied by six energy-efficient cores operating at 2.0GHz. This configuration brings about a 10% performance improvement compared to its predecessor, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1. While detailed specifications for the Adreno GPU are not available at the moment, the display support remains unchanged, capable of handling resolutions up to FHD+ at a smooth 120 frames per second (fps).
Although Qualcomm has not explicitly disclosed the foundry responsible for manufacturing the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 chip, it is stated that the newer process node utilized in this chip promises improved overall efficiency. Comparatively, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 chip is fabricated on a 6nm process node, which is known to be manufactured by TSMC. On the other hand, the Snapdragon 480 chip is manufactured on an 8nm process node, which is sourced from Samsung.
The Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 chip introduces several noteworthy improvements, including support for faster RAM and storage options. The new chip utilizes LPDDR5x RAM, offering faster data transfer speeds of up to 3,200MHz. This enhancement contributes to smoother multitasking and improved overall system performance. Additionally, manufacturers have the option to equip phones with UFS 3.1 storage, utilizing a 2-lane configuration. UFS 3.1 provides faster read and write speeds, resulting in quicker app loading times, faster file transfers, and an overall snappier user experience. For more comprehensive details, please refer to the table below:
Snapdragon 4 Gen 1
Snapdragon 4 Gen 2
2x 2.0GHz + 6x 1.8GHz
2x 2.2GHz + 6x 2.0GHz
Yet to be known
RAM & Storage
LPDDR4x 2,133MHz & UFS 2.2
LPDDR5x 3,200MHz & UFS 3.1
Up to FHD+ @ 120fps
Up to FHD+ @ 120fps
up to 108MP
up to 108MP, up to 32MP Zero Shutter Lag
X51 (2.5Gpbs down, 800Mbps up)
X61 (Rel. 16, 2.5Gpbs down, 900Mbps up))
Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.2 (aptX)
Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.1 (aptX)
3.2 Gen 1
3.2 Gen 1
Quick Charge 4+
Quick Charge 4+
In terms of camera hardware, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 chip adopts a dual-ISP (Image Signal Processor), which represents a slight reduction compared to its predecessor. However, it introduces a new capability known as Multi-Camera Temporal Filtering (MCTF), which enhances noise reduction specifically for video recordings. While video capture is still limited to 1080p resolution at 60 frames per second (fps), the inclusion of Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) provides better stability and smoother footage.
The chip supports cameras with resolutions up to 108MP or up to 32MP for Zero Shutter Lag, with the option of 16+16MP for dual cameras. Moreover, autofocus functionality is expected to be faster, contributing to improved focusing speed and accuracy. These camera enhancements aim to deliver enhanced video quality, reduced noise, and improved overall photography capabilities.
Similar to its predecessor, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 chip retains the Quick Charge 4+ feature, which enables fast charging capabilities. Qualcomm claims that the chip can charge a battery to 50% in just 15 minutes, although specific details regarding battery capacity or charging conditions are not provided. The chip supports USB-C connectivity, rated at USB 3.2 Gen 1 speeds, allowing for data transfer rates of up to 5Gbps.
With the adoption of 3GPP Release 16, the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 chip benefits from power-saving enhancements, improved coverage, and enhanced accuracy in cell-based location tracking. These improvements ensure more efficient power consumption, broader network coverage, and more precise location data.
The Snapdragon X61 modem, incorporated in the chip, supports 4×4 MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) technology, allowing for up to 100MHz bandwidth. This results in improved data transfer rates and network performance. The X61 modem can achieve download speeds of up to 2.5Gbps and upload speeds of up to 900Mbps.
Regrettably, the local connectivity features of the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 chip did not receive an upgrade. The chip supports Wi-Fi 5 (ac) at both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands, without support for the newer Wi-Fi 6 (ax) standard. Additionally, Bluetooth connectivity is limited to Bluetooth 5.1, which represents a slight downgrade compared to the newer Bluetooth 5.2 standard. However, the chip still supports aptX technology for audio, ensuring high-quality wireless audio transmission.
The initial batch of smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 chip is anticipated to launch in the second half of 2023, meaning they will be available in the market soon. Qualcomm has explicitly mentioned Redmi and vivo as their partner brands for these devices, indicating their collaboration in bringing Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 smartphones to consumers.
Furthermore, Qualcomm has stated that these devices will be positioned in the affordable price range, with an expected price point below Rs 15,000 or approximately under $200. As we approach the second half of 2023, it won’t be long before we see the arrival of Snapdragon 4 Gen 2 smartphones in the market, offering affordable yet capable devices to users.