Qualcomm has launched the Snapdragon 215 as its newest entry-level mobile platform. The Snapdragon 215 replaces the Snapdragon 212 seen on smartphones like the Nokia 2. The entry-level mobile platform brings major changes to Qualcomm 2 Series. The Snapdragon 215 is now a smartphone platform. It means that the platform might not power devices running KaiOS’ smart feature platform. While the Snapdragon 212 was meant to bring 4G to everyone, the Snapdragon 215 brings 4G VoLTE to even entry-level devices.

The Snapdragon 215 focuses at markets like India, where 4G VoLTE is becoming a new normal. The entry level platform also makes 4G VoLTE possible in a dual SIM, dual standby state. It is also the first 64-bit mobile platform in the Qualcomm 2 Series. This makes the chip up to 50 percent faster than 32-bit mobile platform. It supports 64-bit operating system like Android Go and will be future proof when Google mandates 64-bit apps starting August 1, 2019.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 key features

Th Snapdragon 215, like it’s predecessor, is a quad-core mobile processor. However, there is a major change in the architecture of these cores. The Snapdragon 215 features four ARM Cortex A53 cores clocked at 1.3GHz, and is fabricated using 28nm process. This is a departure from ARM A7 cores used in the Snapdragon 212 mobile platform. Qualcomm says customers will see up to 50 percent increase in performance. It also uses a faster Adreno 308 GPU for better rendering and video playback. PJ Jacobowitz, Staff Manager – Product Marketing at Qualcomm, told BGR India that Adreno 308 brings 28 percent faster graphics rendering over Adreno 304 seen on the Snapdragon 212.

Snapdragon 215 also aims to modernize entry-level devices by offering support for taller aspect ratio. With the new mobile platform, smartphone makers will be able to build devices with screens supporting resolution of 1560×720 pixels, and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Qualcomm says the 2 Series is now designed to bring sharper and larger video to devices that don’t cost a lot of money. It is also the first Qualcomm 2 Series processor to support dual image signal processor.

With Snapdragon 215, Qualcomm has added support for up to 13-megapixel single camera with zero shutter lag. Alternately, OEMs will be able to build dual camera systems with up to two 8-megapixel shooters offering optical zoom. “OEMs can use the camera sensor up to 13-megapixel, and any “Front + Rear” camera configuration (13+13, 13+8, 13+5, etc.) can be achieved in non-concurrent camera operations. For concurrent camera operations, the camera resolution is limited by the size of the ISP,” Mid Deng, Product Manager at Qualcomm, told BGR India via an email. The processor also enables 1080p video recording at 30 frames per second.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 215 connectivity

For connectivity, the Snapdragon 215 integrates X5 LTE Modem with support for LTE Cat 4 and dual carrier aggregation. The chip is capable of up to 150Mbps down and up to 50Mbps up on LTE connection. It also supports Wi-Fi 802.11ac, USB 2.0, Bluetooth 4.2 and Near Field Communications (NFC). Qualcomm wants to make NFC payments normal on Android with the entry-level Snapdragon 215 mobile platform. It also supports Quick Charge 1.0 capable of charging at 10W with 5V/2A adapter. Other features include support for LTE broadcast, HD Voice and Ultra HD Voice (EVS) and Wi-Fi calling. It also integrates Hexagon DSP capable of low power audio and sensor processing.

The Snapdragon 215 mobile platform debuts at a time when existence of Qualcomm 2 Series and Qualcomm 4 Series have come under serious threat. Increasingly, smartphone makers are making the leap towards more powerful Qualcomm 6 Series for their mobile devices. Even entry-level devices like the Redmi 7A use Snapdragon 439 mobile platform. Qualcomm says Snapdragon 215 will allow “OEMs to offer devices to attract first-time smartphone buyers.” Smartphone maker like HMD Global might adopt Snapdragon 215 for its next Android Go device. Jacobowitz adds that Snapdragon 215 is “not necessarily limited to Android Go only and can be equipped with standard Android edition to address the needs for ultra low cost smartphones.”