Today Qualcomm announces a new entry to the Snapdragon lineup with the first 700-series SoC platform. The Snapdragon 710 is a direct successor to the Snapdragon 660 but comes with a new branding more worthy of the increased performance characteristics of the SoC. The higher-end 600 series SoCs such as the Snapdragon 650 and 660 were among the first non-flagship SoCs that used big CPU cores, which brought a significant jump in terms of performance to the mid-range.

While we haven’t seen that many design wins with the Snapdragon 650/660’s, they are increasingly becoming popular among Chinese vendors for example. The Snapdragon 710 fixes this branding issue of having quite capable SoCs with large CPU cores grouped together as the 700 series, while the lower tiered SoCs such as the Snapdragon 625 or 635 remain in the 600 series .

Qualcomm Snapdragon Upper Mid-Range SoCs
SoC Snapdragon 710 Snapdragon 660
CPU 2x Kryo 360 (CA75)
@ 2.2GHz 
6x Kryo 360 (CA55)
@ 1.7GHz
4x Kryo 260 (CA73)
@ 2.2GHz
4x Kryo 260 (CA53)
@ 1.8GHz
GPU Adreno 616 Adreno 512
DSP Hexagon 685  Hexagon 680 
Spectra 250 ISP
32MP single / 20MP dual
Spectra 160 ISP
Memory 2x 16-bit @ 1866MHz

1MB? system cache
2x 16-bit @ 1866MHz
Integrated Modem Snapdragon X15 LTE
(Category 15/13)
DL = 800Mbps
3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM
UL = 150Mbps
2x20MHz CA, 64-QAM
Snapdragon X12 LTE
(Category 12/13)
DL = 600Mbps
3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM
UL = 150Mbps
2x20MHz CA, 64-QAM
2160p30, 1080p120
H.264 & H.265

10-bit HDR pipelines
2160p30, 1080p120
H.264 & H.265
Mfc. Process 10nm LPP 14nm LPP

The big IP blocks found on the Snapdragon 710 are very much derivatives of what’s found on the flagship Snapdragon 845. On the CPU side we see the same 2.2GHz maximum clock on the big cores, but the Kryo 360 Cortex-A75 based CPUs are microarchitectural upgrade over last year’s A73 based Kryo 260. The little cores are also based on the newer Cortex-A55’s and are clocked at up to 1.7GHz. The performance improvements are quoted as an overall 20% uplift in SPECint2000 and 25% faster performance in Octane and Kraken versus the SD660.

The SoC now also uses the new system cache first introduced in the Snapdragon 845 – although I’m expecting a smaller, yet unconfirmed 1MB size in the SD710.

GPU-wise, this is also Qualcomm’s first mid-range SoC sporting the new 600 series Adreno. As usual we don’t have too much information about the Adreno 616 other than an expected frequency of around 750MHz. The performance benefits on the GPU are quoted at up to 35% higher performance versus the Adreno 512 in the SD660.

In terms of connectivity the new SoC implements an X15 modem which is capable of UE Category 15 in the downstream with up to 800Mbps in 3x carrier aggregation and up to UE Category 7 in the upload with up to 2x CA. The new chipset now also offers 2x2 802.11ac digital backend for WiFi – however it’ll still need an external discrete analog RF frontend.

Where the Snapdragon 710 is claimed to shine though is power efficiency. The chipset is manufactured on the Samsung's leading edge 10nm LPP node – same as the Snapdragon 845. The fact that Qualcomm is targeting a leading edge node might be a sign of the where 700-series is headed and what it’s aiming for.

It’s not only on the CPU and on the manufacturing node where the 710 borrows features from the 845- the Hexagon DSP is of the same generation and the Spectra 250 ISP also inherits most of the new features found in the flagship SoC which should greatly improve image processing for mid-range devices. The camera and display pipelines are fully 10-bit capable so it can handle HDR capture and display.

Overall the Snapdragon 710 really does seem like a toned down 845 variant which actually balances out some important aspects. It’s especially good to see the mid-range being pushed into the 10nm manufacturing node as that will give a generation power efficiency jump for the relevant devices.

The Snapdragon 710 platform is available today and Qualcomm expects consumer devices to be launched in this second quarter – meaning we’ll likely to see some vendor announcements around Computex.

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  • SirPerro - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    How so? Moto G series, Xiaomi A1, Nokia 6 etc...
  • bug77 - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    All released at least two years after SD625 was released.
  • agoyal - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    Will this power the Goggle’s rumoured mid range phone??
  • Valantar - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    This is quite interesting. Finally there are true mid-range mobile chips showing up that aren't "low end but with a useless amount of cores". I would very much like to see this implemented in "premium" (as opposed to "flagship") models going forward. Seeing how I don't game on my phone (ugh, touch controls!), I don't need the GPU power, and the CPU part here looks excellent. My Oneplus 3T won't need replacing for a while still, but id love for there to be options of this caliber around when it does.
  • Death666Angel - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    The Snapdragon 65x, 636, 660 were all already big core / little core mid range SoCs. This is just a marketing rebranding. Which I appreciate, since the 600-series chips are not very consistent in their performance behaviour to numbering scheme, even if others disagree. The problem so far for me was that they often cost as much as last years flagships on sale, which meant that I was better off looking for those deals than getting a new 652 phone.
  • serendip - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    A phone with a 652 would be almost as fast yet more efficient than last year's flagship. I've given up on flagships because of the small batteries and higher prices compared to midrangers. I don't need a dual bokeh camera but I do need 2-day battery life.
  • Death666Angel - Friday, May 25, 2018 - link

    Yes, I know, Antutu isn't great, but it's the thing I found first:
    S652 CPU Score: 79636 | GPU Score: 17365
    S829 CPU Score: 136383 | GPU Score: 55098
    Sure, there might be some optimization differences and whatnot, but not enough to make up that massive difference. And that is S652 vs the flagship SoC from 2 years ago. I doubt the efficiency will be in its favor, considering S652 is 28nm and 820 is 14nm.
    I got my HTC U Ultra with a S821 and 64GB for 222€ on sale a few weeks ago brand new. Cheapest S6xx smartphone is Redmi Note 3 Pro for 130€ (2GB RAM / 16GB ROM). After that it is 200€+ for S6xx A72+ phones and it's 200€+ for S820/821/835 phones.
    If you want 2 day battery life that is fine and you will likely get that from niche phones with large batteries more so than from all S650/652/660 phones. But don't spread such nonsense, please.
  • serendip - Saturday, May 26, 2018 - link

    For average daily usage like web surfing and for quick app loading, the SD652/660 are almost as fast as the 835. If you're gaming or you have a benchmark fetish, then an 835/845 will always be faster.

    I'm using a SD650 phone with a 4800 mAh battery and it easily lasts for 2 days with heavy usage. You can't get an SD835/845 phone with a huge battery and long runtime, they simply don't exist.
  • syxbit - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    There are errors all over this article. AnandTech has really gone down hill.
  • Ryan Smith - Thursday, May 24, 2018 - link

    We always strive for technical accuracy here. What's wrong, so that we may fix it?

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