Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 480 5G SoC is definitely a big step towards affordable 5G smartphones. The SoC has opened new possibilities and has increased the chances of possibility to make a 5G phone under $150. The Snapdragon 480 is the latest installation info the Snapdragon 4 series chips and has been launched as the successor of the Snapdragon 460 SoC. The Snapdragon 460 SoC was seen in many smartphones but the new SD 480 has been packed with a huge performance leap and is definitely going to replace the SD 460 from the market.

In this particular article, I am going to compare the Snapdragon 480 SoC and we will find out how much improved this new SoC is. Does this chip also has something else better other than the 5G connectivity or not. Let’s find out.

Snapdragon 480 VS 460

Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Series SoCs
SoCSnapdragon 460Snapdragon 480
CPU4x Kryo 240 (CA73)
@ 1.8GHz4x Kryo 240 (CA53)
@ 1.8GHz
2x Cortex-A76
@ 2.0GHz
6x Cortex-A55
@ 1.8GHz
GPUAdreno 610Adreno 619
DSPHexagon 683Hexagon 686
Spectra 340

36MP single
22MP dual

Spectra 345

64MP single
25+13MP dual
13MP triple

H.264 & H.265
Memory2x 16-bit @ 1866MHz
2x 16-bit @ 2133MHz
Integrated ModemSnapdragon X11 LTE
(Cat 12/13)DL = 390Mbps
2x20MHz CA, 256-QAMUL = 150Mbps
2x20MHz CA, 64-QAM
Snapdragon X51

DL = 800Mbps
UL = 210Mbps

sub-6 + mmWave
(100 + 200MHz)

DL = 2500Mbps
UL = 660Mbps

Mfc. Process11nm LPP8nm LPP


Fabrication & CPU Performance

The fabrication of the Snapdragon 480 SoC has been improved to a significant amount and now it has Samsung’s new 8nm LPP fabrication. This is definitely a nice upgrade over the 11nm fabrication of the SD 460.

Since these SoCs are from the Snapdragon 4 series and are not made for power-hungry tasks, the further enhanced fabrication makes the chip efficiency even better.

Coming to the CPU segment, the Snapdragon 480 has a 2+6 cores distribution, having Cortex-A76 and A55 cores at 2.0GHz and 1.8GHz respectively. The SoC has got a pretty huge upgrade from the A73 cores that were used in the Snapdragon 460. Unlike SD 480, the 460 has a 4+4 distribution of cores where 4 are A73 performance cores and 4 are A55 efficiency cores at 1.8GHz.

The shift from A73 to A76 has the potential to provide the SD 480 a huge upgrade in the single-threaded performance. However, the 2+6 distribution of cores can limit the boost of multi-threaded performance. But still, the performance upgrades are huge and can be experienced in practical use easily.

GPU & Gaming

The GPU of the Snapdragon 480 promises a 100% boost in the GPU performance over its predecessor i.e. Snapdragon 460. The SD 480 comes with the new Adreno 619 GPU whereas the SD 460 is with the Adreno 610. This upgrade in the GPU hardware is definitely of more than a generation and getting a two times boost in gaming performance can be a real thing for sure.

AI, Camera & Memory

The RAM support of the chip is up to 16GB in a dual-channel manner. However, the RAM frequency support is boosted to 2133MHz from 1866MHz.

Coming to the AI performance, Qualcomm says that the new Snapdragon 480 has got a performance boost of 70% over its predecessor. The SD 480 comes with a new Hexagon 686 DSP that has been coupled with Vector and Tensor extensions. On the contrary, the Snapdragon 460 has the Hexagon 683 DSP.

The camera department has also got a decent upgrade. This time Qualcomm has embedded its new triple-ISP hardware into the SD 480. It has Spectra 485 ISP which has triple-ISP hardware. The camera support of 64MP in a single module, 25+13P in dual-module, and 13+13+13MP in the triple module is support in this SoC.

Looking towards the SD 486 SoC, there is the Spectra 480 ISP which is a dual ISP and supports up to 36MP single and 22+22MP dual modules.

The video recording is as it is. Both the SOCs offers up to 1080p video at 60fps in H.264 and H.265 codecs.

5G Connectivity

It is obvious that the Snapdragon 460 is not a 5G SoC, hence no need to talk about that. But its LTE connectivity consists of an X11 LTE modem from Qualcomm. This provides LTE speeds of 390Mbps and 150Mbps in D/L and U/L respectively.

The SD 480, being a 5G SoC, comes with a decently upgraded multimode 5G modem. its LTE speeds are 800Mbps and 210Mbps in D/L and U/L. Whereas the 5G speeds of mmWave and Sub-6 5G throughput are 2.5Gbps and 660Mbps in D/L and U/L respectively.

It is also commendable that even though SD 480 is an entry-level 5G SoC, it has both Sub-6 and mmWave 5G. Because many of the mid-range 5G SoCs ditches the mmWave 5G and goes only with Sub-6 GHz 5G connection to make keep the chip under budget.

Conclusion: Snapdragon 480 VS 460 – Which is better?

There is no doubt that the Snapdragon 480 is a very powerful entry-level SoC that also comes with 5G connectivity. The Snapdragon 460 is its predecessor and is low in performance than the Snapdragon 480. The 2021’s one of the most important techs is 5G and since the Snapdragon 480 is matching the footsteps of this technology, the SD 480 chip is always better than the SD 460.


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