Qualcomm is on a tear. Its Snapdragon S4 processors, in both dual- and quad-core versions, are proliferating through the mobile phone industry like wildfire.
But it’s mainly the high-end MSM8960 and APQ8064 variants we’ve seen, which sport LTE compatibility and fast-as-heck 1.5Ghz speeds. Today, Qualcomm is introducing a new line of lower-speed quad-core chips dubbed the MSM8225Q and MSM8625Q.
They’re part of the S4 “Play” line, which is considered entry-level in the scheme of things. While still significantly faster than various legacy S2 and S3 chips, they don’t have the same memory bandwidth, nor the LTE support, of their more expensive peers. They’re not the same Krait architecture as the S4 Plus and S4 Pro line, instead being based on the far less-advanced ARM Cortex-A5 design.
These chips will support 720p displays and 720p video encoding and decoding, so devices with these chips will be somewhat limited in their camera capabilities. To save die space (and cost), the chips will not have WiFi or Bluetooth support on-board; instead, they will have to be added via a separate chip. The chips will natively support high-speed 3G speeds, though.
The MSM8225Q and MSM8625Q will be available to the public starting in first quarter 2013, so expect your next entry-level phone to be capable of a lot more than you thought.