Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 210 brings LTE to sub-$100 phones

Over the last year or so, we’ve seen some seriously tempting mid-range smartphones emerge from the pack (the Moto G, to name just one). However, thanks to a new chip from Qualcomm, entry-level could be the hot new segment. The company today introduced the Snapdragon 210, a new SoC that supports “LTE for everyone.”

The Snapdragon 210 is a quad-core chip manufactured on the 28nm process and boasts a max clock speed of 1.1 GHz.  The hero feature here is obviously the aforementioned support for LTE. Specifically, the 210’s integrated Cat.4 chip supports multi-mode 3G/4G at speeds of up to 150 Mbps. It also brings support for dual-SIM LTE. Modem aside, the 210 is Qualcomm’s first SoC to utilize the company’s Adreno 304 GPU and supports NFC, an 8MP camera, a 720p resolution display, and Bluetooth 4.1.

Qualcomm is focusing on LTE, audio quality, and battery efficiency with the 210 but hardware this chip is capable of powering has the potential to change the face of entry-level smartphones forever. Take the Moto E, for example. Released earlier this year, the device is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 200 and boasts 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of internal storage, a 960×540 display, and a 5MP camera. Canadians get screwed on the cost of the Moto E ($179 at launch) but even south of the border it was still $129 when it came out earlier this year.

If device manufacturers can produce a 4G phone with an 8MP camera, a 720p display, Bluetooth 4.0, decent battery life, and price that sits at or under $100, they could be onto a winner.