The dawn of the 5G era hasn’t exactly taken the world by storm like everyone expected it to. I mean, the Covid-19 pandemic didn’t help of course, but other factors such as the lack of infrastructure and price also played a huge role in the lack of adoption. 5G networks are only available in certain places and even when a certain area is 5G ready, devices that support the technology are limited to those on the higher end of the price spectrum.
That being said though, Qualcomm has taken great strides in making 5G capable smartphones a lot more affordable. Just a few months ago, the company announced that their Snapdragon 6 series of chips will come with 5G capabilities. As if that wasn’t enough, they’ve now announced plans to bring 5G to its Snapdragon 4-series of chipsets early next year.
There’s not much to go on just yet but it looks like Xiaomi are leading the race to become the first company to introduce a 5G ready Snapdragon 4 powered smartphone, with Motorola and OPPO also expressing interest. This essentially means that 5G capabilities on smartphones will no longer be a “premium” feature in the near future.
For now however, it’s just Qualcomm’s Snapdragon series 8 chipsets, which are normally found on flagships and their Snapdragon 7 series, which are normally found in the higher mid range price point that come 5G ready. Once the new 5G-capable Snapdragon 4-series enters the market, you can fully expect sub RM1000 smartphones to be 5G capable.
That being said though, of course the new 4-series chipsets aren’t without their caveats, and the reality is that mmWave tech that most flagship devices use wont be supported. That’s not much of an issue though given that only about 30 percent of “all announced 5G devices” support the high-speed mmWave networks.