Modern smartphones are indistinguishable from each other. They are similar not only externally, but also internally. So, the vast majority of low-cost models in 2022 are based on the Snapdragon 680 processor. Therefore, all other things being equal, they demonstrate similar autonomy and performance, and also take approximately the same pictures. But what kind of beast is this Snapdragon 680 , and is it really better than competing platforms from MediaTek? We will try to answer these and other questions in a simple language without complex terms.

Smartphones on Snapdragon 680

Snapdragon 680 throttling terribly

To appreciate the popularity of the Qualcomm chipset, just look at the list of manufacturers who choose it for their devices. For example, the following smartphones run on the Snapdragon 680 processor :

  • HONOR X8;
  • realme 9;
  • realme 9i;
  • Redmi 10C;
  • Redmi Note 10;
  • Samsung Galaxy A23;
  • vivo T1 and others.

In total, the list of smartphones based on the Snapdragon 680 includes over 50 models from different manufacturers. This processor is chosen by both well-known brands like Samsung and the Chinese from Moto, who have long disappeared from the radar, and the cost of devices based on this chipset ranges from $250 to $500. That is, for the manufacturer, the chipset is both inexpensive and not so embarrassing to get your hands dirty in it. But the disadvantages of the Snapdragon 680 abound. It is about them that we will now talk.

Samsung Galaxy A23 is one of the most popular Snapdragon 680 smartphones

Snapdragon 680 Specifications

Despite the fact that my task is to convey the features of smartphones based on Snapdragon 680 in a popular language , when considering a chipset, one cannot do without listing the characteristics. They will help us confirm or refute the arguments regarding the operation of the processor:

  • number of cores – 8:
  • core layout – 4xCortex-A53 (1.9 GHz) and 4xCortex-A73 (2.4 GHz);
  • video chip – Adreno 610 (600 MHz);
  • manufacturing process – 6 nm;
  • year of release – 2021.

So, we have a classic 8-core chipset, consisting of two clusters: energy efficient and productive. The first four Cortex-A53 cores are used for everyday tasks like web surfing, and the second four are connected when you have several applications or a heavy video editor (game) running at once.

On one hand, the Snapdragon 680 cores have a fairly high frequency, which hints at a good level of performance. However, even a relatively powerful Cortex-A73 set was released back in 2016, and therefore the efficiency from 2.4 GHz of this Qualcomm processor is lower than in the case of less overclocked Cortex-A75 or Cortex-A76 cores from competitors.

Add here the Adreno 610 video accelerator , which processes graphics at a modest frequency of 600 MHz, and it turns out that the Snapdragon 680 is definitely not the best solution for mobile gamers, even in its price category. In addition, older kernels have a negative impact on the performance of other tasks.

In particular, smartphones based on Snapdragon 680 can hardly render 90 fps if the screen of your device supports increased hertz, and also do not allow you to appreciate all the advantages of 120 Hz: scrolling pages is accompanied by jerks that cause discomfort.

Smartphones on Snapdragon 680 gain about 260k points in the AnTuTu test

Also, the Qualcomm chipset won’t help you get the most out of your phone’s camera, even if it’s 108MP, and video recording will be limited to 1080p at 30fps with electronic stabilization and 1080p (60fps) with it. However, Snapdragon 680 has a significant advantage that has made it so popular among smartphone manufacturers.

The chipset is built on a thin 6nm process technology that matches the middle class and even flagships. Given the low power of Snapdragon 680 devices, an unsurpassed level of autonomy is achieved with a good battery. Thus, the Samsung Galaxy A23 in the SmartViser test gives out 18 hours of web surfing and 16 hours of video viewing at maximum brightness. This is an excellent result, which surpasses the performance of phones on other processors.

Snapdragon 680 vs Helio G96

If you want to buy a smartphone under $400, then you will probably choose between Snapdragon 680 models and Helio G96 devices (aka Helio G95 and Helio G90T). Both processors were released in 2021, but are very different from each other. The chipset from the MediaTek family has a maximum frequency of 2.05 GHz, but we are dealing with more modern Cortex-A76 cores. Other things being equal, they are more powerful, and the Helio G96 also has a more efficient Mali G57 MC2 video chip (950 MHz), which gamers will surely appreciate.

Redmi Note 11 vs Redmi Note 11S performance comparison on AnTuTu

Thus, smartphones based on Helio G96 have more power, and approximately the same cost of chipsets is explained by the fact that the MediaTek processor is built on an outdated 12 nm process technology. This has a bad effect on the autonomy of the device and the heating of its case.

So, Redmi Note 11 on the Snapdragon 680 gives almost 21 hours of screen time in video viewing mode, and the identical Redmi Note 11S only 18 hours in a similar scenario. The temperature in PUBG Mobile reaches 35°C on the first smartphone and 40°C on the second, but the limitation of 1080p (30fps) when recording video can be traced on both devices.

Snapdragon 680 or Dimensity 700: which is better

Another competitor to Qualcomm’s chipset is the Dimensity 700 , which MediaTek recently upgraded to the Dimensity 810, reducing the manufacturing process from 7nm to 6nm. Both options are energy efficient, have modern Cortex-A76 cores, a good Mali-G57 MC2 video accelerator and support 2K video recording. In short, Dimensity 700/810 is better than Snapdragon 680 on all fronts.

Smartphones with Dimensity 700 are about 22% faster than Snapdragon 680 models

Unfortunately, there are no two smartphones from the same manufacturer on the market that have the same screens, so that we can make an objective comparison of Snapdragon 680 and Dimensity 700 in terms of autonomy.

But, given the comparable process technology, we can say with a high degree of certainty that Qualcomm and MediaTek processors demonstrate equally good autonomy. Therefore, based on performance indicators and camera capabilities, we recommend choosing a smartphone on Dimensity 700 or 810. Here are the most popular models that work on it:

  • POCO M3 Pro 5G ;
  • POCO M4 Pro 5G ;
  • realme 7 5g ;
  • Redmi Note 10 5G ;
  • Redmi Note 11S 5G .

These smartphones share the Dimensity chipset, but they differ from each other in other specs, be it the screen, cameras and battery. Therefore, carefully study the filling of devices. And if you are still afraid to buy phones with MadiaTek processors, then check out our comparison of Snapdragon and Dimensity , where the winner was by no means the American brand.