Birches NEWS No. 35. At the bottom

2018's new ultra-budget chipsets versus harsh content and each other.

In the unforgettable game Fallout New Vegas, there is a faction of legionnaires that enslaves children and then uses them as beasts of burden. Children’s bones crunch from the load, their legs bend outward and vertebrae fly out of the spine, but they stubbornly drag their load up the hill – closer to the tents of the centurions. They have no choice and they live only as long as they work, the alternative is even worse – death from hunger or from the stick of the overseer. It is good that we do not live in America in the 23rd century and can not use child labor. Seemingly…

Who else can you compare with a buyer who tries to play on a smartphone for 3000-5000 rubles? His desire is full, and the eyes of anger are lakes, and in order to avoid shame, the smartphone caresses and praises.

As someone has already noted, the market abhors a vacuum. And even if MTK produces a deliberately weak processor, but a little cheaper, then everyone around reacts and also begins to throw cheap caviar of poor quality. So let's see what's going on there, at the very bottom.

HiSilicon Kirin (Huawei)

The company continues to ignore the ultra-budget segment.

Samsung Exynos 7 Quad (7570)

In 2018, the company has not pleased us with the new budget chipset. Exynos 7 Quad (7570) continues to be the only offer of the company, its last reincarnation took place in May 2018, and was carried by the Samsung Galaxy J4 smartphone.

The review of the device has already been on Mobile-Review, it remains only to note the key details:

CPU: 4 cores Cortex A-53, 1.4 GHz, 14 nm

GPU: ARM Mali 720 MP1 (all except the manufacturer write MP2)

Communications: LTE 150/50 Mbit / s, Wi-Fi, GNSS, etc.

The chipset is tired and has to finish its life, because starts to look outdated against the background of competitors.

MediaTek MT6739

The processor appeared in 2017, here it is exclusively for studying and catching the trend of processor building in the tent MediaTek. Budget processors such as the MT6735 and 6737 were equipped with decent ARM Mali 720 graphics, in single-core or dual-core versions. MediaTek MT6737T with Mali 720 MP2 graphics still allows you to moderately suffer in heavy games in 'slideshow' mode, which is not so bad for a smartphone costing around 5000 rubles. But then a terrible thing happened – a monster appeared called MT6739 (this one is in the new Alcatel 1 for 4090 rubles and in Honor 7A for 7000 rubles), over which they committed violence, cut off the Mali graphics, and in its place was stuck IMG PowerVR GE8100. What kind of graphics are they? Anyway, the main thing is that it is about 5-10% weaker than the Mali 720 MP2.

Why was this done? Why go to the Far North, look for a mammoth game console there, take out the PowerVR GE8100 video chip from there and put it in place of the Mali 720 MP2? There is only one explanation – the engineers really wanted to place an all-weather (a / b / g / n / ac) Wi-Fi on the crystal (the MT6735 / 6737 had only Wi-Fi (a / b / g / n)), after which there were places for transistors of normal graphics are gone. There is nothing more to say about this chipset, this is a very dull piece of the 28nm era from 2017.

MediaTek Helio A22

When the 'Gelik' X10 (MT6795 4 years ago) appeared, it was pure innovation. And even a year before that, for the first time in history, users were convinced that even eight small ARM Cortex A-7 wheels can be driven very quickly (МТ6592). In those days, Helio sounded proudly. But over time, the company MediaTek somehow shrank and began to have various problems with competitors. To be more precise, the competitors did not wait for them and ran ahead, leaving MediaTek to brake with their feet in the lower price segment.

Helio A22 is like a hybrid of MT6739 and SDM429 (as you will see below). The processor part – four Cortex A-53 cores operating at a frequency of 2 GHz, a modern 12 nm process technology, and graphics … Graphics … There is still something fatal in the company MediaTek, maybe the workers are fed bad lunch or they don't eat chocolate at all. How else to explain the choice of graphics in the form of an IMG PowerVR GE8320 chip. Helio A22 just appeared in the company's portfolio, got inside Xiaomi Redmi 6A and on the Mobile-Review test, where it managed to distinguish itself with extremely low performance.

Cool picture from presentation MediaTek

And yet, there are positive aspects. For example, the LTE modem offers high data transfer rates (CAT 7/13 upload / download), and the integrated W-Fi supports a / b / g / n / ac modes. There is also what is traditionally passed off as artificial intelligence – various kinds of optimization.

MiediaTek AI technologies in Helio A22 allow you to stabilize the image without mechanical stabilization and turn digital zoom into optical … In words.

However, all these improvements were not reflected in this work in any way and the smartphone based on Helio A22 behaves as it should be for a very cheap smartphone. Horns and legs remained from the Helio brand.

Qualcomm SDM429

Qualcomm did not stop the illegal computing activities of Snapdragon425 / 427 (as ideology) and released their upgraded version of SDM429 in August 2018. The processor is still a 4-core Cortex A-53, but a thinner 12 nm process technology (versus 28 nm) allowed to raise frequencies to 1.95 GHz, and the Adreno 504 GPU (versus 308 in SDM425 (still from the Snapdragon 400 era) and 405 in SDM427) turns it into a conditionally modern processor.

The Adreno 504 is hardly fundamentally different from the Adreno 505 in the SDM430 or the Adreno 506 in the SDM625. Well, except that the operating frequency of the video processor. In our difficult times, there is only one way to come up with a 'new' video accelerator for a budget chipset – to take it from the older one and lower its operating frequency. If your name is Qualcomm, of course. In any case, the user can count on the SDM429 gaming performance at the same level as the SDM430. Otherwise, this is a typical Qualcomm, with a reliable X6 LTE modem (download / upload – 150/75 Mbps) and a Wi-Fi module (a / b / g / n / ac).


Below is a diagram of the relative performance of 4-core chipsets with 8-core SDM 450. I hope this will help to get some general idea and make the right choice.

Still, I consider it necessary to write a few more words about the graphics of Imagination Technologies PowerVR and why, seeing it in a smartphone, you should refuse to purchase right away. The 8xxx PowerVR series is based on the 2013 Roque video core, but unlike the 6xxx series (G6430 in iPhone 5s or Intel Z3480 / Z3460), only the junior IMG PowerVR GE8100 solutions are presented in its line. and GE8320. The performance of these stubs is at the level of the Mali 400 MP4 or Adreno 405 (405 a little faster), and terrible legends go about the compatibility of PowerVR products with modern games.

As before, only Qualcomm and MediaTek crawl at the very bottom of mobile productivity, periodically engulfing each other's customers and giving rise to new generations of electronic centipedes. Other manufacturers are watching this fight from above, and buyers should wait for smartphones with Qualcomm SDM429 inside. Because Samsung in the budget segment is expensive, and MediaTek have completely deteriorated.

After a long break, the Chinese company Spreadtrum Communications Inc announced new budget chipsets (as if it had non-budget ones), but they have not yet been implemented physically, and therefore did not take part in the comparison.

Give your opinion on what should be an ultra-budget chipset? Maybe 2 cores 2 gig in a smartphone for 1000 rubles? Or is it time to send the old scheme with 4 cores to the dustbin of history, replacing the 8-core?

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