Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 – fast, efficient but there’s a catch

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 is the latest Mid-End Chipset that surprisingly offers blistering fast performance that even rivals the top tier Chipsets in the market.

Is the Snapdragon 660, the new King of the Mid-end Market?

This observation is based on my experience using the Xiaomi Mi Note 3 and the Elephone U Pro, two phones that feature these chips. And probably one of the major improvements of this chip is with regards to the performance and efficiency.

It replaced the dated Qualcomm Snapdragon 652/653, which are on its day, also a capable chipset.

Benchmark results offer great insight on how fast the chipset is. Antutu gave it a score of 135 to 140K points, which performs similarly to the older flagship Snapdragon 821 chip.

Gaming?

The Adreno 512 chipset, probably is the only bottleneck here especially if you compare it to the Adreno 540 of the Snapdragon 835. It is still capable of running games at native resolution, but it is half the performance offered of the Adreno 540.

On real world test though, you don’t notice major differences between the two, more so on 1080p FHD or 18:9 Screen Aspect Ratio, you barely see any performance differences between the two

But for hard core gamers, the Adreno 540 of the Snapdragon 835 is a much better fit.

Snapdragon 835 versus Snapdragon 660?

When it comes to raw power, both chips are on the top category. Both offer very good multitasking performance and gaming capabilities. I did notice that the Snapdragon 660 is much better when it comes to efficiency.

The temps are quite the same, both chipsets don’t have issues with overheating. In fact, both run at cool idle temps of 33-36C and gradually increasing to 40-44C on full load.

What is the catch?

Well, it’s quite obvious that most phones that come with Snapdragon 660 are pricey, and that perhaps is the only major con I can say about it. At times, it costs as much as a phone with Snapdragon 835, which is already considered a Flagship.

Major improvements of the Snapdragon 660:

  • Very fast and easily capable of gaming (performance is indistinguishable to the more expensive Snapdragon 835).
  • Efficient with very good thermals, no overheating issues even on heavy use or gaming
  • Supports up to X12 LTE, 600 Mbps Download and 150Mbps Upload
  • Adreno 512 is a beast in gaming
  • Supports up to 2560 x 1200p maximum reslutuon
  • Supports 4K UltraHD @ 30fps, 1080p @ 120fps
  • Dual Band WiFi ac (WCN3990 Chipset)
  • Quick Charge 4 Technology

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • not a lot of manufactures adopted it

Will the Snapdragon 660 be a Mainstream Chip?

Probably if the cost went down, because  as of today, it costs as much as a Snapdragon 835. And that is also the reason why I think not a lot of manufacturers equipped their phones with this chip, instead go to the much cheaper Snapdragon 636.

What phones offer Snapdragon 660?

  1. Elephone U Pro at $429 (until May 8)
    Snapdragon 660, 6 GB RAM and 128 GB eMMC
    5.9 inch Flexible Super AMOLED 2160 x 1080p
  2. Xiaomi Mi Note 3 at $424
    Snapdragon 660, 6 GB RAM and 64 GB eMMC
    5.5 inch IPS 1920 x 1080p, Dual Rear Camera
  3. Smartisan Nut Pro 2 at $441
    Snapdragon 660, 6 GB RAM and 128 GB Storage
    5.9 inch IPS 2160 x 1080p, Dual Rear Cameras

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