Qualcomm has bet all of its chips on the adoption of 5G across the globe. Not only the flagship Snapdragon 865 but the mid-range 5G-enabled Snapdragon 765 chipset that debuted alongside cemented its commitment towards this network technology. Today, Qualcomm has taken another crucial step, with the launch of the Snapdragon 690 5G mobile platform, to expand 5G adoption globally.

Now, due to the lack of active 5G networks in India, there’s still an air of uncertainly surrounding the launch of phones powered by Qualcomm’s mid-range 5G chipsets in the country. We, however, thought that it would be a good idea to see how the brand new Snapdragon 690 5G compares to Snapdragon 765 5G, its elder sibling, on paper. We’ll take a close look at the specifications of the Snapdragon 690 5G vs Snapdragon 765 5G:

Snapdragon 690 5G vs Snapdragon 765 5G: How Do They Compare on Paper?

  • CPU

Snapdragon 690 5G is an octa-core chipset based on a new Kryo 560 CPU. This is the second chipset in Qualcomm’s portfolio to use the new Cortex-A77 cores and Kryo 500-series branding. It includes two Cortex-A77 cores clocked at 2.0GHz and six Cortex-A56 cores clocked at 1.7GHz.

Snapdragon 765, on the other hand, is an octa-core chipset with Qualcomm Kryo 475 CPU clocked at up to 2.4GHz. This includes a prime Cortex-A76 core clocked at 2.4GHz, a Gold Cortex-A76 core clocked at 2.2GHz, and six silver Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.8GHz.

Another big difference between the Snapdragon 690 and Snapdragon 765 is that the former is based on the 8nm process tech in comparison to the 7nm EuV process tech on the latter. This means the 7-series 5G chipset is more power-efficient than the 6-series 5G chipset.

  • GPU

Gaming on mobile phones is one of the many things buyers today consider before a purchase is finalized and you should get pretty good gaming performance with both Snapdragon 690 and Snapdragon 765.

While Snapdragon 765 features the Adreno 620 GPU, you get the Adreno 619L GPU aboard the Snapdragon 690 chipset. Qualcomm claims that you will get up to 60% faster graphics rendering compared to its predecessor, the Adreno 612 GPU found aboard the Snapdragon 675. This GPU should offer some minor gains over the Adreno 618 GPU that’s found aboard the Snapdragon 730G and it still sits under the Snapdragon 765’s Adreno 620 GPU.

We were not able to learn the exact clock speed of the Adreno 619L GPU at the time of publishing this article but will update you once we learn the same.

  • 5G Modem

5G technology is the common denominator here but there’s a key difference that sets apart these two chipsets. Snapdragon 690 includes the Snapdragon X51 modem while the Snapdragon 765 comes equipped with the Snapdragon X52 modem.

The Snapdragon 765 supports both sub-6GHz and high-frequency mmWave networks while the Snapdragon 690 only supports sub-6GHz 5G networks. This means mid-range 5G smartphones that are powered by the latter won’t support Verizon and AT&T’s high-speed mmWave networks.

This is also the reason that the download and upload speeds for the Snapdragon 690 are limited to 2.5Gbps and 660Mbps respectively. It goes up to 3.7Gbps download and up to 1.6Gbps upload speeds for the Snapdragon 765 chipset. The rest of the features remain the same across the board, including support for both standard (SA) and non-standard (NSA) networks.

  • ISP (Image Signal Processor)

Both the Snapdragon 690 and Snapdragon 765 chipsets come equipped with basically the same ISP. The latter includes the Spectra 355 ISP while the former features a lite version of the said ISP – Spectra 355L ISP. It’s a dual 14-bit ISP that supports up to 4K HDR video recording (another first for Snapdragon 6-series), 192MP photo capture, and portrait video.

The only difference I see in the data sheet for both the chipsets is that the Snapdragon 690 5G supports Slow-mo video capture at 720p @ 240FPS. Snapdragon 765 5G SoC supports Slow-mo video capture at up to 720p @ 480FPS. Not just that, it supports HDR10+ video capture, along with AI smarts such as real-time object classification, segmentation, and replacement.

  • Display

We decided to include the display section in here so you know the highest resolution and refresh rates supported by either chipset. I will keep it concise though.

Snapdragon 690 5G supports displays up to Full-HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate. Its elder sibling, on the other hand, supports QHD+ display at 60Hz and Full-HD+ displays at up to 120Hz. This means phone makers can choose, if they wish to, offer an even higher resolution aboard their mid-range offerings.

Snapdragon 690 is the first-ever Snapdragon 6-series mobile platform to support up to 120Hz display.

Apart from this, as per the official data sheet, both the 5G-enabled chipsets support HDR10+ and 10-bit color depth. Ultimately, it’s up to the phone makers to offer the said features to the users.

  • AI Engine

Qualcomm has made considerable leaps in the AI department over the years. Its first mid-range 5G chipset arrived with a 5th-Gen Qualcomm AI Engine with up to 5.5 TOPS AI performance. The Snapdragon 690 5G chipset adds another first to its name by introducing the 5th-Gen Qualcomm AI Engine as well.

Snapdragon 690 includes the same Hexagon 692 DSP, which is the same as the one found aboard the Snapdragon 730G from last year. This means we can expect quite a decent AI performance across the board but the Hexagon 696 aboard the Snapdragon 765 will offer you a slightly enhanced AI performance, in general.

  • Connectivity

Both the Snapdragon 690 and Snapdragon 765 serve up almost the same connectivity options – except for the 5G modems as we have mentioned above.

Both of the chipsets are WiFi 6-ready (802.11ax-ready) and supports dual-band WiFi out-of-the-box. There’s a minor difference on the Bluetooth connectivity front, with the newer Snapdragon 690 supporting Bluetooth 5.1 over Bluetooth 5.0 supported by the Snapdragon 765.

Snapdragon 690 5G vs Snapdragon 765 5G: Specs Sheet

 Snapdragon 690Snapdragon 765
CPU Coreocta-core, Kryo 560octa-core, Kryo 475
CPU Architecture2x 2.0GHz (Cortex-A77)
6x 1.7GHz (Cortex-A56)
1x 2.4GHz (Cortex-A76)
1x 2.2GHz (Cortex-A76)
6x 1.8GHz (Cortex-A55)
CPU Clock Speedup to 2.0GHzup to 2.4GHz
Process Technology8nm7nm EUV
GPUAdreno 619LAdreno 620
RAMUp to 8GB 1866 MHz LPDDR4x RAMUp to 12GB 2133 MHz LPDDR4x RAM
5G ModemSnapdragon X51Snapdragon X52
Machine Learning & AIHexagon 692Hexagon 696
ISPDual 14-bit Spectra 355LDual 14-bit Spectra 355
Camera CapabilityUp to 192 MP photo capture,
Up to 32+16 MP dual camera
Up to 192 MP photo capture,
Up to 22 MP dual camera
Video CapabilityUp to 4K HDR video capture @ 30FPS,
720p @ 240FPS slow-mo videos
Up to 4K HDR+ video capture @ 30FPS,
720p @ 480FPS slow-mo videos
Fast ChargingQuick Charge 4+Quick Charge 4+
ConnectivityWiFi 6-ready,
Bluetooth 5.1
WiFi 6-ready,
Bluetooth 5.0
NavIC SupportYesYes

Snapdragon 690 5G vs Snapdragon 765 5G: The Rise of Affordable 5G Phones

Qualcomm made it possible for phone makers to bring sub-Rs. 30,000 5G phones to the market with the Snapdragon 765 SoC earlier this year. It has since introduced an upgrade to this chipset in the form of Snapdragon 768. Now, however, the American chipmaker has decided to make 5G technology widely available and accessible to all users globally by launching the first-ever 5G-enabled Snapdragon 6-series chipset.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 will make phones with 5G support pretty affordable for anyone looking to get a taste of the high-speed network. It’s not very far behind its 5G-backed elder sibling and should bring great performance, AI capabilities, and camera features in tow. We are eagerly waiting to get our hands on the first Snapdragon 690 SoC-powered phone in the next couple of months.