Snapdragon 690 5G vs MediaTek Dimensity 820: The Mid-range 5G Chipset War

snapdragon 690 vs mediatek dimensity 820

The 5G chipset war kicked off with the Snapdragon 865 5G and Dimensity 1000 in the flagship segment towards the end of last year. We took a close look at how the two 5G chipsets compare, revealing how MediaTek has gotten even serious in its quest to take on Qualcomm. The Dimensity 800-series is yet another testament of the said drive.

Dimensity 800-series is MediaTek’s 5G play for the mid-range market, so we thought – why not compare it to Qualcomm’s latest 5G mid-range chipset? Dimensity 820 made its debut just last month aboard the Redmi 10X and 10X Pro. Snapdragon 690 5G, on the other hand, has been unveiled just today. So, here’s how the new Snapdragon 690 5G compares to the Dimensity 820 on paper:

Snapdragon 690 5G vs Dimensity 820: 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.

MediaTek Dimensity 820, on the other hand, is an eight-core chipset with four high-performance Cortex-A76 cores clocked at up to 2.6GHz and four efficiency Cortex-A55 cores continue to be clocked at 2.0GHz.

And just like the Snapdragon 765, as we pointed out here, MediaTek Dimensity 820 is also based on the 7nm process technology (though it is the FinFET process and slightly different than EUV). This means Dimensity 820 would be more power-efficient than the 8nm Snapdragon 690. We will have to get our hands on devices powered by these two chipsets to get a better idea of the performance along with benchmark scores.

  • GPU

Snapdragon 690 arrives with a new Adreno 619L GPU, which sounds like a lite variant of this unannounced GPU. It sits between the Adreno 618 aboard the Snapdragon 730 and Adreno 620 aboard the Snapdragon 765. Qualcomm claims that you will get 60% faster graphics performance compared to the Snapdragon 675 with this GPU.

Dimensity 820, on the other hand, includes a 5-core ARM Mali-G57 GPU. MediaTek boasts that it’s coupled with a flagship-grade IP and its HyperEngine 2.0 feature (ensures the touchscreen input is reliably and accurately sensed without lag) to offer the best-in-class gaming experiences on a mid-range phone. MediaTek claims that it provides “up to 33% more gaming performance than direct alternatives.”

Purely judging by the specs, we can’t really guess which is the better GPU of the two. We have come to this impasse because both Qualcomm and MediaTek have failed to share GPU clock speeds in its specs sheets.

  • 5G Modem

Snapdragon 690 comes equipped with the Snapdragon X51 modem, which offers download and upload speeds up to 2.5Gbps and 660Mbps respectively. Dimensity 820, on the other hand, includes the MediaTek 5G UltraSave modem along with 2CC carrier aggregation. The company hasn’t revealed the download and upload speeds but they should be in the same ballpark as the Snapdragon 690 for one simple reason – both chipsets support the same bandwidths.

There’s one common denominator with 5G connectivity aboard the two chipsets. Both support only sub-6GHz networks (100MHz bandwidth) and leave out the high-frequency mmWave networks being deployed by Verizon and AT&T in the US.

  • ISP

Cameras are an utmost priority when picking a smartphone and with the megapixels war raging loud, all latest chipsets support high-resolution sensors and multi-camera setups.

MediaTek Dimensity 820 includes a flagship-level, HDR-native ISP (there’s no fancy name for it) that supports up to quad-camera setups and 80MP sensors. Yeah, you will most likely find a 64MP primary sensor aboard phones powered by the chipset. It also supports 32MP + 16MP dual-cameras, 4K HDR @ 30FPS video recording, and more.

Snapdragon 690 5G, on the other hand, includes the Spectra 355L ISP. It’s a lighter variant of the original ISP found aboard the Snapdragon 765. It’s a dual 14-bit ISP that supports up to 4K HDR @ 30FPS video recording, 192MP photo capture, portrait video, and 720p @ 240FPS slow-mo videos.

  • Display Support

High refresh rate displays will be the standard by next year and chipsets are ready to support your needs. Both the Snapdragon 690 5G and Dimensity 820 support up to Full-HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate.

While Qualcomm does not mention the exact resolution and aspect ratio, MediaTek reveals that 21:9 (2520 x 1080 resolution) panels should be compatible with its mid-range 5G chipset.

  • AI Engine

Qualcomm may have taken massive strides on the AI front but MediaTek is not sitting ducks. The Dimensity 820 sports the MediaTek APU 3.0 (the 3rd-Gen AI processing unit) that’s responsible for handling activities such as “AI-Recognition (for example, objects, scenes, or people), AI-Super Resolution and AI-deblur functions.”

MediaTek is confident that Dimensity 820’s AI processing unit can easily beat direct competitors in benchmark performance – serving up 300% gains in comparison. The Snapdragon 690, on the other hand, packs the 5th-Gen Qualcomm AI Engine (along with Hexagon 692) for enhanced AI capabilities and low-power consumption.

  • Connectivity

This is the one department where the Dimensity 820 falls behind the Snapdragon 690. Qualcomm has made sure that its 5G chipset is future-proof, with it supporting WiFi 6 (802.11 ax) and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity options out-of-the-box. It’s then up to the phone makers to add the required antennas and enable the high-speed WiFi on their devices.

Dimensity 820, on the other hand, supports only up to WiFi 5 (802.11 ac) networks – which is okay and not that big of a deal right now. WiFi 6 adoption is still growing and you should do fine only with WiFi 5 support. The chipset also supports Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity. We already have discussed 5G connectivity for both of the chipsets above, so there’s no need to dwell on it again.

Go ahead and check out a quick recap of all of the aforementioned features right here:

Snapdragon 690 5G vs Dimensity 820: Specs Sheet

 Snapdragon 690Dimensity 820
CPU Coreocta-core, Kryo 560octa-core
CPU Architecture2x 2.0GHz (Cortex-A77)
6x 1.7GHz (Cortex-A56)
4x 2.6GHz (Cortex-A76)
4x 2.0GHz (Cortex-A55)
CPU Clock SpeedUp to 2.0GHzUp to 2.6GHz
Process Technology8nm7nm FinFET
GPUAdreno 619L5-core ARM Mali-G57 GPU
5G ModemSnapdragon X51Integrated
Machine Learning & AIHexagon 692MediaTek APU 3.0
ISPDual 14-bit Spectra 355LMulti-Core ISP
Camera CapabilityUp to 192 MP photo capture,
Up to 32+16 MP dual camera
Up to 80MP single camera,
Up to 32+16 MP dual camera
Video CapabilityUp to 4K HDR video capture @ 30FPS,
720p @ 240FPS slow-mo videos
Up to 4K HDR video capture @ 30FPS
Fast ChargingQuick Charge 4+N.A
ConnectivityWiFi 6-ready
Bluetooth 5.1
WiFi 5
Bluetooth 5.1
NavIC SupportYesN.A

Snapdragon 690 5G vs Dimensity 820: Rise of Affordable 5G Phones

Snapdragon 690 5G from Qualcomm goes head-to-head with the Dimensity 820 SoC from MediaTek. It may not be as power-efficient due to the 8nm process technology but it has the latest Cortex-A77 cores onboard. Both chipsets support sub-6GHz 5G networks but it should be clear that Snapdragon 690 5G is more future-proof, thanks to WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 support.

As seen in the comparison above, the MediaTek Dimensity 820 may offer users slightly better performance (more powerful CPU and GPU) than the Snapdragon 690 5G. This is pure speculation though and we will need to get our hands on phones powered by these chipsets to know better.

comment Comments 2
  • Arjun Agarwal says:

    Dimensity 820 definitely has an edge over Snapdragon 690. Better in performance and efficiency, no doubts.

  • Aarav Anchalia says:

    Honestly i think MediaTek has upped there game but there are still very weak and incapable chipsets by them that makes the customer rethink their choice whichgives snapdragon an upper hand here. But as mentioned in the article only a handset with these 2 processors can decide who will dominate the game.

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