When NASA first put astronauts to the moon in 1969, they used technology with low computing power compared to the cell phone you use today. The mobile phone industry has come along. Most phones have powerful functionalities which can match some computers. Do you ever ask yourself what gives smartphones the power to operate at such high levels? The secret is in the quality of the processor. It is common to hear people in technology circles referring to a processor as the brain of the phone. This is because most functions or features of a phone are controlled by the processor. If your phone has a weak processor, it will be slow and it may fail to run some heavy applications.
What is a Processor?
A processor also known as the central processing unit (CPU) is electronic hardware that processes or runs instructions and actions devices require to work smoothly. That is why most people refer to it as the brain of the device. The processor influences the way you experience different functions in your device, for example, the speed with which apps load, the performance of apps, connection to the internet, and other functions. When we talk about processors, the first thing that comes to your mind is a computer or smartphone. However, processors are used in several other devices such as television sets, dryers, microwaves, vending machines, industrial machinery, etc. It is installed on the device’s motherboard. For the case of this article, we will be referring to smartphone processors.
How to Choose a Smartphone with the Right Processor for You
The performance of different features in your phone is determined by the quality of the processor it contains. There are several factors you can consider when choosing a smartphone. If you are looking for speed and efficiency in performance, you should take a keen look at the processor.
The purpose for which the phone is meant to serve matters a great deal. If you need a phone to run heavy games and other software, you’ll need a phone with a powerful processor; typically a multi-core processor is ideal for heavy duties.
The clock speed of the processor also matters. The high the clock speed, the faster it’ll perform. It is measured in Gigahertz (GHz)
Two Most Popular Smartphone Processors
There are several mobile processor manufacturers in the world, however, the top two manufacturers are responsible for about 50% of the chipset market share.
Snapdragon by Qualcomm
There is no doubt Qualcomm is a key player in the mobile phone chips market. It powers most of the high-end smartphones on the market. The journey to power phones around the world started in 2007 when the Snapdragon S1 was launched; the first smartphone in the world with a 1GHz clock speed. Five versions of the model were developed. Sony Ericson X10 and HTC are some of the popular phones that adopted the Snapdragon S1 processor. Since then, Qualcomm has produced different models of Snapdragon chips, introducing more features and high-performance levels with each version. It is now venturing into the laptop market, beginning with Lenovo, HP, and Asus laptops.
Most top premium phones are powered by the Snapdragon processor, including Sony Xperia, Samsung Galaxy S20, Xiaomi Mi, etc. Apple is one of the few premium phone manufacturers that don’t use Snapdragon because they make their chips.
Mediatek has been in the SoC (system on a chip) manufacturing business for a while. You can trace its roots to the United Microelectronics Corporation, a Taiwanese company that was started around 1980 to develop chips for mainly entertainment products. However, in 1997 it became a separate entity and was incorporated. Some of the popular audio appliances were powered by Mediatek chips. When it launched into the smartphone chip market in 2004, not so many people thought it would have any chance of success. They were strategic and targeted low-end smartphones for countries like China, Brazil, India, and Russia. When it launched the first Octa-core processor known as the Helio, MediaTek became a key player in introducing the world to 4G technology. It also produces chips for smart televisions and sound equipment.
If you have ever used any Amazon Echo product, you have had an experience of what MediaTek chips can do. It is true global power in the SoC industry.
Snapdragon Vs Mediatek: Which One is Best for You?
Qualcomm (the parent company of Snapdragon) and MediaTek are both leading manufacturers of smartphone chips. Combined, they are responsible for more than 50% of the chipsets used in mobile phones around the world. Some customers swear by Snapdragon, just as some love MediaTek ranges of chips like Helio. Some features differentiate the two powerful processors.
- MediaTek is known for producing chips with a higher number of cores compared to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon. However, both are multicore processors.
- Snapdragon chips are the go-to for gaming and other heavy tasks. However, media Tek chips also offer great performance power, thanks to the many cores.
- Most phones run on MediaTek processors and consume a lot of power which reduces battery life.
- Mobile phones that run on Snapdragon processors are generally more expensive compared to their MediaTek counterparts.
- Phones powered by MediaTek chips tend to heat up because of the processor cores. MediaTek is known for producing processors with more cores compared to Snapdragon.
Snapdragon processors come integrated with GPU (Graphics Processing Unit), which is not the case with Media Tek chips.
Snapdragon Vs MediaTek Comparison Table
|Battery life||Consumes a lot of power||Consumes less power|
|Heating||Heats up||Doesn’t overheat|
|Graphics Processing Unit||Chips don’t come with GPU||Integrated within chips|
Both MediaTek and Snapdragons are incredible chips that offer high-performing power. However, the different features appeal to people differently. For example, if you often use your phone for gaming, you may prefer Mediatek. If you don’t like your device heating up, you may want to use Snapdragon. And, devices powered by MediaTek chips tend to be cheaper compared to the ones powered by Snapdragon.