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Circuit Breaker

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 450 chip will power the next wave of budget Android phones

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Qualcomm has formally announced the successor to its current low-end processor, the Snapdragon 435, in the form of the upcoming Snapdragon 450. While the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 835 may get all the attention, the budget Android phone — like the LG X Venture or ZTE Blade V8 — runs off Qualcomm’s cheaper chips. That makes this a significant upgrade, especially with companies like Google pushing cheaper Android phones for a wider range of customers.

With that in mind, Qualcomm is highlighting four major improvements in the 450 over the previous generation. First up are the somewhat obvious improvements in CPU and GPU speed, which the company notes is up to 25 percent faster than the 435. That increase in speed doesn’t come at the expense of battery life, though; the 450 offers up to four extra hours of power over the 435. The new processor is able to handle more advanced camera systems now, with support for either dual cameras at 13 megapixels each or a single camera with up to 21 megapixels. The Snapdragon 450 also has Qualcomm’s X9 LTE modem, which offers improved LTE speeds. And finally, there’s some improved hardware support in the 450, which, unlike the 435, can power a full 1080p display as well as enables USB 3.0.

You won’t have to wait long to see the Snapdragon 450 in actual devices, either: except to see it popping up in cheaper Android phones before the end of 2017.