Phone makers and chipmakers are still in a race to get as many 5G phones out there, despite how 5G rollout could be slowed down or delayed due to medical, economic, and political factors. Last year, that race focused more on the high-end premium phones that only a limited number of people could afford. The players are now taking that 5G competition down to the lower tiers and, unsurprisingly, MediaTek is attempting to fill those markets even before Qualcomm has a chance to get a foothold.
Qualcomm and MediaTek are once again locked in a rat race to have the most 5G-enabled Systems-on-Chip (SoCs) in the smartphone market. For almost every new 5G Snapdragon Qualcomm announces, MediaTek has one as well. Last month Qualcomm revealed its “entry-level” Snapdragon 690 and MediaTek is now fighting back with the Dimensity 720.
Both chips are targeting the lower end of mid-range phones with eight cores, just with slightly different combinations. The Dimensity 720, for example, has two high-performance Cortex-A76 cores, versus the Snapdragon 690’s two Cortex-A77s. Both use six power-efficient (read: weaker) Cortex-A55 cores but MediaTek clocked its cluster higher at 2GHz.
Of course, these mobile application processors aren’t defined by their CPUs alone. The Dimensity 720 also boasts of supporting 90Hz displays, even if there are very few mid-range phones that have that feature. It’s a bit limited in the imaging department, supporting only up to a single 64MP sensor or a combination of 20MP and 16MP cameras.
Unlike the Dimensity 1000 and 800 5G chips series, MediaTek isn’t saying much about this processor’s gaming chops. The MediaTek Dimensity 720‘s focus is, instead, really on 5G support, which seems to be limited only to the sub-6GHz (non-mmWave) type, though it makes up for that with support for global sub-6GHz 5G networks, again another jab at the Snapdragon 690’s “global” spiel.