Update: The winners of the two segments have been decided during the IGA Awards and the MediaTek Dimensity 8100 has been chosen as the winner of the Best Mainstream Mobile SoC of 2022 segment while Apple A16 Bionic has been chosen as the winner of the Best Premium Mobile SoC of 2022 segment.
Winner – Best Mainstream Mobile SoC of 2022: MediaTek Dimensity 8100
Both the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 and the MediaTek Dimensity 8100 SoCs have been top achievers in the budget segment and were featured in smartphones like the Vivo T1, iQOO Z6 5G, Xiaomi Redmi K50i, and the Realme GT Neo 3 5G. These are comparable in performance and the jury had a tough time deciding who stayed ahead in the race and were inclined to give the award to both.
Original story follows…
One of the toughest segments for jury on the Indian Gadget Awards panel has been the Best Mobile SoC (system-on-chips) award which is full of metrics. Not just statistics but understanding the subtle differences that each of the top SoCs released last year demonstrated in terms of performance. Qualcomm, MediaTek, Apple and Samsung being the biggest players occupy the most slots and nominations and this shows the amount of research these companies put into their chipset designs and technologies.
The year 2022 saw some excellent and powerful releases in terms of different chipsets from companies despite battling multiple odds. And one of the most significant odds were the floods in Taiwan which hit chip manufacturers like TSMC really hard and smartphone makers were in a bind with the shortage of chipset supply. The smartphone industry was definitely affected by the problem but it did get over it in the second half of the year and things were back on track. Our nominations are divided in two segments with the first nominations for the chipsets in mainstream smartphones which are more in the budget segment, followed by the premium crème de la crème of the SoC offerings of 2022 on flagship smartphones.
Best Mainstream Mobile SoC of 2022 – Indian Gadget Awards Nominees
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 695
- MediaTek Dimensity 8100
- MediaTek Helio G99
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1
- UNISOC T611
- Samsung Exynos 1280
Qualcomm Snapdragon 695
The Snapdragon 695 5G is one of the more affordable SoCs from Qualcomm which brought 5G to mass smartphones. It offers both sub-6 and mmWave in the 6-series, and boosts productivity, along with immersive gaming, and high-end camera capabilities. With support for both 5G frequencies, the Snapdragon 695 5G is an 8-core chipset which was initially announced on October 27, 2021. It is manufactured using a 6-nanometer process technology and has 2 Kryo 660 Gold (Cortex-A78) cores at 2200 MHz and 6 Kryo 660 Silver (Cortex-A55) cores at 1700 MHz. It has been used on smartphones like the Vivo T1, iQOO Z6 5G, POCO X4 Pro and others.
MediaTek Dimensity 8100
The MediaTek Dimensity series of SoCs have been one of the success stories from the company with the chipsets successfully competing with the best out there. And the MediaTek Dimensity 8100 is the levelled up version of the MediaTek Dimensity 8000 and is built using the TSMC N5 (5nm-class) production process. The Dimensity 8100, according to the company, offers up to 20% better gaming performance over its predecessor, and over 25% better CPU power-efficiency. This 5G enabled SoC features an octa-core CPU with speeds of up to 2.85GHz, and an Arm Mali-G610 MC6 graphics engine for high frame rate gaming in top titles as well as up to 20% power savings over competitor alternatives, allowing gamers to play for much longer on battery. Some of the smartphones that use this chipset are Xiaomi Redmi K50i, and the Realme GT Neo 3 5G.
MediaTek Helio G99
The MediaTek Helio G99 is a 4G chipset that made it to this list and this 4G chipset for gaming smartphones has been manufactured using the efficient TSMC N6 (6nm-class) chip production process. The MediaTek Helio G99 is an octa-core CPU that comes with two high performance Arm Cortex-A76 cores that are clocked at up to 2.2GHz and 6 Arm Cortex-A55 cores clocked at up to 2.0GHz. These are accompanied by a highly capable Arm Mali G57-class GPU. It also has LPDDR4X memory up to 2,133MHz and fast UFS 2.2-class storage to accelerate data access. This chipset has been used in smartphones like the POCO M5, Tecno Pova 4, Xiaomi Redmi 11 Prime, Realme 10 and more.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 4 Gen 1
The second Qualcomm chipset in out nominations is the Snapdragon 4 Gen 1 which was just launched back in October 2022. This 5G enabled chipset that is manufactured using the 6-nanometer process technology has 2 Cortex-A78 cores at 2000 MHz and 6 Cortex-A55 cores at 1800 MHz. It is the 4 series chipset from Qualcomm which is manufactured with utility in mind. This chipset brings an improved Qualcomm Kryo technology. It features an Adreno 619 GPU and also supports LPDDR4X RAM up to 2133 MHz. That only smartphone that is currently available with this chipset is the iQOO Z6 Lite 5G.
The UNISOC T612 or the Unisoc Tiger T612 is an entry level 8-core CPU from the company which was previously known as Spreadtrum. It is manufactured at TSMC in 12nm fabbing technology. This chipset features two fast ARM Cortex A75 cores at up to 1.8 GHz and six power efficient ARM Cortex A55 cores at up to 1.8 GHz. This is the second 4G enabled SoC in our nominations and it comes with LPDDR3-933 / LPDDR4/4X-1600 memory controller, an ARM Mali G52MP1 GPU at 614 MHz and supports triple camera setups with maximum combination of 24MP, 8MP and another 8MP sensor. It is used on smartphones like the Realme C33, Realme Narzo 50i, and the Narzo 50A.
Samsung Exynos 1280
This Samsung Exynos SoC is an 8-core chipset that was initially announced on March 17, 2022. The Samsung Exynos 1280 is manufactured using a 5-nanometer process technology and it has 2 Cortex-A78 cores at 2400 MHz and 6 Cortex-A55 cores at 2000 MHz. It has an integrated memory controller that supports LPDDR4x RAM. It supports cameras up to 108MP and has an integrated ARM Mali G68 MC4 GPU that supports displays with up to 1080p at up to 120Hz. This Exynos SoC has an integrated 5G modem that supports Sub-6GHz (2550/1280 Mbps), mmWave (1840/920 Mbps), and LTE Cat 18 (1200/200 Mbps) along with WiFi 5 is and Bluetooth 5.2. It has been used in smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy M33 series and Samsung Galaxy A53 series.
Winner – Best Mainstream Mobile SoC of 2022: Apple A16 Bionic
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and Apple A16 Bionic have been the dream duo in terms of premium SoCs adorning the top flagship smartphones of 2022, and the IGA Jury decided that the two chipsets were both equally brilliant and deserved the top award.
Best Premium Mobile SoC of 2022 – Indian Gadget Awards Nominees
- MediaTek Dimensity 9000
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
- Apple A16 Bionic
- Google Tensor G2
MediaTek Dimensity 9000
Our first pick of the top of the line SoCs for premium smartphones is the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 which launched in late 2021 and it really took the forefront for MediaTek in 2022. It features flagship class 5G capabilities and has been manufactured using the most advanced TSMC N4 (4nm-class) production process. It features 1 Cortex-X2 core at 3050 MHz, 3 Cortex-A710 cores at 2850 MHz, and 4 Cortex-A510 cores at 1800 MHz. All CPU cores can use 8 MB of level 3 cache and 6 MB of System Level Cache (SLC) at the same time. It comes with an integrated quad channel memory controller that supports LPDDR5X with 7500 Mbps and has an ARM Mali-G710 MC10 GPU. It gave tough competition to smartphones with Apple A15, Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoCs. It is featured in smartphones like the OnePlus 10R, Realme GT Neo 3T, Vivo X80 and more.
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 was the go to chipset for most Android flagship smartphones released in the second half of 2022. This top of the line chipset from Qualcomm features a ‘Prime Core’ that is based on a ARM Cortex-X2 architecture clocked at up to 3.2 GHz and 3 more Cortex-A710 performance cores clocked at up to 2.5 GHz and 4 more energy saving ARM Cortex-A510 cores clocked at up to 1.8 GHz. All cores can use a shared 6 MB level 3 cache. This chipset has been manufactured by TSMC using the 4nm process. It has an integrated AI Engine that can offer up to 4x faster AI performance. It also features a Adreno 730 GPU and a Snapdragon X65 5G modem. It has been used on flagship smartphones like the OnePlus 10T, iQOO 9T 5G, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 5G, and more.
Apple A16 Bionic
The Apple A16 Bionic is the newest chipset from the leading smartphone maker in the world and that is saying something about its capabilities. The chipset which is currently only available with the new iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max smartphones is manufactured using a 4-nanometer process technology and has 2 Everest cores at 3460 MHz and 4 Sawtooth cores at 2020 MHz. According to Apple the A16 chipset is apparently 40% faster than the competition. Manufactured by TSMC using third-generation N5 technology the A16 has 16 billion transistors. It also has an improved dedicated neural network with 16 cores known as the “Neural Engine”, a new image signal processor (ISP) with improved computational photography capabilities, and a new module for handling screen-related features that Apple calls a “Display Engine”.
Google Tensor G2
The Google Tensor G2 is a new chipset that was developed by Google and Samsung for the Google Pixel 7 series of smartphones. It has been manufactured by Samsung using a 5nm process and it has 2 fast ARM Cortex-X1 cores at up to 2.85 GHz, 2 mid-range Cortex-A78 cores at up to 2.35 GHz and 4 small ARM Cortex-A55 efficiency cores with up to 1.8 GHz. The biggest upgrade over the G1 generation of chipset is the new TPU that is more powerful as well as power efficient. It comes with a modern ARM Mali G710 architecture GPU with 7 cores. It also has a Titan M2 security processor, a LPDDR5 memory controller, and support for 10-bit HDR / 4k/60 video and 108 MP cameras.