If in the IT world the big dominators are Intel and AMD when it comes to processors, in smartphones it is clear that Qualcomm and Mediatek take a big part of the pie.
It is true that there are very few phone makers that make their own processors and others, although they call them as if they are their own, are in fact ordering from one of these two companies. to make them for them.
These two brands have been competing with each other for years, but do you really know what their differences are? We will tell you right away.
As we break down the market share, we realize that the two companies are the ones that are really fighting for the top position in the world, although in some areas we have differences which can be significant.
If we look at the data it offers us Counterpoint Technology Market Research Looking at Q2 2019 and 2020 data, Qualcomm dominates in the US, but Apple’s processor for the iPhone is placed very close despite the price of the terminals.
With this, we can interpret that in the country of North America, when it comes to the high or medium-high range, users prefer Apple, but in the rest of the ranges, Android with Qualcomm dominates.
If we look at China, there is also a variation, as there is another processor, like Huawei’s HiSilicon, which is expensive and even dominates Mediatek and Qualcomm.
Despite these two particular cases, the rest of the world is carried by a dominance of the two companies that make up us today, which is largely due to the integration into all types of ranges, that is to say While Apple or Huawei have good processors, the range of possibilities offered by Mediatek and Qualcomm is much wider.
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The processor of a mobile
All microprocessors manufactured today are all integrated into a single circuit System on Chip (SoC), much more advanced than the first one built in 1958.
While we have a lot of space on a computer, the problem with smartphones is just the opposite and since we don’t have space, everything is in the same one. Integrated circuit. RAM memory and CPU (Central Processing Unit) or GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) are part of this.
Due to their compactness, it is impossible to update them, for example, memory, because everything is perfectly integrated. Quite the opposite of a PC, where almost everything is subject to change.
The more famous brand of the two is Qualcomm, not in vain all that encompasses its 800 series It has dominated the high end for years, especially if we look at Android terminals.
The Qualcomm GPU is the Adreno And few people know that it is an anagram of Radeon, since in 2009 Qualcomm bought the multimedia and graphics assets of AMD, making this pun.
The maximum exponent performance when it comes to Qualcomm SoC and GPUs can be found in:
Snapdragon 888 (ADreno 660): SoC showcases some of the best smartphone models like the OnePlus 9, Xiaomi 11T Pro or the all-powerful Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3. Snapdragon 870 (Adreno 650): several of the terminals that have it are the Realme GT Master Edition, the Motorola Edge 20 Pro or the Oppo Reno 6 Pro, among others. Snapdragon 865 (Adreno 650): terminals like the OnePlus 8, the Oppo Finde X3 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE for example.
But it doesn’t all end there, since the 8 series from previous years, in addition to the 7 and 6 series, are also very well received in cheaper terminals.
Because in these types of processors, Qualcomm also offers very good performance.
The Taiwanese brand began its technological journey by manufacturing DVDs and televisions, they would soon make the leap to processors, overtaking Qualcomm as a global supplier of chips for mobile devices.
Unsurprisingly, in March 2021, it sold over 350 million chips worldwide to various brands and companies in the mobile world, surpassing Qualcomm.
If there is anything about Mediatek processors, it’s that, in general, they have more cores than Qualcomm, becoming Octa (8) or even Deca (10), so they offer very smooth background processes.
Helio G95 (Mali-G76 MC4): It is worn by mobiles like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S or the Realme 7. Helio G90T (Mali-G76 MC4): Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro or Realme 6s. Helio G85 (Mali-G52 MC2): Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 or Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 2021.
Another facet that differentiates Mediatek from its more direct competitor is that its prices are more adjusted, especially in entry-level ranges.
This is where it is better for brands to have the most competitive price possible.
What is better?
It’s clear that if we just stick with what the numbers tell us in terms of performance, Qualcomm has the best processors, not only between them and Mediatek, but in the world, virtually safe.
That’s why in what they are pure performance, Qualcomm is ahead, not just a little, but in fact it’s a pretty substantial difference.
Either way, speed, power, and performance are something that is difficult to quantify at the user level. That is, you can have a phone that doesn’t have the best of Qualcomm, but a slightly worse processor, but runs very smoothly, being impossible to know which processor it is.
But if we leave out the pure performance a bit and we focus on the costThis is where Mediatek triumphs and this is why it is the chosen one in many mid-range and low-end terminals, because this is where brands need to save money by delivering good performance.
In conclusion, we are faced with two brands that they seek success in different ways, one by delivering power and the other by guiding whatever the prize did. This is why they are the two dominant ones, but in many cases they don’t work too much when working for different ranges.