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August 11, 2017

Snapdragon 660: Benchmarks, impressions and everything you need to know!

by John_A

sd660-basemark.jpg?itok=wBHj9Pqe

The long-awaited successor to the Snapdragon 653 is here.

Qualcomm made the switch to the 14nm manufacturing node with the Snapdragon 820, which started rolling out at the beginning of 2016. The company also made the 14nm node accessible to the mid-range segment with the Snapdragon 625, the successor to the Snapdragon 617. The 14 FinFET node allowed for vastly increased efficiency, with the SD625 consuming 35% less energy when compared to the 28nm SD617.

As a result, the Snapdragon 625 turned out to be extremely popular, powering everything from the $150 Redmi Note 4 to the $500 BlackBerry KEYone. Looking ahead to the latter half of 2017, Qualcomm has rolled out key updates to the Snapdragon 600 series with two new chipsets — the Snapdragon 630 and the Snapdragon 660.

The Snapdragon 630 is the direct successor to the Snapdragon 625, offering 30% faster cores, support for Bluetooth 5, a faster LTE modem, USB 3.1 with USB-C, a new ISP, and Quick Charge 4.0.

The Snapdragon 660 is the more interesting of the two, as it is the successor to the Snapdragon 653. The Snapdragon 660 is designed to bring flagship-class performance to the mid-range segment, with Qualcomm rolling out a slew of updates.

The chipset features custom Kryo cores — a first for this segment, a new Adreno 512 GPU, Snapdragon X12 LTE modem with download speeds of 600Mbps and 3x carrier aggregation, Wi-Fi ac with 2×2 MU-MIMO, a Spectra 160 image signal processor, Bluetooth 5, Quick Charge 4.0, and USB 3.1. Qualcomm is touting a 20% increase in performance when compared to the SD653 from the new Kryo 260 cores, and a 30% uptick for the GPU.

Before we delve in, a look at the specs on offer with the Snapdragon 660.

Snapdragon 660 specs

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CPU Four 2.2GHz Kryo 260 coresFour 1.8GHz Kryo 260 cores Four 1.95GHz Cortex A72 coresFour 1.44GHz Cortex A53 cores
GPU Adreno 512850MHz Adreno 510600MHz
Memory Dual-channel LPDDR4 at 1866MHz29.9GB/s Dual-channel LPDDR3 at 933MHz14.9GB/s
LTE Snapdragon X12 LTE (Cat. 12)600Mbps downlink, 150Mbps uplink3x20MHz CA, 256-QAM Snapdragon X9 LTE (Cat. 7)300Mbps downlink, 150Mbps uplink2x20MHz CA, 64-QAM
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi ac Wave2 Max 867Mbps throughput2x2 MU-MIMO Wi-Fi ac Wave2Max 433Mbps throughput
ISP 14-bit Spectra 16024MP single, dual 16MPZero shutter lag, hybrid autofocus, optical zoom Dual ISP21MP single
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5 Bluetooth 4.1
Fast charging Quick Charge 4.0 Quick Charge 3.0
Node 14nm LPP (Low Power Plus) 28nm HPm (High Performance Mobile)

There’s no information on the underlying ARM core the Kryo 260 is based on, but it’s likely Qualcomm is using a semi-custom design, much like what it did with the Kryo 280 on the Snapdragon 835. The core configuration is split into two sectors — performance and efficiency, with the former featuring four 2.2GHz cores and the latter four 1.8GHz cores.

The Spectra 160 is particularly interesting, as it enables a lot of camera experiences that have thus far been limited to flagship chipsets. The ISP supports hybrid autofocus, dual rear camera setups (up to 16MP for each imaging sensor), dual photodiode autofocus, smooth optical zoom, and EIS for video.

Snapdragon 660 benchmarks

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The OPPO R11 is the first phone to feature the Snapdragon 660, and it gives us an early look at how the Snapdragon 660 fares when compared to the likes of the Snapdragon 652, Snapdragon 835, and others.

AnTuTu

AnTuTu Benchmark

OPPO R11 (SD660) 118525
Smartron srt.phone (SD652) 78923
Xiaomi Mi 6 (SD835) 158292
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Exynos 8895) 170219
Google Pixel XL (SD821) 132728
Lenovo Z2 Plus (SD820) 133341
Moto Z2 Play (SD626) 68644
Redmi Note 4 (SD625) 62230

Geekbench

Geekbench 4.0

OPPO R11 (SD660) 1608 5848
Smartron srt.phone (SD652) 1425 2815
Xiaomi Mi 6 (SD835) 1919 6095
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Exynos 8895) 1996 6441
Google Pixel XL (SD821) 1604 4162
Lenovo Z2 Plus (SD820) 1692 3239
Moto Z2 Play (SD626) 911 4594
Redmi Note 4 (SD625) 843 2754

Basemark

Basemark OS II

OPPO R11 (SD660) 2326
Smartron srt.phone (SD652) 1535
Xiaomi Mi 6 (SD835) 3424
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Exynos 8895) 2597
Google Pixel XL (SD821) 2340
Lenovo Z2 Plus (SD820) 2127
Moto Z2 Play (SD626) 1221
Redmi Note 4 (SD625) 1082

Octane 2.0

Google Octane 2.0

OPPO R11 (SD660) 9342
Smartron srt.phone (SD652) 8683
Xiaomi Mi 6 (SD835) 11658
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Exynos 8895) 8076
Google Pixel XL (SD821) 8032
Lenovo Z2 Plus (SD820) 6364
Moto Z2 Play (SD626) 4828
Redmi Note 4 (SD625) 3887

GFXBench

GFXBench GL Benchmark

OPPO R11 (SD660) 8.6 15
Smartron srt.phone (SD652) 5.9 9.9
Xiaomi Mi 6 (SD835) 22 37
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Exynos 8895) 25 41
Google Pixel XL (SD821) 19 30
Lenovo Z2 Plus (SD820) 19 32
Moto Z2 Play (SD626) 3.5 6.5
Redmi Note 4 (SD625) 3.4 6.2

3DMark

3DMark (Sling Shot Extreme)

OPPO R11 (SD660) 1354
Smartron srt.phone (SD652) 900
Xiaomi Mi 6 (SD835) 3321
Samsung Galaxy S8+ (Exynos 8895) 2575
Google Pixel XL (SD821) 2655
Lenovo Z2 Plus (SD820) 2347
Moto Z2 Play (SD626) 469
Redmi Note 4 (SD625) 455

The benchmarks show a performance increase across the board for the Snapdragon 660, with the chipset coming close to last year’s flagship SoCs. That’s consistent with what I’ve seen in the two weeks I used the R11. There’s a noticeable uptick in battery life as well from the likes of the Snapdragon 650/652/653.

For now, the main issue with the Snapdragon 660 is its availability, or lack thereof. The OPPO R11 is limited to Asia, and won’t be available outside of the region anytime soon. More devices powered by the Snapdragon 660 should be rolling out in Q4, and if recent rumors are any indication, the Moto X4 will be the first phone to be powered by the Snapdragon 660 in the U.S.

Once it becomes mainstream, I think it will quickly become one of the most popular mid-range chips on the market; from a CPU perspective, it benchmarks close to the Snapdragon 835 in some respects, and handily beats every other budget SoC on the market. Lots to look forward to!

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