Some chipsets are remembered more fondly than others. The Snapdragon 810 has quite the story, but since we’re feeling positive today, let’s take a look at the Snapdragon 625.
The Snapdragon 625 was announced in February 2016, making it the first 600 series chip manufactured using the power efficient 14nm node. Its predecessor, the Snapdragon 617, was manufactured at the 28nm node and it showed.
The new 625 consumes 35% less power than its predecessor in normal day-to-day use. To put it into perspective, if a phone with an older chip had enough battery to last from 6am to 6pm, the same phone would run through the evening if instead powered by a newer chip. You could use it without any problems.
Long battery life has become one of the Snapdragon 625’s business cards. It was very efficient and fast enough to power a wide variety of mid-rangers.Today we’ll take a look at some of the more interesting devices using the 625.
But first, let’s introduce the hardware. The CPU has 8 Cortex-A53 cores and while it’s not the fastest core in the world, the 14nm node allows it to reach clock speeds of up to 2.0GHz. For comparison, the previous chip also had an A53, but split into a 4x 1.5GHz + 4x 1.2GHz configuration.
The Snapdragon 625 had dual ISPs capable of handling up to 24MP cameras and 4K video recording (using both AVC and HEVC). This was typically left to high-end chips such as the Snapdragon 650/652.
The chip also enabled a solid (mid-range) connectivity suite. It had an X9 LTE modem (up to 300Mbps downstream, 150Mbps upstream) and a Wi-Fi 5 (ac) modem with speeds up to 433Mbps. It also has Bluetooth 4.1 and supports GPS, GLONASS, Galileo and Beidou.
The Snapdragon 625 had all the features needed for a low-altitude phone in the midrange segment. While not groundbreaking, performance was solid, and the limitations of the FHD-class display prevented more premium applications (if you wanted a QHD display, you wanted at least the Snapdragon 650).
Asus was an early adopter of the Zenfone 3 series. The ZE552KL has a 5.5-inch 1080p display, and I was able to pull 74 hours of endurance from a 3,000mAh battery (the phone he was pretty slim at 7.7mm).
The Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.5 ZS550KL was an interesting device. The name was dangerously similar to his ZS5570 Deluxe with Snapdragon 820 and 821. However, the ZS550KL got a Snapdragon 625 instead. Also a different screen, a different camera, etc.
Asus Zenfone 3 ZE520KL • Zenfone 3 ZE552KL • Zenfone 3 Deluxe 5.5 ZS550KL • Zenfone 3 Zoom ZE553KL
Was the 625 really fast enough to measure up to the 820? Yes, no, almost no. The A53 cores were slow individually, but in the Geekbench 4 multi-core test, eight of them combined scored him with the Snapdragon 820 just slightly above the OnePlus 3. But the GPU fell nowhere near rice field.
Another phone whose name may have caused confusion and disappointment was the Zenfone 3 Zoom ZE553KL. The “zoom” here is only his 2.3x lens fixed at 59mm, which is nothing like the variable focal length periscope on his original Zenfone Zoom (ZX550).
Xiaomi has also used the Snapdragon 625 in multiple devices, including its first Android One phone, the Mi A1. At the time, it was greeted with excitement. It wasn’t the 625’s fault, but a few failed updates tempered that excitement.
Xiaomi Mi A1 (Mi 5X) • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite (Redmi 6 Pro) • Xiaomi Mi Max 2 • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
Another notable Xiaomi from that era is the giant Mi Max 2 with a 6.44-inch display. This dates back to his 16:9 days, so the device was 174.1 mm tall and 88.7 mm wide. Thanks to an efficient chipset, battery endurance has been extended to 126 hours.
The 625 was also used in the fan-favorite Redmi Note 4. Quality he built this product with a 5.5-inch 1080p display, an aluminum frame, a decent camera, and excellent battery life (119-hour endurance rating, although the battery was only 4,100mAh). Of the back phone top bang at the time.
Samsung also used this chip with the Galaxy C7 and others. This reasonably priced phone had a large 5.7-inch Super AMOLED with 1080p resolution, an aluminum frame, and a fairly small 3,300mAh battery, but clocked in at 100 hours in our endurance test. This is the magic of his Snapdragon 625.
The 625 was also used in some regional devices such as the Galaxy On7 (2016) launched in China and South Korea and the very similar Galaxy J7 V for US carriers.
Samsung Galaxy C7 • Samsung Galaxy On7 (2016) • Samsung Galaxy J7 V
Motorola and Lenovo also had some fun devices. The Moto Z Play was an affordable Z phone that remained compatible with the revolutionary (if unlucky) Moto Mod modular system. There were also more standard smartphones such as the Moto G5 Plus and G5S Plus.
Some Lenovo tablets used 625. The Yoga Tab 3 Plus, for example, featured an unusual “folding magazine” style bottom with chunky speakers and a kickstand. There were also slimmer devices like the 7mm Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus.
Motorola Moto Z Play • Motorola Moto G5S Plus • Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus • Lenovo Tab 4 10 Plus
After the failure of the premium Passport and Priv, BlackBerry tried something more affordable. The BlackBerry Keyone was a tall device with a 4.5-inch display and a hardware QWERTY keyboard, and of course the Snapdragon 625. This was after the release of BlackBerry OS, so it was running Android 7.1 Nougat at launch.
A few months later came the all-touchscreen BlackBerry Motion with a 5.5-inch 1080p display. It was also launched with Nougat who felt it was a better fit for the hardware. BB OS had some clever keyboard-related shortcuts, but Android reduced its reliance on the keyboard very early on. upon.
BlackBerry Keyone • BlackBerry Motion
One very unique device with a Snapdragon 625 was the YotaPhone 3. This dual-screen phone featured a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel (1080p) on one side and a 5.2-inch e-Ink display (720p) on the other. The e-Ink display had capacitive touch capabilities, was always on, and had informative widgets always on display.
Conclude your memory journey with ZTE Spro Plus, a curious smart projector. It was a tablet of sorts with his AMOLED display of 8.4 inches (2,560 x 1,600 pixels) and was running Android 6.0 Marshmallow. 2.4m distance. With a large 12,100mAh battery, 4W Harman speaker, and built-in LTE modem, you can create your personal cinema anywhere.
Projector/Tablet with ZTE Spro Plus Android
We’ve skipped quite a few Snapdragon 625 powered devices. There are 48 devices in the database, not counting weird gadgets like the Spro. For example, the first Huawei nova used a 625, as did many ZTE phones.
The last phone with the 625 was launched in 2018, two years after the first phone was launched. This is a testament to the capabilities and popularity of the chipset.
Qualcomm also released the Snapdragon 626 in 2016. This is a slightly overclocked version, running 8 Cortex-A53 cores at 2.2GHz (up from 2.0GHz). This version was used on several phones, the last being released in his 2019.
The recent Snapdragon 680 continues the work started by the 625. This is a popular chipset that meets the requirements of being cheap, efficient, powerful enough and with a built-in 4G modem.