A tamer dragon: 5 of the best smartphones based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410
Qualcomm, which is the world's largest smartphone SoC - System on a Chip - seller by number of units, approaches all of the smartphone segments you can think of. As some of you probably know by now, the company's current naming scheme is divided in four lineups, the 200, 400, 600, and 800 series.
The Snapdragon 400 series is for mid-range handsets, mainstream smartphones that are not too pricey nor too powerful. In some ways, mid-range smartphones based on the Snapdragon 400 and the Snapdragon 410 usually tell the story of current smartphone generations, seeing that not everyone can shed out top dollar for devices based on the Snapdragon 800 and 600 series.
The current-generation mid-range Snapdragon model is the 410. The Snapdragon 410 comes with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor (usually clocked at 1.2GHz) and an Adreno 306GPU. On the connectivity side, the SoC is capable of Cat 4 LTE speeds of up to 150 Mbps. Since this is not a technical piece, we invite you to learn more about the Snapdragon 410 on the manufacturer's product page.
With this in mind, we'll now talk about the best smartphones based on the Snapdragon 410. Bear in mind that "best" is a subjective word, at least when it comes to smartphones, which is why we tried to include handsets that come with at least one major strong point. You decide which one lines up with your personal preferences.
Out of all the smartphones that we've tested thus far, the snappiest handset based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 was the Moto G (2015). Although the quad-core CPU is clocked a bit higher, 1.4GHz vs 1.2GHz on most other handsets, it's likely that the near-stock Android 5.1 Lollipop implementation also helps with the overall performance of the smartphone.
The Moto G (2015) comes in two configurations. One features 8GB of internal storage and 1GB of RAM while the other doubles both memory types, coming with 16GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM. The "snappiest" remark applies for the 16GB - 2GB configuration, which is the one that we've tested. Users can expand the integrated storage space by 32GB using the microSD card slot.
Other specs include a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 720 by 1280 pixels, a 13MP primary camera, a 5MP secondary shooter on the front, and a 2470mAh battery that behaved very well during our tests. Check out the full Motorola Moto G (2015) review for more details.
While the Moto G impresses though performance, the Samsung Galaxy A5 puts more emphasis on design and build quality. As the mid-sized option in Samsung's affordable-but-well-built lineup, this one of the company's first-ever all-metallic Android smartphone. The device measures 6.7mm across its waist, which makes it the thinnest Snapdragon 410-powered smartphone included in this list.
The A5 comes with 5-inch Super AMOLED panel that runs a resolution of 720 by 1280 pixels, the 1.2GHz quad-core processor is paired with 2GB of RAM. Samsung fitted in 16GB of internal storage, but the handset also accepts microSD cards of up to 64GB in size.
In the camera department, the Samsung Galaxy A5 is equipped with a 13MP primary camera and a 5MP "selfie" shooter on the front. This is almost the same configuration as the Moto G (2015), but the performance is not as sharp on Android 5.0 Lollipop overlaid with TouchWiz. Also, the 2300 mAh does not match the battery life of the 3rd-gen Moto G.
Although the Xiaomi Redmi 2 is not available in the US, it can still serve the purpose of this listicle, which is to find out just how far the Snapdragon 410 can be pushed.
Like Moto G (2015), the Xiaomi Redmi 2 is available with either 8GB of internal storage and 1GB of RAM or 16GB of internal storage and 2GB of RAM, both of which come with a microSD card slot. Another similarity is the resolution of the display, 720 by 1280 pixels, but the panel on the Redmi 2 is a bit sharper since it measures 4.7 inches across the diagonal.
In the camera department, the Xiaomi Redmi 2 is equipped with an 8MP primary camera and a 2MP secondary shooter. All of these specs are powered by a 2200mAh battery. On the software side, the device runs Android 4.4 with Xiaomi's MIUI 6 overlaid on top.
Yep, Marshall is expanding beyond guitar amps and is now making an Android smartphone. Unlike all of the other smartphones on this list, the Marshall London has a very specific customer base: music fans.
We'll get to the raw specs in a moment, but if you're going to buy the Marshall London for $499 once the phone launches next week, you'll probably be more interested in its audio-related features, such as dual headphone jacks, dual microphones, a global EQ, a DJ app, recording software, as well as a Wolfson DSP. Also, the Marshall London comes bundled with a pair of Marshall Mode in-ear headphones, ones that are generally considered high-quality ear pieces by reviewers.
As far as more generic specs go, the Marshall London comes with a 4.7-inch IPS display running a resolution of 720 by 1280 pixels, 16GB of microSD-expandable internal storage, an 8MP primary shooter, and a 2MP secondary shooter on the front. On the software front, the London features Android 5.0 Lollipop with a near-stock interface, but lots of Marshall's software to take proper care of audiophiles.
As you can imagine, LG had to cut some corners to launch the Lancet at such a low price. The 4.5-inch display runs a resolution of 480 by 854 pixels, which is a small size and low resolution by modern standards. Furthermore, the Lancet comes with a single GB of RAM, comes with 8GB of expandable internal storage, an 8MP primary camera, and a VGA front-facing shooter. All of these specs are powered by a 2100mAh battery.