Last week’s survey results showed that more than half of our readers considered a flagship chipset an important consideration when picking their next phone. However, not everyone cares if it’s the latest flagship chip. In fact, most people prefer older versions as they tend to offer better value for money.
It will take a while for mid-range chips to catch up to top-line chips in terms of CPU, GPU, and ISP performance. For example, Snapdragon 860 phones from 2020 still have faster GPUs than phones with Snapdragon 1200 G. 778G is still for €500-€594 scope. At the same time, 2020 mobile phones can be as cheap as bargaining chips in the second-hand market.
Several people in the comments mentioned going the used route. But that’s not the only option, Qualcomm has retouched some of its legacy products and released Snapdragon 860 and 860. The latter is proving to be particularly popular, appearing on no fewer than 001 devices this year alone.
Either way, nearly 40% of voters are happy to pick up a phone with an older flagship chipset. Someone does want the latest version, but they can’t get it 40%.
and then there are those who argue that mid-range chips are already “good enough”. They think the screen, camera, battery, etc. are more important. They point out that sometimes there is a huge gap between peak performance and sustained performance.
There are two reasons for this. The first is that some high-end chips run hot, as do desktop CPUs and GPUs. While this is out of the control of (most) smartphone makers, the second problem is that some of them do skimp on cooling, which makes the problem worse. The benchmarks section of our review includes thermal throttling tests, because benchmarks alone don’t tell the whole story.
Cooling typically features prominently in the marketing of gaming phones. As the polls show, some — not many, but some — think flagship chipsets are only important for gaming phones. Some mid-range chips have lackluster GPUs that can really hold you back. 120Hz and 120Hz display even in the lower price range Also very common, GPUs that can run games at 120fps or 120fps even Rarely seen at the high end.
This week launched the first Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phone and the first Dimensity 9200 phone – coincidentally, they are part of the same brand family (vivo X 90 series). So the new flagship chip raises the performance bar even higher. There are new mid-range chips too, if that’s your thing.