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Budget Android phones to go 64bit and rock 4G

Qualcomm’s new 410 chipset could bestow even cheap phones with 4G and quad-core processing.

Smartphone users will no longer need to shell out hundreds of pounds just to take advantage of the fastest mobile broadband connections available. Qualcomm has announced a new chipset, the SnapDragon 410, which will bring 4G connectivity to the cheaper end of the Android market. It’s intended for us in handsets costing less than $150, say Qualcomm. 

Entry-level handsets could soon have as much power as flagship phones.

The new chipset offers LTE World Wide, which means the 4G service will be usable in any country with a 4G network. In the UK, you’ll be able to use your SnapDragon 410-powered handset on Three, EE, Vodafone or O2 just as long as you have a 4G SIM card. 

Qualcomm says the inclusion of 4G LTE support on its new chip is intended to help push the rollout of faster mobile communications in emerging countries. From now on, 4G will be included on all of the company’s chipsets. Support for 1080p video playback and cameras that can capture up to 13MP of detail are likely to be more of more immediate interest, since 4G isn’t yet available in plenty of places – and is only available in the UK in a handful of towns and cities so far. 

Jeff Lorbeck, Qualcomm’s COO for China, said “the Snapdragon 410 chipset will be the first of many 64-bit capable processors” the company launches. The main advantage of 64bit chipsets is that they work with more than 4GB of memory. 

The Qualcomm SnapDragon 410 chipset will be compatible with Android, Window Phone and Firefox mobile operating systems. Apple was the first to launch a 64bit smartphone when it brought out the iPhone 5S in October. Samsung is reputed to be using a 64bit chipset in its next Galaxy S Android phone. 

Rosemary Hattersley

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