Mediatek vs Qualcomm: In depth comparison

MediaTek and Qualcomm are the two major companies that make ARM SOCs (system on a chip) for Android devices like smartphones and tablets. Both the companies provide chips for all three budget, medium, and high price range devices making it difficult to choose which one to buy. In this detailed comparison between MediaTek vs Qualcomm, we will compare 3 processors from low to high end from both companies and will see which one offers better performance and also compare the battery life and value for money.

Overview

Qualcomm

Qualcomm is an American semiconductor giant mainly known for manufacturing ARM chipsets that sell under the name of Qualcomm Snapdragon. The latest processor from the company includes the Snapdragon 845 for high-end devices, Snapdragon 660 for mid-end devices and the Snapdragon 450 for low-end devices. The latest Snapdragon 845 chipset it occupied in almost every high-end Android devices that are currently available. It is far superior in performance when compared to its predecessors. When it comes to GPU, all the Snapdragon chips occupy the Qualcomm’s own Adreno GPU. The latest Snapdragon 845 is occupied with the Adreno 630 graphics chip which is currently the most powerful graphics processor available in smartphones. Apart from making processors, the semiconductor giant is also known for its Qualcomm Atheros wireless chips which are commonly used in most of today’s laptops.

MediaTek

MediaTek is a Taiwanese company that manufactures ARM SOCs for smartphones and tablets. MediaTek is the first company to introduce the 10 core or deca-core helio X10 processor and also the very first company to manufacture chips at 10mn. After Apple, MediaTek holds around 14% of market share, while Qualcomm tops it with around 42% Market share. MediaTek is known for providing features like a deca-core processor in the budget range. But those specs looks good only on paper, not in real world, I will come back to this later below. As MediaTek doesn’t manufacture any GPU like Qualcomm does, the MediaTek processors often comes with Mali GPU and some with PowerVR graphics.

Cpu performance.

When it comes to buying smartphone CPU is my highest priority because I don’t want my phone to be slow or unresponsive and maybe you also don’t like these slowness or unresponsiveness. So to get good performance the CPU needs to be good. Let’s compare the processor from both manufacturers in all three price segments and see who wins in terms of performance.

#High budget range.

This benchmark comparison will be in between MediaTek helio x30 and snapdragon 845. Both are the latest processors from MediaTek and Qualcomm and designed for providing premium performance. The MediaTek x30 containing device will be Meizu pro 7 and mi mix 2s for snapdragon 845.

As you can see in the above image of antutu benchmark, the Snapdragon 845 clearly beats the MediaTek helio x30 by 125306, which is almost 90% of the benchmark score of MediaTek helio x30.

#Medium budget range

In the medium budget range, there are so many processors available but we will do the comparison between the Snapdragon

mediatek vs snapdragon

As the above benchmark image shows, Qualcomm’s mid-ranger snapdragon 660 beat the Mediatek helio x23 by 46535 just like in the above benchmark Qualcomm again defeated Mediatek in the medium range also.

#Budget range.

Now it comes to the budget range. Here for this comparison, we will take Mediatek mt6753 and Snapdragon 450, both are the latest low-range CPU from MediaTek and Qualcomm and are used in various budget smartphones.

mediatek vs snapdragon

As you can see in the above image the Snapdragon 450 clearly beats the MediaTek mt6753 in term of overall performance.

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Battery.

Battery life is one of the biggest concern of smartphone users and when it comes to battery life processors plays a very important role in it. Qualcomm Snapdragon processors are very power efficient, currently, all of their processors are manufactured using the 14nm process, which saves great battery life when compared to old 28nm process. Now comes Mediatek, at past MediaTek’s processors are known to be inefficient and low power to performance ratio, but now with its 10nm manufacturing process, MediaTek has defeated Qualcomm in utilizing new technology faster and those 10nm chips that MediaTek built are very power efficient and its impact on battery is same or less than Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.

Graphics performance.

Apart from CPU, GPU is also very important in a smartphone, all the graphics work like video playing, playing games etc. are handled by GPU, So as you see GPU is important as much as CPU. Qualcomm Snapdragon processors packs its own ardeno GPU since the beginning. While MediaTek processors in the other hand packs GPU for different 3rd party manufacturers like ARM Mali and IMGtech PowerVR graphics because they don’t develop GPU like how Qualcomm does.

 

Let’s see how the GPUs of their flagship processors MediaTek helio x30 and Snapdragon 845 compare.

The above benchmark between helio x30’s PowerVR 7XTP-MT4 and snapdragon 845’s ardeno 630, helio x30 has scored half than that of Snapdragon 845’s Adreno 630 GPU.

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Development.

By development, I actually mean android updates. Android updates are dependent on OEMs and most smartphone out there in the market get official Android updates only for a year or at max 2 years and if you further want to update your android phone you have to install custom rom. If your device is powered by Qualcomm processor then you gonna have plenty of roms available to install but if your phone is powered by MediaTek processor then this option will be minimal because Qualcomm releases kernel source code for every processor and updates it whenever a newer version of Android is available but that’s not the case with MediaTek. MediaTek actually won’t release any source code for its processors making it very difficult to compile custom roms.

Price Segment.

Price of a smartphone mainly depends upon the processor used. Qualcomm Snapdragon processors are a bit costly for OEMs while MediaTek processors are little cheap. Back in 2015, the budget smartphone market was crowded by MediaTek processors as there were no snapdragon processors available for the budget smartphones but in the end of 2015 or start of 2016 Qualcomm has shown interest towards budget smartphones and released new budget 4xx processors, since then most of the new budget smartphones occupies them. So now in 2018, I would advise you to go for Snapdragon processor whenever possible because as you see in the above benchmark results. Qualcomm Snapdragon has shown better performance in all three price segment.

 

What processor do you prefer to use? Reply in comments!

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