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MediaTek vs. Qualcomm: Which Chipset you should have in your Smartphone, Tablet

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With smartphones getting cheaper by the day, even the layman is talking the chipset language. About 2 years back, you’d be tagged a ‘tech guru’ if you spoke about chipset and RAM and ROM; however, with smartphones fast becoming popular and affordable, you hear every other guy speaking the tech lingo. People now want to know what their hard earned money is giving them; the times when the packaging mattered more than the substance is long gone.

Most of us carry out an extensive research before going for a device, be it a mobile phone, tablet PC, desktop or laptop. This is because of the recent ‘awareness revolution’ brought about with the launch of affordable smartphones.

What matters the most in a smartphone? In descending order, it probably is processor, RAM, GPU, and then the rest follow. In this post, let us talk about the first and the most important component on your phone – the Processor.

We usually here names like Exynos, Snapdragon, etc. Another name which has cropped up recently is MediaTek. MediaTek is a relatively new chipset manufacturer, and the Taiwanese company is the latest among the previously mentioned ones to join the international scene. The company’s Modus Operandi is significantly different from it’s counterparts; MediaTek believes in profit from volume rather than bigger from from lesser units.

mediatek-chip-2

This is what has made the company the ‘go-to’ chipset manufacturer for low cost devices; almost all of the low cost devices originating from China, be it for consumption in the home country or for other brands like Micromax, feature MediaTek processors.

On the other hand, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is all about cutting edge technology delivered before anyone else gets there. However, Qualcomm chipsets, and therefore smartphones featuring Qualcomm chipsets, are usually much more pricier than their MediaTek counterparts. But, a few handset manufacturers are now offering older-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon processor powered phones to compete against this backlash from MediaTek. In this case, which device should you go for?

Qualcomm Chips

Well, many factors such as architecture, working frequency, etc. need to be kept in mind before going for your device. Comparing the MT6589 from MediaTek and MSM8225Q from Qualcomm, for example:


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Chipset MediaTek MT6589 Qualcomm MSM8228Q
Manufacturing process 28nm 28nm
Architecture Cortex A7 Cortex A5
Frequency 1.2 GHz per core 1 GHz per core
GPU PowerVR SGX 544 Adreno 203
Video Playback 1080p 720p
Screen resolution 1920x1080p 1200x800p
Power Efficiency High Low
Camera 13MP max 8MP max
Cores 4 4

As you can see from the table above, the MT6589 comfortably beats the MSM8225Q. Why do we compare these two only, even though the two companies have many more chipsets on offer? Because, the MT6589 and the MSM8225Q fall in exactly the same price bracket, as far as the handsets featuring them are concerned.

Does this mean that MediaTek is the better chipset manufacture out of the two? No. This was simply a comparison between the MT6589 and the MSM8225Q, two of the most popular low cost chipsets in the market.

We believe that you should make your choice depending on your budget. For example, for anything below 15k INR, you need not look further; MediaTek is the way you need to go. On the other hand, if you are ready to shell out some serious money (upwards of 20k INR), you should look at options other than MediaTek. The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro is a great choice; the MT6589T is something which tries to compete against the S4 Pro, however, the S4 Pro is the clear winner.

We think we have made our thoughts pretty clear. To sum it up, we say it again – go for MediaTek based devices if you are looking for a smartphone costing under 15,000 INR. On the other hand, going for a Qualcomm powered smartphone when on a higher budget is a better idea.

Please let us know of your thoughts on this! Feel free to comment and discuss.

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About Yash Garg

The author is student of engineering who has a knack of fiddling with and writing about the latest technology from around the world. A foodie at heart, he currently uses the OPPO Find 5 as his primary device. You can connect with him on