Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 is one of the most popular Smartphone Processor in 2017. Some of the top mid-range devices like Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X, Xiaomi Mi A1, Motorola Moto G5+, Levono P2, Asus Zenfone 3, Samsung Galaxy C7, and Xiaomi Mi Max 2 run on Snapdragon 625 Mobile Platform. The highest selling Smartphone in India in 2017, i.e. Redmi Note 4 (known as Redmi Note 4X globally) also has the same CPU. You’re probably here because you’re looking to buy one of these devices and you’re not sure about the performance of this SOC. No worries, I assure that at the end of this article, you’ll get to know everything about this Processor.
First of all, we will check the specification of this processor and discuss the improvements Qualcomm has made over its predecessor (Snapdragon 617). Then we will move on to benchmarks and comparisons. Then I will review this Processor and give my ratings concerning the performance, gaming, price-to-performance ratio and power efficiency. You’ll get to know the Antutu and GeekBench Scores of some of the popular devices running on this System-on-chip. We will also compare it with other popular Snapdragon Processors such as Snapdragon 617, 630, 650, 652, 430, 435, 450, 820, 821. Then we will compare it with MediaTek Processors like MediaTek MT6750, MT6755, Helio X10, Helio P10, Helio P15, Helio X20. At last, we will compare it with Samsung’s Processors such as Exynos 7580, 7870 and Kirin Processors like Kirin 655 and 650.
|Launch Date||Q2 2016|
|No. of Cores||8|
|Core Configuration||8x Cortex-A53 up to 2.0 GHz|
|GPU Frequency||650 MHz|
|Memory Type||Single-Channel LPDDR3|
|Modem||Qualcomm X9 LTE|
|Fast Charging||Quickcharge 3.0|
|Max Display Resolution||Full HD 1080p|
|Camera Megapixels||Up to 24MP|
CPU, GPU, and Memory:
Qualcomm first introduced Snapdragon 625 on February 11, 2016, alongside the Snapdragon 435 and 425. The codename of this SOC is MSM8953. It is the first processor in the Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 tier which uses the 14nm FinFET technology. It is the successor to the Snapdragon 617, and the 14nm Fabrication overcomes all the heating and throttling issues of the previous generation. Though it still uses ARM Cortex-A53 cores, they run at a frequency of 2.0 GHz which is 500 MHz higher than SD 617.
Interestingly, the next generation Snapdragon 630 uses the Cortex-A53 cores as well. Adreno 506 is the graphics processor of this SOC, and it delivers consistent gaming performance even after continuous use. Adreno 506 runs at a frequency of 650 MHz and does a great job at 1080p gaming. Snapdragon 625 System-on-chip only supports a Single-Channel LPDDR3 RAM which is fine considering that it is just a budget-friendly processor.
Modem, Display, Camera, and Other Features:
The Qualcomm X9 LTE Modem can deliver download speeds of up to 300 Mbps and a max upload speed of 150 Mbps. It supports multiple SIMs as well as VoLTE. Moving on to the Display, this SOC supports Full HD Resolution with 4K Ultra HD Video Playback. It has Bluetooth version 4.1 and USB 3.0. This SOC uses the Hexagon 546 Digital Signal Processor with Qualcomm All-Ways Aware technology. It also supports NFC (Near-Field Communication) and utilizes a dual ISP for better and faster Image Processing.
It uses the eMMC 5.1 storage and can use a maximum camera of 24 Megapixels. Lastly, Quickcharge 3.0 technology is also supported, but it depends on the smartphone’s OEM, whether or not they would like to include Fast Charging or not. For example, Redmi Note 4X doesn’t support fast charging even though it runs on this Processor.
Snapdragon 625 Benchmark
Snapdragon 625 Benchmark
Benchmarks mainly depend on the CPU/GPU Performance and RAM. Snapdragon 625 isn’t the fastest or the most powerful mid-range SOC out there, but it is one of the most optimized and stable. It doesn’t do that great in benchmark scores, but in real world performance, it is a way better than similar SOCs. Usually the Processors with 8x ARM Cortex-A53 Cores score around 40-50k points in Antutu, but in this case, the CPU runs at a higher frequency (2.0 GHz), and the 14nm fabrication makes the Antutu score cross even the 60k mark. In the following paragraph, we will discuss the Antutu and GeekBench Benchmarks in detail.
Here are the Antutu scores of Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X, Moto G5 Plus, Lenovo P2, Asus Zenfone 3 and Mi Max 2. All these smartphones score slightly higher than 60K. Mi Max 2 scores the highest but you should note that a difference of 2-3K in Antutu Score is considered normal. Even when the same device is benchmarked twice, the scores can vary. These scores are about ~10-15k higher than the Snapdragon 617 and MediaTek Helio X10 Devices. Also, these Antutu Scores are about 20k higher than Snapdragon 430/435 devices. Devices from Snapdragon 65X series (650, 652, and 653) easily cross 75k in Antutu due to their powerful GPU and ARM Cortex-A72 Cores.
The GeekBench Scores of Snapdragon 625 are decent as well. With a score of 4,201, Xiaomi Mi Max 2 scores the highest in Multi-Core Test followed by the Samsung Galaxy C7. The average Single-Core score of this Processor is slightly greater than 850. Samsung Galaxy C7 scores the highest with 875, followed by Xiaomi Mi Max 2 and Redmi Note 4X.
Snapdragon 625 Review
Snapdragon 625 Review
So, after elaborating the specification and benchmark, we are finally at the review. Before I give my opinion, you should check out the gaming performance of Redmi Note 4X (known as simply Redmi Note 4 in India). The video credit goes to GeekyRanjit.
He tested some high graphics demanding games like Mortal Kombat X, Nova 3, Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat 5. As you can see, the Adreno 506 GPU can handle heavy games with ease, and due to the 14nm FinFET Manufacturing Process, the phone doesn’t heat. The temperature didn’t even cross 37 degrees on heavy gaming, and this indicates the excellent power efficiency of this SOC. Now, I’ll review this Processor on various aspects, and I’ll take real life performance into consideration.
The general performance of a smartphone mainly depends on the CPU. In this case, we have eight ARM Cortex-A53 Cores than can go up to a frequency of 2.0 GHz. Cortex A53 cores are not that powerful, but the higher clock rate raises the speed. However, A53 are still no match for Cortex-A72 and Cortex-A73 cores. However, in daily life scenario, you’ll hardly notice a difference in load times of Mobile Apps. Another factor that comes into play is the 14nm FinFET Tech which gives a slight performance boost and saves more. We’ll discuss it in the next section.
The 14nm Fabrication technique not only makes this SOC consume less power, but it also reduces throttling and heating issues. This in turn, directly impacts the user experience by improving the Battery Life and gives a better Gaming Experience. You will be able to game for long hours without being interrupted by any heating/throttling problems.
The Adreno 506 does a decent job and can handle every Android game at a Full HD (1080p) Resolution. Yes, it is not as powerful as the Adreno 508 (Snapdragon 630), Adreno 510 (Snapdragon 650/652/653), Adreno 512 (Snapdragon 660), yet it is sufficient for heavy gaming on a Full HD Display. Also, don’t forget to check out the video from GeekyRanjit in the previous section to get a better idea of the Gaming Performance of Qualcomm SD 625.
The smartphones which are powered by this SOC start with around $150 and go up to even $400. So, for obvious reasons, devices like Redmi Note 4X offer a higher value for your money rather than the Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro. Anyway, it’s the overall specification of a device which decides its worth. In my opinion, a device under $300 which runs on this Processor has an excellent price-to-performance ratio.
Rest of the features such as the Memory, Modem, Signal and Images Processing, Fast Charging, etc. are decent for a mid-budget SOC. In 2018, we will have even better mid-range devices which will run on Snapdragon 630 and Snapdragon 660. But for now, these features are sufficient for a good smartphone.
Here are my overall ratings of SD 625 System on Chip.