Snapdragon 636 Review, Specification, and Benchmark Score

Qualcomm recently announced the Snapdragon 636 Mobile Platform and many upcoming midrange devices will be running on the same. It is quite similar to the Snapdragon 660 but has a few minor changes in form of GPU, CPU Clock speeds, and RAM Frequency.

This processor is very popular due to the fact that it may not cost as high for the OEMs as the SD 660 because the CPU has a lower frequency. I’m expecting a lot of phones from brands like Xiaomi, Motorola, Lenovo, LG, and Nokia that will be powered by this processor. On 14th February 2018, Xiaomi launched the Redmi Note 5 Pro which is powered by this chip. Also, the new Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 and the Moto Z3 Play are powered by this Processor.

It is significantly powerful than the Snapdragon 630 and 625 due to the extremely powerful Kryo 260 Cores. The Kryo 260 cores are in fact a combination of 4 semi-custom Cortex-A73 cores and 4 semi-custom Cortex-A53 cores.

The Kryo 260 packs a lot more power than the ARM Cortex-A72 cores of processors like Snapdragon 650, 652, and 653. Also, it is manufactured using the power efficient 14nm technique. So, we can guess that its performance is better than that of Snapdragon 630, 625, 653, 652, and the 650. In fact, it is so good that I couldn’t find a single disadvantage for writing down below.

Pros
  • High Performance
  • Battery Efficient
  • Fast Modem
  • Great for Gaming
Cons
  • None

    Specification

NameSnapdragon 636
CodenameSDM636
BrandQualcomm
No. of Cores8
Core Configuration8x Kryo 260 @ 1.8 GHz
Fabrication Technique14nm
Graphics ProcessorAdreno 509
RAMDual-Channel LPDDR4/4X
Max RAM8GB
RAM Frequency1333 MHz
Fast ChargingYes, Quick Charge 4
DSPHexagon 680
Max ResolutionFull HD+ (18:9)
ModemX12 LTE
Max Download Speed600 Mbps
VoLTE SupportYes
ISPSpectra 160
Max Camera24MP
Bluetooth Version5
AI SupportYes via Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine

Qualcomm announced this chip on October 17th, 2017. The codename of this Mobile Platform is SDM636. It is an Octa-Core Processor with 8x Kryo 260 cores that can have a maximum clock frequency of 1.8 GHz. The Kryo 260 Cores deliver 40% higher performance than the ARM Cortex-A53 Cores of Snapdragon 630.  Qualcomm has used the 14nm Fabrication technique to manufacture this chip and it has the new Adreno 509 GPU. Areno 509 delivers better gaming performance than the previous generation Adreno 508 and 506.

It has a Dual-Channel LPDDR4/4X RAM and a device powered by this processor can have maximum RAM of 8 Gigabytes. Snapdragon 636 supports Qualcomm QuickCharge 4 Technology which according to Qualcomm delivers up to five hours of battery life with just 5 minutes of charging. It supports Full HD+ Display Resolution for phones with an aspect ratio of 18:9. The Qualcomm’s X12 LTE Modem can deliver download speeds up to 600 Mbps and upload speeds up to 150 Mbps with VoLTE support. It has the Qualcomm’s Hexagon 680 Digital Signal Processor and the Spectra 160 Image Sensor Processor.

It also supports the latest Bluetooth 5 and the maximum camera can be of 24MP. Developers can optimize their apps using the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine that supports Caffe and TensorFlow. For more detailed specification, visit the Qualcomm‘s official website.

    Snapdragon 636 Benchmark

So far, only one Snapdragon 636 device has launched and that is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro. We will add more benchmarks when more devices based on this processor begin to launch.

Antutu Benchmark

Redmi Note 5 Pro Antutu Benchmark

The Antutu Benchmark score of Snapdragon 636 is over 110,000 points. Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro gets a score of 113,004 points. That’s huge for a mid-range chipset! The Cortex-A73 based Kryo 260 cores surely pack a lot of firepower!

GeekBench Score

Snapdragon 636 Geekbench Score

Once again, we have the benchmark score of Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro on Geekbench 4. The Single-Core score of this SOC is 1,338, while the multi-core score is 4,864. Impressive, right?

    Comparisons

Here are a few comparisons with other popular CPUs. You can also get the rankings of all Snapdragon Processors here: Snapdragon Processor Rankings.

Snapdragon 636 vs Kirin 659

Kirin 659 has weaker CPU cores (Cortex-A53 Cores of Kirin 659 are a lot weaker than the Kryo 260 Cores based on ARM Cortex-A73 architecture). Also, the Memory, GPU, Power Efficiency, Modem and almost every other feature is better in 636. Also, check out the full comparison: Snapdragon 636 vs Kirin 659 vs Snapdraagon 630.

Winner
  • Snapdragon 636

vs Snapdragon 625 and 630

SD 636 has a much faster CPU, GPU, RAM, Modem and many other better features. It is way ahead of Snapdragon 625 and 630.

Winner
  • Snapdragon 636

vs Snapdragon 425 and 435

These processors belongs to the Snapdragon 400 tier and their performance isn’t even as good as 625 or 630. To know more, check out this comparison: Snapdragon 435 vs 625.

Winner
  • Snapdragon 636

vs Snapdragon 650 and 652

The Snapdragon 636 is more power efficient and has a faster CPU, Modem, and RAM as compared to 650 and 652.

Winner
  • Snapdragon 636

vs Snapdragon 660

Both the processors have a similar specification but the Snapdragon 660 runs at a slightly higher CPU frequency and has a better GPU.

Winner
  • Snapdragon 660

vs Snapdragon 821 and 835

Both SD 835 and 821 are flagships chips and they can outperform 636 in each and every aspect. Snapdragon 835 has the best CPU, GPU, and is manufactured using the best fabrication technique available as of now.

Winner
  • Snapdragon 835

    Snapdragon 636 Review

As of now, no brand has annoucned a amartphone running on this processor. So, I’ve only one option is to give my opinion on the basis of specification and the performance of Snapdragon 660 (as both chips are quite similar).

Daily-Life Performance

The high-performance Kryo 260 cores can perform any intensive task you throw at it. The phone will run incredibly fast and you will not observe any lags whatsoever. Trust me, in general use, you will not be able to differentiate between its performance to that of a flagship device.

Gaming Performance

The Adreno 509 is the successor of Adreno 508 and 506. Both its predecessors were excellent GPUs which were powerful enough to run every high-demanding game at 1080p at a high frame rate. So, obviously, I’ve similar expectations from the Adreno 509.

Power Efficiency

The 14nm Fabrication technology is extremely power efficient. This translates into better battery life and performance. Also, your smartphone will be less likely to heat while performing heavy tasks. There are many powerful processors like Snapdragon 810, 652, and 653 that suffer from this problem but SD 636 is not just powerful, it is extremely power efficient as well.

Other SOC Features

There are many other features that we cannot ignore. The Dual-Channel LPDDR4 RAM and the X12 LTE Modem is a great addition. Also, its great to see that it supports new technologies like the Bluetooth 5 and the Qualcomm Quick Charge 4. Another great feature is the Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine for enhancing the performance of applications with Artificial Intelligence.

Ratings

Snapdragon 636
  • Performance
  • Gaming
  • Power Efficiency
  • Other SOC Features
4.8

 

    Final Suggestions

Snapdragon 636 is the perfect chip that I would wish to power a midrange phone. And very soon, we will start to see the launch of phones running on this chipset. As a smartphone lover, it is good to see flagship grade performance and efficiency in midrange devices. Every time before suggesting a product, I tell the customers to go with their priorities. But here in this case, if you’re buying a phone powered with this processor and rest of the phone’s features are good enough, then choose it blindly.

List of Phones with Snapdragon 636:

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro
  • Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1
  • Nokia X6
  • Lenovo Z5
  • Moto Z3 Play=
  • Meizu E3
  • BQ Aquaris X2
  • Motorola One Power



Kashish Kumawat is a Computer Engineer and a Product Reviewer. He is the Founder and Editor at Tech Centurion. He reviews Consumer Electronics, Gadgets, and Gaming Components. Kashish Kumawat has an experience of over 3 years in this field and likes to be up to date with the latest technology trends and new product launches. He believes in writing unbiased reviews that ultimately benefit the consumers. To contact Kashish, visit the Contact Page.

22 thoughts on “Snapdragon 636 Review, Specification, and Benchmark Score

  1. I think note 5 pro come with 636… Is it really that better than 630? Because g6+ is supposed to with that and I was looking forward to it 🙁

      • I have my doubts that SD636 is way better than SD630. It could be just better than 630 and why I am saying that because of below reasons.
        First thing is that the primary cluster of SD630 runs on 2.2 GHz and that of SD636 runs on 1.8 GHz. Secondary cluster is same i.e. A53 based running at 1.8GHz in both the
        chipsets. So throughput will not have a big difference in my view. Difference would be there though.
        Second thing is power consumption part, power consumption of primary A53 CPU in SD630 is least in the industry at 2.2Ghz but again because of the fact that SD636’s A73 is also running at lower frequency might give some power advantage but still I believe total power consumption by SD630 would be lesser than SD636.
        Real time data like performance and battery test can confirm these things in a better way though.
        Disclaimer: All the information I mentioned here is from several articles we finds on various sources!!

        • Let’s first start from the ARM Cortex-A72 cores which are more efficient than the Cortex-A53 ones. With Cortex-A73 cores, the performance has increased by approximately 30% and power consumption has decreased by 30% as compared to the A72 cores. As both the SOCs are built on the ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture, the lower power cluster (4x A53 @ 1.8 GHz) will be active most of the time. So, for basic usage, the power consumption will be similar due to same configuration and 14nm FinFET technology.

          Now when we talk about high-performance usage, the 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 cluster will be active on Snapdragon 630 while the 1.8 GHz Cortex-A73 (Kryo 260) cluster will be active on Snapdragon 636. Yes, even after being clocked at a much lower frequency, SD 636 will outperform the SD 630. And the benchmarks, as well as real-world speed tests, confirm the same. Also, the power consumption will be greater on Snapdragon 630. The Cortex-A73 based Kryo 260 architecture is years ahead of Cortex-A53. Even though the Kryo 260 isn’t as good as the Kryo 280, we can’t deny the fact that all the flagship Android Devices of 2017 have an ARM Cortex-A73 based processor underneath (Snapdragon 835/Exynos 8895/Kirin 960/Helio X30).

          Furthermore, the performance of a SOC doesn’t depend solely on the CPU. Snapdragon 636 has a better GPU (Adreno 509 vs 508), a better Digital Signal Processor (Hexagon 680 vs 642), faster Memory (LPDDR4X vs LPDDR4). Even though there is just a minor difference between these, the performance difference is significant when these little things add up.

  2. Kashish you have explained the Snapdragon-636 in a very easy way. Redmi Note 5 Pro is coming with this SOC. You may update it in the post.

  3. Nokia 6 2018 edition uses SD630. Nokia 6 has stock android too. Whereas Note 5 Pro has SD636 without stock android.
    I have two queries.
    In the real world daily usage/normal usage can we really sense any great difference between 630 and 636 ?
    Would you suggest Nokia 6 stock android ? Nokia’s build really attracts me.

    • Snapdragon 630 is more similar to Snapdragon 625 while 636 is similar to 660 and has flagship grade performance.
      Real world performance difference won’t be huge but there will be noticeable difference if you put those devices side by side and perform a speed test. Snapdragon 636 will be a lot more responsive and you’ll find almost no difference between a 636 device a flagship device from 800 series.
      Even I would prefer Stock Android over MIUI but remember, you can always change the software by flashing a custom ROM but you can not change the hardware.
      I’ll pick Redmi Note 5 Pro for its excellent hardware and camera performance and will flash an AOSP based custom ROM later on. Also, the best part is that if you root/flash in a Xiaomi device, it won’t void your warranty.
      But if you’re not much into rooting and stuff, and Stock Android matters a lot, you can still go with Nokia 6 2018 edition.

      • Thank you so much for quick response.
        I heard that the Note 5 Pro’s weight is what one need to be accustomed with time. Can you just highlight on the build of note 5 pro ?
        I heard that Nokia’s camera in mid-range is just average . Interestingly the powerful SD636 enables Note 5 pro to use 20 MP front camera. So can we see a major improvement in the front camera compared to 5 MP front cam of Redmi note 4 or Redmi 4 or even 16MP front cam of Redmi y1 ?? Because the expert reviewers had said that 16 MP front cam of Y1 is also not upto the mark.

        • Unfortunately, I haven’t used the Redmi Note 5 Pro as of now so I won’t be the right person to comment on its build quality and weight. However, if we go by the reviews of popular Tech Bloggers and Youtubers that currently have this device, both the build quality and camera performance is excellent. And thanks to the Sony’s 20 Megapixel IMX376 Sensor, the front camera is better than that of Redmi Y1 and Redmi Note 4.
          But right now, I’ll recommend you to first wait for some user reviews.

  4. I just ordered the redmi note 5 pro with this soc. I’ll be coming from a galaxy s7. The battery life has become very average. Should I be seeing a similar performance but much better battery life/power efficiency?

    • Ther performance will not be similar. The Exynos 8890 (or Snapdragon 820) processor of Samsung Galaxy S7 is way more powerful. But the performance difference in real-world usage will be negligible. So, unless you’re a hardcore mobile user, you wouldn’t observe much difference.
      Yes, the battery life of Redmi Note 5 Pro will be better due to its higher capacity.

  5. Although I have the exynos version of the s7, the alternative version uses the SD820 and not the 835 which would be what the s8 uses. I heard the SD636 is comparable to and sometimes even beats the 820 in certain benchmarks as it is newer and uses a similar 14nm process but much more power efficient . I was considering something like the oneplus 6 but it costs more than 3 times the basic note 5 pro and certainly isn’t 3 times more powerful I would think.

    • Yes, I just realized that I mistook S7 for S8. Yes, it has the Snapdragon 820 and I just edited my comment.
      We actually have a ranking of Snapdragon Processors: https://www.techcenturion.com/snapdragon-processors-ranking-and-list
      SD636 isn’t too behind the SD820.
      And yes, I agree that OnePlus 6 will not offer 3 times the performance. Note 5 Pro offers a really good value for the money.
      If you could wait for like 4 months, OnePlus 6T will actually have more features (most probably a Under Display Fingerprint Scanner). But for now, I believe that the Redmi Note 5 Pro is offering better value for money.

      • Thanks for the link to the ranking list for the processors.

        The 636 seems to easily beat everything else in the same price range and compares to the flagship phones from 2016.

        Rather than spend $100cad to replace the battery on my current phone, I figure if it costs half the price of the note 5 pro that I’d be better off just getting the new device with better battery life, larger screen and more power efficiency.

  6. Hello
    I just came across your review of the Snapdragon 636 chip.
    I am looking at purchasing the new Asus Zenfone ZE520KL with this 636 chip and 64 GB storage plus 4 GB of ram in Thailand.
    Your review of its processor has convinced me its all I need for my needs,thankyou.
    Great reviewing style ,no hyperbole just the facts laid out clearly and with sufficient detail for novices to understand.
    I hardly ever “follow” anyone but will make an exception in your case.
    Keep up the great work
    Cheers
    Siam F

Leave a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares