The Snapdragon 778G is a mobile system-on-a-chip introduced by Qualcomm in the first quarter of 2021. This hardware has been featured in notable mid-range Android smartphones launched in 2021 and 2022 such as the Samsung A52s 5G and the Samsung Galaxy A73 5G, Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, Huawei Nova 9 and Nova 9 Pro, and the Oppo Reno 7, among others.
Pros and Cons of the Snapdragon 778G: A Review of Its Capabilities
Major Selling Point and Differentiation
One of the defining selling points of the Snapdragon 778G is that it brings in some of the features that used to be exclusive in the flagship-grade Snapdragon 8 series. Qualcomm specifically designed this chip for powerful mid-range devices that can provide users with fast and efficient performance without breaking the bank.
However, when compared to flagship-grade chips such as the Snapdragon 888 and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, as well as flagship Samsung Exynos and MediaTek chips, the Snapdragon 778G would fall short in terms of performance and efficiency. It is still a capable piece of hardware that powers some of the best mid-range smartphones released in 2021 and 2022.
Components of the Snapdragon 778G
Remember that the Snapdragon 778G is not just a processor but an entire system housed in a chip. Based on the 6nm process node that packs billions of transistors compared with other chips based on 8nm and 12nm process nodes, it has several hardware components that both power consumer electronic devices and provide them with notable features and capabilities. Take note of the following notable components:
• Central Processing Unit: The chip has an 8-core CPU that includes 1 performance core clocked at 2.4GHz and another 3 performance cores clocked at 2.2Ghz based on ARM Cortex-A78, as well as 4 efficiency cores clocked at 1.9GHz based on ARM Cortex-A55. The chip intelligently switches among these cores depending on the resource requirement of a particular use case scenario.
• Graphics Processing Unit: Note that this chip has the fifth-generation Qualcomm Adreno 642L integrated graphics processor developed and deployed for mobile gaming on mid-range Android smartphones and providing high-quality output for streaming video content and processing still images.
• Artificial Intelligence Engine: Another one of the notable pros of the Snapdragon 778G is that it has a dedicated AI engine for localized machine learning and neural processing. The specific engine is the sixth-generation Qualcomm Hexagon 770 with a fused AI accelerator that delivers up to 12 TOPS.
• Image Signal Processor: The Qualcomm Spectra 570L is a triple image signal processor that can capture three videos at once, and equip the camera system with AI-based computational photography features for automated image and video enhancement such as 1-bit HDR HEIF photo capture, night photography, AI-based auto-focus and auto-exposure, and multi-frame noise reduction, among others.
• Connectivity Components: Another advantage of the Snapdragon 778G is that it supports both mmWave 5G and sub-6 GHz 5G thanks to the Snapdragon X53 Modem-RF system. It also supports Wi-Fi 5, as well as Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E for connecting to 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz bands; Bluetooth 5.1, USB 3.1, and NFC.
Mobile Gaming Capabilities and Limitations
The “G” in the Snapdragon 778G indicates that Qualcomm has optimized this system-on-a-chip for gaming through updates to graphics-related hardware components. The company claims that it offers up to a 40 percent performance boost and up to 40 percent improvement in graphics rendering compared with the Snapdragon 768G introduced last 2020.
Furthermore, it also has the Select Snapdragon Elite Gaming features that include the Variable Rate Shading for a fast and efficient gaming experience that preserves high visual fidelity without consuming too much power. It also has the Qualcomm Game Quick Touch which boosts the responsiveness of the touchscreen by up to 20 percent for low-latency gaming.
Several reviews showed that devices equipped with this chip can handle most mobile gaming titles with relative ease. For example, Call of Duty Mobile can run at either the Very High Graphics and Very High Frame Rate settings or High Graphics and Max Frame Rate settings. The same is true for Asphalt 9: Legends and Shadowgun Legends.
However, when it comes to Genshin Impact, the chip struggled to run the game at 60fps although it remains playable if graphics settings are set to mid-level to low-level options. Note that this game title tends to push the integrated graphics processors of smartphones to their limits. It is one of the most demanding mobile game titles in the market.
Dedicated Engine and Co-Processors for AI
Another notable strength of the Snapdragon 778G is its dedicated capabilities for artificial intelligence, particularly for native and localized machine learning and neural network processing. Remember that it is equipped with the Qualcomm Hexagon 770 that can deliver up to 12 trillion operations per second or 12 TOPS.
The aforesaid TOPS score is a decent number considering it is a mid-range SoC. For comparison, the flagship-level Apple A15 Bionic chip used in iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro registers 15.8 TOPS while the flagship-level Snapdragon 888 found in high-tier Android smartphones of 2021 can perform an astonishing 28 TOPS.
Of course, aside from the Hexagon 770, the AI capabilities of the 778G also come from the combined powers of the CPU and GPU, as well as from second-generation Qualcomm Sensing Hub, Hexagon Vector eXtensions, the Hexagon Scalar Accelerator, the Hexagon Voice Assistant Accelerator, and the Hexagon Tensor Accelerator.
Performance Comparison With Other Chips
The closest rival of the Snapdragon 778G is the MediaTek Dimensity 900. Both were released last 2021 at almost the same time. Furthermore, when comparing their technical specification sheets side-by-side, they are almost the same, except for the fact that the CPU cores of the MediaTek chip have a slightly higher clock speed.
Scores from different benchmark testing platforms such as Geekbench 5.1 and PCM Work showed that the 778G outperforms the Snapdragon 860 and 855, and even the Snapdragon 780G 5G. Furthermore, it has scores that rival the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ and Dimensity 1200, the Samsung Exynos 990, and the HiSilicon Kiron 990 5G.
Of course, the results of benchmark tests are not definite and are different from real-world performances. There are instances and metrics in which other chips such as the MediaTek Dimensity 900 and Dimensity 1200 outperformed the Snapdragon 778G. Overall performance is also determined by the optimizations made by device manufacturers.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 and the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 would readily outperform this chip, especially when it comes to computational photography and graphics processing. The newer Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 delivers more general and graphics processing performance and better machine learning and neural network processing capabilities.