Qualcomm's 205 Mobile Platform (sigh) brings 4G and VoLTE to cheap mobiles

Enlarge ImageA feature phone equipped with the 205 chipset and the chipset itself.                  Lynn La  CNET

Enlarge ImageA feature phone equipped with the 205 chipset and the chipset itself. Lynn La CNET

The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform includes the 28nm-based Qualcomm 205 SoC which utilizes a dual core CPU clocked at 1.1GHz and is complemented by an Adreno 304 GPU, LPDDR2/3 and eMMC 4.5. The newly launched chip is the first addition to the Qualcomm Mobile brand that the USA chip maker announced last week.

Created to bring 4G LTE to more people in more places, Qualcomm's 205 Mobile Platform combines a host of features to deliver performance for the sub-$50 (roughly INR 3,000) feature phones, popular in emerging markets as India, Latin America, and South East Asia.

The Qualcomm 205 SoC features include LTE Cat 4 modem delivering speeds up to 150 Mbps download, 50 Mbps upload, support for 4G, 3G, and 2G networks.

Feature phone shipments still command a significant chunk of the market in countries where smartphones are less mature. The 205 Mobile Platform will also be backwards compatible with 3G and 2G networks.

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A fully-powered feature phone on the 205 chipsets will be able to capture images at 3MP, record videos at 480p, stream videos at 720p, connect to 4G spectrum for internet access, share files via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, support VoWiFi (Voice over Wi-Fi) and play your favourite MP3 tracks too. Now, these chips will find their way inside future feature and flip phones and in regions where there is no LTE support. The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform also features a Linux-based operating system and support for all widespread cellular technologies like HSPA+, GSM, TD-SCDMA, and DSDS.

The Snapdragon 205 Platform also packs in support for satellite systems like GPS, GLONASS and Beidou. Qualcomm has partnered with OEM/ODM players such as Borqs, Flex, FIH/Megaphone, Reliance Jio, Micromax, TCL, TSM, LYF, Uniscope, among others.

The telecommunications equipment company announced the update, titled the Qualcomm 205, in New Delhi, India, on Monday.

While Qualcomm's 205 chipsets can accommodate the aforementioned features on a device, but the end-product actually depends on the manufacturer's wishes. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the very bottom of the mobile market. The 4G LTE-enabled chip was designed for contemporary feature phones that still account for approximately 20 percent of global handset sales, Qualcomm said, citing a recent study conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC).

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