Dual-cameras are coming to cheaper smartphones in 2017

Dual-camera tech on smartphones has so far been reserved for flagship devices such as the iPhone 7 Plus, LG G5 and Huawei P9 – but that’s set to change.

Chipset maker Qualcomm has a new fleet of processors that all support dual-camera setups, and the first handsets sporting these new Snapdragon offerings will arrive in 2017.

The latest processors are the Snapdragon 653, 626 and the 427 - all of which are more powerful, faster and better on battery life than their predecessors.

A big step forward

The mid-to-high-end Snapdragon 653 supports 8GB of RAM, up from 4GB on its predecessor the 652, but whether any manufacturer would want to pack 8GB in a cheaper device is yet to be seen.

Each processor will also support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0 technology meaning manufacturers will also be able to bring fast charging to mid-range devices as well.

Qualcomm has also announced the world’s first 5G modem chipset solution, making the next generation internet technology a step closer to reality.

The modem can be installed in devices by manufacturers who want to futureproof their devices ready for 5G.

The Snapdragon 50X will allow download speeds of up to 5GBps on the 28GHz waveband, which has never been used for mobile devices before.

“The Snapdragon X50 5G modem heralds the arrival of 5G as operators and OEMs reach the cellular network and device testing phase,” said Cristiano Amon, Executive Vice President, QTI and President, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. 

“Utilizing our long history of LTE and Wi-Fi leadership, we are thrilled to deliver a product that will help play a critical role in bringing 5G devices and networks to reality. This shows that we’re not just talking about 5G, we’re truly committed to it.”

You won’t be able to buy any smartphones with this modem in, but it will be used on test devices in both the US and South Korea as the world prepares itself for 5G, which is due to arrive at the end of 2019/the start of 2020.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.