Expect more super-powerful cheap Android phones soon - here's why

(Image credit: Future)

One of the interesting announcements from the annual tech show MWC 2022 came from chipset maker MediaTek - the brand is launching two new high-end chips as part of its Dimensity line. You can find our initial coverage here.

You might know MediaTek if you have a cheap phone, as for a long time the brand's components were synonymous with affordability but low power. However for the past few years, the company has focused a lot more on its chips, and now you can find Dimensity processors in a good few powerful mid-rangers.

With this in mind, MediaTek is on a steady rise, and its new Dimensity 8000 and 8100 could help that.

These new components aren't quite high-end ones, but they should be able to super-charge mid-range phones in the coming months and years. They could also bring near-flagship levels of performance, but without costing as much as your Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or A14 Bionic.

Processing power has diminishing returns, and past a certain point it's impossible to spot the extra juice a newer or mightier chip can provide, as your mobile's speed is limited by your own speed at using it. And that fact has allowed MediaTek's lower-cost components to take off.

Of course, it's hard to say that with certainty, but we've seen lower-end Dimensities used to great effect in mobiles from Vivo and Realme, so it seems highly likely.

So what's that got to do with budget mobiles? Well, tech generally trickles down from premium phones to mid-rangers to budget ones, so very soon we could see powerful, yet affordable chipsets like these used on inexpensive mobiles. 

There's a burgeoning market for powerful budget phones, a fact that brands like Pocophone, Realme and Motorola have honed in on, and this kind of handset is great for people who want to play games without spending loads of money.

The mid-range and low-end phone markets are a viciously competitive space, with loads of brands vying to offer you great value for money and top specs with low prices. Using a MediaTek chipset allows manufacturers to provide loads of processing power without increasing the price tag of the device, so it makes sense that the chips are being embraced.

So expect to see loads more powerful mid-range Android phones on the market soon, possibly with a surge in budget mobiles after that. It's a good time to be a phone fan.

  • MWC (Mobile World Congress) is the world's largest showcase for the mobile industry, stuffed full of the newest phones, tablets, wearables and more. TechRadar is reporting on the show all week. Follow our MWC 2022 live blog for the very latest news as it happens and visit our dedicated MWC 2022 hub for a round-up of the biggest announcements.
Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.