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Qualcomm brings a slew of high-end tech to its mid-range chips

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You might have a hard time distinguishing Qualcomm's newest Snapdragon 400 and 600-series chips from its more powerful brethren. As is usually the case, plenty of higher end features are trickling down through the chip giant's product line. That leads to things like octa-core CPUs in the upcoming Snapdragon 425 and 415 (a first for that line), as well as 4K video recording and playback appearing in the new Snapdragon 620 and 618 chips. The new processors won't really get in the way of Qualcomm's ultra-powerful 810 chip, which will likely power most of this year's high-end smartphones (although perhaps not Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S6). Instead, they're yet another reminder of just how fast the mobile hardware world is innovating.

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 600 series chips will end up seeing the biggest upgrades with faster 64-bit CPUs; support for multiple camera sensors; and improved graphics prowess. Those chips, along with the Snapdragon 425, all include the company's new X8 LTE modem, which provides download speeds of up to 300 Mbps. The Snapdragon 415, on the other hand, is all about bringing 4G LTE down to more affordable phones.

As for availability, Qualcomm say the Snapdragon 415 should start appearing in phones during the first half of the year. All of the other new chips will show up in devices in the second half of 2015. Even if you're not in the market for a mid-range phone, it's hard not to be impressed with what they'll soon be capable of.

[Photo credit: Emmaniel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images]

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