(Pocket-lint) - MediaTek has announced the Dimensity 700, its late 2020 entry into the 5G chipset space, with the aim to bring 5G connectivity to the mass market.

With the top-end Dimensity 1000 already in the market - and the step-down Dimensity 800 series  already in existence too - you might be wondering why Dimensity 700 is important.

Here's a breakdown of the affordable 5G chipset's details and why it matters.

Summary

  • 7nm system-on-chip (SoC)
  • 2133MHz LPDDR4X memory
  • Octa-core CPU (2x big cores: Arm Cortex-A76, to 2.2GHz)

Built for 5G 

  • 5G carrier aggregation (2CC)
  • Voice over New Radio (VoNR)
  • Dual SIM dual standby (DSDS)

Now, 5G isn't new. But the low-latency and super-fast network is here, is expanding, and is the future of mobile connectivity. The initial hurdle for 5G was sheer expense, which is why more affordable chipsets such as the Dimensity 700 - in turn making for more affordable handsets - are a key factor in making 5G a more mass market proposition.

MediaTek's Dimensity 700 has been built and optimised for 5G, as a system-on-chip (SoC) with integrated modem. It supports 5G carrier aggregation (2CC), 5G dual SIM dual standby (DSDS), and Voice over New Radio (VoNR) services.

Some of that might sound like jargon right now, but they're important factors. Carrier aggregation means multiple frequency bands are use simultaneously to increase data rate. VoNR is only possible on 5G, as it utilises the SA architecture of such networks to provide significantly lower latency and higher quality sound and picture quality - making for better video and phone calls.

Features

  • Supports:
    • 90Hz display refresh
    • Multiple voice assistants
    • 64-megapixel camera resolution
    • MediaTek 5G UltraSave power-saving tech

Just because this isn't MediaTek's highest-end chipset on the market - that goes to the Dimensity 1000 (at the time of writing) - doesn't mean it cuts corners in capabilities.

Key to feature support is the ability to handle 90Hz screen refresh rates, bringing smoother visual experiences to mobile. Sure, 120Hz and beyond exist elsewhere already, but these are more power intensive, won't run at full resolutions in some instances, and are more the reserve of gaming phones. Enabling 90Hz  - which is a 50 per cent frame-rate boost over a standard screen's 60Hz - and FullHD+ resolution support, is a great starting point.

There's also support for 64-megapixel cameras. That's important because increasingly makers are using a 64MP main sensor and then using four-in-one pixel processing to output a 16-megapixel result in higher quality. Having the processing power to enable this is one thing, but MediaTek also supports Night Mode - which requires processing to computationally adjust shots taken in the dark or low-light conditions.

In addition to multiple voice assistants support, there's also MediaTek's 5G UltraSave technology to save on power. As we found with early 5G devices, such speeds can eat into battery significantly - which is why power management and engaging 5G only when necessary is critical to ensuring a long device use. Many surveys over the years have assessed that battery life is the number one pain point for smartphone users, after all.

When will MediaTek Dimensity 700 phones be available? 

As the platform has only just been announced, it's going to be some time before the first devices come to market. At the time of writing - with MediaTek's annual Virtual Executive Summit underway - we're yet to see any makers come forward.

But, actually, the key part for Dimensity 700 is more than likely going to be that you don't know it's in your future phone. Given the features it enables, and the price point it's targeting, this is an SoC that's all about quietly enabling.

Writing by Mike Lowe.