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(Pocket-lint) - Qualcomm has announced its next generation mobile processor for the mid-range phone market, and it's called the Snapdragon 678. As with any platform update it brings more to the table than just improved speed and power. 

One of its key improvements will see mid-range phones up their photography and videography game. It uses something called the Spectra 250L ISP (image signal processor) to enable better still photography results than was possible from its predecessor, the Snapdragon 675. 

The Snapdragon 768's image processing capabilities will mean support of up to three cameras using up to 48-megapixel sensors, and offer zero shutter lag. You'll also get an AI engine which helps improve features like background blur in portrait mode, low-light camera performance and enables laser autofocus. 

For videographers, you'll also be able to shoot limitless 4K video and slow mo. Plus, up to 5x optical zoom. 

It's not all about camera improvements though. For the spec fans, the CPU clock speed has been boosted up to 2.2GHz (that's an increase from the Snapdragon 675's 2.0GHz), plus improved graphics performance in games with the Adreno 612 GPU. 

Qualcomm says you'll see faster frame rates sustained reliably over longer periods, without as many frame drops or stutters as you might see with the 675. It's optimised for Unity, Messiah, NeoX and Unreal Engine 4, to ensure you don't suffer just because you want to play the top games on the Play Store.

As with any new processor, there's improvement in efficiency too, so you'll be able to get brighter photos and faster performance all-round without it draining extra juice from your precious battery. 

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Switching to network performance, and no - unusually for 2020 - this isn't a 5G processor. The Snapdragon 678 processor includes the X12 LTE modem which gives you fast 4G LTE support with carrier aggregation, so you can get up to 600Mbps download speeds on networks that support it. With those speeds you wouldn't need to be envious of your 5G phone-toting pals. 

What's more, you'll get a reliable fast connection even in areas where the network traffic is congested. All in all, it means we'll see a better all-round experience from phones that cost less than £300/$300, which is great news for those looking to get the most for their money. 

For a full run-down on the specs and details, head on over to Qualcomm's dedicated page

Writing by Cam Bunton. Originally published on 16 December 2020.