MediaTek has announced two new processors (aka system on chips, or SoC), the Dimensity 920 and Dimensity 810, to power upcoming 5G smartphones. Both are manufactured with an advanced 6nm semiconductor process and seem designed to yield excellent ratios between speed, power usage, and cost.

As their names indicate, they address two different market tiers and the 920 is the more powerful one. For reference, the 900-series tend to be utilized in $500-$600 smartphones. The list of features is quite long, but here are the ones I find most interesting:

The Dimensity 920 adds 4K HDR video capture and will further democratize this much-needed feature. Still photography has had HDR support for years, and everybody needs HDR for their 4K videos, so that’s a welcome addition.

Intelligent display refresh rate (up to 120Hz) support can optimize battery life usage while giving an ultrasmooth experience to users when it matters. Once you’ve had a taste of 90Hz or 120Hz, it’s hard to go back to 60 Hz.

The new 5G modem optimizes more network scenarios and should yield a better average 5G experience, which is the endgame for all broadband connectivity. Peak speeds don’t matter as much because they require an “ideal connectivity scenario,” but improved experiences every time you use your phone is what matters.

Finally, an optimized GPU design has improved power efficiency and gives a 9% gaming speed boost*. It’s hard to verify this, but generally, chip makers do provide accurate information, and this seems feasible, so I’d trust MediaTek on this one. *when compared to the Dimensity 900.

The MediaTek Dimensity 810 addresses slightly different concerns since it is targeted towards lower-priced phones ($350-$500), but the general theme is the same: more bang for your dollars.

There’s a higher emphasis on improved “perceived performance,” such as app loading speed, for example. Some of that is due to CPU or storage bottlenecks that are prime targets for cost-cutting. MediaTek’s new chip aims to improve this situation.

For gamers, The Dimensity 810 is pitched as having better thermal management. Software thermal management is more critical in affordable phones because you can’t spend money on fancy cooling solutions and materials. For example, expensive phones have vapor chambers or materials that transfer heat better (for a price).

Dimensity 810 supports up to 64MP cameras, including camera systems with a dedicated bokeh (background blur) sensor.

The camera quality has become “the” battleground for smartphone OEMs, and we are seeing incredible progress on that front, at a rate never experienced before in recent years. We use our CAMERA HW benchmark to determine how powerful a phone’s camera hardware is.

Phones powered by these new processors should land in the third quarter of 2021

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