OnQ Blog

5G for all: How the Snapdragon 690 5G Mobile Platform is unlocking connectivity

Oct 29, 2020

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Fast, secure connectivity has never been more important, yet 3.7 billion people around the world are still without internet. Even for many who do have access, it’s not via a home connection — smartphones are how they browse the web, research important information, and stay in touch with family and friends.  

This is why our team at Qualcomm Technologies is working hard to drive the global scaling of 5G. Already, this next generation of wireless is rolling out significantly faster than 4G. While only four mobile operators and three OEMs commercialized 4G LTE in the first year, 5G saw more than 40 operators and over 40 OEMs launch in its first year. 5G continues to grow rapidly around the world with more than 100 commercial networks deployed in more than 40 countries. And to date, a strong pipeline of hundreds 5G designs have launched or are in development using our 5G solutions, with many more on the way. 

As 5G proliferates and transforms the mobile experience, we believe everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits. That’s why we’re so excited about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 5G Mobile Platform, the first-ever platform in our 6 Series to support 5G. This is an important moment, as it delivers on our promise to bring 5G to less expensive devices, making fast connectivity accessible to more people in more places globally. Even in rural areas, for example, 5G can connect the last mile and bring reliable connectivity for the first time, unlocking mobile experiences that can truly enrich lives.

Earlier this year, we spoke about 5G going mainstream. We brought 5G to our 8 Series, then our 7 Series, and now by bringing it into our 6 Series, we’re unlocking 5G for everyone. The 6 Series is projected to increase 5G accessibility to more than two billion total global users this year. This means more people will be able to access vital services like remote healthcare and education, as well as enjoy responsive 5G cloud gaming, rich video chatting, and faster file sharing. What’s more, they can even share this ultra-fast 5G connectivity with other devices using mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. These connected — and sometimes critical — experiences are currently unavailable to so much of the world, but with 5G, this can change.  

Now, let’s dive deeper into the first-of-its-kind Snapdragon 690 5G Mobile Platform. 

5G connectivity

In this new platform, 5G connectivity is made possible by the Snapdragon X51 5G Modem-RF System. This system combines speed and strength with power efficiency to deliver sustainable connectivity that won’t drain your battery.

What’s more, the Snapdragon X51 5G Modem-RF System supports all key global sub-6 GHz bands, global multi-SIM, and is capable of operating in both standalone and non-standalone 5G-NR networks. This means more connectivity in more places, and more flexibility for 5G users around the world.


5G-enabled speeds and low latency together can transform users’ entertainment experiences.

Thanks to 5G, users with devices powered by the Snapdragon 690 5G Mobile Platform will be able to quickly download HD movies and entire seasons of TV shows, as well as apps and games with ease. They’ll also be able to stream 4K HDR content on-device with vivid clarity and resolution, as well as experience 5G cloud gaming — a first for the 6 Series. Even the sound quality is more immersive in this platform, thanks to Qualcomm aptX audio


When it comes to camera, the Snapdragon 690 5G Mobile Platform is delivering more robust user experiences and even more 6 Series firsts. For example, the platform enables the camera to capture over a billion shades of color with 4K HDR, making it possible to enjoy more brilliant images. It also supports up to 192 MP snapshots. 

Plus, with 5G connectivity, it’s possible to share hi-res pictures and 4K HDR content to and from the cloud, despite large file sizes. Even video chatting is a more rich and collaborative experience with this combination of speedy 5G and next-gen camera features. As we rely on our device cameras to connect daily in our personal and professional lives, the quality of this experience is even more important. 


5G isn’t the only exciting 6 Series “first” this mobile platform is delivering: the Snapdragon 690 5G is also the first in this tier to integrate the 5th generation Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine. This means remarkable on-device AI performance with more than 70 percent increase compared to its predecessor, reaching up to three Trillion Operations Per Second (TOPS). 

The benefits of this powerful, yet efficient AI span throughout the device to enable intuitive user experiences, such as voice translation, enhanced gaming, and smart photography and video capabilities. Plus, by adding an additional layer of intelligence and capability, the 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine pairs perfectly with 5G to further enhance the unparalleled Snapdragon mobile experience.  

In our increasingly mobile-first world, we know these 5G-experiences can make all the difference and do good for so many. That’s why we’re working to make 5G accessible for everyone, and the Snapdragon 690 5G Mobile Platform is just one of the ways we’re continuing this mission. Recently, we also announced that we’re bringing 5G to our 4 Series in early 2021, which can deliver this next generation of wireless to new regions and almost 3.5 billion total users.

5G is helping to deliver internet access to the unconnected, education to the unschooled, and jobs to the unemployed. As we strive to unlock 5G for everyone, and to enrich lives globally with powerful mobile experiences, we’re excited to reshape how the world connects, computes, and communicates. 

Qualcomm Snapdragon, Qualcomm aptX audio and Qualcomm AI Engine are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Francesco Grilli

VP, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies