As the analytics state, the usage of mobile devices over the desktop computers is increasing by leaps and bounds,YOY. These mobile device are now replacing the computers,not in all means, but yes all the primary functionalities.Tech heads are releasing at least one or two flagships a year on an average. All these flagships are powered by some or the other processor chipsets (SOCs). These processor chipsets are being manufactured by two companies named Qualcomm and Mediatek.
In choosing a smartphone, along with the camera, the screen resolution and other aspects, the selection of the processor is also one of the major factor which decides the performance of the phone. And this has been a question since long…Qualcomm or Mediatek? Which one is perfect for you? snapdragon vs mediatek
For an easy understanding first make an analogy of Qualcomm vs Mediatek with Intel vs AMD. The later ones are the PC processor brands, which cant be compared technically, but the scenario remains the same. Going into the roots., Qualcomm is a old and experienced company in this field of mobile and wireless communications with an experience of market trends of over 40 years. Where as mediatek is half its age.
The chipsets which are manufactured by Qualcomm are named SNAPDRAGON. Thus you might be familiar with the names Snapdragon 650, snapdragon 820, etc. On the other hand, Mediatek has its own Helio series constituting Helio X10, X20 and many more.
Both the companies use the ARM(Advanced RISC Machines) Cortex architecture for the chipsets, thus there is no difference in the architecture used by both the brands. But where the difference comes in is that after buying the IP core from ARM, Qualcomm doesnt directly fabricates it, but makes in subtle changes which in turn leads to better battery life, less power consumption,better graphics, networks and so on. Mediatek on the other side, after having the architecture from ARM, directly fabricates the chio in its foundry and this is the result of its cost reduction over Qualcomm.
The benchmarking score clearly state that the high end versions of mediatek can be compared with the mid level processors from qualcomm. The Helio X20 is at par with Snapdragon 650 where as the Helio X10 with Snapdragon 420. Snapdragon has its 820 chipset which is the best processor right now and is used by all the flagships such as google pixel, samsung and one plus.There is no direct competetion in market for snapdragon 820 right now, but mediatek has announced the release of its Helio X30 chip in near future. But as snapdragon is always one step ahead, it is also planning to release its 821 chip next year.
Sometimes the bench-marking scores of mediatek are quite high, but when high end tasks are given to the phone in practical situations by running the apps, a clear difference can be seen between mediatek and Qualcomm.
Coming over to the market share, Mediatek covers the asian market and beats Qualcomm, and the main reason behind this is that the asian market is price centeric and people generally tend to buy a smartphone ranging from 12000-18000 INR on an average, and in this range, the mediatek Helio X10 and X20 range fits well, where as Qualcomm can only offer snapdragon 650 and 652 processors in this range. Thus the Smartphones with 820 chip range from over 20k to 50k INR, Qualcomm looses its market share.
VERDICT: Thus if you are willing to buy a high end smartphone with great processing capabilities, good battery, better image processing and good networks, go for a Snapdragon powered phone, dont even think of a phone which provides mediatek chipset at a high range of 20k INR onwrds. But if you want a budget smartphone, of range 12-18k INR, go for a mediatek powered smartphone.