Feature phones may be 'dumb' but they're getting 4G LTE

Yolanda Curtis
March 20, 2017

"Processor is a word that Qualcomm Technologies has embraced over the years with our Snapdragon brand, or as we say - our Qualcomm Snapdragon processor", the firm explained.

The Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform is created to bring 4G LTE connectivity and 4G services to entry-level feature phones. The new platform includes a 205 System-on-Chip capable of up to 150 Mbps download speeds on 4G, 3G, and 2G networks, as well as a dual-core 1.1 GHz CPU, Qualcomm's Adreno GPU, and dual-SIM support.

Although most of the metropolitan phone users usually own a feature phone as a secondary device, if at all, these cheap phones register nearly 1/3rd or more sales in developing nations in Latin America, Indian subcontinent and South-east Asia.


A fully-powered feature phone on the 205 chipsets will be able to capture images at 3MP, record videos at 480p, stream videos at 720p, connect to 4G spectrum for internet access, share files via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, support VoWiFi (Voice over Wi-Fi) and play your favourite MP3 tracks too.

Feature phone shipments still command a significant chunk of the market in countries where smartphones are less mature. "As operators around the world redefine subscription plans to take greater advantage of robust LTE network rollouts, devices with the Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform are created to support consumers, micro-enterprises, and others, to economically communicate using advanced LTE data services such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi)".

According to Qualcomm, the 205 Mobile Platform and its associated software has been developed in India, keeping in touch with the "Make in India" initiative.


The Snapdragon 205 Platform also packs in support for satellite systems like GPS, GLONASS and Beidou. Phones based on this platform will be seen in Q2 2017.

California-based chipset maker, Qualcomm has unveiled a new chipset which is going to support feature phones and bring 4G connectivity to these low-end, cheap phones in order to cater to markets in developing countries. Qualcomm has partnered with OEM/ODM players such as Borqs, Flex, FIH/Megaphone, Reliance Jio, Micromax, TCL, TSM, LYF, Uniscope, among others. The differentiating parameters between smartphones and feature phones are shrinking, which just shows how far we've come along in technology.

With the inclusion of 4G LTE into feature phones, the very concept of a "feature phone" is scheduled for a redefinition.


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