Snapdragon 680 vs Snapdragon 678: The global Redmi Note 11's rumored chipset may not be the upgrade fans expect
Xiaomi's Redmi Note 11 series debuted for the Chinese market a few months ago. While the company has brought the phones to Western markets with Poco badges, it's yet to release the Redmi Note 11 series properly outside China. Reports indicate that the Redmi Note 11 could make the trip with a Snapdragon 680 onboard, so it's important to take a have a quick look at what to expect from a device that could be a fan favorite when it's released.
On paper, the Snapdragon 680 looks to be a minor upgrade on the Redmi Note 10's Snapdragon 678. It has a bigger model number, so it has to be better. Well, not quite. Indeed, the Snapdragon 680 is likely to be a considerably more efficient chipset than the Snapdragon 678, as it's built on a 6 nm node versus the latter's now-archaic 11 nm process. Things get a bit more interesting, though.
While the Snapdragon 680 does seem like it has a slightly better CPU than the Snapdragon 678—it's clocked at up to 2.4 GHz versus the latter's 2.2 GHz—the rest of the hardware raises a few questions. For one, the Snapdragon 680's X11 LTE modem is flat-out worse than the Snapdragon 678's X12 LTE modem. This isn't just speculation either: Qualcomm lists the Snapdragon 680 with a peak download speed of 390 Mbps. The Snapdragon 678? 600 Mbps.
In addition, the Snapdragon 680 is equipped with an Adreno 610 GPU. The Snapdragon 678 gets an Adreno 612. For some perspective, the Adreno 610 is the same GPU on the Snapdragon 665 and Snapdragon 662. The Snapdragon 665 was on the Redmi Note 8. The plot thickens. In fact, the Snapdragon 680 uses Qualcomm's Kryo 265 cores, which is closer to the Snapdragon 665's Kryo 260 cores than the Snapdragon 678's Kryo 460 cores. Lastly, the Snapdragon 680 only offers support for Quick Charge 3. The Snapdragon 678, on the other hand, supports Quick Charge 4+.
All available data points towards one conclusion: the Snapdragon 680 isn't the upgrade to the Snapdragon 678 Qualcomm would have you believe. Rather than being an incremental upgrade to the Snapdragon 678, the Snapdragon 680 is more of a successor to the Snapdragon 662 and Snapdragon 665.
Is that bad? No. The Snapdragon 680 will be more efficient, and appears to have a better ISP than the Snapdragon 678. It also offers support for 90 Hz displays, which the Snapdragon 678 lacks. CPU performance across both chipsets should be similar. It looks, though, that the Snapdragon 678 has an edge in every other aspect. Keep this in mind just in case the Redmi Note 11 does arrive with a Snapdragon 680—it's not much of an upgrade on the Redmi Note 10's Snapdragon 678. It's really just a newer chipset.