The IQoo 3.
The front and back.
The additional warmth of the separate 5G modem melted the wallpaper into lava.
The back with lots of cameras.
The sides have these shoulder buttons for playing, which is neat.
A lovingly detailed representation of the floor.
Have a look! A headphone jack.
It is Qualcomm's world and we all just live in it.
With Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 865 SoC, phones are beginning to hit the market, and the company's uncontrolled monopoly over the cellular industry is really coming to a head with this new chip. With the Snapdragon 865 5G, Qualcomm enforces for everyone what increases the size, cost and complexity of smartphones, even if the 5G networks in the world are not yet ready. This week we see an absurd new crease in the mandatory 5G saga: Manufacturers abide by Qualcomm rules and ship their 5G modems, but they also disable them because 5G simply doesn't work in some markets.
Get to know the "iQoo 3". As highlighted by XDA developers in India, the Snapdragon 865 is being delivered in India for the first time in a "4G" configuration. Apparently the BBK subsidiary iQoo pays for the mandatory 5G modem from Qualcomm and integrates it into the phone design. Then the company completely deactivates the 5G functionality.
A phone that comes with some modem features disabled is not uncommon. Sometimes companies turn off some 4G bands to help the region lock phones for certain countries or potentially save money. However, turning off the 5G bands on a Snapdragon 865 phone is difficult to cope with because the design and performance of the SoC have been compromised to bring this 5G feature to market. Qualcomm reversed the years of SoC progress by building the Snapdragon 865 without an integrated modem. The only way to use this SoC mobile phone is to pair it with an external modem chip, the Qualcomm Snapdragon X55, which offers 4G and 5G connectivity. External modems take up more space, run hotter and consume more power than an onboard modem. Accepting this compromise and not getting 5G at the same time seems like a really bad deal.
One reason for the lack of enthusiasm for 5G from iQoo is easy to understand: Although India is the second largest smartphone market in the world, it does not have 5G networks. Unlike in the United States, where tiny 5G bags are slowly being built, India has no clear path to 5G. The Indian government has set prices to auction the public spectrum for 5G, but Indian airlines say the prices are "prohibitively expensive" and unwilling to pay the price to buy the spectrum to begin building networks , In addition to the conflict about the respiratory tract, the situation on site is not really clear. Most towers in India are not connected to fiber optic backhaul and are unlikely to meet 5G bandwidth requirements. To fix this, even more money is required than the airlines say they don't have. In short, 5G won't happen that quickly in India.
Enlarge /. The Enlarge / 2019 Snapdragon 855 offers 4G connectivity in a single, simple package. The Snapdragon 865 from 2020 does not have an integrated modem and requires an additional chip.
Qualcomm / Ron Amadeo
Last year, Qualcomm had a more sensible and flexible design for its first 5G-compatible chip, the Snapdragon 855. This chip had an integrated 4G modem – which is needed in every market – and a separate 5G modem as an optional extra. 4G connectivity on the Snapdragon 855 would be more energy efficient than 5G because the 4G modem was integrated and the 5G modem was not. This year Qualcomm "fixed" this performance gap by making 4G as bad as 5G and pulling both modems off the main chip.
The iQoo 3 is therefore available both in a 5G version – which in turn may not be used in the country – and in a 4G version. The 4G version is available in two configurations: 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage for Rs 36,990 (USD 515) or 8 GB and 256 GB storage for Rs 39,990 (USD 557). The high-end SKU – 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage for Rs 44990 ($ 626) – offers the ability to retain 5G functionality for … boasting rights? International travel?
If the 5G chip has to be in the phone anyway, why should it be deactivated at all? Does Qualcomm charge less if you buy a 5G chip from the company and then deactivate it? Does iQoo view the "5G" label in the high-end version as a kind of market segmentation, although it is completely irrelevant in India?
Assuming there is a financial incentive to disable 5G on cheaper Snapdragon 865 phones, we will likely see this with more devices. India is the second largest smartphone market in the world (after China) and an important battleground for smartphone manufacturers. If manufacturers want to build a smartphone with the best specifications – and they definitely do – Qualcomm has given them no way to do it without including 5G. There is no standalone 4G modem to pair with the Snapdragon 865 – it only works with the Snapdragon X55 5G / 4G modem.
iQoo is the latest brand from BBK, a company you have never heard of. However, if you summarize the company's various activities, BBK is the second or third largest smartphone maker in the world. BBK is basically the General Motors of the smartphone world – a company that has a million sub-brands that target different market segments and countries. You won't find a BBK branded phone on the market, but you've probably heard of OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo and / or Realme, all of which are brands in the BBK stable. Just like GM, it's not uncommon for brands to share technology, parts, and designs. If iQoo goes "Deactivate 5G route", the other BBK sub-brands may also find a suitable strategy for some devices. Another BBK brand, Realme, also took the strange step this week of launching a 5G phone (the Realme X50 Pro) in India.
Listing image from iQoo