Snapdragon 632 vs 636
Qualcomm is likely one of the most popular system-on-a-chip (SoC) creators on the market. Many Android-running smartphone manufacturers use the Snapdragon (SD) chipsets for their mid-range products. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the company is constantly expanding its chipset line with newer, more advanced versions of the original Snapdragon.
The Snapdragon 632 and the Snapdragon 636, both being successors to the 630, seem like great SoCs, but which one would win in a head-to-head battle?
While not being the same model, these two Snapdragons have a lot of similarities. They’re using the same 64-bit architecture, the same manufacturing process, and have similar Wi-Fi, display, and Bluetooth capabilities.
On the flipside, the Snapdragon 632, which was released in 2018, is newer than the 636. The latter was made in 2017, just a few months after the 630.
Even the CPUs are similar, but there still are differences in the power level. Both CPUs have four high-performance and four high-efficiency semi-custom ARM-based cores and can be clocked at the same speed of 1.8 GHz.
On the SD 632, all the cores are based on the ARM Cortex-A53 architecture. The SD 636 only has high-efficiency cores based on that architecture, as its high-performance cores are based on the ARM Cortex-A73 architecture.
The 636 has a Kryo 260 CPU, which overall is better than the Kryo 250 that the 632 has, but the difference is not noticeable outside of more demanding apps.
What has been said about the CPUs of these devices can also be said for their GPUs. The Snapdragon 636’s Adreno 509 may be more powerful than the 632’s Adreno 506, but this is also not easily noticeable. Sure, it can be noticed during hardcore gaming sessions, which is why gamers should definitely go for the SD 636. On the other hand, most regular users probably won’t notice the difference.
As mentioned earlier, both Snapdragons support the same maximum Full HD+ (High Definition) resolution of 2160×1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 18:9. The 636 has just a slightly better display, but there is no big difference.
Both chipsets support a single camera sensor with a resolution no higher than 24 megapixels (MP). When divided between two camera sensors, the 636 supports a maximum resolution of 16 MP for both, while the 632 only supports up to 13 MP per camera.
Both chipsets feature Image Signal Processors (ISP) and Digital Signal Processors (DSP). The SD 636 does come with the Qualcomm Spectra 160 ISP, unlike the SD 632. However, these cameras are so similar that the phone model plays a significant role in this comparison. The smartphone’s camera quality ultimately dictates the winner, so it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if the 632 got to actually beat the 636 on a certain phone model.
There is no debate here: the 636 wins as it uses a newer technology made by the same company. Both SoCs come with Qualcomm’s battery-charging technology, but the 632 utilizes an older version of it. Namely, it has a Quick Charge (QC) 3.0, while the other one has QC 4.0.
QC 4.0 is the latest technology at the time of this writing. Qualcomm claims it is so powerful that it can increase battery life by five hours in five minutes.
The Snapdragon 632 supports LPDDR3 RAM (Low-Power Double Data Rate Random Access Memory). The Snapdragon 636 supports both LPDDR4 and LPDDR4X, which are both newer. As such, the 636 has the edge in this category.
Finding the Winner
It turns out that there is no clear winner in this comparison because it all comes down to your needs. If you’re looking for better performance overall, you can’t go wrong with the Snapdragon 636. However, if you need a chipset that will be gentler on your battery life, the Snapdragon 632 might be the better choice.
Did any of these two catch your eye? If so, which of the two SoCs are you planning to go with? Share your impressions in the comments below.