MediaTek Helio G series “turn”, the low-end gaming mobile phone dreams are broken

The two new products of the Helio G series just released by MediaTek have obviously changed their product positioning.

Nowadays, when it comes to MediaTek, the first thing that many friends think of may be the “Dimensity” series of 5G SoCs that have become so popular in recent years. As MediaTek may be the most successful product line so far, the Dimensity series meets the needs of consumers in the 5G era in terms of architecture, manufacturing process, and actual performance and power consumption. Therefore, it is “fame and fortune”. It became a natural result.

MediaTek Helio G series "turn", the low-end gaming mobile phone dreams are broken

However, it is precisely because the aura of the Dimensity series is too dazzling, it also makes the outside world ignore the other product lines of MediaTek. For example, before the birth of the Dimensity series, the Helio family, which used to be the SoC series of high-end mobile phones under MediaTek, recently welcomed two new members in a low-key manner. However, from them, we can see some new changes in the smartphone market today.

Helio G96/G88 is released, the focus of functions has changed

The two Helio master models under MediaTek released a few days ago are Helio G96 and Helio G88. In fact, it is not difficult to see from the naming that they correspond to the previous Helio G95 and Helio G85 respectively.

MediaTek Helio G series "turn", the low-end gaming mobile phone dreams are broken

Among them, the CPU part of the Helio G96 has not been upgraded compared to the Helio G95. It is still equipped with an eight-core architecture composed of two 2.05GHz Cortex-A76 and six Coretx-A55 small cores. Not only that, compared to the Mali-G76MC4 GPU on the Helio G95, although the GPU architecture of the Helio G96 has been upgraded, both the core positioning (Mali-G57) and the core specifications (MC2) have declined.

In fact, compared with Helio G95, the upgrade of Helio G96 is mainly reflected in the screen that supports higher refresh rate, the camera that supports higher pixels, the enhancement of Bluetooth function, the improvement of download speed and the support of faster flash memory. Especially in the ISP part, Helio G96 not only improves the processing speed, but also adds the hardware 3D noise reduction and hardware multi-frame noise reduction units that the previous generation products do not have. In theory, it can bring better picture quality and faster. The imaging speed of night scenes.

MediaTek Helio G series "turn", the low-end gaming mobile phone dreams are broken

At the same time, Helio G88 has a relatively smaller upgrade range compared to its predecessor. It completely continued the CPU and GPU configuration of the Helio G85, without increasing the frequency, and without changing the architecture. In fact, there are only two upgrade points for this new master control. One is to support higher resolution high-resolution screens, and the other is to support higher-resolution main cameras.

So ask the question arises, although it is possible to know that not many people remember Helio product line, but had Helio G90, G90T debut, but the flagship of the “People First game master,” the product positioning. Even after the debut of the Dimensity series, MediaTek has not given up its game attributes. It has also launched a series of products including Helio G95, G35, G25, etc., without exception, targeting the “game demand” of the mid-range and even entry-level markets.

MediaTek Helio G series "turn", the low-end gaming mobile phone dreams are broken

MediaTek Helio G series specification comparison (picture from GSMArena)

However, when Helio G96/G88 debuted, it is not difficult to find from the changes of this new product that compared to the previous generation product, the game performance is either standing still or may even be reduced, but at the same time, the display is enhanced. And imaging capabilities have clearly become the main direction of the new generation of Helio G series.

Why does Helio G stop talking about games? Because the times have changed

In August 2019, Redmi Note8 Pro debuted the Helio G90T, a new product of the MediaTek Helio G series. This is also the first time that the Helio G series has appeared in the market as a “mid-end game master”.

MediaTek Helio G series "turn", the low-end gaming mobile phone dreams are broken

In all fairness, Helio G90T is not a very complete beauty SoC. Due to the older process (12nm), even when it was first released, the relatively large heat generation was controversial. However, relying on the very eye-catching GPU configuration in the mid-range master control at that time, Helio G90T can run mainstream mobile games such as ” Glory of the King ” and “Peace Elite” very smoothly , and it has indeed been recognized by the market.

However, the mainstream mobile games in 2019 are no longer worthy of being a standard for performance inspections for smartphones in 2021. For the Helio G series, those high-quality masterpieces in 2021 have almost become insurmountable peaks.

MediaTek Helio G series "turn", the low-end gaming mobile phone dreams are broken

Even Dimensity 1200, facing the current mobile game masterpiece is a bit difficult

It can be seen from the public information that MediaTek has positioned the highest 5G SoC Dimensity 1200 so far this year, with a GPU computing power of 1021GFlops. This figure has surpassed the top mobile platform Snapdragon 855 (899GFlops) in 2019, which is almost equivalent to Helio. G90T GPU performance (218GFlops) five times. However, friends who have used the Dimensity 1200 model will know that it can only maintain a smoothness of about 50 frames at the highest picture quality in the mobile game “Original God”, and it supports 120Hz and 144Hz high refresh rates. In “Ace Warrior”, the high frame rate mode is also dissatisfied.

This means that even the Helio G95 with the strongest GPU performance in the Helio G series (GPU performance is about 12% higher than that of the G90T), even now, it may not be able to cope with the “Original God” and “Ace Warrior”. The smooth running requirements of similar mobile games. In other words, under the pressure of today’s game masterpieces, the “mid-end game core” of 2019 is now likely to be unable to guarantee even the most basic playability, and naturally it is no longer suitable for “game performance” as a selling point.

When 5G becomes the main theme of the industry, 4G products will naturally have to make concessions

Some friends may say that I know that the performance of Helio G90T and even Helio G95 in 2020 may be considered to be a not enough level for now, but because of this, shouldn’t manufacturers be replacing new products? Does it significantly enhance performance? Why do you have to abandon the original “mid-range high performance” positioning of the Helio G series?

The reason is actually very simple, because the Helio G series is a product line in the 4G era anyway. In terms of the development trend of the entire industry, whether mobile phone manufacturers, chip manufacturers, or operators, of course, will focus on 5G products.

However, new problems have arisen. Because 5G networks are fast, in order to reflect this “fast” advantage, 5G models are now generally equipped with better screens and cameras to encourage users to enjoy online videos and socialize through images. This also makes the hardware cost of 5G mobile phones doomed to not be too low, and in order to make such 5G models more affordable in terms of prices, upstream chip manufacturers have also launched entry-level positioning 5G SoCs.

For example, MediaTek has its own Dimensity 700, Dimensity 720, Dimensity 800U, etc. Next door Qualcomm brought Snapdragon 480 and Snapdragon 690, and Samsung also has Exynos 880.

Are these entry-level 5G SoCs strong? To be honest, it’s not very strong. Take the game masterpieces we mentioned earlier, they usually can’t achieve smooth operation under high quality, and sometimes they may even feel a little lagging in daily use. But just because the performance of these entry-level 5G masters is not strong, it means that for manufacturers, in order to promote the popularization of 5G, in order to let consumers have the desire to replace 4G mobile phones, it is inevitably and unlikely that they will launch specifications. A new 4G solution that is stronger than these entry-level 5G masters.

MediaTek Helio G series "turn", the low-end gaming mobile phone dreams are broken

Why do we dare to say that? In fact, if you compare MediaTek’s currently low-positioned 5G SoC Dimensity 700 with the Helio G95, which was previously positioned as a “mid-range game”, you will find that Dimensity 700 is in terms of CPU architecture, CPU layout, memory bandwidth, ISP specifications, and display output specifications. It is actually exactly the same as the Helio G95. However, due to the use of Mali-G76MC4 GPU, Helio G95 has better graphics performance than Dimensity 700 Mali-G57MC2. Then, the “new” Helio G96 changed the GPU solution to Mali-G57MC2, making its 3D performance no longer stronger than the entry-level 5G SoC.

To be honest, we don’t think this will be a coincidence. Of course, this also means that for those smart phone products that are positioned in the low-end market, it may be difficult to have a program like Helio G90T that boldly leapfrogs and focuses on “game performance” in the future. On the one hand, the current popular mobile games are indeed not affordable for low-end hardware; on the other hand, for MediaTek, which has now successfully established a foothold and is struggling to enter the higher-end market, they seem to be too There is no need for such a “strange trick”.

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