One of the reasons Android keeps flooding the market with very affordable smartphones is MediaTek. The Taiwanese chipmaker is known for its popular Helio chipsets found in low-end and budget phones sold by the likes of Tecno Mobile, Infinix Mobility, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, Nokia, Huawei, and many other smartphone vendors.
To make these chipsets affordable to smartphone vendors who in turn pass the incentive to buyers of their devices, MediaTek cuts some corners here and there. Sure, most MediaTek-powered phones are great at what they do, but one aspect Qualcomm-powered phones always come out on top is GPU performance. This is the reason all true gaming smartphones to-date have Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets.
At the heart of all this is Qualcomm’s Adreno graphics technology. Compared to ARM’s Mali GPUs in MediaTek chipsets, the AMD-inspired Adreno GPUs on Snapdragon chipsets always come out on top in benchmark tests. Unfortunately, most of these Snapdragon-powered devices hardly make it into the Kenyan market, which is why gamers around here should be excited with the latest news.
MediaTek has unveiled a new Helio G90 series of chipsets aimed at the budget gamer. The Helio G90 and Helio G90T combine eight Cortex-A55 and Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.05GHz and allied to a Mali-G76 GPU – the same one used in the Exynos 9820-powered Samsung Galaxy S10 family – the models sold locally. The Cortex-A76 core, which is also found in the Kirin 980 chipset that powers the Huawei Mate 20 and P30 families, is the first from ARM to adopt the 7nm technology.
The maximum RAM supported by both Helio G90 series chipsets is 10GB (LPDDR4x) and as far as photography goes, a single 64MP main camera or a dual-lens 16MP and 24MP set up.
The Helio G90 chipsets come with a suite of AI features MediaTek calls HyperEngine Game Technology. As the name suggests, these will improve your overall gaming experience. There’s also something called rapid response engine that does away with any touch lag when gaming. HDR10 support is also on board.
Gaming phones is a new niche that hasn’t taken off in Kenya. In fact, the only gaming-centric phones that have somehow found their way locally are Xiaomi Black Shark and Black Shark 2 that are available on Avechi Kenya. The former starts at Kshs 36,999 and the latter at Kshs 49,999.
What remains to be seen is whether popular vendors like Tecno and Infinix will enter the gaming phone market.