Qualcomm announces 205 mobile platform for entry-level LTE feature phones

Modernizing the feature phone for 2017: Soon, the world's feature phones will have access to 4G LTE.

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(Image: Lynn La/CNET)

Qualcomm on Monday announced the Qualcomm 205 mobile platform that will bring 4G LTE and 4G services to entry-level feature phones, as the chipmaker looks to leave 3G in the dust.

Aimed at emerging markets, the Qualcomm 205 platform includes the Qualcomm 205 SoC, which encompasses the baseband functionalities, plus hardware components including RF front end, discrete Wi-Fi, power management, audio codec, speaker amplifier, and software. It also includes support for services like Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi).

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The Qualcomm 205 chipset is now available to device manufacturers, likely to reach customers in India, Latin America, and Southeast Asia in Q2 2017.

"Feature phones are a lifeline in many emerging countries and the Qualcomm 205 Mobile Platform allows us to bring 4G connectivity and services to the masses with devices at price points never seen before," wrote Kedar Kondap, VP of product management at Qualcomm Technologies, in a statement.

During Mobile World Congress in February, we saw a fresh take on the feature phone: Scaled down features with a focus on the basics like calling and texting.

The Qualcomm 205 chipset, running a 1.1GHz dual-core CPU, supports a 3-megapixel rear-camera, 3-megapixel front-facing camera, Bluetooth, dual SIM cards, and Linux software. It seems to be aimed more toward connecting emerging markets than being a chip for retro feature phones.

Days earlier, Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon branding will only apply to premium processors like the Snapdragon 835. Those in the 200 tier will be branded under "Qualcomm Mobile."

Too bad Qualcomm's premium chips can't have 45 days of standby time, 20 hours of talk time, and 86 hours of music playback, like the Qualcomm 205.

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