MediaTek Helio G90, G90T revealed: What to expect from its first gaming SoC?

Gaming smartphones have seen a resurgence since the end of 2017, and almost all of these devices have been powered by Snapdragon silicon. Aside from flagship silicon, we’ve also seen the Snapdragon 730G touted by Qualcomm as a gaming-focused chipset.

Now, MediaTek has launched a gaming-focused SoC line of its own in the Helio G90 and G90T. You’ve got some capable CPU and GPU specs on paper, namely an octa-core CPU design featuring Cortex-A76 and Cortex-A55 cores (there’s no word on the layout), and Arm’s Mali-G76 GPU (3EEMC4) clocked at up to 800Mhz.

Read: MediaTek chip guide — All you need to know about MediaTek processors

Toss in up to 10GB of LPDDR4X RAM at up to 2,133Mhz, as well as a 12nm design, and you’ve got a chipset that looks poised to stand out in the upper mid-range bracket.

MediaTek says it’s also introduced a so-called HyperEngine suite of technologies to improve gaming and performance in general. These technologies include a Networking Engine (intelligently triggering concurrent Wi-Fi and LTE connections when Wi-Fi degrades), the ability to connect to both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz Wi-Fi simultaneously, intelligent resource management, a Rapid Response Engine (improving touch input), and a Picture Quality Engine (supporting HDR10).

What else does the Helio G90 offer?

 MediaTek Helio G90MediaTek Helio P90
(details TBC)
2x Cortex-A75 at 2.2 Ghz
6x Cortex-A55 at 2.0 Ghz
GPUMali-G76 3EEMC4 at 800 MHzIMG PowerVR GM 9446
AIAPUAPU at 624 Mhz
AI Accelerator
Camera24 + 16MP dual
or 64MP single
25MP + 16MP dual
or 48MP single
ConnectivityCat-12 LTE
Up to 1Gbps downlink
Cat-12 LTE
Up to 1Gbps downlink

The Taiwanese chip designer hasn’t really skimped in other areas either, saying the G90 can hit 1TMACs of AI computing power via the CPU, GPU, and APU. By comparison, the Snapdragon 710’s AI capabilities top out at 614 GMACs according to MediaTek last year. There’s no word if the APU is based on the Helio P60 and P70 or if it’s derived from the upcoming Helio P90.

MediaTek says the Helio G90 also delivers 64MP single, 24MP+16MP dual-camera support, triple or quad camera capabilities, and 240fps video recording. It’s unclear whether the processor supports 64MP snapshots without additional processing (e.g. multi-frame image processing) or if the chipset will indeed support image processing at this resolution. In any event, this puts the company in a good position to support 64MP sensors, such as the Samsung GW-1.

Other specs include Pump Express fast charging, UFS 2.1 storage support (no UFS 3.0 here), Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 5, and 2,520 x 1,080 display support.

Editor’s Pick

The chip designer hasn’t confirmed when we can expect phones to launch with the Helio G90, nor has it clarified a price segment for the processor. Nevertheless, we hope MediaTek brings the chipset to market rather soon, as it could well be a great rival to the Snapdragon 730G (which isn’t available in phones just yet either). The firm’s reputation for cheaper devices means we could also potentially see Helio G90 phones coming in at a lower price than Snapdragon 730/730G devices.

We’ve contacted MediaTek for more information regarding the CPU, APU, camera capabilities, and release window. Would you buy a G90-powered gaming phone? Let us know in the comments!

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