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A Closer Look At MediaTek’s Helio P23 Chipset

A platform for better photography

OPPO’s mid-range F5 series of devices has been constant sellers ever since they’ve been announced by the company. But aside from sporting an 18:9 aspect ratio and their new selfie AI, it’s one of the first few phones available in the country that runs MediaTek’s Helio P23 chipset.

For people who don’t know, MediaTek first announced the P23 and the higher-tier P30 back in August, a few months before OPPO officially launched the F5 and its subsequent versions. After MediaTek’s refocus on their product offerings, the new chipsets have become vital cogs in the company’s machine, aimed at the “premium mid-range” segment of the market.

Let’s take a look at the architecture of the chip itself: the P23 uses the same octa-core Cortex-A53 architecture as the previous P20 chipset, with a small bump in clock speed in its low-power core. There’s two clusters: quad-core A53 cluster running at 2.3GHz, and another four-core cluster running at 1.65GHz. The lithography of the P23 is also the same, at 16nm.

But while the P23 is similar to the P20 in its core count and speed, MediaTek has put in more features into the P23 compared to the previous generation. The GPU is quite different, with the P23 sporting a Mali-G71 MP2, which is an upgrade from the last-gen Mali T880.

What’s even more useful for mid-range phones is MediaTek’s Imagiq 2.0 that first appeared in their flagship Helio X30 chipset. The new system gives phones 4x faster focus via their new hybrid AF system, as well as their Instant AE feature that tracks and adjusts accurate exposure via environmental lighting changes. It’s not clear what technologies that OPPO used on the F5, but companies have the option to use the features in the chipset as they choose.

While the OPPO F5 didn’t have a dual-camera system, phones that use the P23 chipset have the option of using several dual-camera solutions via Imagiq 2.0. There’s support for dual-lens optical zoom, real-time depth of field and depth estimation, as well as color and mono denoise image capturing. These three technologies are the most common dual-camera tech setups that are currently being applied by manufacturers and OEMs in their devices.

MediaTek promises that the new chipset is also more power-efficient than ever before. While it’s build on the same 16nm lithography as the P20, the P23 uses MediaTek’s CorePilot tech, now in its 4th iteration. CorePilot governs task management in the chipset, allowing better power management during use. CorePilot also works closely with Thermal Management and User Experience (UX) Monitoring for longer run times. CorePilot adjusts the voltage and chooses the right cores and clusters depending on current application load which should improve battery life all around.

Connectivity-wise MediaTek’s new P23 chipset sports a new LTE Cat 7/13 modem made by the company, and has theoretical 300Mbps down and 150Mbps up speeds, making it faster than the previous generation. Interestingly enough, the modem also allows both SIM cards to use 4G LTE, which hasn’t been possible on their previous offering.

It’s early days for the Helio P23. As the chipset becomes more accessible to companies and manufacturers, you can expect more interesting phones to come out with the new chip. It’s more than likely that the P23 will be the chip of choice of many mid-range phones to be announced in few months during Mobile World Congress.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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