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LG says it chose the Snapdragon 808 for the G4 because of timing, not overheating issues

Tim McDonough, head of marketing at Qualcomm, explains that LG's decision to use the Snapdragon 808 in the LG G4 was entirely based on cost and timing, not overheating issues.

Published onApril 28, 2015

LG G4 hands on-39

The LG G4 has just been officially unveiled to the masses, boasting a super clear 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS Quantum Display, 3GB of RAM, and… a Snapdragon 808 processor. That’s right, LG opted against using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 processor in its new handset, though the reasoning behind that decision might not be what you’re thinking.

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The Snapdragon 810 processor has gotten off to a very rough start since its announcement a few months ago. Reports of smartphones overheating due to the chip have been running rampant throughout the internet, and Samsung even decided against using the chip in the new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge handsets. So why did LG decide to use the 808 in the G4, rather than going with the (supposedly) bigger and better 810?

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Qualcomm’s head of marketing, Tim McDonough, said in an interview that LG’s decision to go with the 808 was made long before the hype began surrounding the 810. McDonough explains:

The decisions on which chipsets to put on which handsets come from over a year ago.

While McDonough says both chips are “very much cut from the same cloth”, the 810 boasts eight cores, and the 808 only has six. The 810 also has more ultra-HD video capabilities and has an Adreno 430 GPU, as opposed to the Adreno 418 GPU found in the 808.

According to CNET, McDonough says LG’s decision had a lot to do with cost, as well. The 810 would be available first, so it was a no-brainer that LG would include the SoC in the G Flex 2. The 808 took a little more time to make its way to market, which meant LG could choose between the two processors. Ultimately, the decision to go with the 808 in the G4 came down to manufacturing costs (the 808 is cheaper), and the fact that the G4 would be the first mobile device to launch with the chipset.