According to an unnamed source from Korea, the upcoming LG G4 flagship will come equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 SoC, rather than the expected Snapdragon 810. The source also claims that Qualcomm won’t be able to fix the overheating issues that have plagued the chip’s reputation until the second half of this year.
As well as local sources, a recent GFXBench listing for an LG G4 (F500x) also points to a Snapdragon 808 processing package. The database also lists a 5.5-inch QHD display, 3GB of RAM and Android 5.1 on board.
In case you missed the announcement, the 20nm Snapdragon 808 is a hexa-core SoC. It features four low power Cortex-A53 CPU cores pair up with a dual-core high performance Cortex-A57 configuration. The GPU is an Adreno 418 and the memory configuration is paired back to 933MHz dual-channel LPDDR3 rather than LPDDR4 found in the 810.
Apparently, this all comes back to the Snapdragon 810 overheating issue, but there is mixed evidence as to whether this is actually a major problem or not.
After a period of denial, LG eventually conceded that an initial batch of chips had suffered from some problems, but that the issue would not affect the G Flex 2 or G4. While the G Flex 2’s UI may be a little sluggish in places, we didn’t have the same complains about the new HTC One M9, suggesting that LG’s performance problems may have more to do with software than hardware. Some sources state that Qualcomm fixed the issue for production commencing Q1 2015, while others say the fix won’t be applied until Q2.
Above: HTC apparently patched some One M9 overheating issues with an update.
It’s tough to know exactly what to make of the Snapdragon 810’s apparent issues, but LG dropping back to an 808, having earlier used the 810, would be a damning concession. The other possibility is that LG is reserving the Snapdragon 810, or waiting for fixed chips, until it launches its even more high-end device later this year, although that theory may leave the G4 disadvantaged against the competition.
As for performance, six cores, two high-performance and four energy-efficient, would be more than good enough for most tasks, providing that the OS is kept lean, but the loss of two cores would definitely be felt in heavy multi-tasking scenarios. The switch to a mid-range Adreno 418 GPU would result in inferior graphics performance compared with many last generation Snapdragon 805 handsets, which pack an Adreno 420 GPU. This could be particularly concerning for gamers, if the LG G4 retains a QHD display resolution.
Although this rumor may sound negative, switching to a cooler, more energy efficient chip has benefits for battery and product life-spans. If it side-steps rumored throttling issues with the 810, the performance gap may not even be that pronounced either. Of course, this would leave Samsung’s Galaxy S6 in a secure position as the performance leader.
Qualcomm declined to comment on the issue and LG stated that its release plan is subject to the development of Qualcomm chips, which doesn’t tell us very much. With the LG G4 launch date right around the corner, we’ll know soon enough if this latest rumor comes to pass.