LG seems committed to using Qualcomm chips for now, and I can’t blame them. The competition didn’t have much to show this year, as Nvidia is launching their Tegra chips late as usual, and it also doesn’t seem suited for a phone, nor does it have integrated LTE. Samsung’s Exynos also seems to have at the very least some driver issues, because Samsung engineers haven’t figured out how to properly utilize the big.Little architecture. So that pretty much leaves Qualcomm at the high-end.
LG is announcing that the successor to the LG Optimus G, which was released last year in about the same time with the Nexus 4, and featuring pretty identical specs and an S4 Pro chip, will be using the upcoming Snapdragon 800 processor, which is supposed to be 75% faster than the S4 Pro (once you count both the architectural improvements and the fact it will have an 800 Mhz faster clock speed, which alone counts for over 50% higher speed).
The S800 will also come with Adreno 330, which seems faster than what they initially led us to believe, and what the name also insinuates. It was supposed to be only 50% faster than Adreno 320, but it seems it will actually be 100% faster. That’s great, but it’s actually not something you should be very impressed with. GPU speeds have doubled every year since the whole smartphone revolution started. So it’s actually to be expected that Adreno 330 needs to be twice as fast as Adreno 320, which was first launched last fall, considering S800 and Adreno 330 will also launch sometime late summer or in fall, this year.
The Snapdragon 800 does look like a great all-around chip, though, and LG and others will be smart to use it. I could see Google wanting to use it in their next Nexus devices, too – maybe not in the next-gen Nexus 7, but in the Nexus 5 and the next-gen Nexus 10. Samsung is also rumored to use it in the Note 3 and possibly even in an upgraded version of Galaxy S4. Sony, as a company that’s been using Qualcomm chips for quite a while, will definitely use it in their upcoming Sony i1 Honami flagship, too.
So far this is good for consumers that we’re getting the best chips in our devices, but the competition will need to step up next year, because no competition means bad news for consumers in the long-term.