New Samsung Outed Using The Qualcomm Snapdragon 808

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor is in some respects, rather unremarkable. It's designed by Qualcomm to be a lower high-end System-on-Chip, (SoC) based around a combination of a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processors with a higher performance, dual-core ARM Cortex-A57 processor arranged in a big.LITTLE arrangement. The SoC also contains the Adreno 418 GPU and has lower clock speeds on the higher performance cores compared with the more powerful dual quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, the current flagship SoC. However, the Snapdragon 808 gained some notoriety within the industry as being the SoC LG selected for their mainstream flagship device, the G4 - whilst not as powerful as the Snapdragon 810, the 808 was either considered to be good enough for an industry flagship, or the 810's reported overheating issues were causing problems for the LG G4. And now we have a another handset destined to receive the Snapdragon 808, which was spied on the GFX Benchmark database.

The handset spotted is a Samsung Galaxy with a model reference of SM-G9198. It has reported specifications of a 4.6-inch, 720p resolution display (the exact resolution is 1,280 by 768 pixels), of course that Snapdragon 808 processor and 2 GB of RAM. There's a 16MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing unit for selfies. There's a barometer, motion processor and Android 5.1.1 Lollipop onboard. What device is this? We cannot say for certain, but going on the slightly-less-than-flagship processor and 4.6-inch display, this has the hallmarks of being the Samsung Galaxy S6 Mini.

We won't know for sure until Samsung release the device and we may cross reference the model designations with the specification. And whilst I would be disappointed that Samsung aren't using an Exynos 7420 processor similar to the full-size Galaxy S6, or even a watered down variant, the Snapdragon 808 should be an excellent choice. Yes, it doesn't have the same muscle as the Exynos 7420 or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, but the SoC only needs to drive a 720p resolution display. That's under one-third as many pixels that need to be shunted around the screen, which lightened the load on the GPU and should make the device more responsive. So, whilst Samsung using a high end, modern Snapdragon SoC is a vote of confidence, it does perhaps bring into question LG's logic in using the same chipset to drive the QHD (that is, 1,440 by 2,560 pixel) display panel of the LG G4. We don't have the detail as to when the new Samsung device will see the light of day and will report back when we do.

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.