Report: LG G6 Will Employ Snapdragon 821 & Why It Makes Sense

A new report is now looking to confirm that the LG G6 will come sporting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor. Along with the confirmation, the report from SemiAccurate has also provided the image shown below which again seems to confirm the LG G6’s use of the Snapdragon 821. While also confirming that the LG G6 will come with water and dust-resistance, a Quad DAC, a rear-positioned fingerprint sensor and a 5.7-inch “Full Vision” display. For reference, the Full Vision aspect is one which popped up recently in another report which looked to confirm that the LG G6 would be using the ‘Full Vision’ statement for marketing purposes - drawing on the LG G6’s near bezel-less display.

If all correct, then this does mean that the LG G6 will come running on the Snapdragon 821 and not the new Snapdragon 835. Of course, this is a sentiment that has routinely popped up in rumors and reports over the last few weeks and so this latest report simply adds to the growing literature on the topic. The general consensus being that Samsung has secured all of the first run Snapdragon 835 processors for their own upcoming launch of the Galaxy S8. A move which some have wondered on whether it would impact the LG G6’s chances of competing with the Galaxy S8. On that note, the same report goes into a detailed explanation of not only why LG has gone with the Snapdragon 821 (instead of waiting for the Snapdragon 835 to become available to them), but also why they are right to opt for the Snapdragon 821.

The sum of the argument revolves around two key aspects. The first is the actual availability. With Samsung locking down all initial run Snapdragon 835 processors and not having their own Snapdragon 835-equipped smartphone launching until mid-April (as the current rumors suggest), this effectively would mean that LG would not be able to bring their G6 to market before May, or quite possible even June. Which not only would delay the G6 considerably (seeing how it is now ready to be unveiled at MWC 2017), but it would also shut down any release advantage that it could have over the Galaxy S8. In fact, it would negatively impact on the LG G6, as the smartphone would be coming to market considerably later than the Galaxy S8 and losing any hope of securing early buyers. By opting for the Snapdragon 821 (which the report rightly points out is still - and will be at the time of the G6 launch - the current flagship Qualcomm processor), LG is able to continue forward with a release schedule that sees the G6 becoming available ahead of the Galaxy S8 and therefore, maximizing its impact and likely sales figures.

The second reason provided for why this is right for LG is more of a technical one. While the Snapdragon 835 is going to be a better and newer processor, the report argues that the difference is negligible and in real-world terms, is unlikely to really impact on the average LG G6 user. SemiAccurate specifically draws on the Snapdragon 835’s more advanced modem and support for Cat16 as a prime example. While the Snapdragon 835 will support Cat16, the current flagship smartphones do not really contain the applicable antennas to make use of the spectrum. Likewise, on the whole, carriers are not really supporting the spectrum widely enough yet either. Which does mean that by the time support is widespread enough (at the device and carrier level), devices such as the LG G6 will already be outdated and likely already discontinued. Therefore, while there are paper advancements that the LG G6 could claim by employing the Snapdragon 835 instead of the Snapdragon 821, the real-world implications of those claims are far less important. If anything, the report suggests that the advances that will likely come with the LG G6 may actually be perfectly suited for the Snapdragon 821 and therefore, is actually likely to be the right choice of processor for the LG G6.

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John Anon

Editor-in-Chief
John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. Besides adopting the Managing Editor role at AH John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]
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