While Samsung, HTC and LG G5 all shared far more similar components than not, in 2017 it’s looking at this won’t be the case. In order to meet the very early launch timeframes that LG has set, LG has had to go with the late-2016 Snapdragon 821 processor — yes, the same as in Google’s Pixel — instead of the newer Snapdragon 835.
On one hand, this isn’t a bad thing, because the Snapdragon 821 has been around for a short while, it’s established itself as a great balance of performance and efficiency, and has been proven capable by the Google Pixel and Pixel XL which use it as their chipset. However, the Snapdragon 835 promises a lot, and according to a report on Forbes, the LG G6 won’t get to use it.
It looks as if Samsung will have the first phone on the market with the Snapdragon 835, as the chipset itself won’t be shipping in any significant capacity until after the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8, which is rumoured for mid-April. This of course put LG in a tough position — wait for the Snapdragon 835, and go toe-to-toe with the most popular smartphone brand on the planet, or use the already-proven Snapdragon 821 and go early, hoping to get the jump in mind-share and subsequent sales.
I’m not sure that this is a death-knell for LG, but it’s certainly one of those “oh, for goodness’ sake” moments. In a year where we want LG to really shine, and to give the G6 the best opportunity to go hard, timing and circumstance means that they miss out on the best processor to put inside.
That said, it really shouldn’t make too much difference – with a 5.7-inch display, water resistance, fast charging with USB-C, and Google’s Assistant (which Samsung almost certainly won’t have), the LG G6 promises to be one hell of a phone regardless of the processor inside.