Why there isn’t a Snapdragon 810 in the Galaxy S6
The Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge were launched at the MWC 2015 on Sunday, and besides being moderately innovative, one of the surprises they brought was the actual absence of the Snapdragon 810 chipset. Many of us knew that Samsung would go for their own Exynos chipsets for the Galaxy S6 and its curved, dual-edge screen variant, but we couldn’t be sure until the phone was actually launched. Once launched, we were confident that the partnership between Samsung and Qualcomm had come to an end, as no variants of the new flagship would actually run on the Snapdragon 810 64 bit CPU. Actually, we were mistaken.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy S6 Edge were launched to massive positive response, mostly praising the metal frame, and the neat look of the edge display on the more innovative variant. The biggest problems users will have to face is storage and battery. Even though both flagships come with wireless charging and fast charging, their batteries are smaller than those found in the Galaxy S5. Last year’s Samsung flagship wasn’t bad at battery life, but it wasn’t very good either, so many are expecting a very bad battery life on these devices. You might be thinking: no problem, I’ll just swap it out when it’s depleted. Nope, both the Galaxy S6 and the S6 Edge have metal unibodies, with sealed-in batteries, so no swapping for you, my friend. Moreover, we’ve got QHD panels, which tend to eat up a lot of juice. That doesn’t sound like a good combination.
Samsung flagships over the past few years were appreciated for their removable batteries on one side, but on the other side, many loved the fact that they could go and expand storage thanks to the microSD card slots that were present in the phone. Samsung didn’t think so, as neither the Galaxy S6 nor its curvy counterpart have those. But you can get either 32, 64 or 128 GB internal storage. Since pricing information hasn’t been disclosed, we can’t say for sure, but our guess is that Samsung will ask at least $100 premium for the storage upgrade. That’s a bummer and just might be the turning point at which Samsung shot itself in the foot, according to thousands of users online. Bummer.
The new flagships don’t use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset, which is odd, seeing as the HTC One M9 and the LG G Flex 2 both make use of it with good benchmark results. But the Galaxy S6 comes with an Exynos 7420 chipset instead. Many are wondering why the South Korean company dumped the Qualcomm chipset for their flagships that are supposed to lead the smartphone industry in 2015. Well, it’s not because the partnership between Qualcomm and Samsung has come to an end. It’s because Samsung thinks the Exynos chipset is superior.
The Snapdragon 810 was rumored months ahead of its official unveiling, but not in a good way. Although people were talking about the great power management, performance, fast charging and high-end LTE modem within, the more pressing issue on peoples’ tongues was the overheating problem. Somehow, the Qualcomm offices didn’t manage to keep a lid on it and information about GPU and overheating issues impacting the performance of the Snapdragon 810 leaked out. Qualcomm repeatedly denied that there would be serious issues with their new mobile processors, saying that the few issues that really were present were dealt with quickly. The fact that Samsung’s Galaxy S6 didn’t use the processor says a lot.
We don’t have confirmation on the serious overheating issues that were rumored last year, but users and reviewers of the LG G Flex 2 did complain about a little overheating with the new flexible, bendable phone. Samsung’s CEO J.K Shin disclosed at the MWC 2015 that the company wanted the creme de la creme for the Galaxy S6, and the Snapdragon 810 didn’t make it. He didn’t actually say that the Exynos processor is better, but he certainly hinted at it a good deal. In leaked benchmarks, the Exynos 7420 chipset got record scores last year, although in on-site tests it managed only half that score. We’re not sure if the same results will apply once the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge hit stores on April 10. We’ll just have to wait and see and test for ourselves.Meanwhile, Samsung CEO clarified that the partnership with Qualcomm is still standing and we should expect more handsets to make use of their various processors.
Fact of the matter at this point is that Samsung’s Galaxy S6 didn’t use the Snapdragon 810 CPU because the company didn’t think it was powerful, stable and good enough for their record-breaking, innovative handset. The metal body of the new phone is a refresh to their usual design language, but otherwise, innovation hasn’t exactly been demonstrated. The same is the case with the HTC One M9, which turned out to be just an upgraded version of the One M8 with minimal design improvements. Alas, the biggest events of the MWC 2015 turned out to be let-downs. Not major let-downs, but let-downs nonetheless. We did get a Vlave-HTC Vive virtual reality headset, though, which is awesome.