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Snapdragon 865 too hot, too rich

March 24, 2020.

Snapdragon 865.

Snapdragon 865. © Qualcomm.

Phone manufacturers seem to be passing over Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865. The reason? Too expensive. According to a couple of recent reports, Google and LG have both decided not to use this SoC this year, opting instead for a chip that is cheaper in terms of price and cost of integration. For example, neither the Pixel 5 not the 5 XL use Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 865. The Android code repository indicates that both will run on Snapdragon 765G, a chip that’s one step down from the 865. LG will also be using this chip for its LG G9 ThinQ. Given the prevailing crisis that could jeopardize the purchasing power of hundreds of millions of people, some manufacturers are shying away from outrageously expensive phones. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S20, which is built around the 865, starts at USD1,000 and tops out at USD1,400 for the S20 Ultra. While the 765G is a little slower, it has an on-board 5G modem (whereas the 865 offloads to an external chip, the X55) and is less power-hungry.

Ars Technica, Ron Amadeo, “Reports: Google, LG, don’t want Qualcomm’s super-expensive Snapdragon 865.”