Qualcomm challenges Samsung: Snapdragon 810 has to prove itself

Samsung allegedly prefers to use its own processor with the Galaxy S6 because the Snapdragon 810 is said to be an unreliable hothead. Is that so? Qualcomm says no and throws the PR gauntlet to Samsung.

Last December, Business Korea reported that Qualcomm was struggling with an overheating problem with its new flagship Snapdragon 810 chip. The business magazine already suspected at this point that Samsung would therefore switch to an in-house eight-core. In January this was confirmed by reports from Reuters and Bloomberg. Samsung checked the Snapdragon 810 and found it too hot, the sources said.

Qualcomm indirectly admitted the setback a little later in its annual report. One of his major customers will not use the Snapdragon 810 in his upcoming flagship, was the reason for a lowered forecast. Qualcomm's correction was not great, however; all other important customers remained loyal to the US manufacturer; According to "Business Korea", LG was forced to do so because its own chip experiment, NUCLUN, failed. Overall, the Snapdragon will be used in more than 60 devices this year, Qualcomm said in a press release. The first known smartphones are the LG G Flex 2 and the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro. Microsoft, Oppo, Sony and HTC have already officially announced that they will also be introducing devices with the Qualcomm chip.

Cooler than its predecessor?

Apparently they don't have to worry about major problems. Because after LG announced according to "ZDNet" that they had not found any overheating problems with the G Flex 2, Qualcomm went on the PR offensive and proudly announced: "Snapdragon 810: cooler than ever before". As proof, it provides a laboratory test in which a device with the Snapdragon 801 competed against a similarly equipped smartphone with the new chip. The surface temperature of the 810 candidate was well below that of its competitor, both in everyday use and under heavy load during games or 4K video recordings. Plus, the new chip always stayed below the critical 45-degree limit at which power is shut down to prevent damage.

Divided opinions

In order to dispel all doubts about the Snapdragon 810 before the Mobile World Congress, which takes place in early March, Qualcomm also invited a few tech magazines to its headquarters in San Diego in order to be able to test the chip extensively in non-serial developer devices. Nevertheless, there are final doubts. For "Golem.de" the Snapdragon 810 is the "fastest smartphone chip so far", but the developer platform used for the test hardly allows any conclusions to be drawn about the heat development under load or the battery life, writes the technology magazine.

The opinions about the work of the Snapdragon 810 in the LG G Flex 2 differ. "Android Police" is not enthusiastic, recognizes among other things an "aggressive heat throttling". "Engadget" is impressed by the performance of the chip, but also noticed a throttling under maximum load. "AndroidPit" finds the performance of the Snapdragon 810 significantly better than that of the predecessor 805, but also determines that it heats up under load. Regarding heat warnings in benchmark tests, the blog writes that, according to LG, this is due to non-final software.

Samsung ahead in benchmarks

It remains to be seen whether the Snapdragon 810 is also faster than the Exynos 7420 used by Samsung in the Galaxy S6 models. Because in benchmark tests by "Anandtech" the chip showed top performance in some, but by no means in all areas. As far as the graphics are concerned, the testers still see Apple and Nvidia's current GPUs ahead. And the Korean competitor is obviously strong, very strong. Benchmark results assigned to him are impressive. In the AnTuTu test, the Mali GPU T760 impressed with a large lead over the competition. Geekbench results, which according to "Phone Arena" come from the Galaxy S6 Edge, are brand new. Its single core result is 1495 points, with all cores it comes to 5375 points. Older results of the Exynos 7420 are sometimes better, sometimes worse, but at a similarly high level. At the end of January, "Phone Arena" published the Geekbench results of an HTC One with Snapdragon 810: 1232 and 3587 points.

Which chip is actually better remains to be seen soon. Because both Samsung and HTC will present their two new top smartphones on March 1st at the Mobile World Congress. A high-class duel as technology fans can only wish for.