What if the Snapdragon 810 really gets delayed? Here are the 7 CPU alternatives for 2015's spring Android flagships

What if the Snapdragon 810 really gets delayed? Here are the 7 CPU alternatives for 2015's spring Android flagships
Those rumors out of Korea about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 facing production delays just won't stop. The first ones started swirling last December, with BusinessKorea reporting that the 810, which is to power LG, Samsung, and everyone else in Android land's upcoming spring-summer flagship smartphones, is experiencing overheating problems when pushed to high-performance voltage levels. Allegedly, the Adreno 430 GPU unit and the RAM controller were lemons, too.

Qualcomm quickly squashed those rumors, ensuring the public that "everything with Snapdragon 810 remains on track" and devices with it will appear "in the first half of 2015". Our Michael H. read between the statement's lines and pondered whether Qualcomm's publicist cleverly disguised the chip's perils by addressing a conveniently broad six-month release timeframe. H1 2015 could mean February, or it could mean June. And when was the last time Samsung or LG launched their flagship smartphones in June? Hmm.

Fast forward to January 2015. The LG G Flex 2 rocks the stage at CES 2015, flaunting a Snapdragon 810 chip and a February release date. Three days later, the Koreans are at it again, singing the same tune about the Snapdragon 810 overheating like Steve Balmer at a Fergie act, and spelling a three month delay from the Q1 release schedule to fix the chip's design inefficiencies. Qualcomm is yet to address the rumor.

So, what if the SD 810 really is a heated issue at Qualcomm's and is coming later than anticipated? That could potentially become very awkward as our favorite device vendors - not just Samsung and LG, but also Sony, HTC, Xiaomi, Pantech and the like - are racing to be the first to get their SD 810 devices out. They would either have to wait it out, or switch to their "Plan B" processors in the last minute. So we put ourselves in their shoes and looked for currently available solutions that could replace the SD 810 in our illustrious spring flagships. For all we know, the chip needs to cover the following essentials: be 64-bit, be energy-efficient, be LTE-compatible, be really, really fast, and... don't overheat. We asked around and came up with the processors below. Which one sounds the most realistic to you?

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88 Comments

1. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

A fast 64-bit SoC takes a while to plan and implement...wait what? N/M :(

3. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Not to mention the time (and $) involved in integrating the alternative SoC into the smartphone (h/w, s/w). If there are problems with the 810, I see delayed product launches and lawsuits a-plenty.

4. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

FYI, 64-bit based SoCs already came out in 2014. So tryina get your facts straight before trolling. Remember these chips are not supporting a 720p display. They have to push a 2k display, open two apps at a time on a screen and multi-task all while running several widgets running in the background. These chips are for android not an OS which is a glorified app launcher.

6. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

How do you open two apps at a time in Android? Do you have to use two hands or can you juse use different fingers? Does it go into split screen mode???

7. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

I meant run two apps at a time on a screen.

8. Ninetysix

Posts: 2933; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

That's no fun :( I see what you mean now. I found a video of a 64 bit phone running multiple apps at a time. http://youtu.be/7LIrCaqbccg

37. shaineql

Posts: 521; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Samsung does that since 2012 (S3), flawless implementation of split screen. Works even better on S5 .

88. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

You did, a hacked, modified system. There are some that do it naturally just so you know.

90. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Great ! Now how many years till we see the CPU pushing 2k display, multi-task and run widgets simultaneous along with what I just saw in the video ? And what about the 4k video recording ?

67. andriodfanboy1

Posts: 164; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

i am using s5 and multiwindow do split the screen

25. Iodine

Posts: 1471; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Those 64-bit chips were either low-end or flop (like nvidia denver which is over heating, they abandoned it now, not for a phone) or designed by Apple. "Remember these chips are not supporting a 720p display. They have to push a 2k display...." That's why they can be so slow, it's not even fair to compare them to the newest iPhones. And btw, retina HD displays are 8,5/125 % more than 720p, and A8 has no problems to drive them. Do you really think that Apple couldn't run all of that stuf on iPhone ? Look at some jailbreak tweaks.

44. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

You don't realize that all those tasks could be EASILY accomplished with the SoC Hardware available. Looks at Intel's ATOM processors for the last 2 years. Can run FULL WINDOWS with LESS raw power than Snapdragon 800 series. And a MUCH weaker GPU as well. You think Android is a heavy OS or something? It's NOT. AOSP Lollipop only occupies 180MB RAM. Get your facts straight before you puke on people bud.

71. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

And who is talking about the AOSP exactly ? Also, the FACT is even if it could it isn't doing those tasks right now. Let alone EASILY. Even if it did it will seriously suffer from power efficiency as iPhones already have pretty dismal battery even without being able to do so. Add to the fact even doesn't have enough RAM to take advantage of a 64 bit chip.

5. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Also, they're suppose to record a 4k video. It also employs big.LITTLE architecture and has 8 cores which your holy company does not.

27. Iodine

Posts: 1471; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Maybe I don't have 8 cores in my phone, tablet, computer or TV but you know what ? An ultra-wide custom designed ARM cores at low clocks built on a 20nm process rules.

46. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Doubtful he understands what a "Ultra-wide custom core" is much less that people don't all build custom cores. Nice to see someone who actually understands stuff around here.

45. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

big.LITTLE is a joke. It's been tried, and has failed already. Exynos Octa anyone? The switch from core clusters DOES cause lag. There's a reason Qualcomm, Nvidia and Apple (Every chip designer with actual skills) avoided big.LITTLE for YEARS before being forced to use STOCK ARM designs to compete at a lower prices. The result was people building "True OctaCore" devices that can only surf the web for 3 hours before burning up and powering down.

49. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Seriously, what you're describing can be easily remedied by proper software and task scheduling appropriate tasks to the appropriate type cores. Big.LITTLE can have a huge positive impact if it's properly implemented in both hardware and especially software. It is more complicated and if these complexities aren't accounted for, or bad developers hop on with no clue, it's easier to crater. Carry on now though...

79. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

Hotplugging from Qualcomm also causes lags which are even worse than big.LITTLE lags.

78. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

Lol... Exynos 5433 has weak graphics? Phonearena writers must have been smoking some special thing before making such a conclusion. Mali T760MP6 is actually better than Adreno 420 in real world games and Exynos 5433 is much better in general than Snapdragon 805 (and the difference is visible). And how 2 GHz Snpadragon 810 transformed into a sub-3 GHz chip? The author must be trolling :D

92. TyrionLannister unregistered

2. Kruze

Posts: 1285; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

If Snapdragon 810 really gets delayed, manufacturers like Sony, HTC, LG (that doesn't have their own homemade CPU will most likely choose the little brother 808 because they must rely on Qualcomm's chipset for their flagship devices. While Samsung and Huawei can use plan B easily because they have their own homemade CPU's like Exynos and Kirin. Oh wait, Huawei don't even use Qualcomm chipsets on their flagships anymore, they use their homemade Kirin instead lol. But still, hope the rumors were fake though. Snapdragon 810 can't be delayed.

15. Ashoaib

Posts: 3269; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

kirin is miles behind snapdragon. kirin is a no match so far. Whereas, Exynos holds some ground against snapdragon. Why not samsung should try to sell exynos to sony, htc and lg? samsung will get big market share. Latest Intel atom also sounds impressive.

9. Cheezwiz

Posts: 499; Member since: Dec 29, 2014

Could be the year of truly compelling midrange phones. If the high end turns out to be a mess, people are going to be looking for that value at the midrange.

10. UglyFrank

Posts: 2190; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Underclocked X1 is actually a good choice

21. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

Nvidia should have made a half X1 for phones. Would have been as fast as K1 but efficient enough for phones. And SD810 should not be beating K1 in graphics as it seems.

23. AfterShock

Posts: 4146; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

From all I can find the 810 overheats an barely breaks 45k on Antutu.

50. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

The X1 is a beast but it doesn't have a modem integrated.

81. alex3run

Posts: 715; Member since: May 18, 2014

That would have been great. Nvidia finally made an almost perfect SoC at least in theory.

11. vuyonc

Posts: 1088; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

This might be Intel's year in mobile (Android flagships at least) if Qualcomm can't deliver in time. A Moorefield successor by Q4 2015 with good enough power consumption and software support can take on the SD810. Toned down Cherry Trail cores, high end Mali or IMG GPU and a beefy ISP should do the trick.

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