LG launched three high-profile phones this year but, if you look closely and get past the marketing language, only one of them can really be considered the company’s 2020 premium flagship. While the LG V60 ThinQ 5G carried a Snapdragon 865, both the LG Velvet (except for one variant) and the newer and stranger LG Wing did not. The two suck with the latest 5G-capable Snapdragon 7-series chipset and now it seems that this will also be LG’s strategy for early 2021.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8-series has always been a mark of premium quality in smartphones, both because of their performance but also because of their price. The latter, however, has been steadily rising, especially with the inclusion of 5G as an unavoidable part of the package. While that may be fine for the likes of Samsung, other manufacturers are reportedly driven to the lower tiers because of it.
According to an isolated report from Korean media, LG is one such manufacturer. It has apparently not put in any orders for the Snapdragon 875, the next-gen chipset that Qualcomm has yet to announce in December. It’s probably not because of the uncertainty of the processor, though, as it’s pretty much an expected upgrade and the likes of LG may already be privy to what it will bring to the table anyway.
In fact, LG has reportedly put in mass orders for the Snapdragon 775 which has also yet to be formally launched. Many manufacturers this year, Google included, have opted for this less premium tier that is at least still capable of supporting 5G networks. Chances are, LG won’t be alone next year either.
It won’t do well for LG’s image, though, especially as it tries to regain its footing in the smartphone market. While few outside of mobile gamers might see the performance difference, the marketing alone will be enough to paint LG’s phone’s as less than premium options, especially when something like a OnePlus could offer more at nearly the same price.