A 4G LG Velvet is launching in some regions with the 2-year old Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
The LG Velvet was recently announced after a heated period of rumors and leaks, as well as teasers from LG themselves. While we were expecting LG to release the LG G9, that did not happen. Instead, LG’s only 2020 flagship is the LG V60, while the LG Velvet is taking the LG G series’s place this year. It’s 5G-capable thanks to the Snapdragon 765G processor, and since it’s not a high-end flagship, it’s supposed to be cheaper, but only barely: at an estimated ~$700, it’s still on the expensive end of the market. LG might be making it even cheaper using a weird, but straightforward method: swapping the Snapdragon 765G for the Snapdragon 845.
Yes, this is the 2-year-old Snapdragon 845. LG first used this former flagship SoC on the LG G7, and the company is planning on reusing the same on the LG Velvet. LG is no stranger to using older SoCs: the LG G6 in 2017 used the Snapdragon 821, as a matter of fact. Now, though, before you go and fire your hate comments towards LG, keep in mind that this decision isn’t entirely unjustified. The Snapdragon 845 is actually the closest 4G relative to the Snapdragon 765 and 765G: it has roughly the same CPU performance, and the Snapdragon 845 actually still has an edge in GPU performance. It also doesn’t have 5G and, being an older SoC, it’s way cheaper for LG to use that instead of the current Snapdragon 765/G.
The Snapdragon 845 still has some disadvantages, though, particularly in efficiency (the 845 is 10nm, the 765 is 7nm) and potentially updates down the road as the Snapdragon 845 is pretty old and getting older. But LG hasn’t really proven that they care about updates anyway.
This version of the LG Velvet first popped up in the Middle East, particularly in Iran, where 5G is not a thing yet. But this version of the phone may be headed to other 5G-less markets as well, such as Brazil, as it was also reported that Anatel, the Brazilian wireless regulator, recently certified the device (codenamed LM-G910). This version will also be at least 20% cheaper than its SD765G-powered counterpart: the ~$700 price point would then be brought down to under $600, which is much easier to digest (albeit still a little bit expensive as you can get 2018 flagships with the Snapdragon 845 for much less).