Qualcomm touted the 5 nm Snapdragon 888 to show significant improvements over the preceding Snapdragon 865. Xiaomi was among the first OEMs to lap up the Snapdragon 888 in the flagship Mi 11. With the device being available in China, the first benchmarks of the phone are already available. However, it seems that Qualcomm’s latest flagship SoC may not really be a very efficient offering.
Various benchmarks of the Mi 11 have been posted by reviewers on Weibo including Geekbench, GFXBench, AnTutu, SPECInt, 3DMark, PUBG: Mobile, and Genshin Impact. These results were collated and analyzed by Golden Reviewer on YouTube.
On the performance front, the Snapdragon 888 clearly shows good leads over the Snapdragon 865 and even beats the Apple A13 Bionic in Geekbench. While raw performance is definitely better, Qualcomm seems to have achieved it at the cost of power efficiency.
Firstly, in AnTuTu, the results show a steep 12 °C increase in temperature and a 4% battery loss at the end of the benchmark. While the battery loss is as expected, most current flagships only show about a 4-5 °C temperature increase. A point to be noted here is that the Mi 10 Pro does not show such abnormal behavior.
Moving on, a SPECint benchmark on the Cortex-X1 Big Core clocked at 2.84 GHz shows 26% higher performance than the Snapdragon 865’s Cortex-A77 at the same clock, but the power consumption seems to be a whopping 65% higher. For perspective, a Snapdragon 865 consumes just 2.03 W while the ill-fated Exynos 990 consumes 3.8 W.
Coming to mid-core performance in the same benchmark, the Snapdragon 888’s Cortex-A78 cores clocked at 2.42 GHz offer just a 7% performance increase over the same cores in the 865, but seem to consume 25% higher power at 1.88 W compared to 1.5 W in the 865.
Higher power consumption means a greater probability for throttling if the device isn’t really able to supply the required power to run the chip at its full potential. That being said, real-world results may not be so bad after all.
In a PUBG: Mobile test, the reviewer noted that at HDR+ settings, the phone pulled between 0.8 to 1 A current and could maintain a stable 60 fps all the time without producing much heat. The battery seemed to have dropped from 86% to 77% after about 30 minutes of gaming.
Going by these numbers, it seems that the total power consumption is between 3.2 and 4 W, which is about the same as the Snapdragon 865. 3DMark Wild Life stress test also didn’t seem to show any tangible improvement compared to the Mi 10 Pro.
Genshin Impact, however, proved to be too much for the Mi 11 with the device reaching 50 °C 10 minutes into the game and frames dropping from 60 fps to about 30 fps due to throttling.
The initial results don’t seem to paint a rosy picture for Qualcomm’s latest flagship and the Mi 11 as well. However, do remember that these results could very well be device-specific and may improve over time with firmware updates. It is also possible that we may see some improvements with the global variant of the Mi 11.
We look forward to comprehensively test the Mi 11 along with other Snapdragon 888-powered devices ourselves in the coming months so stay tuned.
LG says it might quit the smartphone market – Ars Technica
As usual, things are not looking good for LG’s phone division. As reported by The Korea Herald, LG Electronics CEO Kwon Bong-Seok sent out a staff-wide memo that the company was considering making major changes to its smartphone division, including possibly quitting the smartphone business.
Last week, Korean news outlet TheElec also wrote about this memo in a now-deleted post. The post was deleted because LG brutally debunked the report, calling it “completely false and without merit.” This week, LG is confirming basically the same memo report from the Korea Herald, complete with comments from LG. The Verge also got a thumbs-up from LG about the report.
“Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about time for LG to make a cold judgment and the best choice,” an LG official told the Korea Herald. “The company is considering all possible measures, including sale, withdrawal, and downsizing of the smartphone business.”
LG’s smartphone business has been suffering for a while. As the report points out, LG’s smartphone division lost about 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion) over the past five years. The official earnings count has the division at 22 consecutive money-losing quarters. Today you won’t find LG on a “Global smartphone market share” chart; instead, it will be buried down in the “other” category. In the US, Counterpoint has LG at 13 percent of the market, due mostly to pre-paid sales.
LG Electronics’ CEO only landed the position 13 months ago and has undoubtedly been evaluating LG’s only money-losing division over the past year. In an interview in January 2020, shortly after being appointed CEO, Kwon promised “LG Electronics’ mobile business is going to be profitable by 2021.” It’s still not clear if that’s considered a reasonable goal for the company.
TheElec’s original scoop is backed up and translated here. You should definitely take it with a grain of salt since the outlet deleted the post and isn’t standing behind it, but so far, it seems to be correct. It contains an interesting tidbit that’s not in the other report: that LG will announce a direction for its mobile unit on January 26. TheElec also claimed that LG sent out a directive to “stop all developments except for the i project,” with “i project” being a code name for LG’s flexible-display LG Rollable smartphone. The last bit of the report sounds very plausible in raising the possibility that the LG brand will never truly leave the smartphone market and will instead farm out the logo to various white-label ODM companies.
Why would anyone buy an LG phone?
LG has never had a solid sales pitch for the smartphone wars. At the high end of the market, LG has always seemed to be overshadowed by its bigger Korean rival, Samsung. It shipped high-spec phones with heavy Android skins and a bad update plan, and when Samsung offers the same thing with bigger brand recognition, why would anyone pick LG? At the low end of the market, especially in the US, the company has reliably shoveled cheap, anonymous phones into carrier stores and the pre-paid market. This is something that needs to be done, but again, there’s nothing here that would make LG stand out from the crowd.
If anything, LG has a pretty bad reputation when it comes to building smartphones. The company’s phones are known for dying early and going into “boot looping,” an unusable Android failure state where the phone reboots repeatedly due to bad flash memory. LG was sued over boot loops in 2017, with the lawsuit naming every high-profile LG device released in 2015 and 2016. LG ended up settling. I know I’ve personally laid four LG-made Google Nexus 5Xs to rest over boot loop issues.
When the company wasn’t occupying the same lane as Samsung, it was trotting out ridiculous gimmicks that would be forgotten a year or two later: there was the LG G5 with its modular accessories, like a clip-on camera grip; the inexplicably banana-shaped LG G Flex; and an obsession with various “dual screen” designs like the LG V10’s notification display, the LG V50’s clip-on second screen, and the LG Wing’s “T” shaped design. You can see the company trying to do something different to stand out, but none of these ideas was good, or at least they weren’t a hit with consumers.
Samsung announces Tab Active3 ruggedized Android tablet with removable battery – Notebookcheck.net
Ruggedized smartphones are fairly rare in today’s market, and rugged tablets are rarer still. There are still a few tough tablets out there, including a new device from Samsung.
The Tab Active3 is a new ruggedized Android tablet from Samsung. Featuring a 1.7 GHz octa-core processor (boost up to 2.7 GHz), 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of expandable storage, the 8-inch FHD+ tablet is powerful enough for most work-related tasks. It’s unlikely to win any gaming awards, but the Tab Active3 is designed for frontline workers who are often in difficult environments.
The Tab Active3 runs Android 10 and has a programmable button, S-Pen support, and NFC. The tablet also supports wireless DeX, Samsung’s pseudo-desktop feature that allows users to connect their Samsung device to a monitor and run a desktop version of the company’s One UI.
One of the most intriguing features is its removable 5050 mAh battery. The tablet can continue operation without a battery if it’s plugged into a wall, allowing users to (sort of) hot-swap batteries. Samsung has promised “up to three generations of Android OS upgrades.” Samsung doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to Android upgrades, so time will tell if the company keeps this promise. Samsung also promised up to 5 years of security updates.
The Samsung Tab Active3 starts at US$489.99 for a WiFi-only model (WiFi 6). An LTE model sells for $589.99.
LG might be leaving the smartphone business this year – MobileSyrup
After five years of loss equating to roughly $4.5 billion USD, LG might be ditching its smartphone business in 2021.
The Korea Herald has reported that Kwon Bong-seok has sent out a memo to his staff on Wednesday, indicating a change in direction for its phone business. “Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about time for LG to make a cold judgment and the best choice,” says an LG official in a statement to The Korea Herald. “The company is considering all possible measures, including sale, withdrawal and downsizing of the smartphone business.”
Additionally, LG verified the internal memo reported by The Korea Herald and added, “As of today, nothing has been finalized.”
This memo follows a deleted report from TheElec, a South Korean publication, earlier this month that stated that LG is planning to exit the smartphone business. However, LG’s Head of Global Corporate Communications, Ken Hong, told XDA Developers that the rumour was “untrue.”
Once a smartphone superpower, LG has been losing a lot of ground in the smartphone market. Manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Apple and Vivo now dominate the market.
Even LG’s Velvet and Wing smartphones, two new devices that were very different from the company’s previous releases, weren’t enough to garner attention.
At CES 2021, LG promised a new rollable device, but this might be the last LG smartphone to hit the market; hopefully, the company brings it to Canada.
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