Released back in March of 2017, the LG G6 was decently received by the smartphone community. It was a solid device that cost a fair amount less than other flagships of its generation such as the Samsung Galaxy S8. Beyond that, however, it didn’t receive much attention. That is, it didn’t receive much attention after launch. Before launch, however, was a different story.
At the end of 2016, Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon 835, its first 10nm chip. It naturally followed, therefore, that consumers were expecting flagship smartphones launched in 2017 to feature this latest chip. But for the first half of the year, only one flagship fulfilled that expectation: the Samsung Galaxy S8.
The reason was simple: Samsung was manufacturing the Snapdragon 835 and had first dibs on securing the chip. Samsung took advantage of this and bought up as many of them as they could. What was left after Samsung’s buying spree was not enough for LG – or any other company – to manufacture a suitable amount of devices for the market. LG could either wait until enough Snapdragon 835 chips became available – meaning they delay the LG G6 launch date – or they could go ahead and launch with whatever they already had access to.
Thus, to not delay the LG G6 launch, the company chose to use the Snapdragon 821, the previous generation processor. While this wasn’t inherently bad – the Snapdragon 821 was still a very capable processor – it was still somewhat of a letdown for smartphone enthusiasts who were expecting the latest and greatest. This wasn’t the first time that LG opted not to include the latest Snapdragon processor, though the last time they did so was more easily accepted by enthusiasts. The LG G4 opted for the Snapdragon 808 instead of the more recent Snapdragon 810 due to overheating concerns.
Rumors that LG would pack the Snapdragon 835 in the LG G6 were plentiful, yet we never saw any evidence that LG was planning to include the 835 beyond just whispers heard through the grapevine. Years later, we now have evidence that LG at least prototyped the LG G6 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. We managed to get our hands on one such prototype courtesy of a private collector. The device is undoubtedly one of very few in existence but is an exciting glimpse at what could have been. Below are photos and videos we captured of the device in action.
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