The Qualcomm Snapdragon 836 will not make it into the Google Pixel 2, which is expected to be released this year. In fact, it sounds like there never will be a Qualcomm Snapdragon 836 chip, contrary to popular belief.
Google Pixel 2 won’t have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 836
Virtually every leak or rumor regarding the Google Pixel 2 claims that it will have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 836 system-on-a-chip, but according to XDA-Developers, this won’t happen. The website’s sources claim that all the rumors are wrong, even though well-connected, reputable tipster Evan Blass is one of those who have said that the Google Pixel 2 will get the Qualcomm Snapdragon 836.
XDA describes the source who disagrees with Blass as “an extremely reliable source.” Following XDA’s report, Android Police reported that it was able to confirm what it said about the 836 and Google Pixel 2 independently. Despite their conviction that the 836 doesn’t exist and thus won’t be in the Google Pixel 2, Evan Blass tweeted that he’s sticking with what he originally said:
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Re: SD836, I haven't heard anything further since my initial tweet, and since the source has proven accurate time after time, I stand by it.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) September 6, 2017
Qualcomm Snapdragon 836 will never exist
XDA reported on Tuesday that there is no Snapdragon 836 chip and never will be one, as it isn’t the next premium system-on-a-chip that Qualcomm is building for its handset partners. The website emphasized that the chip “simply does not exist.”
There has been some precedent for SoCs to be released with just minor upgrades, like Qualcomm did with the Snapdragon 800 and 801 and 820 and 821, XDA noted. However, the chip maker has frequently avoided that practice, like it did with the Snapdragon 810 chip. As a result, the argument that Qualcomm always releases upgraded variants of its Snapdragon chips cannot be made. XDA added that it has no idea what all the leaks about the Google Pixel 2 getting the Snapdragon 836 chip are based on, but its source is “confident” that they are wrong.
The source was not able to confirm whether or not Qualcomm has a different chip planned for release in the fourth quarter of this year or first quarter of next year. XDA noted that the Snapdragon 845 could be Qualcomm’s next premium SoC, but it wasn’t able to verify with its source whether this is true or not. A different independent source tapped the Snapdragon 845 as the chip that will be used in the Samsung Galaxy S9, XDA added.
However, the author also said that they are far less confident that the Snapdragon 845 exists than they are that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 836 does not exist.
So what chip will the Google Pixel 2 handsets get?
So if the Qualcomm Snapdragon 836 does not exist, then which chip will the Google Pixel 2 and its larger sibling run on? XDA speculated that both Google Pixel 2 handsets will likely run on the current Snapdragon 835 processor, It’s the same one that’s in all the other major Android flagship smartphones right now, including the Samsung Note 8 and Galaxy S8, OnePlus 5, LG V30, and Moto Z2 Force
Android Police noted that an FCC filing indicated a few weeks ago that this will probably be the case with the smaller Google Pixel 2. Further, the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL both used the same processors, so it seems likely that this year’s lineup will both run on the same chips. And even though the Google Pixel 2 won’t get that rumored Snapdragon 836 processor, last year’s Pixel phones ran on the Snapdragon 821, so even if they get the current 835 chip, it would still be an upgrade.
Still some things to look forward to in the Google Pixel 2 lineup
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are widely expected to be revealed on Oct. 5, and although they won’t have a better processor than the other flagships already on the market, there are other things to look forward. For example, we heard just this week that the Google Pixel 2 XL will probably have a bezel-less display, hopefully to put this rumor to rest finally because it’s one that’s gone back and forth for quite some time.
And for those who really are hung up on the report that the Pixel 2 won’t get a better chip, tech bloggers from more than one site are suggesting that there could be very minor changes in the Snapdragon 835. After all, it’s very rare for Blass to get something like this wrong, especially when the reveal date is only about a month away. Thus, if there is a very minor change being made in the chip, there could be a bit of confusion about its name.