Almost everyone is expecting LG to manufacture the upcoming Nexus 6 smartphone considering that the company has partnered with Google on previous Nexus devices. Then just a couple of weeks ago reports indicate that Google is pursuing what is called the Android “Silver” program which is a line of Android smartphones that would be replacing the Nexus line. Now, it appears that LG won’t be making anymore Nexus devices but instead the company will be making one of the first Silver branded android smartphones.
Notorious smartphone leaker @evleaks twitted that there won’t be any Nexus 5 created however an Android Silver device will be coming around February 2015. One of the first Silver devices is going to be made by LG and it is going to use a Qualcomm MSM8994 which is a Snapdragon 810 processor. This device will undergo an Android Silver Certification program and is expected to become available for Sprint. Aside from LG it appears that Motorola is also interested in releasing a Silver device and wants to take part in the Silver certification program. On the other hand, HTC and Samsung are not keen on this idea.
The Qualcomm MSM8994 is a 64-bit chip which also supports LTE connectivity. Its specs are listed below.
- CPU: Quad ARM Cortex A57 (up to 2GHz) and quad A53 cores with 64-bit support
- GPU: Adreno 430 GPU
- DSP: Hexagon V56 DSP (up to 800MHz)
- Modem: Integrated 4G LTE Advanced World Mode modem, supporting LTE FDD, LTE TDD, WCDMA (DC-HSUPA), CDMA1x, EV-DO Rev. B, TD-SCDMA and GSM/EDGE, 4G LTE Advanced CAT6 speeds of up to 300 Mbps with support for up to 3×20 MHz carrier aggregation on LTE FDD and LTE TDD, 4th Generation integrated LTE modem, with support for Qualcomm RF360, LTE-Broadcast and LTE multimode dual-SIM (DSDS and DSDA)
- USB: 3.0/2.0
- Bluetooth: BT 4.1
- WiFi: VIVE 2-stream 802.11n/ac with MU-MIMO
- GPS: IZat Gen8C
- Video: 4K capture and playback with H.264 (AVC) and H.265 (HEVC) formats, 4K capture and playback with H.264 (AVC) and H.265 (HEVC), DASH supported
- Camera: Up to 55 MP Camera, Dual ISP
- Display: 4K Ultra HD on-device display concurrent with 4K Ultra HD output to HDTV, 1080p and 4K external displays
- Memory/Storage: LPDDR4 1600MHz 2×32 (25.6GBps)/ UFS Gear2 2L, eMMC 5.0, SD 3.0 (UHS-I)
- Process Technology: 20nm
Although not much information is available right now on the LG Silver device, if it can take advantage of the features of the Snapdragon 810 chip then it’s going to be a premium high-end device.
So what is this new Silver program and how does it differ from Nexus devices. Reports indicate that Silver is created to counter Apple’s iPhone ecosystem. Google will have more control over devices with the Silver branding which will primarily be made up of high-end devices. It’s also one way for the search giant to break Samsung’s grip on this market sector.
Under this new program Google will be paying manufacturers and carriers to create smartphones that have strict requirements. Devices under this program will have a limit on non-Google pre-installed apps. One advantage of Silver devices is that new updates will arrive faster.