Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 mobile platform will power the biggest and best smartphones in 2017, from Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium (the world’s first 4K HDR handset) to – if rumours are right – Samsung’s mighty new Galaxy S8. Here’s everything you need to know about the Snapdragon 835, including benchmarking results from Qualcomm’s testing labs and the biggest updates compared with the 821 platform.
Qualcomm was kind enough to invite us out to San Diego at the beginning of March to check out its internal Snapdragon 835 testing process. We had the chance to see the 835 in action in various pre-arranged tests, as well as benchmark it for ourselves using the likes of AnTuTu.
The results are very promising indeed, even at this early stage. Here’s all you need to know about the Snapdragon 835’s killer new features, plus how it compares to existing Snapdragon chipsets.
Snapdragon 835 benchmark testing: Results with AnTuTu 6.2.7
We had the chance to run AnTuTu benchmarking on the Snapdragon 835 over at Qualcomm’s HQ, ahead of the chip’s debut in UK phones. Here’s the full results of our AnTuTu v6.2.7 tests with the latest Snapdragon SoC, housed inside a test handset.
This test handset was an Android 7.1.1 device with a Quad HD screen, powered by the Snapdragon 835 and 6GB of RAM.
We ran the benchmarking test three times and took the average score for every value spat out. The results were:
Main score: 183004
For comparison purposes, the Snapdragon 821 platform spat out a score of 164523 on the OnePlus 3T (with 6GB RAM also), while the Google Pixel managed 139960 (with 4GB of RAM).
Snapdragon 835 benchmark testing: Power consumption vs Snapdragon 821
As well as being more powerful than previous Snapdragon platforms, the Snapdragon 835 is also more power efficient. This means improved battery life is likely for any phones housing the 835.
In Qualcomm’s benchmarking tests, a Snapdragon 821 phone running a VR app consumed on average 1002mAh of power. Meanwhile a Snapdragon 835 mobile running the exact same app under the same conditions consumed just 685mAh of power on average.
Likewise, in a 4K video recording test, an 821 handset burned through 1300mAh on average. The Snapdragon 835 phone cut this to 970mAh.
In both cases, average and peak power levels were significantly lower on the Snapdragon 835 chipset. Qualcomm has also conducted even more complex tests to really drill down the figures, with positive results.
Snapdragon 835 benchmark testing: Camera processing updates
The Snapdragon chipset also delivers some vital camera features which manufacturers can implement into their smartphones’ snappers.
One of the new features in the 835 is EIS 3, Qualcomm’s Electronic Image Stabilisation tool. This cancels out (or at least limits the effects of) roll, pitch and yaw motions, to provide more stable blur-free results. What’s more, it’s a power efficient algorithm, so burns through less battery charge than earlier efforts.
We saw the effects of EIS 3 in action in Qualcomm’s image stabilisation tests at its San Diego labs. The stabilisation software really did have an impressive impact, effectively smoothing out video footage shot on a constantly vibrating tripod.
Snapdragon 835 benchmark testing: Connectivity updates
Qualcomm’s Gigabit LTE Network Simulation software shows how much of an improvement the Cat 16 Gigabyte LTE connectivity has on general data speeds. This clever sim populates a virtual city with a mixture of different devices, with different cellular capabilities. Virtual towers then supply these devices with data, showing the total capacity of the pretend networks and the average data speeds each user can expect.
The Cat 16 devices don’t just offer faster speeds to their users; they’re also less of a burden to the networks as they’re more efficient. Therefore the more Cat 16 devices on the networks, the higher everyone’s data download speeds climb. Even those with older Cat 6 handsets.
Snapdragon 835 benchmark testing: Security updates
The Snapdragon 835 also offers security features built directly into the hardware, which can’t be compromised in the same way as software.
The upgraded Haven security platform launching on the 835 platform uses machine learning to identify strange or suspicious behaviour on your smartphone. This is then flagged to the user via a third party app. Note that Haven was first found on the Snapdragon 821 chipset, but has been refined for Qualcomm’s latest platform.
Haven also offers biometric identification via an infrared front facing camera, similar to the iris recognition feature of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7. In the Snapdragon 835 this algorithm has been completely designed by Qualcomm, while the Note’s scanner software was a combined effort. We should see some improvements over the Note’s scanner, including accurate recognition when wearing sunglasses and improvements when walking and scanning at the same time.