Snapdragon 835 debuts with Kryo 280 CPU, Bluetooth 5, Gigabit LTE, and much more

Qualcomm offered up a quick look at the Snapdragon 835 back in November, announcing that it would be the company's first SoC to be built on a 10nm node. At CES, we're getting a detailed look at what's on offer with this year's high-end SoC.

The shift to 10nm means that the overall size of the Snapdragon 835 is 30% smaller than that of the Snapdragon 820, and the node shift brings improvements in energy efficiency to the tune of 40%. Qualcomm is also touting a performance increase of 27% over the previous generation. The smaller design allows handset vendors to build phones with larger batteries or devices with thinner profiles.

Snapdragon 835

In other words, it's a big deal.

We'll go into detail on each aspect of the SoC, but in broad strokes, here's what's new with the Snapdragon 835: eight Kryo 280 CPU cores, Adreno 540 GPU, Daydream support, gigabit LTE modem, multi-gigabit Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5, Hexagon 682 DSP, Spectra 180 ISP, support for HDR10 video, Quick Charge 4.0, and Qualcomm's Aqstic codec with 32-bit/384kHz support and aptX/aptX HD Bluetooth audio.

Kryo 280

The Snapdragon 835 features an octa-core semi-custom CPU design, with four brand-new Kryo 280 performance cores clocked at 2.45GHz and four energy-efficient cores at 1.9GHz. The SoC will rely on the energy-efficient cluster for over 80% of the time, with the 2.45GHz cores activated for intensive use cases like VR gaming. The SoC is also compatible with LPDDR4X memory.

On the GPU side, the Snapdragon 835 comes with the Adreno 540 with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, Vulkan, and DirectX 12. The latter is interesting as the Snapdragon 835 is the first SoC to power the initial batch of Windows 10 devices powered by ARM.

Snapdragon 835

Battery life is one of the tentpole features of the Snapdragon 835, with Qualcomm claiming at least a day's worth of talk time, over 5 days of music playback, more than seven hours of 4K video streaming, and over three hours of 4K video capture. To put things into context, the Snapdragon 835 consumes half as much power as the Snapdragon 801.

The Snapdragon 835 is also the first SoC to offer Quick Charge 4.0. QC 4.0 supports USB-C and USB-PD (Power Delivery), and boasts 20% faster charging and up to 30% higher efficiency when compared to QC 3.0.

Battery life is one of the tentpole features of the Snapdragon 835, with more than seven hours of 4K video streaming.

In the imaging department, the Spectra 180 is a 14-bit dual ISP that supports up to 32MP cameras or dual 16MP cameras. It offers hybrid autofocus, HDR video recording, optical zoom, hardware-accelerated face detection, better video stabilization, and Qualcomm's Clear Sight tech for devices with dual cameras. The ISP supports H.264 (AVC) and H.265 (HEVC), as well as 4K video capture at 30fps, and 4K playback at 60fps.

With virtual reality gaining momentum, the Snapdragon 835 offers low-latency (15ms motion-to-photon latency) and six-degrees-of-freedom for precise motion tracking. The Adreno 540 GPU displays 60X more colors and is 25% faster at 3D rendering than last year's Adreno 530, leading to more immersive visuals. There's also support for scene-based and object-based audio, HDR10 video, 10-bit color, and the SoC is fully compatible with Daydream.

Snapdragon 835 Wi-Fi

On the connectivity side of things, there's the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem, which enables Category 16 LTE download speeds that go up to one gigabit per second. For uploads, there's a Category 13 modem that lets you upload at 150MB/sec. For Wi-Fi, Qualcomm is offering an integrated 2x2 802.11ac Wave-2 solution along with an 802.11ad multi-gigabit Wi-Fi module that tops out at 4.6Gb/sec. The 835 will consume up to 60% less power while on Wi-Fi.

The Snapdragon 835 will offer Bluetooth 5, with the SoC being the first commercial product to be certified for the new standard.

The Bluetooth 5 spec was finalized last month, with the standard set to offer double the bandwidth, four times the range, and eight times the message capacity of Bluetooth 4.2. The Snapdragon 835 will offer Bluetooth 5, with the SoC being the first commercial product to be certified for the new standard.

Qualcomm Haven

The Snapdragon 835 also runs Qualcomm's hardware-based Haven security platform, which has a secure execution environment for user authentication and device attestation. Another interesting addition is a neural software framework that now features Google's TensorFlow library, enabling manufacturers that rely on machine learning to build better experiences when it comes to photography, security, personal assistants, and virtual reality.

Overall, the Snapdragon 835 marks a significant upgrade for Qualcomm. The SoC is slated to make its way into devices in the first half of 2017!

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • Oh my word.... That's what I call modern mobile hardware at its finest. Take my money Qualcomm!! Okay maybe the 821 in this 3T I have can last me a bit longer....Seeing as how it's faster than any other Android phone in existence
  • Faster than any phone in existence...Lol my Nexus 6 smoked that piece of $hit. If you don't like my opinion, take your index finger and sit on it. - fellow Android affecianado
  • ..........I have no words for what I just read
  • What substances have you been abusing before you get on here with your retarded rambling? Just curious
  • Dude the OnePlus 3T make the Nexus 6 look very much the dated piece of crap it is. Nice joke though.
  • Dude must be a troll. I got rid of my Nexus 6 for a OP3. Worlds faster. Whatever you are on, I want some.
  • I really hope we get a phone with a big battery and a 1080p display.
  • dont run for big battery.. look for better battery optimized software because pixel is one such device
  • It's not either / or ...
  • I want this in Moto Z Play ll and 4000mAh. OK I might settle with 3500 :)
    If not I'll just grab the OG probably for 300$.
    2 day smartphone battery of moderate to heavy use is already here, but this chip would bring that to a flagship device.
  • Well the LePro3 fit that bill and apart from the horrid menu system it pretty much nails all points. I especially liked getting it for $250.
  • So, there really isn't going to be a snapdragon 830?
  • so will it surpass A10? or is it just gonna match the A9?
  • The only reason apple CPUs do well is because iOS is lighter than Android, it's like comparing a lightweight linux distro and Windows 10. It's obvious that the linux distro uses less resources and sounds faster than the Windows 10, but that's because 10 is much more powerful and needs more resources. That being said, I'd love to see how an Apple CPU would do on an Android phone, and how a Qualcomm CPU would do on an iPhone.
  • In reality those higher benchmarks Apple is achieving with the A10 don't mean much because phones like the 3T and Pixel generally load apps a bit faster and run just as smoothly when tested side by side in real world usage. When comparing the iPhone 7/plus running the latest iOS with android's current best 3T and Pixel's running Nougat, Android is the faster Operating System in real world usage. Thousands of side by sides all over YouTube have shown that these last couple months. And it's been that way since Marshmallow launched
  • Mostly true. Only in heavy applications does the A10 show its CPU superiority. In most day to day apps people use, phones like pixel and one plus 3 are just as fast. I think Android has gotten faster than ios though. Too bad the Sd835 wasn't ready in time for the Pixel. I'd love a phone running stock Android 7.1.1+ and the sd835 chip.
  • The exynos 8890 had a better cpu and gpu than the a9. The SD820 had matched the cpu and a much better gpu.
  • and if you put windows 10 OS on that phone it will smoke an Apple device, but since you're using android on it it wont.
  • It is on windows, on the HP elite x3. Although there's no way to benchmark it except for antutu which is still on beta for windows Mobile (it only got 110k FYI).
  • It will definitely beat ******* 10 chipset
  • As a whole package it surpasses the A10 but the CPU performance probably won't beat the A10 I'm guessing.
  • Unless you actually use an iPhone concurrently with your android and you have the exact same apps on both phones, it doesn't actually matter.
  • 2017 Wish list...
    Google Pixel 2
    5.2"/5.7" screens
    6GB RAM
    64GB Storage
    Dual Rear Cameras
    3500+ MAH battery
    Stereo speakers
    Available on all carriers
  • No need for waterproofing.
  • It can't hurt.
  • i definitely want waterproffing
  • Definitely in need of waterproofing. Apple and Samsung, even Sony, set the standard.
  • ^ yes...and wireless charging please....I'm not giving that up.
  • Sure there is.
    Just not for you, a selfish ego-centered human being.
  • one small change SD836 or SD840
  • I'd like for them to stick with the 5.0" form factor for the smaller of the two. I just love the size and feel of this thing. A 1440p display on the 5" model would be nice, though, for no reason other than an improved Daydream experience. A much bigger battery (I've had good battery life on the Pixel, but bigger is always better, obviously) would be awesome, and front-facing stereo speakers would make me so happy. The only thing that I didn't love moving from the 6P to the Pixel was the fact that watching video without headphones on the Pixel is a much shittier experience, and for reasons that have nothing to do with the screen.
  • Sony Xperia X2
    5" Screen @ 1080p
    Snapdragon 835
    4GB RAM
    64 Storage
    XZ Camera with improved low-light shooting capabilities.
    3400 mAh battery
  • My only reserves are they can make the battery bigger, maybe 3600 - 3800 and Micro SD Expansion.
  • If it's at least water resistant, I'll be content with that. I'd like to add price points at worse somewhere between what the Nexus 6P was and where the Pixel XL is now. That's just wishful thinking though. :-)
  • You had me at stereo speakers (have to be front facing). If HTC could go back with an updated M8 with a fingerprint scanner, font fracing speakers flagship, my money is there for the taking. I know ZTE came out with their Axon 7 but the sound quality just isn't the same.
  • Yes! This is exactly what I'm waiting for. If the Google Pixel nails the Hardware and comes up with a preferably more original design I would be all over this.
  • Is the X16 1 gigabit per second LTE modem considered 5G, or still 4G?
  • I wonder the same. I'm guessing they're playing it safe and NOT call it 5G because there isn't a standard yet
  • Technically, 4G is specified to be 1 Gbps for slow-moving devices (pedestrians with phones) and 100 Mbps for fast-moving devices (when in vehicles). The carriers just break the rules and don't provide those speeds because no devices have been able to achieve them, so they called their networks 4G instead of the reality that they are 3.5G networks.
  • Man I can't wait for the S8. Sucks that it probably won't be out until April. Looking forward to Bluetooth 5, sucks that it won't increase the quality of music though.
  • What phone do you have now? I have the S7 currently and wonder if the S8 will be a big enough upgrade.
  • 40% power efficiency improvement...... EXPECTATION: Better battery life REALITY: The same battery life because thinness yo!
  • Exactly. And that saddens me.
  • Here where this hurts too. 4k displays are going to be the new thing so that efficiency goes right out the window
  • Yeah... I'm pretty satisfied with 1080p on anything lower than 6", and my Xperia X Compact has a fantastic 4.6" 720p screen that I'm loving. We seriously don't need 4K displays on phones... @_@
  • Yeah 4K screens are overkill except for tech/spec junkies. 1080 is fine and much better on battery life. I'm sick of the tech/spec race. I just want a quality phone, with a top notch camera, long lasting audio player. If I want to do fancy gaming, I will do that on a computer or game console. Why folks put such importance on 4K displays in a 5" form factor is beyond me....
  • If we're going 2160p, I'd wait for the newer generation panels. Early mobile QHD displays were pretty power hungry.
  • 1440p is enough on a phone. Just continue improving other aspects of the display. Hardware is just now starting to catch up to properly supporting 2k screens. No need for 4k yet on a phone.
  • Not necessarily, it seems only Apple is obsessed with making phones thinner. Most android phones have 3,000mah or more batteries. I doubt they would go thinner.
  • Is the processor arquitecture 32bits?
    (Pardon, am half asleep)
  • Qualcomm processors have been 64 bit since the 810
  • He must have been asleep since the 810 /s
  • Since no one has found any real use for 64 bit processors on a phone, why does this matter?
  • Its mattering lately for 4GB RAM and beyond.
  • From 2010 (perhaps even before) can remove the names and the ' upgrades ''ve gotta be joking, every year the specs are sooooooo much faster soooo much better......then previous SOC is soooo slow and soooooo inefficient...sound like a " this is my best album ever" - ummmm ok - just another reason, it keeps revenue for the companies and jobs for the bloggers........but as consumers we need to wake up.....furthermore think jus thow much faster can faster get and how convenient every year the SOC is sooooo much more advanced than previous gen...this is nothing but software and games......its just funny to me how convenient these ' upgrades ' are - and the reviews on devices alike lol remove the names and the commentary is the same.......what a saturated market...they say saturated fats are bad for you for a reason
  • If they can make these things more efficient I'm all for it, but as far as faster processors are concerned I think we've plateaued. What good does a faster processor do?
  • So will we be seeing these implemented in new phones this year? Say the Galaxy S8?
  • doubt it.
  • Yes, I would expect all major new phones from all carriers will be offering the 835 this year. They announce it now and Samsung will have it explode on to the scene in the new Galaxy phones in March or April.
  • you shouldn't use the words "Samsung" and "explode", in the same sentence when talking about new phones. lol
  • I think Samsung uses it's own chip, Exynos. I doubt they will use a Qualcom.
  • In some markets (most notably, the US) Samsung uses Qualcomm chipsets. Also, this chipset is a joint venture between Qualcomm & Samsung: Quote from page: "10nm chips have the potential to revolutionize mobile tech for everyone from manufacturers to users. It makes perfect sense, then, that Qualcomm Technologies is announcing a collaboration with Samsung Electronics to use its revolutionary 10nm FinFET process for the newly announced premium-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor."
  • somehow I got this feeling that at&t will lockdown this to their own network and when Samsung gets it, the phone will implode and create a distortion in space-time. gigabit speed? awesome! you'll blow through your limited data plan in no time! :)
  • Not everyone is living in a 3rd world country ( in relation to cellular Internet), you know?
  • no, I don't. what are you talking about?
  • What phone is FIRST to get the 835??
  • Probably an LG product.... But it won't be released until 2018. :)
  • Impressive....can't wait to see how it actually performs...
  • Too bad Google has already released their Pixel..I'd love to have this chip but I need stock Android.. Maybe we get a mid life pixel refresh with 835
  • " Battery life is one of the tentpole features of the Snapdragon 835, with Qualcomm claiming at least a day's worth of talk time, over 5 days of music playback, more than seven hours of 4K video streaming, and over three hours of 4K video capture. " How can they make a claim like this without specifying battery size?
  • My thought exactly
  • Easy: Bullshit. No specific battery size, screen size/type/resolution, OS version...nothing. It's just numbers pulled out of thin air to sound good to consumers and investors.
  • All of those promises can be nullified by what the manufacturer's do with the software.
  • with oukitel k10000 and a 1o.ooomah battery
  • They make the all day battery claim on every processor they release every year! Obviously we've seen many phones screw that spec, and even versions of Android that screw it up even more.
  • Take a look at the battery stats in settings on any Android device. Top entry is probably the screen. Doesn't matter how good the cpu is if the screen is using the most power.
  • It's difficult for me to get excited about this, because I: 1. Didn't read the entire article
    2. Don't care to understand processing capabilities
    3. will believe the claims when I see them Frankly, (this might seem like a rant) I'm tired of worrying about specs and what each of them contributes to the complete user experience. Selfish of me, I know, but its 2017 and I just want the device to provide a great end user experience. Whatever the processor may be, battery capacity, storage, just make it capable of doing what the majority of people are doing and I'll be just fine. A device can have the best in class components, but can be totally sidelined by poor software and support.
  • I was just going to probably go on a similar rant. For example, the idea of having unusable DirectX 12 support in my android phone so the chip can potentially also be used in a windows ARM laptop. Or 4K display support (i'm guessing) and other VR features so I can not/rarely use VR. Also Qualcom isn't big on supporting their chips' (blob) drivers for very long. Is the hexa/octa core approach actually doing any good or does it just sound good for marketing. Apple's approach is looking more and more appealing as their dual cores are still blowing away the octa cores.
  • I think my sony z1 compact will still probably be good for another 2 years or so hmmm
  • ...Cause now your slipping into retro :P
    Spoil yourself, get a z3 compact for next to nothing, and wait for this badboy to arrive in something decent with no bezels :)
  • Late to the party but this is the same thing they touted every year. More efficiency, better battery life, more compact, improvements in battery consumption, blah blah blah. How much more efficient can these phones get? And we've seen diminishing returns in terms of processing speed for quite some time now...