Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip is coming soon… probably starting with the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone which will officially be unveiled next week.

Ahead of launch, Qualcomm invited some tech journalists including those from AnandTech and Android Police to try out a Snapdragon 835 reference device.

The results? Unsurprisingly, this is the fastest chip from Qualcomm to date, and one of the fastest ARM-based processors around. But it remains to be seen what that will mean in real-world settings.

Here’s the deal: the Snapdragon 835 is an octa-core processor with higher top clock speeds than the Snapdragon 821. It also has a new, higher performance graphics processor, called Adreno 540. And it sports a new Snapdragon X16 LTE modem with top download speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

The new processors is also the first commercially available chip built on a 10nm process, which should help improve energy efficiency.

It scores a little better than phones with Snapdragon 820, Snapdragon 821, or Kirin 960 processors in single-core CPU tests. It does even better in multi-core CPU tests. And it’s head and shoulders above the competition in terms of graphics.

But those results all come from benchmarks such as Geekbench, GFXBench, AnTuTu, PCMark, and 3DMark. They’re not always reflective of real-world performance. And all the tests were run on a reference design rather than a real phone.

The good news is that the reference design is basically a phone-like package, including a 5.5 inch, 2560 x 1440 pixel display, 6GB of RAM, and a 2,850 mAh battery. It’s a bit thicker than a typical phone, but there’s no fan to help dissipate heat, so the reference design is probably pretty close to what you’d expect form a phone in terms of thermal specs.

Interestingly the Snapdragon 835 didn’t come out top on every test. AnandTech ran a lot of benchmarks, and found a few instances where older chips outperformed the new model.

And as usual, it’s hard to compare an Android device to one running iOS, but it seems that the latest iPhones still outperform the Snapdragon 835 prototype in at least some performance tests, although it’s hard to say if that’s purely because of the Apple A10 chip or due to differences between the iOS and Android operating systems.

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One reply on “Early Snapdragon 835 benchmarks confirm it’s Qualcomm’s fastest chip to date (unsurprisingly)”

  1. Kind of a disappointing performance.
    Qualcomm was doing okay in 2014 with the QSD 805.
    They regressed badly in 2015 with the QSD 808/810.
    But made a great comeback in 2016 with the QSD 820.

    The Kyro 100 cores were meant to be upgraded A57 cores, and that’s exactly what they were.
    Fantastically, the Kyro 100 cores were nearly as good as the A72/A73 cores, which were designed by ARM themselves.

    So it makes sense that the Kyro 280’s would’ve been upgraded A72 cores.
    However, these seem like they’re barely any better than standard A73 cores.
    Nearly all the performance and battery savings could be traced back to the upgrade to 10nm lithography.

    So Qualcomm really have lost their CPU and GPU advantage.
    The only thing that helps them in 2017 is their buttload of cash to buy up every single 10nm wafer that Samsung is producing. And judging by the movements from GlobalFoundaries and TSMC, it looks like that advantage will be nullified probably in 2019.

    MediaTek, HiSilicon, Allwinner, AMLogic will definitely get more competitive against Exynos, Snapdragon, and A10 SoC’s.

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