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It is now official; Qualcomm's next flagship-grade SoC is coming to the Consumer Electronics Show next week. The debut was disclosed by Qualcomm itself on Twitter, when the company twitted, "We're powering up for #CES2017 with #Snapdragon 835."



As we reported earlier, the SD 835 chip is going to be based on Samsung's 10nm process and will be manufactured by Samsung as well. The Adreno 540 GPU within the chip is going to be 30% more powerful and 40% more power-efficient than the current-gen Qualcomm flagship GPU, the Adreno 530. The default clock speed of the CPU will be set at 2.2GHz, although, overclocking by some of the manufacturers is expected.



All devices powered by the SD 835 will support Quick Charge 4.0 for 5 hours of battery life in just 5 minutes. Plug it in for 15 minutes and your device should reach 50% from 0%, according to the claims put forward by the company. It would be interesting to see how much of this turns out to be true in real life though, as batteries do vary in size.



Although I am sure that most manufacturers will be opting for the Snapdragon 835 SoC as their preferred choice in 2017, as of now, only the Samsung Galaxy S8, the LG G6 and the Xiaomi Mi6 are guaranteed to host the chip.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



We knew it was coming and now it's official. Qualcomm has publicly detailed the specifics of their latest flagship chip, the Snapdragon 835. It will allow smartphone manufacturers to utilize better technology and equipments in the mobile phones of 2017 in terms of photography, machine learning and displays.



The CPU in the 835 chip is an octa-core, semi-custom Kryo 280 CPU core design with possible ARM Cortex-A73 cores powering it. The Kryo 280 system is divided into four cores with 1.9GHz clock speed for efficiency and four cores with 2.45GHz clock speed for performance. Take a look at the image below to understand some of the differences between the SD 835, the SD 821 and the SD 820.



Apart from providing a boost of about 20% over the SD 820, the SD 835 will also allow for much better battery efficiency. Qualcomm expects that around 80% of all the tasks usually performed by a smartphone will be handled by the comparatively low-powered CPU cores, thereby providing an additional two and a half hour of battery life, as compared to the SD 820. Let's not forget that all of this has a lot to do with Samsung's 10nm FinFET process, on which the new chips are being built.




The Adreno 540 GPU is similar to the Adreno 530 in architecture, but the faster trilinear filtering and GPGPU compute will lead to a 25% performance boost over the older GPU. In terms of display, it can support 10-bit color at 4K resolution with a constant 60fps frame rate. The Adreno 540 GPU can now handle 107.4 million colors (previously 16.8 million) as well. In summary, we would say that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 is the most powerful and revolutionary mobile chip yet. If you are interested in more technical details, check it out here.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



When it comes to leaks, few can beat the Chinese social networking website Weibo as popular leaksters from Asia often choose the platform to unleash unofficial reports about technology. This time around, an image and certain details about the HTC 11 have been leaked on Weibo that point towards quite a beastly device from the Taiwanese company. Take a look at the leaked image above and the rumoured specs below to get an idea of what we are talking about here.


5.5-inch edge-to-edge QHD display
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC
6GB/8GB of RAM
256GB internal storage
3,700mAh battery with Quick Charge 4.0
Dual 12-megapixel cameras at the back and an 8-megapixel selfie cam in front


While the specs do look very impressive, we are a bit sceptical about the 8GB RAM though. We are not entirely sure that HTC will bump up the RAM count on their next flagship smartphone from 4GB on the HTC 10 to 8GB on the HTC 11. It is more likely that the HTC 11 may sport 6GB of RAM instead. I guess we will find out more as we inch closer to 2017.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



As you probably know already, the next Qualcomm Snapdragon flagship chipset has been made official jointly by Samsung and Qualcomm at a press event two days ago. The Snapdragon 835 chip marks Qualcomm's shift from the older 14nm process to the new 10nm FinFET process by Samsung, who will also be manufacturing all of the chips for Qualcomm in 2017.


According to a recently leaked spec sheet online, the MSM8998, aka the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC will be powered by an octa-core processor and the Adreno 540 GPU based on the company's own 64-bit Kryo 200 architecture. Support will be added for 4-channel LPDDR4X-1866 RAM and UFS 2.1 for internal storage. The 835 chip will also be compatible with LTE X16 modems with up to 1Gbps speed on LTE Cat.16.



Interestingly, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC also came into focus via the same leak and was revealed to be an octa-core CPU as well. Instead of the Adreno 540 GPU, the 660 will be powered by a less powerful Adreno 512, but the sheet promisingly shows that the mid-range CPU is capable of being clocked as high as 2.2GHz. Unlike its more premium sibling, the SD 660 will be built on the 14nm FinFET LPP process by Samsung. It will support the X10 LTE modem, UFS 2.1 for internal storage and 2-channel LPDDR4X-1866 RAM.


As far as release dates are concerned, it looks like the Snapdragon 835 will make an early debut in the first quarter of 2017, while the Snapdragon 660 will be released later in Q2, 2017.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



We had been hearing about the connection between Samsung and Qualcomm's next mobile chip, but now we have confirmation and clarity about what exactly is going on between the two behemoths. Samsung and Qualcomm have joined forces in bringing forth the Snapdragon 835 SoC, built on the 10nm FinFET process utilized by Samsung. What this means is, along with producing their very own next-gen Exynos chips, Samsung will also be manufacturing the next Qualcomm Snapdragon flagship chips in 2017.


Interestingly, Qualcomm has decided to name the next SoC as Snapdragon 835, instead of the expected Snapdragon 830 moniker. I am guessing this has been done to mark Qualcomm's shift from the 14nm process to the 10nm process. All of this was unveiled at a press event held in New York City, which was attended by both the parties. In the words of Keith Kressin (Senior VP of Product Management, Qualcomm),

"Using the new 10nm process node is expected to allow our premium tier Snapdragon 835 processor to deliver greater power efficiency and increase performance while also allowing us to add a number of new capabilities that can improve the user experience of tomorrow's mobile devices."


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



It seems just yesterday when the Galaxy Note 7 was released and eventually discontinued, but we are now inching closer to the release date of the Galaxy S8. Granted that no date has yet been set in stone, it cannot be more than just a few months away at this point. Today, we have a new report/rumor for you, straight out of China (Weibo) and reported by TechTastic. It states that the S8 will sport 6GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, along with the upcoming Samsung-manufactured Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC.


Some of the other rumors surrounding the S8 include a dual rear camera module, an edge-to-edge pressure-sensitive 2K/4K curved display, a brand new AI virtual assistant and Quick Charge 4.0. It will be interesting to see whether Samsung launches a separate Exynos version of the Galaxy S8 as well, since the Korean giant itself is producing the SD 835 chip for Qualcomm this year. Some reports are also suggesting that there might even be a 6.2-inch version of the S8 next year, but I am not so sure about that!


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



The details about the Galaxy S8 series and the two chips which will be powering the flagship handsets when they are launched in March are now out and about. Although most of the info regarding the S8 is based on leaks and rumors, the Exynos 8895 and the Qualcomm SD 835 have already been unveiled by the manufacturers. Therefore, let's do a mini comparison in-between them to see if any one of them can be called better than the other.


CPU Cores
SD 835: Kryo 280
Exynos 8895: Custom cores + Cortex A53


CPU Configuration
SD 835: 4 x 2.45 GHz, 4 x 1.9 GHz
Exynos 8895: 4 x 2.5 GHz, 4 x 1.7 GHz


GPU
SD 835: Adreno 540
Exynos 8895: Mali-G71 MP20


RAM
SD 835: 2 x 32-bit LPDDR4X 1866MHz
Exynos 8895: LPDDR4X


Camera
SD 835: 16MP Dual, 32MP Single
Exynos 8895: 28MP+16MP Dual, 28MP Single


Video Recording
SD 835: 4K @ 30FPS
Exynos 8895: 4K @ 120FPS


Video Playback
SD 835: 4K UHD @ 60fps
Exynos 8895: 4K UHD @ 120fps


Flash Storage
SD 835: eMMC 5.1 / UFS 2.1
Exynos 8895: eMMC 5.1 / UFS 2.1


Modem
SD 835: LTE Cat. 16 4CA 1 Gbps down/LTE Cat. 13 2CA 150 Mbps up
Exynos 8895: LTE Cat. 16 5CA 1 Gbps down/LTE Cat. 13 2CA 150 Mbps up


Charging
SD 835: Quick Charge 4.0, WiPower
Exynos 8895: Samsung Adaptive Fast Charge, Qi, PMA


As you can probably see, it's hard to declare a clear overall winner, although the Mali-G71 MP20 GPU seems to be more capable compared to the Adreno 540 in terms of video recording and video playback. Everything else seems more or less neck-to-neck.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



Apart from the Snapdragon 835 and Adreno 540 powered versions of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ that have been launched in the US, Canada, China and Japan, the two smartphones also have an international version for all other countries, which is being powered by Samsung's in-house chip, the Exynos 8895 CPU and the Mali-G71 MP20 GPU. According to multiple test results made public by GSMArena, it seems that the Mali-G71 GPU is quite a bit more powerful than the Adreno 540 as the former manages to beat the latter in almost all benchmarking tests. It should be noted that both the SoCs are made by Samsung on their own 10nm FinFET process and have almost identical features and capabilities.



You will find the following screenshots of the test results to be self-explanatory, but it was a bit surprising to find that just like last year, the Exynos CPU is faster than the Snapdragon 835 this year around as well; at least in most tests that is. The Qualcomm chip managed to win back a few as well. The most interesting observation according to me is how the iPhone 7 plus still manages to mop the floor with all Android handsets when it comes to single-core performance in both GeekBench 3 and 4. When it comes to AnTuTu, the iPhone 7 Plus was beaten by the Galaxy S8+ Exynos version, but not even by a 1000 points! The SD 835 powered S8+ on the other hand, lost to both its Exynos counterpart and the iPhone 7 Plus significantly. Check out GSM Arena for the rest of the test results in detail.



Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)



It has become official news that the latest flagship ARM chips by Qualcomm will be powering a new range of Windows 10 PCs by the end of this year. However, Microsoft themselves may not be the ones to introduce them to the market, as was previously believed.


A new report suggests that Lenovo is also trying to bring forth its own range of SD 835-powered Windows 10 PCs and it may just beat Microsoft to it. However, there is no guarantee either that Microsoft won't be the one to reach the market first with their new series of Surface laptops. From the point of view of the customer though, it's always good to have more options, so we are not exactly complaining!


If you are interested in these upcoming laptops, know that they will be quite affordable as expected. However, the ARM-powered PCs will actually run on a cloud based Windows 10 OS, instead of a local installation like computers powered by Intel or AMD chips.


Saikat Kar (tech-enthusiast)


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