Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 details leak, promising big power savings for smartphones

Chances are that Qualcomm's new Snapdragon chip will power your next Android phone.

If a series of leaked Qualcomm slides is to be believed, the company is targeting two big consumer priorities with the upcoming Snapdragon 835: lower power and better image quality.

Videocardz.com posted several slides which appear to show key details of the upcoming chip, which is expected to be unveiled this week at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. Qualcomm has previously confirmed the presence of the 835, as well as some of the performance benefits the finer 10-nm process brings with it. The chip giant has released few specifics of its architecture, however.

That is expected to change. The 835 is powered by the Kryo 280 CPU core, which Qualcomm claims to be the most power efficicent of its architectures to date. According to the slides, the Kryo 280 core within the 835 will run up to 2.45GHz, combining four “big” performance-minded cores with an additional four “little” 1.9GHz cores that kick in when power efficiency is key. In total, the Kryo 280 should deliver a 20 percent improvement—presumably over the existing Qualcomm 820—in terms of typical app performance, the slides say.

Why this matters: The Qualcomm Snapdragon chips power the majority of the remainder of the world’s smartphones, aside from the Apple A-series chips which power the iPhone, and the Exynos chips which drive some of Samsung’s Galaxy phones. Chances are, then, that your next phone will be powered by the Snapdragon 835 or a slower variant of it.

Low power is key

Though smartphone makers like to tout the performance of their phones, more and more consumers are demanding longer battery life. Since 80 percent of the time spent by a typical CPU is spent in the low-power state, the four “little” cores have become increasingly important. Qualcomm is apparently saying that the Snapdragon 835 will consume about 50 percent of the power of the Snapdragon 801—three generations before the 835, and the chip that powered 2014’s LG G3, among others. 

Qualcomm is prioritizing image quality as well. Inside the 835 is the Adreno 540 GPU, which Qualcomm isn’t saying too much about. But it combines the GPU—with the ability to run DX12 apps, thanks to its Windows 10 partnership with Microsoft — as well as a display processor that supports 10-bit, 4K video at 60 frames per second and a video processing unit that can process 10-bit 4K HEVC video as well.

Other features include Qualcomm’s Haven security with a “full biometric suite,” the slides say, as well as a new Spectra camera processor with “true to life colors.” We’ll have to see what Qualcomm means by this, hopefully in a press conference the company is scheduled to hold on Tuesday afternoon.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags qualcommCES 2017

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?