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The Snapdragon 835 promises in almost everything, but it has an ace well kept in the sleeve

May 6, 2017 - Hardware Review
The Snapdragon 835 promises in almost everything, but it has an ace well kept in the sleeve

Qualcomm has been expecting something more than normal this year with its Snapdragon 835. Some models like the LG G6 have in fact had to give it up to launch as soon as possible, but soon will begin to arrive smartphones based on a SoC that again promises to be the king of performance in 2017.

We already have the first preliminary analysis of the performance of the Snapdragon 835, and everything points to the fact that we are facing a good evolution of Snapdragon 821. Many lights, some shadows and an important feature that could be the really important of this new SoC: its energy efficiency.

Snapdragon 835

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The Snapdragon 835 wins in almost everything, but with some buts

How these synthetic tests have proven to be a promising successor to the Snapdragon 820 and 821. In fact, benchmarks like AnTuTu made clear what we can expect: the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 prototype smartphone used for Tests achieved 181,939 points, well above the 157.191 of the OnePlus 3T, which with its Snapdragon 821 was the clear dominator of this test to date.

Snapdragon 835

Image Source: Google Image

The results were repeated in most of the tests used in AndroidPolice, one of the means that was invited to a test day of the new processor at its headquarters in San Diego. Their conclusions, however, were not entirely shared by other analysts.

Snapdragon 835

Image Source: Google Image

In these tests with all kinds of mobile benchmarks, these experts indicated that these new chips outperform existing ones “in some cases by a lot, and in others by a little.” As they themselves explain, you should not take those results (or those discussed below) too seriously, because you will have to see how real devices are carried out with this processor, and especially since those performance improvements may be practically nothing in The conventional user experience.

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Well in integers, not so much in floating point

This event was also attended by AnandTech, whose managers performed several additional tests that were added to the traditional synthetic tests done in other cases.

Snapdragon 835

Image Source: Google Image

Although in the AndroidPolice tests it was clear that the Snapdragon 835 behaved in a fantastic way in all areas, those of AnandTech were somewhat less optimistic. In integer performance, the gain over Snapdragon 821 and of course 820 was important, but there was evidence that those results were not so promising.

Snapdragon 835

Image Source: Google Image

Even when checking the efficiency of whole-number process by “normalizing” it with the frequency at which the processor ran that gross power in terms of IPC (Instructions Per Cycle), the new Qualcomm SoC won its competitors, but not by an excessive margin. In fact, it did outnumber the Snapdragon 821, but the differences with Huawei’s Kirin 960 – present in Mate 9 – were minimal.

Snapdragon 835

Image Source: Google Image

The thing was complicated with the tests with the performance in operations of floating point. According to AnandTech’s assessment in this area, Snapdragon 835 performed worse than 821 on all but one test, although it did better than Snapdragon 820. The rest of the tests showed how Snapdragon 835 was actually a SoC Fantastic, but not especially revolutionary.

In their conclusions, these analysts explained how the performance of the Snapdragon 835 CPU was generally positive: “The gains outweighed the losses, providing a better overall performance than the Snapdragon 820/821 based phones.” The new Adreno 540 GPU, which according to its data was up to 25% higher than the Adreno 530 of the Snapdragon 820, was also highlighted. But the great promise of the new Snapdragon processors could be Another.

10 nanometers pose major energy improvements

The results of the preliminary tests carried out by these analysts show how the performance evolution of the Snapdragon 835 is promising, although in some sections it seems that there is still room for improvement. It is the first time that Qualcomm uses a new ARM license that allows it to customize certain parts of the process cores, and the advantages (and disadvantages) will be noticed in this first approximation to that greater personalization of these mobile processors.

What is especially promising is the energy performance of these processors. The new 10 nanometer manufacturing process launched by Samsung places this SoC as the first to benefit from this technology that reduces the size of the die by 35% if compared to the Snapdragon 820.

Snapdragon 835

Image Source: Google Image

This will have a direct effect on the energy consumption of these processors, which could be really remarkable and that could therefore provide users with a practical advantage much more visible and important than those records in AnTuTu that are good as a reference but not normally A big difference in the actual use experience of these devices.

As all analyzes have stated, these results are entirely preliminary. In the tests, they made use of a “generic” smartphone created by Qualcomm for this phase, but it will be in the smartphones that will arrive in the coming months in which both the performance and that promising autonomy of the battery will have to convince us. Of course, there is one thing clear: Snapdragon 835 points out ways.

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