Snapdragon 835 specs: this is the tiny new chip that will control your life

Likely to power the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6

The heart of your next smartphone has been unveiled at CES 2017 today, and you may have missed it because it's incredibly small. 

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 chipset is the first-ever 10nm chipset and despite its diminutive size, it's poised to power large-scale entertainment experiences.

It's about to take everyone's ambitious dreams for virtual reality to the next level with proper capabilities for VR and AR head-mounted displays.

You're also going to find the Snapdragon 835 chipset in security cameras, mobile PCs and even Windows 10 devices in addition to Android handsets.

The Snapdragon 835 specs

The Snapdragon 835 specs outclass the recent Snapdragon 821 chipset found in the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL thanks to a whole new class of sensors.

There's a lot here

It combines the power of Qualcomm's Kryo 280 CPU and Hexagon 682 DSP, and uses a new and all-important Qualcomm Adreno 540 GPU to power 3D graphics and much more intensive VR features.

It also debuts Bluetooth 5 and has a X16 LTE modem that includes 802.11ad for Multi-gigabit connectivity, allowing for Gigabit Class LTE connectivity.

Qualcomm is also pinning hopes on more phone makers taking advantage of dual camera systems, touting the Spectra 180 image sensor in the chipset.

What does this mean for you?

The Snapdragon 835 sounds powerful on paper, but what does it mean for you and your next smartphone?

Last year's Snapdragon 820, the new Snapdragon 835 and a US penny

In addition to having a handset that doesn't slow down over time, you're going to get a VR-capable phone that's ready to dive into more 3D graphics and even augmented reality.

The smaller processor is also more power efficient, so battery life will be less of an issue in next-generation smartphone due out in 2017.

It also has the added benefit of Qualcomm's QuickCharge 4.0, which is supposed to be able to charge your phone 20% faster in 2017.

Which phones will have Snapdragon 835?

All of the Snapdragon 835 power would mean little if it wasn't for phone makers creating new handsets for 2017. Thankfully, we're expecting them to do just that.

This is the true sequel to the incredibly popular Snapdragon 820, found in over 200 Android phones around the world. There's a good chance your favorite phone from 2016 is due for an upgrade in 2017.

We're fully expecting the curved Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6 to include the Snapdragon 835 chip early this year, likely debuting at MWC 2017.

Further out, we could see follow-ups to the HTC 10, Moto Z, ZTE Axon 7 considering all of them included the Snapdragon 820 chipset.

For now, Qualcomm's ongoing press conference is demoing prototyped devices running the Snapdragon 835, and we're there testing them out right now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Swider is TechRadar's gadget-savvy, globe-trotting mobile editor in Los Angeles. As an expert in iOS and Android, he owns over 120 phones that someone keeps setting the alarms on – simultaneously. He received his journalism degree from Penn State University and is never seen without his TechRadar headphones.