The upcoming Snapdragon 835 chipset is likely to power most of the year’s best smartphones (such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and LG G6), and a leaked press release suggests it will allow for huge improvements to everything from performance and battery life, to cameras and connectivity.
Shared by reliable leaker Evan Blass, the press release notes that the Snapdragon 835 is 30% smaller than the Snapdragon 820 (which was used to power the likes of the HTC 10 and some versions of the Samsung Galaxy S7), allowing manufacturers to make slimmer phones, or take advantage of the extra space to pack in larger batteries.
Not only that, but the 835 is said to use 40% less power than the 820 to make it kinder on batteries and offer phones using with extended times between charges.
In all, the release states that you can expect 1+ day of talk time, 5+ days of music playback, or 7+ hours of 4K video streaming from a Snapdragon 835 device – though these figures are sure to vary from handset to handset.
When you run low on juice, you’ll be able to use Quick Charge 4 to get five hours of battery life from just five minutes of charging.
Built for VR and photography
On the power front, you can apparently expect up to a 27% performance increase overall, but Qualcomm has put a real focus on AR and VR, with 25% faster 3D graphic rendering and 60 times more display colors than the Snapdragon 820.
It also apparently allows for improved motion tracking and better audio, all of which should combine for smoother, higher quality VR and AR experiences.
If you’re a fan of smartphone photography you’ll be pleased to hear that the Snapdragon 835 supposedly also allows for smoother zooming and improved stabilization for both photos and videos, as well as better autofocus, so you can snap faster and keep your shots focused.
On top of that, a feature called Qualcomm Clear Sight allows you to fuse together images, for improved sharpness, dynamic range and noise reduction – ideal for phones with dual-lens cameras.
Faster data and slicker security
According to this leak, the Snapdragon 835 also supports download speeds that are up to ten times faster than first-generation 4G LTE devices, making it possible to stream high-quality 360-degree VR video on your mobile network – assuming the network itself supports speeds that fast.
Finally, the Snapdragon 835 also promises security improvements, with support for eye and face-based scanners, suggesting we might soon see a lot more handsets with iris tracking following the Note 7's efforts in this area.
Many of these upgrades are also bolstered by machine learning, which allows for example for object recognition to improve photos and real-time hand tracking for more immersive augmented reality.
If this is all true it sounds like the Snapdragon 835 will be a huge upgrade on the Snapdragon 820, and while nothing is official yet the leaked details certainly read like a real and believable press release.
We should know how accurate this is soon, as Qualcomm is holding a press conference on January 6 at CES 2017.
Then it’s just a case of waiting for the Snapdragon 835 to arrive in devices, of which the Samsung Galaxy S8 could be one of the first.
- The HTC 11 will probably also use the Snapdragon 835
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.