Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 details leak ahead of the CES keynote

Qualcomm has a keynote planned on 6th of January during the CES week; the big surprise, however, has been spoiled.

A few slides have leaked showcasing what the Snapdragon 835 will offer; this matters, because Microsoft is making a big push to bring x86 apps on ARM, and the demo showcasing that feature was on an unreleased version of Snapdragon 835.

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The Snapdragon 835 uses the same cores as the Snapdragon 820; however, while the Snapdragon 820’s Kryo 280 cores were only able to go as high as 2.20 GHz, the Snapdragon 835 can push them further to a stable 2.45 GHz.

This slight increase in clock speed is possible because of the new 10nm FinFET architecture, versus the Snapdragon 820’s 14nm FinFET architecture.

The new 10nm architecture also results in a reduction of the die size & package; essentially, this will allow manufacturers to design thinner phones with larger batteries, as the processor now takes even less physical space than before.


The benefits of the new architecture don’t end with performance; for a mobile device, the efficiency matters – a lot. The smartphone in your pocket isn’t just for playing high-end games; it also must conserve power, so the battery lasts as long as it does.

The Snapdragon 835 consumes up to 50% less power when compared to the Snapdragon 801; though, that’s not entirely a fair comparison as the 801 used Qualcomm’s Krait architecture, while the 835 uses the new Kryo architecture.


As this is a System-on-Chip, it must pack most of the components to make the device work.

The graphics processing unit inside the Snapdragon 835 – an Adreno 540 – is 25% faster than the one in Snapdragon 820, and supports 60 times “more colors,” per the leaked slides. The Adreno 540 also comes with support for OpenGL ES, Vulkan, but more importantly – DirectX 12.

Meanwhile, the integrated video processing unit is capable of pushing out 4K HEVC video at 60 FPS.

There’s also the new X16 LTE modem, which Snapdragon claims is the world’s “first announced” gigabit LTE modem.


Microsoft’s plans to bring x86 apps on ARM are ambitious; the demo has shown us that it is possible.

Satya Nadella’s ‘ultimate mobile device‘ needs the ultimate processing power as well – the Snapdragon 835 seems to have the specs to deliver it, at least on paper.

However, the leaked slides only show us the improvements and new features; Qualcomm has had quite a few thermal issues in the past.

Time (and a bunch of reviews) will show us exactly how much better the Snapdragon 835 is; Qualcomm will obviously have more details at the upcoming keynote.

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