After creating the processors inside top flagship phones from 2016 including the Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5 and the Google Pixel, Qualcomm is finally ready to announce its next-gen system on a chip: the Snapdragon 835.
While the company isn’t quite ready to share a ton of details about the processors, we expect that this chip, like the Snapdragon 820 and 821 before it, to power a large number of flagship phones starting as early as the first half of 2017.
The Snapdragon 835 will be produced in partnership with Samsung using the Korean company’s new 10 nanometer FinFET fabrication plant. This is a step up from the 14nm Snapdragon 820 and 821, and Qualcomm says the 835 will offer up to 27 percent better performance and 40 percent lower power consumption compared to its 14nm processors.
If Qualcomm's numbers hold true, the 835's projected score of 5,608 would top both the iPhone 7's mark of 5,507 (using Apple's A10 Fusion chip) and the Mate 9's score of 5,579 (using Huawei's Kirin 960 chip). That's based on Geekbench 4 numbers for the Google Pixel XL, the fastest Snapdragon 821 phone we've tested so far.
In addition to its new chip, Qualcomm is also introducing Quick Charge 4, the next step for its prevalent fast-charging tech. It’s no secret that battery life continues to be most smartphone buyers number one concern. As capacities of typical smartphone continue to push past 3,000-mAh, being able to recharge your phone quickly is more important than ever.
According to Qualcomm, a 5-minute charge using QC 4 should be able to supply your phone with enough juice to last a full 5 hours. Qualcomm also claims that Quick Charge 4 offers 20 percent faster charging and 30 percent better efficiency that Quick Charge 3.0, which is found on phones such as the HTC 10, LG G5 and Google Pixel. More importantly, Quick Charge 4 features full support for power delivery over USB.
This is a big deal, because in the latest Android Compatibility Definition document, Google “strongly recommends” that device makers fully comply with USB Type-C charging standards. And if phone makers refuse to adhere to these standards, it’s possible that in the future, Google may not allow offending companies to install Android on their phones.
Quick Charge 4 will allow for charging up to 3 or 5 amps, and will also come with multiple levels of voltage, current and temperature protection to ensure safety and protect the longevity of your battery. QC 4 will even feature cable quality detection, to make sure your cord can handle the power its carrying from the charging adapter to your device.
While no phone makers have announced that they will be featuring the Snapdragon 835 or Quick Charge 4 in upcoming devices, we'd expect that to change starting early next year.