The next-gen Snapdragon 835 flagship SoC (system on chip) was announced by Qualcomm Technologies Inc. in late November 2016. It is expected to revolutionize the mobile industry as this is its first 10-nanometer chip. Qualcomm also confirmed that the new chip comes from the collaboration with Samsung Electronics and it will be built using the 10nm FinFET process by Samsung.
The 10nm Snapdragon 835 is even smaller than its predecessor, the 14nm Snapdragon 821. This is a huge achievement as Samsung is the first manufacturer building the 10nm chips, even sooner than Intel and TMSC. We won’t be surprised if flagship smartphones in 2017 will be powered by the new SoC. The smaller chip will spare room for other features, house a bigger battery, or just to make devices smaller and slimmer.
As compared to the Snapdragon 821, the 835 achieved 30% increase in area efficiency, 27% higher performance, and 40% less battery-consuming. The more advanced design will give us a significant battery life improvement. It also features Quick Charge 4 which could give our smartphones extra 5 hours of usage with just 5 minutes of charging, or reach 50% in 15 minutes. And the good news is that Quickcharge 4.0 is compatible with Google’s specs for USB Type-C charging.
The CPU is the octa-core Kryo 280, including 4 cores with 2.45GHz threshold and 4 with a 1.9GHz threshold. It also supports one 32MP camera or 16MP dual camera, Bluetooth 5, 4K Ultra HD premium video, and better VR experience with the Adreno 540 GPU.
List of Smartphones with Snapdragon 835 SoC
1. Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are the first smartphones powered by the Snapdragon 835. You might see some variants using the Samsung’s Exynos 8895 SoC but you will get the Snapdragon in the US. If you’re unsure which version you will have, check out this article to see the differences between all Galaxy S8 models.
The new smartphones feature a new design with an on-screen home button, an infinity display, a rear fingerprint sensor, an expandable storage, USB-C port, a new Bixby voice assistant, and some nice accessories to play with. This is also a powerhouse with Android 7.0 Nougat, 4GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB of storage. We all expect the S8 would be a great phone as Samsung needs to recover from the Note 7 disaster.
The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are available in 5 colors and the retail prices are $750 and $850 respectively.
2. Xiaomi Mi 6
The successor of Xiaomi Mi 5 was launched in April 2017. The Mi 6 probably the most affordable SnapDragon 835 smartphone on the market. In China, it costs just half the price of the Samsung Galaxy S8 while there are just a few drawbacks. The phone even has higher processor clock speed, 6GB of RAM, 64GB/128GB of internal storage, a 5.15-inch fullHD (1920 x 1080) display, and a bigger battery. On the back, we have a dual 12MP camera setup with a wide-angle lens and a 2x telephoto zoom lens.
The Mi 6 has a sleek design with metal frame and a glass back panel. It is available in 4 color variants, which are black, blue, white, and ceramic. The ceramic version with 18-karat gold camera rims is the most premium one, and it will cost extra $90.
If you are living outside of China, you can order the Mi 6 on GearBest. The pricing starts at $599.
3. Sony Xperia XZ Premium
The Xperia XZ Premium made its debut at MWC 2017 and it became the first commercial smartphone coming with Snapdragon 835. However, its official release date is still later than the Galaxy S8’s. The best features of the XZ Premium is the 5.5″ 4K HDR screen and the 19MP 1/ 2.3″ Exmor RS memory stacked image sensor that supports recording super slow motion videos at 960fps.
The phone will be available in 2 color options, which are Luminous Chrome and Deepsea Black.
4. HTC U11
The HTC U11 was announced in May 2017, this is like a refined version of the U Play and U Ultra. We still get an attractive glass construction and 5 color options, which are brilliant black, amazing silver, sapphire blue, ice white and solar red.
Highlights of the phone are the Edge Sense that allows you to squeeze the phone to open an app or take a photo, a 12MP main camera that earns the highest DxOMark score of 90, and powerful hardware with Snapdragon 835, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
The U11 retails for $649 in the US.
5. OnePlus 5
Announced in June 2017, the OnePlus 5 has become a great deal for Android fans since it is offering high-end specs for a much lower price. It comes in a nice industrial design resembling the iPhone 7 Plus, especially on the back with a dual-camera setup. This is truly a great phone with top-of-the-line specs. We have 6GB/8GB of RAM, 64GB/128GB of internal storage, Snapdragon 835, a fullHD display, a 16MP RGB sensor (Sony’s IMX398 sensor) and a 20-megapixel telephoto sensor, and the phone runs on OxygenOS.
The prices are quite reasonable as compared to other flagships, it costs just $479 for the version with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
6. ZTE Nubia Z17
The Nubia Z17 is probably the most powerful Chinese smartphone on the market. It is packed with impressive hardware, including Snapdragon 835, up to 8GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, dual rear cameras (23MP +12MP), an IP67 water-resistant casing, Dolby Atmos speaker, and a 3,200mAh battery supporting Quick Charge 4+.
You can find it in 5 colors, which are blue, black, gold, red, and black and gold. It is available in China only; prices start at just CNY2,799 ($410).
Some more smartphones that might come with Snapdragon 835 SoC include LG V30, Moto Z2, Nokia 9, and Google Pixel XL 2.