Snapdragon 835 tested with benchmarks

Snapdragon 835 im Test: Benchmarks mit Qualcomms neuer High‑End‑Plattform

The Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform is ready for new high-end smartphones and tablets. ComputerBase was able to test them extensively at Qualcomm in San Diego and bring back very good results. For the course of the year exciting new devices can be expected.

Table of Contents
1One benchmarks on site in San Diego
Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform
Kryo 280
Adreno 540
More than just a processor
Snapdragon X16 modem
Small WLAN baseband processor
Spectra 180 ISP
Haven platform
2Snapdragon 835 in the test
Benchmarks on Reference Device
Geekbench 4 and PCMark
GFXBench and 3DMark
Google Octane and Sunspider
Throttling and tact behavior
Snapdragon 835 remains fast
2.45 GHz only in exceptional cases
Energy consumption

Own benchmarks on site in San Diego

The Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform is Qualcomm’s first 10nm solution and designed for the high-end segment of new smartphones and tablets of the year 2017. The system-on-a-chip promises more performance with a lower energy consumption than the direct predecessors Snapdragon 820 and Snapdragon 821.

ComputerBase had the opportunity to test the Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform at the Qualcomm headquarters in San Diego by means of a Qualcomm reference design (QRD). Even benchmarks performed by the Snapdragon 835 show a high performance; the laboratory also confirmed the reduction in energy consumption in two scenarios.

For reasons of better legibility, the shortened chip designation Snapdragon 835 is used for the article. According to Qualcomm’s new naming scheme, “Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform” is the correct name.

Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform

For Qualcomm, a new Snapdragon is now more than just a simple processor, but a complete platform that no longer consists only of the classic components of a system-on-a-chip. The more traditional building blocks of a SoC include CPU, GPU and memory connection. These are also the components that can be measured in most performance benchmarks. In the Snapdragon 835, however, other changes have also flowed, which are explained later in the course of the article.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile Platform (Picture: Qualcomm)

New CPU, GPU and memory support

Compared to the Snapdragon 820 and Snapdragon 821 are the biggest changes in the classic areas of the change to the Kryo 280 CPU, a new Adreno 540 GPU as well as the support of LPDDR4X memory.

In addition to lower energy consumption, the 10 nm LPE production from Samsung has a smaller die whose size Qualcomm does not name, as well as an overall smaller package. This allows OEMs to build smaller devices.

The Kryo 280 baptized CPU cores is a semi-custom design based on the ARMv8 architecture. On this point, there is still a tie to the predecessor Snapdragon 820/821, as well as to competing products such as Exynos 8890 or Exynos 8895 from Samsung as well as the Kirin 950/955/960 from HiSilicon. MediaTek’s current Helio chips with up to ten cores also use the ARMv8 architecture.

The Kryo 280 CPU is a semi-custom design, because Qualcomm has not completely developed it any more than the first cryo in the Snapdragon 820. The design is based on the Cortex technology of ARM, however, Qualcomm does not go into the details. The design is based on the Cortex-A73.

Double as many cores and twice as much L2 cache

The clock rates of the new Kryo 280 are up to 2.45 GHz on the performance cluster and up to 1.9 GHz on the power cluster only slightly above the clock rates of the Snapdragon 821. However, the number of cores has doubled per cluster , And Qualcomm has doubled the L2 cache per cluster: from 1 MB to 2 MB for the performance cluster, and from 512 KB to 1 MB for the power cluster. The power cluster plays a greater role in the Snapdragon 835 than in previous Qualcomm processors. 80 percent of the computing time is attributable to this cluster.

Benchmarks können nicht alle Komponenten eines SoCs messen
Benchmarks can not measure all components of a SoC (Picture: Qualcomm)


The Snapdragon 835 also achieves a slight increase in efficiency thanks to the support of LPDDR4X memory, which operates around 20 percent more economically with a voltage that is reduced compared to LPDDR4. However, LPDDR4X does not have to be installed, the Snapdragon 835 also accepts LPDDR4 memory.


In sum, the energy saving measures of the Snapdragon 835 lead to a 23 per cent lower energy consumption compared to the Snapdragon 820, according to Qualcomm.

Adreno 540

In the new Adreno 540 GPU, Qualcomm is still rather covered by the changes. The group continues to keep the maximum act, common Android tools and even the Trepn app from Qualcomm can not read the bar. Micah Knapp, Director of Product Management, Graphics, confirmed a higher clock speed with the Adreno 530 in the Snapdragon 821 when talking to ComputerBase. However, Qualcomm’s performance of about 25 percent compared to the Adreno 530 is mainly due to improvements in the architecture.

More than just a processor

The performance of CPU, GPU and memory can best be determined by benchmarks. Qualcomm is also aware of this, which is why, prior to the benchmarking event in San Diego, it was explicitly pointed out which components of the Snapdragon 835 can not be measured with apps.

Viele überarbeitete Bereiche fallen durch das Raster
Many revised areas fall through the grid (Image: Qualcomm)
Classic benchmarks with freely available applications do not determine the performance of LTE, WLAN, DSP, ISP, audio and security. On the campus of Qualcomm, the skills of these other building blocks of the SoC were evaluated in several laboratories. A direct comparison with the competition was not possible.

Snapdragon X16 modem

In the Snapdragon 835, the Snapdragon X16 Qualcomms currently features the fastest SoC-integrated LTE modem. As in the X12 modem of the Snapdragon 820/821, Qualcomm uses a high modulation of 256-QAM instead of 64-QAM, but can now combine a frequency block with carrier aggregation with up to 4 × 20 MHz.

Due to the new antenna layout of up to 4 × 4 MIMO distributed over several frequency blocks, the carrier bandwidth of 0.98 Gbit / s is already possible with a carrier aggregation of 3 × 20 MHz, according to Qualcomm. Also the X12-Modem from the Snapdragon 820/821 actually already 4 × 4 MIMO, but limited to only one frequency block. In the case of X16, either 4 × 4 MIMO is now possible over two frequency blocks in conjunction with 2 × 2 MIMO via a third frequency block or alternatively 4 × 20 MHz carrier aggregation with 2 × 2 MIMO.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in the LTE Lab


The Snapdragon X16 is also the first Qualcomm modem to support LTE-U / LAA (short LTE-LAA) to use the unlicensed spectrum. LTE can also be handled via the license-free 5 GHz band, for the mobile phone provider no expensive licenses have to acquire – however not exclusively, but only supporting. It is still not clarified how well this technology can with WLAN, which can also spark in the 5 GHz band.

Snapdragon X20 and X50 are underdevelopment

Apart from the Snapdragon 835 with X16 modem, Qualcomm has already installed the X20 for even faster.

Small WLAN baseband processor

It can be used as a network, but it can be used as a network. From the antenna layout, a maximum of 2 × 2 MIMO is still supported. However, according to Qualcomm, the Baseband processor, which is now integrated into the SoC, takes up only half as much space and consumes 60 percent less energy. For WLAN ad in the 60 GHz frequency range, which allows Gigabit WLAN with low latency on the short distance, for example for cabled docks, it needs a separate chip.

Spectra 180 ISP

In the field of camera, the Snapdragon 835 supports two sensors, each with up to 16 megapixels, to meet the new needs of the OEMs. Alternatively, only one sensor with up to 32 megapixels can be installed. The Spectra 180 image processor (ISP), which is responsible for processing the RAW image information is provided by the sensor, is new. Qualcomm takes about 80 percent of the presets for the development of the image, while smartphone manufacturers use the remaining 20 percent to give the images their individual characteristics and to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 in the Image Lab

VP9 as a new codec The ISP supports hybrid autofocus systems, optical zoom, hardware-accelerated face detection, and HDR video capture. For 4K video recordings, a maximum of 30 and not yet 60 FPS is still possible. The electronic image stabilizer of the third generation is to provide for shake-free recordings in the video mode. To the supported codecs joined H.264 and H.265 now also VP9.Haven platform extendedQualcomms security platform is called Haven and was for the Snapdragon 835 around a token-based authentication for the wireless payment by smartphone supplements outside Of Germany is becoming increasingly popular. Another new feature is the so-called Secure Camera, which is to perform an encrypted processing of face and iris recognition from the lens to the secure element of the chip.

On the next page: Snapdragon 835 tested



Always on the move... Love to blog, write about smartphones, technology and telecoms. I also like to snowboard, when I have the time :p I'll be around for a while so, be prepared.

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