In the past few months, the tech industry has been buzzing incessantly, as we approached the 2017 Mobile World Congress. But the buzz did not die down as MWC came to pass by; instead, it’s picked up again with leaks and rumours flying thick in the air about the Samsung Galaxy S8 and even the next iPhone. But at the heart of all this, the heart of most upcoming flagships has also been constantly talked about – the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835.
That’s because a processor is the Heart of Davy Jones. The smartphone exists and is capable of doing the said wondrous things only because a processor makes it happen. Any and every new technology or ‘innovation’ that a smartphone comes up with, has to be supported by the chipset. There’s no point of adding more cameras, communication technologies, sensors, Samurai Swords or Transformer kits if the processor does not support them.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 is hence a very important development as the technologies it supports will shape the industry’s near and far future.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 will take imaging forward with its capabilities. The iPhone 7 Plus made dual-camera setups very popular, and since then a lot of manufacturers have been moving forward in that direction. In all fairness, a few Android devices did exist with dual-camera setups, such as the Huawei P9 and Honor 8 running on HiSilicon Kirin processors, and the LG G5 and V20 running on Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. The LG G6 was also released with a dual-camera setup, albeit with a Snapdragon 821 chip.
With the Snapdragon 835 processors, dual-camera setups will get more functionalities. The new chip will be able to support wide angle and telephoto cameras together to create a seamless zoom experience by bridging optical and digital zoom. Video recording will also benefit from this new processor as it optimizes electronic image stabilization, even for 4K resolution.
For AR and VR
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are definitely in their infancies, but Qualcomm claims that the upcoming Snapdragon 835 will take it forward. If you have ever used VR glasses in the recent times, you may or may not have encountered a slightly jittery visual experience. The Snapdragon 835 is claimed to be the processor that fixes this. In very simple terms, it will provide a much better colour reproduction, with better illusion of depth. Graphics will be rendered 25 percent faster than the Snapdragon 820, so that the VR experience is devoid of lags when you turn your head.
It will also deliver better audio experience with VR, as it has updated both hardware and software components to give a more accurate sound effect. If you’re playing a game where you’re running away from zombies, a better sound experience will let you know where the next walker is trying to sneak up from.
Better battery life
The first thing to know about the Snapdragon 835 is that it will support Quick Charging 4.0. According to Qualcomm’s tests, a QC4.0 compliant device with a 2750mAh battery can charge up to 50 percent of its capacity in 15 minutes. If we go by that measure, a 3000mAh battery (which is the standard battery size for most Android mid-range and flagship devices) should also charge up to 50 percent in under 20 minutes. This is extremely good news for users who always decide to charge the battery at the last minute.
Apart from this fast charging, users will also be able to retain more charge thanks to the processor’s new manufacturing process. With more transistors packed inside the smaller package, processing duties can be distributed efficiently to consume up to 40 percent less power than its predecessors. Less power consumption can help smartphone manufacturers to do a lot – they can either slim down their form factors, or add bigger batteries and churn out a battery life that we users need deserve.
More secure and smarter
The upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor will use more security blankets to make your data, and by extension you, more secure. For instance, the new chip will enable devices to use eye-based security systems – basically iris scanning. This new layer of biometric security will make mobile payments, data locking and other processes much safer. There will be multiple layers of security at device, processor and system levels, though biometric scanning, PINs and machine learning.
Speaking of machine learning, the Snapdragon 835 will enable more machine learning processes through the devices’ software and hardware. As Google Assistant has started coming out of just the search giant’s realm and becoming available on other devices slowly, that’s good news. You might soon be able to use your phone’s camera and use Google’s AI (artificial intelligence) to run a command. Say, you hurriedly pass by a convenience store and see a fruit in the window, you might just be able to take a picture of the said fruit and set a reminder for yourself to buy it later. You don’t even have to say “pineapple”.
The best part about the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor is that it might be soon available for Windows devices as well. A processor which is made up of nano-components – as thin as one-thousandth of the width of a strand of hair – can change the way we use smartphones.