Samsung Galaxy S8 to feature Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor

Samsung will be the first manufacturer to feature Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 835 SoC in their make-or-break Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus smartphones, to be released in April 2017. This comes at a time when the G6, LG's next flagship due for launch in Barcelona in February 2017, is rumoured to be sporting Qualcomm's 6 month old chipset, the Snapdragon 821.

A new report from Forbes claims that the likes of LG and HTC won't get their hands around the Snapdragon 835 until the Galaxy S8 is released.

Samsung Galaxy S8: Specifications, leaked images and features

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus to feature 3,250 mAh and 3,750 mAh batteries

A number of experts and tech analysts have so far wondered if Samsung should retain the battery that powered the Galaxy S7 in the Galaxy S8 or if the company should take the risk of adding a larger battery to offer longer life to the upcoming flagship. Taking the latter option could expose users to the same risk which made the Galaxy Note 7 vulnerable but retaining the former option would mean that the Galaxy S8 would offer no upgrade as far as battery life is concerned.

It now seems that Samsung is taking the middle path and introducing a battery which isn't too large but at the same time, is a bit more powerful compared to the 3,000 mAh one in the Galaxy S7. A new report from South Korea suggests that Samsung has asked suppliers to deliver 3,250 mAh and 3,750 mAh batteries for the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus flagships respectively. Both batteries feature 250 mAh and 150 mAh more capacity respectively compared to their predecessors, and seem like perfect fits for the new flagships which will also feature advanced battery charging and power efficient technologies.

Samsung will launch the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus on 29th March and will announce a number of fresh features and technologies, but considering how the Galaxy Note 7 fared, the focus of the company as well as analysts and buyers would be on the batteries and how they will be designed to ensure safety of users in the long run.

Earlier this year, Qualcomm announced its latest mobile processor- the Snapdragon 835, that it was manufacturing with Samsung's help. Tech enthusiasts and writers alike were of the view that all the latest flagships that are due to launch at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February would sport this latest, most powerful chip. However, Forbes says that the new processor will launch with Samsung's Galaxy S8 and will be available to other smartphone giants once the phone has been released.

This is similar to how Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 launched first on Google's Pixel XL in October 2016, skipping the handsets that launched at IFA, Berlin in September 2016.

The new Snapdragon 835 chip is based on Samsung's 10nm FinFET technology which makes it much smaller compared to the Snapdragon 820. Since Samsung owns the technology, it is bulk manufacturing the new chipset and if Forbes is to be believed, the production target is solely aimed at the upcoming Galaxy S8 flagship which is rumoured to launch April 14. As such, upcoming smartphones like the LG G6 or the Huawei P10 may not get to feature Snapdragon 835 and may run Snapdragon 821 and Kirin 960 processors instead. Although to be fair, Huawei have usually always used their own Kirin processors on their phones.

The Snapdragon 821, which introduced incremental performance improvements over the Snapdragon 820, is presently powering a number of high-end flagships like Google's Pixel and Pixel XL, OnePlus 3T and HTC's U Ultra. Forbes claims that LG G6 will also feature the Snapdragon 821 since the company won't be able to field its successor in large numbers and also because it has been able to thoroughly test the processor in the meantime. LG have since made claims that they can guarantee their newest flagship will not be catching fire, although these claims will be tested out once the LG G6 has launched.

Even though on-ground test results of the Snapdragon 835 aren't available yet, what Qualcomm claims is that the new processor supports up to 32-MP rear cam resolutions compared to 28-MP supported by the Snapdragon 821.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 vs Snapdragon 821: Which is better?

The new processor also supports peak download speeds of 1 Gbps instead of 600 Mbps supported by the latter and supports the new Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0 technology while the Snapdragon 821 supports Quick Charge 3.0. As such, LG G6 users won't be able to take advantage of the latest power saving technology but will still enjoy the best processing power considering that the supported clock speeds by both processors are very similar (2.45 GHz vs 2.4 GHz).

Guess who's supplying the batteries for the Galaxy S8? LG!

Considering that no network operator in the world currently offers download speeds in excess of 600Mbps, the Snapdragon 835 offers no practical increments to users when compared to the Snapdragon 821.

Nevertheless, Samsung will go all-out to project the Snapdragon 835 as the latest and the best chip anywhere in the world right now and will no doubt draw the most eyeballs by displaying the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus with great new upgrades.

Chip comparison: Samsung’s new Exynos 7870 chip vs Snapdragon 617

LG, on its part, will have the benefit of launching its flagship phone well ahead of Samsung's, but it remains to be seen if the company will be able to offset the difference in processors by offering competitive specifications and features in the G6 to grab enough pre-orders by the time Samsung takes to the stage on April 14. 

Source: Forbes

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