Technology 3 min read

Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 835 Aimed at Mobile VR

Alberto Garcia Guillen /

Alberto Garcia Guillen /

VR tech is starting to get major ad time, but it lacks users. Qualcomm is looking to change that with their new processor.

On Tuesday, Qualcomm unveiled their newest mobile chip on the floor of the CES trade show in Las Vegas. The Snapdragon 835 is a tiny chip with a lot of power, and according to Qualcomm, it can be used in everything from smartphones to PCs. More importantly, it will enable companies to make clunky VR headsets a thing of the past.

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Qualcomm is in a strong position to release their new chip. Snapdragon processors are used in designs across the market, including those of tech giants like Samsung, LG, and Apple.

According to Keith Kressin, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Qualcomm, the processor is better than the previous generation in every respect.

Getting Down to Details on the Snapdragon 835

The Snapdragon 835 features an octa-core design, with one set of four cores running at 2.45 GHz and the other running at 1.9GHz, the chip allows for improved battery life, immersion, camera quality, connectivity, and security.

Battery life for the 835 is about 2.5 more hours than its predecessor, and with Quick Charge 4 technology, it only needs five minutes to give a phone five hours of charge. On top of being more efficient, the battery is also 35 percent smaller.

The graphics that the 835 can pump out are where the rubber hits the road when it comes to VR/AR immersion. The chip supports 4K Ultra HD premium video, with graphics that are 25 percent faster than its predecessor, with 60 times more colors to boot.

Qualcomm built camera support into the chip, giving smooth optical zoom capability, fast auto-focus, and HDR true-to-life colors to smartphones. The Spectra 180 camera ISP tech that it comes loaded with enables up to 32MP single or 16MP dual cameras.

The Snapdragon also comes integrated with a lightning fast x16 Gigabit-Class LTE modem, and 2X2 802.11ax Wi-Fi.

To top it all off, the 835 enables fingerprint, iris and facial recognition to unlock devices. This high-end function might start cropping up in more devices than ever. It may be a convenience issue, but it is also a reliable security measure. After all, biometrics are hard to beat for your average thief or opportunist.

Saving VR From Giant Headsets

If a processor as small as the Snapdragon can power a standalone or phone-based VR headset, then those headsets don’t need to be as bulky and uncomfortable as they are now. That is good news for the VR scene since the relative discomfort of headsets is one of the main complaints by those who have ventured into the VR market and had their opinion soured by a bad experience.

The ubiquity of the Snapdragon processor and the ability of its new generation to help VR may just prove to be a boon for the growing VR market. Currently, VR has a lot of media hype, but not so many consumers, and if more VR-enabled devices are out in the market, then the burgeoning technology might get more recognition.

Will the Snapdragon 835 kill the specter of stagnation in the VR marketplace? Maybe not by itself. Hopefull, it helps keep that market afloat until people come around to it.

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William is an English teacher, a card carrying nerd, And he may run for president in 2020. #truefact #voteforedgy

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