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Qualcomm puts the Snapdragon 835 chipset through the wringer

Rumored to power the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8, the 835 is put through a battery of tests from Qualcomm.

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Lynn La
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1 of 22 Lynn La/CNET

Qualcomm lab tour

American chipmaker Qualcomm is behind the many processors inside several flagships phones today. Its latest Snapdragon 835 chipset is expected to appear in the Samsung Galaxy S8 and has already been announced for the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. To see what sort of tests the 835 is put through, we toured the company's labs in San Diego, California.

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Qualcomm lab tour

To monitor power efficiency for video recording, an 820 and 835 reference device (shown here) are hooked up to computers while shooting 4K live video.

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Qualcomm lab tour

The 820 is putting out about 1,300mAh of power, while the 835 reads only 940mAh.

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Qualcomm lab tour

To test the 835's camera and imaging capabilities, Qualcomm built a $500,000 camera lab with several camera charts.

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Qualcomm lab tour

The lighting rig to the right can be adjusted to test out the camera in bright, low and daylight lighting settings.

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Qualcomm lab tour

Qualcomm tests for how well the chipset can handle imaging processing, sharpness, different lighting situations and focus.

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Qualcomm lab tour

This rig tests for sharpness and focus. A robotic arm will repeatedly block the lens to force the phone through a focus cycle.

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Qualcomm lab tour

Here, the arm holds up a card in front of the lens, forcing the camera to refocus itself.

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Qualcomm lab tour

Depending on what the phone manufacturers are interested in (and the phone they plan to build), Qualcomm can run these tests to measure laser depth, dual-camera disparity, face-detection and autofocus.

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Qualcomm lab tour

This bulky-looking rig measures the 835's optical image stabilization (OIS) abilities. The machine will constantly shake the device attached to it, while the phone records video of the image chart.

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Qualcomm lab tour

It's not just random shaking, either -- Qualcomm records the shaking information and checks to see if the 835 accurately renders a "correction matrix" to counteract every movement on multiple axes.

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Qualcomm lab tour

Video of a reference device with OIS on and off are displayed here for viewing.

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Qualcomm lab tour

Another look at the (de)stabilization rig.

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Qualcomm lab tour

Qualcomm demos the 835's new security features, like iris authentication.

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Qualcomm lab tour

Though iris scanning is already available on Samsung phones, Qualcomm's own take on the feature will debut with the 835.

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Qualcomm lab tour

The 835 will have tighter security and antivirus protection as well, under its Haven security platform. Here, malware is detected on a demo device.

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Qualcomm lab tour

To test the 835's audio, a reference device plays "Ain't We Got Fun" next to a digital-to-analog converter box. Their audio output qualities are then compared.

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Qualcomm lab tour

Machine learning is also a big part of the 835's capabilities. Here, a reference device uses the camera to see objects and uses the CPU to identify what is what.

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Qualcomm lab tour

A closer look at the object detection. Here, you can see the handset identifies a "potted plant" and "cup."

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Qualcomm lab tour

Connectivity is a big deal with mobile processing platforms. Here, the 835's peak throughput is measured for LTE cellular data.

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Qualcomm lab tour

Here, Qualcomm runs a network simulation for a small population in Washington DC across several devices capable of connecting to five LTE categories (4, 9, 6, 12 and the very fast gigabit Cat.16).

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Qualcomm lab tour

Aside from these tests and demos, we benchmarked the Snapdragon 835 as well. For more information (and the results) read our article here.

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