Published in PC Hardware

Snapdragon 850 is officially announced

by on05 June 2018

Kryo 385 at 2.95 GHz later this year

Qualcomm started the always connected PC offensive quite some time ago and Microsoft has included an ARM based system in its big April Spring update for Windows 10. Now it is time for the second generation Snapdragon 850 systems.

To avoid any confusion, the 850 chip is very similar to the Snapdragon 845 in phones  but the notebook / tablet version has significantly higher TDP and clocks. The phone usually stays within 2.5W TDP while the laptop has the luxury to have TDPs as high as 5W.

Back in December, Cristiano Amon confirmed to Fudzilla and a few others that Snapdragon for always connected PC has a roadmap of more devices to come. Back then he pre-announced that they will be a follow on to the Snapdragon 835 first generation devices.

Fudzilla had a chance to play with the Asus NovaGo based on the Snapdragon 835 and we generally had good first impressions.

We did realize that this is a multiyear commission that will likely get better with every iteration.

Allways connect, incredible battery life play

The Snapdragon 850 has the faster Gigabit LTE at 1.2 Gbps, Kryo 385 CPU ruining up to 2.95 GHz and advancement in 4K playback and capture, AI and entertainment. Qualcomm didn’t detail the GPU but it is an Adreno 630 inside as well as Hexagon 685, Spectra 280 ISP, Qualcomm location, mobile security solution as well as Snapdragon X20 LTE with new WiFi solution. Lets not forget the support for 4K playback and recording. 


The Snapdragon 850 should enable new form factors, new deployment models, reach new regions and have new capabilities. Qualcomm is working with carriers/telecoms around the world who are trying to sell the always connected PC from their retail/etail stores. We can expect more of that with SD 850.

QTI Research in US/China claims that 60 percent of users wants GigabitLTE in 2018 and only 38 percent of them wanted the same feature in 2017. The 20+ hour battery life is something that a good 83 percent of people want - 27 percent more than a year before where 56 percent of them wanted the same.

Qualcomm also highlighted that the new platform comes with high fidelity audio built in with Aqstic and aptX audio. It also supports virtual surround sound, high dynamic range and ultra low THD+N as well as Bluetooth aptX HD. Qualcomm applies Aqstic to both 3.5 mm jack and the USB Type-C, the choice is yours.

Microsoft has included the ARM platform in the Windows 10 April update. Snapdragon 835 and future 850 now have the 64 bit Edge browser, have increase app compatibility, improved performance and power by 30 percent as well as 30 percent higher graphics performance. The new entertainment features such as HDR and Hi-Fi audio are now supported as well as release of 64Bit Win32 SDK to enable native ARM 64 applications.

Systems based on the Snapdragon 850 are expected later this year. Here is the picture of the reference design that looks like a detachable PC. 


Last modified on 04 June 2018
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