Snapdragon 835 reference device benchmark results show strong CPU and GPU performance increases

We've already seen the high-end Snapdragon 835 battle it out in benchmarks, but this occasion is especially informative in terms of what to expect from the premium chipset. David Ruddock from Android Police spent some quality time at Qualcomm HQ and thoroughly benchmarked a Snapdragon 835 reference smartphone, along with several handsets running previous-gen flagship chipsets.

Of course, comparing the Snapdragon 835 results to those of the Snapdragon 821 and the Samsung Exynos 8890 processors is of most interest to us, as they are the most ubiquitous chips for flagship Android smartphones in Western markets. Their test results were obtained on a Google Pixel XL (with the Snapdragon 821 chip) and the Samsung Galaxy S7 (with the Exynos 8890 chip).

Based on David's results, we can make reasonably accurate assumptions about the Snapdragon 835 chip's CPU and GPU performance increases over last year's most prominent high-end processors. We can even compare some of the results with preliminary benchmarks of the Samsung Exynos 8895 powering some Galaxy S8 and S8+ models.

Mind you, though, everyone follows different procedures for taking and recording benchmark results, as simply writing down the score after a single run does not produce a realistic result. It's the reason why scores from the same tests on the same devices may vary widely across the web. We are confident in David's data, though, because he's the kind of guy that knows what he's doing and he's testing a legitimate Qualcomm reference device. So, onto the findings!

GeekBench 4 (CPU test)

In GeekBench 4's multi-core CPU test, the Snapdragon 835 (6461 points) obtained a whopping ~58% increase in multi-core CPU performance over the Snapdragon 821 (4089 points). It compared less favorably to the Exynos 8890 (5358 points), at a ~20.58% increase.

In the single-core test, performance improvements are marked, but less impressive. The Snapdragon 835 (2059 points) is ~25.7% faster than the Snapdragon 821 (1638 points) or ~10.3% faster than the Exynos 8890 (1866 points).

A while ago, the Exynos 8895 scored 1978 (single-core) and 6375 (multi-core) in a preliminary GeekBench result. In this case, the Snapdragon 835 is a good ~4% faster in single-core and ~1.35% in multi-core performance. Of course, a retail Galaxy S8 unit following a proper benchmark procedure could output slightly better numbers, but that's what we have to work with for now.

GFXBench – Car (GPU test)

GFXBench's Car test features console-quality visuals and is extremely demanding, even for cutting-edge devices like the ones tested. The Snapdragon 835 (1513 points) is ~31.79% faster than the Snapdragon 821 (1148 points) and ~67.36% faster than the Exynos 8890 (904 points). This is a somewhat typical jump in GPU performance between Snapdragon generations, and it's also typical of Samsung SoCs to be lacking in GPU power compared to Qualcomm's.

There's a reason for that – the stock ARM Mali GPUs Samsung uses can be only pushed so far. A custom design is needed if Sammy wants to achieve parity with, or outperform Qualcomm's proprietary Adreno GPUs.

As for older and less-demanding GFXBench tests like Manhattan and T-Rex, the Snapdragon 835 carries its lead and basically wipes the floor with both processors. For the sake of brevity, we won't do individual performance increase calculations for each test, but we'll let David Ruddock's diagram speak by itself. The Snapdragon 835's Adreno 540 is a beast!

* All graphics tests are ran off-scren at the same resolution, regardless of the respective device's native screen resolution.
** We don't have Galaxy S8/S8+ GFXBench results yet.

AnTuTu (System test)

AnTuTu is a complex system test whose six-figure high scores make people go "whoa!" The Snapdragon 835 reference smartphone achieved 181,939 points in David's test, which is in line with a previous result of 181,434, dated Dec 7 2016. Thus, the Snapdragon 835's high-score is ~32.5% higher than the Snapdragon 821 (137,290) and ~34% higher than the Exynos 8890 (135,691).

With consistently positive results like these, you're probably thinking Qualcomm should pop the champagne and take the rest of the year off. Nope! A few days ago, the Galaxy S8's Exynos 8895 basically owned AnTuTu with a high score of 205,284. That's a 12% performance advantage over Qualcomm's gladiator.

Since that's an AnTuTu score, we're more keen on chalking it up to Samsung using (and manufacturing) the fastest RAM and storage memory available for smartphones, rather than outright better CPU and graphics processing. But we can only speculate at this point.

All things considered, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 presents a very serious jump in performance and it will be up there with 2017's very fastest mobile processors. Typical smartphone usage, clever AI algorithms, VR games, and messing around with 4K videos will be a breeze with it.

Related phones

Pixel XL
  • Display 5.5" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12.3 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 3450 mAh(32h talk time)
Galaxy S7
  • Display 5.1" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2200 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(28h 3G talk time)



1. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

No way! Spreadtrum chips are much faster than those.

3. androiduser

Posts: 523; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

I think the exynos will still be better. I hope so at least

8. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

(don't feed the troll)

23. sgodsell

Posts: 7605; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The thing that get me is when PhoneArena at the end. The real trolls here are PhoneArena "But enjoying smooth gameplay in mobile games that look as good as the GFXBench Car demo? That might still not be possible, going by the chipset 's "high, but still low" test score. Sorry, mobile gamers – we are just as disappointed as you!" If the current SD 821 can sustain VR on a 2k display (VR takes single images then renders them twice for a VR display) at a sustainable 60 fps. The new SD 835 can do the same thing only with 4k displays. If you think it's not fast, think again. Why is Qualcomm and a number of other OEMs going to be creating VR headsets based on Qualcomms new 835 with cameras in front. It's going to be capturing and tracking objects and a users hands in front of them. At the same time the 835 is displaying a tracked camera object in front of a rendered VR 2k display. Anyone with a technical background would realize processing camera images to look for specific items within running images takes a lot of computing. Yet at the same time the SD 835 is rendering a VR world with those tracked objects overlayed or used in some other way. Live. But hey Luis D. thinks that the SD 835 might still not be possible to play games as good as good as the GFXBENCH Car demo. Really Luis D? If players like Microsoft, Google, and many others are going to be making their own VR headsets with cameras and using this SD 835. Then clearly they see something that you don't see.

29. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

SD835 is built for sustained performance and efficiency so if like SD820 its dont throttle then we have a winner here. Still interested to see what Samsung did on the new exynos because the one in S7 is a joke and throttle way too much.

37. iushnt

Posts: 3160; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

You should broaden your knowledge rather than making assumptions on your hate for Samsung.

36. JC557

Posts: 1925; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

I'd rather read the more in depth take over on AnandTech


Posts: 68; Member since: Feb 16, 2015

This is a brain dead site. My OP3 with 820 in it gets 156000+ on antutu. And these f**kers say that 821 acheves score of 132000? What a POS site this is.

6. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

It was confirmed that 1+ cheat in benchs

13. Tyrion_Lannister unregistered

They just maintain the maximum CPU clock speed. It's not cheating technically since the scores are not artificially inflated. Anyway, it got fixed later on.

18. crzykiller

Posts: 88; Member since: Jan 03, 2015

You know I really dislike people like you who don't know s*** regarding benchmark "cheating". All they did was turn the cores to their max frequency, something that's automatically done when the CPU is under 100% load. They also changed the throttling to a higher temperature. This doesn't matter since the OP3 doesn't throttle in the first place unless you're taxing the GPU and CPU at the same time and hard at that. It's not "cheating" it's called making it so the scores are consistent and shows how much better the OnePlus is optimized. Ya twat

31. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Still considered as cheat. My G5 with custom run and all core to max get also 150k plus in antutu. but running the core at thats speed can damage the phone long term.

30. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

love how PA use not confirmed scoore of antutu for the s8 so funny.

7. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

everyone already know that OnePlus cheat antutu..

12. Subie

Posts: 2430; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Calm down! Luis is just reporting on an article already done by Android Police.

4. torr310

Posts: 1708; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

To use is to believe. Only the real user experience would mean it's good or bad.

5. tedkord

Posts: 17481; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Even the 821 is fast enough these days to give smooth performance. I'm not saying more power isn't welcome, mind you, if for nothing more than futureproofing.

11. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

'Tyrion' will teach why more power is always welcome ... not just for futureproof

14. mikehunta727 unregistered

835 brings more performance and is more power efficient then 821, so absolutely welcomed.

16. UglyFrank

Posts: 2194; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

That is a stupid argument, everyone says this. It might be fast enough for today but after a few years it won't be. The S801 devices are starting to show their age.

21. mikehunta727 unregistered

We can always use more performance when it comes to computers, it's truly never enough

26. tedkord

Posts: 17481; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Most people don't keep the same phone for 4 years.

28. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

^^ Are you talkinh about the US alone? If yes, then you're certainly correct.


Posts: 1168; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

This cup will only be meaningful if the battery efficiency is meaningfully better and the other features such as Bluetooth 5.0 are utilized. Otherwise, go for the 821 or some other super efficient chip like the Exynos or the 625

32. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Even 820 is fast enuf lol My G5 give the iphone 7 a run for its money and win 50% of speed test comparison.

38. iushnt

Posts: 3160; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Face palm!

9. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

Still behind apple in browser benchmarks , but what important is closing the gap.

15. ph00ny

Posts: 2069; Member since: May 26, 2011

Browser benches are hugely dependant on the browser used just as much as the hardware

24. Macready

Posts: 1830; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

"Still behind apple in browser benchmarks" Only if you're doing apple vs orange comparisons using 2 different browsers. iOS has added a lot of optimizations to Safari for these benchmarks the last 2 years, which explains most of those large jumps (the S6 was outpacing the iPhone at the time and about on par with the iPad in those same benchmarks using the stock browser, instead of Chrome). Using different browsers leads to vastly different results. In real life, browsing speed is actually pretty similar, even in very complex environments.

33. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Browser benchmark are a joke. My G5 open about any webpage a tad faster than the iphone 7 lol

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless