Qualcomm is a leading mobile processor company and in its 800 series, there are many outstanding chipsets. The most recent and high-end is the Snapdragon 855, but its predecessors, the 845 and 835, were also very popular in high-performance terminals. However, we also have the Snapdragon 821, a forgotten SoC that we find in mid-range and old high-end devices with premium performance. We recently met the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 712, which although part of another series of the company, can compete with two of those already mentioned. This is how today we bring you a detailed Snapdragon 712 vs Snapdragon 835 vs Snapdragon 821 comparison.
The Snapdragon 835 mobile processor was a pioneer in its design and construction. Being the first to obtain the advanced manufacturing process of 10nm, decreasing the size of the chip and increasing the performance. Being 35% smaller, it allows you to consume 25% less energy. The above gives as it turns out that the Snapdragon 835 offers a longer battery life than the Snapdragon 821, which is manufactured with a process technology of 14nm. The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 712 can compete hand in hand with the 835, betting on a FinFET construction in 10nm. They all have a 64-bit architecture CPU and integrated graphics.
Both the Snapdragon 712 and the Snapdragon 835 are presented as octa-core chipsets. Far away is the Snapdragon 821, which is left behind with its quad-core technology. It consists of 2 main Kryo cores with a 2.4GHz clock speed and 2 secondary Kryo cores at 1.6GHz. Otherwise, the 712 SoC has a Kryo 360 CPU with 2 cores at 2.3GHz and 6 cores at 1.8GHz; devices powered by the Snapdragon 712 mobile platform are designed to better manage battery usage. The one that offers us better performance is the Snapdragon 835 that has a configuration of 4 Kryo 280 synchronized at a frequency of 2.45GHz, while the remaining 4 Kryo 280 cores are synchronized at 1.9GHz.
The Snapdragon 835 was released only 6 months after the Snapdragon 821, however, there is a big difference between the two. Snapdragon 835 is in fact on a totally different level, while many have considered that the Snapdragon 821 is just a slightly improved variant of Snapdragon 820. From the CPU cores to the clock speed, the Snapdragon 835 is ahead. The 10nm FinFET manufacturing process makes it extremely energy efficient and improves battery life, its custom Kryo 280 cores are much faster than the Kryo cores of the 821.
If we compare specifications, the Snapdragon 835 has a higher frequency and larger cores. So, the advantage over the Snapdragon 821 is obvious. But with the 712 chipsets, this can vary in the performance of a single core, where the Snapdragon 712 is even better than the Snapdragon 835. Only in the integrated execution of several cores was where the 835 chipsets performed better.
AnTuTu Score Comparison
In the AnTuTu Benchmark, devices with Snapdragon 835 reach scores between 184,292 and 162,101 points. While Snapdragon 821 engine devices get only 161,448 points maximum and 145,139 minimum points. Overall, the Snapdragon 712 averaged approximately 5.6% higher scores than the Snapdragon 835. Its highest score was 179,353 points. This difference equates to an insignificant difference in the real world. However, it has been confirmed that it competes with many smartphones equipped with Snapdragon 835.
The Snapdragon 835 combines the power of the Kryo 280 CPU and the Adreno 540 GPU compatible with DX12. This offers better features compared to the Adreno 530 GPU of the Snapdragon 821. By having a more powerful GPU, the 832 chipset offers graphics representation up to 25% faster and a screen color 60 times larger compared to the Snapdragon 821. Both GPUs support the Vulkan API.
In theory, the Snapdragon 712’s Adreno 610 must have a better performance, compared to its competitors. The acceleration of the graphics and the power of 800MHz surpass the 710MHz clock speed of the Adreno 540 and the 650MHz of the Adreno 530. However, in AnTuTu, the Adreno 540 GPU still outperforms the Adreno 616. After all, Snapdragon 835 was the flagship of 2017 and is still not outdated, the performance difference is not significant.
Qualcomm has taken a step forward in the field of fast charging, now adopting the Quick Charge 4+ in the Snapdragon 712, leaving behind the Quick Charge 4 of the previous model, the Snapdragon 710, and the one in the Snapdragon 835. The Snapdragon 821 Quick Charge 3 technology is still good but it obviously does not offer the same high-charging speed of the 4 or 4+ version. If we talk about memory support, we find that the Snapdragon 835 and 712 support LPDDR4x to 1866MHz, while the Snapdragon 821 only supports LPDDR4 up to 1866GHz.
The Snapdragon 712 processor has the DSP Hexagon 685 to perform, among other things, artificial intelligence tasks. It is an AI chip that can better meet smart trends needs, such as AI camera, AI system, intelligent translation. The Snapdragon 835 is Qualcomm’s flagship processor in 2017. It has not yet had time to join AI support because it is not fully compatible with AI, however, it comes with Qualcomm Hexagon 682 DSP that supports for latest machine learning frameworks and image processing. The Snapdragon 821 also stays a step behind with the Hexagon 680 DSP that includes Hexagon vector eXtensions (HVX) and sensor core with low power island for always-on sensor processing. Obviously, from the perspective of AI support, the Snapdragon 712 has more advantages than the Snapdragon 821 and 835.
In the photographic department, the Snapdragon 835 offers the Spectra 180, dual-spectrum and 14-bit image signal processor (ISP) that can support cameras up to 32 megapixels, while the 821 can support up to 28 megapixels. On the other hand, due to the ISP Spectra 250, the Snapdragon 712 is compatible with dual cameras of up to 20 megapixels per sensor, or simple cameras of up to 32 megapixels.
In terms of connectivity, both the Snapdragon 835 and the 712, have Bluetooth 5, which doubles the bandwidth offered in the Bluetooth 4.1 Snapdragon 821. In turn, with the Snapdragon X15 on board, the Snapdragon 712 offers 4G category 15 for the uplink and category 13 for the downlink. Or what is the same, up to 800Mbps download and 150Mbps upload. While the Snapdragon 835 is LTE Cat 16 and Cat 13. The difference between the two is extremely small because the download speed is 1 Gbps and the upload speed is also 150 Mbps. A contrary case is the Snapdragon 821, whose LTE Categories are 13 for uplink and 12 for downlink. Obtaining a download of only 600Mbps and an upload of 150Mbps.
Winner: Almost tie – Snapdragon 835 > Snapdragon 712 > Snapdragon 821
In short, with the Snapdragon 835, we get a processor whose Antutu score is higher by approximately 40k, consumes less battery, produces less heat and offers tremendous performance. Although the Snapdragon 712 gives the battle in many aspects, in the end, in general terms, the Snapdragon 835 is the one that comes out completely victorious. In terms of performance, the new Snapdragon 712 processor should be ranked essentially just behind the Snapdragon 835. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, meanwhile, was a chipset that did not innovate much with respect to its predecessor of 820 and that was immediately displaced by the 835 in performance, size, architecture and energy saving.