Snapdragon 835 Processor on Microsoft Surface Phone in 2017?

Surface Phone needs Windows 10 Creators Update. Why?

Samsung said in a press release earlier this month that it is partnering with Qualcomm Technologies to create the Snapdragon 835 mobile processor with Samsung’s 10-nanometer (nm) FinFET process technology.

10 nm is a chip manufacturing process which has evolved from the prevalent 14 nm technology, which means the half-pitch (half the distance between identical features in an array) of the individual nodes is less than the current technology. 10 nm technology for processors will be commercially be available as of 2017.

“Using the new 10nm process node is expected to allow our premium tier Snapdragon 835 processor to deliver greater power efficiency and increase performance while also allowing us to add a number of new capabilities that can improve the user experience of tomorrow’s mobile devices,” says Keith Kressin, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies. Inc.

The technology will facilitate “a 30% increase in area efficiency with 27% higher performance or up to 40% lower power consumption. Using 10nm FinFET, the Snapdragon 835 processor will offer a smaller chip footprint, giving OEMs more usable space inside upcoming products to support larger batteries or slimmer designs,” according to the press release.

But that’s not the biggest news. Apparently, Microsoft’s new Surface Phone, which we’ve covered extensively on, will feature the Snapdragon 835 processor when it comes out, reportedly next year.

Related Post: Surface Phone May be Launched in 3 Variants, with Surface Pen and Keyboard Included

Currently Known Details about Surface Phone

We now know that there will be at least three variants of Surface Phone, an 8GB RAM, a 6GB RAM and another variant with 4GB RAM. All three will likely sport the Snapdragon 835 processor, but only the 8 GB and 6GB RAM versions will be able to run X86 apps (desktop apps) in Continuum Mode when docked to a monitor or a laptop.

Our assumption for Microsoft’s reasons behind this is that they need at least one or two models that target enterprise users, and one for individual consumers. The Continuum phones should serve that purpose. Microsoft is clearly going heavy on enterprise products, so there’s no reason for this assumption not to be true.

The official launch for Surface Phone is now confirmed for late 2017, and it will come with the Redstone 3 update for Windows 10, which is more focused towards the mobile experience.

In addition, the devices will likely sport a 5.5-inch QHD display, but there’s no confirmation on that. They could add other size options as well.

You have to remember that this information is based on prototypes that Microsoft has built, so it’s under constant development. They may change around quite a few things such as memory capacity, screen size and so on. Considering the fact that Surface Phone isn’t due until a year from now, anything could change. However, their Continuum functionality, the processor to be used, the Quick Charging 4.0, 64-bit Windows 10 Mobile architecture are very likely to make their way into Surface Phone.

Right now Surface Phone has two benchmark products that it must absolutely beat – iPhone 8, which should come out around the same time next year, and the Google Pixel and Pixel XL, which may see a refresh around this time in 2017. In addition to these two monsters of mobile, Samsung will possibly be in the fray as well with a Note 8 and a Galaxy S8, as well as a foldable smartphone mysteriously being called the Galaxy X.

Microsoft knows that it will be competing with all of these top smartphone brands, so this isn’t something they can haphazardly put together and risk another cataclysmic Nokia-like situation. That’s possibly why they’re being very hush-hush about the project. Right now they’re focusing on two things – Surface Studio, the all-in-one PC shipping out early 2017, and the Windows 10 Creators Update, also coming out around that time. If they have a third agenda item for Windows 10, then it’s definitely Surface Phone.

We’ll periodically report the goings on around Microsoft’s “big bang” re-entry into the smartphone atmosphere as we get it from the grapevine, so stay tuned.

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