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Sep 16, 2015

Snapdragon 820-Powered Smartphones Confirmed to Be Available by Q1 2016

Qualcomm is readying its next big thing for 2015, the Snapdragon 820 processor, which will be the first to take advantage of the company’s own custom cores dubbed Kyro.

Word on the street has been saying that we should expect to see the first devices bundling the architecture arrive into the wild sometime in the early months of 2016. The information has only been speculative, but this week Qualcomm hosted a press event somewhere in Asia in order to detail the upcoming Snapdragon 820 some more. And a few slides from the presentation leaked online via Weibo (picked up by Gizmo China), revealing interesting details. One of them in particular confirms that the first devices arriving with a Snapdragon 820 processor will make it out in Q1 2016.

So far, we’ve been hearing that the first handset to pack Qualcomm’s next-gen platform will be the Xiaomi M5 Pro. Well, it appears that the standard Xiaomi Mi5 will be powered by the same chipset. Or maybe the Chinese company will not unveil two models, but just one.

We still have to wait a few months to see a Snapdragon 820 phone in the wild
According to the rumor mill, the phone should have been unveiled a month ago, but Xiaomi has been holding off for some reason. Although, if the flagship is set to launch with the Snapdragon 820 on board, it’s understandable why we haven’t seen the device make a debut in the wild until now. On the other hand, Samsung has also been rumored to be intensely testing the Snapdragon 820 for its upcoming Galaxy S7 flagship. According to current information, Samsung might be looking to get the Galaxy S7 ready ahead of schedule, like it did with its Galaxy Note5. Unlike previous years, Samsung will apparently not make its next-gen flagship available at MWC 2016, but a few days before the grand event in late February. Which makes sense given the Snapdragon 820 release timeline.

The Snapdragon 820 is expected to be quite a silicone piece, coming with a new X12 LTE modem, quad-core 64-bit CPU with 2.2GHz clock speed and next-gen Adreno GPU with Adreno Display Processor and Adreno Video processor. Qualcomm will also be incorporating Quick Charge 3.0, a new technology that allows smartphones to charge from 0 to 80% in around 35 minutes.

Snapdragon 820 info leaks in slideshow
Image credits to GizmoChina/Weibo

Sep 15, 2015

HTC One A9 with Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 CPU, 5-Inch FHD Display Coming in November

We've been talking about HTC's next high-end smartphone, the One A9 (Hima Aero) for quite some time now. While we do have some information on the handset's specs and availability, it looks like new details emerge all the time.

For example, @evleaks is back with more info on the rumored HTC One A9 and from what he reveals it looks like this will be an intermediate device despite the fact that will be launched under the One family. Usually, HTC launches mid-range smartphone under its own Desire brand, but this one will be released as HTC One A9 according to these rumors. We already know that the smartphone will make it the US this year where it will be offered by Sprint and possibly other major carriers in the country. While there's no word on pricing options, the high-end version of the One A9 that's been leaking until now is said to cost no more than $600 outright.

No deca-core CPU or Quad HD display
Now, the mid-range version of HTC One A9, if the Taiwanese company will indeed launch multiple models, won't pack Quad HD display or MediaTek's powerful deca-core Helio X20 processor inside. Instead, the smartphone is tipped to sport a 5-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display that supports full HD (1080p) resolution. Also, the One A9 is said to come equipped with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. The cited source also mentions the device will come with microSD card slot so users can further expand storage.

On the back, the smartphone will pack a 13-megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, BSI, optical image stabilization and video recording, while in the front there will be a 4-UltraPixel selfie camera. Last but not least, HTC One A9 will be only 7mm thin, it will feature a metal body and finger print scanner. The smartphone will be available in six different color options from November.

HTC One A9 vs iPhone 6
Image credits to Weibo

Huawei Nexus Specs Leak Once More, Includes 8MP Selfie Shooter, Barometer Sensor

Another day, another Nexus leak. Google is preparing to unveil two Nexus phones on September 29, one made by Huawei and the other manufactured by LG. And just a few hours ago the specs of the Huawei-made Nexus leaked online via Geekbench.

But now the phone has been spotted in the GFXBench database, so here’s another chance to look at the specs of the device and see whether previous rumors were correct (as seen at Stories I/O). The Huawei Nexus will most likely arrive with a 5.7-inch display with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution and a Snapdragon 810 processor under the hood. Huawei will also throw in 3GB of RAM in combination with 32GB of internal storage with no mention of microSD card slot. A 13MP/8MP camera combo is also listed so users can take all the pictures they want.

An interesting aspect is the presence of a barometer inside the phone, so we have to assume that it will ship with some apps or features that will take advantage of atmospheric pressure measurements. This is the first time we are hearing of this feature related to the Huawei-made Nexus. Naturally, the phone will be announced with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and so will the LG-made counterpart. The two handsets will go official towards the end of the month, with pre-orders starting on October 13. Or at least that’s what the rumor mill is saying.

Huawei Nexus leaks in benchmarks
Image credits to Stories I/O

Sony: This Is How Xperia Z5 Premium Delivers 2-Day Battery Life

At IFA 2015 a few weeks ago, Sony unveiled the Xperia Z5 Premium, the world’s first smartphone to come with a 4K display and 800+ pixel density on board. Sony also said that customers should expect the Xperia Z5 Premium to be able to deliver a battery life of up to 2 days.

Still, some of you might have wondered how that could even be possible. An advanced 4K panel like the one on the Xperia Z5 Premium will put a big toll on battery life, so the claim that the phone could support such a long life cycle seemed pretty questionable. Well, this week, Sony comes to clarify the issue. We’ve been hearing that the Xperia Z5 Premium’s resolution is not always 4K, and now the producing company acknowledges this is indeed the case (as spotted at Phone Arena).

The Xperia Z5 Premium will usually operate at 1080p
The Japanese device maker explains that the Xperia Z5 Premium features a 4K display with resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels based on SID Standard, which enables all video and image content to be enjoyed in 4K resolution. However, all other content is displayed at 1080p or lower in order to optimize the performance and battery life for the device. The smartphone features a 5.5-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen and includes TRILUMINOS Display for mobile technology. Hardware-wise, the Xperia Z5 Premium is powered by a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, complemented by an Adreno 430 graphics processing unit and 3GB of RAM.

The flagship handset features 32GB storage inside, which can be further expanded up to 200GB via microSD card slot. On the back lives a 23MP camera sporting a Sony Exmor sensor that can capture 4K video. It also features LED flash and autofocus. In the front there’s a secondary 5.1MP camera for selfies and video calls. It’s also worth mentioning that the Xperia Z5 Premium relies on a 3,430 mAh battery which is larger than what the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact boast inside.

Even with the official explanation out and about, it still remains to be seen whether the Xperia Z5 Premium will be able to deliver a 2-day battery life in real life conditions.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium launched with 4K display
Image credits to Sony Mobile

Sep 14, 2015

Meizu Pro 5 Benchmark Result Crushes Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Uses Similar Chipset

Meizu has yet to officially introduce its new Pro 5 flagship, but details on the smartphone's specs have already emerged online in the last couple of days.

The Chinese company announced a while ago that it has no intention of using Qualcomm's 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor inside its Pro 5 smartphone. Instead, Meizu Pro 5 will be equipped with Samsung's Exynos 7420 chipset, which is also embedded into Galaxy Note 5 phablet. Moreover, Meizu has decided that it would be cool to launch another version of the Pro 5, which will use a different processor inside, MediaTek's deca-core Helio X20. The latter is said to power HTC's One A9 Aero smartphone as well. Also known as Meizu NIUX, the Pro 5 has been recently spotted at Geekbench, GforGames reports.

Since we already know the smartphone will pack an Exynos 7420 or MediaTek Helio X20 processor, let's take a look at the overall performance of the smartphone tested at Geekbench.

MediaTek's deca-core Helio X20 chipset is even more powerful
Based on the scores achieved by Meizu NIUX, it looks like the smartphone will be slightly more powerful than Samsung's Galaxy Note 5. Meizu's unannounced smartphone scored 1550 points on the single-core test and 5593 on the multi-core test, which is higher than Galaxy Note 5 that achieved 1490 points for single-core and 4950 points for multi-core tests. That is rather curious since the Pro 5 version tested in Geekbench is using the same Exynos 7420 chipset and the same amount of RAM (4GB). Other highlights of the Meizu Pro 5 listed at Geekbench include Android 5.1.1 Lollipop operating system and MIUI 7 on top of it.

Meizu Pro 5 is expected to be unveiled in China on September 25, along with a Go Pro camera. No word on pricing option and availability yet, but we expect more details on the matter to surface in the coming days.

Meizu Pro 5 benchmark results
Image credits to Geekbench

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 Leaks in Press Renders with Dual Front Cameras, Fingerprint Scanner

Xiaomi fans will be pleased to know that their favorite company has a few more surprises for them, which will be revealed by the end of the year.

First of all, the Xiaomi Mi 4c that we saw being leaked not long ago is expected to be launched on September 22. But that won't be the only smartphone released by the Chinese company this year. The Mi5 is expected to arrive this year as well, while the sequel to the company's Mi Note phablet is likely to make its debut once Qualcomm launches its Snapdragon 820 chipset. That being said, it looks like the first renders of the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 have just leaked online, though the Chinese company is still mum on the release date of the smartphone. Still, at least we get to see what the phone looks like and what to expect from it. The first thing we’ve noticed are the dual cameras in the front, which are unusual especially for a high-end smartphone.

What's not unusual is the fingerprint scanner, which should be positioned right under the physical Home button. This isn't surprising at all since it has become standard for high-end handsets to come with fingerprint scanners.

Possible specs indicate the latest technologies will be included
According to previous rumors, Xiaomi Mi Note 2 will boast a large 5.7-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass coating. On the back, the Mi Note 2 is said to pack a 23-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, dual LED flash, and 4K video recording, while on the front there should be a no less impressive 12-megapixel camera for great selfies and video calls. The phablet is likely to be available in multiple versions based on the amount of storage: 32GB or 64GB. Also, the Mi Note 2 is said to be equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 processor, an Adreno 530 graphics processing unit, and 4GB of RAM.

Last but not least, Xiaomi Mi Note 2 might come preloaded with either Android 5.1.1 Lollipop or Android 6.0 Marshmallow on board, depending on when the phablet will make its debut on the market.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 (front)

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 (back)
Images credits to Xiaomi Today

Sep 10, 2015

HTC One A9 Confirmed to Pack Deca-Core CPU, 4GB RAM

HTC fans rejoice, as new info about the upcoming One A9 high-end smartphone have just surfaced online. The new device that the Taiwanese company plans to unveil in the coming weeks is also known as HTC Aero, the its market name is still unknown.

According to GizmoChina, citing a new benchmark of the alleged HTC One A9, the company's new smartphone will be one of the most powerful it ever launched. If the latest smartphones released by HTC did not appeal to you, then the One A9 might be the device you're looking for especially if you're into high-end devices. The benchmark leaked in China recently reveals that HTC One A9 will be equipped with a powerful 64-bit 2.5GHz deca-core MediaTek MT6797 chipset. MediaTek's chipset features a Tri-Cluster design with dual 2.5GHz Cortex-A72 cores for heavy work, four 2GHz Cortex-A53 cores for medium use and four 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 for light operations.

It might become the most powerful smartphone on the market
The smartphone scored an impressive 5884 score in Geekbench multi-core test, which is much higher than Samsung Galaxy Note 5's Exynos 742 performance, which managed to score only 5375 in the same test. On top of that, the HTC One A9's powerful processor is complemented by no less impressive Mali-T880MP6 graphics processing unit and 4GB of RAM. Also, previous rumors claim the One A9 will boast a Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) or full HD (1080p) display of unknown size. Confusion still reigns over all the info about the smartphone's screen for the moment, but as we're getting closer to launch we expect more details to emerge.

Other than that, we expect HTC One A9 to be available at all major carriers in the United States. As for the price, word is the upcoming handset will be priced at around $500 - $600 outright.

HTC One A9 benchmark results
Image credits to Geekbench

Samsung Galaxy S7 Specs Leak via Benchmark: 5.7-Inch Quad HD Display, Snapdragon 820 CPU

Although we're still several months away from the reveal of the next Samsung flagship smartphone, the first details about the Galaxy S7 have already started to emerge.

We reported to you a few days ago, Samsung might launch two Galaxy S7 models, each with different displays: 5.2-inch and 5.8-inch. Today, new information about the Galaxy S7 popped up online, which provides us with some insight on the smartphone's performance. The folks over at GforGames have just spotted the benchmark results of a device called Samsung Lucky, which is likely to be the internal name for the Galaxy S7. The person testing the Galaxy S7 pushed the benchmark results in AnTuTu's database. These results come in tow with some details on the phone's specs sheet.

According to the listing in AnTuTu benchmark, Samsung Galaxy S7 should be equipped with a Qulcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, an Adreno 530 graphics processing unit and 4GB of RAM.

The large display puts the Galaxy S7 into the phablets category
Also, the smartphone will pack 64GB of internal memory, but there's no mention of microSD card slot, so we must assume Samsung won't include one in Galaxy S7 either, just like it didn't include on inside the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 flagships. Another major piece of information would be the fact that Samsung Galaxy S7 will boast a large 5.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display that will support Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution. In addition, the smartphone will pack 16-megapixel photo snapper on the back, as well as a secondary 5-megapixel selfie camera.

Last but not least, the Galaxy S7 prototype tested in AnTuTu runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop operating system, which makes sense since Google has yet to release Android 6.0 Marshmallow. However, we can safely assume that Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone will come preloaded with the newest version of Android.

Samsung Galaxy S7 specs sheet
Image credits to Weibo

Adobe Leaks iPad Pro's 4GB of RAM

According to a blog post by Scott Belsky, VP of Products & Community, on Adobe's official blog, Apple's new iPad Pro comes with 4 GB of RAM.

At the time of its publication, the message was saying, "During Apple's keynote, we also demonstrated the extraordinary speed and precision of Adobe's Creative Cloud mobile apps on Apple's new iPad Pro. iPad Pro is great for creative workflows with a high res 12.9-inch touch screen display at 2732 x 2048 pixels, A9X chip, and 4GB RAM." Since then, any trace of iPad Pro's RAM specification has been removed from the blog post, allowing for speculations on the veridicality of this information.

Although it seems that Adobe may have modified the post because the iPad Pro specs it mentioned were not exactly true, not adding an update message confirming the content change at the end of the post as it is customary according to unspoken online publishing rules, leads us to believe that the editing was made in a hurry to prevent any possible problems with the tight-lipped Cupertino company.

The RAM amount available for each iPad Pro model is the only thing Apple "forgot" to mention during the keynote
As we speak, the amount of RAM in the iPad Pro is the only bit of information Apple has omitted to mention during last night's "Hey Siri" keynote, with everything else laid out on the table for everyone to see. Moreover, Apple has also published the device's specs on its own website, revealing that the device will come with a 64-bit A9x processor and an M9 motion coprocessor, an 8 MP iSight camera with 1080p recording capabilities, and a Touch ID sensor, all of them neatly packaged within a case featuring a 12.9-inch Multi-Touch display with a 2732 x 2048 resolution.

If you want to find out more about the newly released iPad Pro, just head over to the article we wrote about the iPad Pro announcement for all the juicy details. The iPad Pro will be launched in November, with prices starting at $799 depending on each model's storage capacity and connectivity support.

iPad Pro multi-tasking

Editing video on an iPad Pro

Editing video on an iPad Pro

Garageband running on an iPad Pro

Apple Pencil

Umake for iOS on iPad Pro

iPad Pro
Images credits to Apple

Sep 7, 2015

iPhone 6s to Come with 3D Force Touch Display

The rumors keep flowing before the start of Apple's September 9 event, and it's again time for the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to receive yet another plausible upgrade.

This time it's all about the new touch tech that will supposedly be added to the screen of the new smartphone models from Apple. The new type of screen should be an upgraded version of the pressure sensitive ones MacBook and Apple Watch are already used to, with a slight but very important difference: an added layer of sensitivity. Potentially dubbed "3D Touch Display," the new screen will supposedly offer iOS developers a lot more space for developing better apps which will be a lot easier to control using differentiated levels of pressure on the screen. Moreover, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users will be able to use three separate levels of pressure when navigating through an app's interface, by tapping controls, by pressing them or by longer presses.

This way, they can run three distinct types of actions using the same button, a simple way through which developers could effectively add a lot more possible types of interaction features using the same set of controls available on devices with lesser displays.

Also available on the new iPad Pro
In addition, the new "3D Touch Display" should also make an appearance in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which should also sport a stylus designed to make it a lot easier for users to use design and sketch apps. The new stylus coupled with the new three-layered pressure screen could be the decisive reason for many Mac users to discard their old graphics tablets. Even though adding a stylus to the new iPad might be a good idea for working with drawing apps, it should be noted that this comes in direct opposition to what Steve Jobs thought about styluses. During the first iPhone release, Jobs expressed his complete and utter disgust regarding such an implement when the human finger can be just as effective.

According to 9to5mac, this new rumor is based on information from various sources that are familiar with the new iPhones, and because this doesn't say much about the reliability of said sources, a little pinch of skepticism is in order.

Tapping the iPhone 6 screen
Image credits to The Geek Byte

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