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Aug 30, 2014

Fully Assembled (from Leaked Parts) iPhone 6 Boots up for the First Time [Video]

This has to be a strange first. A team that customizes iOS devices and has connections inside the Apple's supply chain managed to get their hands on ever part of the next iPhone 6. And since they have the necessary expertise, the guys assembled the phone and turned it on.

The video footage posted online is pretty short, but it shows a real working iPhone 6, for the first time, even before Apple's big reveal. The guys over at Feld & Volk are the first to have a fully functional iPhone 6, because they made their own. Earlier this morning they have revealed parts of the device like the back casing and logic board. We were able to see the A8 System on a Chip and a new chip that may turn out to be one related to the NFC. A few hours later, the same team has posted another photo and now a video of the next-generation iPhone booting up.

Take this with a grain of salt, because some of the details of the phone do not match iOS 8 and the device may have an iPhone 5s digitizer behind the iPhone 6 screen. Apple will be announcing the new phone on September 9th in an event scheduled to take place in Cupertino, California.

Fully assembled iPhone 6
Image credits to Feld&Volk

Videos credits to Feld&Folk

Apacer DDR4 2133 Revealed

Most, if not all, of the memory modules and kits based on the new DDR4 specification have, so far, sported some kind of heatspreader or other. Apacer decided it was high time one came out that wasn't so encumbered. 

Truth be told, most of the other DDR4 modules and kits released so far could have probably worked without a heatspreader of their own. However, the vast majority of them don't just restrict themselves to the standard 2,133 MHz performance, like the new Apacer DDR4 2133 4 GB/8 GB Unbuffered DIMM does. Instead, they come in overclocked versions as well, going as high as 3 GHz in some instances. After all, as good as DDR4 is compared to DDR3, and no matter how efficient (1.2V instead of 1.65/1.5/1.35V), it would be weird if DDR4 only came in 2,133 MHz when DDR3 can exceed 3 GHz on good days.

Back to the new Apacer RAM, though. Needless to say, the new DIMM modules are intended for computers based on the new Intel Core i7-5000 CPUs. They have been through temperature and high/low pressure testing, as well as live PC and motherboard tests. Unfortunately, Apacer did not see it fit to disclose the price of the DDR4 2133 4 GB/8 GB Unbuffered DIMMs.

Apacer DDR4 2133 4 GB/8 GB Unbuffered DIMM
Image credits to Apacer

Gigabyte's X99 Motherboard Line Includes Eight Different Models

Motherboards are the basis for all computers. Sure, most people probably choose the CPU before they decide on the mainboard, but the platform determines everything else. That's why the new X99 series from Gigabyte is such a big deal.

Not that Gigabyte is the only one releasing motherboards powered by the X99 chipset. That would be strange considering the impending release of Intel's Core i7-5000 series Haswell-E central processing units. What does set Gigabyte apart from all other companies is the sheer number of different such motherboards that are, or soon will be, available for order. There are eight of them to be precise, called GA-X99-Gaming G1 WIFI, GA-X99-Gaming 7 WIFI, GA-X99-Gaming 5, GA-X99-SOC Force, GA-X99-UD7 WIFI, GA-X99-UD5 WIFI, GA-X99-UD4, and GA-X99-UD3. Gigabyte has set up a specific section on its website where you can find all the information on each model, from bare specs to perks the others lack.

For our part, we'll take a gander at the most important common denominators, the things they have in common that are most relevant, figuratively speaking. For one thing, all the newcomers use an all digital CPU power design from International Rectifier, which includes digital 4th Generation digital PWM Controller and third-generation PowIRstage controllers which power even the most energy-sensitive and demanding components precisely. High-end chokes are another asset, providing server-level reliability and high-current capacity, plus less heat from power loss. The CPU VRM is also more efficient. The feature list continues with solid capacitors, and 3-way or 4-way multi-graphics setups (SLI for NVIDIA, CrossFire for AMD, up to 320 Gb/s bandwidth).

Furthermore, the new mainboards have Dual M.2 technology, meaning that there are two m.2 slots where you can install new SSDs, for 1.8 GB/s performance (on a good day) instead of 500-600 MB/s. Turbo M.2 tech ensures 20 Gbps bandwidth. SATA Express is also available, as is Creative Sound Core3D audio technology (driven by a Realtek ALC1150 controller) and a LED-equipped heatsink. Everything is held together by a copper PCB (2X Copper PCB design with power trace paths that withstand great power loads) and gold-plated CPU socket, PCI Express slots and DIMM slots (8 RAM modules supported). These and many other features were integrated by Gigabyte. The press release below has all the details, although it may prove a rather dry read. The PR veers most verbose, if you know what we mean. Sales should begin soon, for a price of around $400 - $500 / €400 - €500. Image gallery below, click for larger image.

Gigabyte X99 Motherboard
Images credits to Gigabyte

Overclocker's New Record, Pushes AMD FX-8370 CPU to 8722.78 MHz

Overclocking records are serious business, even if few people actually pay attention to them anymore. A Finnish overclocker calling themselves "The Stilt" just established the new record on the AMD FX-8370.

The processor normally runs its eight cores at 3.3 GHz and eats 125W of energy, or at least that's how much power the system has to use to keep the heat at manageable levels. The Stilt, however, was able to manipulate the base clock, voltages and cooling in such a way that he pushed the frequency a lot higher than that. Specifically, the overclocker was able to drive the AMD FX-8730 to 8722.78 MHz, a clock that was never achieved before on this processor, and most others for that matter. The key was setting the base clock at 276.91 MHz and the multiplier at 31.5x, while core voltage was held steady at 2.004V.

Meanwhile, the 8 GB of DDR3 RAM (2 x 4 GB) ran at 1,107 MHz (2,214 MHz DDR). An ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z motherboard held everything together, including a liquid nitrogen evaporator. The LN2 pot looks about as steamy and weird as you'd expect, although the roll of toilet paper used as insulation definitely raised a few eyebrows, even though it's not the first time such a method is employed. In case you're still skeptical, HWBOT has validated the newest world record.

AMD FX-8370 overclocked to kingdom come
Image credits to HWBOT

Qualcomm Teases Multi-Core 64-Bit HTC Desire 820 Smartphone for IFA 2014

Chipset maker Qualcomm announced earlier this month that the first smartphone equipped with its own 64-bit system-on-chip would be unveiled this fall and would effectively go on sale by the end of the year.

Several days ago, HTC took the wraps off the world’s first smartphone powered by a 64-bit chipset, the Desire 510. However, the newly announced handset is aimed at the affordable segment of the market, so we expect a mid-range 64-bit smartphone to be launched next month as well. Although previous rumors claimed that the HTC Desire 820 would be the world’s first 64-bit smartphone, it looks like the Taiwanese company has saved the reveal of this particular device for IFA 2014. Today, Qualcomm has taken a step further and teased another smartphone powered by a 64-bit chipset, which we believe is the same unannounced Desire 820 that leaked a few weeks ago. The device in the teaser looks exactly like the one that popped up in China a few days ago. According to the teaser, this 64-bit smartphone will be officially announced in early September and will be showcased at IFA 2014 in Berlin, Germany.

Unlike Desire 510 that features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 chipset, the upcoming HTC Desire 820 is said to be packed with a Snapdragon 615 chipset, which is slight more powerful. The Desire 820’s system-on-chip accommodates an octa-core Cortex-A53 processor and an Adreno 415 graphics processing unit. No other details on the smartphone have leaked online yet, but there’s a high chance that more info will emerge in the coming days, so stay tuned.

HTC Desire 820 teaser
Image credits to Qualcomm

Aug 29, 2014

ASUS Flagship Rampage V Extreme X99 Motherboard Has Five PCIe x16 Slots

With Intel's Haswell-E central processing units about to come out, motherboard makers are finally releasing their latest platforms. The ASUS ROG Rampage V Extreme may not have officially been released yet, but the board has already surfaced on the net.

No doubt ASUS will soon make a press release in which it will formally introduce the newcomer, along with whatever other X99 chipset-based mainboards it has prepared. MSI did just that, so ASUS can't do any less. The X99 chipset is the motherboard logic that Intel created to act as the other half of the Haswell-E line of Core i7-5000 central processing units. It provides the LGA 2011-3 socket, which is incompatible with all other CPUs revealed to date. The ASUS ROG Rampage V Extreme has been leaked by SweClockers and is a really fine piece of work, although not quite as overkill as MSI's best, or the ludicrous ASUS X99-E WS (which has seven PCI Express slots). The ROG Rampage V Extreme has five PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, allowing it to establish quad-SLI (NVIDIA) or quad-CrossFire (AMD) multi-GPU video card setups, and still have some I/O support left over.

Sure, the black PCI Express slot in the middle will probably be covered up because of how thick most video adapters are, but there's nothing that can be done about that, unless you equip the video cards with thin water blocks. For example, among others in the water-cooling field, EK already has some selling for every adapter likely to ever be installed in systems based on the newcomer. But we digress. Besides the PCI Express x16 slots, the new mainboard from ASUS possesses eight DDR4 memory slots (for 64 GB total, 128 GB in 2015 when 16 GB DIMM modules are created), one SATA Express port (12 Gbps HDDs/SSDs), an M.2 with PCI Express 2.0 x4 physical layer (1.8 GB/s SSD speed), 802.11 ac WLAN with Bluetooth 4.0, Gigabit Ethernet support, and fourteen USB 3.0 ports.

There's even a high-current USB 2.0 connector, allowing you to recharge gaming peripherals and mobile devices. Everything is powered by 24-pin ATX, 8-pin EPS, and 4-pin ATX connectors. Finally, you will find 12 SATA 6.0 Gbps connectors on the motherboard, as well as UEFI BIOS filled with overclocking features. Sadly, the price of the ASUS ROG Rampage V Extreme has not been confirmed, but it is supposed to be of around $460 / €460.

ASUS Rampage V Extreme Motherboard
Images credits to ASUS

HTC Nexus 9 Tablet Scores Shows Up in AnTuTu, 46K Points

We have been waiting on the successor of the Nexus 7 (2013) tablet for quite some time now. But at this point, we’re not even exactly sure if Google plans to call the tablet Nexus 8 or Nexus 9.

The most recent info seems to point towards the latter scenario. A purported Nexus 9 tablet has been spotted in the popular AnTuTu benchmark database, highlighting the prowess of the processor running at its core (as seen at Tk Tech News). The Android L tablet appears to have scored an impressive 45,923 points in the AnTuTu tests, which is to be expected since the slate is supposedly taking advantage of the all-new NVIDIA Tegra K1 Denver platform. The Nexus 7 (2013) tablet is one year old and in some locations the slate has been reportedly listed as being Out of Stock. This has fueled speculations that the Nexus 9 shouldn't be far from us. A recent leak places the launch of the device before October 9. We don’t know why this particular date was chosen, and all we can do is hope that we’re going to see the slate within a month. After all, not seeing the Nexus 9 make a debut at the Google I/O was enough of a disappointment.

The AnTuTu listing confirms the spec-list we already shared with you countless times. However, if you are new to the story, we will take the opportunity to remind you that Nexus 9 is expected to tout an 8.9-inch screen with QHD resolution (2560 x 1440 pixels) and take advantage of the NVIDIA 64-bit Tegra K1 Denver platform fitted with 2GB of RAM and backed up by 32GB of internal storage. As we already knew, the Android version in the listing is 5.0, which the rumor mill is now calling Android Lemon Meringue Pie (LMP). The tablet is shaping up to be quite a beast and a worthy successor of the largely popular Nexus 7 (2013) which is still considered one of the best 7-inchers on the market. We also get a glimpse of the IMEI number (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity) which means that the tablet will come boasting cellular network connectivity.

And, of course, like all Nexus devices, the new tablet is expected to be released in its LTE-variant, as well. An earlier leak suggested that the slate would come with an MDM9x25 modem (3G model). Anyway, hopefully in a month’s time, we’ll be able to check out the Nexus 9 in its entire splendor. Keep your fingers crossed!

Nexus 9 shows up in AnTuTu
Images credits to TKtechNewsBlog

BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9983 Press Photos and Full Specs Sheet Leak

It’s no surprise that BlackBerry has teamed up with Porsche Design once again to offer fans a premium alternative to BlackBerry 10 smartphones that the Canadian company usually launches.

Even though the collaboration between the two companies has only spawned three premium smartphones until now, BlackBerry fans have more luxury products to choose from than consumers who use other brands and operating systems do. The fourth product to result from the two companies’ partnership is called Blackberry Porsche Design P’9983 and is expected to go on sale sometime this fall. The first BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9983 pictures leaked last week, along with some of its features, but the folks over at BBin have gotten their hands on the full specs sheet of the smartphone. Two press photos have been published as well, so fans of BlackBerry’s premium lineup can have an idea of what to expect from the next product in the Porsche Design series.

First of all, BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9983 is the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone with QWERTY keyboard launched by Porsche Design. Word is that it might be available for around $2,000 (€1,500) upfront, but this is to be expected considering that it’s a premium handset. The Porsche Design P’9983 will be manufactured from premium material, including the chassis, lock and external keys, which are made from CNC-milled stainless steel. The rear-facing camera’s lens is made of sapphire glass, while for the back cover Porsche Design will use glass weave technology. Owning one of these premium smartphones will add you to an exclusive Porsche Design PIN ID group, which will be recognizable among those who use any Porsche Design products.

Specs-wise, BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9983 sports a 3.1-inch OLED capacitive touchscreen display that supports 720 x 720 pixels resolution. On the inside, the smartphone will be equipped with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.5GHz, which will be complemented by 2GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory. There’s no word on a microSD card slot, so we must assume that it will lack one, but given the high amount of storage you get by default, you might not need it. As shown in the pictures, the Porsche Design P’9983 comes with a full QWERTY keyboard. It also packs an 8-megapixel photo snapper on the back, which features autofocus, LED flash, image stabilization, 5x digital zoom, and full HD (1080p) video recording. The 2-megapixel front-facing camera features fixed-focus, image stabilization, and 3x digital zoom. It can also capture HD (720p) videos at 30fps.

When it comes to connectivity, BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9983 offers a wide range of options, including LTE, HSPA+, Wi-Fi., Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, GPS with A-GPS support and microUSB 2.0. The Porsche Design P’9983 will ship with BlackBerry 10.3 operating system out of the box. According to sources familiar with BlackBerry’s roadmap, the Porsche Design P’9983 is likely to go official in September, along with the BlackBerry Passport.

BlackBerry Porsche Design P'9983 (front)

BlackBerry Porsche Design P'9983 (back)
Images credits to BBin.in

Aug 27, 2014

Nexus X Leaked Specs Confirm Snapdragon 805 CPU, 13MP Camera, and Android 5.0

News about Google’s next flagship smartphone has recently emerged online, thus confirming that the search giant did not can the Nexus project and plans to continue to add new products to the series.

The next Nexus smartphone to be released by Google is likely to be called X due to some issues with the Nexus 6 name that might infringe on Philip K. Dick’s intellectual property rights. For those unaware, Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” which was turned into a movie called “Blade Runner,” starring Harrison Ford, has some androids in it that are called Nexus 6 models. Nexus One, the first Android smartphone launched by Google in the Nexus series, was the device that started the debacle, as Isa Dick Hackett, daughter to Philip K. Dick, threatened to sue Google over the trademark. Fortunately, that did not happen but not because Google asked for permission, but because the owner of Philip K. Dick’s intellectual property did not think that she had a solid case. This is probably one of the main reasons Google decided to change the name of its Nexus smartphone just this time.

With that being said, the so-called Nexus X has already appeared at an online retailer, and it looks like it will be manufactured by Motorola indeed. The smartphone is listed under a different name, Motorola XT1100, but also has the Nexus X tag line as well. Two Nexus X variants have been spotted by Twitter user @Alex_Vainshtein on fnac’s website, which is not surprising for a device in the series. According to the listing, Nexus X 32GB should be available for purchase for only €420 ($555) outright, while the 64GB model has been priced at €450 ($595). Even if the pricing options is different in Google Play Store, the important thing is that fnac has also revealed some of the phone’s specs.

In this regard, Nexus X is expected to sport a 5.2-inch capacitive touchscreen display of unknown resolution, as well as an impressive 13-megapixel rear-facing camera. On the inside, the smartphone will be equipped with a powerful quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, which will be clocked at 2.7GHz. No other details on the Nexus X’s hardware have been revealed, but it looks like the handset will ship with Android Lemon Meringue 5.0 operating system out of the box. This seems to be the name Google chose for the final version of Android L, which is now only available as a preview for developers. Nexus X is expected to be announced along with the new version of Android sometime this fall. Are you excited about Google’s new flagship Android smartphone?

Nexus X listing at fnac
Image credits @Alex_Vainshtein

ASRock Fatal1ty X99 Professional Motherboard Pictured

You can expect a whole bunch of new X99 chipset-based motherboards to show up in the next two weeks, although many of them have already been spotted or detailed. ASRock seems quite active in that regard.

The Fatal1ty X99 Professional is one of its mainboards that hasn't surfaced until now though, so the novelty is appreciated if nothing else. The mainboard has a strong VRM, but don't expect it to be able to push 1300W into the CPU or anything, or the Fatal1ty in the name will take a more unfortunate meaning than the intended one. The newcomer also has Gigabit Ethernet, Killer E2200 gaming network controller, and audio tuned for high-impedance headphones. You're also looking at USB ports with power delivery, so that you can use USB audio headsets without problems. Interestingly enough, among the powered ports are USB 2.0 ones.

Other than that, the new ASRock Fatal1ty X99 Professional motherboard is pretty much identical to the ASRock X99 OC Formula revealed not long ago. Unfortunately, pricing details remain a mystery. In fact, that particular motherboard has been pictured as well, but we'll check it out separately, so stay tuned until we do. Suffice to say, it's one big and yellow piece of work.

ASRock X99 Fatal1ty
Image credits to ThinkComputer

Gigabyte Flagship X99 LGA 2011-3 Motherboard for Haswell-E CPUs

Since we only have a few days left until Intel's Haswell-E CPUs go up for sale, motherboard makers are finally launching their flagship products, or at least allowing the world to catch a glimpse of them. Gigabyte is one of those companies.

We've already seen it once with the ASUS X99 Deluxe Motherboard, a high-end mainboard itching to get a Core i7-5000 series CPU and start crunching numbers. Gigabyte has now revealed the X99-UD7, which is supposed to play in the same league as that, even though it doesn't look quite as great. We're talking about the distinct lack of “armor” on the edge holding the I/O interfaces. The heatsinks are shaped and colored well enough, but that last touch of style isn't there. The company probably thought (and rightly so) that no one will actually place their desktop case with its rear at the front, and cases usually have cover plating there anyway. But pardon our egress. The X99-UD7 is everything we've come to expect from top-tier X99 chipset-based products, from the eight DDR4 DIMM slots to the four PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots. In fact, the PCB is almost exactly the same as the one sported by the Gigabyte X99 Gaming G1.

The main difference is the audio technology, from the ground-layer isolation to the audio-grade electrolytic capacitors, and audio chipset lacking a user-replaceable OPAMP (operational amplifier). It might sound odd to see motherboard makers put so much emphasis on audio technologies, until you realize that there isn't much else that can set mainboards apart at this point. I/O technologies like USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are all standard, and unless you're going to get an add-in daughterboard for better networking, there isn't much uniqueness to be found in this area. The same goes for memory. All high-end X99-based motherboards have eight DDR4 slots, no exceptions, and they come with tougher components than normal to cope with overclocks (Ultra Durable in this case). Needless to say, having four PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots is pretty much warranted as well.

Because of that, at the end of the day, the audio technology is the only thing that can provide some variety. It's not clear if the Gigabyte X99-UD7 has a 5.1-channel or 7.1 channel implementation, so we'll have to wait and see. Sales should start in a matter of days, but the price is unknown. Definitely lower than the $1,000 / €1,000 needed by the Core i7-5960X CPU though.

Gigabyte X99-UD7
Image credits to Gigabyte

Aug 26, 2014

BlackBerry Passport Test Unit Gets Reviewed Ahead of Official Release [Video]

Even though BlackBerry Passport hasn’t been released yet, the smartphone is one of the hottest devices soon to be available on the market.

As we’re getting closer to Passport’s launch, more and more details on the phone’s features continue to leak online. We have already reported on BlackBerry Passport full specs sheet, and now it looks like Czech blog MobileNet has just released a review of the smartphone, along with lots of photos of the device. Keep in mind though that this is not the final version of the Passport, so even if you think the photos and video samples published look amazing, they might look even better with final version of the product. It’s also worth mentioning that the video review is made in Czech language, so if you’re not familiar with the language, you will only be able to enjoy looking at the phone from all angles. We did however notice from the review that the Passport would ship with BlackBerry OS 10.3 out of the box, which isn't surprising considering that the Canadian company is ready to release it for compatible devices.

Regarding the phone’s photo and video samples, BlackBerry Passport will boast a 13-megapixel rear-facing photo snapper that features LED flash, autofocus and full HD (1080p) video recording at 60fps. The main camera packs a 5-element f2.0 lens, back side illumination, 5x digital zoom and OIS (optical image stabilization). On the front, the Passport sports a 2-megapixel camera with fixed focus and HD (720p) video recording. Enjoy the videos and pictures of the BlackBerry Passport and let us know what you think about the upcoming smartphone.

BlackBerry Passport 

BlackBerry Passport photo sample
Images credits to MobileNet.cz

Videos credits to mobilenet.cz

Motorola Moto G2 Specs Leak Ahead of IFA 2014 Reveal: 5-Inch Display, MicroSD, 8MP Camera

Motorola made a lot of money with its budget-friendly smartphones like Moto G and Moto E. One would think that you would have to sell millions of cheap phones in order to be profitable, and it looks like Motorola managed to make a lot of profit with both handsets.

Betting on digital sales in India and other emerging markets was an important decision for Motorola and one that proved amazingly efficient. The Moto G and Moto E have been selling like hot cakes in India in the last couple of months, which is one of the reasons the company’s financial status is so strong now. With less than two weeks until IFA 2014 is set to kick off in Berlin, Germany, Motorola’s next budget-friendly smartphone has just leaked online. The Moto G2 is the sequel to one of the most popular Android smartphones launched by Motorola in the last few years. The smartphone is expected to be officially unveiled on September 4, when Motorola scheduled a press event as part of its presence at IFA 2014 trade fair. In fact, the US-based company is expected to unveil more than one Android smartphones early next month, such as the Moto X+1 and Moto G2.

Anyway, it appears that Motorola famous leaker hellomotoHK has struck again and published the first live pictures showing the outs and ins of the Moto G2. Along with the pictures of the smartphone, the cited source has also leaked some of the Moto G2’s specs, which confirm that Motorola did some upgrades over the previous model. For example, while the Moto G sports a 4.5-inch display, the Moto G2 will be released with a slightly larger 5-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution. Also, on the back, the Moto G2 will pack an enhanced 8-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and video recording. On the front, the smartphone will pack stereo speakers and the bezels will be narrower to keep the Moto G2 smaller even with the 5-inch display.

Another major upgrade over the previous model would be support for microSD card slot. The lack of a microSD card slot is one of Moto G’s downsides, considering that the smartphone comes with only 8GB of internal memory. It’s also worth mentioning that Moto G2 is likely to be equipped with a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 1GB of RAM, and either 8GB or 16GB of internal memory. While there are no details on the phone’s battery, we do know that the Moto G2 will come with a removable back cover, so owners can change them with Motorola Shells. Just like its predecessor, the Moto G2 will offer dual-SIM capability.

Moto G vs. Moto G2

Motorola G2
Images credits to hellomotoHK

Aug 22, 2014

BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9983 Leaks in Press Photo, Costs $2,000 / €1,500

Good news, BlackBerry fans rich enough to spend the required money for the Porsche Design handsets launched in collaboration with the Canadian company, as a new expensive phone is about to make its debut on the market.

The first picture of the BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9983 has just been published by the folks over at N4BB, and while the phone looks gorgeous, its specs sheet doesn’t look so good for the price you pay. This is not the first time we hear about the Porsche Design P’9983, as the device popped up online as BlackBerry ‘Khan’ in late July. Some of the phone’s specs were known since that time, but for those who missed it here is a quick reminder. BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9983 is supposed to sport a small 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display with an unknown resolution. However, from the picture leaked it does seem to feature a square touchscreen, but this has yet to be confirmed. The reason the phone has such a small display is that it also comes with a full QWERTY keyboard. In fact, the P’9983 will be the first BlackBerry 10 OS smartphone launched by Porsche Design that also packs a physical keyboard.

On the inside, the smartphone will be equipped with a 1.7GHz processor, probably provided by Qualcomm, which will be complemented by no less than 3GB of RAM.We also know that the Porsche Design P’9983 will be packed with 64GB or internal memory, but we don’t have any info on whether or not it will offer microSD card slot as well. All in all, BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9983 will not come cheap, so those anxious to get it will have to come up with around $2,000 (€1,500) upfront.

BlackBerry Porsche P'9983 (front)

BlackBerry Porsche P'9983 (back)
Images credits to N4BB

BlackBerry 2014 Roadmap: No High-End Full-Touch Devices This Year

Most BlackBerry fans are anxious to get their hands on the Passport, which is expected to arrive sometime in September. However, there’s a small portion of fans who prefer huge, all-touch devices and they will not see the Passport as a good replacement for their Z10 or Z30 phone.

Their hopes have been fueled by John Chen’s previous statements that the company is really looking into getting a phablet out, if their finances permit it, of course. Unfortunately, BlackBerry will not be releasing any all-touch high-end smartphones this year, according to the company’s roadmap for the rest of 2014. The folks over at N4BB report that they got their hands on a Blackberry 2014 Global Roadmap, but only the devices that we already know of are confirmed. It appears that BlackBerry will focus on only four aspects for the remaining of the year: Affordable, Classic, Innovative and Prestige. This means that only four BlackBerry 10 smartphones will make it on the market this year. The affordability aspect will be highlighted by the so-called BlackBerry Z3 LTE Manitoba, which was leaked about a month ago along with the BlackBerry Porsche Design P’9983.

The main target for the BlackBerry Z3 LTE will be those who wish to upgrade from feature phones and BBOS, as well as for “enterprise fleet renewal.” The second aspect on which the company confirmed that it would focus its marketing efforts is the Classic. Well, this will be covered by the Blackberry Classic, also known as the Blackberry Q20. The device is seen as an “upgrade for BlackBerry QWERTY base and enterprise fleet renewal.” The BlackBerry Passport is the Innovative handset that will be released this year and is meant to “bring X-Pros back to BlackBerry.” The smartphone is also aimed at business executives. Last but not least, in the Prestige class, BlackBerry plans to release the Porsche Design P’9983, which will be the first BlackBerry 10 QWERTY smartphone created by the latter.

These are all the devices mentioned in BlackBerry’s roadmap, which means the Canadian company has no intention of bringing a high-end phablet on the market by the end of the year. The situation might change next year, but that will probably depend on how good the sales for the smartphones launched this year will be. For the time being, BlackBerry doesn’t think that a powerful all-touch BlackBerry smartphone would make sense, so those waiting for one will have to wait until next year, at least.

BlackBerry Z30
Image credits to BlackBerry

AMD Leaks Name of Future GPU Architecture: 20nm Faraway Coming in 2015

Everyone who's been following tech news probably knows that AMD will hold an anniversary webcast tomorrow, during which it will reveal some info about the Tonga-based consumer graphics cards, among other things.

Now, though, there's apparently been a leak about the generation of graphics processing units that will follow the Volcanic Islands led by Hawaii. According to a website called CHW.com, Advanced Micro Devices will, in 2015, release the Farway line of GPU. These GPUs will be designed on the 20nm manufacturing process (at last) and support Microsoft's DirectX 12 API (application programming interface). All of AMD’s future GPU and APU products will use Faraway GPUs, even the Project Skybridge ambidextrous computing architecture, which allows x86 Cores and ARM cores to be pin-to-pin compatible.

Unfortunately, details don't exist for either new technological advancement. We only know that the Faraway GPUs will be mass-produced by both TSMC and Globalfoundries. Probably because the former has failed to deliver on production promises repeatedly. Now we just have to wait and see what NVIDIA counters this with. Maybe it will confirm previously rumored plans of jumping straight to 16nm, though we doubt it.

AMD Faraway GPU line coming in 2015
Image credits to AMD

HTC Nexus 8 Tipped to Launch Before October 9

The always present in the rumor mill Nexus 8 has been expected to arrive for quite some time now. The tablet was widely anticipated at the Google I/O conference, but it failed to make an appearance.

However, sources familiar with the matter claimed that the tablet would arrive at some point, we just didn't know when. Now Chinese leakster @Upleaks claims the Nexus 8 will soon be upon us. They don’t provide us with a definitive date, but they claim the slate will arrive before October 9. Why this specific date? I have no clue. Yet, the device is expected to arrive with the latest form of Google’s OS, Android L and bundling the powerful NVIDIA Tegra K1 chip.

An older leak claimed at some point that the Nexus 8 would become available once Android L is ready to roll out. But now we’re granted a threshold when the event is expected to happen. Google is known for its habit of rolling out a Nexus device alongside a major Android update. For example back in 2012, we saw the Nexus 4 arrive alongside Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and in 2013 the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat came together.

HTC Nexus 8 tipped for October
Image credits to TechSpot

Blackberry Passport Spec Sheet Confirms 4.5" Screen, 13MP Camera, and More

If you are a BlackBerry fan and can’t wait to get your hands on the next flagship smartphone that’s about to hit the market, the Passport, then you will be pleased to know that the full specs sheet of the device has just been leaked online.

Although some of the major features already appeared on the Internet weeks ago, there are still some tidbits of information that might be of interest to you, such as the camera and connectivity options. But first things first: one of the major concerns for those who consider buying the BlackBerry Passport that of not being able to fit it in their pocket due to its unusual square form factor. Well, according to the specs sheet leaked by N4BB, BlackBerry Passport measures 128 x 90.3 x 9.3mm (9.6mm at camera location) and weighs 194.4g (battery included), which makes it rather heavy for a 4.5-inch device. Moving on to the insides of the Passport, there are no surprises, as the leaked document confirms what we already knew. BlackBerry Passport will be equipped with a 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon (MSM8774-AA) processor, an Adreno 330 graphics processing unit clocked at 450MHz, and no less than 3GB of RAM.

The smartphone also packs 32GB of internal memory, which should be enough even for heavy users, but in case you need more storage, you can add up to 64GB via microSD card slot which is located under the back cover, not on any of the phone’s sides. The Passport’s 4.5-inch display supports 1440 x 1440 pixels resolution (1:1 aspect ratio) and 453dpi (dots per inch). It also comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for extra protection and 10-point multi-touch. Now the big news is that BlackBerry decided to include a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera that features OIS (optical image stabilization), LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording at 60fps. Also, the main camera has a 5-element f2.0 lens, back side illumination, and 5x digital zoom.

In the front, there’s a secondary 2-megapixel camera with fixed-focus, 3x digital zoom, which can also capture 720p videos. This one’s more than decent to take selfies or for video calls. Connectivity-wise, BlackBerry Passport offers a wide range of options, including LTE, HSPA+, Bluetooth 4.0 LE (Low Energy), dual-band Wi-Fi, GPS with A-GPS support and NFC (Near Field Communication). Keep in mind that it will only accept nano-SIM cards. Last but not least, the upcoming handset is powered by a high-capacity 3450mAh battery that should provide about 19 hours of usage + 8 hours of standby time when BlackBerry Power User Profile is selected. What do you think about BlackBerry Passport’s hardware? Do you still want it or do you want it even more now?

BlackBerry Passport render
Images credits to Humster3D

BlackBerry Passport
Images credits to BlackBerry

Aug 21, 2014

Sony Xperia C3 “Selfie Phone”, Finally Goes on Sale

Back in July, Sony Mobile announced a “selfie-focused” mid-range smartphone that was supposed to go on sale sometime this month, the Xperia C3.

Well, it looks like the smartphone has just made its debut on the market, but for the time being it’s only available in Russia. Potential customers should know that they will have to come up with no less than 13,990 rubles ($385 / €290) upfront, Hi-Tech.mail.ru reports. The price may seem a bit high, but keep in mind that most devices launched in Russia are more expensive than usually. Anyway, let’s see what Russian customers get if they decide to go for the Xperia C3. First of all, the smartphone runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system out of the box and packs a decent 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. Sony Xperia C3 is equipped with an Adreno 305 graphics processing unit, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory, which can be further expanded up to 32GB via microSD card slot.

But the phone’s main selling point is the 5-megapixel front-facing camera that’s perfect for selfies and can also capture HD (720p) videos. The handset comes with an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera as well, along with a large 5.5-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution. The Xperia C3 is expected to go on sale in other countries as well and the price may vary, so stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Sony Xperia C3
Image credits to Sony Mobile

Intel Core i7-5820K CPU Is Nerfed, Has Crippled PCI Express Support

You would think that hardcore CPUs like the upcoming Haswell-E collection from Intel would have no trouble running a full quad-SLI or Crossfire NVIDIA/AMD multi-GPU configuration, and you'd be right. Unfortunately, there is an exception.

Specifically, one of the upcoming extreme-performance Core i7 central processing units has a crippled PCI Express support structure. Essentially, it possesses only 28 PCI Express lanes, instead of the full complement of 40 that the other two, as well as the “normal” Haswell high-end chip offer. Thus, the Core i7-5820K will actually have a poorer multi-GPU support than the Core i7-4960X Haswell central processing unit. To elaborate, the 28 PCI Express lanes have to divide bandwidth between all the populated PCI Express slots they are connected with. Because of that, not even PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots will run at full power. One will manage x16 performance, but the other will be limited to x8 mode. Also, the third slot will top at x4, while the four will not muster any bandwidth if you do install something in it while the other three are occupied.

It's a pretty far drop from the ability of the Core i7-5930K and i7-5960X to have two PCI Express x16 slots running full throttle while alongside a third slot with x8 mode. It's not exactly clear what Intel was thinking when it added this bizarre limitation to what, for all intents and purposes, should be the most overpowered platform available to consumers. Maybe the chips come out of the assembly line with a specific defect that affects the PCI Express root complex. Either way, keep this in mind if you're in the market for a Haswell-E CPU. At least you still get the six CPU cores and 12 MB L3 cache. It’s twelve logical CPUs, thanks to the HyperThreading technology. Needless to say, DDR4 memory is supported as well. And in the end, two video cards are more than enough for any setup, especially if they happen to be dual-GPU models.

Besides, the Core i7-5820K is pretty cheap compared to the other two, set to sell for $400 / €400 instead of the others' $1,000 / €1,000 and $600 / €600. A downside was to be expected. Last we heard, the Haswell-E line of central processing units was scheduled for launch on September 14, but we may see the things earlier, at IDF 2014 (September 9-11). Motherboards based on the X99 chipset and featuring the LGA 2011-3 socket are the only ones that can support the things.

Third best Haswell-E CPU ha crippled PCIe support
Image credits to Intel

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Will Be a Powerful Beast, Benchmarks Confirm

With less than a month left until IFA 2014 is set to kick off, more and more leaks hinting at various devices that are likely to be unveiled during the trade fair emerge online.

The latest from the flow of such leaks concerns Samsung’s next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy Note 4, which is expected to be officially unveiled on September 3, in Berlin, Germany. Even though most of the phone’s specs leaked a few days ago, we still don’t have any confirmations regarding the final version of Galaxy Note 4, so take the following with a grain of salt until early next month, when Samsung is set to officially introduce the phablet. It looks like BGR has spotted the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in some AnTuTu benchmarks, along with some of the phone’s insides. If these prove to be accurate, then the Galaxy Note 4 will surely be one of the most powerful Android smartphones available on the market.

At least one of the Galaxy Note 4 models Samsung is likely to announce next month will be monstrous when it comes to performance. Apparently, the South Korean company will be launching at least two Galaxy Note 4 variants, and one of them will be packed with the powerful Exynos 5433 chipset. Now for those unware, Samsung’s Exynos 5433 system on chip is only second to Nvidia’s new Tegra K1 chipset. It’s even more powerful than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 chipset, as shown in the benchmarks. Another Galaxy Note 4 model will be equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset that packs a quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz, as well as an Adreno 420 graphics processing unit. In comparison, the Exynos 5433 chipset accommodates two quad-core processors (Cortex A57 and Cortex A53), along with an impressive Mali-T760 graphics processing unit.

Aside from that, both Galaxy Note 4 models seem to pack similar specs, including 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal memory and 16-megapixel rear-facing cameras. It’s also worth mentioning that the Exynos-based Galaxy Note 4 is known as Samsung SM-N910C, while the Qualcomm-based model is codenamed SM-N910S. According to these benchmarks, both phablets will boast QHD capacitive touchscreen displays that support 2560 x 1440 pixels resolutions. The only mystery seems to be the front-facing camera, which is listed as having 3.68 megapixels, which is likely to be a mistake. We also know that the Galaxy Note 4 will be launched with Android 4.4.3 KitKat operating system out of the box. However, we can safely assume that it will be among the first to receive Android L update. What do you think about Galaxy Note 4’s powerful hardware configuration?

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 AnTuTu benchmarking score
Image credits to rbmen

Aug 20, 2014

ZTE Nubia 5S mini LTE Launched in the US, on Sale from August 27 for $280 - Photos

Android fans will be pleased to know ZTE is trying to get a foothold in the US smartphone market with some of its affordable products by launching the Nubia 5S mini LTE.

The handset is now available for purchase exclusively via Amazon for only $280 (€210), which makes it a great deal considering what it has to offer on paper. Keep in mind that while you can now pre-order the ZTE Nubia 5S mini LTE, the smartphone won't be shipped until August 27 the earliest. Potential customers may want to know what they are likely to get for the outright price mentioned earlier, so here it is. First of all, the smartphone ships with Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system out of the box. On the inside, Nubia 5S mini LTE is armed with a decent 1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, an Adreno 305 graphics processing unit and no less than 2GB of RAM. Moreover, the handset has been confirmed to pack 16GB of internal memory, but users will be able to further expand storage up to 32GB via microSD memory card. As the name suggests, ZTE's mid-range smartphone offers LTE support for GSM carriers in the US (AT&T and T-Mobile), as well as the majority in the world.

Another strong point of the device would be the 4.7-inch Sharp IGZO capacitive touchscreen display that support HD (720p) resolution. According to ZTE, this is the first smartphone launched in the US that comes equipped with a Sharp IGZO display. For those unaware, IGZO is a display made by Sharp that uses artificially produced transparent crystalline oxide semiconductor, which can only be successfully mass produced by the Japanese company for the moment. IGZO is comprised of a set of crystal elements that were thought to be very hard to crystalize. It offers incredibly high resolution images and amazing, natural colors thanks to the technology behind.

But this is not all. ZTE Nubia 5S mini LTE boasts an enhanced 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording, as well as a no less impressive 5-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and selfies. ZTE also claims the 2000 mAh battery that powers the phone should provide users with up to 30 hours of talk time, but no details on the standby time have been shared yet. “Selling the Nubia 5S mini LTE unlocked, direct to consumers shows ZTE has faith in its products and is capable of delivering LTE devices and consumer-focused innovation in the U.S. Offering an unlocked Android phone via Amazon addresses consumer demand for alternative devices that deliver more personal value than mainstream brands and don’t tie them to one mobile eco-system,” said Lixin Cheng, chairman and CEO of ZTE USA.

ZTE Nubia 5S mini LTE
Images credits to ZTE

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