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Aug 13, 2014

BlackBerry Classic Specs Spotted in Benchmark: 1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU, 2GB RAM




BlackBerry Classic, one of the upcoming smartphones to be launched by the Canadian company, is still a mystery when it comes with hardware configuration.

The company’s CEO John Chen confirmed that the smartphone will be launched this year, but did not share too many details regarding the Classic’s specs sheet. Well, not anymore. The folks over at N4BB have just spotted the smartphone’s benchmark scores, along with some of its specs in Geekbench Browser’s database. According to these results, BlackBerry Classic will be powered by dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.5GHz, as well as 2GB of RAM. These are the same specs as the BlackBerry Z10, but the Classic seems to have achieved a better score than the former.

While the BlackBerry Z10 has been listed with a score of 453, the Classic managed to hit 500 points in Geekbench Browser benchmark. The reasons are unknown for the moment, but more details on the phone’s specs could shed some light on this one. BlackBerry Classic is the spiritual successor of the Q10, which means it will pack a full QWERTY keyboard. The smartphone is expected to arrive on the market sometime in November, but an exact release date has yet to be announced.

BlackBerry Classic
Image credits to BlackBerry

Nexus 6 Specs Leaks: 5.2-Inch QHD Display, Snapdragon 805 CPU, 3GB RAM




The previously thought to be canceled Nexus 6 has just been spotted online in a benchmark’s database, along with some of its specs. We reported yesterday that the smartphone appeared in GFXBench as Motorola Shamu, but apart from its performance score, no other details on the device were made available.

However, it looks like Dutch blog TechTastic uncovered the specs of the device that’s been listed in GFXBench’s database as Nexus 6, so we now know what to expect from Google’s next flagship smartphone. For those unaware, Google was previously rumored to have canceled the Nexus lineup of smartphones, and some sources claimed the search giant might have replaced it with the new Silver series. Soon after these speculations hit the Internet, several Google officials denied that the company had decided to cancel the Nexus lineup and that a new device would be launched, as expected, this fall, along with the next version of Android. The problem is that we still don’t know which company will manufacture the next Nexus smartphone. Google worked with LG, Samsung and HTC in the past, but now it appears that the search giant is going to pick one of the not-so-successful handset makers.

We’re talking about Motorola, the company purchased by Google and then sold to Lenovo. Even though the US-based handset maker had a rough start this year, according to the latest financial results, Motorola made a lot of money from Moto G and Moto E sales. Regardless of the reasons, there’s a high chance that Motorola will produce the next Nexus device, which was recently spotted in GFXBench and seems to pack lots of top-tier specs. First of all, the alleged Nexus 6 has been listed with a 5.2-inch QHD display that supports 1440 x 2560 pixels resolution. At the heart of the flagship smartphone, there’s an incredible quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor clocked at 2.7GHz.

The phone’s powerful CPU is complemented by a no less impressive Adreno 420 graphics processing unit and 3GB of RAM. The smartphone also packs 32GB of internal memory, but only 24GB will be available to use, while the rest will be occupied by the Android L operating system On the back, the Nexus 6 will boast a 12-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and 4K video recording. In the front, the handset will pack a standard 2-megapixel camera for selfies and video calls. The Nexus 6 is expected to arrive around the same time Google announces Android L, which means we should expect it this fall.

Nexus 6 benchmark results
Image credits to GFXBench

Samsung Galaxy Alpha Officially Introduced with 4.7-Inch Display, Octa-Core CPU




Samsung has just taken the wraps off the long-time-rumored Galaxy Alpha. The smartphone has been confirmed to arrive in more than 150 countries beginning September, but no details on price tag have been shared yet.

Little information has been offered on the phone’s specs as well, though Samsung is calling the Galaxy Alpha a series, which means there will be other handsets with the same branding launched in the not so distant future. For the time being, we know Samsung Galaxy Alpha will be released in five color options, so customers will be able to choose from White, Black, Gold, Silver and Blue. Samsung Galaxy Alpha looks almost identical to the Galaxy S5, but it’s slightly smaller and features a metallic body. Basically, this is the device that everyone was expecting when Samsung announced the Galaxy S5, minus the specs. In this regard, the Galaxy Alpha has been confirmed to sport a 4.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution.

On the inside, the handset is equipped with an Exynos 5 octa-core chipset and a hexa-core Mali-T268 graphics processing unit, as well as 2GB of RAM. The smartphone also packs 32GB of storage, but for the time being we don’t have any confirmation that the phone will also pack microSD card slot for memory expansion, so for now we assume the Galaxy Alpha lacks this feature. On the back, the Galaxy Alpha has been confirmed to boast a 12-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording, while in the front there’s a secondary 2.1-megapixel camera for video calls and selfies. Software-wise, Samsung Galaxy Alpha will ship with Android 4.4.4 KitKat operating system out of the box, but that’s no surprise given the fact that it’s a premium smartphone.

The smartphone is only 6.7mm thin and weighs 115g (battery included), which makes it a lot sleeker and lighter than the Galaxy S5. Samsung also announced that the Galaxy Alpha would offer LTE-A support and it will be powered by an 1860 mAh battery that features Ultra Power Saving Mode that should offer better energy efficiency. We’re still waiting for Samsung to release more details on the Galaxy Alpha, but for now this is all the info the South Korean company was willing to share with its fans. How do you fancy the new Galaxy Alpha that has just been unveiled by Samsung? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section. UK-based retailer Clove is selling the Galaxy Alpha Prime for no less than £500 (€630 / $840) outright, so there you have it.









Samsung Galaxy Alpha (click for larger image)
Images credits to Samsung Mobile

AMD Tonga GPU Has 2,048 Cores, but Radeon R9 285 Won't Use Them




Advanced Micro Devices may have launched the FirePro W-Series professional graphics cards, but that doesn't really help everyone who was rooting for a new “normal” video board. It doesn't really help that the Sunnyvale, California-based company is supposed to have prepared a new GPU called Tonga.

However, it turns out that AMD did release some information on this particular graphics processing unit. It was sent out to some web entities at the same time as the Quadro W press kit. Apparently, the W7100 is powered by the Tonga graphics chip, the same GPU said to be at the heart of the AMD Radeon R9 285. We didn't immediately spot this because the W7100 chip only has 28 of the 32 compute units active, meaning that it uses only 1,792 stream processors instead of the full 2,048. Which brings us to the main topic: the core count has been confirmed. There are 2,048 Graphics Corenext 1.1 stream processors in the Tonga GPU, distributed across 32 CUs. There are 128 texture mapping units as well, TMUs for short, plus a memory interface of 256 bits, which goes well with the 2 GB of the Radeon R9 285. Same for the 8 GB of the W7100.

Most of this information is corroborated by the block diagram in the picture up on the right. You can see there the 256-bit interface, the 32 ROPs (raster operating units), the TrueAudio DSP, and even a modern XDMA CrossFire interface. This does bring up another point though: contrary to our assumptions about the Radeon R9 285, the board probably won't have all 2,048 SPs activated. Instead, it will use only 1,792, like the Quadro W7100. Even so, though, it should be able to match the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 in terms of performance, power use, and price ($230 - $250 / €230 - €250). That only leaves the question of what consumer video board will use the Tonga at full power. So far, we've only heard about the Radeon R9 285, but if this latest report is true and AMD could make a much stronger adapter based on it, we can't dismiss the odds of a Radeon R9 285X or some other X-branded model. Such a card would probably also have 4 GB of GDDR5 instead of 2 GB.

We can only wait and see at this point. And the wait probably won't be too short. AMD isn't going to have a visible presence at IFA 2014, in early September, so we can already discount a back-to-school high-end video card release.

AMD Tonga GPU diagram
Image credits to VideoCardz

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