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Oct 18, 2014

Sony Xperia Z4 Specs Leak Ahead of March 2015 Unveil: 5.5-Inch QHD Display, 4G RAM

There’s no doubt about it, Sony Xperia Z4 will be officially unveiled in Q1 2015. However, the Xperia Z5 may not be announced next year as well.

Although it’s common for the Japanese company to launch two flagship smartphones per year, it appears that Sony may not be content with the sales, so beginning 2015 the handset maker will revert its smartphone production to only one top-tier handset yearly. According to AndroidOrigin, the information comes from a reliable source familiar with Sony’s plans for next year. Even though the same person got the Xperia Z3 Compact rumor right, we recommend our reader to take this with a grain of salt until more details on the matter surface online. Anyway, aside from the fact that Sony has decided to drop the bi-annual flagship smartphones beginning next year, the cited source also claims to know some of the most important specs that should be packed inside the Xperia Z4.

Many of you probably already know that Sony usually unveils the first flagship smartphone each year during Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade fair, which is scheduled for late February – early March. The same goes for the Xperia Z4, which is expected to be announced in Q1 2015. While we do know this, details on the phone’s possible specs sheet are a bit scarce for the moment. Well, not anymore, as AndroidOrigin reports Sony Xperia Z4 will be the first smartphone launched by the Japanese company that will pack a QHD display. In fact, the upcoming flagship handset will sport a large 5.5-inch QHD (1440 x 2560 pixels) resolution display, though it will have a similar design as the previous Xperia Z high-end smartphones.

Xperia Z4 will be the first Sony smartphone to support LTE Cat.6

On the inside, Sony Xperia Z4 is rumored to feature a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset that accommodates an octa-core 64bit processor clocked at 2.8GHz, an Adreno 430 graphics processing unit and no less than 4GB of RAM. Furthermore, the smartphone will feature double the storage of the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z2, so Xperia Z4 should have 32GB of internal memory at their disposal. Of course, actual free space will be much less, probably around 24GB. Another improvement over the previous Xperia flagship smartphones would be the addition of a curved Exmor RS CMOS sensor with a 20.7-megapixel resolution. Current models use an IMX220 sensor which is one generation older than what the Xperia Z4 will include.

Last but not least, the Xperia Z4 is said to be first smartphone launched by Sony to support LTE Cat.6 (300Mbps download / 50Mbps upload), as well as Bluetooth 4.1. Hopefully, more details on Sony’s next flagship smartphone will emerge sooner rather than later.

Sony Xperia Z3
Image credits to Sony Mobile

Eurocom M4 Notebook Launched with Quad HD Display, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M

Gaming notebook solution specialist Eurocom, launched new laptops taking advantage of NVIDIA’s latest set of GPUs, the GeForce GTX 980M / 970M not so long ago.

The company updated its existing line of X3, X5, X7 and X8 gaming laptops with the two graphics cards, but it also rolled out the all-new M5 Pro “little” monster which can take advantage of a 4K display and either of the two new cards. But if the latest NVIDIA GPUs are a bit too expensive for you and you don’t mind settling for the previous-generations graphic cards, while putting an emphasis on display, you might be interested in Eurocom’s new offering.

Eurocom launches new laptop with previous-gen GPU

The company has just unveiled the M4 gaming notebook, which arrives with a 13.3-inch display and is now offered with an extra new option. Customers can choose the either 1920 x 1080 full HD, but if this is not enough for you, you can bump things up to 2560 x 1440 (with 1000:1 contrast ratio), and ultimately if you have more money to spare, you can go as high as 3200 x 1800 (quad HD+). Eurocom highlights that the 1000:1 in the second (new) option can provide extreme levels of sharpness and clarity, which contribute to rendering crisp, beautiful images. In the computing department, the M4 takes advantage of a plethora of Intel Core i7 processors up to i7-4940MX Extreme fitted with up to 16GB DD3-1600 memory. As for storage, customers can opt for 3.5TB with 2 mSATA SSD and one 9.5 mm storage drive bay configurations.

In the GPU department, we have the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M which is the previous generation and is not the top of the line (the 880M is). However, the implementation of this card will ensure prices are kept lower, so you can concentrate on getting a better display instead. Like always, Eurocom places an emphasis on security of the data onboard, so it integrates the Trusted Platform Module 1.2 from Infineon Technologies to help safely store certificates, passwords and keys. TPM can also be used to access remotely to pay online or communicate without worrying about software attacks or theft.

Saving up a little bit might be worth it

The M4 base model with 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution starts at $1054 / €823, but comparing it to the standard configuration of the Eurocom M5 Pro with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, we see the difference isn’t that big, because the laptop will set you back with $1375 / €1078.

Eurocom M4 launches with multiple display options
Images credits to Eurocom

Sony Confirms Android 5.0 Lollipop Arrives on All Premium Z Series Beginning Early 2015

Japanese company Sony Mobile is the third handset maker that announces its upgrade roadmap plans for Android 5.0 Lollipop, after Motorola and, partially, HTC.

Sony fans, or mobile phone users who simply happen to own an Xperia smartphone without necessarily having to like it, will be pleased to know that Android 5.0 Lollipop will arrive on all premium Z series handsets beginning early 2015. Although many have been wondering whether or not Sony will bring the next version of Android to some of its mid-range smartphone, the Japanese company did not share any details on the matter until recently. According to the list of smartphones eligible for an Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade that has just been published by Sony, the handset maker does not seem to have any immediate plans to offer the update to mid-range devices.

In this regard, Sony confirmed Lollipop should be available at some point next year for the following smartphone and tablets: Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z1, Xperia Z1S, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet, Xperia Z3, Xperia Z3v, Xperia Z3 Compact and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. Sony Mobile also announced that the first device to receive the Android 5.0 Lollipop update would be the Xperia Z Ultra Google edition, but did not provide any ETA for the moment. However, Google confirmed a few days ago that all Google Play Edition devices would be upgraded to Lollipop “in the coming weeks.”

We expect more details about timings to be available soon after Android 5.0 Lollipop gets officially released on the market, which might happen in early November.

Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z3 series will be the first to get the update next year

Given Google’s statement there’s a high chance that Xperia Z Ultra Google Play owners to receive the highly anticipated update by the end of the year, though we can’t vouch for that yet. In the same piece of news, Sony confirmed that beginning early 2015, it will start upgrading the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z2 series, continuing thereafter for all remaining devices mentioned earlier. If you are the lucky owner of any of the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z2 smartphone, then you should be among the first to get the Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade next year.

Let’s just hope that most of these updates will be released ahead of the Xperia Z4 flagship smartphone, which is expected to be unveiled next year in February. Stay tuned for more info on the matter.

Sony Xperia logo
Image credits to Sony Mobile

Nexus 9 Gets Benchmarked, Tegra K1 Processor Towers over Apple’s iPhone 6 A8 Chip

Yesterday, Google finally debuted the highly anticipated Nexus 9 tablet, which turned out to be a pretty interesting device especially for two reasons.

The tablet is the first device of its kind to arrive with Android 5.0 Lollipop and it’s also the first Nexus product to take advantage of a 64-bit processor. The chip inside is actually an NVIDIA Tegra K1, a dual-core processor with two large NVIDIA Denver CPU cores plus Kepler GPU with 192 shader cores.

The Nexus 9 is the third Tegra K1 tablet

The Tegra K1 platform hasn’t made an appearance in that many tablets so far, and except the Xiaomi MiPad and NVIDIA Shield Tablet, this is the third product to bundle the architecture. Last month at IFA 2014, we managed to track down the first two Chromebooks with Tegra K1, which proved to deliver apt levels of performance. But how will the Tegra K1 deliver in tablets? Well, the folks over at PhoneArena have managed to get ahold of the first benchmark scores having the Nexus 9 at their core. The results were produced using the Geekbench, CPU and memory-testing app. Note that graphics performance was not tested in this session. The outcome of the tests is quite spectacular, as the Nexus 9 with Denver chip burns through the completion, surpassing with ease every major Android device including the high-end Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chip and Sony Xperia Z3 with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 801.

Nexus 9 surpasses the iPhone 6 performance-wise

What’s more, the Nexus 9 chip manages to top the Apple A8 chip inside the iPhone and iPhone Plus too. And we’d probably get the same results if we slipped in the recently unveiled iPad Air 2. However, we should highlight one interesting aspect. The benchmarks reveal the Tegra K1 running at a clock speed of 2.5GHz, but Google announced the Nexus 9 coming with a 2.3GHz clock speed instead. This might be an error on behalf of Google or just an indication you should take these preliminary results with a grain of salt. Google intents to market the new tablet with a focus on productivity, that’s why having an ultra-speedy processor on the inside will certainly help the Nexus’ cause when it comes to the market.

The tablet arrives with an 8.9-inch display with 2047 x 1535 pixel resolution and 4:3 display ratio. Google also bundled the slate with 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage. Sadly, the tech giant fails to offer more spacious storage solutions. But hey, nothing is perfect in the world.

Nexus 9 is now an official product
Image credits to Google

Geekbench single-core results

Geekbench multi-core results

Floating points results

Integer perfromance

Memory perfromance

System info on HTC Volantis aka Nexus 9
Images credits to Phone Arena

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