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Mar 30, 2015

Sony Xperia Z4 Spotted in Benchmark with 5.1-Inch FHD Display, Snapdragon 810 CPU

Sony did not launch a flagship smartphone this year yet, but the Japanese company is expected to do so in the coming months. One of the most important handset makers, Sony has decided that two flagship smartphones per year is too much, which is why beginning 2015 it will only launch one.

The Xperia Z3 is the last and current flagship smartphone released by Sony and since it hit shelves last fall, it can hardly compete with the most recent flagship launched by other companies. Nevertheless, Sony is already working on its next high-end smartphone, the Xperia Z4. The handset has been recently spotted in benchmarks, which gives us an idea on what Sony plans to bring on the market. Having said that it doesn't plan to include Quad HD displays into its smartphones due to the high battery consumption, Sony Xperia Z4 appears in GFXBench with a 5.1-inch full HD (1080p) capacitive touchscreen display.

3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory, but no word on microSD card slot
As expected, the prototype benchmarked is equipped with a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, an Adreno 430 graphics processing unit and 3GB of RAM. Also, the smartphone packs 32GB of internal memory, but there's no info on whether or not it will feature microSD card slot for memory expansion. We also don't know whether or not Sony will included another Qualcomm processor inside its flagship smartphone if the chipset maker launches a new one in the coming months.

On the back, the Xperia Z4 will boast a 20-megapixel photo snapper with LED flash, autofocus and video recording, while in the front there will be a 5-megapixel camera for video calls and selfies. Codenamed Sony E6553, the Xperia Z4 tested in GFXBench runs Android 5.0.2 Lollipop operating system, but the final build may be released with a newer version. Sony Xperia Z4 is expected to be revealed later this year at IFA 2015, which will kick off in early September. However, the Japanese company hasn't confirmed a timeframe for the release of its next flagship smartphone yet, so take it with a grain of salt for the moment.

Sony Xperia Z4
Image credits to @onleaks

Sony Xperia Z4 specs
Image credits to GFXBench

HTC One M9+ Renders Show Up, Reveal Fingerprint Scanner

A few hours ago, HTC quietly announced the One E9+ smartphone in China, a model which arrives with a 5.5-inch QHD display (2560 x 1440 pixel resolution).

The product was supposed to be announced in China on April 8 alongside the HTC One M9+, but it looks like the Taiwanese company wanted to introduce the One E9+ so it could focus on the M9+ during the “More than One” event. While we await for this to happen, the phone has appeared in a couple of official press renders brought to us by serial leakster @upleaks. The two images’ clear focus is the Samsung-style scanner beneath the screen. We’re also seeing a very interesting color combination of gunmetal grey on the front and back with gold accents on the side.

The chassis design is very similar to the HTC One M9, but then again, we have the fingerprint scanner onboard plus the rear camera we've already spotted on the “More than One” invitation. As the name suggests, the One M9+ will be larger than the One M9, arriving with a display somewhere between 5.2 inches and 5.5 inches, and it should offer QHD resolution (2,550 x 1,440) unlike the current flagship.

Other rumored specs include an octa-core MediaTek processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.

HTC One M9+ showing fingerprint scanner

HTC One M9+ back and front
Images credits to @upleaks

HTC invite to “More than One” event
Image credits to HTC Weibo

Alleged iPhone 6C Rear Cover Leaks Out, Gets Compared to iPhone 5C

A few days ago, a report came in saying that Apple was prepping not just two iPhone models this year, but three.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the Cupertino tech giant will be unleashing the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and surprise, the iPhone 6C with a 4-inch display. It seems that a market for low-cost, less premium smartphones still exists, so Apple has finally set up plans to refresh the model which made its debut in 2013. The iPhone 6C is poised to continue on the road the original model has embarked upon, meaning it will be a less advanced affair. As it turns out, the phone will be powered by the current-gen A8 system-on-chip, while the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will benefit from the yet unannounced A9 chip.

Is this the iPhone 6C?
A few days ago, this was just a rumor propagated by a hit-and-miss Asian publication, but this week, mobile part re-seller Future Supplier appears to have leaked the iPhone 6c plastic back cover. For comparison’s sake, the iPhone 6C’s rear cover has been stacked against the panel on the iPhone 5C. As you can see, the differences aren’t very considerable, but if you look closely, you’ll notice some things have changed. First, the camera flash cut out on the iPhone 6C now has an oval shape like on the iPhone 5S, while the camera LED on the iPhone 5C is round. It’s a subtle difference which doesn’t pop up right off the bat.

The second disparity consists in the fact that iPhone 6C’s back cover now has two sets of speaker holes living on the bottom side. The iPhone 5C, on the other hand, only has a single set. While we can’t yet be 100% sure that Apple plans to roll out a new 4-inch budget model, it does seem that the rumor mill is leaning towards this very theory. Even if the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have managed to register record sales (74.5 million in Q4 2014 alone), it seems that some customers can’t accommodate to larger 5.5-inch factors yet (it’s the case of the Plus model) and continue to crave a good old 4-incher. So Apple is looking to cater to their needs.

iPhone 6C back panel compared to the iPhone 5C

The iPhone 6C has two rows of speaker holes drilled into it
Images credits to iSupplier

Lenovo’s Super Cheap K3 Note Impresses in Benchmarks, Beats Samsung Galaxy S5

Last week, Lenovo took the wraps off a pretty interesting new smartphone which it debuted in its home country, China. The device maker is probably looking to take on domestic competitors like Meizu and Xiaomi with this new smartphone.

What’s most surprising about this new handset is the price-specs correspondence. The Lenovo K3 Note is notably cheap, arriving in the wild priced at around $145 / €134. You’d normally expect such a cheap phone not to bring much to the table in terms of specifications, but you would be pretty wrong to think that in this case. The K3 Note arrives with a 5.5-inch display and offers 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution with 401ppi. Under the hood lies an octa-core MediaTek MT6752 processor maintaining things steady on board. The device maker throws in 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a 13MP/5MP camera combo. The phablet is kept alive and running by a hefty 3,000 mAh battery which should allow users to use it throughout the day.

Even if Lenovo calls this smartphone Note, the model doesn't seem to arrive with any digitizer on board. There’s also an interesting visual part to it: if you look at its back, you’ll probably notice the protuberant Lenovo logo.

The Lenovo K3 Note 3 aces it in benchmarks
The handset hasn't been out for long, but it already popped up in benchmarks, showing us surprisingly encouraging results. The Lenovo K3 Note made a little stop at AnTuTu, where it got benchmarked and subsequently scored an impressive 46,001 points, enough to challenge a lot of flagship devices that were released in 2014. At least on paper, Lenovo’s new budget affair seems to be from the same group as the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, LG G3 or OnePlus One. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S5 model with an Exynos 5 Octa processor on the inside scored 38,580 in AnTuTu, while the Snapdragon 801 model managed to snatch only 36,018 points.

So in theory, it appears that the Lenovo K3 Note should be able to perform quite smoothly, a lot better than handsets arriving with a similar price tag. Hopefully, the device maker will offer the model on the international market too, at some point.

Lenovo K3 Note
Image credits to Mobile Dad

Lenovo K3 Note in AnTuTu Benchmark
Image credits to AnTuTu

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 815 SoC Might Have Quad Cortex A72 and Quad Cortex A53 Cores

Even before Qualcomm rolled out the Snapdragon 810 chip into the wild, we had been hearing a lot of rumors about the silicone piece being plagued by overheating issues.

The fact that Qualcomm tried to perfect the platform before the first devices bundling it started shipping out didn't help much either, as concerns regarding overheating haven’t dissipated yet. Anyway, the debate around the Snapdragon 810 will probably be over once the company releases its next chipset, an event that doesn't seem that far away. Snapdragon 815 is Qualcomm’s next take on a SoC (system on a chip), and according to the information we have, the silicone piece is expected to arrive on the market in the coming months.

As we told you a few days ago, the chipset was already tested in benchmarks and was pitted against previous models, including the Snapdragon 801 and Snapdragon 810, while running Asphalt 8 Airborne, a demanding mobile game from Gameloft. The results showed that the Snapdragon 815 runs much cooler than both Snapdragon 801 and Snapdragon 810.

Snapdragon 815 details revealed
While these preliminary results seemed pretty encouraging, we still didn't know much about the specifics of this particular chip. However, the folks at Gizmo China received a tip revealing more info about Qualcomm’s upcoming silicone platform. The Snapdragon 815 will apparently come with four Cortex A72 and four Cortex A53 cores on a big.LITTLE architecture. The chip will reportedly be made using the new FinFet process (probably 16nm) and will be outfitted with Qualcomm’s next-gen Adreno GPU. The source also mentions that Qualcomm might tweak the cores to boost performance. So it appears the Snapdragon 815 will be pretty similar to the Snapdragon 620, which has already been launched.

The exception is that the Snapdragon 815 will be manufactured on a smaller node and will take advantage of all the features that can be expected from a premium Snapdragon 800 model. Earlier leaked info about the Snapdragon 815 also revealed that the new SoC would arrive with a LDDR4 RAM and would use a MSM9X55 LTE-A Cat. 10 modem. If you’re wondering why Qualcomm is taking its time to launch the new, less prone to heating Snapdragon 815, it’s because the chip giant doesn't want to hurt sales of the LG G Flex 2 or HTC One M9 flagships, which just went on sale. The Snapdragon 810 will also make it into several other flagships in the following months, like the LG G4, Sony Xperia Z4 or OnePlus Two.

Snapdragon 815 will be launched soon
Image credits to Know Your Mobile

Snapdragon 815 heating compared to the Snapdragon 810 and Snapdragon 801

Snapdragon 815 details leak out
Image credits to Gizmo China

Mar 29, 2015

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to Receive New TouchWiz UI with Android 5.1 Lollipop Update

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was unveiled last year of IFA trade fair and made it to the market one month later. However, since Google did not released Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system a few months later, Samsung had to put a previous version of the platform on its flagship smartphone.

Android 4.4.4 KitKat was the newest version of Google's mobile operating system in September, so it made sense for Samsung launch the Galaxy Note 4 with this version. Obviously, the South Korean company confirmed it will release an Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade for Galaxy Note 4 sometime this year. Even now, many Samsung Galaxy Note 4 owners already have the new version of Android installed on their devices, but there are still some who don't. Nevertheless, the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for Galaxy Note 4 does not come with the latest version of TouchWiz user interface, which is now included in Galaxy S6.

Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge will be the first to get Android 5.1 Lollipop
The good news is the new TouchWiz UI that is now getting into users' hands via Samsung Galaxy S6 will be rolled out to Galaxy Note 4 as well. Before getting too hyped about this possibility, keep in mind that the information comes from unconfirmed sources, so we recommend our readers to take it with a grain of salt. According to YouMobile.org, Samsung plans to release another Android 5.1 Lollipop update for Galaxy Note 4, which will also include the new TouchWiz UI that's now available on the Galaxy S6. The update is expected to arrive sometime in the second half of 2015, but an exact release date is not available yet.

In the same piece of news, the report also claims the first smartphones to receive the latest Android 5.1 Lollipop update will be Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge.

Galaxy Note 4 Lollipop Home Screen
Image credits to SamMobile

HTC One E9+ with 5.5-Inch Quad HD Display Quietly Unveiled in China

Surprisingly, HTC has quietly unveiled its next high-end smartphone, the One E9+. The smartphone was supposed to be announced in China on April 8 along with the HTC One M9+, but it looks like the Taiwanese company has other plans for this particular handset.

Although HTC has yet to issue an official announcement, the One E9+ has just appeared on the company's Chinese website, which means it will probably be confirmed next week. There are no details on price tag or exact release date, but we expect the One E9+ to be available in two versions, one with 2GB of RAM and full HD (1080p) display and another one with 3GB of RAM and Quad HD screen. The smartphone posted on HTC's Chinese website is the improved version of the One E9+, which means it comes with a stunning 5.5-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) capacitive touchscreen display that features 534ppi (pixel per inch). In addition, the One E9+ packs 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, which can be further expanded up to 128GB via microSD card slot.

A low-specced version will be launched as well
The Chinese version of the smartphone also offer dual-SIM support (2x nanoSIMs). On the inside, HTC One E9+ is equipped with a 64-bit octa-core MediaTek MT6795M processor clocked at 2GHz. On the back, the device boasts an impressive 20-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and video recording, while in the front there's a secondary 4-UltraPixel camera for video calls and selfies. The lower-specced version on the other hand is supposed to feature a 13-megapixel camera on the back, but we don't have any info on the front camera yet.

Other specs confirmed for the HTC One E9+ include BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers and a wide range of connectivity options including LTE support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS with AGPS, microUSB 2.0 and 3.5mm audio jack. Last but not least, HTC One E9+ is powered by a 2,800 mAh battery. It's also worth mentioning that the smartphone will be available in three color options: Meteor Gray, Classic Rose Gold and Gold Sepia.

HTC One E9+

HTC One E9+
Image credits to HTC China

Mar 26, 2015

Lenovo A7000 to Be Officially Introduced in India on April 7

Earlier this month Lenovo announced during Mobile World Congress 2015 trade fair the upcoming availability of its A700 mid-range Android smartphone.

Apart from the fact that it comes with more than decent features, Lenovo A7000 is also among the first to feature Dolby Atmos sound technology. According to BGR India, Lenovo has already sent invitations for a launch event that will take place in India on April 7. Although the company hasn't named the A7000 as the next smartphone to be introduced in India the fact that the Dolby Atmos logo is stamped on the invitation suggests that this is the device that will be revealed early next month. Obviously, it's too early to talk about pricing options and availability, but there's a high chance that new information on the matter will emerge in the coming days.

Moving on to specs, Lenovo A7000 is a pretty decent mid-end smartphone that will ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system out of the box.

Octa-core processor and 5.5-inch HD display
The device has been confirmed to be equipped with a 64bit octa-core MediaTek MT6752m processor clocked at 1.5GHz, as well as 2GB of RAM. The bad news is the A7000 packs only 8GB of internal memory, but users will be able to further expand storage up 32GB via microSD card slot. Lenovo A7000 sports a large 5.5-inch HD (720p) IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display and it's powered by a 2,900 mAh battery. On the back, the smartphone features an 8-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and video recording, while in the front there's a secondary 5-megapixel camera for video calls and selfies.

Last but not least, the A7000 offers multiple connectivity options, including dual-SIM, LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, microUSB, 3.5mm jack and GPS with AGPS support. We'll be keeping an eye out for more details on Lenovo A7000's availability and pricing options, so stay tuned for more on this one.

Lenovo A7000
Image credits to Lenovo

Lenovo launch even invitation
Image credits to BGR India

HTC One E9 and One E9+ Leak with Specs, Probably Due in April

HTC is expected to debut the One M9+ on April 8, but a bunch of other phone models coming from the same company have also been spotted online.

It looks like HTC is planning to unveil two new One E handsets and we could see them arrive as soon as the “More than One” event (not just one like we previously thought). According to popular leakster @upleaks, the HTC One E9 (A53) will launch with a 1080p display of the 5-inch variety (as the One M9) or with a 5.5-inch one (like the One M9+). We’re also told HTC will be employing a 13MP rear snapper with this model.

The second model goes by the name One E9+ (A55) and offers a 5.5-inch QHD display and an octa-core MT6795 chip under the hood fitted with 3GB of RAM. HTC will probably offer the same 20MP camera we’ve seen on the One M9. All in all, the One E9+ is quite similar to the One M9+, but the biggest difference is that the former is made of plastic.

Previous rumors had us believe that the E9 phones would make a debut on the market in March, but since the month is almost over, we have to assume the reveal of the two devices is scheduled for the April event.

HTC One E9
Image credits to NoWhereElse

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini Go Live with Titanium Frames, Customization Options

A few hours ago, the ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Nubia Z9 mini leaked in press renders ahead of the official announcement. Well, the two phones have now been announced by the manufacturer, so we’ll be talking about them a little bit.

Following last year’s pattern, the Chinese device maker rolled out two handsets with varying screen sizes.

The Nubia Z9 Max is a Snapdragon 810 affair
The top-tier is the ZTE Nubia Z9 Max, which arrives with a 5.5-inch 1080 display. We have been hearing some rumors according to which the Z9 Max was expected to make a debut with a QHD display (2560 x 1440 pixels), but as you can see, this is not the case. Sorry, super crisp display enthusiasts! Like most self-respecting hardware makers this spring, ZTE makes use of a Snapdragon 810 processor to power the whole gizmo, working in concert with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card). The phone is also equipped with Hi-Fi audio experience with 7.1 channel surround and a pretty sensible 2900 mAh battery pack. Most importantly, you should know that the Nubia Z9 Max is made of premium materials, including a titanium frame and a thin aluminum alloy casing covered with reinforced patterned glass on the back.

The phone ships out with Android 5.0 out of the box with the company’s own Nubia UI V2.8 version on top.

The Nubia Z9 mini boasts the mid-range Snapdragon 615
As for the second model, the Z9 mini makes an appearance with a 5-inch 1080p screen and a Snapdragon 615 chip under the bonnet. ZTE is offering 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card) with this device. You’ll also find the same camera combo of 16MP/8MP shooters on board the phone. Even if the specs have been toned down a little, the Z9 mini also features a titanium frame. The 5-incher draws life from a 2900 mAh battery and also runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop. Both phones are dual-SIM devices.

What’s even cooler about the two new phones is that users will get to swap out the back covers and replace them with options ranging from wood to denim-textured back plates. The company hasn't announced pricing or availability details, but we expect the models to be relatively affordable, especially the 5-incher. Images gallery below, click for larger view.

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini side by side

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini compared

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini run Android 5.0.2 Lollipop

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini run Android 5.0.2 Lollipop

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini camera app

Customization options for ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini screen on

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini in profile

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini back view

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini have the same camera combo

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini on top of each other

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini both run Android 5.0.2

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini, display
Images credist to Anzhuo

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini press renders
Image credits to HDBlog.it

HTC One E9 Phablet Leaks in Live Pictures Again

This isn't the first time we learn about HTC's unannounced One E9, but it's the first time we actually see it in action. Since the Taiwanese company confirmed an event for April 8, we expect it to announce at least one new smartphone.

The new smartphone to be unveiled by HTC on April 8 might be HTC One M9+, HTC One E9 or both. The One E9 has already been approved by TENAA, the Chinese regulatory commission, and since the launch event will take place on April 8, there's a high chance that this will be announced on April 8. Just like the One M9+, which is an improved version of HTC's flagship smartphone, the One E9 seems to be a better variant of the HTC One M9. For some, the One E9 might also be better than the One M9+ since it comes with a larger display. Apart from that though, there seem to be few differences between HTC One E9 and One M9+, so their pricing might be very similar.

The latest pictures coming from China confirm the HTC One E9 comes with BoomSound stereo speakers once again, but also a front-facing camera, which might be the same 4-UltraPixel photo snapper included in previous HTC One models.

Two HTC One E9 models might be launched on the market
The One E9 might be available in two versions, and one of them might replace the 4-UltraPixel camera in the front with a 13-megapixel camera. We also know the One E9 will be powered by a 64-bit octa-core MediaTek 6795T processor clocked at 2GHz and 3GB of RAM. The smartphone is expected to sport 32GB of internal memory, but there's no info on microSD card slot. The only difference between the One E9 and One M9+ that's been confirmed in the latest leaks is the slightly larger 5.5-inch QHD (2560 x 1440 pixels) capacitive touchscreen display, whereas the latter packs a smaller 5.2-inch screen.

HTC One E9 is rumored to ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system with Sense 7.0 UI on top. It's also worth mentioning that on the back the handset will boast a 20.7-megapixel photo snapper with LED flash and video recording.

HTC One E9 (front)

HTC One E9 (right side-back)

HTC One E9 (back camera)

HTC One E9 (top side)
Images credits to NoWhereElse.fr

Mar 25, 2015

Samsung in Talks to Acquire AMD [Report]

There's a new report coming from the South Korean media that claims Samsung is considering the acquisition of AMD chip maker.

This isn't the first time the smartphone manufacturer is thinking of buying AMD, so the information doesn't really come as a surprise. However, since these details haven't been confirmed yet and there aren't many sources that would confirm this information, we recommend our readers to take it with a grain of salt until Samsung and/or AMD come forward with an official announcement. The reason for which Samsung wants to acquire AMD is to better compete with Intel and to secure both CPU and GPU IP from the chip maker.

Since Samsung now has one of the most powerful smartphone chipsets (Exynos 7420) available on the market, it makes sense that the South Korean company will want to continue to develop and further grow its chipset business. The acquisition of AMD would definitely help Samsung in its competition with Qualcomm as well, though the South Korean company was never seen as a rival for the latter.

This isn't the first time Samsung shows interest in AMD's acquisition
A statement from a Samsung official from back 2007 mentioned that an AMD acquisition is necessary “in order to secure a new growth engine.” That didn't happened yet, but more and more reports circulate from the beginning of this year, about talks between Samsung and AMD that might end up with the acquisition of the latter by the South Korean company. Apart from AMD's expertise in the hardware technology, Samsung will also gain a solid patent portfolio that will further protect it from patent trolls and firepower to help fight off rivals like Intel and Nvidia.

What we do not know for the moment is how this will affect the PC market, as Samsung might not allows AMD to continue to compete with Nvidia and Intel on the CPU and GPU business, instead merging it with its mobile division. Once again, take this information with a grain a salt until more source confirm it or the companies make an announcement. Stay tuned for more on this one.

Samsung & AMD logos
Image credits to Samsung & AMD

HTC One M9+ Full Specs Leak Ahead of April 8 Announcement

Good news for HTC fans, as the Taiwanese company is about to announced another high-end smartphone, the One M9+. The handset has been rumored for a few weeks now, but no details on release date have been available until now.

Since HTC has already sent invitations for a special event in Beijing, China, for April 8, we suspect this is the day the One M9+ will be officially introduced by the Taiwanese handset maker. Moreover, the folks over at Nowhereelse have been able to learn the full specs of the HTC One M9+ before the smartphone goes official on April 8. Although some of these specs have already been rumored, the new report makes it more likely to be accurate, so here it goes. First of all, HTC One M9+ will ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system out of the box with Sense 7.0 UI on top.

Quad HD display and 64-bit octa-core processor
Moving on to hardware specs, the smartphone will be equipped with an octa-core 64-bit MediaTek MT6795T processor, a PowerVR Rogue G6200 graphics processing unit and 3GB of RAM. On the back, the One M9+ will feature a 20.7-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and video recording, while in the front there will be a 2-megapixel camera for video calls and selfies. The smarpthone will come with 32GB of internal memory, but a microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 128GB) will be included as well.

Unlike HTC's latest flagship smartphone that sports a full HD (1080p) display, the One M9+ boasts a 5.2-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) capacitive touchscreen display. It looks like the One M9+ comes with a few improvements over HTC's current flagship smartphone, so those who wanted to grab the One M9 but were disappointed by its specs may want to take the enhanced version into consideration.

HTC One M9+
Image credits to Weibo

Best Antivirus Software for Windows 8.1 Home Users Revealed

There's no better time to find a new antivirus solution for your home computer because AV-TEST has just published a new series of tests revealing the best security products for Windows 8.1 home users.

Basically, AV-TEST conducted an in-depth research on the majority of antivirus apps on the market right now and found out that, for Windows 8.1, Bitdefender Internet Security 2015, Kaspersky Internet Security 2015, and Qihoo 360 Antivirus 5.0 are currently the best options out there. All these three security products scored maximum points in protection, performance, and usability tests, getting 6 out of 6 points for each of these. Obviously, it's not surprising to see Bitdefender and Kaspersky leading the pack, as both have been the most powerful antivirus solutions on the market for many years now, but the ascension of Chinese security software developer Qihoo is definitely one of the unexpected things for the February 2015 tests.

According to AV-TEST, Qihoo's 360 Antivirus blocked 100 percent of 0-day malware and detected absolutely all widespread and prevalent malware discovered in the last 4 weeks. What's more, the Chinese security products offered 0 false warnings when visiting websites, actions performed on a PC, or regarding legitimate software.

Windows Defender still offering basic protection
If you are one of the many users who do not turn to third-party security software because they still trust Windows Defender, then it's worth noting that AV-TEST offered 0 out of a maximum 6 points for protection in Microsoft's case. WD also received 3.5 points for performance and 6 for usability. As far as free anti-virus solutions are concerned, AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 2015 scored very well, with 4 points for protection, 5 points for performance, and 6 points for usability. Avast is also among the best choices with 6 points for protection, 4 for performance, and 5.5 for usability.

These are the top antivirus solutions for Windows 8.1 (click for larger view)
Image credits to AV-TEST

TouchWiz on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Was Inspired by Tizen, Less by Material Design

One negative aspect that always comes up in conversations about Samsung’s Galaxy flagships is the company’s own TouchWiz interface.

While Samsung has been offering a lot of cool and (sometimes) helpful new features under the skin, critics have argued that the UI has gradually reached an over-saturated level which ends up putting a toll on the whole performance of the handset. The good news is that Samsung has been listening to critique and made a lot of changes to the TouchWiz interface found on its latest Galaxy S6 flagship. Actually, the first signs that Samsung was heading towards a lighter TouchWiz were visible on the Galaxy Note 4. Now, as mentioned by the Korean tech giant itself, the new TouchWiz UI has been made 40% lighter than before, in an attempt to please the masses and make the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge run faster than before.

The new TouchWiz is all Tizen OS-inspired
The new TouchWiz is based on Google’s latest Android 5.0 Lollipop OS, but when Samsung was designing it, did it take inspiration from the whole Material Design scheme of things or from its own homegrown Tizen affair? According to a source familiar with the matter cited by Tizen Indonesia, Samsung has been striving to make things look more akin to its Tizen homegrown operating system, while leaving Material Design cues in the background. The theory rests on the fact that Samsung is using a wide range of colors (which are not necessarily of the whole Material Design setup), round avatars, not of the square variety, and a very Tizen-like Contacts app.

On top of that, Tizen’s customizable themes allow users to fundamentally change the look of their UI setup, an aspect which is not offered in Material Design. So it appears Samsung is sneakily slipping subtle traces of Tizen into its latest Android flagship.

Samsung wants to make people more aware of Tizen
Customers might not be truly interested in Tizen OS for the time being, but Samsung is surely cueing them towards it. The company launched its first Tizen OS handset not so long ago, but only in emergent markets like India, where it sold the phone with an under $100 / €78 price tag. However, since the operating system is still in its infancy, it lacks a proper app ecosystem. But with proper commitment from Samsung, this issue will probably be resolved in time.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S6 UI difference

New TouchWiz on the Samsung Galaxy S6
Images credits to Tizen Indonesia

Tizen OS on the first Samsung Z1 handset
Image credits to Hello-Droid

Nokia’s and Meizu’s MX Supreme Leaks in Live Images, Shows Thin Bezels

Earlier this month, a rumor we had heard before surfaced online once again. It appears that iconic phone maker Nokia and up-and-rising Chinese handset manufacturer Meizu may have teamed up in order to release an international version of the MX4 flagship.

Since Nokia is forbidden from entering the smartphone market until Q4 2016, the company has confirmed that it is looking for other opportunities like licensing its brand or expertise in the software and hardware field to other willing handset makers. Since neither company stepped forward to confirm the information, the report continued to be shrouded in mystery.

Purported Meizu MX Supreme leaks
This week, the story of Nokia and Meizu takes another turn. The folks over at GSM Dome have managed to dig up on China’s social media website Weibo a bunch of pictures supposedly depicting the Meizu MX Supreme. Word on the street has it that the MX Supreme will be an Android-powered device with Nokia’s PureView technology adorning the back. Not so long ago, a post on Weibo revealed that the phone might end up offering a camera with a 60MP sensor. With a name like “Supreme,” it’s pretty obvious that the handset will probably pack top of the line hardware and software specs.

Anyway, the two images we currently have at our disposal reveal a handset with a pretty big home button and a razor thin bezel. It’s not almost inexistent like on Oppo’s upcoming wonder phone, but it’s still pretty thin and classy.

Will Nokia and Meizu make the MX Supreme better?
The current MX4 flagship offers a 5.36-inch IPS LCD display with 1920 x 1152 pixel resolution and 418ppi. The handset also boasts a MediaTek MT6595 octa-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz and fitted with 2GB of RAM. But with the international version, Meizu and Nokia could go wild. To match current flagship proposals on the market today, the companies might end up implementing a QHD display, a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor working hand in hand with 4GB of RAM.

What we’ve been telling you so far is just pure speculation, so until we hear something more reliable, the Meizu MX Supreme continues to exist in the realm of speculation and wonder.

Rumors about Nokia and Meizu continue

Purported Meizu MX Supreme showing home button

This could be Meizu MX
Images credits to Weibo/GSM Dome

Mar 24, 2015

Huawei Honor 4X and Honor 6 Plus Officially Introduced in India

Chinese company Huawei has just announced the upcoming availability of two new smartphones for the Indian market, the Honor 4X and Honor 6 Plus. Both smartphones have been released in China last year and will make their debut in India in April.

However, customers will be able to pre-order the Honor 4X and Honor 6 Plus beginning today from Huawei's official website. Only a limited number of devices will be available during Huawei's flash sale, so make sure you pre-order the smartphones as soon as they go live. Huawei Honor 4X is a mid-range Android smartphone and customers can purchase it for only Rs 10,499 outright, which is about $170 or €155. On the other hand, Huawei Honor 6 Plus is a high-end handset, so those who want to go for it will have to come up with Rs 26,499 upfront, which is about $425 or €390. It's also worth mentioning that both Huawei smartphones offer dual-SIM support and they both ship with Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system with Emotion 3.0 UI on top.

The Honor 6 Plus might eventually get an Android 5.0 Lollipop update at some point, but there's no confirmation yet. The mid-range Honor 4X is less likely to get the upgrade.

Both smartphones come with large 5.5-inch displays
Moving on to specs, Huawei Honor 4X sports a large 5.5-inch IPS LCD display that supports HD (720p) resolution. It also packs a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording, as well as a secondary 5-megapixel camera in the front. The Honor 4X is powered by a 64-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor clocked at 1.2GHZ, 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory that can be further expanded up to 32GB via microSD card. Huawei Honor 6 Plus features a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display that supports full HD (1080p) resolution. It also comes equipped with a much better octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 925 processor, which is complemented by 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory.

The smartphone is packed with dual 8-megapixel cameras on the back that feature dual-LED flash, autofocus and full HD (1080p) video recording. There's also a secondary 8-megapixel camera in the front for video calls and great selfies.

Huawei Honor 4X
Image credits to Huawei India

Xiaomi's Ferrari Phone Leaks Out with FHD Display, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop

We've been hearing a bunch of exciting news from Xiaomi lately. The company is experimenting with Microsoft in order to port Windows 10 on its current Mi 4 handset, but on top of that, the Chinese company is also working towards a new smartphone.

The new phone has already surfaced in benchmarks showing us the specifications we should be expecting from it. The device is dubbed Xiaomi Ferrari and should make a debut with a 4.9-inch display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor clocked at 1.6GHz (octa-core variety). Other features include a 12MP camera capable of shooting full HD video along with HDR modes. Up in front we’ve got a 4.8MP snapper. Most importantly, Xiaomi Ferrari will run MIUI based on the newest Android 5.0.2 Lollipop.

Xiaomi is yet to provide the latest Google update to its range of smartphones, so those craving a Lollipop device under the company’s banner should be on the lookout for this “Ferrari.” It looks like we’re dealing with a pretty decent mid-range phone here. Recently, it has been rumored that the Chinese company is also looking to release a very affordable smartphone which would be offered with a price tag under $60 / €55 and pretty basic specs.

Xiaomi Ferrari reveals specs in benchmark listing

Xiaomi Ferrari was put through different tests

Xiaomi Ferrari multi-core and single core test results
Images credits to My Drivers

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