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Apr 27, 2015

Vivo X5 Pro to Arrive with USB Type-C, Phase-Detection Autofocus Tech

Remember the company that once put out the world’s slimmest smartphone? We’re talking about the Vivo X5 Max, which rolled out with a sleek profile of only 4.75 mm / 0.18 inches.

Well, the company will soon unveil its next model called the Vivo X5 Pro. From what we have seen so far, the phone is shaping up to be quite a monster device. And today, courtesy of the Italian HD Blog, we’re getting the latest info concerning the handset. The X5 Pro will apparently be a mid-range device, but a very interesting one to say the least. According to word on the street, the handset should arrive with a massive 6-inch display (with unknown resolution, probably FHD), a Snapdragon 615 processor inside, plus 3GB of RAM.

What’s more, word on the street claims that Vivo is prepping a heart-stopping 32MP front-facing camera to be implemented into the phone, which will probably be capable of snapping stellar selfies. On top of that, the main camera will benefit from phase-detection auto-focus technology. Even more interesting, the Vivo X5 Pro is poised to be one of the first Android phones to make it out with a new USB Type-C connector out of the box. The phone is also expected to come with a metal frame and a hefty 3,500 mAh battery. If all this info got you excited, then you should be happy to know that the device is poised to be launched sometime in the early days of May, probably on the 6th or 7th day of the month.

Vivo X5 Pro will have USB Type-C

Vivo X5 Pro frontal look

Vivo X5 Pro will sport 6-inch display

Vivo X5 Pro to run on Snapdragon 615
Images credits to HD Blog

Elephone’s Dual-Boot Windows 10/Android 5.0 Phone Leaks in Official Renders

A few days ago, word surfaced that little known Chinese device maker Elephone was working towards bringing a monster flagship to the market.

The company itself confirmed it would soon launch a phone capable of dual-booting between Android and Windows. We also saw a few images showcasing the upcoming flagship with a gold/white paint job. This week brings us more official renders of the upcoming phone, which should give prospective customers an image of what to look for (as seen at Giz China). Elephone actually plans to release two models of its new flagship, one powered by Android 5.0 Lollipop only and one capable of switching between Windows 10 and Android 5.0 Lollipop. Sounds pretty intriguing, right?

Elephone to challenge the ASUS ZenFone 2 and Lenovo K80
We already know most of the specs of the handset, including the fact that it will ship out with 4GB of RAM and a powerful quad-core processor of Intel origins. Elephone’s high-end device will also come equipped with an impressive 20.7MP Sony camera on the back and 32GB of internal storage. In the display department, the upcoming model will feature a 5.5-inch display with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution that will be sustained by a hefty 3,800 mAh battery. Elephone itself said that the dual-boot model would most likely launch in June. The other version of the flagship that will only run Android OS will ship out a little bit earlier, towards the beginning of May, so in a few weeks.

Naturally, the phones will only be available for purchase in China, at least in the beginning. So, if we are to believe the rumors, we should be seeing a Windows 10 device launch as soon as June. It’s interesting to see whether Elephone ends up releasing the dual-boot model internationally, but that’s pretty unlikely, given the history with such devices. Back at CES 2014, ASUS introduced a dual-boot tablet/laptop called the Transformer Book Duet, and even if the device received positive initial feedback, Google and Microsoft ended up sabotaging the company’s efforts of putting it on the market.

So the ASUS Transformer Book Duet turned out to be the device that never was. But if the Elephone dual-boot phone safely stays within the borders of China, it has a big chance of actually becoming a real product.

Elephone's new flagship, profile view

Elephone's new flagship in gold

Elephone's new flagship, dual SIM setup

Elephone's new flagship, showing main camera

Elephone's new flagship in gold

Elephone's new flagship frontal view

Elephone's new flagship back view

Elephone's new flagship in white and gold
Images credits to GizChina

Nokia Officially Denies Any Plans of Launching an Android Smartphone in 2016

Nokia made a lot of waves last week after a few reports surfaced saying that the Finnish company was looking to make a comeback in 2016 with a new Android smartphone.

The initial report cited sources familiar with the matter claiming that Nokia was plotting to make a comeback to the smartphone market next year. Then a few days later, a Chinese newspaper quoted Mike Wang, the President of Nokia China, who apparently revealed that the company was planning to set up a R&D facility in China. Well, not long after these news made rounds online, Nokia posted an official statement on its website refuting all these claims.

Nokia says it has no plans of manufacturing smartphones, yet
According to the Finnish company, we shouldn't be expecting it to come out with any consumer handset in 2016, nor any R&D facilities being set up under the company’s banner in China. Nokia’s statement might disappoint the company’s fans who were hoping to see the phone maker jump back into the smartphone pond. However, we should point out that the company doesn't specifically mention that it has no plans of “designing” smartphones. The statement only refers to the absence of plans related to manufacturing handsets. But that’s the thing, after the acquisition of its mobile division by Microsoft, Nokia is prohibited from licensing its brand on smartphones until the end of 2016 (the third quarter to be more specific).

However, the company can take a slightly different route. It can license its own smartphone designs to third-party manufacturers, a scenario that happened with the N1 tablet. Nokia was in charge of designing the product, but all manufacturing operations went to Foxconn.

All hope is not lost
At this point, it’s very hard to believe we won’t see a Nokia phone arrive in 2016 at all. The company is probably trying to keep things under wraps, as well as build hype around its upcoming product while trying to preserve the veil of mystery as much as it can. It’s not unheard of for companies to deny existing rumors and then, a few months later, to play out the exact scenario prophesized by the rumor mill. It’s a marketing strategy after all.

Nokia's current Android smartphone
Image credits to BGR

Apr 26, 2015

Nokia to Launch an Android Phone in 2016, What Should We Expect?

There has been a lot of fuss about Nokia lately. First off, the Finnish company announced it was purchasing the French telecom equipment maker Alcatel Lucent for the sum of $16.6 / €15.6.

On top of that, Nokia has announced it is in the process of reviewing its HERE Maps business which it might even end up selling. As revealed in recent reports, titans of the industry such as Apple, Facebook and Amazon are looking into the acquisition. But the biggest news came towards the end of this week when Nokia officially confirmed it is planning to release its next Android smartphone in 2016. However, Nokia’s new mobile efforts won’t look anything like its original business. The company will develop in-house products but then license the design and the company’s brand name to a third party manufacturer.

Since Microsoft purchased Nokia back in 2013, the Finnish company is prohibited from licensing its brand on smartphones until the end of 2016.

Nokia is taking up Android smartphone-building once again
Even so, the device maker has come with this work-around for the situation and is actively pushing the development of its next-gen Android smartphone. So what should we expect, when come 2016, Nokia will be ready to take the stage and present us with its first post-Microsoft acquisition era product? As we already told you above, Windows is an option that won’t be used by Nokia anymore. The company already tried its hand at it and failed miserably. So the next logical step is to move towards the Android ecosystem.

Actually Nokia already launched a product in 2014, in the form of the N1 tablet, following the pattern I just described: it licensed the product design and brand name to a third party player. So if we want to imagine Nokia’s mobile future in 2016, we might find some worthy clues if we look at the N1 tablet. The slob arrived with a 7.9-inch display (in the vein of the iPad) with advanced 2046 x 1536 pixel resolution.

Under the hood, Nokia used an Intel Atom Z3580 Silvermont quad-core processor running at 2.3GHz, the same one that is powering ASUS’ new ZenFone 2 smartphone, the first in the world to arrive with 4GB of RAM. The slate also comes with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and an 8MP rear camera. Arriving on the market with a $259 / €238 price tag, the Nokia N1 quickly became a hit, selling the first 20,000 unit batch in just a few minutes.

Nokia is probably prepping a premium device for 2016
So what conclusions can be draw from looking at the N1? First of all, Nokia will probably step away from the design schematics characteristic of its former Lumia branch. Sure, the Lumias were an atypical bunch of smartphones, but Nokia needs to come up with something new, if it wants to draw customers back in. And the N1 was a good start, arriving with its anodized aluminum body and smooth rounded corners reminiscent of today’s popular tablets.

Nokia might also want to conjure the days of old, by making an Android smartphone that’s sturdy and ever-lasting. After all, endurance was one of the better known characteristics of the Nokia product lineup. Next stop, hopefully we’ll see the Finnish companies keep using great camera technology in their smartphone. The Carl Zeiss partnership allowed Nokia to launch some Lumia models with impressive camera capabilities. But maybe Nokia is looking to start clean in 2016, so Carl Zeiss will be scratched off from the equation. Nevertheless, the camera department is an important aspect to consider and with Nokia’s track record of focusing on embedding advanced snapper tech, we have high hopes.

Although Android is a pretty saturated environment to say the least, Nokia has the advantage of being able to rely on a solid brand recognition. So the transition from Windows Phone to Android should be quite smooth. As we can see the company managed to produce a pretty worthy product already, so we don’t see why an Android smartphone coming out from Nokia wouldn’t have the same faith as the N1 tablet.

Nokia X, the company's first Android phones
Image credits to Sulekh Alive

Nokia Officially Confirms Its Next Android Smartphones Arrive in 2016

There have been rumors lately that Nokia might launch an Android smartphone sometime in 2016, but the Finnish company did not confirm the information at the time the information leaked online.

However, it looks like Nokia China's president has just confirmed that his company will launch new Android smartphones in 2016, GforGames reports. The information comes directly from China and also claims that Nokia's official also stated that the global R&D center will be relocated in Sichuan, China. The Android smartphones mentioned will be manufactured in the same region too. Since Nokia sold its mobile division to Microsoft, the Finnish company can't release any new smartphones until late December, 2015, which is the main reason the first Android devices will go on sale only next year.

As expected, they will be released with the Nokia brand and will probably included some proprietary software like Z Launcher for example, which is already one of the most popular Android launchers available in Google Play Store. Unfortunately, we don't have any details on specifications, but we expect Nokia to target the emerging markets like China, India and other Asian countries where affordable smartphones are among the most appealing among customers.

They might be announced early next year during trade fairs
Still, we shouldn't rule out the possibility of seeing a flagship smartphone being released as well. Given the fact that Nokia is interested once again if working in the smartphone business, the announcements are like to be made during Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in January, 2016, or Mobile World Congress (MWC) in early March. Are you looking for Nokia's upcoming Android smartphones? Do you think the Finnish company can be competitive on a overcrowded Android market?

While there are still quite a few months until Nokia's reveals, we believe there's room for everyone and that the more devices get released, the more choices consumers will have. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Nokia logo
Image credits to Nokia

Apr 23, 2015

Android 5.0.2 Arrives on Sony T2 Ultra and Sony Xperia C3

Remember when we told you that Sony might not be updating to Android 5.0 Lollipop smartphones outside the Xperia Z line?

Well, scratch that from your mind, because Sony is dedicating its efforts to updating as many models as it can from its smartphone lineup. As Gizmo Bolt reports, this week Sony has started rolling out the Android 5.0.2 update for its Xperia C3 and Xperia T2 Ultra handsets. The new build is reportedly being implemented for users of the T2 Ultra in the Czech Republic, Germany, and Taiwan. For the time being, only the single-SIM variant (D5303) is apparently receiving Lollipop. Like with most updates, this one will probably happen gradually, so don’t be disappointed if the new build hasn’t made it to your smartphone just yet.

As for the Xperia C3, the new update is rolling out only for users in Taiwan, but its availability will certainly extend to other territories as well. In this case too, only the single-SIM variant (D2533) is getting the Lollipop treatment. After the update, both phones will be running on build 19.3.A.0.470.

In case you get tired of waiting to receive a notification, you can also take the proactive route and check if the new build has arrived manually, by going to the Settings section and checking for System updates.

Sony Xperia C3 and Xperia T2 Ultra getting new update
Image credits to Sony Mobile
Sony Xperia C3 is getting Lollipop
Image credits to Gizmobolt

Sony Xperia C3 is getting updated
Image credits to Gizmobolt
Sony Xperia C3 with Lollipop now 
Image credits to Gizmobolt
Sony Xperia C3, multi-window manager
Image credits to Gizmobolt

Xperia T2 Ultra gets Lollipop too
Image credits to Gizmobolt

This Could Be the Sony Xperia Z5, May Come with USB Type-C Port

Sony’s latest flagship, the Xperia Z4, was quietly announced last week without the Japanese company hosting a big media event or anything of the sort.

We soon found out why that was the case. It’s because Sony plans to market the Xperia Z4 only in Japan, but according to sources familiar with the matter, the company is prepping another flagship which should be rolled out on the global market this summer. A few days ago, word of the Sony Xperia Z5 surfaced online, with the mention that the phone should make a debut by the end of the year. The time frames, however, don’t align, so we have to assume that the Sony Xperia Z5 is not the flagship the phone maker is planning to unleash on the international market following the release of the Xperia Z4, but an entirely different model.

Take a sneak peek at the Sony Xperia Z5
Well, this week, the Xperia Z5 continues to be in the news. The folks over at GSM Dome have managed to dig up a picture from China’s lofty social media website Weibo, which apparently depicts the real-life phone. The image is quite blurry and shows the back of the device, which appears to be metallic. We can also spot the rear camera in the top left position. It’s interesting to note that the post including the photo on Weibo made a reference to Type-C, which probably means the phone will arrive with a USB Type-C port. This isn’t a surprise given that this new standard will end up being implemented on most next-gen mobile devices coming out this year.

Chinese video streaming guru LeTV has already rolled out the first three smartphones taking advantage of USB Type-C. Apple and Google also launched laptops bundling this new port last month. The post also includes the number “9,” which could mean that Sony plans to unleash the phone earlier than it was originally anticipated. Maybe the phone could arrive in September.

Rumored specs of the Xperia Z5
Other rumored specs include a 1440 x 2560 pixel resolution, Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon 820 chip (which will apparently be built by Samsung), an improved main camera (although don’t go thinking it will have OIS), and Qualcomm’s Sense ID fingerprint technology embedded. On top of that, Sony is finally said to be actively working towards designing a new look for the next-gen Xperia Z5. As we have seen, the Xperia Z4 follows the same aesthetic schematics as it predecessors and can be considered only an incremental update compared to the Xperia Z3 that came before it.

This could be the Sony Xperia Z5
Weibo / GSMDome

Apr 22, 2015

Elephone Dual-Boot Smartphone with Windows 10/Android 5.0 Launching in Late June

A few days ago news about a Chinese company that plans to launch a Windows 10 for Phones device made headlines. An unnamed Elephone smartphone has been showcased at a trade fair in Hong Kong and the Chinese company confirmed it will be capable of dual-booting Android and Windows.

Although some of the phone's specs were listed by Elephones and some of the pictures showing the smartphone were also displayed at the trade fair, the actual phone or a prototype wasn't showcased. Today, the folks over at Neowin received new information regarding the upcoming Elephone smartphone. Some of the phone's features and its release date have been confirmed. More pictures have been published as well, so let's see what's coming for both Android and Windows Phone fans. From what we can tell, Elephone's new smartphone is aimed at both Android and Windows Phone users, so those who would want to switch to Microsoft's OS but don't really want to give up Android's advantages will want to choose this particular device.

The Android version of the smartphone may ship in May
Elephone's smatphone will ship with both Android 5.0 Lollipop and Windows 10 for Phones operating systems, and will be capable of dual-boot. We already know the handset packs 4GB of RAM and a powerful quad-core processor provided by Intel. Elephone's high-end device will also boast an impressive 20.7-megapixel Sony camera on the back, as well as 32GB of storage inside. The phone will be powered by a more than 3,800 mAh battery and will sport a 5.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution.

According to Elephone, its dual-boot flagship smartphone will be launched sometime in late June. The other version of its flagship handset that will only run Android OS will ship beginning in May. Obviously, the smartphone will only be available for purchase in China, at least at the beginning. So there you have it folks, a Windows 10 smartphone may be launched as early as June.

Elephone dual-boot flagship
Image credits to Neowin

Elephone Android flagship
Image credits to Neowin

Gionee’s Elife S8 Flagship Might Beat the Samsung Galaxy S6 at Pixel Density (PPi)

Chinese smartphone maker Gionee attracted attention upon itself when it launched what back then was considered the world’s thinnest smartphone, the S5.5 (it was only 5.6 mm / 0.22 inch thin).

The company currently sits on a lofty portfolio of devices and has received a good response from users, both for hardware and software. Gionee is also in the process of prepping its upcoming flagship, which will probably be dubbed the Elife S8. And now, a new Gionee smartphone has recently been spotted in the GFX Benchmark showing an impressive list of hardware specifications. We’re not 100% sure we’re dealing with the Gionee Elife S8 here, but there's a big chance this is exactly the case, given what this phone packs on the inside.

Gionee Elife S8 could come with an advanced display
The upcoming model appears to sport a relatively small display, of the 4.6-inch variety, with QHD resolution on top (1440 x 2560 pixels). If the benchmark entry is correct, the Gionee Elife S8 will end up boasting one of the most crisp displays on the market with a pixel density of 639ppi. For the time being, the smartphones with the crispest displays on the market are Samsung’s newest darlings, the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, both of which boast 577ppi. Gionee might be able to jump in front of Samsung for a while when pixel density is concerned, but the Korean tech giant is said to be working on UHD (2,160 x 3,840 pixel resolution) Super AMOLED displays for mobile devices.

Actually, a recent report claimed Samsung might be looking to use such a panel in the upcoming Galaxy Note 5. If the information turns out to be genuine, the Galaxy Note 5 will make a debut with a 5.89-inch display and a whopping 748ppi, thus surpassing Gionee’s offering. In related news, Sharp recently unveiled the world’s first 5.5-inch mobile display with UHD resolution and an outrageous 806ppi.

So, as you can see, pixel density in mobile devices is on the rise and will continue to ascend throughout the year. The benchmark also sheds light on other specs, including a quad-core MediaTek 6795 chipset, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a 24MP/8MP camera combo. Sadly, the benchmark listing doesn't say anything about the design of the product, but we have to imagine it will be very sleek.

Gionee’s Elife S8 listed in benchmarks
Image credits to GFX Benchmark

Current Gionee’s Elife S7 flagship

Current Gionee’s Elife S7 front and back
Image credits to Gionee

Apr 20, 2015

Sony Xperia Z4 to Sell Only in Japan, Another Flagship for the Global Market Coming in May

In an unexpected move today, Sony pulled the veil off the Xperia Z4 flagship we have been seeing leak online for the past few months.

We weren't anticipating the phone to be making a debut today, but here it is, boasting a look very similar to the previous Xperia Z3 handset. Which is to say Sony hasn't really toyed with the overall design schematics of the new phone. Naturally, you’re going to see a bunch of subtle improvements, but nothing too out of the ordinary really. The phone has been made a tad lighter and skinnier and there’s the Snapdragon 810 under the hood to juice things up, but apart from it, that’s about it. Anyway, it was pretty puzzling that Sony decided to launch the Xperia Z4 without making a big fuss about it, after all we’re talking about a flagship device.

Sony Xperia Z4 is exclusive to Japan
Well, a new piece of information sheds light on why Sony chose to make a quiet rollout. According to the Russian Hi-Tech.Mail.Ru website, the Sony Xperia Z4 will be marketed only in Japan and won’t be made available on the international market, in this exact configuration. So what about the rest of the world? Will we be left out? Well, it appears that Sony is prepping a different flagship device for the global market with an official announcement date likely scheduled for around May. We’re not sure what these differences are going to be all about, but in all possibility the international Xperia Z4 model might not be all that different from the Japanese version.

On the other hand, Sony could be looking to make some hardcore modifications. Not so long ago we told you that information concerning Sony’s next-gen flagship, the Xperia Z5, had already leaked out into the world. So could there be a connection between Sony’s next international flagship and the Xperia Z5? It could be. Yet, the earlier report said the Xperia Z5 would take advantage of Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon 820 platform, which should be out towards the end of the year.

But given that Sony is poised to roll out a global version for its latest flagship in May, the two pieces of info don’t seem to be adding up. So we’ll just have to wait and see what else surfaces about Sony’s international flagship. We’ll update you when it happens.

Sony Xperia Z4
Image credits to Sony Mobile

Sony Xperia Z4 vs. Huawei P8 (Specs Shootout)

Spring seems to be a good season to launch flagship devices, and lots of phone makers are doing it. To make a point, last week we saw Huawei unveil its P8 handset during a press event, and this week, quite unexpectedly, Sony has pulled the veil off the Xperia Z4.

But the Japanese tech giant didn't do it with bells and whistles and contented itself with rolling out its latest flagship device via a press release where we’re given the hard, cold facts. No fancy media event involved. If you’re a bit confused by the flagship avalanche and you’re wondering which smartphone model might be worth your buck, we’re here to offer you a detailed comparison between the two new top-tier devices.

The Huawei P8 arrives with a metal unibody similar to what you’ve seen with the iPhone 6 and HTC One M9. But Huawei ditched the subtle curvature in order to offer a device that’s rectangular in shape, which actually makes holding it in your hand a bit awkward. Unlike other phone makers (Samsung immediately comes to mind), Huawei hasn't ventured in any new territory while its design schematics are concerned, and that might be a good thing for those who love the way the company does things. The phone comes with a relatively thin body of 7.5 mm / 0.25 inches (although the Sony phone beats it) and a weight of 144 g / 0.31 lbs.

As for the new Sony Xperia Z4, the phone is extremely similar to its predecessor, the Z3. It comes with a metal frame and a glass body that hides the fairly large battery. However, compared to the previous model, the Xperia Z4 is a tad slimmer, coming at 6.9 mm / 0.27 inches, and a bit lighter at 144 g / 0.31 lbs (its predecessor tipped the scales at 152 g / 0.33 lbs).

Huawei is a very well-known proponent of FHD displays on smartphones, so the P8 arrives with a 5.2-inch screen with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. The company claims that, this way, the battery life won’t be subjected to too much strain.

Meanwhile, Sony’s new Xperia Z4 utilizes the same display standard. The phones are identical in size, meaning the Xperia Z4 also comes with a 5.2-inch display with FHD res. However, if we’re to listen to the rumor mill, Sony will also push out a QHD version, as the market’s standard dictates today.

Well, the Huawei P8 brings something quite interesting in the photo department. The camera sensor inside the new flagship works with four types of sub-pixels including Red, Green, Blue and White. This setup should make the snapper mode efficient in low-lighting environments. The 13MP main shooter benefits from optical image stabilization and can rotate up to 1.6° which is double than what the iPhone 6 Plus camera can do. The selfie-centric camera is of a 8MP variety. The image processor inside the shooter will apparently be able to bestow DSLR quality to the images, but such statements are yet to be verified.

As for the Sony Xperia Z4, the main camera is a bit more impressive, being of a 20.7MP capacity with 4K video capabilities, exactly as the one on the Z3. Up in front we find a 5.1MP camera for video calls and selfies.

In the hardware department, the Huawei P8 takes advantage of the company’s home-grown HiSilicone Kirin 930 chip with 2GHz octa-core CPU on the inside, fitted with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. A negative point here is that the flagship lacks a microSD slot for storage expansion. Just like the Samsung Galaxy S6, the P8 doesn't offer a user replaceable battery. However, if you prefer something more traditional in terms of silicone, the Xperia Z4 has a Snapdragon 810 processor running under its hood (like on the HTC One M9) fitted with the same 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.

The good news is that, even if the rumor mill whispered at some point that the Xperia Z4 might be losing its microSD card slot in the vein of the Galaxy S6, this didn't prove to be the case. So luckily, those needing more storage will be able to increase it via microSD up to 128GB. We should also mention that Sony’s smartphone is IP67-certified for dust, and also IP5 and IP8-certified for water.

Operating system
Both flagships run Android 5.0 out of the box, but the Huawei P8 has the company’s EMUI 3.1 UI plastered on top, which brings along an interesting feature. It’s called Knuckle Gestures and allows users to double tap with their knuckles on the screen and take a screenshot. They can also crop it out with help from their knuckles. Albeit we’re not told in the press release, Sony is probably bundling its phone with its usual skin that is riddled with lots of extra applications and features. If this is a good thing or not, it’s up for users to decide.

The Huawei P8 runs on a 2,680 mAh battery, while the Sony Xperia Z4 is sustained by a tad larger 2,930 mAh battery, but neither has been rated by their respective manufacturer. So at this moment, we can’t tell you anything about how long the phones can survive on a single charge.

The Huawei P8 will be available in four colors including Mystic Champagne, Prestige Gold, Titanium Gray and Carbon Black. The 16GB model will go on sale in Europe around May for a price of €499 / $530. The 64GB variant will start selling for €599 / $635.

As for the Sony Xperia Z4, the company is offering it in Aqua Green, Black, Copper and White versions. The handset will go on sale later this summer in Japan only, and Sony kept mum about pricing specifications.

What will you choose, the Huawei P8 or Sony Xperia Z4
Image credits to Huawei/Sony Mobile

This is Why Microsoft Doesn’t Want to Kill Windows Phone

It’s a well-known fact that Windows Phone is well behind Android and iOS in terms of market share across the world, and it’s also no secret that several experts and analysts recommended Microsoft to simply give up on its mobile platform and concentrate on what it does best.

But there’s no doubt that Windows Phone is here to stay, and with Windows 10 Microsoft is getting even more serious about its mobile efforts, with the company trying to bring together all of its platforms. And as far as a former designer who worked for Windows Phone is concerned, Microsoft not only that doesn’t want to kill the smartphone OS, but it also needs it to continue its mobile push because, as he said in an AMA on Reddit, a small market share is better than nothing. Right now, Windows Phone has somewhere between 2.5 and 3.0 percentage points in market share, according to various research firms, but Microsoft needs to keep Windows Phone alive because they have to compete in the mobile OS market as well.

“Windows Phone is small, relatively speaking. But absolutely speaking it still sells a lot of units. And they can’t not have an OS. So it’d be nice if they had more market on mobile, but having zero just topples the whole strategy,” he said.

Windows Phone 8.1 devices will be upgradeable to Windows 10
When Windows 10 will become available later this year, Microsoft will allow all devices running Windows Phone 8.1 to install it at absolutely no charge, with the company saying that handsets with 512 MB of RAM would support the OS with some feature limitations. This is needed because of the obvious hardware restrictions created by the reduced amount of memory, but no matter the device, everyone should be able to experience the new operating system when it launches. According to AMD, Windows 10 is likely to debut in late July, with some sources saying that RTM is scheduled for June. At this point, it’s not yet clear if the phone version can launch together with the PC flavor or shortly after that.

Nokia Lumia 1020
Image credits to Nokia/Microsoft

Sony Xperia Z4 Officially Introduced with 5.2-Inch Display, Snapdragon 810 CPU

Japanese handset maker Sony Mobile has just announced its new flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z4. The phone does seem to look like the devices shown in the pictures leaked in the last couple of weeks, so there's no surprise here.

There aren't any surprises when it comes to specs either, but let's take it step by step. First of all, the Xperia Z4 doesn't come with a full-metal body, though it does feature a metal frame. Software-wise, Sony Xperia Z4 ships with Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system out of the box. As expected, the smartphone is IP67 certified for dust, but the device is also IP5 and IP8 certified for water. According to Sony, the Xperia Z4 will be available in Aqua Green, Black, Copper and White. The smartphone should go on sale later this summer in Japan, after which it will be rolled out globally.

It will go on sale later this summer in Japan
When it comes to hardware, Sony's latest flagship smartphone has been confirmed to pack a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory, which can be further expanded up to 128GB via microSD card slot. Sony Xperia Z4 is only 6.9mm thin, which makes it even thinner than its Xperia Z3 predecessor. On the back, the smartphone boasts an impressive 20.7-megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash and video recording, while in the front there's a secondary 5.1-megapixel camera for video calls and great selfies. It's also worth mentioning that the Xperia Z4 will be powered by a non-removable 2,930 mAh battery, which hasn't been rated by the manufacturer yet.

Along with Xperia Z4's announcement, Sony also unveiled a handful of accessories, which will be released on the market around the same timeframe as the smartphone. A waterpoof Cover Window, as well as desktop holder will be available for purchase later this summer too.

Sony Xperia Z4
Images credits to Sony Mobile

Apr 19, 2015

Sony “Xperia Z Fourth Generation” Images Leak, Possibly Launching in June

There's no doubt that Sony will launch its next flagship smartphones in the coming months. The Japanese company confirmed it will release new top of the line handsets once per year.

Lots of rumors about the unannounced Xperia Z4 leaked online in the last few months, but it's still unclear when exactly Sony plans to make it available on the market. Up until several months ago, the handset maker would release two flagship smartphones per year, one in the spring and the other one in fall. However, this year the Xperia Z4 might be released on the market in the summer or fall. This weekend a new image of Sony's upcoming flagship smartphone, which is referred to as the “Xperia Z Fourth Generation.” According to XperiaBlog, the device in the image published recently is tagged as a design concept.

The smartphone is codenamed “i1-4,” which is another indication that this could be in fact the highly anticipated Xperia Z4, since the Xperia Z1 was codenamed “i1.”

The Xperia Z4 might be released along with Xperia Z4 Tablet
One of the images also show a full-metal body smartphone and a short description with the tagline 'The New Metal Expression': “Making the metal more solid and sleek, in high polished surfaces created by metal plating, all we do this with a new anodizing technology.” The same leak also provides some details on the possible release of the Xperia Z4. According to a document named Sony Product/Service Launch Calendar, the next flagship smartphone launch is pegged for release for FY2015 Q1.

This means that the Xperia Z4 could be launched on the market in either of these three months: April, May or June. The most probable timeframe for the release of Xperia Z4 is June, because that means the flagship smartphone will be launched along with Sony's Xperia Z4 Tablet. Since these are only rumors based on images and documents that have been confirmed as official, we recommend our readers to take it with a grain of salt. Stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Sony “Xperia Z Fourth Generation”

Sony “Xperia Z Fourth Generation”

Sony “Xperia Z Fourth Generation”

Sony “Xperia Z Fourth Generation”

Sony product/service launch calendar
Images credits to WikiLeaks

Android 5.1.1 Lollipop Coming Soon for Nexus 7, Nexus 9 Tablets

Earlier this month it was revealed that, after having rolled out the Android 5.1 Lollipop update, Google is already working on Android 5.1.1.

A reference to the new build was spotted in the Android SDK manager, so we argued that the new version shouldn’t take long to become available. Now the new build has been spotted on Google’s own Android audio latency info page running on the Nexus 7 and Nexus 9 (as seen at Android Police). While the Android 5.1 update is available for some Nexus devices, the Nexus 9 has Android 5.0.1 running on it and the Nexus 7 benefits from the services of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop.

For those frustrated that their Nexus tablets aren’t rocking Android, the good news that comes today is that Google is planning to update both tablets to Android 5.1.1 directly. The build number for the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop update will be LMY57W for the Nexus 7 2013, whereas the Nexus 9 will be updated to LMY47S.

For the time being, we don’t have any information on what Android 5.1.1 might be bringing to the table, compared to Android 5.1, although the jump seems to be a fairly small one. So most likely, we’re going to see some bugs being squashed. Hopefully, the pesky memory leak one will finally get the boot too.

Nexus 7 and Nexus 9 to get Android 5.1.1 soon
Image credits to Android Police

Apr 15, 2015

LG G4 Gets Its First Official Video Teaser

LG is expected to unveil its new flagship smartphone, the G4, on April 28. Until then though, the South Korean company shared quite a lot of info about the upcoming high-end device.

After showing us the “groundbreaking” rear camera that's supposed to be one of the LG G4's main strong points, the South Korean handset maker is shows us the amazing Quad HD display that will be embedded into the smartphone. The first official video teaser of LG G4 is all about the display, so if you were wondering what kind of screen the smartphone will boast, now will be a good time to take a look at this less than one minute video. For those who don't know yet, the G4's 5.5-inch Quad HD IPS capacitive touchscreen display supports 2560 x 1440 pixels resolution, just like Samsung's Galaxy S6. However, the LG G4 might provide a lesser amount of ppi than Samsung's flagship smartphone.

LG G4 Quad HD display is 25% brighter than other screens
Since LG has already revealed some details on the phone's camera, we already know the G4 will pack a 16-megapixel rear-facing photo snapper, as well as a no less impressive 8-megapixel camera in the front for perfect selfies and video calls. Software-wise, LG G4 will ship with Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system out of the box and the latest version of LG UX 4.0 on top. The rest of the smartphone's specs are only rumored, so take it with a grain of salt until LG comes with an official announcement. That being said, word is that the G4 might be equipped with a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor in order to avoid any overheating issues.

If not for these overheating problems that were previously reported in case of HTC One M9, the LG G4 would have been powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset. There's no word on the amount of RAM and storage, but it should pack at least 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, along with microSD card slot for memory expansion. LG fans should stay tuned for more info on the company's upcoming flagship smartphone, as additional details are expected to emerge in the coming days.

LG G4 (back)
Image credits to LG Mobile

LG G4 : Official Teaser Video (Display)
Video credits to LG Mobile Global

Huawei’s New P8 Flagship Comes with a Sleek Frame and Ingenious RGBW Camera Sensor

As anticipated, Huawei is holding today a media event to launch its flagship device, the P8. With this new model, the company has dropped the Ascend moniker to the advantage of a cleaner nomenclature focusing only on digits and letters.

The new Huawei P8 is here and the company’s CEO has introduced the phone as a product that wants to “ignite creativity.” The device arrives with a metal frame and a 6.4 mm / 0.25 inch thick body, which is not the thinnest on the market (that’s the Coolpad Ivvi that comes with a 4.7mm / 0.18 inch frame), but pretty sleek nevertheless.

Huawei's new flagship does not have a 2K display
The Huawei P8 arrives with a 5.2-inch IPS display (1080p pixel resolution), with the screen taking up to 78.3% of the front thanks to the sleek bezels that put the Galaxy S6 to shame. In the photography department, the P8 takes advantage of a camera sensor with four types of sub-pixels including Red, Green, Blue, and White. This should make the snapper more efficient in low-lighting environments. The 13MP main camera also benefits from optical image stabilization and can also rotate up to 1.6°, which is double than what the iPhone 6 Plus camera can do. Another interesting detail is connected to the image processor, which Huawei says is of DSRL quality. But that remains to be seen.

The selfie frontal camera is of an 8MP variety.
Moving on, the new phone bundles the so-called new Signal+ tech which features two antennas, one living at the bottom and another one at the top, so users can switch between them in just 33.5┬Ás with the advantage that the calls and data connection are not affected. Huawei promises customers will experience 50% less dropped calls and also get a 6.8 increase in call connection rates too.  The phone can pick out the best Wi-Fi signal from the crowd via Wi-Fi+.

Will the Huawei P8 manage to take the focus off the Samsung Galaxy S6?
Just as we were anticipating, the new P8 takes advantage of the company’s own HiSilicone Kirin 930 chip with 2GHz octa-core CPU on the inside, fitted with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. 
The phone has 4G and dual-SIM option. The phone will be made available in four colors including mystic champagne, prestige gold, titanium gray, and carbon black. It also runs Android 5.0 Lollipop with EMUI 3.1 on top, which brings along an interesting feature in the form of salled Knuckle Gesture. This feature allows users to double tap on the screen to take a screenshot using their knuckles and then crop it out also with the help of their knuckles.

For those interested in the new Huawei P8 you should know that the 16GB model will go on sale in Europe starting in May 2015 for around €499 / $530. The 64GB version will be offered for a bit a more expensive tag of €599 / $635.

Huawei P8
Image credits to Huawei

Bluboo X550, Phone Comes with Android 5.1 and Huge 5,300 mAh Battery, Just $169

Android 5.1 has been released not so long ago, so not many devices take advantage of it at the moment. Some Nexus devices are rocking the new OS, while manufacturers like Motorola have promised to soon provide the update for some of its models.

Nonetheless, Chinese OEMs are struggling to impress the masses and sometime very much succeed in doing so. It’s the case of little-known device maker Bluboo, which is gearing up to release the X550 model. The phone is interesting for a number of reasons, including the fact that it sports a 5,300 mAh battery which should allow for a stand-by time of up to 30 days.

The Bluboo X550 should arrive with a 5.5-inch display (we don’t know what resolution, but don’t expect 1920 x 1080 pixels), a quad-core MediaTek MT6735 processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. The model hasn’t launched yet, but when it does, customers will be able to pick it up internationally for the meager price of $169 / €159.

Most importantly, for this amount of money, you’ll get your hands on an Android 5.1 handset. You can check out the gallery below to see what the phone looks like in real life. Bluboo photographed its model (8.9 mm / 0.35 inches in thickness) next to the iPhone 6 Plus, which is a bit sleeker (7.1 mm / 0.27 inches).

Bluboo X550 has a huge battery

Bluboo X550 in black and white

Bluboo X550 back and front
Images credits to PhoneArena

Bluboo X550, front view

Bluboo X550 compared to iPhone 6 Plus, display view

Bluboo X550 compared to iPhone 6 Plus, back view

 Bluboo X550 in hand
Images credits to Bluboo forums

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