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Aug 31, 2015

Xiaomi’s Upcoming Mi Pad 2 Rumored to Dual Boot Between Android and Windows 10

Last month, an interesting rumor appeared online. It said that Chinese device maker Xiaomi was working on a new tablet which would reportedly run Window 10 out of the box.

Now, the folks over at Chinese publication Mobile Dad claim that Windows 10 is not all customers are going to get when they purchase the upcoming Mi Pad 2. According to sources familiar with the matter, Xiaomi’s next-gen tablet could be a dual-boot affair capable of switching between Windows 10 and Android Lollipop (or Marshmallow, depending on when it arrives). We’re also given a few tips on what to expect spec-wise, so the Mi Pad 2 could make a debut into the wild with a 9.7-inch QHD display with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution and draw power from a yet unnamed Intel processor.

The device will work with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM and will utilize the services of a 13MP main camera. Obviously, the dual-boot slate is of the high-end variety, so it’s no wonder the source says we’re dealing with an all-metal product.

To dual boot or not to dual boot?
Still, as is the case with this kind of rumors, you’d better take this one with a grain of salt too. Remember that ASUS tried pulling off the same stunt back in 2014, when it announced the Transformer Book Duet with bells and whistles at IFA 2015. The tablet/laptop hybrid was supposed to be able to switch between Windows and Android in under a few seconds, but the trouble is, the product never made it to the market. We never got an official statement from ASUS, but apparently, Microsoft and Google both opposed the idea of such a product making it onto retail shelves.

But now that we're in 2015, have the two tech giants reconsidered their position? It’s a possibility. On the other hand, Xiaomi is a Chinese device maker and we do know that everything is possible in China. Despite Microsoft’s and Google’s restrictions, Chinese OEMs like Pipo didn’t have any problems releasing dual-boot tablets on the domestic market. Anyway, a few days ago, we saw a set of purported Mi Pad 2 images leak online, revealing a tablet very similar to the 2012 Nexus 10. Good news for those who have been hoping to see a sequel to the device.

Purported Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 frontal view

Purported Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 back view

Purported Xiaomi Mi Pad 2 running Android
Images credits to Mobile Dad

ZUKZ Z1 Gets Teardown Treatment

The Lenovo-backed ZUK startup announced its first smartphone called the Z1 not so long ago. The original version launched only in China and ships out with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop.

But ZUK decided to bring a slightly different variation of the handset to the international market, one that runs Cyanogen OS out of the box (based on Android 5.1 Lollipop). Anyway, since the smartphone is out and about, some folks already got curious to see what the Z1 hides under the hood, so they did a little teardown of it (as seen at IT168). The phone doesn’t feature a removable battery, so a bunch of tools had to be used to get under its hood. Once in there, we can see that all the parts are neatly arranged and it doesn’t seem like the internal setup is all that atypical. IT168 doesn’t provide a repairability score like iFixit, but you shouldn’t try to open up the phone by yourselves anyway.

Peer inside the ZUK Z1
If you haven’t been paying attention, the ZUK Z1 is a pretty straightforward Android smartphone bundling decent specs and selling for a decent enough price. The device features a 5.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports full HD (1080p) resolution and takes advantage of a pretty outdated quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor fitted with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of internal memory. The ZUK smartphone also features a 13MP photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and video recording, as well as a secondary 8MP-megapixel camera in front for taking selfies.

The phone’s main camera comes equipped with a Sony IMX214 sensor and features f/2.2 aperture, as well as OIS (optical image stabilization). The front camera has OmniVision for better selfies and videos. Another important aspect of the ZUK Z1 is the brand new USB Type-C port. It also relies on a pretty hefty 4,100 mAh battery, but we’re yet to see how well it will be able to sustain life on board.

It’s also worth mentioning that the Z1 comes with a fingerprint scanner and LTE support. Customers can pick up the phone for $285 / €254, which is pretty decent for a handset specced in this fashion. Teardown images gallery below, click to view larger.

ZUK Z1 gets teardown treatment

ZUK Z1 back view

ZUK Z1 showing USB Type-C

ZUK Z1, upper detail

ZUK Z1 with back off

ZUK Z1 dismantled

ZUK Z1 dismantled

Internal part of ZUK Z1

ZUK Z1 being torn down

ZUK Z1 dismantled

ZUK Z1 dismantled

ZUK Z1 dismantled

ZUK Z1 dismantled

ZUK Z1, frontal view

ZUK Z1, camera unit out

ZUK Z1 part

ZUK Z1 part

ZUK Z1 complete teardown
Images credits to IT168

Sony Xperia Z5 Guest Stars in Video Alongside the Sleek Xperia Z5 Premium

In a few days, the IFA 2015 tradeshow is going to open its gates, and one of the major device manufacturers expected to host a press event on the grounds there is Sony.

The company is looking to unveil its next-gen Xperia Z5 flagship, which won’t come alone but alongside two other models, the Xperia Z5 Compact and Xperia Z5 Premium. Now, if you can’t wait a few more days and you’re really anxious to see what the new Sony phones look like, GR1 has posted a 3-minute video showcasing the upcoming models in action. In the video there’s even a mention of the mighty Xperia Z5 Premium, which, according to the rumor mill, will probably be the first smartphone in the industry to boast a 4K display. Previous information would have us believe that the Xperia Z5 will make a debut into the wild with a 5.2-inch display with 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels), while the Xperia Z5 Compact will boast a 4.6-inch screen with only 720p res (1280 x 720 pixels).

The Sony Xperia Z5 Premium will be a total monster
The most impressive of the three will naturally be the Sony Xperia Premium (previously known as the Xperia Z5+), a phone tipped to make an appearance with a 5.5-inch display with amazing 4K resolution (2160 x 3840 pixels) and an insane 800+ ppi count. Apparently, the phone’s display will also be utilized for virtual reality purposes. The three handsets should all benefit from an in-house Sony 23MP camera unit that features a super-fast 0.1-second autofocus, f/1.8 aperture and 1/2.2 inch sensor. The higher-end models in the trio will be powered by a Snapdragon 810 SoC that features an octa-core CPU and Adreno 430 GPU. Hopefully, Sony has found a solution to keep the controversial chipset from overheating inside of its new devices.

Shortly after the Xperia Z3+ was released, we started hearing owners complain about overheating problems. The company tried to solve the issue by pushing out a software update, but it didn’t seem to help that much. We were hoping that Sony would wait for the Snapdragon 820 for its next-gen flagship, but it seems pretty evident at this point that this is not the case.

Sony Xperia Z5 family caught on camera
Image credits to GR1

Sony Xperia Z5

Aug 11, 2015

Nokia Prepares Its Comeback to Smartphone Business, Starts Hiring Android Engineers

Nokia is very serious when it comes to its device business. Even though the only product launched by the Finnish company since the sale of its mobile division to Microsoft is a tablet, we have Nokia's promise that new Android smartphones will follow soon.

According to Nokia's CEO Rajeev Suri, the Finnish company is forbidden from launching new smartphones until late 2016, but once the embargo lifts, we should expect at least one new Android handset in about one year. And for those who have doubted that Nokia is serious about its comeback to the mobile business, here is a piece of information that should convince even the most skeptical of fans. As Reuters reports, Nokia has already published a dozen adverts for jobs on LinkedIn looking for Android engineers with some experience.

In addition, the company decided to reduce the number of layoffs from its Technologies division from 70 people to only 35. This means that Nokia will maintain half the jobs for its future mobile division.

The return to mobile phones is made through a brand-licensing model
Nokia has already launched an Android application called Z Launcher, which is very popular among customers. The same goes for the N1 tablet, which was recently introduced in Europe after selling by the millions in China and Taiwan. We have no doubt that the next product wearing Nokia's brand will be very popular among fans, but we're still curious which will be the Finnish company's main partner for its comeback to the mobile world.

“The right path back to mobile phones for Nokia is through a brand-licensing model. That means identifying a partner that can be responsible for all of the manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer support for a product,” said Roberto Morlino, spokesman for Nokia Technologies. We expect the first details on Nokia's upcoming smartphones to emerge next year, but the search for a partner may end much faster, so stay tuned for more on this one.

Nokia HQ
Image credits to Nokia

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Sales Package Confirms 4GB of RAM, 5.7-Inch Quad HD Display

We're less than a week away from Samsung Galaxy Note 5's official unveil and it looks like more information regarding the flagship smartphone's specs has just leaked online.

After many renders of the Galaxy Note 5 popped up online, along with info on the phone's hardware coming from sources familiar with Samsung's plans, we now have the first image showing the flagship's sales package. The pictures were published on Facebook, but have been removed shortly after. Luckily, we've been able to save them for your viewing pleasure. Keep in mind though that the actual device isn't shown in these pictures, but the good news is that some of the phone's specs are listed on one side of the sales package.

Even though we know quite a lot of info about Samsung Galaxy Note 5's hardware and software configuration, it's nice to have some confirmation on some of the details that leaked not long ago. So, according to these images, one of the Galaxy Note 5 variations that will be available for purchase later this month will pack 32GB of internal memory.

Wireless charging will be included, too
There will also be a 64GB model on sale, but it's unclear whether or not Samsung will launch a 128GB version as well, since the similar Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge models haven't been so popular among customers. The sales package also confirms the smartphone boast a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display that supports Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution. Also, the flagship handset will come with 4GB of RAM and an impressive 16-megapixel photo snapper on the back, coupled with a 5-megapixel selfie camera in front.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will ship with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop right out of the box, and it will be powered by a 4,100 mAh battery. One last piece of information mentioned on the sales package is the 64-bit octa-core processor inside the Galaxy Note 5. Although the model is not confirmed, we know the smartphone will be equipped with an Exynos 7420 chipset.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 sales package
Images credits to Hooror

Samsung Galaxy S7 Spotted with Snapdragon 820 in Leaked Docs

With the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6+ edge just around the corner, we need something else to focus our hopes and expectations on. So how about the Galaxy S7 for a change?

Recently surfaced information indicated that Samsung might be able to ready the device ahead of schedule, but we’ve also been wondering about the type of processor we’re going to see on board next year’s flagship. With the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung surprised everyone by opting to rely solely on an Exynos 7420 chip, while taking Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810 out of the equation. It turns out Samsung made the right choice, as the Snapdragon 810 was riddled with overheating issues ever since its inception. But with the Galaxy S7, Samsung might be making a comeback to Qualcomm.

Qualcomm is in the process of readying its next-gen platform called the Snapdragon 820, which unlike the Snapdragon 810 won’t rely on ARM cores, but on Qualcomm’s own Kyro cores. Hence, we expect the Snapdragon 820 to be of superior quality when compared to its pesky predecessor.

The Galaxy S7 might rely on the improved Snapdragon 820 
That’s exactly why Samsung might be thinking of putting the Snapdragon 820 inside its upcoming flagship model. If you have been following the news, you probably know that the Galaxy S7 has been codenamed Jungfrau internally, and according to the recent hearsay, it is possible that the company will be able to finalize the device by December. Well, the folks at G for Games managed to dig out a bunch of internal documents (via Weibo) which are related to Android M’s upgrade program. Interestingly enough, Jungfrau’s name is present in the papers just next to the MSM8996 mention, which is code for the Snapdragon 820.

There’s an extra Hero mention (it could be a codename/keyword), but for the time being, we don’t have any ideas on what exactly it might mean. Nevertheless, if we are to take this leak as accurate, it seems there’s a big possibility that Samsung will once again utilize a chipset from the Snapdragon family with its flagship line. Considering that the Eyxnos 7420 did a pretty swell job running things on board the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung will probably offer two versions of the Galaxy S7, as it did in the old days. Do you think Samsung is making the right choice?

Snapdragon 820 specs getting teased

Leaked doc showing info on the Samsung Galaxy S7

More info revealed about the Galaxy S7
G for Games

Xiaomi’s Next-Gen Flagships Might Boast Samsung-Made AMOLED Displays

We all know that this year Google is poised to launch two Nexus smartphones, one that is to be made by LG and one with the help of Huawei. And a few days ago we brought you news that the Nexus made by Huawei could be benefiting from an AMOLED display manufactured by Samsung.

What’s more, Huawei might be thinking of embedding this display technology into future handset products of its own, too. Surely, this is not the first time the Korean tech giant is outsourcing AMOLED panels to Chinese device makers. Oppo and Vivo are known for using Samsung’s AMOLED displays, and now Huawei might jump on the bandwagon as well. Today we find out that more Chinese OEMs are interested in Samsung’s OLED technology. ISH Technology Research Director for China Kein Wang has just posted an interesting tidbit on social media revealing that Xiaomi might also be interested in Samsung’s displays (as seen at Gizmo China).

Future Xiaomi flagships might come with AMOLED displays
He claims that after Huawei, Xiaomi is also looking to start using Samsung’s AMOLED panels for its upcoming high-end flagships. So the Mi5 and Mi5 Pro might not arrive with the usual IPS LCD technology, but something else. Still, since the Mi5 will probably debut first, it’s up for debate whether an AMOLED screen will be used or not. But odds for the Mi5 Pro to be equipped with one are more promising. The handset is expected to be the first to arrive with a Snapdragon 820 under the hood, and phones taking advantage of Qualcomm’s new chip architecture will probably make it out in March 2016. That’s plenty of time for Samsung to finalize a deal with Xiaomi in the display department.

Xiaomi seems to be looking to make some drastic changes in the near future. We recently told you that the device maker might be looking to enter silicon production, just like Samsung or Huawei. Word on the street has it that the company purchased an entire range of ARM core licenses and even hired Qualcomm’s former President for China, Wang Xiang. Xiaomi hasn’t made any official announcement regarding this matter, but we expect to hear more on the topic soon enough.

Samsung smartphone with AMOLED display
Image credits to Samsung

BlackBerry's Venice Android Slider Gets New Renders, Includes Hub

Just this weekend we brought you news that the BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition was spotted running Android. Which wasn’t such a big surprise given that the Canadian company is said to be experimenting with the operating system.

Last month, it was once again reported that BlackBerry was planning to launch a slider smartphone powered by the Android operating system. Codenamed BlackBerry Venice, the handset is expected to be bound for AT&T in the United States, but it might be offered through other carriers as well. Renders of the BlackBerry Venice leaked online a few weeks ago, but today we come back with a fresh batch of images showcasing the same device. This time, we’re being treated to a picture that shows us what BlackBerry Hub will look like on Android (as spotted at CrackBerry).

The Venice will bring a BlackBerry-scented version of Android
As we told you before, the handset is expected to be powered by Android out of the box, but it will also carry BlackBerry Services. In one of the screenshots, we even spot some Android icons, including the one for the Google Play Store. Another image offers us a glimpse inside the rear camera, which will apparently be of the 18MP variety and will be equipped with phase detection AF. The snapper is also expected to take advantage of OIS (optical image stabilization), just like the Passport does.

The last render indicates that the phone will have support for Chromecast, obviously due to good, old Android. If we are to believe earlier rumors, the BlackBerry Venice is said to arrive with a 5.4-inch capacitive touchscreen display with support for Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution and take advantage of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor out of the box, fitted with 3GB of RAM. BlackBerry will also throw in a 5MP frontal camera, for those who like taking selfies.

The Venice is expected to be unveiled sometime this fall and will probably hit the market in November, but this information has yet to be confirmed by the company.

BlackBerry Venice showing BlackBerry Hub

BlackBerry Venice to have 18MP main camera

BlackBerry Venice will be Chromecast-compatible
Images credits to CrackBerry

Dual-SIM Version of Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Rumored to Have MicroSD Card Slot

It has become increasingly clear that the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 will not come with a microSD card slot like Samsung’s previous Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge.

Samsung sacrificing form for function will probably anger a lot of customers out there. However, there might be a slight chance the scenario is not all that bleak. According to an Asian source uncovered by Sam Mobile, it seems that the dual-SIM variant of the Galaxy Note 5 will pack the much-loved feature. As is the case with devices such as the Huawei Honor 6 Plus, the secondary dual-SIM slot might function as a hybrid, allowing users to slip a microSD card in there.

Even so, you should be taking this report with a grain of salt, as we don’t really see the sense of Samsung limiting this popular feature to a certain demographic. What's more, Samsung is rumored to be focusing its marketing strategy on the Galaxy S6 edge+, while leaving the Note 5 in the background. Initially, the phablet won’t even be made available globally but on exclusive markets.

Dual-SIM phones are currently the trend these days, so it might make sense that Samsung is prepping such a version too. Still, the possibility of Samsung offering a dual-SIM microSD-enhanced version of the already limited Note 5 in select markets remains pretty slim. At least in our eyes.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 in live photos
Image credits to The Droid Life

BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition Spotted Running Android

Rumors claiming that Canadian company BlackBerry is working on developing an Android smartphone have been with us for some time now.

At some point, we even got a glimpse of the company’s flagship, the Passport, running on Android, so our hopes intensified. Well, as you probably know, not long ago, BlackBerry released the Passport Silver Edition, which comes with a slightly different design. And a few days after the phone was released, Mobile Syrup has spotted the device running not its original BB10 software but Android. However, the video is suspiciously blurry, so we have to advise you to take it with a healthy grain of salt. All in all, we might be dealing with an Android launcher instead or even something more advanced.

Anyway, take a look at the video and gallery (strangely, the stills are pretty clear) and make your own judgment. BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition bundles the same specs as the original Passport, so it arrives with a 4.5-inch square display with 1440 x 1440 pixel resolution, a quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU clocked at 2.2GHz plus 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD card slot). The BlackBerry Passport also features a 13MP rear-facing camera plus a 2MP front-facing camera for selfies and video conferences. And now you can take a look at the phone running Android instead of the classic BB10.

BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition with Android

BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition showing Android apps

BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition charging

BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition running Android

BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition spotted with Android

BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition with Android onboard
Images credits to Mobile Syrup

Aug 6, 2015

Microsoft to Launch Windows 10 Service Release 1 on August 10 [Report]

Windows 10 has just received its very first cumulative update after the July 29 launch, but Microsoft is reportedly working on an even larger release that could get the go-ahead sometime next week.

According to a new report by Richard Hay, the so-called Windows 10 Service Release 1 could be launched on August 10, but it’s not yet clear whether Microsoft wants to push this update to insiders first or make it available for everyone from the very beginning. Basically, the Service Release 1 is another big pack of improvements for Windows 10 and is specifically aimed at fixing bugs and implementing optimizations for the core operating system, being part of the Windows as a Service strategy that’s supposed to bring new updates at a faster pace.

Microsoft is yet to publicly acknowledge Service Release 1, and today’s cumulative update “doesn’t have a name,” according to Gabe Aul, which means that they’re most likely separate updates, with the latter to see daylight sometime very soon.

Bigger update in October

With Windows 10 now alive and kicking, it seems that Microsoft’s Windows as a Service concept really pays off, as updates arrive much faster than before, so users’ computers are continuously getting bug fixes and improvements. But the real big update for Windows 10 will only arrive in October, when Microsoft is expected to release a bunch of improvements including not only bug fixes and performance improvements but also new features.

The most anticipated feature is extension support for Microsoft Edge, as the company has already announced this option for its browser, but other goodies for OneDrive and Skype are also expected. Microsoft is yet to confirm the October update, but some internal sources are referring to it as “Autumn Update,” so chances are that we’ll be getting this new release in the next couple of months if everything works as expected.

Windows 10 will receive updates faster as part of the Windows as a Service concept
Image credits to Microsoft

Microsoft Releases the First Windows 10 Cumulative Update

Microsoft has just rolled out the first cumulative update for Windows 10, fixing a number of bugs that were found by users after the July 29 launch and committing to the Windows as a Service approach that’s supposed to bring us updates at a much faster pace.

Since it’s a cumulative update, this release includes all the previously shipped bug fixes, but it also brings some new ones that are supposed to solve unaddressed problems with the operating system. So if you’ve already installed all the updates that Microsoft has rolled out in the last weeks, the new cumulative update will only deploy the new files, so you’ll be fully up to date. Redmond doesn’t say what exactly is new in this update, but it does provide a long list of changed files. Here is the official description of the release:

“This update includes non-security-related changes to enhance the functionality of Windows 10 through new features and improvements. Windows 10 updates are cumulative. Therefore, this package contains all previously-released fixes (see KB 3074683). If you have installed previous updates, only the new fixes that are contained in this package will be downloaded and installed to your computer.”

Service Release 1?
As we previously reported to you, Microsoft is also scheduled to roll out a larger pack of improvements to Windows 10 that many are referring to as Service Release 1, but at this point, it’s not yet clear if this is indeed the eagerly anticipated update or not. Microsoft’s Gabe Aul says that this update “doesn’t have a name,” which could a sign that Service Release 1 will actually arrive at a later time. And yet, just like today’s update, SR1 will be mostly focused on fixing bugs and improving performance, so you won’t see any big difference in terms of new features after installing it once it becomes available.

Windows 10
Image credits to CNET

Snapdragon 820 Specs Leak Out, Ahead of August 11 Announcement

The Snapdragon 810 chipset might go down in history as Qualcomm’s biggest failure to date. The silicon piece suffered from overheating issues ever since its inception and ended up causing troubles for handsets being sustained by this platform, including the HTC One M9 and Xperia Z3+.

But Qualcomm is looking to make amends with its next-gen Snapdragon 820 platform, which is based on the company’s own custom cores dubbed Kyro. And according to freshly squeezed information, the US chip giant will be introducing the SoC in Los Angeles on August 11. Today, thanks to well-known Chinese analyst Pan Jiutang, we get to look at the specs of the chipset, even before Qualcomm has had a chance to detail them for us (as spotted at G for Games). Jiutang’s Weibo account leaked a few screenshots that detail the new silicon piece and give us an image of how powerful the Snapdragon 820 really is.

Take a sneak peek at the Snapdragon 820's specifications
The images show the differences between the Snapdragon 810 and Snapdragon 820, with a focus on the 35% performance jump in the CPU department and the 40% improvement on the GPU front. The upcoming silicon will be manufactured using Samsung’s 14nm process instead of the 20nm used for the Snapdragon 810. Due to the use of this technique, the chip needs 30% less power, which means the temperature on board should remain quite cool. Another interesting aspect to take into account is the new Hydra CPU design, which takes advantage of Qualcomm’s own core designs rather than ARM’s.

The images show a lot of information, but the most important aspect you should keep in mind involves the new A530 GPU being 40% faster than the previous version. There’s also a Cat 10 LTE modem built-in, that on paper is capable of supporting pretty much any LTE standard and the highest speeds. The chipset can also handle 4K content at a smooth 60fps. Qualcomm is poised to start shipping the Snapdragon 820 chipset to partners towards the end of 2015, but don’t expect to see a device fueled by this chipset this year.

Actually, the same analyst who leaked these screenshots says that the first smartphone to take advantage of the Snapdragon 820 is poised to be the Xiaomi Mi5 Pro, which is due out in March. It all sounds pretty exciting.

Snapdragon 820 overview

Snapdragon 820 advancement
Images credits to Pan Jiutang Weibo account

Lenovo Vibe X3 Leaks with Full Specs

Word of the Lenovo Vibe X3 smartphone surfaced before MWC 2015, so we were expecting to see the device launch during the event. But we know that didn’t happen.

Still, that doesn’t mean Lenovo has no plans of launching the smartphone sometime in the future. Case in point, the specs of the Vibe X3 have surfaced this week, giving us a glimpse of what Lenovo has in store for us in the upcoming months. As revealed by Tech Gadgetsz, the Lenovo Vibe X3 popped up in the GFXBench database, revealing the full extent of its specifications in the process. It was previously believed that the phone would come equipped with a 5.5-inch display, but according to the new info, this is not the case.

Here's what the Lenovo Vibe X3 will be all about
Apparently, the phone will arrive with a 5-inch IPS display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, 441 ppi and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Under the hood, we find Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz. It seems that Lenovo will abstain from using the Snapdragon 810 with this model, and this seems to be a good choice, considering all the reports of overheating issues concerning the chip. LG also took this path with the G4 flagship. The hexa-core chipset will be working in concert with an Adreno 418 GPU plus 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory (expandable up to a hefty 128GB via microSD card slot).

In the photography department, the phone takes advantage of a 20MP rear camera with dual LED flash, plus an atypical 7MP frontal facing camera for selfie taking. Android 5.1.1 Lollipop is the operating system du-jour (with the company’s own Vibe UI plastered on top), so if Lenovo launches the phone soon, you’ll be off the hook with updates until Android M comes along. The device is also equipped with 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and NFC.

We’re also told the X3 should come with dual frontal speakers with Hi-Fi 3.0 software and a fingerprint sensor located on the back. From the looks of things, the Lenovo Vibe X3 will be one of the company’s upcoming flagships. Still, we have no clue when the Chinese device maker plans to unveil the handset or how much it will cost.

Purported Lenovo Vibe X3 image
Image credits to Tech Gadgetsz

Lenovo Vibe X3 spotted in benchmark
Image credits to GFXBenchmark

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Gets Handled in Live Images, No MicroSD Card Slot Included

In a few weeks, Samsung is expected to host a grand event in New York in order to take the veil off its highly anticipated Galaxy Note 5 phablet.

Samsung enthusiasts loved the Galaxy Note 4, which got unveiled at IFA 2014 in Berlin, so it’s no wonder a lot of hype has built around the Galaxy Note 5. The phone has recently gotten benchmarked, revealing that it runs on the Exynos 7420 and not the Exynos 7422 like it was previously believed. It scored 69k points in AnTuTu, which is comparable to what the Galaxy S6 managed to score. Anyway, the leaks related to the Galaxy Note 5 have been intensifying in the past few days in anticipation of the big event.

Now, the folks at Droid Life have apparently been sent a batch of live pictures showing the Galaxy Note 5 being handled. All sides of the phone are visible in the gallery, so we can now confirm some aspects that we weren’t 100% sure about before.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 shows up in the wild
A few days ago, we told you that there was a slim chance the Galaxy Note 5 might come with a microSD card after all, but today, after seeing the images, we can annul all hope for you. No, the Galaxy Note 5 will not take advantage of expandable storage and will be offered in 32GB/64GB or 128GB configurations. The live images are also showing without a shadow of doubt that the phone will not take advantage of a new USB Type-C port, but of a regular USB. And that’s not all as far as bad news go. Previous information indicated that the Galaxy Note 5 should arrive with a larger 4,100 mAh battery. Well, according to the newest information, the handset will actually be powered by a non-removable 3,000 mAh battery, which is smaller than what the Galaxy Note 4 brought to the table.

One of the biggest complaints users of the Galaxy S6 had was the skimpy, insufficient battery life, and it appears that with the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung will once again sacrifice function for form. In the software department, TouchWiz will apparently let you customize the Air Command menu (with Instagram being part of the options). Air Command pops up when users take the S Pen out of the phablet. Take a look at the live images of the Galaxy Note 5 and tell us what you think in the comment section below.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 front and profile

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 upper and lower parts
Images credits to Droid-Life

Aug 4, 2015

Sony Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact Image Reveals Fingerprint Scanners on the Right Side

Previously, we told you that Sony’s Italian Twitter page confirmed that the Japanese device maker would be present at IFA 2015 in Berlin, where it has a press event scheduled for September 2.

We told you that during the event the phone maker would probably take the opportunity to unveil its next-gen Xperia flagship model, the Xperia Z5. And now it appears the phone will come with a fingerprint scanner. Given the fact that the Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact made a debut during the event last year, Sony should follow a similar pattern this year. Albeit Sony said at some point that it was planning to cut down on flagship launches this year, it seems the company will still be releasing two models in 2015. The Xperia Z3+ proved to be a fiasco, mainly because Sony didn’t really bring improvements when compared to its predecessor. On top of that, the overheating issues of the Snapdragon 810 didn’t just go away on the Xperia Z3+, even if the company pushed an update that was meant to solve things.

Sony will continue to rely on the Snapdragon 810 for its next flagship
Interestingly enough, Sony doesn’t seem to be bothered by overheating complaints because rumor has it that the company will make use of the same chipset in the Xperia Z5. According to word on the street, the Xperia Z5 will come with a 5.5-inch display with support for full HD resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels), the ill-fated processor under the hood, and 3GB of RAM. On the back, there will be a 20.7MP photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and 4K video recording capabilities, while in the front there will be a no-less impressive 8MP camera for selfies and video calls.

Today we get another interesting piece of info related to Sony’s new flagship, after tipster @vizileaks shared an image on Twitter which distinctively shows the upcoming Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact sitting next to the iPhone 6. What’s interesting is that the two phones are shown with a fingerprint scanner located on the right side of them. This setup has forced Sony to lower the position of the volume rocker, as you can see below. As for as the Xperia Z5 Compact, we don’t really have much information related to its specifications, but when they become available, we’ll be sure to share them with you.

Sony Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact spotted in the wild
Image credits to @vizileaks

Specs for LG-Made Nexus 5 (2015) and Huawei Nexus Leak

Google might have surprised everyone when it failed to unveil any new Nexus hardware at its I/O 2015 conference. Even so, the common consensus is that the search giant will introduce two new Nexus smartphones later this year, probably when the final version of Android M is ready to be officially launched.

For the first time, Google is going to partner up with Chinese smartphone maker Huawei in order to give birth to a Nexus device with a 5.7-inch display. On top of that, the Mountain View tech giant has decided to continue its partnership with LG, so in 2015, the Korean device maker will launch a second iteration of the popular Nexus 5 which launched back in 2013. While we’ve seen the specs of the Huawei Nexus leak online, we have virtually no information about the LG Nexus 5 (2015), but this week, the folks at Gizmo China have managed to unearth the purported specifications of the upcoming phone. The report also includes some info about the Huawei-made handset.

LG Nexus 5 (2015)
According to the aforementioned report, this year’s Nexus 5 will arrive on the market with a 5.2-inch full HD display with 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixel) resolution, while the yet unannounced Snapdragon 620 (MSM8976) processor will be breathing life into the whole device, in combination with up to 4GB of LPPDR3-1866 RAM and up to 64GB of eMMC 5.1 internal storage. The Snapdragon 620 was spotted making a quick stop in benchmarks and revealed pretty great performance, comparable to the Snapdragon 810. The chip should make it out into the world with four Cortex A72 cores clocked at 1.8GHz, which explains the encouraging results. The other four cores making up the octa-core setup are of 1.2GHz A53 variety.

We’re also told the phone will don a 3,180 mAh non-removable battery, plus a MediaTek MT3188 wireless charging receiver, a Marvell Avastar 88W8897 connectivity chipset for 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth 4.2. More than that, the Nexus 5 marks a first for Google, as the phone will come equipped with an integrated fingerprint sensor. In the photography department, the new Nexus 5 will take advantage of a 13MP rear camera with IMX278 RGBW sensor, a 6-element f/1.8 aperture lens, OIS, laser autofocus and dual-tone LED flash, while in front will sit a 4MP selfie snapper with OV4682 RGB-IR sensor and Iris detection (will the system be used for authentication, too?).

The device will also enjoy the services of stereo speakers, a new USB Type-C connector, and QuickCharge 2.0. Last but not least, it is revealed that the phone will come boasting an aluminum metal frame with chamfered edges and a matte plastic back cover. Its price will be of around $300-$400 / €274-€365.

Huawei Nexus
As for the Huawei Nexus, we’re told that the smartphone will make a debut in the wild with a 5.7-inch AMOLED display with QHD resolution (2,560 x 1,440 pixels), a 21MP main camera with IMX230 sensor, plus Rezence/WiPower wireless charging. It will boast a metal unibody design, so it seems this one will be the more premium product between the two new Nexus models. Previous leaks indicated that the phone might take advantage of a Snapdragon 820 SoC, which is pretty unlikely since devices bundling this architecture are poised to make a debut on the market in March of 2016.

So the most likely scenario seems to be that the handset will make it out with a Snapdragon 810 under the hood. It will also have a fingerprint scanner like the LG Nexus 5.

Google is prepping two Nexus devices this year
Image credits to Mind of the Geek

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