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Sep 16, 2015

Snapdragon 820-Powered Smartphones Confirmed to Be Available by Q1 2016

Qualcomm is readying its next big thing for 2015, the Snapdragon 820 processor, which will be the first to take advantage of the company’s own custom cores dubbed Kyro.

Word on the street has been saying that we should expect to see the first devices bundling the architecture arrive into the wild sometime in the early months of 2016. The information has only been speculative, but this week Qualcomm hosted a press event somewhere in Asia in order to detail the upcoming Snapdragon 820 some more. And a few slides from the presentation leaked online via Weibo (picked up by Gizmo China), revealing interesting details. One of them in particular confirms that the first devices arriving with a Snapdragon 820 processor will make it out in Q1 2016.

So far, we’ve been hearing that the first handset to pack Qualcomm’s next-gen platform will be the Xiaomi M5 Pro. Well, it appears that the standard Xiaomi Mi5 will be powered by the same chipset. Or maybe the Chinese company will not unveil two models, but just one.

We still have to wait a few months to see a Snapdragon 820 phone in the wild
According to the rumor mill, the phone should have been unveiled a month ago, but Xiaomi has been holding off for some reason. Although, if the flagship is set to launch with the Snapdragon 820 on board, it’s understandable why we haven’t seen the device make a debut in the wild until now. On the other hand, Samsung has also been rumored to be intensely testing the Snapdragon 820 for its upcoming Galaxy S7 flagship. According to current information, Samsung might be looking to get the Galaxy S7 ready ahead of schedule, like it did with its Galaxy Note5. Unlike previous years, Samsung will apparently not make its next-gen flagship available at MWC 2016, but a few days before the grand event in late February. Which makes sense given the Snapdragon 820 release timeline.

The Snapdragon 820 is expected to be quite a silicone piece, coming with a new X12 LTE modem, quad-core 64-bit CPU with 2.2GHz clock speed and next-gen Adreno GPU with Adreno Display Processor and Adreno Video processor. Qualcomm will also be incorporating Quick Charge 3.0, a new technology that allows smartphones to charge from 0 to 80% in around 35 minutes.

Snapdragon 820 info leaks in slideshow
Image credits to GizmoChina/Weibo

Sep 15, 2015

HTC One A9 with Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 CPU, 5-Inch FHD Display Coming in November

We've been talking about HTC's next high-end smartphone, the One A9 (Hima Aero) for quite some time now. While we do have some information on the handset's specs and availability, it looks like new details emerge all the time.

For example, @evleaks is back with more info on the rumored HTC One A9 and from what he reveals it looks like this will be an intermediate device despite the fact that will be launched under the One family. Usually, HTC launches mid-range smartphone under its own Desire brand, but this one will be released as HTC One A9 according to these rumors. We already know that the smartphone will make it the US this year where it will be offered by Sprint and possibly other major carriers in the country. While there's no word on pricing options, the high-end version of the One A9 that's been leaking until now is said to cost no more than $600 outright.

No deca-core CPU or Quad HD display
Now, the mid-range version of HTC One A9, if the Taiwanese company will indeed launch multiple models, won't pack Quad HD display or MediaTek's powerful deca-core Helio X20 processor inside. Instead, the smartphone is tipped to sport a 5-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display that supports full HD (1080p) resolution. Also, the One A9 is said to come equipped with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. The cited source also mentions the device will come with microSD card slot so users can further expand storage.

On the back, the smartphone will pack a 13-megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, BSI, optical image stabilization and video recording, while in the front there will be a 4-UltraPixel selfie camera. Last but not least, HTC One A9 will be only 7mm thin, it will feature a metal body and finger print scanner. The smartphone will be available in six different color options from November.

HTC One A9 vs iPhone 6
Image credits to Weibo

Huawei Nexus Specs Leak Once More, Includes 8MP Selfie Shooter, Barometer Sensor

Another day, another Nexus leak. Google is preparing to unveil two Nexus phones on September 29, one made by Huawei and the other manufactured by LG. And just a few hours ago the specs of the Huawei-made Nexus leaked online via Geekbench.

But now the phone has been spotted in the GFXBench database, so here’s another chance to look at the specs of the device and see whether previous rumors were correct (as seen at Stories I/O). The Huawei Nexus will most likely arrive with a 5.7-inch display with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution and a Snapdragon 810 processor under the hood. Huawei will also throw in 3GB of RAM in combination with 32GB of internal storage with no mention of microSD card slot. A 13MP/8MP camera combo is also listed so users can take all the pictures they want.

An interesting aspect is the presence of a barometer inside the phone, so we have to assume that it will ship with some apps or features that will take advantage of atmospheric pressure measurements. This is the first time we are hearing of this feature related to the Huawei-made Nexus. Naturally, the phone will be announced with Android 6.0 Marshmallow and so will the LG-made counterpart. The two handsets will go official towards the end of the month, with pre-orders starting on October 13. Or at least that’s what the rumor mill is saying.

Huawei Nexus leaks in benchmarks
Image credits to Stories I/O

Sony: This Is How Xperia Z5 Premium Delivers 2-Day Battery Life

At IFA 2015 a few weeks ago, Sony unveiled the Xperia Z5 Premium, the world’s first smartphone to come with a 4K display and 800+ pixel density on board. Sony also said that customers should expect the Xperia Z5 Premium to be able to deliver a battery life of up to 2 days.

Still, some of you might have wondered how that could even be possible. An advanced 4K panel like the one on the Xperia Z5 Premium will put a big toll on battery life, so the claim that the phone could support such a long life cycle seemed pretty questionable. Well, this week, Sony comes to clarify the issue. We’ve been hearing that the Xperia Z5 Premium’s resolution is not always 4K, and now the producing company acknowledges this is indeed the case (as spotted at Phone Arena).

The Xperia Z5 Premium will usually operate at 1080p
The Japanese device maker explains that the Xperia Z5 Premium features a 4K display with resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels based on SID Standard, which enables all video and image content to be enjoyed in 4K resolution. However, all other content is displayed at 1080p or lower in order to optimize the performance and battery life for the device. The smartphone features a 5.5-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen and includes TRILUMINOS Display for mobile technology. Hardware-wise, the Xperia Z5 Premium is powered by a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, complemented by an Adreno 430 graphics processing unit and 3GB of RAM.

The flagship handset features 32GB storage inside, which can be further expanded up to 200GB via microSD card slot. On the back lives a 23MP camera sporting a Sony Exmor sensor that can capture 4K video. It also features LED flash and autofocus. In the front there’s a secondary 5.1MP camera for selfies and video calls. It’s also worth mentioning that the Xperia Z5 Premium relies on a 3,430 mAh battery which is larger than what the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact boast inside.

Even with the official explanation out and about, it still remains to be seen whether the Xperia Z5 Premium will be able to deliver a 2-day battery life in real life conditions.

Sony Xperia Z5 Premium launched with 4K display
Image credits to Sony Mobile

Sep 14, 2015

Meizu Pro 5 Benchmark Result Crushes Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Uses Similar Chipset

Meizu has yet to officially introduce its new Pro 5 flagship, but details on the smartphone's specs have already emerged online in the last couple of days.

The Chinese company announced a while ago that it has no intention of using Qualcomm's 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor inside its Pro 5 smartphone. Instead, Meizu Pro 5 will be equipped with Samsung's Exynos 7420 chipset, which is also embedded into Galaxy Note 5 phablet. Moreover, Meizu has decided that it would be cool to launch another version of the Pro 5, which will use a different processor inside, MediaTek's deca-core Helio X20. The latter is said to power HTC's One A9 Aero smartphone as well. Also known as Meizu NIUX, the Pro 5 has been recently spotted at Geekbench, GforGames reports.

Since we already know the smartphone will pack an Exynos 7420 or MediaTek Helio X20 processor, let's take a look at the overall performance of the smartphone tested at Geekbench.

MediaTek's deca-core Helio X20 chipset is even more powerful
Based on the scores achieved by Meizu NIUX, it looks like the smartphone will be slightly more powerful than Samsung's Galaxy Note 5. Meizu's unannounced smartphone scored 1550 points on the single-core test and 5593 on the multi-core test, which is higher than Galaxy Note 5 that achieved 1490 points for single-core and 4950 points for multi-core tests. That is rather curious since the Pro 5 version tested in Geekbench is using the same Exynos 7420 chipset and the same amount of RAM (4GB). Other highlights of the Meizu Pro 5 listed at Geekbench include Android 5.1.1 Lollipop operating system and MIUI 7 on top of it.

Meizu Pro 5 is expected to be unveiled in China on September 25, along with a Go Pro camera. No word on pricing option and availability yet, but we expect more details on the matter to surface in the coming days.

Meizu Pro 5 benchmark results
Image credits to Geekbench

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 Leaks in Press Renders with Dual Front Cameras, Fingerprint Scanner

Xiaomi fans will be pleased to know that their favorite company has a few more surprises for them, which will be revealed by the end of the year.

First of all, the Xiaomi Mi 4c that we saw being leaked not long ago is expected to be launched on September 22. But that won't be the only smartphone released by the Chinese company this year. The Mi5 is expected to arrive this year as well, while the sequel to the company's Mi Note phablet is likely to make its debut once Qualcomm launches its Snapdragon 820 chipset. That being said, it looks like the first renders of the Xiaomi Mi Note 2 have just leaked online, though the Chinese company is still mum on the release date of the smartphone. Still, at least we get to see what the phone looks like and what to expect from it. The first thing we’ve noticed are the dual cameras in the front, which are unusual especially for a high-end smartphone.

What's not unusual is the fingerprint scanner, which should be positioned right under the physical Home button. This isn't surprising at all since it has become standard for high-end handsets to come with fingerprint scanners.

Possible specs indicate the latest technologies will be included
According to previous rumors, Xiaomi Mi Note 2 will boast a large 5.7-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass coating. On the back, the Mi Note 2 is said to pack a 23-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, dual LED flash, and 4K video recording, while on the front there should be a no less impressive 12-megapixel camera for great selfies and video calls. The phablet is likely to be available in multiple versions based on the amount of storage: 32GB or 64GB. Also, the Mi Note 2 is said to be equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 processor, an Adreno 530 graphics processing unit, and 4GB of RAM.

Last but not least, Xiaomi Mi Note 2 might come preloaded with either Android 5.1.1 Lollipop or Android 6.0 Marshmallow on board, depending on when the phablet will make its debut on the market.

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 (front)

Xiaomi Mi Note 2 (back)
Images credits to Xiaomi Today

Sep 10, 2015

HTC One A9 Confirmed to Pack Deca-Core CPU, 4GB RAM

HTC fans rejoice, as new info about the upcoming One A9 high-end smartphone have just surfaced online. The new device that the Taiwanese company plans to unveil in the coming weeks is also known as HTC Aero, the its market name is still unknown.

According to GizmoChina, citing a new benchmark of the alleged HTC One A9, the company's new smartphone will be one of the most powerful it ever launched. If the latest smartphones released by HTC did not appeal to you, then the One A9 might be the device you're looking for especially if you're into high-end devices. The benchmark leaked in China recently reveals that HTC One A9 will be equipped with a powerful 64-bit 2.5GHz deca-core MediaTek MT6797 chipset. MediaTek's chipset features a Tri-Cluster design with dual 2.5GHz Cortex-A72 cores for heavy work, four 2GHz Cortex-A53 cores for medium use and four 1.4GHz Cortex-A53 for light operations.

It might become the most powerful smartphone on the market
The smartphone scored an impressive 5884 score in Geekbench multi-core test, which is much higher than Samsung Galaxy Note 5's Exynos 742 performance, which managed to score only 5375 in the same test. On top of that, the HTC One A9's powerful processor is complemented by no less impressive Mali-T880MP6 graphics processing unit and 4GB of RAM. Also, previous rumors claim the One A9 will boast a Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) or full HD (1080p) display of unknown size. Confusion still reigns over all the info about the smartphone's screen for the moment, but as we're getting closer to launch we expect more details to emerge.

Other than that, we expect HTC One A9 to be available at all major carriers in the United States. As for the price, word is the upcoming handset will be priced at around $500 - $600 outright.

HTC One A9 benchmark results
Image credits to Geekbench

Samsung Galaxy S7 Specs Leak via Benchmark: 5.7-Inch Quad HD Display, Snapdragon 820 CPU

Although we're still several months away from the reveal of the next Samsung flagship smartphone, the first details about the Galaxy S7 have already started to emerge.

We reported to you a few days ago, Samsung might launch two Galaxy S7 models, each with different displays: 5.2-inch and 5.8-inch. Today, new information about the Galaxy S7 popped up online, which provides us with some insight on the smartphone's performance. The folks over at GforGames have just spotted the benchmark results of a device called Samsung Lucky, which is likely to be the internal name for the Galaxy S7. The person testing the Galaxy S7 pushed the benchmark results in AnTuTu's database. These results come in tow with some details on the phone's specs sheet.

According to the listing in AnTuTu benchmark, Samsung Galaxy S7 should be equipped with a Qulcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, an Adreno 530 graphics processing unit and 4GB of RAM.

The large display puts the Galaxy S7 into the phablets category
Also, the smartphone will pack 64GB of internal memory, but there's no mention of microSD card slot, so we must assume Samsung won't include one in Galaxy S7 either, just like it didn't include on inside the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 flagships. Another major piece of information would be the fact that Samsung Galaxy S7 will boast a large 5.7-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display that will support Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixels) resolution. In addition, the smartphone will pack 16-megapixel photo snapper on the back, as well as a secondary 5-megapixel selfie camera.

Last but not least, the Galaxy S7 prototype tested in AnTuTu runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop operating system, which makes sense since Google has yet to release Android 6.0 Marshmallow. However, we can safely assume that Samsung's upcoming flagship smartphone will come preloaded with the newest version of Android.

Samsung Galaxy S7 specs sheet
Image credits to Weibo

Adobe Leaks iPad Pro's 4GB of RAM

According to a blog post by Scott Belsky, VP of Products & Community, on Adobe's official blog, Apple's new iPad Pro comes with 4 GB of RAM.

At the time of its publication, the message was saying, "During Apple's keynote, we also demonstrated the extraordinary speed and precision of Adobe's Creative Cloud mobile apps on Apple's new iPad Pro. iPad Pro is great for creative workflows with a high res 12.9-inch touch screen display at 2732 x 2048 pixels, A9X chip, and 4GB RAM." Since then, any trace of iPad Pro's RAM specification has been removed from the blog post, allowing for speculations on the veridicality of this information.

Although it seems that Adobe may have modified the post because the iPad Pro specs it mentioned were not exactly true, not adding an update message confirming the content change at the end of the post as it is customary according to unspoken online publishing rules, leads us to believe that the editing was made in a hurry to prevent any possible problems with the tight-lipped Cupertino company.

The RAM amount available for each iPad Pro model is the only thing Apple "forgot" to mention during the keynote
As we speak, the amount of RAM in the iPad Pro is the only bit of information Apple has omitted to mention during last night's "Hey Siri" keynote, with everything else laid out on the table for everyone to see. Moreover, Apple has also published the device's specs on its own website, revealing that the device will come with a 64-bit A9x processor and an M9 motion coprocessor, an 8 MP iSight camera with 1080p recording capabilities, and a Touch ID sensor, all of them neatly packaged within a case featuring a 12.9-inch Multi-Touch display with a 2732 x 2048 resolution.

If you want to find out more about the newly released iPad Pro, just head over to the article we wrote about the iPad Pro announcement for all the juicy details. The iPad Pro will be launched in November, with prices starting at $799 depending on each model's storage capacity and connectivity support.

iPad Pro multi-tasking

Editing video on an iPad Pro

Editing video on an iPad Pro

Garageband running on an iPad Pro

Apple Pencil

Umake for iOS on iPad Pro

iPad Pro
Images credits to Apple

Sep 7, 2015

iPhone 6s to Come with 3D Force Touch Display

The rumors keep flowing before the start of Apple's September 9 event, and it's again time for the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to receive yet another plausible upgrade.

This time it's all about the new touch tech that will supposedly be added to the screen of the new smartphone models from Apple. The new type of screen should be an upgraded version of the pressure sensitive ones MacBook and Apple Watch are already used to, with a slight but very important difference: an added layer of sensitivity. Potentially dubbed "3D Touch Display," the new screen will supposedly offer iOS developers a lot more space for developing better apps which will be a lot easier to control using differentiated levels of pressure on the screen. Moreover, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users will be able to use three separate levels of pressure when navigating through an app's interface, by tapping controls, by pressing them or by longer presses.

This way, they can run three distinct types of actions using the same button, a simple way through which developers could effectively add a lot more possible types of interaction features using the same set of controls available on devices with lesser displays.

Also available on the new iPad Pro
In addition, the new "3D Touch Display" should also make an appearance in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which should also sport a stylus designed to make it a lot easier for users to use design and sketch apps. The new stylus coupled with the new three-layered pressure screen could be the decisive reason for many Mac users to discard their old graphics tablets. Even though adding a stylus to the new iPad might be a good idea for working with drawing apps, it should be noted that this comes in direct opposition to what Steve Jobs thought about styluses. During the first iPhone release, Jobs expressed his complete and utter disgust regarding such an implement when the human finger can be just as effective.

According to 9to5mac, this new rumor is based on information from various sources that are familiar with the new iPhones, and because this doesn't say much about the reliability of said sources, a little pinch of skepticism is in order.

Tapping the iPhone 6 screen
Image credits to The Geek Byte

Nokia C1 Android Smartphone Leaks in Live Images

A few days ago, we told you that that Nokia’s purported upcoming Android smartphone, the C1, revealed itself in a bunch of render images, showcasing a stylish handset that apparently could feature a unibody design.

The Finnish company confirmed a few months ago that it was looking to make a return to the world of smartphones and that it was willing to find the right partner in doing so. Apparently, the device maker has found some support and is moving things along. The previously leaked images showed the device in its conceptual stage, but this week the folks over at GSM Dome stumbled upon a couple of images on Weibo that presumably depict the C1 smartphone in the flesh.

What we can see in the new images is a smartphone with a white matte display and a promising screen-to-body size ratio. One can also spot the on-screen navigation buttons characteristic of Android.

What can we expect from the Nokia C1?
As we have noticed with the renders, the C1 does seem to feature some design similarities to the Nokia N1 tablet, which, to our surprise, launched last year. Although Nokia is prohibited from making any smartphones until 2016 or so, the interdiction does not apply to the company putting its name on other products, like the slate we mentioned above. While most details about the Nokia C1 smartphone remain under wraps, we can tell you that the highly anticipated device is expected to sport a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution. The smartphone should be powered by an Intel Atom chipset coupled with 2GB of RAM.

On the back, the C1 will pack an 8MP photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and video recording, while on the front stands proud a 5MP selfie camera. As you can see, all these specs point towards a pretty mid-range smartphone, which is quite different from the N1 tablet, which brought pretty high-end specifications. Anyway, we guess Nokia would have to start its assault on the market pretty slowly. By the time Nokia releases the smartphone, Google would have probably launched the successor to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, so the phone will probably come around with next version of Android (possibly N).

Purported image of Nokia C1, back view

Purported image of Nokia C1, front view
Images credits to Weibo/GSM Dome

AMD Athlon X4 880K CPU Leaked Online

Another processing unit chip will apparently join the APU lineup from AMD that will offer slightly higher clock speeds than the current flagship die, the A8-7670K and A10-7870K.

Following the announcement of a new APU chip this July, AMD plans to release a new unlocked SoC, the Athlon X4 880K which will apparently be clocked higher than the 870K. The first details about the new AMD CPU came from a motherboard system from Biostar that listed the 880K among other AMD CPUs supported by the new Biostar device. Along the new APU, there are listed specifications for future A8-7690K and A10-7890K models that will replace the current high-end A10-7870K. The new APU was present on roadmaps leaked on Benchlife some while ago, and should be available on the market in the new future. The new 880K will be based on the same "Kaveri" microarchitecture. The name, similar to Intel's recent Pentium brand, AMD's Athlon X4, recently became the typical name for lower priced CPU with disabled graphics.

AMD keeps APU models leaked even before its predecessors are announced
Thanks to the Biostar motherboard announcement, new information has been provided on the website about the new Athlon X4 880K microprocessor: the new APU will apparently arrive with 4 GHz clock speed, 95 Watt TDP and a part number of AD880KXBI44JC. It will have a 100MHz higher clock rate than the announced but currently unavailable 870K base clock, but will have 100 MHz lower than the A10-7890K. The AD880KXBI44JC part number is meant to give us a couple of details about the 880K. According to CPU World, the "KX" letters are referring to being compatible with the FM2+ package and 95 Watt power envelope. The "44" digits tell about the number of cores inside the APU and 4MB of level 2 cache, while "JC" tells us that the CPU is based on the new "Godavari" stepping. However, it seems that the website does not say too much about the maximum Turbo Core frequency.

New Athlon X4 APU details are leaked
Image credits to AMD

AMD's near future roadmap
Image credits to Benchlife

Sony Xperia Z5 Family Prices Drop 3 Days After Release

Sony introduced the all-new Xperia Z5 family at IFA 2015 in Berlin not so long ago, and a few days afterwards we told you that the devices were already made available for pre-order in the UK.

Well, just three days later, it seems that Sony has reconsidered its original pricing scheme for the phones and has already slashed them. So now you can pick up an Xperia Z5 Compact for £429 / $652 (originally £549 / $837). The Xperia Z5 is offered for £549 / $845 (previously £599 / $913), and the high-end Xperia Z5 Premium comes with a £599 / $911 price tag (down from £699 / $1,065). That’s almost 20% off on the Z5 Compact, and a pretty big discount for the regular Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium. The only people who might be cheated are those Sony fans who rushed to secure their order only to find that, three days later, the rates have decreased considerable. However, we should note that the “Pre-Order” buttons have gone missing and have been replaced by the “Coming Soon” ones.

Sony has three new phones built upon the same backbone
All Sony’s new smartphones share many hardware components, such as the 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset fueling their insights, the amount of storage (32GB), and the camera configuration. The main differentiator in the Xperia Z5 lineup of smartphones is the display. The Xperia Z5 comes with a 5.2-inch full HD (1080p) screen, while the Xperia Z5 Premium is the first handset in the industry to pack an amazing 5.5-inch screen featuring 4K resolution.

On the other hand, the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact features a much smaller 4.6-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution and also boasts scratch-resistant glass and oleophobic coating. Unlike its more high-end brothers, the Xperia Z5 comes with 2GB of RAM and not 3GB. All phones are equipped with a 23MP rear-facing camera that comes with many improved features in comparison with older Xperia flagship handsets. There’s also a 5.1MP camera in front that can capture full HD (1080p) video and great selfies.

Naturally, Sony has bestowed IP68 certification on the new models, making them dust proof and water resistant. Android 5.1.1 Lollipop is the default operating system out of the box.

Sony Xperia Z5 family gets a price cut
Image credits to Sony Mobile UK

Sep 5, 2015

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Premium with 1080p Display, 4GB of RAM Headed to Japan

A few days ago Sony unveiled the Xperia Z5 Compact, alongside the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium, on the grounds at IFA 2015 in Berlin.

The smallest of the three phones launched by the Japanese company, the Xperia Z5 Compact features a 4.6-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution and features scratch-resistant glass and oleophobic coating. Well, just a few days after Sony introduced the phone, it has become apparent that another version of the phone is being prepped for Sony’s domestic market, Japan (as seen at Android Authority). It’s not unusual to see exclusive versions of international phones being released in the country as Japan has a different consumer base altogether.

What will the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Premium be all about?
The phone will go on sale as the Xperia Z5 Compact Premium and will be available via Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo. Unlike the Xperia Z5 Compact, the Premium version will feature a better, 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) on a 4.6-inch display. The device will take advantage of the same Snapdragon 810 which is powering all the members of the Xperia Z5 family. However, we are spotting a major difference in the RAM department. Apparently, the Xperia Z5 Compact features only 2GB of RAM while the Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium have 3GB of RAM onboard.

By contrast, the Xperia Z5 Compact Premium will have 4GB of RAM, which is a bit odd, considering that even the 4K-screened Xperia Z5 Premium doesn’t have that much RAM storage onboard. We’re also told the phone will be sustained by a 2,700 mAh battery. The rest of the specifications are said to be the same. Even so, we’re yet to see an official confirmation from Sony or the Japanese carrier DoCoMo, so take the information with a pinch of salt. It’s not uncommon for Sony to release several versions of its flagships. For example, the Xperia Z3+ was launched with a 1080p display, yet shortly afterwards Sony said it would launch a version of the phone with QHD display under US carrier, Verizon.

If the report turns out to be true, the Xperia Z5 Compact Premium would make for quite a phone, don’t you think?

Sony Xperia Z5 Compact Premium might be coming to Japan
Image credits to Android Authority

Sony Xperia Z5 Series Seems Plagued by the Same Snapdragon 810 Overheating Issues

Sony was one of the major device manufacturers who came to IFA 2015 hell-bent to impress the crowd. So the Japanese company unveiled not one, but three smartphones including the Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact and Xperia Z5 Premium.

The three models are built on a common blueprint and once again Sony chose to rely on the controversial Snapdragon 810 platform to power its new devices. But the thing is, the previous Xperia Z3+ flagship also came with a Snapdragon 810 on the inside and soon after the device began shipping out to customers, we started hearing reports of overheating. Sony tried to do some damage control and rolled out a software update meant to minimize the troubles, which didn’t turn out to be working too well. So even before the Xperia Z5 family went live, we were saying that Sony better have come up with a solution to prevent the Snapdragon 810 from doing what it knows best.

Sony Xperia Z5 camera app shuts down due to overheating
But the folks at Phone Arena who got to play a little with the new devices captured the image above. The phones exhibited on the grounds at IFA 2015 might be non-final prototype models, but even so it seems they aren’t Snapdragon 810 problem free. As you can see, the unpleasant “Camera will now turn off temporarily to cool down” message has popped up on the display during some fugitive, preliminary testing. It’s worth mentioning that the camera wasn’t used to record demanding 4K video that can cause the phone to run hot.

Apparently, the Xperia Z5 was running very hot, although reportedly not as hot as some earlier Xperia models. At this stage, it seems that Qualcomm and Sony haven’t yet managed to resolve the problem concerning the overheating issues of the Snapdragon 810. The question is, can they be resolved at all? Sony is yet to start shipping the first units of the Xperia Z5 family (in the UK they are due out in November), so maybe, just maybe, the Japanese device maker still has time to do something about this ever-persistent problem.

In our view, Sony’s decision to go for the Snapdragon 810 was a bad call and given the company’s current state, it’s hard to picture they will be able to manage another disaster in terms of sales.

Sony Xperia Z5 still plagued by overheating issues?
Image credits to Phone Arena

Meet Nokia's First Android Smartphone, C1 Coming in 2016

Nokia has already confirmed it is now readying its comeback on the smartphone market and will debut its first handset sometime in late 2016.

After selling its mobile division to Microsoft, the Finnish company launched the N1, an Android tablet that sold like hot cakes in China. China was the only country where Nokia made the N1 available for purchase, but beginning this month people from Europe and other regions can pre-order the slate. The first orders should ship beginning October. But an Android tablet is not enough for what once was the world's largest handset maker. Because the agreement with Microsoft doesn't allow Nokia to launch any new smartphones until late 2016, the Finnish company wasn't present on this market.

The good news is Nokia has already started hiring people with experience in design for its upcoming lineup of Android smartphones. The next step, as the company confirmed many months ago, is to find a partner that would take over the manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer support for the smartphones designed by Nokia.

Mid-range specs, stylish design
One of the first smartphones under Nokia's brand could be the C1. Spotted by G for Games, the first images of the Nokia C1 come directly from China and show a quite stylish design. From what we can see, the C1 could feature a unibody design with a more than decent screen-to-body ratio. Some details about the phone's specs have been leaked too. Apparently, the C1 won't be a high-end smartphone, but an affordable smartphone that will most likely sell very well if priced accordingly.

So, Nokia C1 is expected to sport a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution. The smartphone will be powered by an Intel Atom chipset coupled with 2GB of RAM. On the back, the C1 will pack an 8-megapixel photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and video recording, while in the front there will be a 5-megapixel selfie camera. By the time Nokia launches the C1, Google might release another version of Android, so there's no telling what platform it will run.

Nokia C1
Images credits to Weibo

Sep 4, 2015

Qualcomm Claims Snapdragon 820 Will Double the Battery Life

Qualcomm is preparing to launch the Snapdragon 820, and in order to build hype around the new platform, these past few weeks the US chip maker has been teasing some of the features of the silicon.

A few days ago, we told you that the Snapdragon 820 would provide mobile malware protection, and today Qualcomm has revealed yet another slide detailing another advancement users will most likely appreciate very much. Qualcomm tells us that the Snapdragon will feature the so-called new Symphony Manager, which is a system designed to manage the entire SoC in its different configurations, so that the most effective and efficient combination of specialized cores is selected in order to get the job done as quickly as possible and utilizing the smallest amount of power.

We’re given an example to understand how this thing works. For example, if a user is taking a picture, Symphony Manager will make sure the appropriate components are utilized, running at the needed frequency and for as long as needed. We're talking about components like CPU, Spectra IPS, Snapdragon Display Engine, GPU, GPS, and memory. Qualcomm says this type of “heterogeneous” computing will be able to double the battery life when compared to what the Snapdragon 810 could deliver.

We expect the first device to make a debut with a Snapdragon 820 under the hood to be the Xiaomi Mi5 Pro, which is expected to come sometime in March 2016.

Snapdragon 820 promises double battery life

The Snapdragon 820 is the top of the line for Qualcomm
Images credits to Qualcomm

Sony Xperia Z5 Family Actually Has a 25MP Camera Sensor

Yesterday at IFA 2015, Sony pulled the veil off a new smartphone family including the Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact and Xperia Z5 Premium. All the three models feature similar hardware configurations with slight variations between them.

When the trio was announced, the consensus was that the phones bundle a new 1/2.3 Exmor RS sensor that Sony is marketing as having a resolution of 23MP. However, focusing more attentively on the matter, the folks at GSM Arena have discovered that the Sony Xperia Z5 family actually has a 25MP sensor inside. The confusion appeared because of the difference between the two standard aspect ratios. While shooting in portrait mode (4:3 aspect ratio), the sensor will be able to take 5,520 x 4,140 pixel (23MP) pictures, while in landscape mode (16:9 ratio mode), the camera will shoot photos at 5,984 x 3,366 pixels (20MP).

Most Android phones these days come with camera sensors that will natively take pictures in 4:3 aspect ratio, despite the fact that the 16:9 ratio is the preferred one. The thing that happens when users take a 16:9 image is that the smartphone takes a portion (crop) out of the native 4:3 image and turns it into 16:9.

Sony didn't reveal all the details
According to the research conducted by the publication, the Xperia Z5 series features a 25MP sensor with native aspect ratio taller than 16:9 and wider than 4:3. Actually, the phone has a multi-aspect sensor. So when Sony’s new handsets take a picture in 4:3, the camera will crop the resolution at maximum height. When taking an image in 16:9 mode, the camera crops at max width. So in 16:9, you should be able to take pics at 5,984 x 3,366 pixels or about 20MP. If we were actually dealing with a 23MP sensor, the resolution of the 16:9 image would be of 5,520 x 3,105 pixels or 17.14MP.

Anyway, multi-aspect sensors have been known to pop up from time to time, as was the case with the 8.7MP sensor on the Nokia N9. Sony chose to describe the camera inside the Xperia Z5 series like it did because it wouldn’t have been right to announce a 25MP camera capable of shooting 23MP maximum resolution.

Sony Xperia Z5 series
Image credits to Sony

Thicker iPhone 6s (Plus) Suggested by Leaked Photos

New photos have surfaced that seem to indicate that the new generation of iPhones that will most probably be unveiled at Apple's September 9 event will come in a larger form factor.

Although the new devices might sport a larger frame, the differences in size aren't that big: the new iPhone 6 should measure 7.08 mm instead of the current 6.9 in thickness, and the 6s Plus might come with a thickness of 7.3 mm instead of 7.1. The 6s also appears to be just a little bit longer, with a length of 138.19 mm, the current length being 138.1 mm, while the increase in width is also hardly noticeable, going from 67 mm to 67.68 mm.

Possible built-in Force Touch sensor
All in all, although there are no details as to why the devices will get this size boost, word of mouth and previous rumors we reported about a week ago hint at the addition of a Force Touch sensor within these new devices' displays. One other possible reason for the probably enlargement of the new models could also be Apple's attempt to fix the well-known "bendgate" problem by toughening their shell and strengthening all the iPhone case weak points some users have come to hate soon after the 6 and 6 Plus release.

Plausible Series 7000 alloy case
To prevent the iPhone from bending, Apple could also use the new, 60% stronger than ordinary aluminum, Series 7000 alloy they're currently using in their Apple Watch Sport device. This type of material might also keep the new iPhones from getting heavier depending on the amount Apple uses to build the case, seeing that, although stronger, the Series 7000 alloy also has about one third the density of stainless steel.

Although at the moment nothing is certain, the new leaked photos from MacRumors seem to indicate that most of the rumors in the past were pointing in the right direction, with new iPhones to sport increased sizes and, of course, the new technology additions or upgrades expected by everyone when Apple is releasing new products.

The new iPhone's possible thickness

The case length and width measured with a caliper
Image credits to MacRumors

Snapdragon 820-Powered Smartphone Prototype Scores Massive 84K Points in AnTuTu

US chip maker Qualcomm is planning to unveil its next-gen Snapdragon 820 soon and in order to prepare the audience for the big event, the company has been teasing the technological breakthroughs we can expect the chipset to bundle when it goes official.

We’ve been hearing that the first smartphone to come equipped with the Snapdragon 820 platform will be the Xiaomi Mi5 Pro, which should make a debut sometime in March 2016. In the meanwhile, a handset going by the name Green Orange X1 Pro has showed up in the AnTuTu benchmarking database with a Snapdragon 820 processor on the inside (as reported by Tech Grapple). The smartphone prototype managed to score a massive 83,774 points in AnTuTu, but don’t get overly excited about the performance of the chipset just yet. We might have discovered the reason why the chip performed so admirably.

Unlike most flagships launching today, the Green Orange X1 Pro features a 1080 x 1920 resolution on the display instead of the 1440 x 2560 characteristic of most flagships nowadays.

The prototype runs only the outdated Android KitKat
Other specifications of the phone include 4GB of RAM, 64GB of native storage, a 16MP rear camera, plus Android 4.4.2 pre-installed. With the Snapdragon 820, Qualcomm hopes to erase the bad memories associated with the Snapdragon 810, which was plagued by overheating issues ever since its inception. Unlike the Snapdragon 810, the new chipset relies on the company’s own custom cores dubbed Kyro, so the two platforms are quite different at heart. When it launches, the Snapdragon 820 will have to face avid competition from the MediaTek Helio X20, the world’s first deca-core chipset which is already poised to make it into several devices, including the HTC One A9 or the Zopo phablet that leaked a few days ago.

Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 820 is built using Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process and can handle speeds of up to 2.2GHz. The chip maker has said that the new CPU will offer twice the performance and power efficiency found in the Snapdragon 810 chip and hopefully no overheating issues to complain about. The US chip giant is also trying to get back into the graces of Samsung, which is currently avidly testing the chipset to determine whether it is good enough for its next-gen flagship, the Galaxy S7.

Snapdragon 820 shows up in AnTuTu

Snapdragon 820 scores almost 84K points
Tech Grapple

Sep 2, 2015

Sony Xperia Z5 Family Confirmed to be Unveiled at IFA 2015

If you still have any doubts that Sony will be launching a new Xperia lineup of smartphones, then the following news might convince you that the Japanese company will indeed reveal the Xperia Z5 family very soon.

Sony has already confirmed that its press conference during IFA 2015 trade fair will take place on September 2, which means we're only a few hours away from the announcements. A new poster showcased at Sony's booth at IFA 2015 proves that the company is readying three new Android smartphones: Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact and Xperia Z5 Premium. All three handsets will be officially unveiled later today, but they probably won't be available for purchase until later this month or perhaps early October. In addition to the existence of the Xperia Z5 family, the poster also confirms which colors will be available for these smartphones.

As XperiaBlog points out, Sony Xperia Z5 will be available in Gold, Teal, Black and White, while the Xperia Z5 Compact will be available in Pink, Yellow, Black and White. Last but not least, the most expensive of the three, Sony Xperia Z5 Premium, will only be available in Chrome, Black and Gold color options. We have already reported to you about the possible hardware configuration of these upcoming smartphones, so the only thing that remains is for Sony to confirm them.

Sony Xperia Z5 lineup (poster)
Image credits to XperiaBlog

Sony Xperia Z5, Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium Leak in Hands-on Pictures

There have been quite a few leaks that provide information on the upcoming Xperia Z5 family, so Sony fans must be very happy that they know just about all there is to know about these high-end smartphones.

The latest leaks concerning the next Xperia Z5 smartphones provide us with the first hands-on pictures of the devices. The images have been recently published by Dutch blog Nu and offer us a glimpse at what's to come. The cited source has been able to capture all three Sony smartphones that are supposed to be officially unveiled this week: Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact and Xperia Z5 Premium. As many of you can notice from the pictures, all three smartphones feature the same OmniBalance design characteristic to most high-end Xperia handsets.

This means Sony did not have the time to change the design too much, so let's hope there are still customers that like Xperia lineup's looks. We already know some of the specs that come inside these Xperia smartphones, but for those out of the loop here is a quick recap.

The Xperia Z5 smartphones will be announced on September 2
The Xperia Z5 is expected to pack a 5.1-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports full HD (1080p) resolution while the Xperia Z5 Compact should sport a smaller 4.5-inch display with HD (720p) resolution. Both will be powered by octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processors, but the Xperia Z5 will pack 3GB of RAM while the Xperia Z5 Compact only has 2GB RAM. Also, Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Compact will boast impressive 23-megapixel rear-facing cameras, along with 5-megapixel cameras in the front.

Information about the Xperia Z5 Premium is a bit scarce for the moment, but we expect it to come with Quad HD display and 4GB of RAM inside. All three Xperia Z5 smartphones should be available for purchase beginning next month for prices that will be announced later today at IFA 2015 trade fair.

Sony Xperia Z5 family
Images credits to nu.nl

Samsung's Android Clamshell Shows Its Beauty in Live Pictures

Samsung officially unveiled the SM-G9198 Android clamshell about two weeks ago. The smartphone is already available for purchase in China, but there is a chance that it will go on sale in other Asian countries.

However, if you're living in other regions like Europe or North America, you will only be able to import this hard-to-come-by smartphone since it will probably never be released in these regions. And if you want to get a better look at Samsung's SM-G9198 check out the gallery below for a series of live pictures courtesy of XiaomiToday.

If you've never heard about Samsung’s latest clamshell smartphone powered by Android, here are a few more details confirmed by the South Korean handset maker. For starters, the SM-G9198 ships with Android 5.1.1 Lollipop operating system right out of the box. The phone is equipped with a hexa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory.

In addition, the smartphone sports two 3.9-inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen displays that support HD (768p) resolution and feature Corning Gorilla Glass 4 coating. Last but not least, the clamshell Android phone packs a 16-megapixel photo snapper on the back, which features autofocus, LED flash and full HD (1080p) video recording, while in the front there is a secondary 5-megapixel camera for video calls and selfies.

Samsung SM-G9198
Images credits to XiaomiToday

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