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Feb 24, 2015

BlackBerry Rio Launching as BlackBerry Leap

Word about BlackBerry Rio emerged last year, as one of the smartphones the Canadian company will launch in early 2015. However, that did not happen yet and it will probably take a few more weeks until we will probably get a tentative release date for the smartphone.

Although there's no telling when BlackBerry will come out with the Rio, judging from the latest rumors the smartphone might be closer to launch than we originally thought. Everytime a handset maker starts working on a new product it gives a codename to its device, which is different from the market name that's usually established closer to official unveil. This seem to have just happened with the rumored BlackBerry Rio, which, according to CrackBerry, will be released on the market as BlackBerry Leap. The new name is mentioned in the BlackBerry 10 OS files, which suggests that the Canadian company has already taken the decision to rename the Rio.

BlackBerry Leap is a mid-range smartphone
For those out of the loop, BlackBerry Rio is supposed to be the Z10's sequel and will come with mid-range specs. Apart from the larger display, the upcoming BlackBerry Leap should be packed with similar hardware as the latest BlackBerry Classic smartphone that's already available on the market. Previous rumors claim the Leap should sport a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution, as well as dual cameras (8-megapixel main camera and 2-megapixel secondary camera). On the inside, BlackBerry Leap is said to come equipped with a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 Snapdragon processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. The smartphone will also come with microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 128GB).

Other highlights of the BlackBerry Leap that have yet to be confirmed include: 2,800 mAh non-removable battery, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, LTE support, DLNA and Miracast.

Alleged BlackBerry Leap
Image credits to N4BB

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 Specs Unveiled in Benchmark: 9.7-Inch QHD Display, Exynos Chipset

The next high-end tablet Samsung is likely to launch in early March is the Galaxy Tab S2. As we're getting closer to launch date more details on the tablet pop up online.

Judging by the specs that has just been confirmed in a benchmark spotted by TechTastic, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 will be one of the best tablets launched by the South Korean company. However, the Galaxy Tab S2 won't be the only tablet Samsung may announced at Mobile World Congress 2015 next week, as the company is known for working on two additional slates: Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and Galaxy Tab S 8.4. Now, according to a benchmark from GFX Bench, the Galaxy Tab S2 will boast a stunning 9.7-inch QHD touchscreen display with at least 5 finger gesture support. Just like the Galaxy S6, Samsung has decided to include its proprietary Exynos chipset into its tablets as well. The Galaxy Tab S2 will be equipped with an Exynos 5 Octa chipset that accommodates two quad-core processors.

The tablet will be powered by Android 5.0.2 Lollipop out of the box
Samsung's Exynos chipset also packs a hexa-core ARM Mali-T760 MP6 graphics processing unit along with 3GB of RAM. The spec list also mentions 32GB of internal memory, but only 25GB user available. There's no mention of microSD card slot though, so it's unclear whether or not you will be able to add more storage. The Galaxy Tab S2 seems to pack an 8-megapixel camera on the back, which features full HD (1080p) video recording, along with a 2-megapixel camera in the front for selfies and video calls. Software-wise, the unannounced tablet will ship with Android 5.0.2 Lollipop operating system out of the box with the latest version of TouchWiz on top.

These are just about all the specs included in the benchmark, but previous rumors also mention that Samsung's Galaxy Tab S2 tablet with measure 237.1 x 168.8 x 5.4mm and should weigh 407g (battery included).

Galaxy Tab S2 listing at GFXBench
Image credits to GFXBench

HTC One M9 Promotional Video Leaks on Twitter, Account Gets Banned

Taiwanese handset maker HTC has already confirmed it will announce its next flagship smartphone on March 1, the same day that Samsung Galaxy S6 will be unveiled as well.

We still have several days until then so we shouldn't be surprised by the avalanche of leaks and reports on the HTC One M9's specs and design. After the first live pictures of the alleged One M9 leaked online yesterday, today, reputed leaker @upleaks tweeted a few promotional videos of the unannounced smartphone. This kind of evidence definitely sheds light on how the HTC One M9 looks like and after seeing these videos there's no doubt that overall the next flagship smartphone to be launched by the Taiwanese company looks very much the same as HTC One M8.

Even though HTC did some tweaking with the buttons, when it comes to form factor both One M8 and and One M9 look similar in terms of design. HTC was quick to remove these promotional videos from YouTube, but not before some were able to upload them on other accounts. Unfortunately, @upleaks' Twitter account seem to have been suspended following the publishing of these videos showing the HTC One M9.

Several unconfirmed features are highlighted in these videos
Nevertheless, we can't help but notice that these promotional video confirm some of the features that were previously rumored for the One M9, such as the HTC Sense 7, BoomSound speakers and the UltraPixel camera in the front with special software. Other features highlighted in these videos include HTC Connect, which allows users to enable a new “three-finger swipe” option for streaming music and video. HTC One M9 is expected to come equipped with a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory, as well as a 20-megapixel photo snapper on the back.

HTC One M9 (camera grid)

HTC One M9 (camera UI)

HTC One M9 (gallery)

HTC One M9 (home screen)

HTC One M9 (wallpaper)

HTC One M9 (left side)

HTC One M9 (back side angle)

HTC One M9 (front side)
Images credits to HTC

HTC One M9 Commericals
Video credits to Jack March

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet with 2K Display Leaks Ahead of MWC 2015

Although Sony announced huge losses for its mobile division and its availability for partnerships with other companies, its roadmap for this year includes several smartphones and one or more tablets.

We've already seen Sony's first smartphone launched this year, the Xperia E4, which is a low-end Android handsets, but more devices might be announced next week at Mobile World Congress 2015 trade fair. Now XperiaBlog has just received evidence that Sony plans to launch a new tablet next week, which will most likely be showcased at MWC 2015. The unannounced Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is the sequel to the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact. The slate is expected to pack a larger 10-inch display and a more powerful processor. The Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact is already a more than decent slate, but the Xperia Z4 will aim the high-end range. The new tablet hasn't been confirmed by Sony yet, but it briefly appeared in the official Xperia Lounge application.

Someone was able to take a screenshot showing the Xperia Z4 Tablet before Sony pulled the advert, so we now know a little bit more about what it will look like and what specs it will pack.

It features the same form-factor and shape as the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
The most important seems to be the “stunning” 2K display, which is combined with the “latest ultra fast processor” and “industry leading battery performance.” These features have been confirmed as part of Sony's Xperia Z4 Tablet, but aside from these there aren't any other details on the slate. The rumored specs include a Snapdragon 810 processor, 4GB RAM, 13MP rear camera and 8MP front camera. Design-wise, the Xperia Z4 Tablet looks very much like the predecessor, the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, but with a larger display. The power on/off button remains on the mid of the right side for easier access, while the volume key is right above it.

That's about all we get from the screenshot taken inside Xperia Lounge app, but the good news is we might not have to wait too long for the tablet to go official, as Sony has already confirmed a launch event for March 2.

Sony Xperia Lounge app screenshot
Image credits to XperiaBlog

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