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Mar 17, 2015

Sony Xperia Z4 Tipped for IFA 2015, Coming with a MicroSD Card After All

The Sony Xperia Z4 has been quite present in the rumor mill recently, having been leaked in a handful of press images just a few hours ago.

We've also been hearing that Sony is looking to retract from its usual 6-month flagship refresh cycle and take up an annual one and now a new report coming out of HDBlog seems to reaffirm that. According to sources familiar with the matter, Sony will be introducing the Xperia Z4 as late as September at IFA 2015 in Germany. Last year, on the same grounds, Sony rolled out the Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact handset models. The two flagships are currently being updated to Android 5.0.2 Lollipop, in case you are the owner of one such model.

Going back to the Xperia Z4, previous rumors claimed that the upcoming smartphone might not come equipped with a microSD card like the Samsung Galaxy S6. However, it appears there’s still hope that this won’t be the case. The current report states that the Xperia Z4 will not be losing the microSD card after all. So memory expansion rejoice! All in all, the Sony Xperia Z4 seems to maintain much of the look of the previous Xperia Z3 and will arrive in FHD and QHD versions and with a Snapdragon 810 under the hood.

Sony Xperia Z4
Images credits to 
@OnLeaks on Twitter

Check Out Cyanogen’s New Boot Animation [Video]

As you have probably heard by now, Cyanogen is looking to make some major changes to its custom ROM platform in an attempt to make it accessible not only to Android tweakers.

The team already showcased their new logo design not long ago and this week we are getting a sneak peak of the upcoming CyanogenOS 12. As you can see for yourself in the video embedded below, the designers at Cyanogen are aiming to impress you with a clean, sleek animation centered around the brand new logo. The boot animation will be showcased every time you reboot your Android device, which we hope you won’t be doing all too often. In addition to releasing the video, Cyanogen has mentioned it will also introduce Boxer as its default email client, and in the following few weeks, you should be expecting to see more teasers, as the launch date for Cyanogen 12 draws near.

Recently, Cyanogen also announced a partnership with Qualcomm, which is designed to enable the custom ROM maker to embed its software feats and UI design elements into devices supported by Qualcomm Snapdragon 200, 400 and 600 processors (used in lower-to-mid-range handsets). Back then, Cyanogen said it was committed to providing an enhanced experience to these budget phones aimed at customers who don’t want or need a high-end smartphone in their life.

Cyanogen's new boot animation revolves around the new logo
Image credits to Youtube Video Screenshot

New Cyanogen OS Boot Animation
Video credits to Cyanogen

Android 5.0.2 Lollipop Arrives on Sony Xperia Z2, Xperia Z2 Tablet and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact

Yesterday we had a little bit of good news for those of you who are rocking a Sony Xperia Z smartphone. After months of waiting and promises, the Japanese device maker finally kick-started the much awaited Android 5.0 Lollipop rollout.

The Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact were the first ones to receive the new build, but luckily more devices are being added to the rooster as we speak. As the Xperia Blog is currently reporting, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop (build 23.1 A.0.690) is now rolling out to Xperia Z2 (S65XX) owners in the Nordic and Baltic regions of Europe. What’s more, the Wi-Fi-only (SGP11, SGP612) and LTE (SGP21) versions of the Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact are also getting the same treatment.

The 16GB LTE (SGP512) and Wi-Fi (SGP511) models of the Xperia Z2 Tablet join the family of devices that are getting Lollipop as well, but the Wi-Fi-only 32GB version (SGP512) will have to wait a little while longer. So if you are the owner of one of these devices, you’d better keep an eye on your phone/tablet to see if you have received a notification alerting you that Android 5.0 Lollipop has arrived. As is usually the case with these updates, some versions might be getting Lollipop sooner than others, depending on region and exact device model.

Android 5.0.2 Lollipop on Sony Xperia Z2

Rollout of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop for the Sony Xperia Z2 has begun

Rollout of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop for the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact has begun
Images credits to Xperia Blog

Windows 10 Will Eat Up Less Space on All Devices

Microsoft has recently revealed that Windows 10 will come with a new file compression system that will make the operating system eat up less space on all your devices, including PCs, tablets, and smartphones. Still, not all these devices will benefit from the same amount of space, Microsoft says, but increased storage should be available after installing the new OS.

In a blog post published this morning, Microsoft says that Windows 10 will include system compression and recovery enhancements that will bring you back approximately 1.5 GB of storage space for 32-bit installations, and 2.6 GB for 64-bit versions. Phones that will be upgraded to Windows 10 will also win back some space, but the exact amounts of storage that will be offered will vary by device. At the same time, Redmond says that the "refresh" and "reset" options that are included in Windows 10 will no longer use a recovery image that's mostly pre-installed on device manufacturers to include all drivers and necessary software.

Without a recovery image, Windows 10 will provide 4 to 12 GB additional storage space, which means that the new operating system can help you win back no less than 15 GB with all the aforementioned space-saving tweaks.

RAM and CPU, essential for system compression
The software giant explains that Windows 10 will analyze the amount of RAM and the CPU installed on every machine and then determine if system compression can be used for gaining additional space on the local drives. "The amount of RAM a device has determines how often it retrieves system files from storage. Another important factor is how quickly a device’s CPUs can run the decompression algorithm when retrieving system files," the company says. The whole purpose of this small mix is to use system compression without actually hampering system performance in any way and to eventually impact your work, so all tasks would be performed in the background.

Windows 10 is projected to hit the market in the second half of 2015, but everyone can already take the operating system for a spin as part of the Windows Insider program.

Windows 10 system compression in action
Image credits to Microsoft

Nexus 6 Is Faster with Android 5.1 Lollipop, Benchmark Shows

Google has already launched Android 5.1 Lollipop, a new version of its mobile OS which is supposed to fix lots of the issues that Lollipop adopters complained of many times.

The new OS is also meant to improve performance on some smartphones and tablets, as well as eliminate the occasional lags. Unfortunately, Android 5.1 Lollipop is only available for Nexus devices, like Nexus 6, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. And it will take quite a long time for Android 5.1 Lollipop to arrive on other smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3 or HTC One M8, which all run a previous version of the operating system. Well, that is quite unfortunate because Android 5.1 Lollipop should really boost any of these smartphones mentioned earlier. At least that's what it did for the Nexus 6.

The folks over at Ars Technica have tested their Nexus 6 device with a version of Android 5.0 Lollipop onboard, and then with the latest one released by Google last week.

Android 5.1 Lollipop is clearly better optimized than any previous versions
The benchmark chosen by Ars Technica is AndroBench. As proven by the results the Nexus 6 with Android 5.1 Lollipop provides more than double the performance of the same device running Android 5.0 when it comes to reading and writing speeds. Sequential speeds on the other hand are about the same for both Android 5.1 and Android 5.0, which means that games will load in about the same time. On CPU tests, the Android 5.0 Lollipop shuts down processors 3 and 4 and leaves only two of them running, but in Android 5.1 Lollipop all cores are enabled and ready.

In the same piece of news, Nexus 5 was subject to the same tests and the results are about the same, which proves that Android 5.1 Lollipop really optimizes the operating system further for better overall performance.

Random read and write speeds

Sequential read and write

CPU benchmark
Images credits to Ars Technica

Sony Xperia Z4 Fully Revealed in Leaked Press Render

Sony's presence at Mobile World Congress 2015 was pretty discrete with only a new tablet and a mid-range Android smartphone. However, that is about to change in the coming months, as the Japanese company plans to launch its next flagship smartphone.

Although previous rumors claimed the Xperia Z4 will be revealed at MWC 2015, that did not happen and the smartphone won't be officially unveiled for a few more months at least. Since Sony announced it will focus more on design and less on specs, we don't expect the Xperia Z4 to pack any revolutionary features. However, the first press render of the smartphone leaked yesterday and from what we've noticed there aren't many differences as opposed to the previous flagship, the Xperia Z3.

It strongly resemblance the previous flagship
Today, the same leaker published another picture of the Xperia Z4, but this time a image shows the full front side of the device. That being said, it's clear that Sony's upcoming flagship smartphone will adopt the same design line as the previous model, which makes us wonder what new stuff the Japanese company will include in the Xperia Z4. Apart from the picture, @OnLeaks did not provided any other details regarding Xperia Z4's specs, but we suspect they will come sooner rather than later. According to previous rumors, the Xperia Z4 should pack a 21-megapixel rear camera with Exmor RS IMX230 sensor and an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor.

No word on display, but Sony might avoid adding a Quad HD screen inside for fear of high battery consumption, which leads us to believe the Xperia Z4 will sport a full HD (1080p) display. Other than that there is pretty much no info Sony Xperia Z4, but since we're getting close to its launch we expect more details to emerge in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more updates on the matter.

Sony Xperia Z4

Sony Xperia Z4 (top side)

Sony Xperia Z4 (back side)
Images credits to @OnLeaks on Twitter

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