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Mar 30, 2015

Sony Xperia Z4 Spotted in Benchmark with 5.1-Inch FHD Display, Snapdragon 810 CPU

Sony did not launch a flagship smartphone this year yet, but the Japanese company is expected to do so in the coming months. One of the most important handset makers, Sony has decided that two flagship smartphones per year is too much, which is why beginning 2015 it will only launch one.

The Xperia Z3 is the last and current flagship smartphone released by Sony and since it hit shelves last fall, it can hardly compete with the most recent flagship launched by other companies. Nevertheless, Sony is already working on its next high-end smartphone, the Xperia Z4. The handset has been recently spotted in benchmarks, which gives us an idea on what Sony plans to bring on the market. Having said that it doesn't plan to include Quad HD displays into its smartphones due to the high battery consumption, Sony Xperia Z4 appears in GFXBench with a 5.1-inch full HD (1080p) capacitive touchscreen display.

3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory, but no word on microSD card slot
As expected, the prototype benchmarked is equipped with a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, an Adreno 430 graphics processing unit and 3GB of RAM. Also, the smartphone packs 32GB of internal memory, but there's no info on whether or not it will feature microSD card slot for memory expansion. We also don't know whether or not Sony will included another Qualcomm processor inside its flagship smartphone if the chipset maker launches a new one in the coming months.

On the back, the Xperia Z4 will boast a 20-megapixel photo snapper with LED flash, autofocus and video recording, while in the front there will be a 5-megapixel camera for video calls and selfies. Codenamed Sony E6553, the Xperia Z4 tested in GFXBench runs Android 5.0.2 Lollipop operating system, but the final build may be released with a newer version. Sony Xperia Z4 is expected to be revealed later this year at IFA 2015, which will kick off in early September. However, the Japanese company hasn't confirmed a timeframe for the release of its next flagship smartphone yet, so take it with a grain of salt for the moment.

Sony Xperia Z4
Image credits to @onleaks

Sony Xperia Z4 specs
Image credits to GFXBench

HTC One M9+ Renders Show Up, Reveal Fingerprint Scanner

A few hours ago, HTC quietly announced the One E9+ smartphone in China, a model which arrives with a 5.5-inch QHD display (2560 x 1440 pixel resolution).

The product was supposed to be announced in China on April 8 alongside the HTC One M9+, but it looks like the Taiwanese company wanted to introduce the One E9+ so it could focus on the M9+ during the “More than One” event. While we await for this to happen, the phone has appeared in a couple of official press renders brought to us by serial leakster @upleaks. The two images’ clear focus is the Samsung-style scanner beneath the screen. We’re also seeing a very interesting color combination of gunmetal grey on the front and back with gold accents on the side.

The chassis design is very similar to the HTC One M9, but then again, we have the fingerprint scanner onboard plus the rear camera we've already spotted on the “More than One” invitation. As the name suggests, the One M9+ will be larger than the One M9, arriving with a display somewhere between 5.2 inches and 5.5 inches, and it should offer QHD resolution (2,550 x 1,440) unlike the current flagship.

Other rumored specs include an octa-core MediaTek processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage.

HTC One M9+ showing fingerprint scanner

HTC One M9+ back and front
Images credits to @upleaks

HTC invite to “More than One” event
Image credits to HTC Weibo

Alleged iPhone 6C Rear Cover Leaks Out, Gets Compared to iPhone 5C

A few days ago, a report came in saying that Apple was prepping not just two iPhone models this year, but three.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the Cupertino tech giant will be unleashing the iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, and surprise, the iPhone 6C with a 4-inch display. It seems that a market for low-cost, less premium smartphones still exists, so Apple has finally set up plans to refresh the model which made its debut in 2013. The iPhone 6C is poised to continue on the road the original model has embarked upon, meaning it will be a less advanced affair. As it turns out, the phone will be powered by the current-gen A8 system-on-chip, while the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus will benefit from the yet unannounced A9 chip.

Is this the iPhone 6C?
A few days ago, this was just a rumor propagated by a hit-and-miss Asian publication, but this week, mobile part re-seller Future Supplier appears to have leaked the iPhone 6c plastic back cover. For comparison’s sake, the iPhone 6C’s rear cover has been stacked against the panel on the iPhone 5C. As you can see, the differences aren’t very considerable, but if you look closely, you’ll notice some things have changed. First, the camera flash cut out on the iPhone 6C now has an oval shape like on the iPhone 5S, while the camera LED on the iPhone 5C is round. It’s a subtle difference which doesn’t pop up right off the bat.

The second disparity consists in the fact that iPhone 6C’s back cover now has two sets of speaker holes living on the bottom side. The iPhone 5C, on the other hand, only has a single set. While we can’t yet be 100% sure that Apple plans to roll out a new 4-inch budget model, it does seem that the rumor mill is leaning towards this very theory. Even if the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have managed to register record sales (74.5 million in Q4 2014 alone), it seems that some customers can’t accommodate to larger 5.5-inch factors yet (it’s the case of the Plus model) and continue to crave a good old 4-incher. So Apple is looking to cater to their needs.

iPhone 6C back panel compared to the iPhone 5C

The iPhone 6C has two rows of speaker holes drilled into it
Images credits to iSupplier

Lenovo’s Super Cheap K3 Note Impresses in Benchmarks, Beats Samsung Galaxy S5

Last week, Lenovo took the wraps off a pretty interesting new smartphone which it debuted in its home country, China. The device maker is probably looking to take on domestic competitors like Meizu and Xiaomi with this new smartphone.

What’s most surprising about this new handset is the price-specs correspondence. The Lenovo K3 Note is notably cheap, arriving in the wild priced at around $145 / €134. You’d normally expect such a cheap phone not to bring much to the table in terms of specifications, but you would be pretty wrong to think that in this case. The K3 Note arrives with a 5.5-inch display and offers 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution with 401ppi. Under the hood lies an octa-core MediaTek MT6752 processor maintaining things steady on board. The device maker throws in 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a 13MP/5MP camera combo. The phablet is kept alive and running by a hefty 3,000 mAh battery which should allow users to use it throughout the day.

Even if Lenovo calls this smartphone Note, the model doesn't seem to arrive with any digitizer on board. There’s also an interesting visual part to it: if you look at its back, you’ll probably notice the protuberant Lenovo logo.

The Lenovo K3 Note 3 aces it in benchmarks
The handset hasn't been out for long, but it already popped up in benchmarks, showing us surprisingly encouraging results. The Lenovo K3 Note made a little stop at AnTuTu, where it got benchmarked and subsequently scored an impressive 46,001 points, enough to challenge a lot of flagship devices that were released in 2014. At least on paper, Lenovo’s new budget affair seems to be from the same group as the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, LG G3 or OnePlus One. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S5 model with an Exynos 5 Octa processor on the inside scored 38,580 in AnTuTu, while the Snapdragon 801 model managed to snatch only 36,018 points.

So in theory, it appears that the Lenovo K3 Note should be able to perform quite smoothly, a lot better than handsets arriving with a similar price tag. Hopefully, the device maker will offer the model on the international market too, at some point.

Lenovo K3 Note
Image credits to Mobile Dad

Lenovo K3 Note in AnTuTu Benchmark
Image credits to AnTuTu

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 815 SoC Might Have Quad Cortex A72 and Quad Cortex A53 Cores

Even before Qualcomm rolled out the Snapdragon 810 chip into the wild, we had been hearing a lot of rumors about the silicone piece being plagued by overheating issues.

The fact that Qualcomm tried to perfect the platform before the first devices bundling it started shipping out didn't help much either, as concerns regarding overheating haven’t dissipated yet. Anyway, the debate around the Snapdragon 810 will probably be over once the company releases its next chipset, an event that doesn't seem that far away. Snapdragon 815 is Qualcomm’s next take on a SoC (system on a chip), and according to the information we have, the silicone piece is expected to arrive on the market in the coming months.

As we told you a few days ago, the chipset was already tested in benchmarks and was pitted against previous models, including the Snapdragon 801 and Snapdragon 810, while running Asphalt 8 Airborne, a demanding mobile game from Gameloft. The results showed that the Snapdragon 815 runs much cooler than both Snapdragon 801 and Snapdragon 810.

Snapdragon 815 details revealed
While these preliminary results seemed pretty encouraging, we still didn't know much about the specifics of this particular chip. However, the folks at Gizmo China received a tip revealing more info about Qualcomm’s upcoming silicone platform. The Snapdragon 815 will apparently come with four Cortex A72 and four Cortex A53 cores on a big.LITTLE architecture. The chip will reportedly be made using the new FinFet process (probably 16nm) and will be outfitted with Qualcomm’s next-gen Adreno GPU. The source also mentions that Qualcomm might tweak the cores to boost performance. So it appears the Snapdragon 815 will be pretty similar to the Snapdragon 620, which has already been launched.

The exception is that the Snapdragon 815 will be manufactured on a smaller node and will take advantage of all the features that can be expected from a premium Snapdragon 800 model. Earlier leaked info about the Snapdragon 815 also revealed that the new SoC would arrive with a LDDR4 RAM and would use a MSM9X55 LTE-A Cat. 10 modem. If you’re wondering why Qualcomm is taking its time to launch the new, less prone to heating Snapdragon 815, it’s because the chip giant doesn't want to hurt sales of the LG G Flex 2 or HTC One M9 flagships, which just went on sale. The Snapdragon 810 will also make it into several other flagships in the following months, like the LG G4, Sony Xperia Z4 or OnePlus Two.

Snapdragon 815 will be launched soon
Image credits to Know Your Mobile

Snapdragon 815 heating compared to the Snapdragon 810 and Snapdragon 801

Snapdragon 815 details leak out
Image credits to Gizmo China

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