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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

Daimler, BMW, Audi Take Over Nokia’s HERE for $3.2 Billion

After selling its Devices and Services unit to Microsoft last year, Nokia is now giving up on the next most valuable asset, the HERE mapping division that’s currently available cross-platform but also bundled into a number of other solutions, such as Garmin devices.

Reuters is reporting that a group of German premium carmakers, including Daimler, BMW, and Audi, agreed to take over the HERE division for $3.2 billion (€2.9 billion) but an announcement in this regard is yet to be provided by any of the involved parties. The deal, however, is not at all surprising, as a consortium of German car manufacturers was said to be involved in HERE takeover negotiations last month, with various reports claiming that Nokia was willing to drop the asking price in order to reach an agreement sometime this summer.

What’s more, some of these carmakers are already using HERE solutions on their mapping services, including BMW, so taking over the whole business would be a long-term investment that would cut licensing prices and make them available on a broader range of car models.

Several interested buyers, price too big
Since Nokia announced its intention to sell the HERE division, several companies have expressed their interest in taking it over, but the price set by the Finnish company was reportedly too big, so most decided to end negotiations because of this. HERE, originally known as NAVTEQ, was purchased by Nokia in 2007 and rebranded as Ovi Maps, and then renamed to Nokia Maps in 2011. The final rebranding to HERE was announced in November 2012, when Nokia was still doing pretty well with Stephen Elop, former Microsoft executive, at the helm of the company.

The HERE app is now available on the majority of mobile platforms, including Windows Phone, Android, and iOS, but also on the web on HERE.com. It’s not clear what will happen with all these apps after the takeover by German car manufacturers, but it’s believed that apps will continue to be available on mobile platforms, while premium services could be offered exclusively on their car models.

Nokia sells HERE for $3 billion
Image credits to Nokia

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