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Aug 6, 2015

Microsoft to Launch Windows 10 Service Release 1 on August 10 [Report]

Windows 10 has just received its very first cumulative update after the July 29 launch, but Microsoft is reportedly working on an even larger release that could get the go-ahead sometime next week.

According to a new report by Richard Hay, the so-called Windows 10 Service Release 1 could be launched on August 10, but it’s not yet clear whether Microsoft wants to push this update to insiders first or make it available for everyone from the very beginning. Basically, the Service Release 1 is another big pack of improvements for Windows 10 and is specifically aimed at fixing bugs and implementing optimizations for the core operating system, being part of the Windows as a Service strategy that’s supposed to bring new updates at a faster pace.

Microsoft is yet to publicly acknowledge Service Release 1, and today’s cumulative update “doesn’t have a name,” according to Gabe Aul, which means that they’re most likely separate updates, with the latter to see daylight sometime very soon.

Bigger update in October

With Windows 10 now alive and kicking, it seems that Microsoft’s Windows as a Service concept really pays off, as updates arrive much faster than before, so users’ computers are continuously getting bug fixes and improvements. But the real big update for Windows 10 will only arrive in October, when Microsoft is expected to release a bunch of improvements including not only bug fixes and performance improvements but also new features.

The most anticipated feature is extension support for Microsoft Edge, as the company has already announced this option for its browser, but other goodies for OneDrive and Skype are also expected. Microsoft is yet to confirm the October update, but some internal sources are referring to it as “Autumn Update,” so chances are that we’ll be getting this new release in the next couple of months if everything works as expected.

Windows 10 will receive updates faster as part of the Windows as a Service concept
Image credits to Microsoft

Microsoft Releases the First Windows 10 Cumulative Update

Microsoft has just rolled out the first cumulative update for Windows 10, fixing a number of bugs that were found by users after the July 29 launch and committing to the Windows as a Service approach that’s supposed to bring us updates at a much faster pace.

Since it’s a cumulative update, this release includes all the previously shipped bug fixes, but it also brings some new ones that are supposed to solve unaddressed problems with the operating system. So if you’ve already installed all the updates that Microsoft has rolled out in the last weeks, the new cumulative update will only deploy the new files, so you’ll be fully up to date. Redmond doesn’t say what exactly is new in this update, but it does provide a long list of changed files. Here is the official description of the release:

“This update includes non-security-related changes to enhance the functionality of Windows 10 through new features and improvements. Windows 10 updates are cumulative. Therefore, this package contains all previously-released fixes (see KB 3074683). If you have installed previous updates, only the new fixes that are contained in this package will be downloaded and installed to your computer.”

Service Release 1?
As we previously reported to you, Microsoft is also scheduled to roll out a larger pack of improvements to Windows 10 that many are referring to as Service Release 1, but at this point, it’s not yet clear if this is indeed the eagerly anticipated update or not. Microsoft’s Gabe Aul says that this update “doesn’t have a name,” which could a sign that Service Release 1 will actually arrive at a later time. And yet, just like today’s update, SR1 will be mostly focused on fixing bugs and improving performance, so you won’t see any big difference in terms of new features after installing it once it becomes available.

Windows 10
Image credits to CNET

Snapdragon 820 Specs Leak Out, Ahead of August 11 Announcement

The Snapdragon 810 chipset might go down in history as Qualcomm’s biggest failure to date. The silicon piece suffered from overheating issues ever since its inception and ended up causing troubles for handsets being sustained by this platform, including the HTC One M9 and Xperia Z3+.

But Qualcomm is looking to make amends with its next-gen Snapdragon 820 platform, which is based on the company’s own custom cores dubbed Kyro. And according to freshly squeezed information, the US chip giant will be introducing the SoC in Los Angeles on August 11. Today, thanks to well-known Chinese analyst Pan Jiutang, we get to look at the specs of the chipset, even before Qualcomm has had a chance to detail them for us (as spotted at G for Games). Jiutang’s Weibo account leaked a few screenshots that detail the new silicon piece and give us an image of how powerful the Snapdragon 820 really is.

Take a sneak peek at the Snapdragon 820's specifications
The images show the differences between the Snapdragon 810 and Snapdragon 820, with a focus on the 35% performance jump in the CPU department and the 40% improvement on the GPU front. The upcoming silicon will be manufactured using Samsung’s 14nm process instead of the 20nm used for the Snapdragon 810. Due to the use of this technique, the chip needs 30% less power, which means the temperature on board should remain quite cool. Another interesting aspect to take into account is the new Hydra CPU design, which takes advantage of Qualcomm’s own core designs rather than ARM’s.

The images show a lot of information, but the most important aspect you should keep in mind involves the new A530 GPU being 40% faster than the previous version. There’s also a Cat 10 LTE modem built-in, that on paper is capable of supporting pretty much any LTE standard and the highest speeds. The chipset can also handle 4K content at a smooth 60fps. Qualcomm is poised to start shipping the Snapdragon 820 chipset to partners towards the end of 2015, but don’t expect to see a device fueled by this chipset this year.

Actually, the same analyst who leaked these screenshots says that the first smartphone to take advantage of the Snapdragon 820 is poised to be the Xiaomi Mi5 Pro, which is due out in March. It all sounds pretty exciting.

Snapdragon 820 overview

Snapdragon 820 advancement
Images credits to Pan Jiutang Weibo account

Lenovo Vibe X3 Leaks with Full Specs

Word of the Lenovo Vibe X3 smartphone surfaced before MWC 2015, so we were expecting to see the device launch during the event. But we know that didn’t happen.

Still, that doesn’t mean Lenovo has no plans of launching the smartphone sometime in the future. Case in point, the specs of the Vibe X3 have surfaced this week, giving us a glimpse of what Lenovo has in store for us in the upcoming months. As revealed by Tech Gadgetsz, the Lenovo Vibe X3 popped up in the GFXBench database, revealing the full extent of its specifications in the process. It was previously believed that the phone would come equipped with a 5.5-inch display, but according to the new info, this is not the case.

Here's what the Lenovo Vibe X3 will be all about
Apparently, the phone will arrive with a 5-inch IPS display with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, 441 ppi and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Under the hood, we find Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz. It seems that Lenovo will abstain from using the Snapdragon 810 with this model, and this seems to be a good choice, considering all the reports of overheating issues concerning the chip. LG also took this path with the G4 flagship. The hexa-core chipset will be working in concert with an Adreno 418 GPU plus 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory (expandable up to a hefty 128GB via microSD card slot).

In the photography department, the phone takes advantage of a 20MP rear camera with dual LED flash, plus an atypical 7MP frontal facing camera for selfie taking. Android 5.1.1 Lollipop is the operating system du-jour (with the company’s own Vibe UI plastered on top), so if Lenovo launches the phone soon, you’ll be off the hook with updates until Android M comes along. The device is also equipped with 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP and NFC.

We’re also told the X3 should come with dual frontal speakers with Hi-Fi 3.0 software and a fingerprint sensor located on the back. From the looks of things, the Lenovo Vibe X3 will be one of the company’s upcoming flagships. Still, we have no clue when the Chinese device maker plans to unveil the handset or how much it will cost.

Purported Lenovo Vibe X3 image
Image credits to Tech Gadgetsz

Lenovo Vibe X3 spotted in benchmark
Image credits to GFXBenchmark

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 Gets Handled in Live Images, No MicroSD Card Slot Included

In a few weeks, Samsung is expected to host a grand event in New York in order to take the veil off its highly anticipated Galaxy Note 5 phablet.

Samsung enthusiasts loved the Galaxy Note 4, which got unveiled at IFA 2014 in Berlin, so it’s no wonder a lot of hype has built around the Galaxy Note 5. The phone has recently gotten benchmarked, revealing that it runs on the Exynos 7420 and not the Exynos 7422 like it was previously believed. It scored 69k points in AnTuTu, which is comparable to what the Galaxy S6 managed to score. Anyway, the leaks related to the Galaxy Note 5 have been intensifying in the past few days in anticipation of the big event.

Now, the folks at Droid Life have apparently been sent a batch of live pictures showing the Galaxy Note 5 being handled. All sides of the phone are visible in the gallery, so we can now confirm some aspects that we weren’t 100% sure about before.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 shows up in the wild
A few days ago, we told you that there was a slim chance the Galaxy Note 5 might come with a microSD card after all, but today, after seeing the images, we can annul all hope for you. No, the Galaxy Note 5 will not take advantage of expandable storage and will be offered in 32GB/64GB or 128GB configurations. The live images are also showing without a shadow of doubt that the phone will not take advantage of a new USB Type-C port, but of a regular USB. And that’s not all as far as bad news go. Previous information indicated that the Galaxy Note 5 should arrive with a larger 4,100 mAh battery. Well, according to the newest information, the handset will actually be powered by a non-removable 3,000 mAh battery, which is smaller than what the Galaxy Note 4 brought to the table.

One of the biggest complaints users of the Galaxy S6 had was the skimpy, insufficient battery life, and it appears that with the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung will once again sacrifice function for form. In the software department, TouchWiz will apparently let you customize the Air Command menu (with Instagram being part of the options). Air Command pops up when users take the S Pen out of the phablet. Take a look at the live images of the Galaxy Note 5 and tell us what you think in the comment section below.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 front and profile

Samsung Galaxy Note 5 upper and lower parts
Images credits to Droid-Life

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