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Sep 4, 2015

Qualcomm Claims Snapdragon 820 Will Double the Battery Life

Qualcomm is preparing to launch the Snapdragon 820, and in order to build hype around the new platform, these past few weeks the US chip maker has been teasing some of the features of the silicon.

A few days ago, we told you that the Snapdragon 820 would provide mobile malware protection, and today Qualcomm has revealed yet another slide detailing another advancement users will most likely appreciate very much. Qualcomm tells us that the Snapdragon will feature the so-called new Symphony Manager, which is a system designed to manage the entire SoC in its different configurations, so that the most effective and efficient combination of specialized cores is selected in order to get the job done as quickly as possible and utilizing the smallest amount of power.

We’re given an example to understand how this thing works. For example, if a user is taking a picture, Symphony Manager will make sure the appropriate components are utilized, running at the needed frequency and for as long as needed. We're talking about components like CPU, Spectra IPS, Snapdragon Display Engine, GPU, GPS, and memory. Qualcomm says this type of “heterogeneous” computing will be able to double the battery life when compared to what the Snapdragon 810 could deliver.

We expect the first device to make a debut with a Snapdragon 820 under the hood to be the Xiaomi Mi5 Pro, which is expected to come sometime in March 2016.

Snapdragon 820 promises double battery life

The Snapdragon 820 is the top of the line for Qualcomm
Images credits to Qualcomm

Sony Xperia Z5 Family Actually Has a 25MP Camera Sensor

Yesterday at IFA 2015, Sony pulled the veil off a new smartphone family including the Xperia Z5, Xperia Z5 Compact and Xperia Z5 Premium. All the three models feature similar hardware configurations with slight variations between them.

When the trio was announced, the consensus was that the phones bundle a new 1/2.3 Exmor RS sensor that Sony is marketing as having a resolution of 23MP. However, focusing more attentively on the matter, the folks at GSM Arena have discovered that the Sony Xperia Z5 family actually has a 25MP sensor inside. The confusion appeared because of the difference between the two standard aspect ratios. While shooting in portrait mode (4:3 aspect ratio), the sensor will be able to take 5,520 x 4,140 pixel (23MP) pictures, while in landscape mode (16:9 ratio mode), the camera will shoot photos at 5,984 x 3,366 pixels (20MP).

Most Android phones these days come with camera sensors that will natively take pictures in 4:3 aspect ratio, despite the fact that the 16:9 ratio is the preferred one. The thing that happens when users take a 16:9 image is that the smartphone takes a portion (crop) out of the native 4:3 image and turns it into 16:9.

Sony didn't reveal all the details
According to the research conducted by the publication, the Xperia Z5 series features a 25MP sensor with native aspect ratio taller than 16:9 and wider than 4:3. Actually, the phone has a multi-aspect sensor. So when Sony’s new handsets take a picture in 4:3, the camera will crop the resolution at maximum height. When taking an image in 16:9 mode, the camera crops at max width. So in 16:9, you should be able to take pics at 5,984 x 3,366 pixels or about 20MP. If we were actually dealing with a 23MP sensor, the resolution of the 16:9 image would be of 5,520 x 3,105 pixels or 17.14MP.

Anyway, multi-aspect sensors have been known to pop up from time to time, as was the case with the 8.7MP sensor on the Nokia N9. Sony chose to describe the camera inside the Xperia Z5 series like it did because it wouldn’t have been right to announce a 25MP camera capable of shooting 23MP maximum resolution.

Sony Xperia Z5 series
Image credits to Sony

Thicker iPhone 6s (Plus) Suggested by Leaked Photos

New photos have surfaced that seem to indicate that the new generation of iPhones that will most probably be unveiled at Apple's September 9 event will come in a larger form factor.

Although the new devices might sport a larger frame, the differences in size aren't that big: the new iPhone 6 should measure 7.08 mm instead of the current 6.9 in thickness, and the 6s Plus might come with a thickness of 7.3 mm instead of 7.1. The 6s also appears to be just a little bit longer, with a length of 138.19 mm, the current length being 138.1 mm, while the increase in width is also hardly noticeable, going from 67 mm to 67.68 mm.

Possible built-in Force Touch sensor
All in all, although there are no details as to why the devices will get this size boost, word of mouth and previous rumors we reported about a week ago hint at the addition of a Force Touch sensor within these new devices' displays. One other possible reason for the probably enlargement of the new models could also be Apple's attempt to fix the well-known "bendgate" problem by toughening their shell and strengthening all the iPhone case weak points some users have come to hate soon after the 6 and 6 Plus release.

Plausible Series 7000 alloy case
To prevent the iPhone from bending, Apple could also use the new, 60% stronger than ordinary aluminum, Series 7000 alloy they're currently using in their Apple Watch Sport device. This type of material might also keep the new iPhones from getting heavier depending on the amount Apple uses to build the case, seeing that, although stronger, the Series 7000 alloy also has about one third the density of stainless steel.

Although at the moment nothing is certain, the new leaked photos from MacRumors seem to indicate that most of the rumors in the past were pointing in the right direction, with new iPhones to sport increased sizes and, of course, the new technology additions or upgrades expected by everyone when Apple is releasing new products.

The new iPhone's possible thickness

The case length and width measured with a caliper
Image credits to MacRumors

Snapdragon 820-Powered Smartphone Prototype Scores Massive 84K Points in AnTuTu

US chip maker Qualcomm is planning to unveil its next-gen Snapdragon 820 soon and in order to prepare the audience for the big event, the company has been teasing the technological breakthroughs we can expect the chipset to bundle when it goes official.

We’ve been hearing that the first smartphone to come equipped with the Snapdragon 820 platform will be the Xiaomi Mi5 Pro, which should make a debut sometime in March 2016. In the meanwhile, a handset going by the name Green Orange X1 Pro has showed up in the AnTuTu benchmarking database with a Snapdragon 820 processor on the inside (as reported by Tech Grapple). The smartphone prototype managed to score a massive 83,774 points in AnTuTu, but don’t get overly excited about the performance of the chipset just yet. We might have discovered the reason why the chip performed so admirably.

Unlike most flagships launching today, the Green Orange X1 Pro features a 1080 x 1920 resolution on the display instead of the 1440 x 2560 characteristic of most flagships nowadays.

The prototype runs only the outdated Android KitKat
Other specifications of the phone include 4GB of RAM, 64GB of native storage, a 16MP rear camera, plus Android 4.4.2 pre-installed. With the Snapdragon 820, Qualcomm hopes to erase the bad memories associated with the Snapdragon 810, which was plagued by overheating issues ever since its inception. Unlike the Snapdragon 810, the new chipset relies on the company’s own custom cores dubbed Kyro, so the two platforms are quite different at heart. When it launches, the Snapdragon 820 will have to face avid competition from the MediaTek Helio X20, the world’s first deca-core chipset which is already poised to make it into several devices, including the HTC One A9 or the Zopo phablet that leaked a few days ago.

Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 820 is built using Samsung’s 14nm FinFET process and can handle speeds of up to 2.2GHz. The chip maker has said that the new CPU will offer twice the performance and power efficiency found in the Snapdragon 810 chip and hopefully no overheating issues to complain about. The US chip giant is also trying to get back into the graces of Samsung, which is currently avidly testing the chipset to determine whether it is good enough for its next-gen flagship, the Galaxy S7.

Snapdragon 820 shows up in AnTuTu

Snapdragon 820 scores almost 84K points
Tech Grapple

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