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Sep 7, 2015

iPhone 6s to Come with 3D Force Touch Display




The rumors keep flowing before the start of Apple's September 9 event, and it's again time for the new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to receive yet another plausible upgrade.

This time it's all about the new touch tech that will supposedly be added to the screen of the new smartphone models from Apple. The new type of screen should be an upgraded version of the pressure sensitive ones MacBook and Apple Watch are already used to, with a slight but very important difference: an added layer of sensitivity. Potentially dubbed "3D Touch Display," the new screen will supposedly offer iOS developers a lot more space for developing better apps which will be a lot easier to control using differentiated levels of pressure on the screen. Moreover, iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users will be able to use three separate levels of pressure when navigating through an app's interface, by tapping controls, by pressing them or by longer presses.

This way, they can run three distinct types of actions using the same button, a simple way through which developers could effectively add a lot more possible types of interaction features using the same set of controls available on devices with lesser displays.

Also available on the new iPad Pro
In addition, the new "3D Touch Display" should also make an appearance in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which should also sport a stylus designed to make it a lot easier for users to use design and sketch apps. The new stylus coupled with the new three-layered pressure screen could be the decisive reason for many Mac users to discard their old graphics tablets. Even though adding a stylus to the new iPad might be a good idea for working with drawing apps, it should be noted that this comes in direct opposition to what Steve Jobs thought about styluses. During the first iPhone release, Jobs expressed his complete and utter disgust regarding such an implement when the human finger can be just as effective.

According to 9to5mac, this new rumor is based on information from various sources that are familiar with the new iPhones, and because this doesn't say much about the reliability of said sources, a little pinch of skepticism is in order.

Tapping the iPhone 6 screen
Image credits to The Geek Byte

Nokia C1 Android Smartphone Leaks in Live Images




A few days ago, we told you that that Nokia’s purported upcoming Android smartphone, the C1, revealed itself in a bunch of render images, showcasing a stylish handset that apparently could feature a unibody design.

The Finnish company confirmed a few months ago that it was looking to make a return to the world of smartphones and that it was willing to find the right partner in doing so. Apparently, the device maker has found some support and is moving things along. The previously leaked images showed the device in its conceptual stage, but this week the folks over at GSM Dome stumbled upon a couple of images on Weibo that presumably depict the C1 smartphone in the flesh.

What we can see in the new images is a smartphone with a white matte display and a promising screen-to-body size ratio. One can also spot the on-screen navigation buttons characteristic of Android.

What can we expect from the Nokia C1?
As we have noticed with the renders, the C1 does seem to feature some design similarities to the Nokia N1 tablet, which, to our surprise, launched last year. Although Nokia is prohibited from making any smartphones until 2016 or so, the interdiction does not apply to the company putting its name on other products, like the slate we mentioned above. While most details about the Nokia C1 smartphone remain under wraps, we can tell you that the highly anticipated device is expected to sport a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution. The smartphone should be powered by an Intel Atom chipset coupled with 2GB of RAM.

On the back, the C1 will pack an 8MP photo snapper with autofocus, LED flash and video recording, while on the front stands proud a 5MP selfie camera. As you can see, all these specs point towards a pretty mid-range smartphone, which is quite different from the N1 tablet, which brought pretty high-end specifications. Anyway, we guess Nokia would have to start its assault on the market pretty slowly. By the time Nokia releases the smartphone, Google would have probably launched the successor to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, so the phone will probably come around with next version of Android (possibly N).

Purported image of Nokia C1, back view

Purported image of Nokia C1, front view
Images credits to Weibo/GSM Dome

AMD Athlon X4 880K CPU Leaked Online




Another processing unit chip will apparently join the APU lineup from AMD that will offer slightly higher clock speeds than the current flagship die, the A8-7670K and A10-7870K.

Following the announcement of a new APU chip this July, AMD plans to release a new unlocked SoC, the Athlon X4 880K which will apparently be clocked higher than the 870K. The first details about the new AMD CPU came from a motherboard system from Biostar that listed the 880K among other AMD CPUs supported by the new Biostar device. Along the new APU, there are listed specifications for future A8-7690K and A10-7890K models that will replace the current high-end A10-7870K. The new APU was present on roadmaps leaked on Benchlife some while ago, and should be available on the market in the new future. The new 880K will be based on the same "Kaveri" microarchitecture. The name, similar to Intel's recent Pentium brand, AMD's Athlon X4, recently became the typical name for lower priced CPU with disabled graphics.

AMD keeps APU models leaked even before its predecessors are announced
Thanks to the Biostar motherboard announcement, new information has been provided on the website about the new Athlon X4 880K microprocessor: the new APU will apparently arrive with 4 GHz clock speed, 95 Watt TDP and a part number of AD880KXBI44JC. It will have a 100MHz higher clock rate than the announced but currently unavailable 870K base clock, but will have 100 MHz lower than the A10-7890K. The AD880KXBI44JC part number is meant to give us a couple of details about the 880K. According to CPU World, the "KX" letters are referring to being compatible with the FM2+ package and 95 Watt power envelope. The "44" digits tell about the number of cores inside the APU and 4MB of level 2 cache, while "JC" tells us that the CPU is based on the new "Godavari" stepping. However, it seems that the website does not say too much about the maximum Turbo Core frequency.

New Athlon X4 APU details are leaked
Image credits to AMD

AMD's near future roadmap
Image credits to Benchlife

Sony Xperia Z5 Family Prices Drop 3 Days After Release




Sony introduced the all-new Xperia Z5 family at IFA 2015 in Berlin not so long ago, and a few days afterwards we told you that the devices were already made available for pre-order in the UK.

Well, just three days later, it seems that Sony has reconsidered its original pricing scheme for the phones and has already slashed them. So now you can pick up an Xperia Z5 Compact for £429 / $652 (originally £549 / $837). The Xperia Z5 is offered for £549 / $845 (previously £599 / $913), and the high-end Xperia Z5 Premium comes with a £599 / $911 price tag (down from £699 / $1,065). That’s almost 20% off on the Z5 Compact, and a pretty big discount for the regular Xperia Z5 and Xperia Z5 Premium. The only people who might be cheated are those Sony fans who rushed to secure their order only to find that, three days later, the rates have decreased considerable. However, we should note that the “Pre-Order” buttons have gone missing and have been replaced by the “Coming Soon” ones.

Sony has three new phones built upon the same backbone
All Sony’s new smartphones share many hardware components, such as the 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset fueling their insights, the amount of storage (32GB), and the camera configuration. The main differentiator in the Xperia Z5 lineup of smartphones is the display. The Xperia Z5 comes with a 5.2-inch full HD (1080p) screen, while the Xperia Z5 Premium is the first handset in the industry to pack an amazing 5.5-inch screen featuring 4K resolution.

On the other hand, the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact features a much smaller 4.6-inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (720p) resolution and also boasts scratch-resistant glass and oleophobic coating. Unlike its more high-end brothers, the Xperia Z5 comes with 2GB of RAM and not 3GB. All phones are equipped with a 23MP rear-facing camera that comes with many improved features in comparison with older Xperia flagship handsets. There’s also a 5.1MP camera in front that can capture full HD (1080p) video and great selfies.

Naturally, Sony has bestowed IP68 certification on the new models, making them dust proof and water resistant. Android 5.1.1 Lollipop is the default operating system out of the box.

Sony Xperia Z5 family gets a price cut
Image credits to Sony Mobile UK

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