Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories March 29, 2016

HTC 10 lands on GFXBench as company hints at high-end performance

While its April 12 launch date is fast approaching, leaks for the HTC 10 won’t stop coming. Just as a tweet from HTC itself gives us a glimpse – or, rather, an ulterior confirmation – of the device’s front design, the highlighted word, ‘performance’, hints at a smartphone with great capabilities.

If anything, the Taiwanese company’s flagships have always been decent performers on the Android spectrum, and a GFXBench benchmark from this morning would all but confirm that…

Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories March 8, 2016

s7 edge

Among the numerous changes made by Samsung with last year’s pair of Galaxy S6 flagships, the decision to stick with the Exynos 7420 everywhere the device was shipped stood out particularly. Common practice for the South Korean giant was to manufacture its high-end handsets with Snapdragon chips in the mainstream markets of Europe and the United States, while delivering an Exynos-powered experience in Asia.

Given the Snapdragon 810’s notorious over-heating problems, however, it was probably a good decision; but Qualcomm set to come back in full swing this year, obtaining a deal that sees US-bound Galaxy S7s equipped with their SoC. This, however, seems to have created major discrepancies between the two models’ performances; according to AnTuTu tests, a negligible 5% difference sets the two models apart as far as CPU power goes, while up to a massive 32% gap separates the greatly superior Snapdragon 820 from the seemingly under-performing Exynos 8890 in GPU-related benchmarks…

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Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories March 1, 2016

PSA: Unlike LG’s G5, the Galaxy S7 doesn’t have support for Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0

Battery life is undoubtedly one of the major pain points most consumers have with their smartphones. Because of technological limitations, OEMs often have to find workarounds for squeezing out as much screen on (and off) time as possible, often working on software optimizations or simply trying to fit a larger unit inside the body of the device – at times making it removable.

Another way of circumventing such limitation took form in the way of making batteries recharge much faster, thanks to technologies such as Qualcomm‘s ‘Quick Charge’, which has now arrived at its v3.0. Expected to hit the majority of 2016 flagships, – like the LG G5, which does indeed support it – the latest iteration didn’t however make it to the Samsung Galaxy S7 (and S7 edge), which stuck with last year’s 2.0

Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories February 23, 2016

oppo-rapid-charge

The race to allow us to rapidly charge our smartphones got a big boost last year when Qualcomm announced that the Quick Charge 3.0 tech in its Snapdragon 820 chip would allow a typical smartphone to be charged to 80% capacity in 30 minutes. Oppo is now claiming that you’ll be able to recharge some of its devices in just 15 minutes, reports Engadget.

Oppo says that’s about how much time it’ll take to charge a dead 2,500mAh battery to 100%, and that the technology will work over traditional MicroUSB and USB Type-C cables … 

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Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories September 22, 2015

Samsung testing Snapdragon 820 in Galaxy S7 according to leaked benchmarks

Samsung caused a lot of chatter in the tech scene when it decided to eschew Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips in favor of its own Exynos processors this year. All four of Samsung’s high end devices feature its own processor in every market worldwide. But that could change next year. According to a few leaks posted to Chinese social network, weibo, Qualcomm has sent a few different versions of its Snapdragon 820 processor to Samsung for testing in its Galaxy S7.

Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories September 16, 2015

Xiaomi to unveil ‘new flagship’ Mi 4c on September 22

Xiaomi just announced on its official forums that it will be releasing a ‘new flagship’ device on September 22nd. The company is coy on what this new smartphone will feature, or where it will be released, but does state that it will be called the Mi 4c. This news comes just a couple of weeks after Xiaomi launched its budget phablet, the RedMi Note 2.

The current generation Mi 4 features a quad-core 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor and a 5-inch display as well as the go-to 13MP Sony camera sensor on the back. If we had to speculate, we’d guess that the quad-core chip will be swapped out in favor of a more current octa-core processor. Apart from that, your guess is as good as ours, although the ‘c’ does suggest we might see some colorful additions to the range. The current Mi 4 only ships in black or white.

In an attempt to perhaps tease us a little, Xiaomi does specifically, but cryptically mention availability in other countries, not just China:

And it is time to unveil Mi 4c now. Will it come to other countries or only be available in China? Forgive me that we can’t disclose much about the new model before the launch event on September 22. We will keep you updated with further details of the launch event and have a live thread on that day. Please stay tuned.

As always, Xiaomi will have a live thread updating on its forums as the device is being revealed, including which markets and regions will receive the smartphone.

Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories September 15, 2015

qualcomm-chips-2016

Qualcomm had already promised its top-of-the-range Snapdragon 820 chip – expected to be used in next year’s flagship Android smartphones and cellular tablets – will boost battery-life and offer great improvements to photos. Now the company says we can also expect much faster LTE-Advanced connections, and smarter, faster charging.

The Snapdragon 820 will increase maximum LTE download speeds by a third, from 450Mbps to 600Mbps. Maximum upload speeds will double to 150Mbps – currently viewed as an impressive download speed. And speeds could be even higher thanks to support for the as yet unofficial LTE-U standard …  expand full story

Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories August 31, 2015

qualcomm-signage

In a press release this morning, Qualcomm announced a brand new technology to help keep us protected from potential malware threats on our smartphones. Smart Protect will be built into chips in the near future and provide “real-time, on-device machine learning designed to support accurate and effective detection of zero-day malware threats for improved personal privacy and device security”. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chip will be the first to feature the new technology when it hits the market in 2016.

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Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories August 12, 2015

snapdragon-820

Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 820 chip, which has been rumored to be powering the Huawei-made 5.7-inch Nexus due to ship later this year, will come with a new Adreno 530 GPU, says the chipmaker. The new GPU will offer improved battery-life when watching movies or playing graphics-intensive games, and will also offer significantly improved image-processing when taking photos, said Tim Leland, head of Qualcomm’s visual processing group.

Our Adreno 5xx-class GPU, brings an entirely new level of imaging to smartphones, and is designed to allow Snapdragon-powered devices to capture ultra-clear, vivid photos and videos regardless of motion and lighting conditions and display them with the color accuracy that nature intended … 

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Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories August 10, 2015

Xiaomi announces new Redmi 2 Prime, its first smartphone ‘made in India’

Smartphone manufacturers are climbing over each other to take full advantage of the rapidly expanding market opportunities in India. Chief among them is Chinese smartphone manufacturer, Xiaomi, which has just announced its first smartphone assembled in India, for the Indian market only. The Redmi 2 Prime still predominantly uses parts from China, but is assembled in Sri City.

As for the device itself, the Redmi 2 Prime offers a considerable memory and storage upgrade on the regular Redmi 2 without costing a whole lot more. For just under 7,000 Rupees ($110 USD) you get a device packing 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, that’s double the memory and capacity of the Redmi 2 which costs just under 6,000 Rupees ($94 USD). Both devices make use of Qualcomm’s 64-bit Snapdragon 410 processor and host 4.7-inch IPS HD (1280×720) displays and an 8MP camera on the back. What’s more, they’re dual SIM and can cope with LTE speeds up to 150Mbps.

Xiaomi plans to bring more of its manufacturing process to India, eventually producing more of its components and packaging within Indian borders. Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s chief stated “this is like the typical chicken and egg story. Unless there is any smartphone manufacturing happening in the country, you cannot expect to get components locally.” So this is very much just the first step in its journey to cracking the Indian market.

Indian consumers can purchase the new Redmi 2 Prime direct from mi.com from today.

Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories February 26, 2015

Yesterday morning the FedEx truck delivered a cute little diorama that represented a Motorola keynote event complete with reporter badge, stage, and most importantly a demo unit of the new Moto E. Very nice job Moto PR. Nothing like going into a review with a smile on my face in my blogger PJs.

IMG_0232

More importantly, the product they shipped is a big winner. The new Moto E, if you like your screens at 4.5 inches and non-Retina, is about the best thing you can get out there at any price. The fact that it is $150 for the LTE version and $120 for the HSPA+ GSM pushes this phone into no-brainer territory.

This is a really good, well built device… expand full story

Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories July 22, 2014

mi-band

Rapidly-growing Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi announced its first wearable today, the Mi Band. While it’s a fitness band rather than a smartwatch, it does have one smartwatch-style feature: it can be used instead of a passcode to unlock Mi phones.

The waterproof Mi Band measures activity levels and sleep patterns, has a smart sleep-cycle alarm and claims to have a 30-day battery-life. Amazingly, it will be going on sale in China and Singapore for the equivalent of just $13 …  expand full story

Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories June 17, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 4.54.40 AM

The OnePlus One is one of the most talked about devices in 2014. This budget flagship smartphone is here to take out the competition with high-end specifications that are comparable with any other top of the line device. OnePlus unveiled the device earlier this year and since then it has grabbed the attention of many consumers.

The first wave of devices are finally shipping and today we’re taking a look at the 64GB Sandstone Black model to find out what all of the hype is about. Check out our hands-on and overview video below for more information and a closer look at the OnePlus One…

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Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories April 15, 2014

bgr-a-phone-2

Boy Genius Report has posted its knowledge of Amazon’s next smartphone. Although it technically hasn’t been confirmed to be an Android device, it is almost certain that it will be powered by Android at some level, given Amazon’s existing Android ecosystem. BGR claims to have the first pictures of the phone, shown above.

According to the report, the phone will feature a 3D interface. This feature is enabled through a set of four front-facing Infrared cameras that track the position and orientation of the user’s face. The user interface can then update in response to facial movements. Apparently, the four sensors are located in each corner of the front face. The Wall Street Journal reported that the product would feature a 3D interface last week and is set for a June launch.

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Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories March 6, 2014

Really. In a bid to promote the G Flex as “the most human phone ever,” LG created the type of ad that is likely to make you want to head rapidly in the opposite direction the moment you catch sight of its phone …

Our review is slightly better.

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Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories November 7, 2013

m8

The photographic qualities leave a lot to be desired, but if the Chinese forum Baidu is to be believed, this is the casing for HTC’s successor to the HTC One, codenamed the M8 (the HTC One was codenamed M7).

The hole above the camera is believed to be for a fingerprint sensor, already found in the HTC One Max. The rumor mill says the specs will be a Snapdragon 800 CPU with 3GB of RAM. Generally-reliable source @evleaks says it will be the first handset to run Sense 6.0 …  expand full story

Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories September 15, 2013

Kindle-fire-gen-3

From the latest @evleak we can see the rumored new Kindle Fire third generation above. It would appear that Amazon is unfortunately keeping their big bezels and also their heavy proprietary overlay. From the image you can see updated UI improvements that will likely also hit the current lineup. We’re sadly not expecting to see a Google Play Store App like the recently announced Nook OS updates with hundreds of thousands of apps including Google’s Maps, Plus, YouTube, Gmail and more.

bgr-amazon-kindle-fire-2-5

BGR caught the purported angular backside of this generation of Kindle earlier this week and together we can usually conclude that leak frequency increase means launch soon. As for specs, BGR’s source says:

Amazon’s new 7-inch Kindle Fire HD will feature a high-resolution 1,920 x 1,200-pixel display, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chipset clocked at more than 2GHz, 2GB of RAM, Wi-Fi, optional cellular data, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and either 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage.

The updated 8.9-inch model is said to feature nearly identical specs beneath its 2,560 x 1,600-pixel high-definition display, and it also includes an 8-megapixel rear camera.

We’re told both models are lighter and more comfortable to use than the current-generation tablets they will replace.

If you are in Amazon’s ecosystem, this could be exciting news. However we’d take the new smaller-bezel Nexus 7 with an Amazon app sight unseen.

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Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories September 12, 2013

LG G2 now available for $199 on AT&T & Verizon, $99 down on T-Mobile

After being unveiled back in August and shown off again during IFA in Berlin last week, LG’s new flagship LG G2 smartphone is officially launching today on most major US carriers (except for Sprint). The 5.2-inch device is now available to order from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, while Sprint customers will have to wait until October 11 to begin preordering the device. For the most part all carriers are getting the same device–  a Snapdragon 800 processor, 13 megapixel camera, 2GB of RAM, microSD slot, 3000mAh battery, and 5.2-inch full-HD display– but there are slight differences between the AT&T and T-Mobile versions and the Verizon model. Specifically, Verizon’s version will come with built-in wireless charging, which means the profile is a little thicker. It’s also changed the look and feel of the buttons located on the back of the device.

Pricing also varies depending on the carrier: AT&T and Verizon are offering the LG G2 for $199 on the usual two year agreement, while T-Mobile has the device for a $99 down payment through its monthly instalment plans. Purchasing the LG G2 off contract will run you $575 from AT&T, $600 from Verizon, and about $605 from T-Mobile.

Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories July 1, 2013

A successor to the Nexus 7 was a no-show at Google I/O this year, but that doesn’t mean a V2.0 of the tablet isn’t coming soon. Back in May, we reported that according to a KGI analyst, Google was planning on announcing the Nexus 7 2 at I/O with a full 1900×1200 HD display, a lighter and thinner body, with a Snapdragon 600 processor, 4Ah battery and both front and rear (5MP) facing cameras. The second version of the Asus tablet was also slated to be the first device with Android 4.3 on it.

Although this is all a rumor, a curious buyer decided to ask an Asus live chat representative if they had any idea what the specs were. Despite the fact that chat representatives don’t normally have access to upcoming products, one offered up the exact same specs as above:

asus-nexus-7-HD

Interestingly enough, the spec sheet they repeated matches the same exact spec sheet that KGI reported on in May. The chat rep. also said that we should expect to see version 2 of the tablet sometime in Q2 of the year, specifically late July.

Chat representatives don’t typically know future product roadmaps, especially specs, so it’s more than possible that this chat rep. simply Googled KGI’s report and reported it back to the person they were chatting with. On the other hand, they could both line up because they are both right. We’ve contacted Asus and we’ll be sure to report back any news.

Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories November 1, 2012

AT&T’s LG Optimus G

Sprint just announced customers could pre-order the LG Optimus G starting today for $199.99 with a new two-year contract or eligible upgrade.

So, what’s so special about this particular LTE Android smartphone? Well, it has a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor. It also features a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB built-in storage, NFC, and a 2,100mAh battery.

Unfortunately, this powerful handset boasts the aging Ice Cream Sandwich OS. There is also no mention in the announcement of an upcoming upgrade. Take a look at 9to5Google’s hands-on review of the AT&T version for a full spec refresher.

Oh, but we must note the LG Optimus G’s cheese shutter. Yeah—you heard that right. The smartphone’s camera is voice-activated by words like “cheese” and “smile”—eliminating the need for a shutter button. Um, interesting?

AT&T folks should keep an eye out for availability too, as the competing Sprint carrier previously said it would open the pre-order gate Nov. 2.

Sprint’s press announcement is below. 

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Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories October 15, 2012

LG Optimus G (AT&T)

AT&T is officially launching the LG Optimus G, its first quad-core LTE smartphone, on Nov. 2 for $199. Not only is it the first quad-core device launching on the carrier’s LTE network, it’s also the device that many expect the yet-to-be-announced LG Nexus 4 to be based on. The carrier confirmed that pre-orders for the device start tomorrow on its website. Of course, the $200 price tag requires the usual two-year contract and approved mobile plan.

In the case of the LG Optimus G, the 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM and AT&T’s 4G LTE network means this phone can fly.  Not literally of course, but tasks you perform on the phone will be much smoother. From loading web pages, to apps and games, it will get you to what you want, faster…So check out powerful yet elegant Optimus G in our stores on Nov. 2!  We’re excited to put it in our customers’ hands so they can try it out for themselves.

We recently got hands-on time with AT&T’s LG Optimus G when the device was officially launched at a media event in New York City earlier this month. Sprint also announced earlier this month that it will add the LG Optimus G to its smartphone lineup, but it did not provide specific launch dates or pricing.

Update: Sprint has also revealed the Android handset will be available to the masses November 11th for $199. The Sprint version will be equipped with a 13-megapixel camera, unlike the AT&T’s 8-megapixel camera.

Snapdragon (System on Chip) Stories October 4, 2012

Hands-on with AT&T’s quad-core LG Optimus G (Gallery)

LG just revealed yesterday that its “PC-like” LG Optimus G is coming to the United States on AT&T and Sprint networks, but I got to take this powerful smartphone for a brief spin earlier tonight while at a media event in New York City.

So, what’s special about this particular LTE Android device? Five words: 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor. Yeah, you read that right—quad-core. It also features a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB built-in storage, NFC, and a 2,100mAh battery. Unfortunately, it only has Ice Cream Sandwich. The folks at AT&T are also mum about a potential Jelly Bean update.

Beyond the spec sheet, the LG Optimus G certainly lives up to all the performance boasting. The somewhat hefty smartphone runs fast, and the 8-megapixel camera snaps away without hesitation too. The camera even provides built-in effects to make photo-capturing fun. Look at the gallery below to see the “Big Mouth” and “Small Eyes” filters in action.

If I had to pick something to gripe about, I would probably say ‘Boo!’ to its skin. But, then again, skins and overlays are never a good thing. When all is said and done, this smartphone will likely give the HTC One X+ a run for its money. Maybe.

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