Monday, 29 May 2017

ARM unveils new Cortex-A75, Cortex-A55 CPUs, Mali-G720 GPU

ARM has announced its next generation CPUs and GPU at its event in Computex 2017. This includes the ARM Cortex-A75 for the high-end flagship level devices and ARM Cortex-A55 for mid-range smartphones. The company's new GPU is the Mali G72, which its says is now more efficient. The new CPUs and GPU will be used by Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple to architect their own mobile processor chipsets.

ARM claims Cortex-A75 delivers "ground breaking performance", delivering 20 percent improved performance than its predecessor Cortex-A73. It also provides 15 percent more memory throughput on memory copy over Cortex-A73. The additional computing power and memory will enable demanding apps to rum smoothly, and this will provide a significant boost to the next generation of devices. It is also able to offrt up to 50 percent more performance in multi-threaded use case and 30 percent increase in performance on large-screen devices.

The Cortex-A55 is a follow-on to the Cortex-A53 CPU, and offers 15 percent improved power efficiency, double the memory performance and ten times the scalability. It can also deliver the same level of performance as the Cortex-A53 at a 30 percent lower power. It is also able to deliver sustained performance for a longer duration than Cortex-A53, making it ideal for virtual, augmented and mixed reality.

Both Cortex-A75 and Cortex-A55 are built on DynamIQ technology, ARM's new multi-core technology, and focuses on machine learning and artificial intelligence. DynamicIQ gives chipmakers greater freedom in choosing cores includes a 1+7 configuration, where a single Coretex-A7 core can be paired with seven A55 cores. Chipmakers can also use 4+4, 2+6, 1+3, or other configurations in a single cluster. This will give them the ability to maximize the performance of the chip.

Speaking of the GPU, the Mali-G72 builds on the Bifrost architecture, which was first used on Mali-G71, to provide greater performance within an even smaller area. The GPU is designed for high fidelity Mobile gaming and machine learning, and also takes the VR capability of the Mali G71 to a new level. It provides 25 percent higher energy efficiency, 20 percent more performance and 17 percent more efficiency for machine learning. As a result it will offer up to 40 percent more performance overall.

Meanwhile, a leak coming out of China claims that Snapdragon 845 will be equipped with Cortex-A75 cores. The current Snapdragon 835 which powers Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+, Mi 6 uses a semi-custom design that features Cortex-A73 core, so there is no surprise, Qualcomm will use the new Cortex-A75 on its next gen flagship SoC. Devices powered by the new processor will hit the market Q1 2018.


Saturday, 27 May 2017

Honor 9 with dual-cameras passes through TENAA

Huawei sub-brand Honor's upcoming flagship the Honor 9 has passed through TENAA, revealing its design and complete specifications.

Design-wise, the Honor 9 gets some tweaks over its predecessor, Honor 8. It now has curved edges at the back, instead of being flat. And the fingerprint sensor is now integrated into the physical home button on the front below the display. It will still sport the dual-rear cameras.

In terms of specifications, the Honor 9 will feature 5.15-inch Full HD display, 2.4GHz octa-core Kirin 960 chip, 64GB expandable storage, 4GB/6GB RAM and 3100mAh battery. The dual-rear camera will be 20MP + 12MP lens, while for selfies it gets 8MP front camera. It will run the latest Android Nougat based EMUI 5.1.

The Honor 9 is expected to launch on June 27, and is rumored to be priced $335.

YU to launch YUREKA Black on June 1

Micromax launched YU brand of smartphone to counter the rising threat posed by Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi and Lenovo. After three successful smartphones launches (Yureka, Yunique and Yuphoria), the company failed to make any impact with its next releases. 

Earlier this month, reports claimed that Micromax is shutting down YU, but the brand rubbished claims, and said it will launch a new smartphone soon.

Now YU is making a comeback with a new smartphone after a gap of nine months since the launch of YUREKA S and YUNIQUE Plus. The company has scheduled an event on June 1 to launch the YUREKA Black. It also shared a teaser of the upcoming device.

The teaser reads "YUREKA is back with Black" and has the slogan "Break rules. Shatter stereotypes", and shows a smartphone in glossy black finish with metal unibody design. There's a single camera module at the back with dual-LED flash below it. The device appears to have a slim design, and the antenna lines are visible at the top and bottom. Apart from this, there is no further details of the smartphone and its specifications.

HTC's Link VR headset is designed to work with HTC U11

HTC has announced a new VR headset called HTC Link, designed to be work with the company's latest flagship HTC U11. It is currently available in Japan, and HTC has no plans for a wider-release.

Even though it works with HTC U11 smartphone, the HTC Link also has its own built-in display with two 3.6-inch screen bearing the resolution 1080 x 1200 and 90Hz refresh rate. It boasts six degree-of-freedom motion tracking, first for a smartphone-based VR headset and offered 100-degree viewing angles.

The HTC Link includes external sensors (to track the controller), USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, LED markers for the head-mounted display and 2800mAh battery. It also features a special Ghost In the Shell-themed VR experience content, and comes bundled with a set of motion controller, stereoscopic camera and a set of earbuds.

Interestingly, HTC is also working with Google on a new standalone VR headset with 6DOF tracking running on Google's Daydream platform. It will break cover later this year.


Friday, 26 May 2017

Acer announces Nitro 5 budget gaming laptop

Acer has announced a new budget gaming laptop dubbed Nitro 5 aimed at casual gamers. The company will offer the Nitro 5 in various configuration in terms of graphics and processor, providing gamers with a wide selection to meet their budget as well as gaming needs.

The Nitro 5 will be available with the option 7th gen Intel Core i7 or i5 processor, with up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card, or models with AMD A-Series FX, A12 or A10 APUs with AMD Radeon RX550 graphics. 

All these models will run Windows 10, comes with 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display and support up to 32GB DDR4 2400 MHz memory, up to 510GB PCIe SSD and up to 2TB HDD. Select models will come with combination of both PCIe SSD and HDD storage.

Connectivity options on-board include a USB 3.1 Type-c port, a USB 3.0 port (with power-off charging), 2 x USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port (up to 90 Hz refresh rates), Gigabit Ethernet port and WiFi 802.11ac. It also includes Dolby Audio Premium and Acer TrueHarmony technology to deliver incredible sound depths. The keyboard features red backlighting and the WASD keys and touchpad are also outlined in red.

The gaming laptop is also fitted with dual-fans with Acer Coolboost technology, that allows gamers to manually control the cooling process, while playing games with heavy graphics. 

The Acer Nitro 5 will be available in North Ameria in July with prices starting at $799 (Rs. 51,500), in EMEA from August starting at €1,099 (Rs. 79,500) and in China from July starting at CNY 5499 (Rs. 51,600).

Acer unveils the ultra-slim Spin 1 Windows 10 convertible laptop

Acer is refreshing its Spin line of convertible laptop with a new version of the budget Spin 1. It is lightweight, portable and comes with metal chassis, touch screen, Windows 10 and 360-degree hinge, that lets you prop the device in four modes including laptop, display, tablet or tent. It also supports Windows Ink through an Active Stylus.

The new Acer Spin 1 features 11.6-inch Full HD IPS display with 178-degrees wide angles and the configuration options include Intel Pentium or Intel Celeron processor, 4GB DDR3 RAM and 32GB, 64GB or 128GB eMMC storage. It provides up to eight hours of battery life.

In terms of connectivity, the convertible includes a USB 3.1 port, a USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, microSD (SDXC) card slot, Bluetooth 4.0 and WiFi 802.11ac.

Other specs include Precision Touchpad with Windows 10 gestures support, Acer BluelightShield to reduce eye strain, and stereo speakers with Acer's TrueHarmony technology for immersive sound experience.

The Acer Spin 1 will be available in North America in July with prices starting at $329 (Rs. 21,000) and in EMEA in July with prices starting at €399 (Rs. 29,000).

Acer Iconia Tab 10 w/ Quantum Dot technology, Iconia One 10 w/ dual micro-USB port tablets announced

Ahead of Computex 2017, Taipei, Acer has introduced two new 10-inch tablets dubbed Iconia Tab 10 (A3-A50) and Iconia One 10 (B3-A40FHD). Both tablets are powered by quad-core MediaTek chip, run Android Nougat and offer eight hours of battery life.

The standout tablet among the pair is the Iconia Tab 10, which is designed for media-consumption. It comes with 10-inch Full HD display with Quantum Dot technology, a tech that features in TV, and promises a wider color range with higher brightness, deeper saturation and better accuracy.

It also boasts four speaker and a sub-woofer, that delivers clear and rich sound for an immersive audio experience. It also comes with Acer's MediaMaster technology, which lets you tune the audio and video settings in various mode.802.11ac.

The Acer Iconia One 10 is designed for productivity, and comes with more connectivity options and features like multi-windows and quick app switching. It also has a dual micro-USB ports, and OTG support, so that you can charge the tablet, while keeping external devices like hard drives, pen drives, mouse or other accessory connected at the same time. In terms of specs, the tablet has 10-inch Full HD IPS display, quad-core MediaTek MT8167 processor, 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage.

Both tablets also feature five-magnet speakers with DTS-HD Premium Sound for great-audio visual experience, and WiFi 802.11ac for blazing fast network connections.

Unfortunately Acer did not reveal the full specs sheet of the tablet, as well as the pricing and availability details.

OnePlus 3T to be discontinued, but it will be available in India till end of the year

The OnePlus 3T is one of OnePlus' best smartphone to date, but the company has decided to end the sales to make way for the next flasgship killer, the OnePlus 5. The company has confirmed that the OnePlus 3T will be out of stock soon, since it has stopped its production, and will be discontinued in several markets including the US, UK and Europe. 

However, the company assures to roll out software updates to both OnePlus and OnePlus 3T. This is the shortest life span for any successful high-end flagship in the market, given that OnePlus 3T was launched back in November 2016.

That said, OnePlus will continue selling the OnePlus 3T 64GB and 128GB version in India until later this year, it confirmed it a statement. It will be available through the usual three official sales channel including OnePlus India online store, Amazon India and OnePlus Experience Store in Bengaluru.

OnePlus has already started creating hype around the upcoming flagship through several teasers. It has already confirmed that OnePlus 5 will feature Qualcomm's top-tier Snapdragon 835 processor, and not ditch the 3.5mm audio jack, a trend that is being followed by Apple and HTC. OnePlus is also working with photography benchmark group DxO to enhance the camera on the OnePlus 5. 

OnePlus recently confirmed that OnePlus 5 will arrive this summer, however, a launch date is yet to be set.

Android co-founder Andy Rubin will unveil his new company's smartphone on May 30

Android co-founder Andy Rubin has already confirmed that he plans to launch a new smartphone. Back in March, he shared an image of the device sporting a bezel-less display.

Now Rubin is all set to announce the bezel-less smartphone under his company Essential. The twitter account of the company is now live and the first tweet it sent out reads "We're here to let you known some big is coming May 30th". The tweet that follows, shows a photo of the company's first smartphone in silhouette (blacked out). Interestingly, something is attached to on the top of the phone, which the company says is a 360-degree camera module.

As mentioned earlier, Essential's first smartphone will have a bezel-less display, similar to Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+, LG G6 and Xiaomi's Mi MIX.

According to earlier reports, the device will sport ceramic back with metal edges, and have 5.5-inch pressure sensitive display. It will boast flagship-grade high-end specs and also have modular capabilities like the Moto Z, and the new teaser confirms this. For the modular function, Essential will use a proprietary magnetic connector to support third party accessories, as well as charge the device.

As for the specs, the phone was earlier spotted on benchmark website carrying model number Essential FIH-PM1. According to the listing, it will have 5.5-inch QHD display, Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 835 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 12MP/8MP camera with 4K recording, NFC support and Android Nougat.

Essential's first smartphone is expected to be priced around $649. We will get to know more about the device next Wednesday.

Samsung outs Galaxy Feel with 3GB RAM, 3000mAh battery in Japan

Samsung has introduced a new budget smartphone in Japan called Galaxy Feel, exclusively for mobile-carrier NTT DoCoMo. It appears to be a budget smartphone with compact display and boasts decent specs. It also sports glass back and metal edges, giving the device a premium look, and is resistant to water and dust thanks to IPX5/IPX8 ratings.

The Samsung Galaxy Feel features 4.7-inch HD Super AMOLED display and is powered by 1.6GHz octa-core Exynos processor with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, that's expandable via microSD card.

On the camera front, it boasts 16MP rear camera and 5MP front camera. Connectivity options are 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C and GPS. It runs Android Nougat and comes with fingerprint scanner and Hi-Res Audio. A 3000mAh battery runs the show, that is rated to deliver up to 17 hours of standby time.

Samsung has not yet revealed the pricing, but says it will be available for purchase in Japan in mid-June. It comes in Opal Pink, Moon White and Indigo Black colors. the device is highly unlikely to make its way to other markets.

Gionee S10 with four cameras, 6GB RAM gets official

As expected Gionee has introduced the Gionee S10 in its home market of China featuring a quad-camera setup, two each at the front and rear. Earlier this year, Alcatel released Alcatel flash, with a similar camera setup.

In addition Gionee also announced two toned down versions of S10 as well called Gionee S10B and S10C. All the phones run Android Nougat based Amigo 4.0 OS, sports unibody metal design and includes a fingerprint sensor on the front hidden inside the home button.

The Gionee S10 packs dual 16MP + 8MP cameras at the back, and dual 20MP + 8MP cameras on the front for selfies. As for the other specs, the device comes with 5.5-inch Full HD curved glass display, MediaTek Helio P25 processor, 6GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and 3450mAh battery. It supports dual-SIMs, expandable storage, 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11ac and Bluetooth.

Next is the Gionee S10B, which comes with only dual-rear camera, less RAM and storage, but gets a bigger battery capacity. The Gionee S10B has 13MP + 5MP dual rear cameras, and a single 16MP selfie camera on the front. It features 5.5-inch Full HD IPS 2.5D curved glass display, and is powered by MediaTek Helio P10 chip, same as S10, but gets 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and a beefy 3700mAh battery. It also supports expandable storage, dual-SIMs, WiFi 802.11ac and Bluetooth.

Lastly, the Gionee S10C is the the most affordable model of the lot. It comes with single front and rear cameras, and is equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip instead of MediaTek. The S10C features 5.2-inch HD IPS display and is powered by 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 427 chip with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. The storage is expandable via microSD card, and the device supports dual-SIMs, 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth. The camera department includes 13MP rear camera with LED flash and 16MP front camera, while a 3100mAh battery, runs the show.

As for the pricing, the Gionee S10 has been priced at CNY 2599 ($378 | Rs. 24,000), the Gionee S10B at CNY 2199 ($320 | Rs. 20,500), and the Gionee S10C costs CNY 1599 ($233 | Rs. 15,000). They will be offered in Cherry Gold, Dark Black, Indigo Blue and Primrose Green colors. The Gionee S10B is now available for purchase in China, whereas the Gionee S10 and Gionee S10C will go on sale starting June 9.

Moto G5S Plus poses for the camera in Grey

Just a few days back press renders of Motorola's upcoming Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus hit the interwebs. Now two new real-life images of the dual-camera toting Moto G5S Plus have leaked.

The new live images are in line with the previously leaked press render, and shows the metal-clad Moto G5 Plus in Gray finish with dual lens rear camera, dual LED flash, and the antenna lines are visible on top and bottom. The image also confirms the presence of a selfie flash, and that the device will run Android 7.1.1.

The Moto G5S Plus is one of the seven smartphones, Motorola is expected to launch in the coming months. Details of the Moto G5S Plus was first revealed when the company's entire product line-up for this year was leaked. 

It is expected to feature 5.5-inch Full HD display and an octa-core processor (possibly the Snapdragon 625), along with dual-rear cameras. Apart from Grey, The Moto G5S Plus will arrive in Gold, White Gold and White Silver.

There's also the Moto G5S, which will sport the same design as Moto G5S Plus, but come with single camera. We can also expected it to come with a smaller display and battery capacity than Moto G5S Plus.

According to reports, the Moto G5S line will be officially announced early June, and will be expensive than the Moto G5 Plus, which was released earlier this year starting at $229 in the US, and Rs. 16,999 in India.


Huawei Nova 2, Nova 2 Plus with dual-cameras gets official

Huawei has officially announced its latest Nova series smartphones, the Nova 2 and Nova 2 Plus in home country of China. The new Nova 2 line gets major upgrade over its predecessor, and now has a new design inspired by Apple's iPhone (antenna bands), and improved specs sheet, including a dual-camera setup, and runs the latest Android Nougat based EMUI 5.1.

The Nova 2 and Nova 2 Plus packs dual 12MP + 8MP rear camera. The 12MP sensor features PDAF, 1.25um pixel size, f/1.8 aperture, and is to capture the regular photos. The secondary 8MP sensor works in tandem with the main camera for capturing depth information. It also includes OIS, optical zoom and portrait mode. On the front, there's a 20MP camera for selfies and video calling.

As for the other specs, the Nova 2 comes with 5-inch Full HD 2.5D curved glass display, octa-core Kirin 659 processor with 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, and packs a 2950mAh battery.

The Nova 2 Plus also has octa-core Kirin 659 processor and 4GB RAM, but comes with a bigger 5.5-inch Full HD display, 128GB internal storage, and 3340mAh battery.

They sport metal unibody design, which comes in Aurora Blue, Grass Green, Gold, Obsidian Black and Rose Gold colors, and have a thickness of just 6.9mm, but the Nova 2 weighs 143g, while the Nova 2 Plus weighs 169g.

Both phones support dual-SIMs, expandable storage, 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3.5mm audio jack, GPS and USB Type-C for connectivity. Other specs include rear-mounted fingerprint scanner and AK4376A Hi-Fi audio chip for 3D surround sound experience.

Coming to the pricing, Nova 2 is priced at CNY 2499 ($364 | Rs. 23,500), and the Nova 2 Plus costs CNY 2899 ($423 | Rs. 27,000). They are now available for pre-order and wil go on sale in China starting June 16.