Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge may have just sprouted on the Interwebz today. The renders show a design similar to the 2015 Samsung flagships, but there are a few design changes to be had. One of them is the taller fingerprint sensors and the rounder corners of the devices.
We must thank Evan Blass (@evleaks) for these renders because, as usual, he managed to make them public for all of us to enjoy. The devices are expected to be announced at the Mobile World Congress in February.
According to previous rumors, Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge will have larger batteries than their predecessors, going for 3000 mAh and 3600 mAh cells respectively. On the inside, the devices should sport Samsung’s Exynos 8 octa core processors and 4GB of RAM. The devices for some regions may show up with Snapdragon 820 variants. The return of microSD slots has been vehiculated as well.
As it happens with all leaked renders, you should take it all in with a grain of salt. We only have to wait for a few more days before Samsung unveils its newest flagship anyway. Stay tuned!
Modular phones are a thing for the future, and since Google showed their first attempt at a modular phone, everyone has been hyped for an Ara. But what if you could have one of these futuristic gadgets sooner than Google had in mind? Fairphone 2 could be a great alternative as the device is already very close to being complete, especially since it does not use any “conflict” minerals that could make the building process longer and more complicated.
Fairphone was the idea of some thoughtful devs who considered that the world could embrace a greener more ethical tech product. They crowd-funded the phone that sold more than 60,000 units, which was more than enough to put in motion a second iteration of the device. Fairphone 2 is even more greener and more environmentally friendly than its predecessor. It is modular, but not as modular as Project Ara wants to be. The smartphone is built much like a regular phone, but its parts are easily replaceable. This way, you can prolong your device’s life without having to spend lots of monies on more and more devices every few months (unless you really like those mainstream smartphones).
Fairphone 2 has easily replaceable or repairable parts and the manufacturers promise to help their customers at every step if need be. If you need a better camera, a faster processor, more RAM or better GPU, all you have to do is contact Fairphone and you will get them (at a price, of course). You will be able to replace every part of this device with better ones as the company continues to grow and those orders keep coming in.
What does the original Fairphone 2 look like? Here’s the spec list:
5-inch full HD (1080p) LCD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Quad-core Snapdragon 801
2GB of RAM
32GB internal storage plus microSD
Dual SIM slots
2,420 mAh battery
4G LTE connectivity.
This being said, the device should place somewhere around the mid-high average spectrum of the niche market. You can order a Fairphone from the official site linked in the source, but don’t expect it to arrive before January 2016. You can choose between black matte, blue matte, blue translucent, transparent and black translucent. The translucent back cases show some of the “internal organs” of the device. You will have to pay $590 for one, and the company is assuring customers that “Your purchase covers the cost of phone production, plus Fairphone’s operations and projects that create positive impact”.
When it comes to tearing down and building back up, Fairphone 2 does very well, as the guys from iFixit gave it 10 out of 10. The modular smartphone is easy to teardown because it has no glue whatsoever between components; you simply take everything off by unscrewing some nice little screws. The LCD screen and glass protection are fused together, but they can come off pretty easy too if you need them to.
All in all, if you want to try the modular smartphone deal before Google amazes us with its real Ara phone, you can support independent manufacturers and choose a Fairphone 2. You may have to wait for a while for your order to get to you now, but next year these could become very popular and steal Google’s race from beneath their feet!
Project Aura is successfully working on bringing Google Glass back to life. The team that worked on the smart glasses in the past is now in charge of more than one wearable, and that includes other eye wearables too. They will not have prism displays though, which kind of explains the name change.
Project Aura individuals have been working on three wearables, although only two could get to see the light of a production process in the end. One wearable device can get a glass HUD display but it is destined to enterprise users and the other, more aimed at sport and active customers, will only offer an auditory experience.
It appears that Google and Project Aura managed to get some audio experts from Amazon to help them out on this one. And we won’t have to wait for a long time for these possible devices to launch as, considering that Tony Fadell is overseeing the project, it will possibly release sometime next year. We can only hope that these devices will be a bit more affordable and that they will actually have some practicality to them.
The Xposed Framework is one of the most variable tools around when it comes to tweakers and tinkerers of the community. If you install this framework on an Android device you will get an open door to hundreds if not thousands of possibilities of changing the way your mobile system reacts and your apps work.
You can choose from hundreds of modules you can install, and they allow you to do different things such as enabling Force Touch on Android, YouTube background playback or even making smartphones water resistant.
Each Android version requires changes and the devs behind Xposed Framework must rebuild the framework continuously to keep up with the OS changes, and this can take a lot of time to complete. There is no version of the framework that works on Marshmallow at the moment, but it is being worked on.
Some devs are working on some new builds of Xposed Framework for the newest flagships around, which means that an up and running viable build for most Android 6.0 devices will be out soon.
Sony Xperia Z5 is one of the newer devices on the market and it is trying to re-put Sony on the smartphone market charts after an executive decision of cutting off lots of employees earlier this year. The move did not cut Sony’s daily expenses too much as money is still being siphoned out through the mobile division, but any device being launched could be better than no device at all, right?
It appears that Sony is working on keeping itself relevant on the mobile market to no avail, hoping that the future will need its mobile expertise soon.
How does Sony Xperia Z5 fare this year? For one, it is considered the smartphone with the best camera around! The device is basically the dream of every mobile photographer or vlogger out there because not only does it take great photos, but it offers a beautiful display to check them on. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows because one of the biggest problems of the device is the battery. But more on that later on.
Specs and hardware
Xperia Z5 is the latest phone of the line and it does retain the design choices that made Xperia phones must-haves in the past. The Omnibalance design – as branded by Sony – accentuates inoffensiveness and symmetry, but manages to keep the spirit of Sony Xperia alive with every iteration. A few physical differences include a wider and flatter power button that acts as a fingerprint sensor as well, a detail that most other OEMs are getting rid of now.
Sony Xperia Z5 is basing its design on an illusion that its display edges are all blunt when, in fact, the sides are rounded up to make sure you don’t hurt yourself? It is comfortable to hold though and there is no danger of dropping it on the floors anytime soon. As it happens with most recent Sony products, the device is water and dust proof and it has an Index Protection rating of 65/68. Of course, it’s all good if you keep the SIM and MicroSD card tray sealed. The microUSB port is capless and, as a result, Sony advises you that if you drop the phone in water, you have to wait for it to dry out before attempting to recharge.
When it comes to raw power, Sony Xperia Z5 is sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 (made by a quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex A53 and a quad-core 2GHz Cortex A57) with an Adreno 430 GPU and 3GB of RAM. Its internal storage is made up of 32GB plus a microSD slot that supports up to 200GB. Everything can be admired through the 5.2-inch display with a 1080 x 1920p resolution at 428 ppi pixel density protected by scratch-resistant glass and oleophobic coating.
Sony Xperia Z5 display
The 5.2-inch display is one of the best around and, even if it does not go beyond a full HD, it does offer one of the finest mobile screens on the niche market right now. The screen has a Luminous LCD display which has great color reproduction and gorgeous black levels as well as respectable viewing angles.
When it comes to sound, Sony used its common front-facing stereo speakers on the top and bottom. They are similar to HTC’s Boomsound speakers. The audio is clear, strong and loud, but some complain that it may lack some bass power.
When it comes to performance, Sony’s most recent device proves to be one of the best on the market as well; in benchmarks it manages to catch up and even beat its competition (Nexus 6P, Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One A9) in some categories. The apps load in a matter of a few milliseconds and there is no slowdown when it comes to running more apps at the same time.
The device runs on Android 5.1.1 at launch, which is a little of a disappointment, considering that Android 6.0 Marshmallow has been around for a month or so already. But that will be fixed when the update comes along.
Camera – one of the best cameras in the world?
Sony Xperia Z5 is branded as having one of the best cameras in the world for a smartphone device in 2015, and the device lives up to the statement. The primary camera has a 32MP sensor that stands out, and it is no surprise since Sony does make cameras and components not only for itself but for Fujifilm, iPhone and Nikon as well. It has a 1/ 2.3-inch Exmor RS 23MP camera with autofocus that allows it to catch clear images in 0.03 seconds. The camera also allows video capture at [email protected] with HDR.
The secondary front camera has a 5.1MP sensor that catches frames at 1080p with HDR.
Sony Xperia Z5′ s camera allows users to catch great moments with automatic effects but it also allows them to control their story with the manual mode. The resulting photos are among the best you will ever find on a smartphone in 2015, with great definition even in night settings where we all know things get pretty blurry and noisy.
If we are to nitpick, the first concern with Sony Xperia Z5 is the battery. The 2,900 mAh cell promises to last up to two days of usage, but that is just impossible, right? If you are barely using your device, maybe it will last that long. But if you use the gorgeous camera or play some games, that usage period will drop significantly, as it happens with all devices.
Pros: All in all, Sony Xperia Z5 managed to save Sony’s name, at least for now, by offering a great product with little details to criticize. Its camera has reason to be called the best mobile lens in 2015 ( and Samsung may want it in its next flagship!) and its performance does not disappoint. One of the better aspects of the device is the gorgeous display that just makes you want to look at things all the time.
Cons: The little problems that Sony Xperia Z5 has are the lackluster battery and the speakers. The device will not last for long when you use it extensively and those speakers cannot be used without headphones or a portable audio enhancement if you want loud music with clear definition.
Conclusively, Sony Xperia Z5 is a good smartphone coming from the Japanese multinational. It is perfectly constructed, although some may say it lacks personality. Is it a good acquisition? That depends on how you use your smartphone on a daily basis, but in my personal opinion, it is one if not THE best smartphone around. You can find the device online and in stores at prices starting from $660.
LG V10 will begin shipping this week in the US, China and Hong Kong. The latest LG smartphone will begin shipping this week and it chose the biggest markets to start spreading its love around. Other markets will get the device later, throughout the fourth quarter of 2015: other markets in North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
LG V10 shipping does not mention much else apart from launching this week, but availability of the device will indeed be announced locally. Starting November 6, you will be able to buy one of LG’s smartphones at AT&T in the US, so the other US carriers have to be launching the device close to this date. You can already pre-order on Verizon, T Mobile and AT&T. Below you can check out the official press release for more info:
[box type=”shadow”]LG V10 “ULTRA-SMARTPHONE” TO BEGIN SHIPPING IN KEY MARKETS WORLDWIDE
LG’s First V Series Phone Delivers Enhanced Multimedia Capabilities and More
SEOUL, Oct. 30, 2015 ― The LG V10, the newest smartphone from LG Electronics (LG) developed with creativity in mind, will begin to reach customers worldwide starting this week. The “ultra-smartphone” will make its debut in the United States, China and Hong Kong, followed by key markets in North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States throughout the fourth quarter.
LG’s first V Series smartphone was designed to provide a rich multimedia experience for today’s socially savvy consumers. The LG V10 offers distinctive new features such as a Second Screen, Dual Front Cameras and Manual Video Mode to make both consumption and creation of multimedia content as seamless as possible. Featuring LG’s signature removable battery (3,000mAh) and microSD card slot, the LG V10 has the distinction of being the first smartphone to meet SanDisk’s guidelines for Extreme Photo-Imaging Capabilities (EPIC) to distinguish exceptional photography and video experiences in smartphones.
As an advanced multimedia smartphone, audio quality was also given top priority consideration. The V10 plays back high-definition music via its 32 bit Hi-Fi DAC by ESS Technology, a first in a mobile device. It accomplishes this by up sampling standard-definition audio files to 32 bit Hi-Fi format. The supplied Quad Beat 3 earphones were developed in partnership with AKG Acoustics, the European manufacturer of high-end headphones, microphones and audio systems for professionals. With the latest version of LG’s Quad Beat earphones, the V10 users can enjoy richer low sounds and clearer high sounds.
Other notable highlights of the LG V10 include:
Second Screen, an “always-on” display above the main 5.7-inch QHD IPS Quantum Display, enhances the V10’s productiveness without impacting battery life
Dual Front Cameras with two separate lenses can capture standard 80 degree selfies or undistorted wide angle shots of 120 degrees
Manual Video Mode creates professional-quality videos by adjusting options such as shutter speed, frame rate, ISO, white balance and focus even while recording
Resilient Dura Guard frame composed of SAE grade 316L stainless steel and Dura Skin firmly secures the display to protect the phone from hard bumps and tumbles
Earlier this fall, LG embarked on a partnership with actor, writer and director, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and his Emmy Award winning production company HitRECord to support the development of creative content. The innovative collaboration builds upon LG’s ambition to celebrate and support creators across the world. Specifically, the efforts include the creation of a television commercial in the United States and a short film focused on the In-Between Moments which “happen all throughout the day and can be beautiful, or spontaneous, or fleeting ― but they give life its texture.”
“Designed from the ground up primarily as a multimedia smartphone, the LG V10 is the ultimate device for the sharing ecosystem,” said Juno Cho, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “Consumers have been waiting for a true multimedia device that doesn’t cut corners. With the V10, we hope to show what smartphones are truly capable of.”
Prices and availability dates will be announced locally.[/box]