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Monday, 28 December 2015

Xiaomi Mi 5 spotted in video and press renders

Xiaomi Mi 5 Black 840px
Xiaomi fans probably feel that they have been waiting forever for the company’s Mi 5 flagship. Gradually, some new details are emerging and today a number of press renders and a leaked video have appeared, showcasing a fair bit about the upcoming smartphone’s looks.
The leaked pictures show off the Mi 5 in a variety of colors, including Black, Gold, Pink and White options. The phone appears to have taken on a more curved design than the Mi 4, with slightly rounded corners and an oval-shaped home button which reportedly houses a new fingerprint scanner, Γ‘ la the Galaxy S6. The previously rumored 2.5D curved glass display and 3D glass back panel also seem to make an appearance.
The short video clip, embedded below, which claims to show the Mi 5 in action reaffirms the look of these press images. However, this model doesn’t look quite as slim as the renders and the corners are noticeably more rectangular.
Video Player

Previous hardware specifications have pinned the Xiaomi Mi 5 on a quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 5.2-inch QHD display, a 16 megapixel rear camera and an 8 megapixel front facing camera. The phone is also said to come with 16GB or 64GB of internal storage and a 3,030mAh battery. A Mi 5 Plus version of the phone with a 5.5 or 5.7-inch display has also been rumored, which may account for the slightly wider looking handset model on the video.
The Xiaomi Mi 5 is rumored to cost around 2500 Yuan ($390) when it finally launches, which would make the smartphone quite the bargain.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Yutopia: Micromax's Yu launches new flagship phone with 4 GB RAM at Rs 24,999 in India

New Delhi: Micromax's subsidiary Yu has finally unveiled its awaited smartphone- the Yu Yutopia at Rs 24,999 today.

Touted the world's most powerful phone, the Yutopia features a 5.2-inch 2K display that offers 565 ppi crafted by Sharp. Protected by Corning Concore Glass, the phone sports a metallic design and is unibody. It measures 7.2mm thick and boasts of antenna bands which are 40 per cent thinner than those found on the Apple iPhone.

Under its hood is a 2GHZ octa core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 chipset packed with Adreno 430 GPU. The phone packs in it a 4 GB DDR4 RAM and 32 GB internal storage with an option to expand it up to 128 GB via micro SD card.
The 4G compatible Yutopia features a 21 megapixel Sony IMX 230 rear camera with PDAF, OIS that is encased in the flagship rear ring coupled with an 8 megapixel front snapper with 77.3 degree wide angle. The camera further offers 4K recording and Slow Motion capture.
One of the highlights of the device is its bumper 3000mAh battery with Quick Charge 2.0 that the company claims to offer 75 per cent faster charging as compared to the standard mechanism with the battery charging from 0 to 60 per cent in just 30 minutes.
Powered by the Cyanogen 12.1 Android Lollipop custom skin, the phone features a rear fingerprint sensor that can be used for one-tap wake up or selfie capturing.
The phone features DTS sound and Yu is offering Little Bird in-ear headphones by House of Marley in the box.
Other than the hardware release at the event, the company further released a new software component- its Around Yu app for integrated search on the device. The Around Yu app is layered in the Yutopia and saves the user from the need of having multiple apps.
Around Yu functions like a Google search engine and shows information about restaurants, travel, shopping, etc. around you. For example: if you need to book a cab, simple swipe right on the homescreen to launch the Around Yu app and type in 'cab in Delhi', the app will show you a curated list of taxi services along with their rate chart. Tapping on the desired service, you could book the cab; all without having to download a separate app for that. If you put in a keyword for 'laptop' it will show you all the available options from various shopping portals, discount coupons, etc.
Micromax founder Rahul Sharma attributed the capabilities of Around Yu to the various partnerships the company has made, including with Ixigo for travel results.
There are a host of launch offers with Yu Yutopia including an EMI scheme that lets you upgrade to the next Yutopia. Similar to the iPhone upgrade programme, all you need to do is pay the EMI for 12 months and get the next Yutopia upon release. It is also offering 6 months of free download from the default Gaana music app.
The Yu Yutopia goes for preorder on Amazon starting today and will start shipping from December 26.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Snapdragon 820 benchmarked, boasts impressive GPU and memory performance

snapdragon 820 vs snapdragon 810
Snapdragon 820 is an important product for Qualcomm. Officially unveiled last month, the company is hoping to put behind the whole Snapdragon 810 fiasco with their new chipset, which once again is based on custom ARM cores, true to Qualcomm’s style. Having released their first Snapdragon 820 powered MDP (Mobile Development Platform) devices, AnandTech and TomsHardware were quick to obtain them and put the new chipset through a wide range of tests. This article summarises the most important findings from all the testing done by the respective publications. Before diving in, let’s talk a little bit about the Snapdragon 820.
The Snapdragon 820 is Qualcomm’s return to its roots. Unlike the Snapdragon 810 which makes use of ARM Cortex A57 cores, the new flagship SoC uses custom “Kryo” cores. Also, Qualcomm has stuck to a 4-core design instead of squeezing in 8 or 10 cores into a SoC meant for mobile devices. These four cores are arranged in a heterogeneous multi-processing (HMP) configuration, with two high-performance cores clocked higher and paired with more L2 cache, and two low-power cores that have a lower clock speed and smaller L2 cache size. Also, L3 cache is completely absent from the chip.
Kraken 1.1
AnandTechKraken 1.1
Benchmarks show that the new Kryo cores are able to hold their ground against competition and beating its predecessors by a fair margin in most tests. Single-core integer performance, as well as floating-point performance of “Kryo” exceeds that of theARM Cortex A57, and is most likely to edge out the Cortex A72 as well. However, faster-clocked chipsets based on the Cortex A72 core might give Qualcomm tough competition. Kryo appears to have superior instructions per cycle (IPC) on its side when compared with the Snapdragon 810’s A57. Meanwhile, Apple’s “Twister” continues to lead in single-core performance benchmarks, thanks to its more unique architecture.
Memory bandwidth in the Snapdragon 820 is greatly improved, offering more than twice the performance of the Snapdragon 810 in specific GeekBench 3 tests. The other results ranged from between 55 and 103 percent, although mostly hovering closer to double the speed. Qualcomm has surely made some improvements to the memory controller and the general architecture governing memory transfers, allowing the chip to make optimum use of the theoretical bandwidth offered by the two LPDDR4 memory controllers, which offer a theoretical bandwidth of 28.8GB/s. The fasted speed clocked across the test revealed a peak bandwidth of 17.4GB/s on the 820, compared with 7.5GB/s for the Snapdragon 810.
Apart from that, the new Snapdragon 820 features the Adreno 530 GPU, which by the way completely dominated all the benchmarks thrown at it (save for 3D Mark Ice Storm, which is believed to be resultant of CPU limitation). In GFXBench tests, the Adreno 530 manages to score anywhere between 52% to 72% higher than the next-fastest Android device, which in this case is the Galaxy Note 5 powered by the Exynos 7420 chipset. Only in 1 or 2 benchmarks did the Apple A9 powered iPhone 6s Plus fare better than the Snapdragon 820.
3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited - Graphics
AnandTech3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited – Graphics
Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon 820 draws 30% lesser power than the Snapdragon 810, despite it being much faster. AnandTech noted that the MDP device didn’t overheat, i.e. get too hot to touch or handle, neither did it show signs of throttling. Of course, more in-depth thermal assessments will have to be done on commercial devices before concluding anything, but initial impressions are positive. Perhaps moving down to Samsung’s 14nm LPP has done Qualcomm a lot good.
All performance benchmarks were done on Qualcomm’s MDP device. Its specifications include a 6.2-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1600) display, 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 64GB of Universal Flash Storage, a 21MP rear camera, a Sense ID ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, and of course, the Snapdragon 820 SoC.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Instagram's PEEK feature on Android like 3D Touch

In an update made available to Instagram's beta users, a new feature has been baked in, which may have you thinking you are using an iPhone. Much like Apple’s 3D Touch, which allows users to long press on items and peek into them, when you are on a profile page or the search menu of the updated Instagram app, you can now long press on thumbnails of photos and videos, peaking into what they have to offer. 
Instagram has been adding cool features often, like multi-account support, which was subsequently removed almost immediately after it debuted. So far, we are most impressed with this peaking feature, so we hope Instagram decides not to remove it.
We have recorded a video below, detailing this snazzy feature.
For those without access to this beta update, you can find a direct download to the apk right here for your enjoyment.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

You Can Finally Buy the OnePlus 2 Just Like Any Other Phone

The OnePlus 2, like all OnePlus devices so far, is a pretty good phone at a great price. The biggest downside to ownership, in fact, has been how difficult OnePlus makes it to actually own one. That changes tonight.
Until now, OnePlus had sold the OnePlus 2 through an arcane system of reservation lists and invites. Supply lagged woefully behind demand. It was frustrating.
The reason for the invite system, according to OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, has been to help ensure that the fledgling company grows at a sustainable rate. One reason OnePlus can offer bargain basement prices on top shelf phones is that the company knows it has a buyer for every phone it manufactures. The annoyance of invites, Pei reckons, beats potentially ruinous amounts of unsold inventory.
That stance appears to have softened, at least with the company’s flagship OnePlus 2.
“The invite system has been crucial to letting us scale our operations and has given our fans a unique way to share OnePlus with the people in their lives,” writes Pei. “But we are always trying to enhance the OnePlus experience for you and taking risks to push ourselves and show real improvements. That’s why we’re making the OnePlus 2 invite-free … forever.”
The switch goes into effect at midnight on December 5th. Bear in mind that this doesn’t mean you necessarily should buy a OnePlus 2; while its $330 price tag is plenty appealing, it doesn’t quite measure up to the flagships it tries to emulate. If you’re in the market for a cheap but good Android phone, the Nexus 5x and Moto X Pure are better phones for just a little bit more money. Or, if you want to go even cheaper, the perfectly competent Moto G costs $180, and is available any time you like.
What’s more exciting about the OnePlus 2 going invite-free is that it may signal that OnePlus has finally gotten its manufacturing process in order, or at least something closer to it. The company has been actively exploring alternative sales methods for its latest device, the $250 OnePlus X, which will be invite-free this weekend as well. OnePlus appears to be that much closer to the simplest alternative at all: exchanging money for goods, no invite required.

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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Intel vs AMD: which processor is best?

Whether you're building or buying, these are the things to think about