This is a guest post by Ricardo "arcee" Cerqueira who takes things apart for sport, on a quest to understand how they work. He currently works on Android devices at Cyanogen.
As people started receiving their Nexus 6Ps, some began freaking out over a new message that comes up on the screen when booting into fastboot mode: “QFUSE: ENABLED,” with wild speculative theories coming up regarding what it does and doesn’t do, what kind of limitations it’s imposing, and wondering if and how it can be “disabled.” So... what’s this qFuse thing, anyway?
Think of an eFuse as the mind’s eye representation of a bit that only flips one way, or something that can only be done once on a piece of writeable flash. Read More
Quick Charge 2.0 chargers juice up compatible devices real fast. Keeping with the spirit of their rapid efficiency, I'm going to tell you about a great deal on a Quick Charge 2.0 wall charger speedy quick.
On Amazon you can buy a 4.2 star rated 18W Tronsmart QC 2.0 Turbo wall charger for just $6.99 after applying coupon code UQ9S44HS at checkout. That's 8 bucks less than the normal price. Not bad. The charger comes with a six-foot 20A MicroUSB cable and is backed by a solid 18 month warranty. Prime users can take advantage of free shipping.
I bought one of these chargers a couple of months ago and can tell you myself that it works great and is very durable. Read More
As several of you pointed out to us today, Qualcomm recently updated a blog post on its website regarding the "double-twist" camera launch gesture on the upcoming Nexus 5X and 6P. Specifically, they placed a strikethrough on the text identifying the feature, and clarified the reasoning for the change with the below information:
[UPDATE: The feature to launch the camera via double-twist of the device was replaced by double tap of the power key. The name Context Core has been changed to Android Sensor Hub.]
We've officially confirmed with Google this morning that the feature has indeed been dropped from the Nexus 5X and 6P. Read More
Isn't technology just fascinating? Don't you remember a few years ago when the first dual-core and quad-core mobile processors were announced, and we all marveled at the progress but wondered why would we ever need this much power in a smartphone? Fast forward a few years and we're already considering octa-core processors as "midrange", like these newly announced Snapdragon chipsets.
First is the Snapdragon 617, coming before the end of 2015 with an X8 LTE modem (Cat 7 for up to 300 Mbps downlink and 100Mpbs uplink) and dual Image Signal Processor (ISP) for cameras up to 21MP. Both features are similar to its Snapdragon 618 and 620 siblings and would allow OEMs faster software compatibility optimization if they've already implemented them. Read More
After several faux-pas with its previous flagship processor, the Snapdragon 810, Qualcomm has been plotting its redemption scheme with a worthy successor, the 820. The chipset was announced at MWC 2015, but not much was known back then except the 64-bit CPU architecture, the FinFET design, and a slew of potential multimedia capabilities. We later learned that the Snapdragon 820 will have a new Adreno 530 GPU, which is 40% faster and 40% less power hungry than the Adreno 430 GPU included in the 810.
Now the company is back with more details regarding the Snapdragon 820, revealing its connectivity featureset, and it's a doozy. Read More
For the past few years, we have been struggling against the limits of battery technology in our devices. The more powerful they become, the more we want to use them, but battery capacity never caught up with our demands, so we keep finding ourselves with smartphones that mostly just barely make it through the day. To remedy this, Qualcomm introduced Quick Charge, a faster way to charge your device's battery so that you can get back to using it as soon as possible and with as little interruption as necessary.
Quick Charge has been through two iterations and Qualcomm just announced version 3.0, which adopts a new algorithm to improve speed and efficiency. Read More
Portable batteries are great for juicing up your gadgets when away from a power outlet. The problem is, most battery powered chargers deliver electrons at a snail's pace. Fortunately, thanks to Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 technology, there's a new crop of batteries that are both portable and fast. One of the better ones is Aukey's 10,400mAh battery, and right now you can pick one up for $20, a third less than the normal price.
Besides QC 2.0 technology, there isn't a lot to be said about the battery. It has one USB port, four LED charge level indicators, and a nice rounded aluminium shell. Read More
Qualcomm's high-end processors aren't exactly without their flaws right now, but the mid-range and entry level chips from the company are still seen as the best bang for the buck. The most popular budget SoCs from Qualcomm have gotten a little spec bump, but the company didn't think that was worth even a proper press release. No matter, we've got the details on the Snapdragon 212, 412, and 616. Read More
You are probably familiar with the issues surrounding the Snapdragon 810 by now, but a new chip is right around the corner that could get Qualcomm back on track. I speak of course of the fabled Snapdragon 820 (MSM8996). Details of this chip have allegedly been leaked in China, and while we can't know for sure that they're accurate, the slides sure look legit. Read More
Back in late July, the Qualcomm Corporation - employer of over 30,000 individuals at the time - began the process of telling about 15% of those people (eg, over 4,000 gainfully-employed human beings) they were no longer needed. This was after already cutting another 1500 jobs in late 2014.
The company's stock is currently trading near 2-year lows, and while obviously still a very robust company, Qualcomm can't keep putting in these kinds of numbers if it's going to maintain its position at the tippy-top of the smartphone chipset market.
Qualcomm (QCOM - NASDAQ) stock is down over 10% year-to-date. It is down over 20% from its peak, reached in early 2014. Read More