The dream is to have smartphone batteries that can last days upon days of use. The reality is that the more power-efficient our smartphones become, the more demanding we are, perpetuating the status quo of lousy battery life. The band-aid solution so far seems to be the speeding of charge times. Qualcomm has its Quick Charge technology, Oppo has its Super VOOC, ASUS has BoostMaster, and MediaTek has Pump Express. The latter just received a boost to version 3.0, marking the first time it uses USB Type-C Power Delivery instead of VBUS current modulation.
The first benefit of Pump Express 3.0 is that it significantly reduces overheating while charging by bypassing all circuitry inside the phone.
It's time for another charging product portfolio review, and this time the company we are checking out is Tronsmart. Tronsmart was one of the first accessory manufacturers to embrace the Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 standard when it was introduced. Its product quality and broad selection of QC 2.0 chargers led to Qualcomm choosing a Tronsmart charger as a hero product on its QC 3.0 featured products page.
The Tronsmart QC 3.0 portfolio is quite large, with chargers ranging from a single port all the way up to five ports.
Android One devices usually get updates pretty quickly — that's the whole premise of their existence after all. But if you're the kind of person who isn't fully convinced by the speed of OTA rollouts to your phone or even the stock flavor of Android that your device shipped with, you might want to tinker with custom ROMs or flash mods or try weird things with your phone. The safest way to do that is through a reliable custom recovery that also lets you back up your current ROM or setup and restore it should things go wrong.
TWRP is one of the most popular and reliable recoveries for Android, and it just became available for the second generation of Android One devices, whether they have a Qualcomm or a Mediatek chipset. This means that it's compatible with the MediaTek-running Lava Pixel V1, Infinix Hot 2 X510, Bq Aquaris A4.5, as well as the Snapdragon-boasting Cherry Mobile One G1, General Mobile 4G, General Mobile 5 Plus, and i-mobile IQ II.
Do you like Qualcomm's Quick Charge? Are you impatiently waiting for all devices and accessories to be compatible with Quick Charge 3.0? Then OPPO is about to rain on your parade with its Super VOOC technology. And I mean really rain.
Announced and demoed at MWC, Super VOOC is the evolution of OPPO's VOOC (yeah, they like capitalizing things) fast charging technology. It uses a new low-voltage pulse-charge system, a new dynamic algorithm for current regulation, and a new customized battery. The charger, adapter, and cable connector have also been upgraded to use military-grade materials. The end result is a setup capable of fully charging a 2500mAh battery in an OPPO phone in 15 minutes.
Qualcomm did not have a great 2015 with the issues surrounding the 810, but it's looking to turn that around in 2016. The Snapdragon 820 might help, but the fancy high-end chips aren't everything. Qualcomm has announced several new mid-range ARM chips, as well as a new modem and a wearable-specific SoC.
Right before it announces its new device in the Galaxy S line, Samsung always hypes things up by unveiling bits and pieces of the phone's internals. Late last year, we learned that the Exynos 8 Octa was ready for mass production and for inclusion in the newest S flagship. Today, Samsung has let loose a few more details regarding the actual process of building this new processor.
Its predecessor, the Exynos 7 Octa, was the industry's first chip built on a 14nm FinFET logic process and Samsung is reiterating this year with the second generation of this technology. Thanks to optimizations and transistor structure improvements, the new 14nm FinFET LPP (Low-Power Plus) process delivers up to 15% increase in speed while consuming 15% less power compared to the previous 14nm FinFET LPE (Low-Power Early) process.
Are you sad that you missed out on winning a Tronsmart Titan 5 port 90W QC 2.0 charger in our drawing last November? You aren't the only one, and hey, at least Artem let you enter the drawing. (Apparently there's something unethical about giving the prizes to your employees. Pfft.)
Now's your chance to get your hands on one of these beasts for a very reasonable price. Using coupon code 5USBPORT at checkout on Amazon will drop the price by $14 to $23.99– that's less than five bucks a port and one heck of a good deal.
Unlike some QC 2.0 multi-chargers that have one quick-charging port and four standard ones, this beast boasts five high-speed USB ports.
The Letv Max Pro is the world's first Snapdragon 820 phone. And yes, I know: many of you have no freaking clue what Letv is, and until recently, I was just like you. Letv is a Chinese consumer electronics and software company, kind of similar in some ways (though very different in others) to Xiaomi. They've built smartphones before, but the Letv Max Pro is easily the most internationally paid-attention-to device they've produced.
The reason for that has literally nothing to do with Letv: it's all about Qualcomm. The Max Pro is the first phone with a Snapdragon 820 processor, a chip enthusiasts have been eyeing intently after a dismal year, in large part, for Qualcomm's Snapdragon portfolio.
A serious audiophile will scoff at Bluetooth audio. They also scoff at most other things, but maybe there will be less wireless scoffing now that Qualcomm's aptX HD audio codec is a thing. Using aptX HD, a device can output true 24-bit audio over Bluetooth, and there's already a Bluetooth hardware module that supports it.
Qualcomm gave a brief reveal of the upcoming Letv Max Pro smartphone, the first announced device equipped with the company's Snapdragon 820 processor. Few details about the phone were provided - basically none - but we know it has an 820, Qualcomm's nifty ultrasonic fingerprint authentication system (it's on the back of the phone), and WiFi 802.11ad, also known as WiGig.
Qualcomm provided a few updates on Snapdragon 820 generally, saying the chip has secured over 80 design wins at this point, which is no small number for such a powerful - and pricey - mobile SoC.
The Letv Max Pro remains largely a mystery until we hear more from Letv themselves, though Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkompf did briefly show off what looked like a functional device on stage.