It's not easy being a chip and component maker in the smartphone industry and trying to turn a profit when competitors are driving the prices down to a point where an entire phone can cost somewhere around $50. It's even harder when the high-end market is being governed by a few players, the major one of whom decides to "dump" your chips and use their own for its flagship.
You don't usually think of HP as a company that makes desirable Android tablets. And in fact, when you go to the HP site and peruse the tablet section, you'd be proven right. However, tucked away in the business-oriented side of the site are some devices that might qualify as lust-worthy for certain Android fans.
One such device is the HP Pro Slate 8, which was announced back in January and was released late this spring. It's basically an iPad Mini running Android, plus a screaming ultrasonic pen. That sounds more awesome than it is.
Google recently dropped the price of the Project Tango developer tablet to $512, but there was no new hardware announced at I/O. Qualcomm just can't contain itself any longer, apparently. The chip maker has announced a new piece of Tango hardware is on the way, and it's powered by the Snapdragon 810 [insert overheating joke].
Sony has just announced the follow-up to its flagship device, the... why does it feel like I've written this story before? Oh, because I have. So a month after making its Xperia Z4 official in Japan, Sony is taking that device and releasing it with a more appropriate name for the global market: Xperia Z3+. Let's face it, the changes compared to the Z3 are minimal enough not to warrant a full number increase, so the switch back to the Z3+ is more honest on the company's behalf.
On the outside, the Z3+ looks almost exactly like the Z3, give or take a few slots and speaker grill placements.
One of the things that I love most about my Sony Z3 is its compatibility with Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 technology. The phone takes forever to charge with a standard USB wall charger (like almost the entire night), but with a Quick Charge device I can bring it from dead to fully juiced in fraction of the time. I have chargers plugged in in various places throughout my home, but I only own one Quick Charger. Why do I have only one if I like it so much? Because they are way more expensive than a standard charger – or at least they used to be.
If you're a frequent ROM flasher (why does that sound mildly dirty?) and a OnePlus One owner, you might want to grab the latest build of TWRP. A Team Win developer says that it now supports Qualcomm's native encryption scheme in addition to Android's standard AOSP encryption. Why does this matter? According to Ethan "Dees Troy" Yonker and cited benchmarks, Qualcomm's encryption offers better performance when compared to Google's encryption applied to the same hardware.
...for slower encryption methods.
The hardware-based encryption offers an approximate 30% boost to read-write speeds over Android's software encryption, though it's still well below the performance of unencrypted flash storage.
You may have heard that the LG G4 doesn't have support for Qualcomm's Quick Charge 2.0 technology, which seems odd considering it has a Snapdragon 808. That's what LG said at the launch event, but it's looking now like that was just a formality. The G4 has just appeared on Qualcomm's officially supported QC2.0 device list.
Back at MWC, while everyone was waiting for Sony to announce its follow-up flagship, the Xperia Z4, the company decided to keep it under wraps and instead unveiled the mid-range Xperia M4 Aqua and the Xperia Z4 Tablet. Today, the phone has finally been made official in Sony's home turf of Japan during a press conference that made all of the Z4's details public but left out any information regarding its global release or price.
The Xperia Z4 follows the same design as its predecessors, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. The squarish shape, metal frame, and glass back are part of the brand's identity, but at the same time they're iterative and have become boring.
Hey, remember all that hullaballoo about Snapdragon 808 and the G4 a couple days ago? Me too! Man, what a bummer for Qualcomm's totally-not-in-any-way-compromised Snapdragon 810. Those guys just can't catch a break!
And now, they really, really want you to know that there's no such thing as Snapdragon 815 and please just stop saying they were going to make another high-end chip based on ARM reference core designs. Seriously guys, they totally weren't going to do that. Not a chance.
815 was rumored to be a FinFet'd version of Qualcomm's definitely-announced and quite real Snapdragon 620, an A72/A53 octacore chip that Qualcomm revealed prior to MWC.
The Nexus 6 is big and fast and sharp, but my favorite feature is probably its Quick Charge capacity, which lets it charge up in a fraction of the time it takes older phones. The only problem is that this feature requires special charging adapters: one of them comes in the box, but the rest of the time you're stuck with the old charging rate. If you're in the market for an extra Quick Charge adapter, and you wouldn't mind charging a bunch of other stuff at the same time, check out this deal on the US version of Amazon.