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.
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.
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.
The Galaxy S6 has wireless charging. The HTC One M9 does not. There's a pretty good reason for this: metal interferes with the current methods for wireless charging, so you can't have your fancy metal phone and charge it (wirelessly) too. Engineers at Qualcomm have a solution to that, at least according to the company's latest press release. It's a newly-announced functionality of the existing Rezence wireless power standard, which is different from Qi and PMA.
According to Qualcomm, the Rezence/WiPower standard operates at a frequency that's more forgiving of extra material in between the contact and the receiver, including everything from metal to empty space.
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. That's Qualcomm's conundrum right now. The company, which has been a mainstay on the spec sheet of a grand majority of the Android phones we talk about here on Android Police, is hitting a rough patch — not enough to sound the alarm sirens, but enough to jeopardize the employment of thousands of its workforce.
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.