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171 shames OEMs that needlessly kill useful background processes to save battery life

The days when third-party battery-saving apps were necessary to hit a satisfactory number of hours off a single charge are long behind the vast majority of Android users, thanks to improvements like Doze and Adaptive Battery. But in some cases, this measure of progress has become something of a Pyrrhic victory, with useful background processes carelessly destroyed and developers taking the brunt of user ire. Well, the Urbandroid team — the gang behind apps Sleep As Android, Twilight, and others — doesn't plan on going quietly into the night. In fact, they're going on the offensive with a new informational website where the most flagrant OEM offenders are shamed and users and developers are educated.

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Sony Announces A New 22.5 Megapixel CMOS Camera Sensor - Expect To See It In Plenty Of Phones Later This Year

Sony is becoming less and less of a factor in the smartphone world, but their camera sensor modules are second to none. You can find Sony's Exmor camera sensors in more or less every high-end phone on the market these days, including Samsung's Galaxy line and the iPhone. So when the company announces a new high-end sensor, it's kind of a big deal. That's the case today: Sony's camera division has revealed the IMX318, a new sensor with more megapixels, tiny dimensions, and a host of built-in features.

The IMX318 uses 22.5 megapixels, which is a modest bump over the previous 20MP design.

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Users Report The Bootloader On The Dell Venue 8 7840 Can Now Be Unlocked With 'Fastboot OEM Unlock,' Nexus-Style

Earlier this week the super-skinny Dell Venue 8 7840 was given its Android 5.1 update. It looks like the firmware developers left in a goodie for power users: the new "OEM Unlocking" option in the Developer Options menu, first noticed on the latest round of Nexus devices when Lollipop 5.1 was going out earlier this year. According to an Android Police tipster and multiple posts on the XDA-Developers forum, this allows end users to easily unlock the bootloader of the tablet, something that wasn't a simple process before.

To unlock the bootloader, you just need to go through the familiar steps that are shared across most Nexus and "developer" devices: install Fastboot on a PC, make sure you've got the right drivers, connect the device, reboot into fastboot mode, and execute the command "fastboot OEM unlock."

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Sharp Goes Crazy, Makes Crazy-Sharp 3840x2160 5.5-Inch Smartphone Display With 806 PPI

It was inevitable. Inevitable, I tell you. With the smartphone market becoming a ridiculous battlefield of overpowered spec sheets, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to cram a 4K resolution into a phone. That someone is Japanese smartphone maker and frequent part supplier Sharp, who revealed a 5.5" screen module with a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels. That's a density of 806 pixels per square inch, for those of you keeping score at home.

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Fujitsu Shows Off A Liquid Cooling Device For Mobile Electronics That's Just 1mm Thin

Does your new phone feel hot? I mean really, really hot, perhaps because it uses a mobile processor that's running much hotter than some of its contemporaries? Maybe it could use an infusion of conceptual tech from Fujitsu. The manufacturer and OEM supplier is currently showing off its "thin cooling device for compact electronics" (catchy!), a liquid cooling solution designed for high-performance mobile chipsets. That's not astounding in and of itself; what is impressive is that they've made it only one millimeter thin.


Liquid cooling for electronics is nothing new - high-end gaming and workstation PCs have been using custom liquid cooling setups for years.

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Samsung Electronics Starts Mass Producing The Industry's First 128GB Universal Flash Storage, Almost Certainly Galaxy S6-Bound

Before every MWC event, Samsung gradually unveils bits and pieces of its semiconductor innovations that not-so-suprisingly end up inside its line of imminent Galaxy S devices. So far this year, the company has announced its 8Gb LPDDR4 RAM chip (with 4GB of RAM) and 14nm FinFET processor (to be introduced in the company's Exynos 7 Octa), both of which promise faster speeds and more power efficiency.


Today we get another glimpse inside the Galaxy S6, well...presumably. (The timing is just perfect, isn't it?) Samsung is taking the cover off a significant advancement in the semiconductor space for smarphones: a 128GB NAND memory based on the much anticipated UFS 2.0 standard.

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[Weekend Poll] What Brand Is Your Current Smartphone?

I can't believe we've never run this poll, but apparently we haven't, and it's such a simple one: what brand is your current smartphone?

Note: for the purpose of this poll, Nexus phones should be voted as their actual OEM (there is no 'Google' option). I'm not including any non-Android OEMs, so for any of you Nokia or Apple users, vote "other." Because, you know, this is an Android blog. I realize I am also excluding a variety of smaller or regional device makers (Micromax, Alcatel, Pantech, NEC, Spice, Karbonn, Meizu, Geeksphone - to name a very few) but we're trying to go with slightly more global brands in this poll.

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Google Updates Its Android Compatibility Definition Document For Lollipop

Google's compatibility definition document (CDD) is meant to provide guidelines, requirements, and recommendations to Android device manufacturers who want their devices to be "compatible" with the latest release of Android, allowing them to pass Google's Compatibility Test Suite.

Last time Google updated the document, we noted at least one change of interest, requiring that manufacturers use white status icons with translucent bars. Naturally, when we noticed Google had updated the document again, we had to take a look and see what changes had been made.

There are lots of changes in the new document, but the following are a few of the more interesting ones.

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Let's All Mock This Energizer-Branded Rugged Phone, Because It's Asking For It

Energizer is making a phone. Or more accurately, a small manufacturer called DDM, which sells various low-end devices in Europe via a handful of sub-brands, is making a series of phones and then slapping the Energizer name onto them. Oh, and they're going to be "ruggedized," like models from CAT and Casio. For some reason. Because "Energizer" is a byword for "Tough," I suppose. The company is trying to drum up some interest before a big reveal at CES in January, and since this is the tech blogger's equivalent of a bye week, let's take a look.


The new Energizer phone is in fact a "range of solid mobile phones," up to four if you believe the PR email sent to us.

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Samsung Electronics Starts Production Of 8 Gigabit LPDDR4 Mobile RAM Chips, Coming Soon To A Galaxy Near You

The mobile hardware arms race is about to get a new super-weapon. According to a blog post on Samsung Tomorrow, the company's electronics division has begun production of the world's first run of 8Gb (that's gigabit, not gigabyte) memory modules designed for mobile devices. The 8Gb LPDDR4 chips are roughly twice as dense as the previous generation of mobile memory. The first OEM product offered using the new design will be a 4 gigabyte RAM module.


Samsung makes sure to note the 20-nanometer microarchitecture of the new chips, which allows for both faster processing and less power consumption. The quoted speed for the RAM is an astonishing 3.2 gigabits per second, considerably faster than most DDR3 memory modules available for full-sized desktops.

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