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.
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.
That's hot. Really, really hot: considerably higher than iPhone 6 Plus, LG G3, Galaxy Note 4, and last year's HTC One M8, all of which hovered around the 40 degree Celsius mark (104 Fahrenheit) under the same test.
It almost goes without saying, but benchmarks are not everything. These numbers don't always tell you how a device will perform, but they do tell you something. Right now the Galaxy S6 is telling us that Samsung's new Exynos chip is very, very fast. It's putting up AnTuTu scores of nearly 70,000, well above the values produced by devices like the LG G3, Nexus 6, LG G Flex 2, and even the new HTC One M9.
We've heard a lot of back and forth about the Snapdragon 810, the first high-end 64-bit ARM processor from Qualcomm. First there were rumors that overheating caused Samsung to drop the chip from its Galaxy S6, then LG said the 810 was fine in the G Flex 2. Now, however, Qualcomm says the 810 will not be powering "a large customer's flagship device" this year. That almost certainly means Samsung.
There have been rumors in recent weeks that Qualcomm's new 64-bit Snapdragon 810 was running so hot that OEMs were considering different chips. There was even a report from Bloomberg yesterday that claimed Samsung had decided not to use the 810 in any of the Galaxy S6 variants. Now LG is chiming in to pour some cold water on such speculation. LG's vice president for mobile product planning says there's no problem with the 810.
Samsung and Qualcomm have been reliable partners since the rise of Android, to the mutual benefit of both the phone maker and the OEM chip supplier. But according to this report from Bloomberg, that relationship has hit a rocky patch as Samsung prepares its next flagship phone, presumably the Galaxy S6. An anonymous tipster told Bloomberg that Samsung will decline to use a Qualcomm chipset for the phone after poor testing of the Snapdragon 810, the OEM's top-of-the-line processor.
According to the report, Samsung has found that the 810 often overheats during testing, causing the company to choose its own line of Exynos processors instead.
In comparison with just a few years ago, Wi-Fi is pretty fast, especially if you've upgraded to a 5GHz router. But there's no reason that it can't be faster. To that end, electronics OEM supplier Qualcomm has purchased Wilocity, a California startup specializing in 60GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi, also known as WiGig. This standard is still in the latter stages of development, but when it starts appearing in devices sometime next year, it should be able to sustain wireless data speeds of up to seven gigabits per second.
The announcement came on a promotional page penned by former Wilocity CEO Tal Tamir, who's now Qualcomm's VP of Product Management.
When Qualcomm announces a new class-leading mobile chip, even the less technical among us tend to take notice. So, meet the Snapdragon 64-bit 808 and 810 processors - Qualcomm's most powerful mobile chips ever.
The 810 is an octa-core setup that will be utilized in a fashion similar to ARM's big.LITTLE architecture (as will the 808), though Qualcomm is using its own technology to manage how the cores interact, rather than an off-the-shelf solution. The quad-core A57 is a 20nm part, as is the lower-power A53 quad, though Qualcomm hasn't disclosed clock speeds for either. The 810 also marks the debut of a couple new pieces of silicon, including the Adreno 430 GPU (30% faster than Adreno 420) and a new LPDDR4-1600 RAM interface (still dual-channel), as opposed to LPDDR3.