Mobile

MediaTek added two additional products to its premiere deca-core SoC family today. The Helio X23 and X27 join the previously released Helio X20 and X25, adding additional performance levels for OEMs to choose from. All four SoCs use the same deca-core CPU configuration—two ARM Cortex-A72 cores for heavy workloads that require higher performance and two quad-core Cortex-A53 clusters, using different DVFS curves, for medium to light workloads where lower-power operation is desirable. MediaTek’s custom-developed, power-aware scheduler, CorePilot 3.0, still handles thread distribution. The differentiating factor is clock frequency, with peak frequencies increasing from 2.1GHz / 1.85GHz / 1.4GHz (A72 / A53 / A53) for the X20 to 2.6GHz / 2.0GHz / 1.6GHz for the new X27. The ARM Mali-T880MP4 GPU runs at up to 780MHz...

Understanding Smartwatch Design

Although I mentioned this in passing in the Apple Watch review, I’ve increasingly realized that it is difficult for both manufacturers and consumers to really understand what makes a...

35 by Joshua Ho on 8/26/2015

Microsoft Makes Cortana For Android Available As A Public Beta

Earlier this year Microsoft announced that their digital assistant Cortana would be making its way to iOS and Android in addition to its launch on Windows Phone and Windows...

12 by Brandon Chester on 8/24/2015

Qualcomm Details Hexagon 680 DSP in Snapdragon 820: Accelerated Imaging

Although we tend not to focus too much on the tertiary aspects of a SoC, they are often important to enabling many aspects of the user experience. DSPs are...

39 by Joshua Ho on 8/24/2015

Understanding Intel's Dynamic Power and Thermal Framework 8.1: Smarter Throttling

In mobile, thermal throttling is effectively a fact of life as modern, thin tablets and smartphones leave little room for implementing high-performance fans. We can use CMOS scaling to...

32 by Joshua Ho on 8/21/2015

The Moto G (2015) Review

Motorola's original Moto G was one of the first Android devices to offer what one could honestly call a good user experience at a price of around $200. It...

90 by Brandon Chester on 8/19/2015

Understanding Qualcomm's ImproveTouch

Although the Xperia Z4 Tablet was announced as far back as MWC, it wasn’t until recently that the enhanced noise rejection of the touchscreen was really shown off. At...

13 by Joshua Ho on 8/18/2015

Google Releases Final M Preview: Android 6.0 Marshmallow

Today Google released the third developer preview for the M release and at the same time also reveals its official codename as well as final version name: Android 6.0...

51 by Andrei Frumusanu on 8/17/2015

A Quick Look at LG G4 Leather Back Covers

With the LG G4 review, our design commentary was mostly targeted towards the G4’s standard polycarbonate back cover. But recently we received some leather back covers from LG designed...

24 by Joshua Ho on 8/17/2015

Hands On With the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+

Today, Samsung is announcing the next generation of their Galaxy-brand phablets, the Galaxy Note 5 and the Galaxy S6 edge+. Samsung’s phablets have been one of their greatest smartphone...

219 by Joshua Ho on 8/13/2015

Qualcomm Details the Adreno 530 GPU and ISP inside the Snapdragon 820

Snapdragon 820 is still a mystery as far as official information from Qualcomm goes. However, today Qualcomm has given a bit of insight into their upcoming SoC. While there's...

66 by Brandon Chester on 8/12/2015

Qualcomm Launches Snapdragon 616, 412, and 212

Today, Qualcomm launched a set of new SoCs, namely the Snapdragon 616, 412, and 212. These are updates to the Snapdragon 615, 410, and 210 respectively. If you were to...

22 by Joshua Ho on 8/10/2015

Google Redesigns Hangouts for Android With Version 4.0

Today Google shipped a major update to their Hangouts application for Android. Ever since Hangouts for iOS was updated to 4.0 a little over a month ago Android users...

30 by Brandon Chester on 8/10/2015

Verizon Eliminates Contracts and Device Subsidies

North America has always had a fairly unique pricing structure for buying mobile devices. In many places, the concept of purchasing a device for a heavy subsidy and committing...

115 by Brandon Chester on 8/7/2015

Google Commits To Monthly Security Updates For Nexus Devices

Security updates on mobile operating systems have typically been bundled inside larger patches that include other bug fixes and improvements. Unfortunately, the world of security exploits isn't tuned to...

41 by Brandon Chester on 8/5/2015

Lattice Announces First superMHL Chips: Sil8630 & Sil9396

Earlier this year at CES, the MHL Consortium announced the latest version of the Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) standard, superMHL. The latest iteration on MHL, superMHL was introduced to...

8 by Ryan Smith on 8/3/2015

NVIDIA Initiates Safety Recall of SHIELD Tablets (Update: 4 Units Have Overheated)

NVIDIA sends word this morning that they are initiating a recall on the SHIELD Tablet. Being announced today and taking effect immediately, the tablets are being voluntarily recalled by...

30 by Ryan Smith on 7/31/2015

The LG G4 Review

The LG G3 was probably the Android phone that was closest to getting everything right last year, but it ultimately fell short of being the “best Android phone”. The...

85 by Joshua Ho on 7/30/2015

Motorola Announces the Moto X Play

In a somewhat interesting twist, Motorola has announced a new version of the Moto X designed to slot in between the Moto X’s traditional flagship position and the Moto...

46 by Joshua Ho on 7/28/2015

Motorola Announces the Moto X Style

Today, Motorola also announced their new flagship phone, the Moto X Style. Following the trend of larger screen sizes, it seems Motorola has taken this trend to its logical...

46 by Joshua Ho on 7/28/2015

Motorola Announces the New Moto G

Today, Motorola announced the successor to their Moto G, which has been their most successful phone in recent memory. It’s still called the Moto G, but this is the...

52 by Joshua Ho on 7/28/2015

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