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Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium suddenly arrives with series-first dual cameras

A pleasant surprise!

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It was only a couple of months ago during Mobile World Congress 2018 when Sony’s newest flagship Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact pair were unveiled. And while they’re finally rolling out to select markets this month, an even newer flagship has been quietly launched: the Xperia XZ2 Premium.

If the mention of “Premium” gives you the idea of a 4K HDR screen like on previous high-end Xperia handsets, that certainly applies here. The XZ2 Premium comes with a 5.8-inch 4K display that supports high dynamic range. Surprisingly, it’s of the traditional 16:9 screen ratio, and not the trendier 18:9 ratio found on even the standard XZ2.

The other, possibly more notable feature is the dual-camera setup on the back. It’s a first for the brand which has always stuck to a single shooter. Its implementation is similar to what Huawei has in place, wherein one has a 19-megapixel color sensor while the other has a 12-megapixel monochrome sensor. When put together, they produce clearer photos and videos in the worst of lighting conditions.

Combined, the pair of shooters can go up to an ISO of 51200, which is high for any sort of camera and fantastic for low-light photography. Similarly, videos can go up to ISO 12800, and the single 13-megapixel camera in front manages a respectable ISO 3200.

Another pair of upgrades are in the memory and battery of the XZ2 Premium. It now has 6GB of memory (more than the 4GB of the XZ2) and a 3540mAh battery (higher than the 3180mAh capacity of the XZ2) which can be wirelessly charged. Aside from those, the processor is still the same top-shelf Snapdragon 845 chipset.

Everything else is carried over from the slightly smaller Xperia XZ2, from the new curved body introduced to the Xperia series and IP68 water and dust resistance, to the Dynamic Vibration System and lack of an audio port.

Sony is currently mum about the pricing of the Xperia XZ2 Premium, but rollout should happen in the next couple of months. The first two colors to be offered will be Chrome Black and Chrome Silver.

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Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 675 chip is based on 11nm process

A gaming-based chipset

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Qualcomm introduced a new member of its Snapdragon family. After having the Snapdragon 670 chipset, there’s now the Snapdragon 675. The improvement is little because the predecessor is still fresh, but the new one comes with better CPU cores and slightly updated features.

The Snapdragon 675 is a midrange chipset with eight cores: two performance-focused cores clocked at 2.0 GHz and six efficient cores running at 1.78 GHz.

The most prominent update for the Snapdragon 675 is its two Kyro 460 cores. They’re built around ARM’s Cortex-A76 cores, which are originally designed for flagship devices. Actually, the first major chipset to feature this is Huawei’s Kirin 980.

Apart from the new cores, the Snapdragon 675 remains similar to its predecessor with the same Spectra 250 ISP and Adreno 612 GPU. But, that doesn’t mean there are no further improvements.

The chipset’s Adreno 612 GPU comes with gaming optimizations for Unity, Unreal, Messiah, and NeoX. It also supports popular tools and APIs such as Vulkan, OpenGL 3.2, OpenCL, and Snapdragon profiler. Basically, it’s got enhancement similar to GPU Turbo.

Of course, the camera capabilities have been updated as well to support triple cameras up to 16 megapixels, or 25 megapixels if there’s only one sensor. It has a new multi-core AI Engine which promises an improvement of up to 50 percent.

Quick Charge 4+ is also available on the Snapdragon 675 if the phone manufacturer decides to implement the latest fast charging technology from Qualcomm.

The chipset is manufactured on Samsung’s new 11LPP manufacturing node, which is a mix of 14nm and 10nm nodes as a cost-effective solution.

The Snapdragon 675 is expected to be available in consumer devices by early 2019.

Source: Qualcomm
Via: AnandTech

SEE ALSO: Wi-Fi 6 is coming and older generations get simpler version numbers

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Samsung patents the world’s first all-screen fingerprint sensor

Features a waterdrop-notched phone

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Within the past year, the tech industry has successfully developed a working in-screen fingerprint sensor. However, like conventional fingerprint readers, the technology works only in select areas. For example, Vivo’s fingerprint sensor lies cozily on the bottom-center portion of the screen.

Despite all the hype, the current technology is still a far cry from 100 percent screen integration. This can drastically change within the near future.

Following supporting rumors, Samsung has confirmed progressive steps towards the technology’s development. Last week, the Korean company patented two versions of the in-screen fingerprint sensor.

Image source: LetsGoDigital

In the first one, the sensor remains largely similar to today’s current sensors. It works only on one portion of the screen. In this case, it lies front and center, a bit above the usual. As far as differences go, the technology uses Samsung’s old smartphone design — thick bezels like the Galaxy S4. Potentially, this conventional form will be an exclusive for the company’s midrange phones.

On the other hand, the second patent includes a more advanced version of the feature. Unlike the previous one, this version uses the entire screen. Further, it utilizes a separate processor to increase accuracy and convenience. The patented sensor scans fingerprints thrice and increases screen brightness after access.

Another surprising aspect of the second patent lies in the portrayed device. Instead of a traditional Galaxy smartphone, the patent uses a bezel-less smartphone with a small waterdrop notch. At the least, this points to a future release within the next few years.

Curiously, the second patent runs slightly counter to Samsung’s latest plans. Recently, the company revealed full-screen sensor integration for the future. Among other things, they promised to eliminate the notch going forward. The new patent, instead, points to a notched phone.

If anything, both reports indicate a new form factor coming in the next few months. We’ll just have to wait and see.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Galaxy A7 hands-on review: Beyond the cameras

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Vivo Y81i arrives in Philippines with price

One of Vivo’s budget-friendly offers

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After a quiet debut in Malaysia, the Vivo Y81i has made its way — in a subtle fashion, too — to the Philippines with an affordable price.

Retailing for PhP 7,999, Y81i enters the market as one of Vivo’s more budget-friendly smartphones. For comparison, the older Y81 is priced at PhP 9,999.

This is close to the Malaysian pricing, making it competitive in both Southeast Asian countries.

Again, it’s similar to the Y81, but is equipped with less-desirable specifications to keep the price down, such as the MediaTek MT6761 processor, 2GB of memory, and 16GB of storage for the Y81i.

On the bright side, it still comes with a notched 6.22-inch 720p display, 13- and 5-megapixel rear and front cameras, and 3260mAh battery.

The only serious exclusion is the fingerprint scanner, but there’s facial recognition to make up for it.

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