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We only just reported about the Galaxy S6 Edge and its soon-to-be awesome benchmarking abilities, but the boss of Samsung's Camera R&D, DongHoon Jang, has teased that its upcoming 2015 flagship smartphone will have "the future of cameras".
Jang also said that the new flagship handset "will be intelligent and do all the thinking for users, allowing them to take amazing pictures under any conditions, without having to worry about anything more than just pressing the shutter button". Rear-facing cameras don't need to have the most megapixels, as we've seen with Apple's iPhones over the years. Let's hope that Samsung doesn't just throw in a 20-megapixel camera and hope to win, and that the software, speed, and the entire package is ready to be "the future of cameras".
We are expecting a few new handsets to be unveiled at Samsung Unpacked 2015 on March 1, but there's a lot of time between then and now so we can enjoy some leaks regarding performance numbers in the meantime.
PhoneArena has noticed a new multi-core Geekbench result that sees the Galaxy S6 Edge, something Samsung hasn't even announced yet, beating the Apple iPad Air 2, which is the current champion of that benchmark - even though it's a tablet, the new Samsung smartphone beats it. PhoneArena reported: "[The Galaxy S6 Edge's] octa-core Exynos 7420 chipset managed to crush it with 1,492 points in the single-core, and 5,077 points in the multi-core test. To put things in perspective, this multi-core result is way higher than any other mobile at the moment, including the iPad Air 2, the reigning champ, which scores 4,532".
Switching the conversation over to the Galaxy S6, it was spotted on an AnTuTu benchmark where it blew the pants off of anything else on AnTuTu's database. We should expect the Galaxy S6 to rock Samsung's own Exynos 7240 processor clocked at 2.1GHz, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of flash storage, a 20-megapixel rear-facing camera, 5-megapixel front-facing snapper, Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and a 5.1-inch display with a resolution of 2560x1440.
With 37 days to go on their Kickstarter and £9,658 ($14,700 US) pledged out of a £200,000 ($304,880) goal - The OwnFone has an uphill battle to face. This device isn't exactly a new thing, seeing success in the English market - however they're now wanting to expand globally and are using this campaign as a launching platform. But what exactly is it?
Described as "the world's first 2D/3D printed mobile phone that calls the numbers you need," the OwnFone is a small, light and portable device that allows you to customize the face to suit exactly who you wish to dial. You can throw in pictures of your friends, simple catchwords like "Mum" and "Uncle" or even a short list of names.
With no screen, internet connectivity or text messaging services, the OwnFone sets out to be a great child phone or emergency alternative. It's perfectly safe for your children, meaning if they're stuck or lost they can take out the phone, press the "Dad" button and chat away.
Almost 16 million tablets used by the end of 2014 were running on a cellular data plan, a massive 95 percent increase year-over-year, according to the NPD Group.
Consumers with a tablet connected to a cellular network have an average household income of $105,000, which is $17,000 more than Wi-Fi-connected tablet owners. The report also revealed 57 percent of cellular-connected tablet owners are college graduates, compared to 51 percent of Wi-Fi tablet owners, the NPD report found.
"Cellular-embedded tablet use is growing rapidly, however, for it to become a mass market product mobile carriers need to appeal to a mass market audience," said John Buffone, executive director of the Connected Intelligence department of the NPD Group. "While 2014 marked the year consumers activated cellular enabled tablets, 2015 must become the year this technology reaches a broader demographic audience."
A growing number of retailers are adopting various forms of mobile payments, and while consumers still prefer cash and debit/credit card payments, mobile payment could be on the upswing. US mobile payment volume will reach close to 15 percent, growing at 172 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2019, according to a new Business Insider Intelligence report.
Apple Pay is the early leader among mobile payment services, though CurrentC and other platforms will be able to attract non-iPhone users. Google Android solutions, such as Softcard and Google Wallet, have seen increased interest following the launch of Apple Pay.
Mobile payments may still be in its infancy, and consumers are worried about security and ease-of-use, but providers will have time to work out the kinks. Meanwhile, additional retailers are expected to explore options available to give consumers more payment options at checkout.
Gorilla Glass protects hundreds of millions of smartphones across the world, but it looks like its successor is being teased under the codename of "Project Phire". Corning could turn Project Phire into Gorilla Glass 5, but we won't know much until the company fully unveils Gorilla Glass 5.
Until then, Corning made the project public at the Investors Conference in New York under the codename Project Phire. The name comes from the scratch resistance qualities of sapphire, with the company making a point of the fact that sapphire isn't so great when its dropped, which is a big problem for smartphone users. Project Phire will be the next-gen display protection, which should be splashed onto devices in the near future.
James Clappin from Corning said: "We told you last year that sapphire was great for scratch performance but didn't fare well when dropped. So, we created a product that offers the same superior damage resistance and drop performance of Gorilla Glass 4 with scratch resistance that approaches sapphire".
Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has taken the Chinese smartphone market by storm, quickly punting Samsung out the door - and putting global pressure on Apple, Samsung, and others. The company sold 61 million devices worldwide in 2014, tripling its overall sales figure year-over-year - and provides a high quality phone at an affordable price.
"The trend over the last couple of years has been for local vendors, plus Samsung, to dominate the market and make it hard for others," said Chris Jones, principal mobile analyst of the Canalys research firm, in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. "They've been driving down the prices of smartphones and driving up the screen sizes and quality."
Xiaomi remains focused on its home market of China, in addition to India and several other select markets, and isn't focused on trying to expand into the United States just yet. The Chinese company wants to build a stronghold in China, India, Brazil, and select other regions before trying to migrate into the United States and select western markets.
NVIDIA announced its powerhouse mobile SoC, Tegra X1, at CES 2015 last month, but now it looks like we might see a new Shield Tablet emerge powered by this new processor.
The new Shield Tablet would reportedly be powered by the Tegra X1 chip, and announced during GTC 2015 next month. The current Shield Tablet is powered by the Tegra K1 processor, released back in July 2014 at $299 and $399 (Wi-Fi only, and LTE, respectively). The new Tegra X1 processor should arrive on a 20nm process, arrive as an 8-core processor with some serious power behind it.
We should expect it to feature around 500 GFlops of performance for 32-bit workloads, and 1 TFlops of compute power in 16-bit workloads. 2MB of L2 cache is found, while one of the quad-core CPU stacks (the Cortex-A57) includes 48KB of L1 instruction cache, and 32KB of L1 data cache. The GPU side of things should also be incredibly fast, as we have a Maxwell GPU inside of the Tegra X1 processor. It'll arrive with 256 Maxwell cores, thanks to the 2 SMMs from the Maxwell architecture.
Chip manufacturer ARM wants to keep powering smartphones, and expects its Cortex A-72 processor to power devices available in 2016. At least 10 companies have licensed the processor, which is reportedly at least 3.5 times faster than ARM technology sold in 2014. ARM product designs are present in more than 95 percent of smartphones available worldwide, and Cortex A-72 should help keep the company's dominant lead.
"The ARM Cortex-A72 processor sets a new standard for delivering a premium mobile experience and is expected to be the highest performing CPU technology for mobile SoCs [system-on-chips]," said Noel Hurley, GM of the CPU group at ARM.
In addition to the Cortex-A72 processor, ARM is promoting its Mali-T880 graphics chip which should also find its way into consumer devices in 2016.
This is the first time that the tablet market has seen a year-over-year shipment decline, with -3.2 percent growth - shipping 76.1 million units during Q4 2014, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet tracker. Despite the shipment drop during Q4, there was still 4.4 percent overall shipment growth throughout the entire year.
Apple continued its domination of the tablet market, shipping 21.4 million units and controlling 28.1 percent of the tablet market. Samsung was No. 2, (14.5 percent), Lenovo (4.8 percent), ASUS (4.0 percent), and Amazon (2.3 percent) rounded out the top five tablet hardware manufacturers.
Meanwhile, iOS controls 27 percent of the mobile tablet OS market, with Android now making up 66 percent control.