Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge release date, news and rumors

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge release date, news and rumors

Galaxy Note EdgeWe all know Samsung will shortly be announcing the Galaxy S6, but with various rumors flooding in and even Samsung itself accidentally leaking it, it's looking increasingly likely that it will also unveil the Galaxy S6 Edge, a variant of its flagship with one or possibly even two curved edges.
Those might not be the only differences either and we've collected together all the latest rumors to get a straight image of Samsung's bendy handset. Rather than being called the Galaxy S6 Edge, we've heard it could be named the Galaxy S Edge, emphasising that it truly is a different beast.
We've also heard the name Galaxy S Dual Edge being mentioned, but most people are still referring to it as the Galaxy S6 Edge, so we will as well.
But if you just want the highlights know this: While the Galaxy S6 is likely to be the star of Samsung's show, there's every chance that the Galaxy S6 Edge will be the more interesting of the two.
Latest updates: Sprint has leaked an official image of the Galaxy S6 Edge, and it looks like it will have a screen with two curved edges.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A curvy new flagship from Samsung
  • When is it out? It's likely to be announced on March 1
  • What will it cost? A lot, probably even more than the Galaxy S6

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge release date and price

We don't know for sure when the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge will launch, but the smart money is on March 1 at Samsung's press event, where it's also expected to unveil the Galaxy S6. Invitations to the event show a mostly straight line with a bend at the end, suggesting curvy things are coming.
Samsung invite
It's unlikely to launch the same day as it's unveiled of course, but we may see it on shelves sometime in March.
There's still a chance the Galaxy S6 Edge won't emerge, as late last year SamMobile heard from its insiders there wouldn't be one, but that's a relatively old rumor and the number of recent rumors around it (not to mention the curved line on Samsung's invite) suggests there will be.
Hopefully you've been saving if you want one, as AndroidPIT reports that it's received the expected price in Euros and it starts at €849 (roughly £636 / $970 / AU$1241) for a 32GB model, rising to €949 (around £711 / $1085 / AU$1387) for 64GB and €1,049 (approximately £786 / $1199 / AU$1534) for 128GB.
Not only would those prices make it one of the most expensive phones on the market, but it's likely to be more expensive than the Galaxy S6, which had its expected prices outed by the same source and came in at €100 (£75 / $114 / AU$146) cheaper for each size.
Of course direct currency conversions aren't always accurate, but based on these prices we expect the Galaxy S6 Edge will enter the market at between around $749-$849 unlocked. It's also possible that it will be a limited edition device, so availability could be tricky.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen

The screen will of course be the Galaxy S6 Edge's standout feature and it's also one of the biggest question marks, as while early rumors suggested it would have one curved side like the Galaxy Note Edge, a number of recent rumors point to two curved edges.
The reason for rumors of both could be because apparently Samsung was still testing multiple prototypes of the phone until recently and hadn't decided whether to go with one or two curved edges.
We're inclined to believe the recent rumors of a dual edged display because, well, they're more recent. They include a patent showing a handset with two curved sides and a report from SamMobile which claims its source revealed that the S6 Edge will have two curved edges.
Only a few days before its expected unveiling at MWC 2015 an official image of the Galaxy S6 Edge, alongside the Galaxy S6, was leaked by the Sprint mobile network.
This has given us a great view of the Galaxy S6 Edge, and judging by the picture the handset looks like it will indeed come with a screen that features two curved edges.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
We had kind of guessed this, as earlier we caught a glimpse of a promotional image from a case maker, seemingly showing a dual-edged Galaxy S6 Edge alongside the Galaxy S6.
Galaxy S Edge
Some rumors state that these curved screens will have access to the same features as the Galaxy Note Edge, allowing you to view apps, such as a pedometer and news and sports updates at a glance.
The dual curves also supposedly make it comfortable to use whether you're left or right handed and the curves will supposedly light up when you receive a call or a message.
These lights may be customisable to show different colours for different contacts, and as well as viewing alerts you're also likely be able to add app shortcuts to the edges and use them as tools such as a ruler or a night clock.
On the other hand recent rumors argue that the edges will be smaller than on the Galaxy Note Edge and will therefore have reduced functionality. That's one rumor that we hope doesn't pan out.
Little has been spoken about the size or resolution of the Galaxy S6 Edge, but we've heard a lot about those things on the Galaxy S6 and they're likely to be the same or similar here.
The most persistent Galaxy S6 rumors are that it will have a 1440 x 2560 QHD display. Surprisingly there's still no consensus on the size, but it's likely to be at least as big as the 5.1-inch Galaxy S5 and indeed 5.1 inches is exactly what some of the latest rumors point to, though there's some talk that it could go as big as 5.5 inches.
The only rumors we've heard specifically talking about the Galaxy S6 Edge's display size come from a benchmark and again point to a 5.1-inch 1440 x 2560 one.
Whatever size it is you can bet it will be a Super AMOLED screen, like every other Samsung flagship in recent memory.
In more disappointing news a report out of South Korea claims that the Galaxy S6 Edge won't be waterproof, with Samsung producing a waterproof Galaxy S6 Active instead for those who want that feature.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge design

Curved screen aside the design of the Galaxy S6 Edge is likely to be similar to that of the Galaxy S6. That could mean a metal frame and glass back or even a full metal body, as there's still some debate as to which of those the S6 will feature.
But there's the niggling worry that the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge might actually have a less premium build. For one thing the fact that the Galaxy Note Edge lacked the metal frame of the Galaxy Note 4 doesn't bode well.
Galaxy Note Edge
On top of that Business Insider reports that Samsung will announce two phones in March, saying that one (the Galaxy S6) will have a metal body, while the other (the Galaxy S Edge) will have a curved screen. The implication being that the S6 Edge won't also have a metal body.
So while the Samsung Galaxy S6 is likely to be more expensive than its big-name brother it might not actually end up looking quite as high end.
Galaxy S6 and S Edge
Credit: XDA / graaler
We may have caught a glimpse of the S6 Edge though, as a new leak appears to show it snapped alongside the Galaxy S6. You can see from the photos that its screen curves at both edges and the rear appears to be made from the same (apparently glass) material as the Galaxy S6.
Galaxy S Edge rear
Credit: XDA / graaler

Week in tech: Pebble Time, Sony slip-ups and Moto E madness

Week in tech: Pebble Time, Sony slip-ups and Moto E madness
Week in TechIf you listen carefully you'll hear a whooshing sound. It's the sound of faraway planes, trains and automobiles carrying hundreds of hacks to Barcelona, because next week sees the biggest event in the mobile tech calendar: MWC 2015. Inevitably that means lots of leaks, stacks of speculation and tantalising teasers – so we already know about some of the most exciting new kit that'll launch next week. Not only that but we've got Steam in VR, a superb phone at an unbelievably low price and a completely baffling thing that the record industry is doing. It's enough to make Madonna fall down some more stairs.

Samsung's Galaxy S6 in "leaked again" shocker

Whether by accident or design, the Samsung Galaxy S6 has been leaking for weeks - and the latest leaks include photos of it and its Galaxy Edge sibling in actual use. It doesn't look dramatically different from the Galaxy S5, although if you look carefully you'll notice the slimmer bezel, metal frame and glass back. Apparently it "feels solid as heck".
The S6 will launch just in time for this year's Mobile World Congress, aka MWC 2015. It's the biggest date in the smartphone calendar, and we're expecting to see some more showstoppers including the HTC One M9 and some interesting things from Microsoft. Did someone say HTC One M9?

HTC's made a new One

What's the difference between the HTC One M8 and the HTC One M9? If you answered "one" you'd be right, but there's more to the new flagship than a slightly different number. The UltraPixel camera is now on the front for selfie-related shenanigans, there's a 20MP rear camera and the Boomsound speaker are apparently even more boomy. We'll find out more next week.

Sony's "super screen" slips out

The Xperia Z4 tablet was supposed to stay secret until MWC, but Sony's accidentally (we think) leaked it: an image of it appeared on the official Xperia Lounge app, and Sony didn't spot the leak or yank it quick enough. All we know so far is that the tablet will have a "stunning 2K display", but the lack of words such as "compact" suggest it'll be a fairly big device. Other hints include "latest ultra fast processor" and "industry leading battery performance", which makes us think there'll be a Snapdragon 810 in there. We can't wait to find out more.

Es are good

We mean Moto Es, of course. The new 2015 Moto E is really important, not because of its specs – which are pretty good – but because of its price. The 2015 version is just £109.99, and for your money you're getting a pretty good smartphone running Lollipop. That makes it a serious rival not just to other phones, but to MP3 players and media players too.

Who watches the watch men?

We do, and this week we're watching a brand new watch: the Pebble Time, which hit its Kickstarter target faster than you can say "Apple Watch and Android Wear rival". With seven-day battery life, a super-low price and both iOS and Android compatibility, it's an easy sell.
Meanwhile at the other end of the financial universe, Apple appears to be making a watch for the famed 1%: it looks like the gold Apple Watch Edition will cost more than many people's cars. The figure of $10,000 is being widely quoted, but it might cost even more than that. Better start saving…

Gotta get down on Friday

We thought this one was an April Fool, but it's far too early for that: starting later this year, all new music will be released at 12.01am on a Friday. As Ian Morris explains, "It will benefit artists who communicate with fans on Twitter, but who, apparently, aren't capable of talking about any time that isn't midnight Friday." We're as baffled as you are.

Steam-y Windows (and Linux)

Fancy Steam on your face? It's coming: Valve has announced that it'll be showing off its Steam VR system at this year's GDC event alongside its Steam Machines and "new living room boxes". Let the Half-Life 3 rumours commence! Again!

The terror is about to become real: here comes MWC

The terror is about to become real: here comes MWC
The terror is about to become real here comes MWCWelcome back! It's been a while – and things are a little different around here. Firstly, 7 days in mobile is dead… long live 7 days in smartphones. And secondly, well… actually there's nothing else to tell you. That's it.
It's still going to be the same useless frippery about the phone industry this week, your one stop shop to read a pathetic attempt to bring a humorous angle on all things smartphone (with a smattering of smartwatch, tablet and ereader stuff in there too).
That's pretty much it. Please share it with your friends. Or print off a copy for your mum.

It's nearly time for the terror to start

There's nothing else that's more important in the world than the launch of a new smartphone. Nothing. At all.
After all, if there was, why would people get so angry when anyone posts an opinion on any device on YouTube? That must mean it's something very important. Very important indeed.
So imagine the levels of hysteria that are about to be unleashed onto the information superhighway when Mobile World Congress (or MWC to you and me, cheeky phone fans) spews out not one, not two, but thousands* of new phones next week.
If you don't know what the big news is likely to be, following more leaks than a Welsh farm, then, well, you've probably been doing something else other than slavishly following multiple news stories on TechRadar.
Sunday's going to be the big day in the mobile calendar, with HTC launching the new One M9, shortly followed by Samsung's unveiling of the Galaxy S6.
  • HTC One M9 - you don't need to know anything that's not written here.
Thanks to the internet's army of leakers, we pretty much know all there is to know about these handsets… I'll let our excellent hubs fill you in on what's going to appear with those massive flagship phones.
But the big news this week from the two headline phones is very simple: HTC's One M9 has been leaked in a lovely long video and Samsung looks likely to have a smaller battery than last year's Galaxy S5.
HTC's forthcoming phone being leaked is almost not worth writing, if it wasn't for being able to point you in the direction of lovely phone info – it's like the brand doesn't care who knows what about its future plans.
But Samsung… there's another story. Dropping the power pack size? Really?
  • Ooh, the Galaxy S6 looks nice - we've got all you need to know about it here
That seems like a very, very stupid idea when battery is such a hot space to be brilliant in, but if the rumours that Samsung isn't using the Qualcomm 810 chip are true, then it means it will be doing its own thing on the CPU front and therefore could make things a lot more efficient.
Or the South Korean brand has spent so long on making the thing out of metal that it forgot to put a battery in there, and 2600mAh is the biggest it can manage. One of the two.
*Actual number may vary

Sorted, for E's a whizz

A special nod to Motorola for trying something different – rather than having a press conference in the bun fight of MWC to launch the new Motorola E, the brand decided to send the press conference to us.
This meant a lanyard attached to a small box, inside of which was a little depiction of the standard press conference shenanigans: a little press desk, a cardboard man presenting the phone, and then right at the back the Moto E itself.
Moto E
I'm not crying, it's a press conference for one
The Moto E is actually a pretty decent phone, although it's no longer the sub £100 offering we loved last year. However, with a stronger processor and qHD screen, it's not a bad phone for the price. High fives for Motorola.

The return

"What happened to him?"
"I… I don't know. I found him under a pile of BlackBerry Storms. I think he was crushed by them."
"Is he breathing?"
"Barely. He's badly hurt."
"Quick… get him into the theatre."
The unicorn's eyes flutter open long enough to see the words 'Mobonia General Hospital' above the door he's thrust through, before passing out again.
"Can you help him?"
"We can rebuild him. He won't be the same again. But we can make him better. Faster. Less obsessed with ancient phones that nobody really gives a toss about."
"You mean…?"
"Yes. He's going to become Winston the Smartphone Unicorn".
Tune in next week to read the next exciting instalment, as we discover whether our four-legged hero can ever recover from the crushing pain of the BlackBerry Storm.

That's what Shih said

While this section was largely added in thanks to coming up with the pun one sunny afternoon in Baker Street, it's always worth revisiting one of the greatest launches to ever emerge from the world of phones.
Take a bow, Asus chaiman Jonney Shih, for winning the award for 'Most committed to the part' in a press conference during the launch of the PadFone in 2012.

Scary press shot of the week


Let's all take a moment here to discuss what's possibly happening in this shot. Those fixed smiles seem to be saying 'quick, distract him with the fancy front display on the LG Trax while I call the police.'

Retro video of the week

Apologies for the dismal quality of this video, but it's from the past. You remember the past, right? That thing that happened before the past but is kind of close to the present?
Also sorry for the loud sting at the start. But it's worth it, promise.

Proper bits from the site

It's Apple o'clock – the Watch is going to be given its own event on 9 March, so perhaps the reviews won't be far away?
There's a secret love story behind the launch of the LG Watch Urbane – and our friends on T3 have uncovered it.
LG has gone a little bit bonkers at MWC – it'll be launching a quartet of phones that are 'selfie stick ready' (urgh) and an LTE version of its Watch Urbane, but one that won't be based on Android Wear, and will have a much bigger battery.
But you can use it was a walkie talkie and make calls with it. That's a win right there.
Come back next week to see whether we made it through the madness… and of course to find out what happened to Winston.

iPhone through the ages: just how much has it changed?

iPhone through the ages: just how much has it changed?

iPhone through the ages just how much has it changed It was January 2007 when Steve Jobs took to the stage of the Moscone Center San Francisco to announce the arrival of the iPhone, which went on sale worldwide later that year.
If you find it difficult to remember that far back, Leona Lewis was number one in the UK with A Moment Like This and people were flocking to the cinema to get teary-eyed at Will Smith in The Pursuit Of Happyness.
While our pop music and movie choices may not have improved much, smartphones were changed forever: from that point on, touchscreens, apps and digital media were the way forward.

iPhone 1 (first generation)

Launched: June 2007 (US), November 2007 (UK)
iPhone
Part iPod, part phone, part Internet device: the original 2007 iPhone.
Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone as three devices in one: a touchscreen iPod, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a truly mobile web browser.
Now we take touchscreens, digital media playback and Web access for granted, but in 2007 the iPhone was unlike anything that had appeared before. Its 3.5-inch screen had a 320 x 480 pixel reoslution (one of the best displays of the time), with a 2MP camera built-in, and up to 8GB of storage.
Third-party apps were not yet allowed on "iPhone OS". In the TechRadar review, we noted that despite several shortcomings, the phone had "changed the mobile device landscape... multitouch will prove to be a model for interfaces in the future."

iPhone 3G (second generation)

Launched: July 2008
iPhone 3G
The second iPhone model brought with it 3G connectivity, but was very similar to the original
High-speed connectivity was big news in 2008, which is why the second generation iPhone included 3G in its moniker (rather confusingly, as this was the second generation iPhone). It also brought with it a thinner shape, a plastic back and - crucially - support for the newly launched App Store.
The app store model worked so well you'll now find it replicated in everything from your smart TV to yourWindows 8 laptop, and the change helped Apple's phone really start to gain traction.
We said in our iPhone 3G review promised that buyers would be "amazed by the function and feel of this handset." The iPhone era had begun in earnest.



It was January 2007 when Steve Jobs took to the stage of the Moscone Center San Francisco to announce the arrival of the iPhone, which went on sale worldwide later that year.
If you find it difficult to remember that far back, Leona Lewis was number one in the UK with A Moment Like This and people were flocking to the cinema to get teary-eyed at Will Smith in The Pursuit Of Happyness.
While our pop music and movie choices may not have improved much, smartphones were changed forever: from that point on, touchscreens, apps and digital media were the way forward.

iPhone 1 (first generation)

Launched: June 2007 (US), November 2007 (UK)
iPhone
Part iPod, part phone, part Internet device: the original 2007 iPhone.
Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone as three devices in one: a touchscreen iPod, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a truly mobile web browser.
Now we take touchscreens, digital media playback and Web access for granted, but in 2007 the iPhone was unlike anything that had appeared before. Its 3.5-inch screen had a 320 x 480 pixel reoslution (one of the best displays of the time), with a 2MP camera built-in, and up to 8GB of storage.
Third-party apps were not yet allowed on "iPhone OS". In the TechRadar review, we noted that despite several shortcomings, the phone had "changed the mobile device landscape... multitouch will prove to be a model for interfaces in the future."

iPhone 3G (second generation)

Launched: July 2008
iPhone 3G
The second iPhone model brought with it 3G connectivity, but was very similar to the original
High-speed connectivity was big news in 2008, which is why the second generation iPhone included 3G in its moniker (rather confusingly, as this was the second generation iPhone). It also brought with it a thinner shape, a plastic back and - crucially - support for the newly launched App Store.
The app store model worked so well you'll now find it replicated in everything from your smart TV to yourWindows 8 laptop, and the change helped Apple's phone really start to gain traction.
We said in our iPhone 3G review promised that buyers would be "amazed by the function and feel of this handset." The iPhone era had begun in earnest.

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with AnyPen review

Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 with AnyPen review

TODO alt text
Capitalizing on the stylus craze to give tablet owners more precision input, Lenovo asks users of its $299 (£19
5, AU$385) Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows to not only touch and poke at the screen, but to key it, stab it, and slash it with almost any metal object. Though Lenovo is merely iterating on its Yoga Tablet design, the real highlight - and really what distinguishes the tablet from others in the crowded space - is its AnyPen technology.
With AnyPen, the Yoga Tablet 2 owners benefit from the finer accuracy of a digital stylus, but with the convenience of being able to use most everyday objects as a pen. Rather than carrying a specialized digital inking device that could get lost or stolen, AnyPen lets you create your own makeshift stylus.
Lenovo hopes that the convenience of AnyPen will help the Yoga Tablet 2 command a premium price. The Yoga Tablet 2 is priced higher than the $150 (£100, AU$195) 8-inch Dell Venue 8 Pro with an optional Active Stylus, but Dell's advantage is that you can add a folio and compact keyboard with physical keys to turn the slate into a netbook. Those who prefer Android and need pen-enabled support can opt for the $330 (£215, AU$425) Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
Without stylus support, pricing for Windows tablets with screens eight-inch or under drop to below $200 (£130, AU$260). Options in this spectrum include the $149 (£100, AU$190) Asus VivoTab 8, the $79 (£55, AU$100) 7-inch HP Stream 7 , and the $179 (£115, AU$230) HP Stream 8 with a built-in 4G modem. If you're happy with iOS, Apple's $399 (£260, AU$510) iPad mini 3 is a great choice.

Design

Measuring 8.27 x 5.87 x 0.28 inches or 210 x 149 x 7 mm (W X L X H), the Yoga Tablet 2 is an extension of Lenovo's Yoga vision in offering customers a single device that transforms into different form factors.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 review
Like the first generation Yoga Tablet, the Tablet 2 with Windows sheds the 360-degree hinged keyboard from Lenovo's Yoga Ultrabook series. Cloaked in black, you're presented with the familiar slim design, barreled edge that is home to a flip-out kickstand (and the battery inside), and metal flourishings. Although the sides, barrel, and kickstand are constructed from metal, the backside is made of textured, matte plastic.
A crisp 8-inch, full HD, 1080p IPS display graces the front of the tablet. Because of the barreled edge, the tablet feels more balanced in landscape mode when used on a flat surface. In this position, the rear of the tablet is elevated while the front edge is lower, making it more comfortable to look down on the screen when you're sitting at your desk and easier to type on the touchscreen.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 review
In portrait mode on a desk, the barrel creates an elevated spine that prevents the tablet from fully laying flat. As a result, you're left with an inclined side, which is fine for casual web surfing and reading, but makes typing awkward.
To make the tablet slim, Lenovo relies on the barrel for several functions. The barrel houses a pair of front-facing, Dolby-tuned speakers. As this is the thickest point on the tablet, it provides more space for the speakers to produce richer sound.
The battery is housed in the barrel as well to keep the overall tablet slim. Lenovo also placed the rear 8-megapixel camera on the barrel. Additionally, the barrel serves as a hinge to stow the mechanical kickstand.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 review
The metal kickstand is activated when you apply force to push down. This opens up the kickstand and you can then pry the stand fully open. The kickstand allows the tablet to be used in four modes.
According to Lenovo, with the stand closed, you can hold it like a tablet. With the stand engaged, you can stand it up similar to the larger Microsoft Surface Pro 3. You can tilt the tablet on a desk, so it's propped up for easier viewing and more comfortable on-screen typing.
Finally, you can fully open the stand, revealing a small hole in the center of the kickstand that allows you to hang the tablet. This last mode is great if you want to to hang the tablet in a workspace so you can watch videos or multitask.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 review
As a tablet, the barrel also serves an ergonomic purpose, making the Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows comfortable to hold for long periods of time. In use, it feels like wrapping the cover of a paperback book around the spine.
Coupled with the tablet's light 0.94-pound (0.43kg) weight, it makes for a very pleasant companion to read an e-book on the couch or in bed. However, magazines, PDFs, and larger format materials will feel cramped on an 8-inch screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
The weight of the Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows is comparable to the 0.87-pound (0.39kg) Dell Venue 8 Pro, and is about the same weight as the 0.96-pound (0.44kg) iPad Air 2, though Apple's device has a larger 9.7-inch display. The nice thing about the Lenovo slate is that it feels balanced; when holding the tablet in bed, I never felt like the tablet would fall and smack me in the face.
The Yoga Tablet 2 comes with a minimum array of buttons and ports. Neatly fit on one end of the barrel is a circular power button. The button is surrounded by an LED ring, which lights up when the tablet is plugged in for charging.
Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 review
The other end of the barrel is home to a 3.5mm headphone jack. A slim Windows button sits on the tablet's bezel, along with a single micro USB port and volume rocker on its side.
Unlike many other Windows slates, the placement of the Windows Start button on the side of the tablet makes it awkward, especially when used in portrait mode. For right-handed users holding the slate in their left hand, the Start button will be on the bottom edge of the device, making it difficult to reach.

AMD FX-8320E review

AMD FX-8320E review
TODO alt textWhen AMD tells us it's sending over a new FX-series CPU, we can't help the sudden rush of excitement. It's an automatic response, born of a time when a new AMD CPU had the potential to offer something genuinely competitive.
But those days seem long gone. All we get now are half-hearted revisions of increasingly elderly chips.
The FX-8320E is the perfect example of that. AMD released this chip late last year, along with the FX-8370E as a pair of lower-powered octo-core CPUs for the more power-conscious consumer.
These two chips use AMD's Bulldozer processor tech and squeeze into a 95W TDP. They're able to do this by utilising a lower base clock, but retaining the same Turbo clock as their non-E brethren.
To that end, this FX-8320E is running at 3.2GHz as standard, with the ability to hit 4GHz as needed. The standard FX-8320's clockspeed sits some 300MHz higher at 3.5GHz.
So far, so good. For 30W less power you only sacrifice 300MHz of CPU horsepower, which seems like a pretty good trade-off.
But the fact these CPUs are still running with an outdated version of the Bulldozer architecture makes them seem more like an afterthought than a proper processor release. In the Kaveri APU, launched a year ago, AMD used the latest revision of Bulldozer, codenamed Steamroller. Its next APU, Carrizo, will use the final Bulldozer revision which is codenamed Excavator.
This 95W processor then, using the old Piledriver architecture, is two generations behind AMD's top x86 CPU cores.
And it doesn't look like it has any interest at all in shifting the FX range over to the Excavator design, despite the IPC (instructions per clock) boosts that both the Steamroller and Excavator tech have over Piledriver.

The cost of saving

What's the game with the FX-8320E then?
You'd assume that with the focus on hitting a lower TDP, this chip would be looking at small form factor machines, but that 95W TDP is still higher than the 84W Haswell Core i5 processors, even the K-series versions.
But then there's the price. At just over £100, this is the cheapest eight-core CPU around – even if you baulk at referring to its quad-module design as a full octo-core setup it still sits as the cheapest, eight-threaded processor you can buy.
In this context, suddenly the FX-8320E looks like a more intriguing purchase.
That's especially true if you're sitting on a lower core-count AM3+ chip and feel the need for an upgrade. In performance terms – in both straight CPU and gaming tests – the FX-8320E is evidently behind both the FX-8350 and Intel Core i5-4570, but it's a good £30-50 cheaper than those more powerful chips.
And because it's an AMD chip, without the needless limitations imposed on it by overzealous marketing execs (looking at you, Mr Intel K-series), you can get happy with the overclocking. Well, should your chosen chip and board be capable of it anyways.
Our sample wasn't very happy running anything above 4GHz. We got a little more out of it with some voltage tweaks, but not enough to keep it stable on the MSI 970 Gaming motherboard we were testing it in.
Still, at that speed on all cores it runs mighty close to a stock-clocked, full-fat AMD FX-8350.
For the AMD upgrader then, it's not a bad budget option. If you're looking to build an all-new machine though we'd still struggle to recommend an AMD setup.
Even though you're getting eight threads of processing power, a resolutely quad-core, un-overclockable Core i5-4570 will still deliver better CPU performance, and in a smaller power envelope too.
The Intel platform is also going to be more up to date and not much more expensive either. While AMD's AM3+ chipsets were queuing up for their pensions, Intel's motherboard chipsets were busy fitting themselves out with native USB 3.0 and PCIe 3.0 support…
And then there's gaming.
If you're a PC gamer, your AMD CPU is stealing frames from your graphics card. The difference between the Intel Core i5-4570 and this FX chip is nearly 20fps on average at 1080p settings with the same GPU. And that's with a 50W peak platform power saving over the AMD offering too.
Yes, it's initially a cheaper option, but you're paying a different price going the AMD route.
AMD FX 8320E benchmarks

We liked

It's all about the pricing of this AMD CPU. At under £100 it's the cheapest eight-threaded CPU you can buy. If you're into your multi-threaded productivity applications then the concurrent performance of the FX chip's quad-module design will deliver a lot of processing power for the money.
And you can overclock too. Running at 4GHz you're getting almost the same level of performance as the pricier FX-8350.

We disliked

AMD's processor platform is looking seriously geriatric these days. Without native support for either USB 3.0 or PCIe 3.0 it has to rely on the board manufacturers to bring in third-party silicon to deal with such things. And that introduces more performance barriers.
Gaming is also a problem for the FX-8320e - you could potentially lose out on a lot of the performance potential of your graphics card opting for an eight-thread FX chip over a quad-core Intel.

Verdict

As a budget eight-threaded option the FX-8320e is a decent choice of chip for the productivity folk, but if you're looking to build a budget gaming rig you will be losing out on some of the performance potential of your GPU.
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Timex Ironman Run x20 GPS review

Timex Ironman Run x20 GPS review
TODO alt textThis is a stripped down, no frills runner's watch. And sometimes you just want a spade to dig a hole. Via GPS co
nnection, the Ironman records real-time distance, pace, speed and calories burned. And that's it. It's not a Garmin Forerunner XT220 or TomTom Cardio, but then that's because it costs about £80 (US$80, AUS$190).

Design, screen and battery

That's not really a justification of its looks, mind. Our review model came in an athletic/icky shade of road-traffic-crew-bib yellow, although blue, pink and black options are available. But whatever the hue this not a watch to wear to any social situation other than a running club.
Timex Ironman Run x20 GPS review
I immediately broke the plastic ring the watch is presented on because I couldn't prise the strap open. This, it turns out, is because there's a lock-in strap tie that you have to pick open with a fingernail to release. Excellent for staying put while running but not so good for brittle, plastic packaging.
Once on it's incredibly thin for a GPS watch and at around just 60g (1.7oz), pleasingly light. It feels quite plasticky – you won't mistake this for Swiss manufacturing – and is essentially a pop watch for runners. But if you're out on a hill-eating long distance run and are not built like Mo Farah, you want your watch to become invisible. This really does disappear.
Timex Ironman Run x20 GPS review
The Ironman is juiced up with a simple, crocodile clip USB plug that overbites down onto four charging points on the underside of the watch, which is unsophisticated but effective.
One full charge gave me almost a week's performance doing one reasonably short run per day. Put more scientifically, a full juicing will deliver a six-hour life in full GPS mode.
Timex Ironman Run x20 GPS review
The screen is always on, but hard to see in bright light and impossible to see in low light. With five buttons, the Ironman is, however, as simple to use as a can opener. Top left is on/off and light, which shines decent LCD illumination on matters (it's still impossible to see in bright sun). Top right is stop/up, middle menu/enter, bottom right is start/split/down and bottom left is back/display.

Run tracking

There are two modes to select: stopwatch, or intervals. Stopwatch is a straight run against the clock. Intervals allows you to set up interval training, with intervals of time or distance for running/walking or high/low intensity sessions, which you can name.
Timex Ironman Run x20 GPS review
For both, depending on if you set up mile or kilometre tracking, you get a lap recorded at each of those increments and a buzz on your wrist to holler such. You can also cycle through run stats on the go. Also on board is 50m water resistance, but the GPS doesn't work in the water, so… um.
But that aside, there are no fancy sensors, no heart rate monitors, no gyroscopes or swish infrared cameras, just satellites, time, terrain and your wheezy plodding. Oh, and there's an alarm, too.

Performance

As with most GPS watches, syncing to passing satellites is as quick as filing your tax online, and you'll only get a signal outside. On more than one occasion it just couldn't get a lock, leaving me so cold on the pavement I had to start my run and hit go when I eventually got the buzz of notification that it had eventually found an orbiting friend. So good luck if it's cold or raining.
However, once hands are shaken with a satellite, the signal is strong and true.
Timex Ironman Run x20 GPS review
The only big drawback becomes apparent when you start piling on the runs, as you soon find out the Ironman has a surprisingly stingy ten-run memory, which feels like it's been hit by austerity measures. Honestly, each run saves six bits of info – run time, distance, minutes per mile, miles per hour, laps, calories burned – which must gobble up about a kb of memory a pop.
Timex Ironman Run x20 GPS review
Most competitors have Xboxes of memory, or sync to expansive and ostentatious apps recording millilitres of nose sweat. This has you reaching for a pen and pad before two weeks are up, when a quid's more memory would surely hold months of such basic data? Strange.
And of course this syncs to literally no fitness apps. So no digital nagging from a smug iTrainer, then, but equally, if you want to keep track of your progress you're going to need a pencil and some paper. Imagine that, granddad!

Verdict

If you want a wearable rather than using your phone, this is a solid performer. If you have a reasonably modern smartphone, it will outperform this in just about every regard, but I suspect I'm not the only runner out there who is allergic to taking his mobile on jogging jaunts.

We like

The best thing about the Timex Ironman Run x20 is that it's cheap, and because it's cheap it's plasticky, and because it's plasticky it's both light and robust.

We dislike

GPS lock-in times are verging on the unacceptable, even given the low price, and the ten-run storage space makes it feel 20 years out of date technologically. The look of it is pretty awful too, but then you're not buying it as a fashion statement (unless the statement you're trying to make is, "I don't care what people think of me.")

Final verdict

This might be a controversial call, given how aggressively un-techy the Timex Ironman Run x20 is, but I found it to be a pretty sound running watch that gets many of the basics right. Admittedly it only gets the basics right, and that's because it only does the basics.
If you want a function-brimming device with enough processing power to launch a Space Shuttle, look up Garmin, Epson and TomTom.
If, on the other hand, you're a casual runner just looking to keep an eye on your times with a view to up your performance, or ensure it doesn't drop off, and app association isn't a priority, this really could be the fitness wearable for you.

Gigabyte P35K v3 review

Gigabyte P35K v3 review

PC gaming is an expensive endeavor. Whether you're purchasing a desktop rig or something more portable, building your own or buying a prebuilt system, or just picking up a Steam Machine, expect to drop a significant chunk of change.
A few machines try to offer decent performance for a bargain, including the Acer Aspire V15 and the Digital Storm Triton. Now, the latest model to join this affordable space is the Gigabyte P35K v3, and with it brings Nvidia's newest entry-level GPU, the GeForce GTX 965M, for an extra bump in performance.
Gigabyte has classically been known to stuff its machines with value, and this model looks to be no different with a vibrant IPS screen and slim-line drive bay. On paper, the Gigabyte P35K v3 looks to be the full package, but how does it handle the latest PC games?

Design

This machine is by no means the most eye-catching device in the world. The laptop's spanning footprint is on par with just about any 15.6-inch laptop, but it comes in a significantly thinner profile.
Gigabyte P35K v3 review
The shorter height is a signature feature of Gigabyte's designs, but at the same time it makes the system slightly unappealing with its oddly lanky proportions. Open up the laptop, and you'll be greeted with some equally unattractive bezels, especially the two-inch piece of plastic that sits between the bottom of the screen and the hinge.
Both the screen lid and notebook interior panel are made with solid aluminum panels, making this one sturdy rig. The P35K v3 went through its fair share of dings and scuffs while I transported it on several cramped New York City subway rides for a week; it looked no worse for the wear.
Surprisingly, the base of the notebook is made out of plastic, whereas most thin gaming laptops have opted for a metal underside to help with passive cooling. Although it's not as tough as the rest of the aluminum chassis, the underside blends in well, thanks to Gigabyte perfectly color matching the different materials.
Gigabyte P35K v3 review
One other neat addition is the super skinny drive bay users will find at the front of the laptop. Not only is it an incredibly compact disc drive, but it can also hold a solid state drive for additional storage. Alternatively, you could also slide in the same hot swappable storage drive holder without an actual drive to shave off a few extra ounces.

A bit too vanilla

Users seeking a stealthy gaming rig will love the P35K v3's reserved styling. You won't find any superfluous, gamer-influenced design cues on this laptop, such as tribal stamps or bold red lines, as with the Asus ROG GL551. Gigabyte has instead gone with a purely simple gray and black look for the bulk of this device, plus a white keyboard backlight for those who like to type in the dark.
Save for little white box outlines surrounding the WASD keys and the simple Gigabyte logo embroidered on the laptop's lid, you could almost mistake this machine for one of Dell's budget multimedia offerings. With this in mind, the Gigabyte P35K v3 is a bit too boring, especially compared to the sharp-looking Aspire V15 Nitro.

Case solved: This is the true color of that goddamn white and gold dress

Case solved: This is the true color of that goddamn white and gold dress
Case solved: This is the true color of that goddamn white and gold dressIn what may be the biggest case of mass hysteria ever experienced in the history of the internet, everyone in the planet speculated tonight about what's the color of a stupid dress. Some people even claimed it changed color.* Others looked for Photoshop analysis or scientific explanations. Here is the true color.
The dress is indeed black and blue. I fired up Photoshop and fixed the exposure. Here's what the dress looks like in real life:
Case solved: This is the true color of that goddamn white and gold dress1
Which matches the dress you can see online, as claimed by the person who took the photo:
Case solved: This is the true color of that goddamn white and gold dress
She's not lying. Case solved.
She either overexposed it or adjusted the image after taking it, pumping up the brightness and contrast (or shadows and lights) in her phone.
But reality doesn't matter. What matters is that we burned the internet with absurd, inane commentary on our first day of net neutrality. High five, everyone.
* Yes, the dress changes color. In fact, if you were seeing it as gold and white before, after seeing the GIF above, it will probably change the color of the original photo for you. Try it.

Samsung launches four 4G smartphones; with Samsung J1 4G starting at Rs 9,900

Samsung launches four 4G smartphones; with Samsung J1 4G starting at Rs 9,900
Samsung launches four 4G smartphones; with Samsung J1 4G starting at Rs 9,900At the Samsung Forum, which we are covering live from Bangkok, the company has launched four new smartphones. It includes the Galaxy Grand Prime 4G, Galaxy Core Prime 4G,  Samsung J1 4G and Galaxy A7.
The Galaxy A7 is already launched in India for Rs 30,499. It is available via the company’s India e-store for a price of Rs 30,499. The Samsung Galaxy A7 has a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display with a full-HD 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution. It is equipped with a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor coupled with a 2GB RAM. Samsung has added in a 13MP auto-focus rear camera with LED flash along with a 5MP front facing camera. Some of the features include Wide Selfie, Rear-cam Selfie and Beauty Face. The device has an internal storage of 16GB and can be further expanded up to 64GB via microSD card.
Apart from the high-end A7, the company has also brought the Galaxy J1 to the Indian market and it is available on Amazon for Rs 7,190. However, now it has announced the 4G variant of the J1 for Rs 9,900. The J1 sports a 4.3-inch WVGA PLS display and runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat OS. There is no word on whether it is upgradeable to Android Lollipop. It has been upgraded with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, coupled with 768MB RAM. On the storage front, expect 4GB onboard storage that is expandable to a whopping 128GB via microSD card slot. The smartphone supports dual micro SIM configuration (GSM+GSM). It also gets a 5MP rear camera and 2MP front facing camera. A 1,850 mAh lithium-ion battery completes the package, promising 10 hours of talk-time on 3G networks.
Samsung Galaxy J1
Samsung Galaxy J1
The Galaxy Grand Prime 4G sports a 5-inch qHD display. It runs the rather older Android KitKat and there is no word on upgradeability to Lollipop. The device is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. The 8GB onboard storage is expandable up to 64GB via microSD card slot. The dual SIM smartphone packs in a 2,600 mAh battery.
The Galaxy Core Prime 4G sports a slightly smaller 4.5-inch WVGA display. On the camera front, expect an 5MP rear camera with auto focus and 2MP front-facing camera. The specs sheet includes 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 1GB RAM, 8GB onboard storage, microSD card slot up to 64GB, dual SIM support and 2,000 mAh battery.
The company hasn’t disclosed the prices for Grand Prime and Core Prime. All four devices will be available in March 2015.
Tech2’s Shruti Dhapola is at the Samsung Forum held in Bangkok at the invitation of Samsung.

Samsung Tizen Z1 gets ‘higher-than-expected’ sales volume in India, and that’s just around 1% : Report

Samsung Tizen Z1 gets ‘higher-than-expected’ sales volume in India, and that’s just around 1% : Report
Samsung Tizen Z1 gets ‘higher-than-expected’ sales volume in India, and that’s just around 1% : ReportWhile we’ve been hearing how Samsung’s Tizen Z1 has failed to impress Indian audiences, a new report by BusinessKorea now reveals that the device has received ‘higher-than-expected’ sales volume in India.
Citing industry sources, the repo
rt states that the Tizen z1 model has been chosen by over 100,000 customers in India from the time it was launched here on January 14. In Bangladesh, the sales volume has reached 20,000 units since February 3.
“In these markets, approximately seven million and 500,000 smartphones are sold a month, respectively. Although the Samsung Z1’s market share stands at around 1 percent now, the records are higher than expected given that it runs on a minor operating system,” further adds the report.
Recently, there have been reports on how Samsung has been losing grip in the Indian market. The company has now launched several phones at the Forum 2015. Samsung is hoping the Z1 will catch on in the world’s third-largest smartphone market, boosting its flagging global market share and gaining a foothold for Tizen among India’s first-time smartphone buyers.
The Samsung Z1 Tizen sport a 4-inch 480×800 pixel display, and comes powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Spreadtrum SC7727S processor paired with 512MB of RAM. It supports 3G, dual SIM capabilities, GPS/A-GPS, GLONASS and 802.11n Wi-Fi, and runs Tizen v2.3 out of the box.

Sony sees 25-fold profit jump by 2018 through videogames, sensors

Sony sees 25-fold profit jump by 2018 through videogames, sensors
Sony sees 25-fold profit jump by 2018 through videogames, sensorsSony aims to boost its operating profit 25-fold within three years by focusing on its more profitable image sensors, videogame and entertainment businesses, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
Outlining his strategy for the loss-makin
g Japanese consumer electronics icon to 2018, CEO Kazuo Hirai said Sony wanted to give its subsidiaries more autonomy in decision making to help drive growth.
He also did not rule out an exit from smartphones and TVs, sectors in which Sony has been battered by cut-throat competition from cheaper Asian rivals and industry leaders like Apple and Samsung Electronics.
“If our initial mid-term corporate strategy was about reforms, the second mid-term strategy starting from the next business year will be about generating profit and investing for growth,” Hirai said in the strategy briefing.
Sony would use return on equity (ROE) as its main yardstick for performance, setting a target of more than 10 percent by the end of the business plan to March 2018, Hirai added.
He also targeted an operating profit of at least 500 billion yen ($4.20 billion) for 2017/18, a jump from the 20 billion yen Sony forecast for the financial year ending March 31.
Sony shares have risen more than 80 percent over the past year as investors applauded its restructuring, which accelerated since Hirai appointed Kenichiro Yoshida as his chief strategy officer in late 2013.
Both executives have been honing Sony’s focus on niche markets where sales have been strong, such as the PlayStation videogame network and the camera image sensors, while cutting back on loss-making products including TVs and smartphones.
Earlier this month, Sony forecast an operating profit instead of a loss for the financial year ending March 31. But it still expects to book its sixth net loss in seven years in 2014/15, albeit a smaller amount than previously estimated.
Sony’s strategy revamp comes as cut-throat competition squeezes some of its Japanese peers into losses and restructurings.
While Panasonic’s shifting focus on automobile-related technology and quirky household appliances has helped it bounce back, Sharp Corp remains mired in losses with its concentration on display panels now working against it amid pricing pressure in the smartphone industry.
Reuters

First Impressions: Samsung Galaxy A7 is a sleek phablet but without the latest Android

First Impressions: Samsung Galaxy A7 is a sleek phablet but without the latest Android
First Impressions: Samsung Galaxy A7 is a sleek phablet but without the latest AndroidSamsung launched four new smartphones for the Indian market on Monday: the Galaxy Grand Prime 4G, Galaxy Core Prime 4G, the
J1 4G and the new Galaxy A7 which is part of the Series of full-metal body smartphones.
The smartphones were on display at the Samsung Forum 2015 in Bangkok and we got a chance to spend sometime with each of these phones. The Galaxy A7 is the device that has already been launched in India, with a price of Rs 30,499, while the other three will launch in mid-March. Samsung is expected to announce the price of Grand Prime 4G and Core Prime 4G phones at the time of the launch, while the J1 4G will cost Rs 9,990 in India.
The Galaxy A7 which is the most expensive smartphone of the A series is part of Samsung’s new series which are sleek in design, sport a full-metal body and aimed at the mid/high budget segment user. Here’s our first impression of the smartphone.
DSC_0018
Design, Screen: The USP of this smartphone is the slim design (it’s only 6.8mm thick) and comes in a full metal unibody design. Personally, this is one of the best-looking phablets from Samsung I’ve seen. The screen is 5.5-inch full HD Super AMOLED which means its big enough to watch videos and movies and the resolution is quite sharp. While a big screen is not my personal preference, for those who want a phablet that doesn’t look too tacky and is available for under Rs 40k, this is a worthy option to consider.
It’s a slim phone aimed at the chic crowd, the one that Samsung hopes will go for its phones because they might find the iPhone over-priced. Thankfully Samsung kept the back cover design simple and did not add any faux leather look, which looked tacky on older phones.
DSC_0017
Storage, Processor, RAM, Connectivity: Samsung’s smartphone comes with 16 GB total storage space, 2GB RAM and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-core processor which includes two quad-core A53 chips clocked at 1.5 and 1 GHz respectively.
Users can expand the space on the phone to 64 GB via a microSD. Of course, for users who want more space this won’t seem like a great option given that other phones on the market offer more space for a lower price. Examples include OnePlus One (which comes with 64GB and is priced at Rs 21,999) and the Xiaomi Mi 4 which has launched a 64 GB version of smartphone in India for Rs 23,999.
The phone supports Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, WiFi. There appear to be two versions of the Galaxy A7 , one which is an LTE Cat 4 and an HSPA+ version. It’s not clear if the A7 will support 4G in India, given that Samsung did not specify which bands the India version of smartphone supports. If this isn’t a 4G phone for India users, this would appear to be quite an expensive buy, especially if 4G as an option is available in your city.
DSC_0021
Camera, OS: The Galaxy A7 has a 13 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel front camera with a wide-angle for group-selfies. It’s also got the usual-modes that Samsung tends to add on its smartphone camera, which also includes a Beauty-face mode.
While there was no lag on the camera and it was fairly easy to switch modes, I wasn’t too impressed by the beauty face mode. The skin tends to look rather plasticky and a flawless that borders on the unnatural, which isn’t something I favour. Of course, if you want selfies with perfect skin and a really good-looking smartphone to flash while you’re taking them, then the A7 is a phone for you to consider.
The Galaxy A7 with all the apps.
The Galaxy A7 with runs Android 4.4.4 which is a disappointment.
The Galaxy A7 runs Android 4.4.4 which is dated now specially considering the Galaxy S4 has already got the Android 5.0 Lollipop update (and also a price drop to Rs 17,499). The A7 might be a new phone but the old OS is a disappointment and once again highlights the problems of the fragmented Android universe.
The storage space on the Galaxy A7 is 16 GB in total.
The storage space on the Galaxy A7 is 16 GB in total.
Conclusion: So is the Galaxy A7 worth the price? As we’ve noted before, the USP of this phone is the slim form factor and the metal body which give it a stunning design. Add to that Samsung has given this one a great screen and a camera resolution that will appeal to the selfie-lovers.
Settings menu on the Samsung Galaxy A7.
Settings menu on the Samsung Galaxy A7.
If you want a branded phone and aren’t willing to wait in flash sales, as is the case with a lot of new devices that are being launched in India, the A7 should be on your list to consider, if have a budget that is north of Rs 25, 000. For sure this is a good-looking phone from Samsung but whether that’s good enough to convince today’s demanding consumers is another question.
Disclaimer: Firstpost was at the Samsung Forum 2015 in Bangkok courtesy of the company.