Friday, September 23, 2016

Sony Xperia XZ lands in the US on October 2 for $699.99

Sony announced the Xperia XZ at the beginning of this month. It will replace the Xperia X Performance as the company's flagship smartphone after just a few short months of that device being available.
Speaking of availability, the Xperia XZ will arrive in stock in the US on October 2. It will be sold by retailers such as Amazon and Best Buy, and its recommended price is $699.99. Obviously for that amount you'll get an unlocked unit, which will work with GSM-based networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile (and all MVNOs operating on their infrastructure).
Expect the XZ to go up for pre-order soon, joining the X Compact which was announced alongside it. The smaller handset will be out sooner, though, on September 25. Sadly the Xperia XZ won't have a fingerprint scanner in the US, continuing an unfortunate trend for Sony's smartphones.

Android-powered BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition unit up for grabs

If you recall, last year, before the Priv was made official, a BlackBerry Passport Silver Editionrunning Android OS was spotted in a lengthy video. While the device was never officially launched, you can now purchase a unit if you want... and are lucky enough.
Actually, someone who claims to have got the unit from a BlackBerry employee has put it up for sale on Kijiji (an eBay owned website similar to Craigslist), saying that it's of no use to them as they mostly deal with Apple devices.
The handset, which is claimed to be brand new, has CAD 260 price tag attached to it. Those planning to purchase should keep in mind that there is no information on how well the phone works as well as whether or not the OS is capable of receiving new updates.
Source | Via

“Extreme” version of UMi Plus with Helio P20 and 6GB of RAM, announced

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an “Extreme” version come from an Chinese smartphone manufacturer. This time its UMi with releasing a new, souped up version of the UMi Plus, which normally has a Helio P10 CPU and 4GB of RAM.
The Extreme UMi Plus will instead have a Helio P20 (octa-core CPU comparable to Snapdragon 820 on paper) with 50% more RAM than the regular UMi Plus. That totals 6GB of RAM. The Extreme version will also come with Android 7.0, now we’re talking!
Extreme UMi Plus in Black and Blue Extreme UMi Plus in Black and Blue 
Extreme UMi Plus in Black and Blue
UMi’s official Facebook page made the announcement not too long ago, where the company also mentions that you could win a free (standard) UMi Plus by entering your email address, then picking your favorite features of the UMi Plus, and finally adding a comment about those features.
The UMi Plus comes in gray or gold, while the Exterme UMi Plus will come in either a blue or black finish. As of now, there is no word on a release date for the Extreme version just yet, we’ll have to wait for UMi to release more information as it becomes available.
Other specs for the UMi Plus include a 1080p 5.5 inch screen, 13MP rear camera with a 5MP selfie camera, 4,000 mAh battery, dual SIM, quick charging, all bundled in an “aerospace class” aluminum body.

iOS 10.1 Beta now open to the public, enables Portrait Mode for iPhone 7 Plus

Only a single day after Apple released the iOS 10.1 Beta for developers, the iOS 10.1 Beta is now available for the general public, without the need for a developer account.
The most notable feature of the 10.1 Beta is the addition of “Portrait” mode in the camera interface which is exclusive to the iPhone 7 Plus, since it makes use of the second camera. This mode allows users to make really cool bokeh effects which put focus on the subject, while subtly blurring the background.
9to5Mac has listed a few things about things you should know about Portrait Mode: It doesn’t work well in low light, so the best photos will come from scenes with lots of light and room to play around with. For the best results, you’ll also need to be at least eight feet away from your subject (about 2.4 meters).
Note that this is still in “Beta” mode, which means there could be bugs and inconsistencies, or limited features (such as inability to record video in this mode) when using the iSight Duo camera in Portrait Mode. Although the feature was not ready at launch, Apple is taking its time with the feature instead of rushing it, which is also why it is only available in Beta now.
To sign up for the iOS 10.1 Beta program, you’ll need to go to on your Apple device, Tap “Sign up”, then log into your Apple ID associated with the iOS device. Next, you’ll be prompted to install a profile that will allow you to download the OTA update. Make sure you fully back up your device before installing the Beta as there is always even a tiny risk of your device becoming a paperweight.

Xiaomi's upcoming smartphone to come with dual-camera setup, teaser reveals

Xiaomi has outed a new teaser for its upcoming smartphone. The teaser image reveals that the phone will feature a dual camera setup.
As you might already know, the Chinese company has scheduled a product launch event on September 27 where the Mi 5S is expected to be unveiled.
If you recall, back in July, there were rumors that the Mi 5S will feature a dual rear-camera setup. But since then, we've been hearing that the handset will sport a 16MP rear unit.
While it's entirely possible for the Mi 5S to sport a dual camera setup, it's worth mentioning that latest rumors out of China are suggesting that the phone that'll be made official on September 27 is not the Mi 5S - reports say it could be the Mi Note S instead.
Needless to say, we'll keep you updated as and when we hear more on the matter.

Samsung Galaxy On7 (2016) launched with Snapdragon 625 SoC, 5.5-inch full HD display

The 2016 edition of the Samsung Galaxy On7 has been officially unveiled. Listed on the company's China website, the device is powered by an octa-core 2GHz processor (Snapdragon 625 SoC), and sports a 5.5-inch full HD TFT display.
RAM is 3GB, while internal memory is 32GB (expandable up to 256GB). In terms of camera, the phone features a 13MP rear unit and an 8MP front shooter.
Measuring 151.7 x 75 x 8mm and weighing in at 167g, the handset runs Android Marshmallow and packs in a 3,300mAh battery that supports fast charging. There's also a home button-embedded fingerprint sensor. Color options include gold, pink, and black.
As for price, the Samsung Galaxy On7 (2016) carries a tag of RMB 1,599, which translates into around $240 at current exchange rates.
The Samsung Galaxy On5 (2016), on the other hand, hasn't been made official yet, but the Galaxy On7 page on Samsung's China website has kind of teased the device, revealing that it's powered by Snapdragon 617 SoC with octa-core 1.5GHz processor.

The Best Builds Of 2016 Redux: Call For Submissions

We kicked off our Best PC Builds feature last year and showcased what the Tom’s Hardware community could assemble within defined budgets and build scenarios. Not only did it let our forum members show off their skills at picking hardware for new PCs, it also gave novice PC builders a resource filled with quality computer components to choose from.
But the computer industry never sits still. While little has changed in the CPU world since we first published the Best PC Builds guide, the entire GPU market has been re-energized by a new wave of graphics processors.

The GPUs from AMD and Nvidia (Polaris and Pascal, respectively) contain numerous improvements, including architectural enhancements, the move to 14/16 nm FinFET transistor technology, and support for faster memory technologies, like GDDR5X and 8 GHz GDDR5.
These graphics processors are also fairly inexpensive, which has also forced the industry to drop the price on previous generation graphics hardware to keep it competitive and relevant.
In other words, the new GPUs introduce sufficient changes in performance and price that it’s now time to revisit all of our Best PC Builds.
Build submissions do not have to use one of these new GPUs, but in several places the latest offerings will dictate some changes, while price reductions on older hardware should give users more options on budget-oriented builds, including some wiggle room on other components.
We will accept build submissions until August 19. All builds must be submitted in one of the forum sections linked to below. We won’t consider builds that go over the budget. Please note that all parts must be selected from Amazon or Newegg, and must not include any limited-time pricing offers or rebates.
Happy Building!

Dell XPS 13 Returns With Kaby Lake, Ubuntu, Rose Gold Finish

Dell joined the Intel Kaby Lake party and announced that the latest update to its XPS 13 notebook PC will feature the new 7th generation (Kaby Lake) processors. The company will also offer a developer version of the lightweight laptop that comes loaded with Ubuntu, and the XPS 13 received a new color option in the form of Rose Gold.
The Dell XPS 13 is the company’s thinnest and lightest laptop offering, weighing in starting at 2.7 lbs. and coming as thin as 9mm. The machined-aluminum and carbon fiber chassis, along with the display’s Corning Gorilla Glass, gives the device a durable, yet sleek construction.

Intel’s Kaby Lake processors have been making their way to a variety of vendors and devices, and Dell is following suit by offering the Intel Core i3-7100U, Core i5-7200U and Core i7-7500U as options in the new XPS 13. The laptop can be configured with 4, 8 or 16GB of LPDDR3-1866, and storage options include a 128GB SATA-based SSD or 256GB, 512GB and 1TB PCIe SSDs.
The 13.3-inch display comes in two different flavors: an FHD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge anti-glare screen or a QHD (3200 x 1800) InfinityEdge touchscreen. Dell also upgraded the battery to a larger, 60 Watt-Hour version that offers increased longevity away from the wall. The battery provides up to 22 hours runtime on an FHD display or up to 13 hours on a QHD version.

The XPS 13 sports a new Rose Gold finish option. Although this color variant has been a favorite of many manufacturers recently, it’s the first time Dell is offering the luxurious tone in the XPS 13. However, the Rose Gold finish will only come in two variations, with either a 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, both with 8 GB of memory and a 256 GB PCIe SSD. The i5 version features an FHD display; the i7 has the QHD touchscreen.
Furthermore, Windows 10 won’t be the only OS option for the XPS 13. Dell is offering a developer version of the laptop loaded with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, giving Canonical enthusiasts a powerful (on paper) option for their Linux-based workloads and applications.
The Dell XPS 13 will be available starting October 4, starting at $799. The Developer Edition (Ubuntu) starts at a steeper $949.
Dell XPS 13
Processor Options
- Intel Core i3-7100U
- Intel Core i5-7300U
- Intel Core i7-7500U
Memory Options
- 4GB LPDDR3-1866
- 8GB LPDDR3-1866
- 16GB
Intel HD Graphics 620
Display Options
- 13.3” FHD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge
- 13.3” QHD (3200 x 1800) InfinityEdge Touchscreen
- USB 3.0 x2
- Thunderbolt 3 (USB Type-C)
- SD Card Reader
- Headset Jack
Killer 1535 Wireless AC 2x2 w/ Bluetooth 4.1
1-Watt Speaker x2
720p Widescreen w/ Dual-Array Digital Mics
7.88 x 11.98 x 0.33-0.60 inches
- 2.7 lbs.
- 2.9 lbs. (Touchscreen)
Operating System Options
- Windows 10
- Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Starting MSRP
- $799 (Windows 10)
- $949 (Developer Edition)
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