Teardown reveals Nexus 5X is easily repairable, includes Qualcomm Quick Charge chip

As usual, iFixit has cracked into the latest Nexus device, Google’s Nexus 5X manufactured by LG, to give us our first look at the insides of the device and some insight into just how repairable it will be for owners.

Google’s Android team already filled us in on why it left out Qi Charging on the new Nexus devices (the reversible USB Type-C included is simply more efficient, it said), but we didn’t get an answer on why it didn’t take advantage of Qualcomm’s Quick Charge technology. It turns out the device actually includes a chip that supports the feature, the Qualcomm SMB1358, Quick Charge 2.0 IC, as confirmed in the teardown earlier today. And Qualcomm supports the Nexus 5X’s new USB-Type C connector, so it’s still a possibility the feature could be enabled for the device in the future.

But apart from getting a look inside of the device for the first time, the teardown doesn’t reveal many details we didn’t already know. It does, however, show that Nexus 5X is easily repairable compared to much of its competition with a score of 7 out of 10 meaning most components of the device will be easy to swap in and out or fix. The one downside iFixit noticed included a fused display assembly, which it noted means the “glass and LCD will need to be replaced together if one or the other breaks.”

The positives include the fact that several components “are modular and can be replaced independently,” according to iFixit, and that a standard Phillips screw driver, and not proprietary tools and parts like other devices, is all that’s necessary to open the device.

You can check out iFixit’s full tear down here.

Galaxy A9 specs leaked, powerful mid-ranger likely to feature huge 4000mAh battery, Snapdragon 620 chip, 1080p screen, more

Just a couple of weeks ago, Samsung officially unveiled its A-series lineup for the next year. The Galaxy A3, A5 and A7 feature respectable specifications and will be sold at prices well below those of the more high end Galaxy S series while retaining the premium metal chassis. But the A-series doesn’t end there. Samsung’s official Weibo account revealed details of yet another Alpha device: The Galaxy A9.

As you’d expect, the A9 is bigger than any of the others. With its 6-inch, full HD AMOLED display, the A9 is easily the biggest of the bunch, perhaps bordering on ‘too big’. The leak also reveals a 13MP camera on the back and 8MP front snapper, as well as a huge 4,000mAh battery. While not in the same territoriy as the behemoth 10,000mAh battery in the Oukitel K10000, it should still be easily enough to get most users through two days on a full charge.

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SamMobile also pointed in the direction of another leak featuring more of the internal specifications. Those include a Snapdragon 620 processor clocked at 1.8GHz and paired with 3GB, alongside 32GB internal storage. Like the the other A-series phones, it also has a fingerprint sensor and Samsung Pay support. It runs Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, although an update to Marshmallow is expected. Samsung is likely to announce the new Galaxy A9 a little later this month. If all that pre-release info wasn’t enough, there’s a video showing off the A9 and A7 side-by-side.

Upcoming Galaxy Alpha benchmark results leak, suggest full HD screen and octa-core Exynos chip in mid-range package

Value for money in the smartphone industry has never been as good as it is now. As OnePlus revealed last week, it’s possible to bring specifications which we’d have considered top-tier just 12-18 months ago and sell them in a device half the price of today’s flagship phones. Samsung, it seems, is keen to follow suit with the follow up to its Galaxy A5. A benchmark result over at GFXBench suggests that we’ll see a phone — model number SM-A510F — launched by the Korean tech giant with a full HD screen…

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Snapdragon 820 will be first chip to include Qualcomm’s anti-malware Smart Protect feature

In a press release this morning, Qualcomm announced a brand new technology to help keep us protected from potential malware threats on our smartphones. Smart Protect will be built into chips in the near future and provide “real-time, on-device machine learning designed to support accurate and effective detection of zero-day malware threats for improved personal privacy and device security”. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chip will be the first to feature the new technology when it hits the market in 2016.

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ZTE Axon 7 goes official with up to 6GB RAM, Snapdragon 820 chip and 2K screen, costs just $450

ZTE has just unveiled the next phone in its series of high performance, affordable, flagship-beating smartphones; the ZTE Axon 7. Like last year’s Axon, this year’s model seeks to offer a competitive experience at a price which undercuts similar smartphones from big-name manufacturers, and it might succeed at just 0 USD.

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Google’s new TPU custom chip is their biggest hardware push into machine learning yet

Machine learning — a branch of Artificial Intelligence that studies pattern recognition and computational learning — is at the core of many of Google‘s products. Everything from voice search to MapsStreet View down to Inbox‘s recently introduced Smart Replies (which are making their way into the just announced Allo) take advantage of machine learning’s incredible capabilities.

However, Google too seems to acknowledge, “great software shines brightest with great hardware underneath”. This is why, over the past several years, the company has worked on a custom ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) named Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), and it is unveiling it today

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LG G5 SE is real, breaks cover on official Russian site with less RAM, Snapdragon 652 chip

After weeks of rumors, the LG G5 SE is real and — as the recent case leak suggested — it’s virtually identical to the regular LG G5. LG’s official Russian site has published a product information page revealing everything about the LG G5’s slightly underpowered sibling, and there don’t seem to be too many corners cut.

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BLU Life One X is official, 5.2-inch full HD $99 Moto G competitor with octa-core MediaTek chip

As low-end smartphones go, few are as popular on Amazon as BLU’s unlocked budget-friendly Android phones. If it already had a reputation for offering great bang for your buck, it will only get stronger with the newest device in its lineup. The BLU Life One X has just been launched, it costs under 0 (for a limited time) and comes with a full HD 1080p display…

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Comms chip company Qualcomm fined almost $1B in Chinese anti-trust case

Qualcomm, which licenses 3G and 4G communications patents to smartphone manufacturers, has been fined almost a billion dollars by the Chinese government in an anti-trust case. The company was found to have abused its dominant position in wireless chip technology by charging “unfairly high” licensing fees to manufacturers of smartphones and tablets.

The 6B Yuan (0M) fine is the largest fine ever imposed on a foreign company, reports the GuardianChina’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said that the fine was calculated as 8% of Qualcomm’s 2013 revenue in China. China is responsible for around half of Qualcomm’s total revenue.

Chinese regulators said that Qualcomm bundled together patent licenses, forcing Chinese companies to buy unwanted licenses in order to get the core 3G and 4G ones they needed. Qualcomm said that it was disappointed by the ruling, but has agreed to separate out its licenses to allow companies to purchase only the ones they need.

The ruling should reduce costs for Chinese smartphone makers, but it isn’t known how significant the saving may be, and it’s unlikely to show up as a price-reduction for consumers.

Photo: Mike Blake/Reuters

Samsung Galaxy A8 launches in China with 5.7-inch FullHD display, 64-bit chip and 3,050mAh battery

Samsung today launched its promising mid-range phablet in China. The Galaxy A8 comes with a bunch of mouth-watering specs built inside a beautiful-looking metal chassis. It’s available to pre-order in mainland China in the usual trinity of colors: Black, White and Gold… The Galaxy A8 packs in a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display which is almost bezel-free with […]