Here’s another Lollipop preview for the Samsung Galaxy S4

SamMobile has done it again and released another preview of Android 5.0 (Lollipop) running on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Like the previous preview, this includes a video and screenshots, giving us an idea on what Lollipop will look like on the the S5’s predecessor.

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Here’s the video:

Although this latest video sin’t as extensive as the last one, it does give us a sneak peek at the camera UI, Samsung-standard widgets, and the re-worked settings menu.

According to the site, “The user interface looks more or less the same as Android 5.0 Lollipop on the Galaxy S5, which we have also exclusively previewed. Samsung brought over the latest flagship’s launcher with My Magazines and Popping Colors lockscreen effect to the Galaxy S4, while the improved TouchWiz also brings an overhaul for the look and feel of proprietary system applications.

“This is the second internal build that we have received and it shows some of the improvements that Samsung has made over time. There are updated home screen widgets as well as settings toggles, making it easier for users to access essential options in just a few taps.”

So what does this mean? Although we can’t really say when exactly the Korean tech giant plans to roll out the update for the Samsung Galaxy S4, we can say that it will be coming sooner than you think.

Can’t wait to get Android 5.0 (Lollipop) running on your Samsung Galaxy S4? Phones LTD will let you know once the update goes live.

FDE may be the cause of Lollipop storage performance issues

Experts at AnandTech have conducted storage performance tests on devices running Android 5.0 (Lollipop), including the Google Nexus 5 and the new Google Nexus 6. What they discovered was that Full Disk Encryption (FDE) may be the cause of storage performance issues.

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The site explains, “The other factor affecting the results of the benchmarks on the Nexus 6 specifically is Android Lollipop’s Full Disk Encryption (FDE). Android has actually had this ability since Android 3.0 Honeycomb, but Lollipop is the first time it’s being enabled by default on new devices. When FDE is enabled, all writes to disk have the information encrypted before it’s committed, and all reads have the information decrypted before they’re returned to the process. The key to decrypt is protected by the lockscreen password, which means that the data should be safe from anyone who takes possession of your device. However, unlike SSDs, which often have native encryption, eMMC has no such standard. In addition, most SoCs don’t have the type of fixed-function blocks necessary to enable FDE with little to no performance penalty.

“As a result, we’ve observed significant performance penalties caused by the use of FDE on the Nexus 6. Motorola was kind enough to reach out and provide a build with FDE disabled so we could compare performance, and we’ve put the results in the graphs below. For reference, the Nexus 5 (Lollipop) numbers are run using Andebench, while the original values are read out from Androbench on Android 4.4. The Nexus 5 is also running without FDE enabled, as it will not enable itself by default when updating to Lollipop via an OTA update.”

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It concludes, “There’s a very significant performance penalty that comes with enabling FDE, with a 62.9% drop in random read performance, a 50.5% drop in random write performance, and a staggering 80.7% drop in sequential read performance. This has serious negative implications for device performance in any situation where applications are reading or writing to disk. Google’s move to enable FDE by default also may not be very helpful with real world security without a change in user behaviour, as much of the security comes from the use of a passcode. This poses a problem, because the users that don’t use a passcode doesn’t really benefit from FDE, but they’re still subject to the penalties.”

Have you noticed these performance issues due to encryption? Let us know through a comment on our Phones LTD Facebook page.

Here are 10 features on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 that cannot be found on the Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Earlier, PhoneArena published a report revealing the six features that can be found on the Apple iPhone 6 that cannot be found on the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Now the same site has turned the tables around, revealing that there are 10 features found on the Korean tech giant’s phablet that cannot be found on the 5.5-inch iPhone.

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Here are those 10 features:

1. Quad HD display resolution

Apple placed a “regular” 1080p panel in the 5.5″ iPhone 6 Plus, while the Note 4 sports a 1440p 5.7″ Quad HD Super AMOLED panel that breaks the lofty 500ppi pixel density barrier. What’s more, Samsung did it in a way that doesn’t affect battery life as much as we are used to from other phones with QHD displays, since the Note 4 lasts more than the Note 3, for example, despite the same battery capacity. Moreover, gone are the days when AMOLED screens looked cold, tacky and oversaturated, as the Basic mode of the Note 4’s panel is very color-accurate.

2. Good screen-to-phone-size ratio

Despite having a 0.2″ larger screen diagonal, the Note 4 is much shorter than the iPhone 6 Plus, returning a decent 74% screen-to-phone size ratio, while the 6 Plus has wide top and bottom bezels that doom it to the paltry 68% in that department.

3. Extra S Pen stylus input

The S Pen, and its accompanying apps for handwriting, sketching, annotating, clipping and navigating around the interface, brings one more input option to the table, and executed in the best manner that can be found so far on a mobile device at that.

4. 4K video recording

In our camera comparison with leading flagships, the Note 4 went abreast the iPhone 6 Plus by a tad, and part of it has to do with its ability to shoot very detailed 4K video with great sound capturing to accompany it. The 6 Plus, on the other hand, maxes out at 1080p video recording.

5. Stereo audio capture with three directional mics

Samsung’s finest for the season has been outfitted with three dedicated noise-canceling microphones, which can record directional sound, and do it in stereo, with the excellent 250+ kbps bitrate at that, making it the best audio recording choice in the land of the little green robot. The iPhone 6 Plus records mono sound to its video footage.

6. Longer battery life with faster charging and swappable juicer

Equipped with a 3220 mAh juicer the Note 4 lasted much longer on our battery benchmark than the iPhone 6 Plus, which has a 2915 mAh pack. We clocked 8 hours and 43 minutes of battery life with the Note 4 in the same conditions where the iPhone 6 Plus mustered 6 hours and 32 minutes. Don’t even get us started what will happen if you use Samsung’s frugal Ultra Power Saving Mode here.

7. Richer interface options

From the homescreens, through the multitasking options, to the camera app and even the settings menu – the Note 4 is stuffed to the gills with features, options and functionalities that are too numerous to list, compared to the plain Jane iPhone 6 Plus UI. Suffice it to mention the Multi-window and Pop-up View modes, the Photo Note option, or the Smart Select and several one-handed modes that Samsung offers, that are nowhere to be seen on the largish 6 Plus.

8. Wide-angle front camera

It might not be with the crazy resolution of the HTC Eye, but the Note 4 proved to have one of the best selfie cameras out there, with a hearty 3.7 MP resolution, wide f/1.9 aperture, and up to 120 degree wide-angle mode to fit many friends in the frame. Apple upgraded the 1.2 MP iPhone 6 Plus FaceTime HD camera in comparison with last year’s edition with a brand new sensor that captures more light, but its f/2.2 aperture and lack of wide-angle mode are no match for the front-facing snapper of the Note 4.

9. IR Blaster

With the Note 4, you can control your home electronics from afar, from TVs, through home stereos, and even air conditioning units, for the annoyance of everyone else in the family.

10. UV sensor

Want to know if the sun outside is suitable for lounging on the beach? The Note 4 has you covered, as it has a built-in UV rays meter, all from the comfort of your handset. It also has a heart rate sensor, but you can achieve the same results with a simple pulse measuring app, too, so it doesn’t exactly bring something tangible to the table.

Deciding between the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Apple iPhone 6 Plus? Has this helped you come to a decision? Let us know through a comment on our Phones LTD Facebook page.

Apple reportedly working on ‘biggest camera jump ever’ called ‘two-lens system’

Apple analyst John Gruber is known for having connections within Apple, which is why he predicts accurate information on yet to be released Apple products. Now the analyst is saying the the Cupertino firm is working on the “biggest camera jump ever,” with a rumoured “two-lens system” reportedly in the works.

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The TechBlock reports Gruber saying, “The specific thing I heard is that next years camera might be the biggest camera jump ever. I don’t even know what sense this makes, but I’ve heard that it’s some kind of weird two-lens system where the back camera uses two lenses and it somehow takes it up into DSLR quality imagery.”

Gruber himself says that he heard this information “from a birdie of a birdie,” which means this is second-hand information. This also means that you should take this information with a large dose of salt.

Apple, however, was granted a patent earlier this year, involving interchangeable lenses. So it’s possible that Gruber may have stumbled upon this camera tech.

Keep it here at Phones LTD for further updates.

Here are the Nokia N1’s official specs

Nokia has surprised us all, not with an Android-powered smartphone, but an Android 5.0 (Lollipop)-powered tablet. Say hello to the affordable Nokia N1, and here are the tablet’s official specs.

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Official Nokia N1 specs:

Height

  • 200.7mm

Width

  • 138.6 mm

Depth

  • 6.9 mm

Body

  • One-piece design
  • Aluminum with surface anodisation

Weight

  • 318 g

Colors

  • Natural Aluminum or Lava Gray

Camera

  • 8 MP rear-facing camera with autofocus
  • 5 MP front-facing camera, fixed focus
  • 1080p video recording

Buttons and connections

  • 3.5 mm audio
  • Micro-USB 2.0 with a Type-C reversible connector

Display

  • 7.9 inch (4:3)
  • 2048×1536 resolution
  • Gorilla Glass 3
  • IPS panel with LED backlight
  • Fully laminated zero air-gap display

Chip

  • Intel® 64-bit Atom™ Processor Z3580, 2.3 GHz

Memory

  • LPDDR3 (800 MHz), 2 GB

Storage

  • eMMC 5.0, 32 GB

Graphics

  • PowerVR G6430, 533 MHz

Audio

  • High Quality Discrete Audio Codec, Wolfson
  • WM8958E, independent audio codec

Speakers

  • Two 0.5 W stereo speakers
  • 90 dB with less than 10% total harmonic distortion (THD)

Microphone

  • Digital MIC Cavity resonance frequency more than 20 KHz

Battery

  • 18.5 Wh (5300 mAh) rechargeable lithium polymer battery (3.7 V)

Sensors

  • 6-axis Gyro+Accelerometer

Wireless

  • Wi-Fi, (802.11a/b/g/n/ac); dual channel (2.4GHz & 5GHz) with MIMO
  • Bluetooth, BT 4.0

Software

  • Android™ 5.0 Lollipop
  • Nokia Z Launcher

Nokia has confirmed that the N1 will be first seen in China, promising it will be seen in other markets. The Finnish firm is yet to announce if the affordable tablet will be launched in the UK.

Like these specs? Let us know through a comment on our Phones LTD Facebook page.