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Thread: Anandtech News

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    Anandtech: Imagination Technologies Announces New High End Mobile GPU: PowerVR GX6650

    Ryan touched on this in his excellent deep dive on Imagination's PowerVR Series 6XT GPU architecture earlier today, but I wanted to specifically call out the new high-end from IMG. Pictured above is a high-level block diagram of the new PowerVR GX6650, this is IMG's answer to NVIDIA's mobile Kepler/Tegra K1.
    Below I've included a modified version of Ryan's comparison table from his architecture piece:
    GPU Specification Comparison
    NVIDIA K1 Imagination PowerVR GX6650 Imagination PowerVR G6430 Imagination PowerVR G6230
    FP32 ALUs 192 192 128 64
    FP32 FLOPs 384 384 256 128
    Pixels/Clock (ROPs) 4 12 8 4
    Texels/Clock 8 12 8 4
    GFLOPS @ 300MHz 115.2 GFLOPS 115.2 GFLOPS 76.8 GFLOPS 38.4 GFLOPS
    Architecture Kepler Rogue (Series 6XT) Rogue (Series 6) Rogue (Series 6)
    I tossed in the Series 6 PowerVR G6430 as a comparison point. The G6430 is the GPU in the iPad Air/iPad mini with Retina Display/iPhone 5s. If Apple decides to go all out with a GPU upgrade on its next-generation iPad Air (A8/A8X silicon perhaps?), the GX6650 would likely be the IP to use.


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    Anandtech: Imagination's PowerVR Rogue Architecture Explored

    In what should prove to be an extremely eventful and important day for our coverage and understanding of SoC GPUs, Imagination chosen to share more details about the inner workings of their Rogue Series 6 and Series 6XT architectures. This, a first for the company, gives us our first in-depth look at the architecture that’s powering a number of high-end products (not the least of which is all of Apple’s current-gen products) and descended from some of the most widely used SoC GPU designs of all time.

    The bulk of the details Imagination is making available relate to their Unified Shading Cluster (USC) shading block, the heart of the Series 6/6XT GPUs. They aren’t discussing other aspects of their designs such as their geometry processors, cache structure, or Tile Based Deferred Rendering system – the company’s secret sauce and most potent weapon for SoC efficiency – but hopefully one day we’ll get there. In the meantime we will have our hands full just taking our first look at the Series 6/6XT USCs.


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    Anandtech: ZTE Launches Grand Memo II LTE, Open C at MWC 2014

    Grand Memo II LTE
    The ZTE Grand Memo II LTE is a phablet that's almost as big as its name with a 6" HD display. ZTE's press kit doesn't actually reference a resolution other than "HD", but it's safe to say that it probably means 720p, as 1080p would be FHD. ZTE is also claiming an 80% display to front face ratio, which would likely be the record for a phone. This is undoubtedly a mid-range phone though, because the SoC is a Snapdragon 400, although there's no clue as to what the SoC actually is. The spec list can be seen below:
    ZTE Grand Memo II LTE
    Display 6" 720p IPS LCD
    SoC Snapdragon 400
    RAM 2 GB
    Rear Camera 13MP f/2.2
    Front Camera 5MP f/2.2
    WiFi 802.11b/g/n/ac
    Storage 16GB
    Battery 3200 mAh, 3.8V, 12.16 WHr
    WCDMA Bands 900/2100 MHz (Band 8, 1)
    ZTE is also talking up its new MiFavor 2.3 UI, which actually looks surprisingly well-designed. ZTE isn't saying anything about LTE bands but this definitely will have LTE. The phone has a 7.2mm thickness and a "carbon fiber weave" back, and there's some sort of multiwindow multitasking, along with IR remote functionality. Gorilla Glass 3 is used for the glass lens covering the display. CABC and APT are cited as power saving technologies. CABC would be content-adaptive backlight control which adjusts the backlight while simultaneously brightnening the image to maintain the same image although this can cause visible flickering. ZTE also says that their camera application will allow full manual control of ISO and focus, but it's going to take a device in hand to really know whether this is true. APT would be average power tracking, which would be a way of getting the phone.

    ZTE Open C
    The ZTE Open C is a 4" Firefox OS phone, one of two new Firefox OS phones that ZTE is launching. There's a 1.2 GHz dual core SoC MSM8210 Snapdragon 200 inside which means Cortex A7, with a 3MP camera, and it would run Firefox OS 1.3. Clearly, this is the phone that comes out of the Mozilla announcement. This is definitely supposed to be a 25USD phone, as there's only WVGA resolution, half a gig of RAM and 4GB internal storage, and 1400 mAh battery. Otherwise, ZTE doesn't seem to be talking up this phone too much.


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    Anandtech: Intel Talks Atom Z3460/Z3480 (Merrifield), Z3560/Z3580 (Moorefield) and LT

    For the past couple of years Intel has used MWC as an opportunity to update us on its mobile plans. This year is no different as Intel officially launches its latest LTE modem and first 22nm smartphone SoC.
    Intel is announcing their 2nd generation multi-mode LTE modem at MWC: the XMM 7260. Brian already went through and did a great job explaining what the 7260 is and what it's capable of in his article from last year. In short, the XMM 7260 is Intel's first category 6 LTE modem with support for carrier aggregation. The 7260 is paired with Intel's SMARTi 45 transceiver that enables single-chip CA. On paper the 7260 is a competitor to Qualcomm's forthcoming 9x35 modem, however it's built on TSMC's 28nm process compared to the 20nm node that Qualcomm is using for 9x35. Intel claims its architecture is extremely power efficient despite the foundry disadvantage (an admittedly unusual position for Intel to be in). It will take Intel 2 - 3 years to bring its modem manufacturing in-house.
    The XMM 7260 is presently going through certification at tier 1 mobile operators and Intel expects devices on shelves in Q2 of this year.
    The XMM 7260 is a very important product for Intel as it hopes to put a dent in Qualcomm's almost exclusive dominance of the LTE space. By the end of 2014 Intel hopes to be the obvious second choice behind Qualcomm. While it's not incredibly common to talk about pricing, I suspect that's going to be an advantage that Intel hopes to exploit over Qualcomm. As the new comer (at least to LTE) with everything to prove, I'd expect Intel to offer XMM 7260 at a discount to what Qualcomm charges for its alternatives. Intel being the value player may be unique in its silicon business, but it's not unique in its role in mobile thus far. The 3G XMM 6260 was widely used by many OEMs as it was an incredibly reliable, and cost-effective solution. As growth in smartphone markets shifts to lower priced products, Intel being more of a value player might work out. That being said, at lower cost price points OEMs typically prefer an integrated solution with AP and modem on a single chip - something that Intel doesn't presently have a solution for.
    Here's what Intel's 2014 mobile lineup looks like:
    You'll first note the lack of any purely high-end offerings. Intel is aiming squarely at the performance and mainstream segments. This is in stark contrast to Intel's position in the PC industry where it has offerings across all segments, in mobile Intel hopes to begin by competing outside of flagship devices and being more of a value player than it's perhaps used to.
    In the first half of the year, Intel will bring out Merrifield - this is the dual-core Silvermont based SoC that's effectively the phone version of Bay Trail. Despite being aimed at the performance and mainstream segments, Intel expects it to be performance competitive with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 and Apple's A7. On the modem side, Intel hopes to pair Merrifield with the XMM 7260 LTE modem.
    In the back half of the year, Merrifield gives way to Moorefield - this is a quad-core update to the SoC with enhancements to the graphics and display sides. Just as Qualcomm is under pressure to play in the core race, it seems Intel is too.
    Cherry Trail is the 14nm update to Bay Trail, featuring Intel's Airmont core (14nm shrink of Silvermont) and a substantial boost in graphics performance (Gen8 graphics, 16 EUs).
    The only member of the value segment is Intel's SoFIA. This is an SoC that comes to Intel by way of the Infineon acquisition. The original design featured a low end ARM CPU, but Intel modified it to instead use Intel's Silvermont cores.
    It's important to note that Intel's entire mobile roadmap is 64-bit enabled. There are no 32-bit only cores in Intel's mobile future, and Intel's Android development has shifted entirely to a 64-bit focus.
    Today the big news is, of course, Merrifield as Intel finally going public about the architecture. It's pretty easy to understand, although this block diagram makes it even easier. The stuff in blue is Merrifield, the solid green is what Moorefield adds and the blue/green is common to both:
    Both Merrifield and Moorefield are built on Intel's 22nm SoC process, bringing mobile parity with the rest of Intel's businesses. The parity won't last for long in phones as Intel is expecting to begin its 14nm Broadwell later this year but it's a much better story than it used to be.
    Merrifield features two Silvermont cores sharing a 1MB L2 cache and running at up to 2.13GHz. Moorefield doubles both core count and cache size, while increasing max frequency to 2.3GHz. Intel continues to follow the industry's terrible lead and quotes max turbo frequencies rather than base clocks in its marketing materials.
    Intel Merrifield & Moorefield Specs
    Intel Atom Z3460 Intel Atom Z3480 Intel Atom Z3560 Intel Atom Z3580
    Codename Merrifield Merrifield Moorefield Moorefield
    CPU Cores/Threads 2/2 2/2 4/4 4/4
    CPU Max Turbo Clock 1.60GHz 2.13GHz 1.80GHz 2.33GHz
    GPU PowerVR G6400 PowerVR G6400 PowerVR G6430 PowerVR G6430
    Max GPU Clock 533MHz 533MHz 533MHz 533MHz
    Intel continues to embrace the hipocrisy of all mobile SoC vendors and advertises max CPU clocks rather than a true base clock. Just like Bay Trail, Merrifield and Moorefield can share TDP between both the CPU and GPU cores. I have to say that I'm pleased we're dealing with no more than two SKUs per family this time around. I would like to see Intel reduce that to a single one but once Moorefield displaces Merrifield I'll be happy with a two SKU stack.
    While Intel uses its Gen graphics in Bay Trail, the GPU in both SoCs is still from IMG. Merrifield features the PowerVR Series 6 G6400, while Moorefield uses the G6430. Both are four cluster designs, the latter is just optimized for higher performance. This is roughly the same GPU configuration Apple uses in the iPhone 5s/iPad Air, but at somewhat higher frequencies from what I can tell (and of course, built on Intel's 22nm process and not Samsung's 28nm).

    The ISP is all new compared to CloverTrail+. The new ISP tops out at 13MP/2.1MP, which does put it behind the latest from Qualcomm in terms of max supported sensor resolution.
    Both SoCs integrate a sensor hub akin to Apple's M7 for use in low power monitoring of sensor data without drawing a lot of power.
    Intel isn't talking much about video encode/decode, but it's important to note that there is no hardware accelerated H.265 decode as far as I can tell.
    Merrifield presently supports Android 4.4.2 and Intel expects it to support the L-release of Android when it's ready.
    Intel shared a bit of Merrifield performance data, although we weren't able to run any ourselves. Intel's data puts the dual-core Merrifield CPU performance ahead of Apple's 1.3GHz A7 by 16% in WebXPRT. Given how close the Bay Trail/A7 performance race was, Intel's numbers sound believable here.
    Intel is also claiming a similar GPU performance advantage compared to the A7.

    I think it's very telling that Intel no longer seems to have any issue making direct, public comparisons to Apple hardware. It wasn't too long ago that Intel shied away from doing just that. I don't believe this says anything about the Intel/Apple relationship, but perhaps it says something about the intended target for Merrifield. In the past Intel may have hoped to win Apple over, but Merrifield appears to be a design aimed at those who wish to compete with Apple.
    As I mentioned earlier, Intel's entire 2014 lineup of mobile SoCs are 64-bit enabled. Intel shared a little bit of data on the peak performance improvement you can expect to see from applications recompiled in x86-64. Google has yet to share its 64-bit Android plans, at this point all 64-bit Android demos are using vendor recompiled kernels and nothing official from Google. I expect this to change at some point this year, it's just a question of when - a question that will likely be answered at this year's Google IO.

    Power is very important when making any performance claims, and Intel is similarly bold with its power efficiency claims. I haven't used BatteryXPRT, but it comes from the same family of mobile benchmarks that Intel loves so dearly. I'll reserve final judgment until we see power data in a broader set of battery tests, but I would hope that at 22nm Intel is able to pull a win here.

    Merrifield is an important process and architectural update to Clover Trail+. The move to Silvermont cores puts Intel in a very different performance position, and embracing IMG's PowerVR Series 6 (Rogue) GPU modernizes Intel's GPU story. Intel also has a much better modem story than ever before. For the first time since Intel started its quest to make it into mobile, there's a fairly solid looking modem and AP story. The only thing left is to actually get a meaningful smartphone design win.

    I suspect if Merrifield were available in a good chassis today (Moto X, G2, Nexus 5, etc...) it would make for an excellent device. Intel seems fine with not pursuing absolute performance leadership, but it appears to have built something competitive.
    Depending on where Intel prices Merrifield, it could provide quite competitive on the CPU side when pitted against Qualcomm's Snapdragon 610/615. The issue here remains one of design wins, not one of technical proficiency.


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    Anandtech: Broadcom Announces BCM4354 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO Combo for Smartphones

    Today Broadcom is announcing the newest member of their popular WiFi/BT/FM series of combo chips, the BCM4354, which adds 2x2 MIMO (two spatial stream) for smartphones and retains 802.11ac capabilities. The BCM4354 includes BT 4.1 / LE support in addition to FM receive, and also incorporates Rezence (the new A4WP) wireless charging receiver functionality.
    By adding a second spatial stream, BCM4354 is capable of a maximum downstream PHY throughput of 867 Mbps with 80 MHz channels, double the single spatial stream 433 Mbps throughput we saw on previous generation flagships. Of course moving to 2x2 MIMO will require an additional antenna for WiFi, or possibly an antenna-sharing architecture with a high band cellular antenna on smartphones that are increasingly packed full of antennas. With the increase in wireless throughput, BCM4354 includes low power PCIe and SDIO 3.0 for WLAN, in addition to UART and USB for bluetooth.
    BCM4354 is already in production and will likely show up in the next crop of smartphones.


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    Anandtech: HTC Launches Desire 816 at MWC

    Today, HTC seems to be delivering on their promise for a stronger focus on the 150-300 USD market segment by launching the Desire 816, a phablet with a 5.5" 720p display and a Snapdragon 400, along with dual front facing speakers with an amplifier on each speaker. For now, it seems that HTC is quite tight-lipped on software, as they only state that the 816 runs "Android with HTC Sense", although based upon the press images it's clear that the hardware buttons have been removed and it may be the beginning of a trend for HTC's 2014 devices. While many are likely to object over the bezel on the bottom, it seems that this may be an unavoidable bezel, as the One, One max, LG G2, Nexus 5, and other phones all have the glass bezel area around as tall as the one that looks to be on the Desire 816. Based on the photos that I've seen for the HTC One's digitizer, it seems that the area must be used for digitizer connectors, but capacitive buttons will fit in that area.
    Of course, specs are effectively the most important part of midrange phones when it comes to placing the kind of value that they have, so I made a table to summarize the key points:
    HTC Desire 816
    Display 5.5" 720p LCD
    SoC MSM8928, Snapdragon 400, 1.6 GHz quad Cortex A7
    RAM 1.5 GB
    Rear Camera 13MP f/2.2, 1080p HD recording
    Front Camera 5MP f/2.8 720p HD recording
    WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
    Storage 8GB + microSD
    Battery 2600 mAh, 3.8V, 9.88 WHr
    WCDMA Bands 850/900/2100 MHz (Band 5, 8, 1)
    LTE Bands EMEA: 800/900/1800/2600 MHz (Band 20, 8, 3, 7)
    Asia: 900/1800/2100/2600 MHz (Band 8, 3, 1, 7)
    700 MHz (Band 28) for Taiwan, Australia
    SIM Size NanoSIM
    Overall, outside of pricing, there's not too much to talk about. It does use a NanoSIM, something that's definitely important to keep in mind for prospective buyers, and the 9.88 WHr battery is a bit small for the 5.5" form factor but based upon the performance of the One max with a 5.9" display, it shouldn't be too big of a deal, especially with the power-sipping Cortex A7s. The press release doesn't say anything about the LCD panel, but I guess that will have to be discovered at the press event. Overall though, this seems like a relatively well-designed phablet. Whether HTC's strategy will work is another question.
    Gallery: Desire 816


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    Anandtech: Samsung Announces Galaxy S5: Initial Thoughts

    Every year Samsung launches a new Galaxy S flagship smartphone, and as always, Samsung puts the best platform that can be bought in their devices. The Galaxy S5 is no exception, as the MSM8974AC, or Snapdragon 801, powers the Galaxy S5. The 8974AC is the 2.45 GHz bin of the MSM8974AB, a slightly massaged MSM8974 that first launched with the LG G2 and other devices in the summer of 2013. As a recap, the MSM8974AB increases the clock speed of the Hexagon DSP to 465 MHz from 320 MHz, and the LPDDR3 RAM clocks go from 800 MHz to 933 MHz. What really matters though, is that GPU goes from 450 MHz to 578 MHz from 8974 to 8974AC. I definitely have to point to Anand's piece on the Snapdragon 801 for anyone that wants to know more.
    The other portion of the hardware story is the camera, which is probably one of the biggest areas for OEMs to distinguish themselves from the pack. Samsung seems to be playing it safe this year with a straight upgrade from 13MP to 16MP by increasing sensor size, and pixel size remains at 1.12 micron side edge length. It is notable that the camera sensor seems to be in a 16:9 aspect ratio, which would make it possible for both photos and videos to keep the same interface without odd reframing effects when going from photo preview to camcorder functionality. Optics are effectively unchanged from the Galaxy S5, as the focal length in 35mm equivalent remains at 31mm, the aperture remains at F/2.2. The one area where there could be a notable improvement is the promised ISOCELL technology, which physically separates pixels better to reduce quantum effects that can lead to lower image resolution and also increases dynamic range, although this will require testing to verify the claims made by Samsung. Samsung has also added 4K video recording for this phone and real time HDR to extend the dynamic range of the camera.
    The Galaxy S5 has 2GB of RAM, also not too surprising given the 32-bit ARMv7 architecture of the 8974AC.
    The display is a 1080p 5.1” panel, which makes this phone around the same size as the LG G2. Samsung has definitely improved AMOLED, but first impressions are unlikely to tell much when it comes to the quality of calibration and other characteristics of the device. In all likelihood, this will continue to use an RGBG pixel layout in order to improve aging characteristics as the various subpixels age at differing rates. I would expect max brightness to increase, although this may only show in very specific conditions such as extended sunlight exposure and low APL scenarios.
    The industrial design seems to be an evolution of the Note 3, with a texture that looks similar to that of the Nexus 7 2012. However, whether the stippled texture will actually avoid the long-term issue of a slimy/oily feel is another question that will have to be answered after the hands-on. While we're still on the point of the hardware design, the Galaxy S5 is IP67 rated, which is why the microUSB 3.0 port has a cover for water and dust resistance.
    The fingerprint sensor is a swipe-based one, and Brian has voiced displeasure over presenting a live image of what the fingerprint scanner is reading. I personally think that there could be some issues with ergonomics, as Samsung places the home button very close to the edge of the phone, which would make it rather difficult to swipe correctly over the home button, especially if the device is being used with one hand.
    As always, Samsung has included removable battery and a microSD slot for those that need such capabilities, although now that Samsung is following Google guidelines regarding read/write permissions, the utility of the microSD slot could be much less than previously expected. For the battery, things are noticeably different as Samsung has gone with a 3.85V chemistry compared to the 3.8V chemistry previously used by the Galaxy S4. With a battery capacity of 10.78 WHr, this means that it has 2800 mAh.
    As always, Samsung has put TouchWiz on top of their build of Android that will ship with the Galaxy S5, and it mostly looks the same. There are definitely some new features though like My Magazine, which seems to be a way of presenting multiple sources of information using a scrollable list of tiles with images on them.
    There might be a trend here in the paragraphs, and while some may see it as a tic, it’s probably more representative of the consistency that Samsung is bringing to the table. “As always” means that people know what to expect, and while it may not be nearly as exciting to the tech press, average people live and die by what’s relatively familiar, not what’s new and exciting. The addition of new features and consistent improvements to performance without compromise relative to the previous generation is definitely something to be applauded, and with review units, hopefully it will be possible to see how the GS5 stacks up against the competition.
    At any rate, the phone will launch with blue, black, white, and gold colors.


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    Anandtech: GIGABYTE G1.Sniper Z87 Review

    The G1 series from GIGABYTE has seen a recent expansion of late – from the previous socket to new chipset releases, GIGABYTE is now attempting to provide a model at almost every reasonable price point in the market. The purpose of this is to provide a gaming platform for any budget, using gaming features such as OP-AMP, USB-DAC.UP and Gain Boost. At the mid-point of the spectrum is the G1.Sniper Z87, which we are reviewing today.


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    Anandtech: AMD Announces Embedded Radeon E8860 GPU

    For the integrated market, there are several levels of capability that manufacturers need to consider. This is a market driven by sales, thus OEMs that require specific resources are usually catered for. Thus despite the fact that AMD have an aggressive APU line up on the embedded side (and have the embedded related warranties and support), there is scope for something more powerful. This is the purpose of the E8860.
    The E8860 is a 37W multi-chip-module FCBGA part, with the package measuring 37.5mm x 37.5mm. The GPU has a PCIe 3.0 interface and implements 640 SPs at 625 MHz. The GPU uses GCN similar to the HD7000 series, and is paired with 2GB of GDDR5 at 1125 MHz (4.5 GHz effective). Aside from the usual DX11.1, OpenCL 1.2 and OpenGL 4.2 compatibility we normally see with this GCN, AMD offer a variety of SKUs to cater for the following display output requirements:
    AMD E8860 MXM 3.0 (A) + 5 DisplayPort
    AMD E8860 PCIe + 2x DVI + mDP
    AMD E8860 PCIe + 5x mDP
    AMD E8860 PCIe + 4x mDP LPX
    Performance is officially listed as achieving P2689 in 3DMark-11 when paired with an AMD R-464L APU. So the big question here is if the E8860 can be paired with either a BGA or socketed APU in dual graphics mode. On the consumer side at least, this could result in some nice GPU performance if an APU could be paired with something like this, leaving a PCIe x8 slot for other devices. It could even act as a mid-range part in the laptop space, although 37W will need to be catered for, or a mini-ITX motherboard where the other PCIe lanes are used for SATA controllers for extra storage.
    Due to the use in the embedded market, interested parties will need to contact their local AMD representative for pricing and information.
    Source: AMD


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    Anandtech: LG G Pro 2 and G2 Mini launched: Analysis and Hands-On

    LG G Pro 2
    At MWC, LG has also announced a few new devices, some that fit in with their previous cadence of releases, and others that are something new. To start with the expected, the successor to the LG G Pro was announced, and it's a worthy successor to the G Pro and a close cousin to the LG G2. It uses a mildly updated version of the Snapdragon 800, the Snapdragon 801 (8974AB), and shares much of the industrial design and material feel with the LG G2, which includes the back-side mounted buttons, the curved back cover, and the same 13MP camera module with OIS for better low light shots.
    Of course, there's also plenty that has changed. The display, while still the same 1080p resolution and IPS technology, is now a 5.9" size, which puts it firmly in phablet territory. While it may be large, LG is also claiming a 77.2% screen to frame ratio, which means that it isn't quite as big as a One max in the hand, and more in line with the Note 3. It's also well worth saying that the G Pro 2 has a matted texture that immensely improves in hand feel. The G Pro 2 also continues the G Pro's hardware line with a removable battery and microSD slot, which is why there isn't a curved battery, which is definitely a big reason why the G Pro 2 doesn't have a significantly larger battery than the G2 despite its much larger size, as seen below.
    Outside of the hardware upgrades, LG also added some interesting new features. The Knock Code feature basically takes KnockOn and adds the equivalent of a pattern unlock to it, which is a logical next step. LG is emphasizing that this feature will be on all phones launching in 2014, although it's not clear whether this feature would be backported to phones like the LG G2. The Natural Flash feature is also a software feature that uses a photo with the flash off to appropriately set the white balance of the photo taken with a flash. OIS+, another software feature for the camera means EIS (software stabilization) is added on top of the OIS to better filter out unintended motion. While not as effective as increasing the quality of the OIS module due to the need to remove the ghosting image from the sensor, adding EIS will always be more effective than OIS alone.
    Also, based on initial use of a demo unit, the G Pro 2 can now have a multitasking button on the navigation bar as seen above, although it's not possible to make the menu key behave as on an AOSP device with software buttons. I really do like the new finish, which has a grippy finish that is miles ahead of the G2 in feel.
    The camera is also good, but a lot of the new camera features like the refocus functionality are very much designed for static scenes only, as a shaky hand or any background movement will cause noticeable change in the photo from one level of focus to another, and becomes most obvious when the "all-in-focus" option is selected, which creates ghosting, much like HDR does on fast-moving objects. In a fast and shaky test, it also made for odd results as the first photo was less detailed (due to blur) than the next closer focal point. This is effectively a fact of life when it comes to any phone that doesn't do this functionality in hardware with a Lytro-style camera, so the Galaxy S5 will also have this issue. I also thought that such a function would have more gradations to levels of focus to allow for fine-tuning out of focus photos, but there's only around four different levels of focus between infinity and the minimum possible.
    LG also continues to include the manual focus slider for situations where auto-focus fails, which should be included by more OEMs.
    One of the most immediate things I also noticed was that LG continues to fill half of the notification space with things like QSlide, quick settings, and other various extra items. I question the wisdom of doing so, but as far as I recall, most of the unnecessary items can be hidden to restore some level of sanity.
    LG G2 Mini
    LG also announced the G2 mini, a smaller version of the LG G2. While it's similar, it's more in the same vein of the G Pro 2 when it comes to the overall material feel, which is an evolution of the LG G2, so the shape is largely the same, although there's no word on whether it retains the curved battery. The hardware spec is definitely not at the same level at the G2, but it's tough to say whether the value proposition is gone. The SoC goes from the Snapdragon 800 to Snapdragon 400, or Tegra 4i. This would mean either a quad core Cortex A7 for all but Latin America, which gets the Tegra 4i which has a quad core Cortex A9r4 at 1.7 GHz. Both versions have LTE, which means it's the MDM9x25 block in the Snapdragon version as a part of MSM8926, and Icera i500 in the Tegra 4i part. Unfortunately, the only demo units available were the MSM8x26 parts, as seen below.
    Outside of the SoC, the camera goes down to 8MP, but it's unsure whether the sensor is 1/3" or 1/4". The display is definitely smaller at 4.7" with a qHD panel, which would mean the resolution is below both the GS4 Mini and the One Mini.


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