Initial iPhone 6 Plus benchmarks show lower FPS rate, new benchmarking tools, additional pixels taken into consideration

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 30th, 2014, 09:39
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

In spite of some nifty new hardware, the iPhone 6 Plus may in fact generate a lower frames per second rate than the iPhone 6 or iPhone 5s handsets when it comes to rendering 2D and 3D graphics at its native resolution.

Per AppleInsider, a set of GFXBench 3.0 GPU benchmarks published in an initial reviews of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus showed moderate to significant GPU improvements over iPhone 5s across the board.

However, one of the benchmark’s developers, Eszter Szilva, stated that the current, public version of the app did not yet support the native resolutions of the new models’ displays. Kishonti provided a prerelease GFXBench version 3.0.2 that does. The benchmark app should be released publicly soon, but the developer shared a prerelease copy to complement benchmark scores.

iphone6handsets

The adjusted benchmarks show that the A8 Application Processor used in iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus is around 24 to 46 percent faster at low level tasks, and around 50 percent faster at higher level OpenGL ES scene rendering than the A7 chip introduced in last year’s iPhone 5s, at least when rendering at the same 1080p resolution.

(more…)

Seek Thermal releases affordably priced thermal camera for iOS, Android devices

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 30th, 2014, 09:19
Category: Accessory, Hardware, iPhone, News, Pictures, Uncategorized

If you’re looking for an affordable thermal camera for your iOS device, it may be en route sooner or later.

Per VentureBeat, Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company Seek Thermal launched an affordable thermal camera for for iOS and Android devices on September 25 priced at a consumer-friendly US$199. The camera attachment is now available for purchase through Seek’s website as well as Amazon.

Unlike normal cameras which use light to form images, thermal cameras have special lenses and sensors that capture heat and construct images based on the variations they pick up on. The company expects the camera to be used mostly for safety and security (it can help you spot someone hiding), home improvement (it can help you detect energy leaks), boating (it can help you spot floating debris in the dark), and for finding animals and pets in the dark. However, chief executive Robert Acker is looking forward to seeing what new uses customers discover, he said in an interview.

seekthermal

(more…)

Consumer Reports puts iPhone 6 handsets through bend-test paces, comes back with results

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 29th, 2014, 18:44
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

The Internet has exploded with images and videos of bent iPhone 6 Plus handsets as well as a viral video of someone deforming the handset with his bare hands. And, with that, Consumer Reports sprang into scientific action to perform actual tests that seem to indicate that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets may be tougher than currently rumored.

Per Consumer Reports, the publication used what’s called a “three-point flexural test,” in which the phone is supported at two points on either end, then force is applied at a third point on the top—you can see the testing for yourself in our video. The group applied and measured the force using a high-precision Instron compression test machine. Along with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, we tested the LG G3, Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and HTC One (M8), and for those wondering about their old iPhones, they tested the iPhone 5 as well and used one sample of each phone.

The tests, ironically enough, seem to mirror a three-point flexural test used on Apple’s labs via their own Instron machinery.

(more…)

Opinion: Why the iPhone 6 camera is only 8 megapixels

Posted by:
Date: Monday, September 29th, 2014, 18:07
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Opinion, Pictures

By Bob Snow

The iPhone 6 camera has the same 8 megapixel count as the 5s and this has spec-happy geeks bashing the phone. There are compelling reasons for going lower and I will try to lay them out.

Small sensors can suffer when they have a high pixel density. The sites that gather light become very small and they typically sacrifice low light performance. Low light performance gets traded off for higher resolution and even this becomes an issue with small sensors. No matter how high the resolution of the sensor, lens resolution comes into play much more when the sensor is small. If the sensor is small enough, the lens will not have nearly enough resolving power to take advantage of all the pixels. You need a bigger sensor for that. The image can only be as sharp as the light coming from the lens and that will most likely be the limiting factor. Think of a tiny sensor with a trillion pixels. Lens resolution will be the limiting factor.

iphone6camera

There is another reason the iPhone uses an 8MP sensor. Post processing. The latest iPhone 6 does a hell of a lot of post processing. According to Apple, “Auto image stabilization makes up for motion blur and hand shakiness by taking four photos with a short exposure time. Then the best parts of those photos are combined into one image with as little noise, subject motion, and hand shake as possible.” Apple is even using multiple exposures to eliminate noise in post processing. That is a lot of work, even for the powerful 64-bit A8 processor. The more pixels, the more processing that needs to happen. HDR is another feature that requires post processing. Multiple exposures are taken and then combined to create an image with greater dynamic range. Then there is burst mode. The camera takes up to ten images per second and then compares them all to select the best image. The biggest change to the camera of the iPhone 6 is the use of paired “focus pixels” which allow for phase detection auto focus. This is faster than contrast detection and provides big improvements to video and faster still shot focusing. Think about all of the post processing this phone does to the images, all without a hint of delay.

(more…)

Apple outlines iPhone 6, 6 Plus bend test process

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 26th, 2014, 15:11
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

History will decide if the bent iPhone 6 Plus scandal will be termed “Bendgate” or “Bendygate” or something else, but one thing’s for certain: Apple’s come up with a reply to it.

Per Macworld and The Verge, the company has stated that only nine users have complained to Apple regarding the iPhone 6 Plus bending in their pockets. The company has gone on to state that about 15,000 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets were tested prior to shipping last week. While this is only a small fraction of the 10 million units sold so far, they do represent a decent sample group that endure day-to-day rigors throughout the testing process.

bendygate

(more…)

Rumor: Apple’s upcoming “iPad Pro” model could feature A8X processor, other improvements

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, September 25th, 2014, 12:39
Category: Hardware, iPad, Processors, Rumor

ipadair

The iPad Pro rumors are coming in.

And they’re pointing to some interesting stuff.

Per G for Games and MacRumors, Apple’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro tablet is rumored to be landing as soon as early 2015, reports suggesting that the tablet will feature an improved A8X processor. Similar to Apple’s previous A5X and A6X processors, the A8X would presumably be an graphics-enhanced version of Apple’s current A8 processor that debuted in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

Apple’s shift away from using an “X” version of its base iOS device chip last year, opting to power the iPad Air and Retina iPad mini with the same A7 chip found in the iPhone 5s, albeit clocked slightly faster on the iPad Air. But with a higher-resolution “iPad Pro”, the graphics needs are likely high enough to require an enhanced main chip.

(more…)

Rumor: Apple to unveil iPad Air 2, updated Retina iPad mini in October

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014, 10:10
Category: Hardware, iPad, Rumor

ipadair

With the vast amount of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch kerfluffle generally behind us, it’s time to turn our attention to Apple’s next-gen iPad Air, which could be introduced sometime in October if Apple’s October 21 event is any indication.

Per Taiwan’s Commercial Times, the next-gen iPad Air will enter production in September, shipping next month.

Commercial Times also suggests that the next-generation Retina iPad mini might not launch alongside the iPad Air, coming instead in early 2015, with a 12.9-inch “iPad Pro” to follow in the second quarter of 2015.

(more…)

Feature list surfaces for USB Type 3 protocol, cables to carry audio, video, power

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014, 10:16
Category: Hardware, News

There’s a lot to be said for a reversible cable.

And if it carries different kinds of data, that’s even better.

Per Macworld, industry groups VESA and the USB 3.0 Promoter Group outlined some of the specs of the upcoming, reversible Type-C USB cable. The cable, which is said to offer USB 3.1′s 10Gbps of data transfer speed, will also carry up to 100 watts of power and be able to deliver audio and video signals via DisplayPort technology.

usbtype3cables

These features come courtesy of the “Alternate Mode” technology introduced in the recent USB Power Delivery specification—the one that enables 100W power delivery. Alternate Mode essentially lets Type-C be used for more than mere data transfer by allowing “Structured Vendor Defined Messages” to repurpose the pins in the cable for alternative uses. VESA’s “DisplayPort Alternate Mode” announced today leverages those capabilities.

(more…)

Repair firms perform first teardowns of iPhone 6, 6 Plus handsets, report initial findings

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 19th, 2014, 09:49
Category: Hardware, iPhone, News

As per usual, the cool cats at iFixit performed a full teardown of Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus handsets only hours after getting their hands on them at the first launches around the world. Over in another corner of the woods, Japanese blog Mac Otakara performed its own teardown of the smaller 4.7-inch iPhone 6 handset.

Per AppleInsider, the Mac Otakara teardown revealed an intricately designed interior with all-new components squeezing into a slightly revamped layout.

As seen in the video below, Apple was forced to make concessions in designing the ultra thin handset. For example, the 1,810mAh battery is now fastened to the aluminum chassis via adhesive tabs, a major change that sits somewhere between removable batteries from past iPhones and glued-in power packs from the current iPad lineup.

(more…)

Samsung takes swipe at iPhone 6 Plus in snarky web video

Posted by:
Date: Friday, September 19th, 2014, 02:38
Category: Hardware, iPhone, Samsung

Samsung touts its Note in a new web video

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at the web video that Samsung posted on its YouTube channel. The video trolls Apple for coming out with a 5.5-inch iPhone (the fabled iPhone 6 Plus) two years after it released the Galaxy Note 2 in 2012.

The video highlights early negative reviews of the Galaxy Note (the WSJ said it “looks like you’re talking into a piece of toast,” Mashable called the Note “an unwieldy beast”). It then shows a recent BGR post from September 9, 2014 titled “The truth hurts, Apple fans: You can thank Samsung for your big new iPhone displays.”

The Samsung video then takes a few potshots at features that the Note has over the iPhone 6 Plus, including a stylus, handwriting recognition, and dual window mode.

While Samsung beat Apple to market with a “phablet” (anyone else dislike that term?), that doesn;t mean that it’s better. Apple’s a notorious second-mover on many technologies. It lets companies like Samsung test the waters with multiple screen sizes, then releases its version when it feels like, a) there’s enough of a market for it, and b) when the product is just right.

So… Samsung Galaxy Note 4 or iPhone 6 Plus? Which is better?

Here’s the video: