This weekend, we've seen a purported image of a new flagship device from Chinese manufacturer, Zopo Mobile, thanks to GizChina. We've also unverified reports detailing the specification of the new flagship device, but let's get some bad news out of the way first: the new flagship is not due until the first quarter of 2016. It's reputed to be based around a ten core processor and this processor has already been billed as offering amazing performance, but the likely candidate System-on-Chip is the MediaTek Helio X20, which uses ten processor cores across three tiers in order to reduce power consumption more than to improve performance. Other rumored specifications include 4 GB of RAM and a 6-inch, QHD (1440p, 2K, or 2,560 by 1,440 pixel) resolution display panel. The new Zopo flagship will also include a 20MP rear camera and a fingerprint scanner. Furthermore, the leaked images of the device show that it has very thin bezels and what we must suppose is a metallic premium chassis design. However, with six months or so to go until the device is officially unveiled, it's possible that these images are of early prototypes and the final handset may be far removed from these. Those size bezels may be thickened up in order to keep that display safe.
Although this specification sounds bleeding edge, it is important to realize that this is an incremental upgrade over current specification. We do not yet have ten core mobile processors available because these are not yet ready for the market, but we already have QHD displays (and have for eighteen months now), 4 GB of RAM in devices and 20MP or higher resolution main cameras. We've seen smartphone devices with screens of 6-inch or larger. Zopo are sure to offer this bundle of software at a very tempting price, but the product itself is very much as expected for a flagship device in 2016 rather than coming to the market with extraordinary specifications. There is also little mention of the device software, which we would hope will be up to the high standards set by the hardware. That remains to be seen!
A lot can happen in the next six months: we are likely to be seeing new flagships from HTC, LG and Samsung, perhaps using similar MediaTek Helio ten-core (deca-core) processor technology from the HTC A9 device, whereas Samsung may opt for another internally designed Exynos processor – and of course the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip should be ready by then. We also hope to see one or two new Nexus smartphones between now and then, too.