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3 years ago

Samsung Conquer 4G review

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Samsung's got a lot going for them these days. They're shipping mad numbers of devices, making phones for different price points and consumers, and shoot, they even got build the coveted Galaxy Nexus.

The phone in question right now is the Conquer 4G, a not-quite-midrange, not-quite-high-end phone that's out on Sprint. I find it (personally) a little hard to classify because some of the hardware screams budget phone and some of it doesn't.

So where does it stand in the heiarchy of smartphones? Is it far outside the über-friends club of "superphones," relegated to eating lunch in the bathroom? Or is it second string on the JV basketball team, still fairly strong, but lacking in a few departments? We aim to cover all that (and more), so join us after the break for the full Conquer 4G review.


It's small, relatively thin, and incredibly light. It's got 4G (for when you're in a service area), and it's also running a near-vanilla version of Android.


The screen isn't as sharp as some of the higher-end displays. It's also carrying a single-core 1GHz processor, so the bleeding edge won't be impressed. Cameras leave a bit to be desired.



Yet another phone built to appeal to the smartphone shopper on a budget, the Conquer 4G does most of what it's tasked to do well. It's not priced competitively, though, as there's far better phones available at the same price.

Inside this review

More info

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3 years ago

Amazon Kindle Fire shipping a day early

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Amazon this morning is crowing that it's shipping the Kindle Fire a whole day earlier than expected and taking the opportunity to remind us of the talking points it's been driving home for more than a month now -- mainly, tens of thousands of movies and TV shows, 17 millon songs, millions of books, 400 magazines and newspapers, and so on and so forth.

We're still seeing a Nov. 16 delivery date on our order, but suffice it to say, we should see the Fire hitting doorsteps soon enough.

Source: Amazon; More: Kindle Fire Forums

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3 years ago

HTC Rezound available today on Verizon

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The second of Verizon's year-end smarpthone troika -- the HTC Rezound -- is officially available today. It'll run you $299 with a two-year contract. And for all that scratch, you get a 4.3-inch phone with a new 720p display -- as in 720 pixels packed into the short axis -- along with Android 2.3 and Sense 3.5. It's sporting a 1.5GHz processor to push those pixels, and an 8MP camera full of HTC's newfound photographic goodness. It's also got Beats Audio (and comes with a snazzy pair of earbuds), if you're into that sort of thing.

Online: HTC Rezound at Verizon; more: HTC Rezound hands-on

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3 years ago

Leaked screen shots show possible look into future of Google Music

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Spanish-language site TecnoDroidve, thanks to some "tricks and beginner's luck" apparently has stumled head-first into the phone-facing portion of how Google is expected to sell music. In a series of convincing screen shots, we get a sense of what is expected to be announced Wednesday in Los Angeles -- Android Market integration for a music-purchase service.

Graphically, things look about as you'd expect, in the vein of the Android Market and Google Music service that's been in beta for most of the year. It's not as sexy as what Microsoft's done with its Zune apps, but it does mix a fair amount of album art with easy-to-use buttons.

It also looks like there will be some free music, as well as a free song of the day, and there will be variable pricing for singles.

Couple more days to go before we find out for sure. In the meantime, hit the source link below for the entire gallery.

Source: TecnoDroidve (translated); via Android Police

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3 years ago

International readers: Win an Xperia Ray with Android Central and Sony Ericsson

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Sony Ericsson has released some gorgeous devices this year, not least of which is the compact but powerful Xperia Ray, a highly capable device with a super-vibrant Bravia Engine-powered display. It's also got the latest version of Gingerbread, along with Sony's best-in-class 8.1MP Exmor-R camera setup. Like we said in our review, the Ray is the most fully-featured 3.3-inch device available (and it's getting ICS, too!)

We're giving away an Xperia Ray courtesy of Sony Ericsson, and if you want to get your hands on it, all you need to do is head over to the forums and post in the contest thread -- check the end of this post for the link. Before you do, though, bear in mind that the Ray we're giving away is the international model, so we're limiting entries to readers outside of North America. Our Xperia Ray should work on any European or African GSM carrier, and most Asian networks too. If in doubt, find your network on this list and make sure it shows 900, 2100 or both under "Frequency".

So, if you're outside of North America and want to get your hands on our Xperia Ray, head over to the forums and post in the contest thread! The deadline for entries is 1700 GMT this Friday, Nov. 18 (that's noon EST for those of you in North America who can't actually enter.) Good luck!

Enter to win: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Barnes & Noble reveals Microsoft's patent strategy against its Android powered devices

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The cat's out of the bag, thanks to Barnes & Noble's letters to the ITC about their dispute with Microsoft.  Rather than roll over and pay Microsoft what they demand like some big names in Android have done, B&N is fighting tooth and nail against the Redmond Devil Microsoft.  It's fairly long, and apt to make your eyes bleed if you're not a lawyer, but you can see the full scope of the letter and attachments (which actually name the patents and quickly dismiss their validity) at the source link.  Carry on past the break to read our layman's version.

Source: GroklawThanks, John!

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3 years ago

Motorola Atrix 2 review

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Remember when the Atrix 4G was released just over eight months ago? Do you remember what car you were driving, or how your hair looked? How old were your kids? Sad but true, eight months is the new eight years in the smartphone industry, and that measly old Atrix already has a successor. Whereas the Atrix 4G was a major step for AT&T in terms of both Android and network strength, the Atrix 2 is less of a trailblazer. And this type of incremental update seems like the business model that Motorola is building for itself (see Droid X/X2, Droid line). But for the consumer, how can you tell when an incremental update is enough to fork over more money? And in the Atrix 2's case, is an incremental update enough to compete with some heavy hitters during this holiday season, perhaps the most exciting time for Android since its birth in 2008? Let's see.


Super fast and powerful processor. Beautiful, clear display. AT&T's HSPA 21+ speeds are respectable if you're in good coverage.


Cheap build quality. Specs don't match other recent releases. Webtop software is abysmal.



The Atrix 2 isn't the biggest or best smartphone on the market, but for $99 on contract, the sacrificies Motorola made are justifiable and can be overlooked.

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3 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich source code coming Nov. 17 says Notion Ink CEO

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The CEO of Notion Ink, Rohan Shravan, is at it again with news about the Ice Cream Sandwich source code release, saying it will be released November 17.  While it's tempting to just toss this aside as another rumor in the ICS/Galaxy Nexus craze of late, Mr. Shravan has a track record that shows he's usually right.  Last year, he did the same thing with the Gingerbread release, accurately predicting more than could be a good guess, and just last month he told everyone about the OMAP chipset and Ice Cream Sandwich using them as a reference platform.  When he talks, it's always worth listening, and the Nov. 17 date has already been thrown out there as the European release.  If we see source code on the 17th, the 18th is going to be a very fun day for a lot of us.

Source: Notion Ink via AndroidOS.in

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3 years ago

Android Game Review: Star Diamonds Capture

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YouTube link for mobile viewing

I'm trying to remember when our fascination with games that have jewels in them came about, but I really don't know. People seem to go bananas for Bejweled, and while this isn't that, it's in the same vein of games with jewels (and fun).

Star Diamonds Capture has a simple enough premise: Flip the spots two jewels are in, and while doing so, try to get three-of-a-kind in a vertical or horizontal line. When you do that, the jewels disappear, their background turns blue (your color), and your green score bar fills up.

The kicker? You're playing against a live opponent. Every time. So while you may think you're the master of scoring captures, you've got to contend with someone else's ingenuity trying to muddle your success (and always have an internet connection).

Also, you can steal squares captured by your opponent (as they can do to you), and as a result, the green score bar goes down. It's the easiest way to slow down your challenger's victory, and can seriously turn the tide of a match in a few moves.

You can also put together impressive combos, as falling jewels just happen to land in the perfect spot, but I'm not sure how predictable this is or if it's sheer luck. Regardless, it's the quickest way to win, and whenever you make your move, you'll anxiously wait to see if any more combos are coming your way.

When you're not in-game, you can check out your stats by hitting the Star Arcade logo in the top-right corner of the screen, like recent games, rank, and wins and losses. There's also a buddies list, a basic settings menu, and an in-app store that hasn't been implemented yet. I can only assume the points you earn from winning games will be spent in the shop, but I wouldn't be surprised to see in-app purchases, either, since those are all the rage these days.

Diamonds Capture is a pretty fun (albeit unoriginal) take on the three-of-a-kind jewel games, but the fact you're always facing off against a human opponent adds a great dynamic to the game. Diamonds Capture is 99 cents in the Android Market.

We've got download links after the break.

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3 years ago

Socialscope for Android - Now looking for alpha testers!

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When it comes to Twitter apps, there is plenty in the Android Market already but when it comes to integrated social apps -- those are not as plentiful. The built-in sharing options for Android are great but having one app to rule them all is arguably better.

So what if you could have Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and more built into one app? That's what Socialscope offers and after having been one of the better made apps on the BlackBerry pletform -- they've now announced their alpha for Android and you can get in on the action:

For the last few months we have been working night and day on something very special for Android users. Something totally new, totally different and totally awesome.

We’ve taken everything we’ve learned from our Blackberry app and reimagined Socialscope. This is more then just Twitter + Facebook…we’re designing a platform that integrates ALL your services.

So without any further ado, we are delighted to announce that a Alpha version of our Android app!

If you aren’t afraid of crashes are willing to provide constructive feedback and want to help us change the world sign-up to join the Alpha.

If you already have a Socialscope account signup for the Alpha here: http://getsocialscope.com/beta.php

If you don’t have an account request one and don’t forget to select Android as your device: http://www.getsocialscope.com

Socialscope is looking for a wide array of users and devices to test their app on, as you all know -- Android devices are plentiful and come in many form factors and screen resolutions and as such,  Socialscope is looking to ensure compatability for all users. You can hit the source link for more information, just remember -- it's an alpha. Give feedback in order to see improvements, though out of the gates it certainly feels like a beta.

Source: Socialscope

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note making its way onto O2 in the UK

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Samsung has been rolling out the Galaxy Note to quite a few places since its announcement but news now comes from the UK that O2 will be making it available soon. No pricing details can be taken from the information as of yet but Samsung has already gone on record to say it will be November 17th so that date appears to be sticking. We've gone over the device in our review, so make sure you check that out and as always -- when we know more, you'll know more.

Source: O2; via Engadget

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3 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for Nov 12, 2011

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Your device getting lonely, and begging for more applications to get installed on it? Well, no problem, hit the break with us for some of our favorite applications this week!

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3 years ago

Android 'fragmentation' -- why it really matters to you and me

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It's fun to say Android is fragmented on the Internet.  All the cool kids and blogs do it, they even make fancy misleading charts about it.  While there's more than one side to the argument -- choice versus fragmentation -- only the most rabid fanboy would say that it doesn't exist.  I tend to think the whole issue is living with the choice you make.  If you want the "Android" experience, buy a Nexus phone.  If you prefer the experience an OEM offers, buy one of their phones.  Both are the right choice.  But there's an underlying issue that gets forgotten when we talk about updates and versions -- security patches.

The diversity of Android gives us a chance to have this user experience regardless of the platform version it's built from.  That doesn't make the want for the new software any less, but it a fair trade for most people.  Ice Cream Sandwich looks a whole helluva lot like TouchWiz 4.  Security issues are another matter entirely.  HTC had a recent issue about user privacy, have a read if you aren't familiar (be sure to read HTC's response as well).  They caused it.  They quickly pushed out a patch to at least one carrier to address it.  All security issues need to be addressed this way.  If HTC, or, Samsung, or LG, or Motorola -- whomever -- builds the OS and sells it to the carrier, they need to follow up with security patches in a timely manner -- either by updating their base to the latest Android version and building their OS with it, or patching the issue themselves with the current code base.  Users deserve the benefit that patches to the bootloader, or browser, or whatever, much faster than companies and carriers get them rolled out.  Yes, that responsibility is shared by the carrier as well.  While they aren't the people responsible for updating the code and building the operating system, they are the people that accept your money for the device.  Carriers and OEMs need to work together to keep the phone secure for the life of the product, even if they don't work to keep the software version current.

On the enterprise side of things (something that OEMs are starting to take more seriously), this becomes critical.  Companies simply can't sit back and ignore the fact they aren't getting security patches, because their money is on the line.  Documents, contacts, and communications need to be secure as possible, and when cracks in the armor are found, the patches need to come quickly.  They don't, and this is a problem. 

I know that making sure your phone isn't susceptible to the latest bootloader hack isn't near as glamorous as getting Ice Cream Sandwich, or even Gingerbread.  These few words can't make that happen.  But I think we need to be pointing out the right issues -- not having a phone that is secure for the life of its contract is one of them.

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