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2 years ago

Contest Winners: ShopAndroid Daily winners!

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If you're a registered member here at Android Central then you know our forums always have a contest happening. And if you're not registered, well -- now is as good a time as any. This week's winners are as posted after the break, and if you were chosen watch your email as we'll be following up shortly. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests folks. Congrats to this week's winners!

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S Wifi 4.2 hands-on

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On paper, the Samsung Galaxy S Wifi looks to be a pretty basic PMP with Android and Samsung's TouchWiz user interface. In person, that's exactly what it turns out to be. You've got a 4.2-inch TFT IPS display at HVGA resolution. You've got a 1GHz processor. You've got Android 2.3. And you've got a punch of preloaded games and media options. And that's about it. No glitz, no gimmicks. 

The Galaxy S Wifi 4.2 (in addition to having a pretty awkward name) feels decent enough in the hand, if a little boxy. It's straight-up Samsung plastic, and the white and chrome stand out nicely in bright light.

The big question for a device like this, of course, is the price. Anything under $299 (remember that there won't be a montly bill involved with this guy) should be doable. Get at at $199 and below, and it could sell nicely.

We've got more pics and video after the break.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus OEM desktop dock review

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It seems like we've been waiting forever for the official Samsung Galaxy Nexus desktop dock to arrive, and when we saw it finally appear in stock we had to grab one. It came in today, so that means it's review time! 

When you open the package (which was just a brown cardboard box, nothing fancy here), you notice that it's pretty heavy. It's not ridiculously heavy, but it weighs about twice as much as the phone. Combine that with the rubber base plate, and it's not going to slide around from the weight of a cable. It's pretty sturdy. It's plastic, of course, but it's hard coated plastic and feels very nice. I almost don't want to say this, but it feels nicer than the plastic the phone itself is made out of. It's a solid grayish-black that matches the color of the GNex itself. On appearance, it gets high marks.

The reason we all have been wanting this one is because of the pogo pins. There's three of them, and they line up with the three contacts on the phone to provide a charge. In the dock itself, there's also a small recess so that the power button isn't depressed when you drop the phone in. Around back, there's a 3.5mm line-out jack and a micro USB connector. The micro USB connector only provides power, so you can't transfer files of debug through it. The line-out jack is a standard 3.5mm jack, and it works well with speakers of headphones. You'll need one or the other, because when it enters "Car Mode" by going in the dock, the external speaker is silenced. It's a bit of an annoyance, and one I'm sure could be fixed with a bit of hackery.

When you drop the phone into the dock, it enters Car Mode and everything goes horizontal. We've seen this with other phones when docked, so we weren't really surprised. Everything turns, and you'll have no problem maneuvering through the OS while it's docked. 

Samsung lists this on their website as being for the i515 only, which is the Verizon LTE version. We took a gamble, and it seems to work just fine with the unlocked GSM version as well. We just have to mention that officially, this one is only for the i515. They also want $90 for it. That's a lot of money for a desktop dock. 

So is it worth it? As I mention in the video (after the break), maybe. If you're the type of gadget geek who has to have the best as soon as it's available, then yeah, go on and order it. You'll be pleased with the way it's built and the way it works. If you just need a desktop docking station for your Nexus and the thought of spending $90 on one is a bit much, them you might want to wait and see if a third party comes up with a good solution. Either way, I'm glad I got this one. Hit the jump to see a short video and some more pictures.

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2 years ago

Recon Instruments to show off an Android-powered HUD at MWC

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Recon Instruments will be showing their patented, Android-powered HUD (Heads Up Display) in the Android booth at Mobile World Congress. Last month at CES Recon unveiled their HUD SDK for Android, and this time around we will get to see the MOD Live (Recon's name for this unit) in Barcelona. They're currently working with partners like Polar and Contour to third party apps to the HUD, but for now folks can use Recon’s free HQ Mobile app to access playlists on their phone, view and share run stats, see incoming calls, display text messages, and reply via the wearable wireless Bluetooth low energy remote. 

Currently available for snowsport enthusiasts, Recon plans to branch out to other outdoor sportsmen and partner with more manufacturers. Dan Eisenhardt, CEO of Recon Instruments says:

We are happy to be at the Mobile World Congress with Google at the Android stand. It is a great opportunity to show the diversity and customizable nature of our Android-powered MOD Live. Our HUD technology is currently available to snowsports enthusiasts and we will be bringing an adapted HUD solution into a number of different industries in the near future partnering with leading goggle, helmet and sunglasses brands to provide the optimum choice of fit, function and fashion to the public.

Recon Instruments' MOD Live currently works with Uvex, Briko, Zeal Optics, Alpina, and Scott and Smith brand "Recon Ready" goggles, and are available for $399.99 (€360) at major retailers around the globe. 

Now, about those Google Glasses. ...

More info:  Recon Instruments

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2 years ago

MOTOACTV taken to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, survives the journey

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While we've been getting in shape during Mobile Nations Fitness Month and sharing our tips and tricks with you all, we came across a pretty awesome use for the MOTOACTV recently. Highlighted on the Motorola blog is Christine Rolf, who has taken her MOTOACTV to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and back for a good cause:

After hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu I wanted a bigger challenge. Kilimanjaro was it: the summit is 5895 meters/19,340 feet high. I hiked 62 kilometers in 7 days – first a 4,405 meter ascent followed by a 3,915 meter descent, through a total of 5 climate zones. I also wanted to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation where I’ve volunteered for over 10 years. The donations totaled over $2,500!

Amazing to say the least. Christine noted the MOTOACTV was a great tool to have in her arsenal for the climb and while we won't be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro any time soon - we're not going to disagree.

Source: Motorola

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2 years ago

Seidio ACTIVE for HTC EVO 3D [Android Case Review]

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With our very own Mobile Nations Fitness Month almost at a close, we'd be remiss if we didn't bring you some of the hottest accessories made for the walking, jogging, calorie-burning, Android-loving health junkie. For those of you sporting an HTC EVO 3D, you'll definitely want to take a look at the Seidio ACTIVE Case for the HTC EVO 3D.

Combining the rubberized, gripping skin we've all come to know and love with a six-prong, hard plastic skeleton, the Seidio ACTIVE gives your phone the loving embrace it needs to stay safe without adding too much bulk.

 

On the top bezel, you're looking at the typical uncovered 3.5mm headphone jack, but otherwise, everything is all nice and covered up. That makes sense, since your phone's first line of defense is an all-inclusive rubber skin, but be aware if you're going to be getting sweat, dirt, or dust anywhere, it's going to be in the headphone jack.

Moving to the volume rocker bezel, expect the same protective treatment; if it doesn't need to be uncovered, it won't be. As a matter of fact, the only thing that isn't covered is the 2D/3D slider, so don't worry about your volume rocker or dedicated camera button.

On the opposite bezel, the microUSB port is open, which one the one hand means easy access to charging, but on the other hand means the potential for gunk to get in there. It's a tough compromise, but considering this isn't the full protection Seidio case, I'd say it's still doing pretty well.

The six-prong plastic skeleton fits nicely in the back of the rubber skin, so much so that you can't even tell it's a separate piece sometimes. It sits so nicely flush against the skin and the phone, you'll instantly recognize it's quality.

More pictures are after the break.

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2 years ago

Google's special 'HUD' glasses to come sometime, cost something, says NYT

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Google apparently is still planning on selling some sort of special Android-powered "head-up-display" type glasses, according to The New York Times' Bits blog. The latest unnamed sources say it'll come sometime this year, and cost roughly the same as a current smartphone, which the NYT pegs as between $250 and $600. Navigation and cellular data would be included.

So, let's recap: There's a 10-month window, and a $450 swing in price -- never mind that a $250 smartphone is subsidized by a carrier. Gotcha. Thank you, drive through.

Gimmicky glasses have been around for some time -- including Android-powered visual displays in the likes of the Epson Moverio. This sounds different, however, so I'm going to do something I rarely do when anonymous sources are involved -- hold out hope that this could actually be pretty cool. But while folks are practically wetting themselves over the possibilty of some sci-fi Termintator type specs, consider the type of market a first-generation product like this might be targeting. Chances are it won't be the typical consumer.

And chances are it'll come in at the high end of that price range for the hardware. And that's not counting whatever the supposed cellular data will run.

Source: NYT; More: 9 to 5 Google
Goggles image via Shutterstock

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus accessories showing up on Samsung U.S. website, but we can't have them just yet

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The seemingly endless wait for the official Samsung Galaxy Nexus accessories continues to drag on. Latest developments see the range added to the Samsung US website. Sounds good right? Before you all go rushing on over there waving your credit cards, you might want to take a step back. 

The range is showing up as out of stock, and worse still is on a two week backorder. Being on backorder is practically the same as no order, but perhaps we're gradually edging closer to getting our hands on  these -- particularly that sweet car dock. We really want one of those. 

On the other side of the Atlantic over here in the UK, things aren't looking any brighter. Clove Technology were hoping to have had their first stocks for the GSM Galaxy Nexus by now. Their product pages have been updated to reflect "availability to be confirmed" and "first stock delayed."

Expansys UK are still showing availability over Tuesday and Wednesday next week, but their dates haven't changed in some time now. We're all hoping they're accurate, but sadly not holding out too many hopes. 

If Samsung themselves have placed a two week backorder on stocks though, perhaps that means we will actually be able to get our hands on some in two weeks. Looks like for now though the wait continues. 

Source: Samsung Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Ubuntu on Android becomes real, looks to take on Moto's Webtop experience

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This, folks, is Ubuntu on Android. An honest-to-goodness, not janky or VNC'd, full build of the Linux distro powered by an Android smartphone.

We'll let that sink in.

Canonical -- the company behind Ubuntu -- today announced that it's bringing the full Ubuntu experience to multi-core Android phones in the same way that Motorola has attempted to extend its hardware to a more traditional computing experience with Webtop. That is, you'll connect your phone to a keyboard and display, and from there have full control over a proper Ubuntu experience, all powered by the phone. Because your Android smartphone is already running a Linux kernel, the marriage between your phone and Ubuntu is darn near seamless. The Ubuntu build actually shares the kernel from your phone and boots in parallel.

Canonical gave us a walkthrough of the experience, and it really couldn't be more simple. Dock the phone, and Ubuntu Unity fires up. Photos and videos are instantly available in the desktop experience.

But photos and videos are chump change. You've got full Chromium and Thunderbird apps. VLC. The Ubuntu Music Player. If it's on Ubuntu, it can be on your phone.

But the real power is in the ability to launch your Android apps within that desktop experience. Same goes for contacts. Or your network settings. Or your notifications. It's Android within an Ubuntu experience. And it's pretty slick.

As for hardware requirements, you'll need a dual-core smartphone with at least a 1GHz processor and 512MB of RAM. You'll need 2GB of storage free as well, plus USB host mode and HDMI out (MHL adapters will work, Canonical tells us), plus video acceleration. Older phones need not apply, basically.

It's worth repeating that this is your phone powering Ubuntu -- not the Ubuntu desktop on your phone. We're going to get a close look at Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona, Spain. Stay tuned. For now, we've got Canonical's full press release after the break.

More: Ubuntu

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2 years ago

Win a Monster ClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth speaker from Poweramp and Android Central!

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The guys behind the awesome Poweramp app were super pumped by the response to their recent giveaway, and want to show Android Central readers some more love with a Valentine's Day contest. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment with your favorite love song, and you could win one of two Monster ClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth speakers!

This speaker is totally portable and connects easily to your phone or computer, delivering big sound in a small package. Charge it up with the provided USB cable (it's a mini, not a micro) and then take it with you wherever you go. You can use it in the car for hands-free calling while paired with your phone or pair with your computer for Skype or iChat calls. The ClarityHD has a built-in mic with advanced noise-canceling technology so you can use it for conference calls without having to lug a big heavy microphone around. The small size and light weight make it easy to take with you in a briefcase or in the glove box of your car, so you can always have it nearby.

I am really impressed with the compact style of the ClarityHD and the big sound that comes out of it. I also really appreciated how easy it was to pair with my devices. If you're interested in entering to win a free Monster ClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth speaker in time for Valentine's Day, leave your comment in the forums, telling us your favorite love song! Sorry folks, this contest is open to US Android Central members only and ends Sunday at midnight. Compatibility and general specifications for the Monster ClarityHD Precision Micro Bluetooth speaker can be found after the break, along with a few more pictures.

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