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3 years ago

Hands-on with the HTC Mini+ and HTC Fetch

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A miniature companion for your smartphone, and a new security keyring

HTC is continuing to roll out accessories for its flagship “One” series, and today we’ve had the chance to go hands-on with two quirky new additions to the HTC accessory family — the HTC Mini+ and HTC Fetch.

First up, the Mini+ is the successor to last year’s HTC Mini, which shipped alongside the original Butterfly handset in China. As we’ve said before, this is effectively a phone for your phone. It pairs to your full-sized HTC handset over NFC and Bluetooth, allowing you to control your phone remotely as long as the Bluetooth connection is active.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom gets an LTE model in Europe

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It's a Galaxy S4 Zoom, but with LTE

When we first saw the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom for ourselves at the Premiere 2013 event in London, one noticeable absentee was an LTE version. That open book can now be closed, as Samsung is today announcing an LTE S4 Zoom for European markets. 

In every other sense, this is the same exact camera phone we saw back in London. A Galaxy S4 Mini class phone on one side, with a 16MP camera on the rear with a 10x optical zoom and a bunch of specialist camera applications to help make the most of it. If you're going to be taking and sharing a lot of pictures with this thing — which lets face it, is why you'd buy one in the first place, right? — then on-board LTE is going to be a big assist. Check out the full press release after the break. 

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3 years ago

Samsung details Galaxy NX camera pricing and availability

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US stores will see the new Android-powered mirrorless camera starting in October

We were generally taken by surprise when Samsung unveiled the Galaxy NX as a spiritual successor to the original Galaxy Camera, and now we know when and how much you'll have to spend to buy one. It will come as no surprise to camera geeks that this is going to be one expensive piece of kit, but for someone coming from the point-and-shoot camera realm may be surprised.

Samsung is setting pricing at $1599.99 for the body (no lens) or $1699.99 with a standard 18-55mm kit lens, and expects to have it on U.S. store shelves and directly from Samsung starting in October. Now you're certainly getting something for that high price tag — on the imaging front we're looking at a 20.3MP APS-C sensor with a 1/6000 second shutter speed and up to ISO 25600 sensitivity. You also have the proper lens mount for Samsung's range of NX lenses if you're ready to expand your shooting options

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3 years ago

Digg Reader app hits Google Play as another RSS service choice

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Another great reading and RSS option to pick up where Google Reader left off

When Google Reader finally closed up shop we saw a scramble of replacement services crop up, and now Digg has launched its Digg Reader Android app to accompany its RSS service. Just like another familiar RSS service Feedly, Digg Reader offers syncing of RSS feeds tied to an account — in this case Google, Facebook or Twitter — and serves news to you on multiple devices.

The app is basic, clean and seems to perform well. You can browse around through popular stories without an account, or after signing in add feeds by content type or specific URL through a search function. The basic article view gives options to favorite, view on the web, digg and share out to any service and seems on par with the other apps out there. Naturally unread counts and favorites sync between your devices and on the web

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3 years ago

AT&T to expand Aio Wireless prepaid service nationwide in September

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Phone plans start at $55 with 2GB of data, tablets start at $15 for 250MB

AT&T has just announced that its separately-branded prepaid service called Aio Wireless will expand to be available nationwide starting in mid-September. The service, which is currently only available to customers in Florida, Texas, Metro-Atlanta and Chicago, will expand to cover customers across the country at an unspecified date in September. Not to be confused with AT&T's self-branded GoPhone prepaid brand, Aio Wireless offers lower levels of service and cheaper prices than GoPhone but also offers a wide range of handsets and BYOD options.

Aio Wireless offers a few different mid-range Android devices like the Samsung Galaxy Express and ZTE Prelude, but we're going to assume most will use these plans with their own device and a standalone $9.99 SIM card from the carrier. There are just two simple smart phone plans to choose from in either case — unlimited talk, text and data with 2GB of high-speed data for $55, or 7GB of high-speed data for $70 per month.

Following along with GoPhone's recent upgrade, Aio Wireless is now offering LTE data speeds to customers as well, which is a big upgrade for prepaid customers. The phone plan terms explicitly cap data speeds at 8mbps, however, which is not the case on GoPhone's plans in our experience.

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3 years ago

Purported Samsung 'Gear Manager' smartwatch app surfaces

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Phone app to control pairing, apps and 'find my watch' functionality

We're just a week away from seeing what Samsung has to show us in the smartwatch game at IFA in Berlin, and now we're getting a quick look at an app that will help control that device. The leaked "Gear Manager" app, shown above in two screenshots, gives us a good idea of what we can expect when the device is finally announced.

The first screen shows a simple pairing process over NFC with a phone, as we could've guessed, and the second one shows several different settings and management functions. A standard-looking settings screen shows the name of the watch paired (presumably over Bluetooth) to your phone, ways to manage clocks and apps, a function to "Find my watch" and more advanced settings underneath.

Nobody is quite sure how deep the phone integration will go nor how apps will work on the device, but it does clear up how you'll be connecting to your phone and what will be available to you. Samsung is set to show off the whole thing on September 4th, so be sure to check back to Android Central for full coverage then.

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Leak suggests T-Mobile Moto X will be available through Google Play

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But still no indication of pricing structure or availability

Although AT&T and Verizon have both announced and launched their variants of the Moto X, T-Mobile customers are still waiting for the carrier to expand on its vague statements from the Moto X's initial launch day. Back when it was announced, T-Mobile's official statement was that the carrier wouldn't be selling the handset directly, but rather Motorola would be handling the distribution. The above training documentation obtained by TmoNews seems to indicate that Google Play, not Motorola, will be handling the sales instead.

A certain launch date or any other details aren't available at the moment, but this one makes us scratch our heads a little bit. Is T-Mobile expecting to just support an unlocked version of the Moto X? That could certainly be the case, but then we're unsure how pricing will break down. We haven't seen Google Play sell devices with contracts or financing — the main way T-Mobile sells phones — before, and we don't really see it starting now.

Hopefully we get a better feel for when the handset will be available for T-Mobile, as well as Sprint, in the coming weeks.

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

IFA 2013 preview - Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear, Xperia Z1, lens cameras and more!

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Our complete guide to what’s coming out of Berlin next week

After a relatively low-key CES and Mobile World Congress earlier this year, it’s time for IFA — or Internationale Funkausstellung, to give it its full name — the annual consumer electronics show held in Berlin at the end of the summer. And this year’s IFA looks to be the the busiest yet for major Android announcements and product unveilings. The show proper begins Friday, Sept. 6, but the big press conferences start from Wednesday, Sept. 4.

IFA has traditionally been a major event for Samsung, and of course the Korean company is sure to have its share of big announcements this year, too. But we’re also expecting phones, tablets, cameras and more from other manufacturers like Sony and LG.

Naturally, we’ll be live from Germany next week to bring you full coverage of IFA 2013. Check past the break to learn about all the awesome Android stuff we’re expecting to see.

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3 years ago

Archos rolls out the rest of its 2013 phone and tablet portfolio ahead of IFA

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Several new phones and tablets to be unveiled completely at IFA 2013

Getting out ahead of the IFA 2013 scramble, Archos has just announced its product roadmap for the rest of 2013, including several new tablets and a new phone. First up is the largest of the lineup, the 101xs2 tablet with a quad-core processor, aluminum body and a 2048x1536 IPS display. It also features a magnetic attaching keyboard for when you need to get some work done. Joining it in the "Platinum" lineup is the 97b Platinum HD, which is slightly smaller but still features a high-resolution screen and solid construction.

The next three tablets both hit completely different but necessary markets for Archos. The first are the 101 ChildPad and 80 ChildPad, which as you'd guess are kid-focused tablets with a simple UI, Google Play filtered for children's content and complete parental controls. The next is a gaming-focused GamePad 2, which will be a follow-up to the original gaming tablet and will have more details available soon.

Last but not least, Archos has two new 3G-enabled devices to announce in the 50 Oxygen phone and 80 Xenon tablet. The 50 Oxygen is Archos' latest phone with a 1080x1920 IPS display, quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 16GB of storage, a 13MP rear- and 5MP front-facing camera. The 80 Xenon is just one of three in the "Xenon" range of tablets, with HD screens, dual- or quad-core processors and running Android 4.2 just like the 50 Oxygen.

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3 years ago

Knock Knock: How to turn on the LG G2 without the power button

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One of my favorite features in the LG G2 is the ability to wake the phone without using the power button by tapping twice on the screen. Called "Knock Knock" or "Knock On," it's sort of a necessary side effect from the power button being on the back of the phone. You might want to wake the phone to see a notification, but not necessarily pick it up to do so.

Nokia has done this in the past, and you can get the same sort of feature with a custom kernel. But this is the first time we've seen an Android manufacturer build it in.

And, so, we knock. Or tap. A double rap on the dark display wakes the phone. From there, you can double tap again on the lock screen to put it back to sleep.

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid Maxx: The phone for serious battery junkies

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Why aren't other manufacturers offering this kind of battery life?

Verizon has been pushing its three-tiered Droid strategy for a couple generations now, and the highest-end phone of the group has always sported a gigantic battery. The case is no different with the latest roundup of Droids — the Droid Mini, Droid Ultra and Droid Maxx — where the $299 on-contract Maxx has a substantially larger battery than the other two.

At 3500mAh it is over 64 percent more capacity than the Droid Ultra and 75 percent more than the Mini, while still fitting into a casing that is only 8.5mm thick. While Motorola claims an already high (but higher than we've experienced) 28 hours of "mixed usage" on the Droid Ultra, it claims an absurd 48 hours on the Maxx variant.

Throughout our time with the Droid Maxx, however, we found you can actually push closer to that 48 hour claim than you may think.

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3 years ago

NVIDIA Shield update moves apps to SD card, improves Miracast, adds dev tools

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The NVIDIA Shield handheld Android gaming system — or HAGS, as no one but us apparently has ever called it — just got another software update that adds a couple interesting features to the Tegra 4 platform. Here's what's new:

  • You can now move apps and app files from the internal storage to an SD card. 
  • Miracast streaming is improved with Actiontec ScreenBeam Pro.
  • Better PC streaming, gamepad detection and WIfi
  • Now supports Tegra developer tools

That's Software Update 59 (so simply named — we could get used to that) — and it's available now by going to Settings>About>System updates.

Source: NVIDIA Shield release notes

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3 years ago

Can we end carrier exclusives and bloatware? - Talk Mobile

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We will always advocate picking your carrier before picking your phone, but sometimes the allure of a specific phone can be too much to overcome. Millions switched to AT&T to get access to the first four iPhones, BlackBerry faithful jumped to Verizon and Vodafone to get the first BlackBerry Storm, and old Palm fans moved to Sprint to pick up a Palm Pre. They made these moves not out of interest in monthly savings or coverage, but for a specific device - one exclusive to that carrier.

3 years ago

BBM for Android inches closer to release (and/or obscurity) with landing page

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We still don't have BBM for Android, but we now have a landing page that talks a little bit about BBM for Android. Let's hope that design isn't quite finished yet either — white text on gray is kinda hard to read, but what it says is "BBM is the best way to connect and share instant messages, pictures and more for free, in real time."

Kinda like every other messaging app available.

Source: BBM for Android; via CrackBerry

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 3 accessories manufacturer says to expect it Sept. 4

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