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3 years ago

EE announces UK 4G LTE pricing and data allowances

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Prices range from £36 to £56 per month, but unlimited data is MIA​

The UK's first 4G LTE carrier, EE, has finally revealed exactly how much it'll cost to get on the British LTE bandwagon at launch. The network, which officially launches in Oct. 30, will offer five tiers, each of which will come with unlimited calls and texts, and data allowances of various sizes as part of a 24-month contract. The cheapest package starts at £36 per month for 500MB, moving up to 1GB for £41, 3GB for £46, 5GB for £51 and 8GB for £56. So unlimited data is missing in action, but fortunately there's no limit on how you can use your allowance, so you won't have to purchase a separate tethering add-on.

EE's 4G smartphones, including the Galaxy S3 LTE, Galaxy Note 2 LTE and HTC One XL, will be available at various subsidized rates depending on the price of your monthly bill. A selection of SIM-only deals will be launching from Nov. 9, priced at £15 less per month than the 24-month, smartphone-inclusive tariffs. So that works out at £21 per month for 500MB, £26 for 1GB, £31 for 3GB, £36 for 5GB and £41 for 8GB.

EE customers will be able to increase their data allowances in various increments using "add-ons" -- £3 for 50MB, £6 for 500MB, £15 for 2GB or £20 for 4GB.

EE is also offering added incentives, including one-off £99 upgrade offers for Orange and T-Mobile UK customers who joined the network in the past six months, and one free movie rental per week from the new EE film store. And as part of the Orange and T-Mobile UK re-branding, all 700 of those carrier stores will be rebranded as "EE" before the end of the month, effectively ending those networks' high-street presence.

Tempted EE's 4G offerings now that the pricing has become known? Let us know what you think in the comments.

More: EE

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3 years ago

Sprint LG Optimus G review

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The Optimus G brings LG's 'A' game to Sprint, but is great hardware enough to sign on for two years?

A high-end, premium LG smartphone on a U.S. carrier is like a hen's tooth -- pretty darn rare. While other manufacturers were busy releasing top-tier products on the carriers in this country, it seems like LG was focusing more on the value space, and its products were lackluster to a dyed-in-the-wool Android fanatic.

There's something to be said for bringing the best of the bottom-end, and the various LG Optimus One phones really were a standout for the entry-level market, but as someone who is lucky enough to get to play with the heavy hitters LG has released in Europe and Asia on occasion, I've been waiting for this. The Optimus G is the best LG has ever offered, and it's a taste of quality hardware from LG that everyone needs to look at twice.

But there's a dark side to LG's foray into Android. Ask anyone who was excited and rushed to buy the T-Mobile G2X. I was one of those people (I bought one for myself and one for the wife) who was awfully impressed with the quality of materials and the build of the phone itself, and felt the small niggling software issues would soon be ironed out. Here we are, over a year later, and still waiting for those fixes. To put it frankly, the software on the Optimus G needs to be great out of the box, because there's no guarantee that it will ever get any better. 

Read on to see what I think of this one, and how my week with the best-spec'd phone ever made (so far) has turned out.

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3 years ago

Reminder: Our Million Member Giveaway is in full swing until Nov. 15

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What has one million members and happens to be the best damn Android site on the Internet? You're looking at it! To celebrate this milestone, our Forums admin, podcast personality, and all-around great guy Cory Streater is holding one heck of a contest in the forums. In case you've been under a rock for a week, here's the prize list:

in addition, Cory has a special prize package for long-time members (six months or more and over 500 posts) consisting of a new Chromebook, , a $100 ShopAndroid.com coupon code, a $50 Google Play gift card, and a Lloyd T-shirt from ShopAndroid.com. Word is that we're also going to see what Google announces on October 29 and consider it as well.

It's an awesome list of prizes for an awesome community of members, and we want to make sure you have a chance to enter. You do that by clicking the big link below. You don't want to miss out on this one folks!

Enter the One Million Member giveaway!

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3 years ago

LG Lucid and Spectrum get ICS update

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Verizon has announced that they're rolling out Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the LG Lucid and LG Spectrum. We had already heard that the Spectrum would be getting an update soon, so this doesn't come entirely as a surprise. If the details are hazy on those devices, you can check out our reviews of the Lucid and the Spectrum when they still had Gingerbread. 

Of course, owners might be a little sour that the update isn't for Jelly Bean, but one can only imagine that LG and Verizon a little busy trying to make sure the latest devices have the newest updates. Any Spectrum or Lucid owners out there get their update yet? Will ICS be good enough to tide you over until your next phone, or are you going to find a custom JB ROM to stay with the times? 

Source: Verizon

More: LG Spectrum forums

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3 years ago

BeyondPod updated with Jelly Bean fixes and UI improvements

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One of the front runners in podcast apps, BeyondPod, received a notable update in the Play Store today. The bulk of the changelog is focused on improvements in UI and usability, which is always welcome. The general player and playlist UI has received a bit of polish, with better use of gradients and shadowing to properly highlight unplayed shows. Additionally, the player notification -- provided you're on Android 4.0 and above -- has received a facelift, offering better playback controls. Under the hood improvements in streaming, downloading and bug fixes are also included.

While BeyondPod is powerful, it sometimes runs into a predicament, walking the line between offering a lot of functionality and being overwhelming with too many options. This update works to help with that problem, making some of the UI elements more intuitive.

More: Full changelog

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3 years ago

Modern Combat 3 goes international on Major League Gaming, celebrates with 99-cent sale

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Shooter game fans will be happy to hear that Gameloft's big-name title Modern Combat 3 is on sale today for a buck to commemorate its international launch on Major League Gaming. Unfortunately, Gameloft's other MLG title, N.O.V.A. 3, isn't on sale, but the competition for it is open internationally now as well. The first rounds started off in mid-August, but were limited in geography. Since then, they've been dishing out $250 first place prizes every two weeks or so, with $150 going to second, $50 to third, and an extra $50 to the top Xperia player. Players can link up their Gameloft and MLG accounts so stats get recorded quickly and accurately. 

Mobile has been skirting around this competitive circuit for awhile now, thanks in no small part to Sony since the launch of the Xperia Play and the PlayStation Mobile brand. Gameloft has been pushing their two big-name titles to the forefront of mobile MLG, and thanks to them we could in time see an interesting new segment of hardcore video gaming emerge. No doubt the upcoming Heroes of Order and Chaos will follow closely in the competitive footsteps of League of Legends and Dota 2. 

Any gamers out there play competitively on other platforms? Maybe some StarCraft II, or Counter-Strike? Anyone interested in getting involved with MLG can hit up their mobile site. Modern Combat 3 is on sale for today only, so get downloadin'

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3 years ago

Camera Zoom FX app updated with UI overhaul and new features

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One of the more popular photography apps on Google Play, Camera Zoom FX, has been updated with a brand-spanking-new user interface, and a whole bunch of new features. Here's the partial changelog for version 4.0.

  • Portrait mode
  • Brightness, exposure, ISO, metering
  • Horizon indicator
  • Stable indicator
  • Golden spiral grid
  • Pinch zoom
  • Prevent screen timeout
  • Light leaks + bokeh
  • New frames: elegant
  • Video switch
  • H/W acceleration
  • Support for xhdpi
  • New custom actions
  • Flip photo

It sounds like the performance has improved significantly, and that's a long list of new features. Any Camera Zoom FX fans out there digging the big update? Which photography apps are you using these days?

Thanks Phil!

More: Weekly photo contests

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3 years ago

Google Wallet site hints at possible multi-platform future

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Google’s teasing a new version of its Google Wallet over on the official site, and what's interesting is it might finally be rolling out to non-Android devices.

Upon requesting an invite on the site, you're prompted as to whether you’re using an Android, iOS or “other” device. Can we expect Google Wallet to become more ubiquitous, or perhaps see it in a version for iPhones, BlackBerry devices or Windows Phone?

This could allow you to bring your Google Wallet across different devices. The upcoming Windows 8 phones from HTC and Nokia will bring NFC capability too, although that leaves the iPhone 5 out of the tap-to-pay game for now. Maybe Google Wallet for Apple devices will help with the shopping online part of the story, or replace the Passbook app’s ticket collection function.

Then again, it's possible Google is just gauging interest from users on different platforms. We'll keep you posted on any further developments. In the meantime, hit the comments to share any speculation of your own.

Source: Google Wallet, Thanks, Eli Fried!

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3 years ago

T-Mobile confirms LG Optimus L9 launching on October 31 for $79.99

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Today T-Mobile nailed down a launch date and pricing for the LG Optimus L9, a device they announced earlier this month. You'll be able to snag the L9 for $79.99 on a two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate starting October 31. You can also get it for $49.99 with their equipment installment plan with 20 equal payments of $15/month. Its most notable feature is an optical character recognition app, but the specs are pretty respectable for a mid-range device.

  • 4.7-inch 540 x 960 display
  • Android 4.0 ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor with 1 GB of RAM 
  • 5 megapixel camera
  • 2,150 mAh battery

Be sure to check out our hands-on video with the LG Optimus L9 for a closer look. Any T-Mobile customers biting on this one, or are you more interested in something higher end? Anybody that's interested can find the LG Optimus L9 in T-Mobile's online store

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3 years ago

The HTC DLX, batteries and you

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We'd never turn down more juice, but is 2500 mAh on a 5-inch device really that low?

Yesterday we brought you the first photos of HTC and Verizon's 5-inch, 1080p Android smartphone, codenamed "DLX," along with a full list of specifications. By any standard, the DLX is a super-high-end phone, packing a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU -- generally considered to be the fastest SoC around -- and the highest-resolution phone display available, in the form of a 1080p SuperLCD3 panel. Throw in Verizon's 4G LTE network, and you've got an awful lot of telephone.

One area that's easy for some to find fault with, however, is the battery. Read on to find out why.

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3 years ago

LG India confirms its worst-kept secret, Nexus 4 to be announced Oct. 29

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The LG Nexus 4 has been extensively leaked over the past few weeks. We've seen the front, back, sides and even taken a sneaky peek at the phone's internals. Nevertheless, the phone is still officially unannounced, pending a Google event in New York City on Oct. 29.

Today LG's broken its silence on the device, according to reports from Indian news site IBNLive. The site reports that Amit Gujral, Head of Mobile Product Planning for LG India confirmed the device's existence in an interview at an Optimus Vu launch event. "Google will unveil the LG Nexus on October 29 and the phone will be available in the Indian markets by the end of November," Gurjal is reported as saying. He also apparently spilled the beans on the device's hardware, confirming reports of a 4.7-inch display, a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU (presumably a Snapdragon S4) and Android 4.2.

The "LG Nexus," as Gurjal calls it, will be available in India by the end of November, following an unveiling by Google on Oct. 29. That means other territories will likely get the device even earlier in the month. We're not sure this official confirmation was supposed to slip through the net, but in any case, it's one more piece of the 2012 Nexus puzzle. We'll be live from New York City next Tuesday to bring you all the Nexus announcements as they happen!

Source: IBNLive

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3 years ago

Sprint lights up LTE in Chicago suburbs and other markets

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Today Sprint announced the activation of 4G LTE networks in Chicago suburbs (Addison, Bolingbrook, Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Kankakee, Rockford, Joliet, Naperville, Palatine, Plainfield), Illinois; Wichita Falls, Texas; New Bedford/Fall River, Massachusetts; and Hutchinson and McPherson, Kansas. Combined with other LTE expansions since the initial launch this summer, this brings Sprint's LTE coverage to 32 cities total, which includes Atlanta, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, and plenty of others on the way

Sprint recently purchased a controlling stake in Clearwire, which was a necessary step to keep moving forward with their LTE plans. Any Sprint customers in these new markets happy to get some 4G lovin'? How about those of you still left in the dark? How long are you willing to wait for LTE before switching over to the competition?

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

Isis NFC payments go live in Austin and Salt Lake City

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As expected, the Isis mobile payment system backed by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon has been launched in Austin and Salt Lake City today. There are currently nine handsets that are ready to roll with the NFC-enabled app, with another 11 on the way before 2013. Verizon has announced that the Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR MAXX HD will both be compatible this week. T-Mobile has announced that the Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S Relay, and Galaxy S2 will be compatible with Isis. AT&T will also support the GS3, as well as the HTC One X, Exhilarate, LG Escape, and Rugby Pro. As far as credit cards go, American Express, Capital One, and Chase are supported, which might not be enough of a selection for most folks, but it's a start. 

Meanwhile in Canada, Rogers is getting ready to launch their own mobile payment system based on NFC-enabled SIM cards, though it doesn't seem like they'll have the same device restrictions. Apparently we'll be able to pop that SIM into any Rogers phone and the service will work perfectly well once it's rolled out. Anyone interested in getting started with Isis apparently has to get a new SIM card too, though they won't work with rooted devices. 

In any case, Isis will be competing directly with Google Wallet, which makes for some annoying repercussions. it seems like some carriers haven't been shy about blocking Google Wallet in favor of pushing Isis, but why wouldn't Google just kick Isis from the Play Store? One would assume that both sides have already talked the issue to death, but it's hard to see this kind of service not putting some friction between partners. How do you guys think the NFC payments situation will pan out between Google and carriers?

Any locals interested in signing up can check out the Isis home page

Source: Business Wire, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T

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3 years ago

Sprint Optimus G has root before the phone hits the shelves

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The first thing I do with a review phone after I'm finished writing the review is to try to root it. Tonight was that night with the Sprint Optimus G, and it went rather well.

After a bit of Google Translate, I found the root method for the Korean Optimus G and had to try. It's based (either in whole or in part -- I don't read Vietnamese) on the Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean adb restore exploit discovered by Bin4ry and does the job easily.

The November 11 release can't come soon enough. Hit the forums for the details, and stay tuned for that review while it gets its final editing!

How to root the Sprint G Optimus G (Windows only)

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