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2 years ago

Sony Xperia U ICS update expected in 'next few weeks'

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Sony might be preparing to launch a whole new range of smartphones, but it hasn't forgotten about its early 2012 line-up, some of which remains on the rapidly aging Android 2.3 Gingerbread. One such device is the company's leading budget offering, Xperia U, which we reviewed earlier in the year, and which has long been promised an upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich. Now it appears Xperia U owners won't have too long left to wait for their Android 4.0 update, as Sony has revealed that the new software will be available in a few weeks time. Here's what the company posted in a post-IFA Q&A on its official blog --

"The ICS rollout for Xperia U will kick-off within the next few weeks and rollout gradually – more information to follow soon!"

That's far from specific, but at least it's a rough timeframe to work with. Now, how about some Jelly Bean updates?

Source: Sony Mobile, via: XperiaBlog

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2 years ago

Mystery HTC device poses for the blurry-cam

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With HTC scheduling a media event for Sept. 19, there's been much speculation as to what the company will unveil at its NYC gathering. One possibility is the persistently-rumored 5-inch device that's supposedly headed to Verizon in the U.S. Earlier in the week we saw some leaked images purporting to show this black and red smartphone from the side. Today brings another blurry-cam shot, this time of the device's front face.

Being of poor quality, the photo gives little away, but we can discern a few things. Firstly, the phone seems to have ditched the usual HTC design language -- it doesn't look much like an HTC One phone. Second, based on the button placement and size, as well as the thin horizontal bezel, it's likely we're looking at a large-screened smartphone.

Chinese site Techorz, which originally posted the photo, reports that the device will ship with a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 2GB of RAM, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and a 1080p or 720p display.  That matches up with what's been rumored, although the site also mentions that this could be the "Endeavor C2," something we're pretty sure is another phone altogether. Reports in the past month have indicated that the "Endeavor C2" or "One X+" is a refreshed version of HTC's early 2012 flagship.

So we still know very little about the phone that HTC may or may not unveil on Sept. 19. Regardless, we'll be live from New York on the day to bring you full coverage of whatever's announced.

Source: Techorz

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2 years ago

Motorola Defy Pro review

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Rogers has been offering a moderately rugged entry level Android handset with a full physical QWERTY keyboard called the Motorola Defy Pro for a few weeks now. Though the specs don’t exactly blow any minds, its pricing is a new step towards a bit of sanity in Canada; this is a phone you get for free on a two-year contract, which is unheard of when the industry standard up here is a three-year commitment. The $275 stand-alone price even makes it viable without a contract. TELUS previously toyed around with the idea a little bit, and it seems like Rogers is at very least testing the same waters.

Still, with so many higher-end devices available on Rogers and LTE still being a relatively new thing up north, how many people would be more interested in saving a buck with such a modest handset?

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2 years ago

T-Mobile and Walmart to offer prepaid Samsung Galaxy S2 for $299

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The prepaid smartphone market is certainly growing, and growing fast. For a increasing number of consumers, moving to a prepaid service is the best way to get a device and keep the monthly costs down. T-Mobile is helping consumers along with that move to prepaid by introducing the Samsung Galaxy SII (S2) on their prepaid Monthly 4G service in conjunction with Walmart. Starting today, customers will be able to pick up the Galaxy S2 off contract at the full price of $299, with monthly plans starting at 100 minutes of talk, unlimited texts and 5GB of 4G data for just $30 per month. The important part of these prepaid services is that there is no contract, no credit check and no deposit to start the service.

Now some of the more techy individuals among us (read: Android nerds) may scoff at the idea of buying a year-old device, but the Galaxy S2 is far ahead of most normal prepaid offerings by a great margin, and at $299 is a really great deal. Now of course for Just $50 more you could pick up a Samsung Galaxy Nexus straight from the Google Play Store (a phone we surely still recommend for the price) that will work just fine with T-Mobile's plan offerings, but some consumers still like the idea of being able to walk into a store and pick up a device with the plan and know where to go for service and support as well.

Take a look after the break for the complete press release.

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2 years ago

HTC holding U.S. event on Sept. 19, new devices likely

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It's fall refresh time, and it looks like HTC's getting geared up to unleash an arsenal of new products in just a couple of weeks time. This afternoon we received the 'save the date' reminder above, inviting us to an event in New York City on Sept. 19. For those keeping track of all the events and announcements we're expecting around that time, that's 24 hours after Moto and Intel strut their stuff in London, and just a couple of days ahead of the expected iPhone 5 retail release. (Yeah, it's going to be a crazy few weeks.)

What's particularly interesting is that our sister site WPCentral also received the same invite, suggesting that HTC might unveil not only new Android devices, but some Windows Phone 8 stuff, too. The WPC kids have been been hearing rumors of a possible HTC "Accord" or "8X" over the past few days, so we'll have to see if that materializes on the 19th.

On the Android side, possibilities include that weird iMac-looking tablet thing, as well as the perpetually-rumored Verizon-bound 1080p-screened 5-inch device. Any more wild theories? Throw 'em out in the comments. Both Android Central and WPCentral will be live from New York City on the 19th to bring you live coverage of whatever HTC's got up its sleeve.

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2 years ago

Noob-friendly Pantech Flex announced for AT&T

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The Pantech Flex 4G LTE has been announced on AT&T, and should be landing September 16 for $49.99 on a two-year contract. Besides LTE connectivity and running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the Pantech Flex offers an "Easy Experience" mode, which makes the layout more streamlined and simple to navigate. Here's a quick run-down of the specs.

  • 4.3-inch qHD (960 x 540) Super AMOLED display
  • 8 megapixel camera with 1080p video recording, plus secondary front-facing camera
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor

More info is available over at Pantech's device page. The last phone we saw from Pantech was the Maurauder for Verizon, and though it was also geared towards late adopters, it looks like there's enough horsepower behind these phones to keep the experience smooth.

What do you guys think of this Easy Experience mode? Are there really a lot of cell phone shoppers out there that are overwhelmed by what Android has to offer? Does it need to be pared down a little bit for those new folks?

Video and press release after the jump.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Stellar announced for Verizon

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Alongside the LG Intuition, Verizon also announced the Samsung Galaxy Stellar today. We had caught a glimpse of this mid-range phone at Best Buy not too long ago. Though it's not exactly a powerhouse, the Samsung Galaxy Stellar packs LTE connectivity, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, which is nothing to sneeze at considering the pricetag. 

The Samsung Galaxy Stellar lands on Verizon's online store this Thursday for free after a two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate. Full specs and press release after the jump. 

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2 years ago

Verizon getting 5 inches of Android in the LG Intuition on Sept. 6 for $199

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It's not all that much of a surprise at this point, but it finally is official. Verizon this morning announced that it'll carry the LG Intuition, the U.S. carrier's version of what the rest of the world knows as the LG Optimus Vu. The Vu, as you know from our full review, was LG's answer to the Samsung Galaxy Note, which ushered in the 5-inches-plus era of Android smartphones. The Intuition/Vu did so in a unique way, however, with a 4:3 aspect ratio, giving the whole thing a much more square feel than traditional smartphones.

The Intuition will launch with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, be we imagine it'll end up with a Jelly Bean update at some point.

It'll be available online Sept. 6 and in stores Sept. 10 for $199 on contract.

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2 years ago

New Sony Xperia phones get tentative eurozone pricing

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The first European pricing information for Sony's new Xperia T, Xperia V and Xperia J smartphones has come to light, as several German retailers have put the devices up for pre-order. According to online stores Idealo and notebooksbilliger, the high-end Xperia T is listed with a €549 price tag, while the LTE-enabled Xperia V will set you back €580. Meanwhile, the budget-focused Xperia J will apparently sell for €265. These prices roughly equate to £450 for the T and £210 for the J for British consumers (with no LTE networks in the UK, it's unlikely we'll get the Xperia V at all). These are also SIM-free prices, so as ever, if you pick one of these up with a contract, you can expect to pay considerably less.

We've already seen one UK retailer report SIM-free pricing for the Xperia J, and with a SIM-free pre-order price of £190, Clove's pricing closely matches what we're seeing from these German retailers.

Pre-order prices are always subject to change, but with so many retailers reporting the same RRP, it's likely the final pricing won't stray too far from that mark. Sony's new Xperia phones are expected to appear from tomorrow, Sept. 5, starting at UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse.

Source: XperiaBlog

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia T appears in promo shot with AT&T branding

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Last week we learned all about Sony's new flagship smartphones at IFA 2012, however there was nothing offered in the way of U.S. release information. Today that may have changed, as the Sony's new international flagship, the Xperia T, has appeared in a promotional photo bearing AT&T's globe logo.

The image comes from UK retailer Phones4U, which has published it alongside a number of shots of the European Xperia T. That phone has Sony's Xperia branding under the screen, while the final promotional image swaps it out for the U.S. carrier's logo. Also of note is the back of this AT&T Xperia T, which is split up into three segments. On the international version, which we saw at IFA last week, the phone's back panel is smooth, with no dividers at the top or bottom. One possible reason for this design change might be to enable 4G LTE connectivity.

In any case, we've reached out to AT&T for comment, and we'll update this post with any info they provide.

Source: Phones4U; Thanks, Paolo!

​More: Hands-on with Sony's latest at IFA

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2 years ago

HTC Desire X gets SIM-free pricing in the UK

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The first pricing information for HTC's new Desire X has become available over at an online UK-based retailer. Clove Technology is now listing the Desire X for pre-order with a SIM-free price of £228 inc. VAT (£190 exc. VAT). The phone, which is offered in "stealth black" and "neutral white," is expected to begin shipping in Europe later this month.

As we discovered during our hands-on time with the HTC Desire X, it's a nicely balanced mid-range smartphone, with a few outstanding features, including a 5MP BSI rear camera a sharp SuperLCD display and a dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU. Around the £200 mark, you'll be hard pushed to find a similarly-spec'd device, and HTC's Sense 4 remains one of our favorite Android UIs.

More pre-order info can be found at the source link. If you're still on the fence about the Desire X, be sure to check out our hands-on coverage of the phone from IFA 2012.

Source: Clove

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2 years ago

Sony releases binaries to support JBQ AOSP project

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Last month Google’s Android Open Source Project lead Jean-Baptiste Queru (JBQ) announced the launch of an “experimental” project to bring the latest open-source Android to the Sony Xperia S (LT26). Sony quickly confirmed its support of the project, and today it’s followed through with the release of closed-source binaries to allow the project to continue. These are blobs of compiled code (e.g. graphics firmware) that cannot be open-sourced, but which must be built in advance in order for any AOSP build to work on Xperia S hardware.

In addition, Sony has reaffirmed its commitment to open-source Android “and the innovation it brings.” The company says that with the help of the proprietary files that have been provided, it expects the AOSP build should be capable of booting up and reaching the home screen.

The binaries are available to download from Sony’s developer world site at the source link. While the binaries won’t be of any use to custom ROM enthusiasts, they just might result in the quicker arrival of more stable AOSP builds for the Xperia S. There’s a long way left to go before Xperia S owners will be able to download and build open-source Android for their devices, but this is an important step along the way. We’ll be watching with interest in the months ahead.

Source: Sony Developer World

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2 years ago

First signs of SIM free pricing emerge for Sony Xperia J

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We've already had the first wave of information on when the new Sony devices announced at IFA will be available, but any information on price is still somewhat lacking. At least one British retailer has tagged a price on the entry-level Xperia J, despite not being able to offer it themselves until October. 

Clove Technology has come out and priced the Xperia J at £190, but will not have stock available until late October. This is a little after the September 5 release date previously supplied by other retailers, but it's the first indication we've received of a UK RRP for the new device. 

Clove also intends to stock the full range of colors for the Xperia J, but notes that the first units will only be available in black or white. 

Source: Clove Blog

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2 years ago

Here are the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE full training materials and specs

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We've been looking at bits and pieces of info about the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE over the weekend, and now thanks to an insider we've got the full set of training materials available -- including the full technical specs. The Victory looks to be one very solid phone, and should appeal to folks who want or need something a little smaller than the Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III) but still expect decent performance. Here's the obligatory bullet point list:

  • CDMA, LTE, 850/900/1800/1900mHz, UMTS dual-band, 1700/2100 mHz
  • 1.2 GHz Dual Core Qualcomm/MSM8960 Lite
  • Dimensions 4.8 x 2.5 x 0.5 (inches)
  • 4.0” WVGA TFT screen at 800 x 480
  • 4GB ROM
  • Up to 1 GB external MicroSD (we assume this is a typo and the phone will support 32GB cards)
  • MicroUSB
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • 3.8v, lithium ion, 2100mAh battery (up to 7 hours talk time; 9 days standby time)
  • Android 4.0.4  Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz
  • Audio codecs: AAC, AMR, AWB, M4A, MID, MP3 OGG, QCP, WAV, WMA
  • Video codecs: DivX, H.263, H.264, MPEG4, RV, WMV
  • 5.0MP camera with 4x zoom and video recording
  • 1.3MP front facing camera
  • Wifi
  • Bluetooth
  • Media Hub
  • Social Hub
  • Accelerometer
  • Spanish language support
  • Hearing aid compatible M4

The materials show this one headed for Sprint as rumored, but also show quad-band GSM support so we expect to see something similar on other networks Of course all the TouchWiz and Ice Cream Sandwich features are on board, like Media Hub and Android Beam. It's safe to say that a scant six months ago these specs would have been at the top of the Android heap, so the Victory should be a great little performer.

Still no exact word on when we'll see this one on Sprint's shelves, but as we saw yesterday reps are training for a September release. Hit the break for the full set of 26 training slides.

Thanks, anon!

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2 years ago

US Cellular getting the LG Splendor (US730), as outed by product page

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Behold, the LG Splendor for US Cellular. This unannounced phone has been outed by a now--pulled LG product page and still-alive product brochure, as spotted by an eagle-eyed SmartPhenom. It looks to be a decent device, with a 4.3-inch display at 800x480 resolution, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a 5-megapixel rear camera. It's all powered by a Qualcomm MSM8655 processor running at 1 GHz. Battery's listed at 1700 mAh. There's 2 GB of on-board storage, and the Splendor will take a microSD card as well. Top of the line? Nah. But it should be a decent addition to USCC's lineup if and when it's announced.

Source: LG Splendor brochure (pdf); via SmartPhenom

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