Headlines

2 years ago

NFC-capable Galaxy S3 Mini launching this month

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If you'd wanted to pick up a Galaxy S3 Mini, but had found your desire for the miniature smartphone soured by its lack of NFC support, then Samsung's got you covered. A new, NFC-capable version of the S3 Mini will launch in the UK starting at the end of the month, the manufacturer revealed in a press release this morning.

Besides the inclusion of NFC, giving the S3 Mini support for Samsung's "S Beam" NFC-based file-sharing capability, the S3 Mini with NFC is the same as its near-field-communicationless sibling. That is to say you're looking at a 4-inch device with a WVGA (800x480) SuperAMOLED display, a 1GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and TouchWiz'd Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Pricing has yet to be officially announced, but Samsung says the S3 Mini with NFC will launch across major UK carriers and retailers from the end of January. More info in the presser after the break.

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2 years ago

Fresh HTC 'M7' images emerge showing new version of Sense

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We’ve seen a few renders claiming to show HTC’s next flagship Android phone of late -- first an image based on an on-device animation, then another mock-up render did the rounds on Twitter and elsewhere over the weekend. These latest images, however, could be the most accurate yet.

Today’s shots come from Android Police, which received them via an anonymous tipster claiming to have access to HTC’s next big thing, a phone currently known only by the codename “M7.” Based on the images, the device looks to share many design cues with the Windows Phone 8X and Droid DNA -- a primarily squarish design, with rounded corners and a rounded back. Interestingly, it seems HTC has swapped the location of the home and task switching button on this device -- home is now on the far right, and task-switching now lives in the middle.

Alongside these photos, screenshots from the device show what’s said to be HTC Sense 5.0, the next version of HTC’s Android UI. If this is an accurate representation of what’s next from HTC, 2013’s version of Sense certainly looks more minimalist than earlier iterations -- the bright colors and faux 3D effects that’ve previously characterized Sense are nowhere to be seen here. There are new icons, new widgets, and what seems to be predetermined widget areas for social media updates, news and tutorials. The UI is also watermarked with “HTC Confidential” and a unique code, and Sense and Android versions marked as “protected.” Both are hallmarks of pre-release HTC software.

On the whole, these images look pretty promising. But we still have no way of knowing where in the prototyping process this device lies, and how close it is to the finished product. Certain anomalies, like the excessive bezel, derivative design and lack of regulatory info on the back suggest that the finished product might look a little different. Nevertheless, it’s our best indication yet as to what might be next from HTC. We’ll likely find out more at Mobile World Congress 2013, where the company is expected to officially announce the M7.

Source: Android Police

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2 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.1 'M-Series' builds now available for select devices

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A handful of select devices are getting CyanogenMod 10.1 "M-Series" builds starting today. These builds are meant to be released less frequently, and are considered stable for daily use. You can think of M-Series builds as a step above nightly builds, which often have many bugs. The following devices are supported for now:

The CyanogenMod team says in its post that it is on-track for a stable release of 10.1 soon, and these M-Series builds are a good step in the right direction. If you have one of the above listed devices and are interested in the new builds, head to the source link below and grab your downloads.

Source: Cyanogenmod

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2 years ago

Samsung rumored to be launching enormous smartphone with ridiculous name in Europe

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Leak season continues, and we're back with Samsung this time around. Sammobile, a usually reliable source of all things Samsung, claims to have received word of a 5.8 inch smartphone from the Korean OEM destined for Europe. The reported name is, ready for this? The Samsung Galaxy Fonblet. 

The device is said to be loosely based around the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.8 PMP that was launched in Korea, only with cellular capabilities. The Galaxy Player 5.8 has a qHD display, and a 3MP rear camera. The bad news is that Sammobile claims the Fonblet is supposed to have the same display. So we're not looking at a high-end, Note 2 beating device. Additionally, it's expected to have dual-sim capabilities -- suggesting emerging European markets might be the target here -- and will come in white. Feels a lot like parts recycling though, if we're honest. 

Source: Sammobile

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2 years ago

HTC device passes through FCC with Sprint frequencies, could it be the One SV?

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The HTC One SV (read our review) was released on Cricket only a few days ago, but a nearly identical model of the device has just passed through the FCC sporting Sprint radio frequencies. Although there are no images of the device to completely verify, the model number of this device -- PL80110 -- is eerily close to Cricket's PL80120. The specs that are decipherable from the filing lead to a little bit of confusion, however, as the physical dimensions seem slightly different from the current SV. There's also a few documents that list the device as a "Windows Phone," while the rest simply list "Smartphone." Bit of a head scratcher there, but typos do happen.

The radio frequencies being tested on this unnamed device seem to line up with what Sprint uses for its network, and no other carriers, so we can be pretty sure that whatever this device is it's heading to Sprint. We of course won't know for sure until we hear something official from HTC or Sprint

Source: PhoneScoop

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2 years ago

Xperia S Jelly Bean firmware to bring display mirroring, phone finder and new lock screen

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We got our first look at Sony's new Jelly Bean-based Android firmware last week on the Xperia Z. While visually similar to earlier Sony software, there were new features waiting to be discovered beneath the surface. These included new power management options, a re-vamped lock screen and a new phone locator feature.

Fortunately for owners of earlier Xperias, it seems Sony is hard at work porting many of these new features back to its high-end 2012 phones. A leaked Jelly Bean ROM for the Xperia S that's emerged over on XDA shows features display mirroring, "Find My Xperia," the new "shutter"-based lock screen and "extended standby mode" for enhanced power saving. (For the technically-minded, the Linux kernel version has also been bumped from 3.08 up to 3.4.)

The "Find My Xperia" feature references MyXperia.com, a site which currently appears to be in private beta. It's likely this is a "Find My iPhone" style service designed to track lost and stolen devices.

This means that when the Jelly Bean update arrives for Xperia S owners, they'll be able to enjoy many of the new features of the newer Xperia Z. The same should also apply to the Xperia T, which being a more recent handset is scheduled to get Jelly Bean before the Xperia S.

The Xperia S is due to get its Jelly Bean update around April, following the Xperia T in late Q1.

Source: XDA; via: XperiaBlog

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2 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Note 2 getting an update

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A quick heads up for those of you who own the Verizon Galaxy Home Button, erm, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 -- a software update is currently coming down the pike. We don't know exactly what's in version LL4 (Verizon's usually excellent upgrade info pages are currently failing us), but it's looking like the Exynos exploit is targeted, and that'd make sense, seeing as how other Samsung devices have been updated for the same thing this week.

Update: OK. The changelog is as follows:

  • Android Security Patch added for additional security.

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2 years ago

Pantech Discover review

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With an attractive price and build quality, the Discover is an interesting proposition. But will its notable shortcomings have you looking elsewhere?

Pantech, much like other smartphone manufacturers, is trying to make the tricky transition from carrier-branded spec devices to its own flagships. But making a name for yourself when few know your brand -- or worse, know it only alongside low-end phones -- is a tough proposition. Pantech is hoping to step up its game for the start of 2013 with this device, the mid-range Discover on AT&T, currently available for $50 on contract.

Cheap on-contract phones in the U.S. have always been in an awkward position. Their only chance at being purchased is one of confusion, to be honest. When comparing to higher end devices that are also on contract, the difference in up-front pricing is miniscule compared to the cost of service for the 2-year contract period. Saving $50 or $100 over the life of a $2,500 contract is nothing, yet eager-to-buy and less-informed consumers make the choice every day. This being said, does the Pantech Discover have what it takes to make you choose it when there are formidable competitors at about the same price? Read on and find out.

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2 years ago

Leaks suggest LG 'Optimus G Pro' coming with faster CPU, bigger battery, 1080p screen

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The Optimus G might be just a few months old, but LG may already have a successor in the works, if the latest round of leaked information is to be believed. The image above was sent to Engadget by an anonymous tipster, and it appears to show an "Optimus G Pro"  device headed to Japanese carrier NTT Docomo. Adding weight to those reports is a list of specs on Japanese site Blog of Mobile, one that matches the details shown in this image.

If all of this is accurate, we're looking at a slightly upgraded Optimus G with a 5-inch, 1920x1080 (full HD) screen, a 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU (up from 1.5GHz), 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a massive 3000mAh battery. And with measurements of 139.0x70.0x10.0mm and a weight of 160 grams, we're looking at a lot of smartphone here. On the software side, an Android 4.1-based OS is rumored.

Big-screen, high resolution devices look set to become commonplace at the high end of the Android smartphone spectrum in 2013. We've already seen Verizon's Droid DNA, Sony's Xperia Z and Huawei's Ascend D2, and HTC and Samsung are rumored to have new designs based on "full HD" panels in the works.

The Optimus G Pro is reportedly fitted with a 13MP rear camera and 2.4MP front-facer, and it appears the position of the camera assembly's been changed a bit too. One small shot of the phone's rear shows it placed centrally, as opposed to in the top left corner. Also significant is the change back to a physical home button, similar to the Optimus L series (and the Samsung Galaxy S2 before that.) You'll recall the original Optimus G featured all-capacitive keys.

If LG does have a refreshed "Optimus G Pro" in the works, Mobile World Congress would be the likely announcement venue. The company announced more than half a dozen phones there last year, What's more, its French wing has already confirmed a European Optimus G launch for March, so it's possible we might see the G Pro launching alongside the original in these new territories. Whatever happens, we'll be on the ground in Barcelona in just over five weeks to bring you full coverage of the show.

Source: Engadget, Blog of Mobile

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2 years ago

LG Optimus G sells 1 million units, reportedly heading to Europe and China in Q1

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Reports out of Korea today cite a milestone figure for LG Optimus G sales, and information on the device's arrival finally in Europe. Since the launch of the Optimus G in the latter part of 2012, LG says they have sold more than 1 million of the phones. While this pales in comparison to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3, not to mention the iPhone, considering the limited availability of the Optimus G it's not all that bad. 

Currently available in Korea, Japan, Canada and the United States, an LG spokesperson has hinted that the company  reportedly plans to continue their push on the Optimus G throughout the first quarter of this year. Before Q1 is out, the intention is to ship the Optimus G in several European markets and in China. 

LG is on the increase in terms of smartphone sales, in Q3 they bested their previous best figures for smartphone sales, and that was before the Nexus 4. LG's next set of earnings are due to be released on Jan. 30 for Q4 2012, and it will be interesting to see what comes out of that. 

Source: Yonhap News Agency via The Next Web

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2 years ago

Samsung reportedly launching Galaxy XCover 2 at Mobile World Congress

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What we see here is reported to be the latest, rough and tough, rugged smartphone from Samsung. The follow up to the original Galaxy Xcover, the aptly named Xcover 2 has leaked out to the guys over at Sammobile and is reportedly set to launch at Mobile World Congress in February. 

It's been a couple of years since the original Xcover was announced, and like its predecessor, the Xcover 2 isn't looking like much of a specs powerhouse. But then, that's not necessarily why someone would buy one anyway. It's running Samsung's latest Nature UX on top of some version of Jelly Bean, although Sammobile couldn't offer an answer to which at this stage. 

It feels a little like a ruggedized version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini in truth, but with a little more juice in the battery. Leaked specs include a 1700mAh battery, a 4 inch 480x800 display, 5MP rear camera, 0.3MP front facing camera and 4GB of on board storage, expandable via microSD card support. 

The original Xcover was IP67 dirt, dust and water resistant, and we'd expect nothing less for the follow up. Needless to say these sort of phones aren't for everyone, but for some people they are essential. 

Of course, we'll be at Mobile World Congress next month, so anything we do see, we'll be bringing to you all as it happens. 

Source: Sammobile

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2 years ago

HTC Butterfly reportedly set to launch in India by end of January

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HTC's global 5-incher, the (J)Butterfly, so far hasn't made any kind of official appearances outside of a select few Asian markets, notably China and Japan. Hopes were raised, then dashed, of some kind of European availability, as we were informed the Butterfly -- without the 'J' -- would initially only be launching in China.

Since then, at least one global retailer has managed to snag some to sell on, but the next market to receive the device in an official capacity may well be India. According to well placed sources of Indian Android blog, AndroidOS.in, the Butterfly will be available by the end of January at a cost of INR 44,000. The launch is reportedly set to take place sometime in the next fortnight, with availability likely beginning the same day. 

India is a rapidly growing smartphone market, in particular in terms of Android smartphones. The reported price of the Butterfly will make it the most expensive smartphone on sale in the country, but with a 5 inch 1080p display, Snapdragon S4 Pro and 2GB of RAM inside, the specs at least back up a more premium asking price. 

Source: AndroidOS.in

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2 years ago

Android 4.1.2 update reportedly rolling out to unbranded Australian Samsung Galaxy S3

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Owners of an unbranded Samsung Galaxy S3 in Australia have cause for celebration -- the Android 4.1.2 update is reportedly rolling out to those devices right now. The guys at Ausdroid received the initial tip from one of their readers, and it seems the update is available to download via KIES. There's no word on an OTA variant pushing out just yet. 

Besides the 'Premium Suite' goodies the 4.1.2 update brings such as Multi Window, it's also said to contain fixes for the Exynos exploit and the so called 'sudden-death' that was affecting some handsets. If you own one of these eligible Galaxy S3s and have snagged the update for yourselves, be sure to share your experiences with us in the comments below, or head on into the Samsung Galaxy S3 forums.

Source: Ausdroid

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2 years ago

Xperia Z shows up on O2 Germany with LTE support

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We're still waiting for hard facts on pricing and release date for the newly announced Sony Xperia Z, but at least one carrier in Germany, O2, is committing to carrying it. The handset has shown up on the O2 Germany website with an expected release window of "February," but no specific timing other than that is available at this time. There's also no pricing, and your only option is to make a reservation price-unseen.

One interesting thing to note is that as one of Germany's LTE carriers, its version of the Xperia Z will have LTE support on-board, provided you're willing to pay the extra tariff to have the faster data speeds. Extra connectivity options aside, this is looking like the same device we've seen before, in the same black and white color options. Eager Germans among us can head to the source link and reserve one, again price-unseen, if you know that the Xperia Z is the device for you.

Source: O2 Germany; Thanks, Dhatam!

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2 years ago

Official Nexus 4 wireless charging orb appears at Norwegian retailer, Feb. release slated

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With the announcement of any official Nexus accessory comes the certainty of months of speculation as to if, when and where it'll eventually be released. So was the case with the Nexus 4's official Qi-based wireless charging station, first shown on launch day back in November, and increasingly elusive since that time.

Today the official orb-shaped charger has shown up for pre-order on Norwegian retailer Dustin Home, priced at 739 kr (around $114 U.S.) That might sound like a lot of cash for a charging orb, but we suspect that won't be indicative of U.S. pricing when it officially arrives in the States. (It's also worth remembering this price will include Norwegian VAT at 25%.)

Dustin Home has an estimated shipping date of Feb. 12, so you'll be waiting a while if you decide to get your order in early. There are cheaper alternatives available, as the Nexus 4 will work quite happily with any Qi-compatible charging mat. But if you're holding out for something a little more stylish, the mid-February shipping date suggests that wider orb availability may be upon us sooner rather than later.

If you're interested in using wireless charging on your Nexus 4, have you already picked up a mat, or are you holding out for the official charging orb? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Dustin Home; via: Reddit

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