Headlines

2 years ago

LG Optimus Vu sighted wearing Verizon branding

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You may not have heard of the Optimus Vu, LG's answer to the Samsung Galaxy Note. The Vu is a 4:3 aspect ratio, 5-inch phone with pen input, released in South Korea earlier this year running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and it's due for an ICS update any day now. It's also yet to appear at all outside of Korea, so it's somewhat surprising to see it emerge today, apparently sporting a big Verizon Wireless logo atop its squarish XGA display.

The image above, and a few more, have been published by ​Android Police​, and by all accounts they appear to show a Verizon Optimus Vu (or LG VS950) running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, with Big Red's logo up top, and its 4G LTE branding around the back.

First announced at MWC in February, the Vu hasn't made too much of a splash on the smartphone world, so it's a little puzzling to see it as a candidate to appear on Verizon's network now. We should also point out that just because one prototype unit exists, it doesn't necessarily follow that the Vu will actually launch on Verizon. We've been through that before (hey there, HTC Merge).

So we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, you can find out all about the Optimus Vu in our hands-on non-unboxing unboxing of the Korean version.

Source: Android Police; via: The Verge

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2 years ago

Sprint HTC EVO 3D and EVO Design 4G to get ICS by 'early August'

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Good news, Sprint HTC EVO 3D and EVO Design 4G owners, your long-awaited Android 4.0 update will soon be arriving. The carrier posted an update on its community site today, announcing that Ice Cream Sandwich will be on both phones by "early August."

In the meantime, Sprint has published a changelog detailing some of the improvements EVO owners can look forward to with the upgrade to Android 4.0. It's mostly the standard ICS stuff we're already familiar with on other devices --

  • A refined, evolved user interface that is simple, beautiful and useful
  • Face Unlock: use state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to unlock your phone with a smile
  • Redesigned camera app which introduces Scenes like Panorama, and Effects such as Vignette, Depth of Field, Vintage and Posterize
  • Web browser now lets you sync Google Chrome™ bookmarks, request full desktop versions of sites, see your open tabs in a new layout
  • People: browse friends, family and coworkers, see their photos in high-resolution and check their latest status updates from Google+
  • Improved keyboard with incredibly accurate typing, an inline spell checker and improved copy and paste support
  • Redesigned Gmail™ app that now lets you swipe between conversations to catch up quickly and search for emails even without a data connection
  • Google+ integration that lets you hangout and video chat with up to 10 friends using your front-facing camera

Though not explicitly stated, we'd expect this update to bump the EVOs up to HTC Sense 3.6 at the same time, since that's what's happened with similar devices like the Sensation.

The announcement follows the availability of ICS for the EVO 3D and HTC Raider, the Canadian equivalent of the EVO Design, a couple of weeks ago on Rogers. Sprint says to stay tuned for full dates, and we'll have more details on these updates just as soon as they're announced.

Source: Sprint Community

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2 years ago

Sony launches Xperia NXT series in the U.S., still running Gingerbread for now

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As we suspected last week, when phones started to appear in retailer listings, Sony's Xperia NXT series has launched in the United States. The manufacturer sends word today that its Xperia S, P and U handsets, available in Europe for a few months now, are now available stateside, unlocked and SIM-free. But before you reach for your wallet, a couple of caveats -- first, although these phones are unlocked, they'll only work on AT&T 3G/4G within the U.S., and they're all running Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box. Sony's quick to add that all three are upgradable to ICS, but we're already well into the age of Jelly Bean, and if you're shelling out the full retail price for a phone, you'd rightly be disappointed to find an 18-month-old OS loaded on there.

The Xperia S is Sony's flagship for the first half of the year, with a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S3 CPU, 1GB RAM, a 720p "Realiy Display" screen, a 12MP rear camera and 32GB of internal storage. The Xperia P is the mid-range offering, with a 1GHz ST-Ericsson dual-core chip, a qHD display, an 8MP shooter and an aluminum shell. And the Xperia U is the tiny entry-level model, sporting a WVGA screen, a 5MP shooter and interchangeable plastic bottoms.

To Sony's credit, all three are well-built devices with some decent hardware inside, and in our reviews of the Xperia S, P and U, we praised Sony's build quality and hardware. But in a market accustomed to buying phones directly from carriers at subsidized prices, we think they're going to struggle to sell many of these. And the price point certainly won't help. Here's what you can expect to pay for the NXT series phones in the U.S. --

  • Xperia S – MSRP $559.99, unlocked, in black or white
  • Xperia P – MSRP $479.99, unlocked, in silver, red or black
  • Xperia U – MSRP $299.99, unlocked, in black or white

In a world where the Galaxy Nexus sells for $350, and the AT&T One X is yours for $549 off-contract, it's difficult to recommend Sony's Gingerbread-based offerings at these price points. We'd much rather see the faster, more attractive, ICS-toting Xperia GX land on Western shores, instead. In any case, you can find Sony's presser after the break.

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2 years ago

HTC One V software update brings with it compatibility with the Media Link HD

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Owners of the HTC One V may well soon receive a notification to update their devices software. The update to version 2.08.401.2 weighs in at 46.77MB, and brings with it in particular one rather tasty new feature. 

Support is included within for the HTC Media Link HD, HTC's wireless media streaming device. Not too shabby, and an excellent feature for the entry-level, yet handsome and feature packed One V. The usual caveats apply, in that if you bought a carrier unlocked version, you're most likely going to see this one first. Anyone with a carrier locked One V may have to wait a little while longer. 

To check if it's ready for you, head into your settings menu, then hit About>Software Updates>Check Now. And, if this now whets your appetite for the Media Link HD, be sure to check out our review

via Clove Technology

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2 years ago

Pick up the Sony Xperia P from Three UK today

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If you have been holding out to pick up the Sony Xperia P in the UK then today is your lucky day. The device is now available to order online with Three and will in in stores tomorrow.

You can pick up the Xperia P for free with a £27 per month, two-year contract and also on pay-as-you-go for just £289.99 which is reasonable enough considering the hardware.

We recently reviewed the handset and it performed very well. The only real downside was the fact it is shipping running Gingerbread. But fear not, as the Xperia P will get an update to Android 4.0, most likely to be next month.

If you're after a decent, mid sized, well specced Android device then you could do a lot worse than the Xperia P. You can catch the full press release from Three after the break.

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2 years ago

Jelly Bean ported to the HTC HD2

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The HTC HD2, the Swiss Army Knife of smartphones, now has a Jelly Bean port to play with. There's a list of things like the camera and video playback not working, so it's no daily driver just yet but the core functions -- data, Wifi, Bluetooth, and calls do work. Given the huge global developer support the HD2 has, we wouldn't be surprised if everything gets working in short order. Who needs Tango when you can have Jelly Bean?

Source: XDA-Developers. Thanks, Chris G.!

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2 years ago

HTC Desire C review

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HTC proves budget doesn't mean last generation software, with the £150 Desire C carrying Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4.0

When buying a smartphone on a budget, compromises often need to be made, usually with screen size, and quality, overall horsepower. But sadly, too often the user experience also suffers. However much you're spending on an Android phone, no-one wants to come away with a device running year-old software or a clunky manufacturer skin.

Enter HTC -- we've all seen the One series, the mammoth One X, the superb middle ground in the One S, and the entry offering in the One V. But there's now a younger sibling, the HTC Desire C. While it may be small, not to mention less spec-filled than many AC readers would be looking for, it offers up something that too many devices launched throughout the first half of 2012 have lacked -- Android 4.0. Not just that, the Desire C also brings HTC Sense 4.0 with it too -- and all for just £150. Sounds great, right? Find out how the Desire C measures up after the break.

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2 years ago

Building AOSP Jelly Bean for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus - a tutorial [from the forums]

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We've seen the source code for Android 4.1.1 (affectionately known as Jelly Bean) drop from Google, and plenty of us were excited to see the Verizon Galaxy Nexus binaries were back online and available. Whether you're a Verizon subscriber or not, as an Android fan it's OK to get warm and fuzzy inside seeing more devices opened up for users. Nice work to all involved for getting the licensing worked out once again.

But seeing it there is only the first step. For many of us, half the fun of having a phone like the LTE GNex is building code and hacking the living crap out of it. If this sounds like you, there's a special treat waiting in the Verizon Galaxy Nexus forums -- the best damn AOSP building tutorial you'll ever see. I've written a few how-tos in my time, so I can say, with no remorse, that you won't find a more thorough, easier to understand, well-thought tutorial anywhere. Dmmarck is not just an AC forums moderator, he's a total nerd, and not afraid to let it shine. He walks you through setting up your machine, from the ground up, and in the end you'll have the satisfaction of flashing a build of Jelly Bean that you made yourself. It's the pinnacle for any Android geek with a Verizon Galaxy Nexus. The icing on this cake? Dylan is there, in the forums, all day every day, to answer your questions and walk you through when you get stuck. When doing this sort of thing for the first time, that's the key.

If you've got the hankering to do some Android building for your LTE GNex, and looking for a great place to start, you've found it. Hit the link, and be sure to give dmmarck a big thanks for his hard work!

[GUIDE][Ubuntu] Compiling Android from Source

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2 years ago

TELUS HTC Desire HD update to Android 4.0 cancelled, down to 'poor device performance during testing'

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TELUS has been pretty good as far as information surrounding their devices update schedule to Ice Cream Sandwich. There's another update now doing the rounds, and sadly it brings bad news for owners of the HTC Desire HD. The update for the Desire HD has been cancelled "due to poor device performance during testing." 

While it's sure to be a bitter blow to owners of the device eagerly awaiting their turn to upgrade, if performance is an issue then it's the right decision to make. An update isn't worth waiting on, let alone accepting, if it doesn't make for a good user experience. 

Additional Android devices featured on the latest documentation still shows August for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 with the 10.1 also slipping to August after we'd previously seen late July for the tablet. Also, there's prospective August 7 in market date for the LG Optimus LTE

Source: TELUS via Mobilesyrup

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2 years ago

Apple demands retailers remove Galaxy Nexus and Galaxy Tab 10.1 from shelves

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Apple has sent letters to U.S. retailers offering Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet and Galaxy Nexus phone, warning them not to sell the devices. Following a patent dispute earlier in the month, Apple obtained preliminary injunctions preventing the Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus from imported into, or sold within the United States. In the case of the Nexus, however, sales are set to continue after the ban was delayed on appeal, and that device looks set to continue shipping from the Google Play Store soon.

In its letter, quoted on FOSS Patents, Apple demands that retailers refrain from "importing, offering to sell, or selling [the devices] within the United States," saying the injunctions apply "not only to the named Samsung entities, but also to anyone 'acting in concert' with them." It goes on -- "Apple thus believes that the order extends to you."

Whether Apple is legally in the right remains to be seen, (and that's a debate for folks smarter than us). But the attempted strong-arming of retailers shows just how badly the iPhone maker wants to prevent consumers from being able to buy these competing (and, they would argue, infringing) products. People close to the matter at Best Buy and Wal-Mart tell us that they've been complying with the order regardless of Apple's aggression. One such source told us, "We had planned to remove the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from the shelves the evening the news [of the injunction] broke, and we received word from our district manager to go forward with the plan immediately." Despite this, some U.S. retailers are​ still offering the devices for sale, and that's what seems to have provoked this response from Cupertino.

A statement released by Samsung condemned Apple's actions, saying "Apple’s menacing letters greatly overreach, incorrectly claiming that third-party retailers are subject to the prohibitions of the preliminary injunction, which they clearly are not."

Source: FOSS Patents; via: The Verge

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III unlocked GSM model may be coming to Best Buy

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From the "stranger things have happened" files, there's a couple pictures of a supposed Best Buy computer screen showing order details for the Samsung Galaxy S III -- with the same model designation as the unlocked international version. According to the screens, Best Buy is making shelf space for the Pebble Blu i9300, which is the same model number as the version sold internationally, and the screen notes it is an unlocked GSM version. Of course, the quantity is at zero with none on order, so we're not 100-percent sure what it is we're looking at. We've put some feelers out and have come to find that Best Buy has sold GSM unlocked Samsung Galaxy S II phones in major markets and online, with the same i9100 tag as the ones sold elsewhere in the world. As we find out more, we'll forward it along. In the meantime, hit the Galaxy S III forums to see the original post and join in the discussion.

Thanks, razortaz18!

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2 years ago

HTC One X now available on TELUS

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After a short teaser period, TELUS has put the HTC One X on sale. Canadians can now pick up the device for $129.99 on a three-year contract and a $50 plan, or $629.99 with no strings attached. Here's a quick reminder of the specs:

  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor with 1 GB of DDR2 RAM
  • 4.7-inch 720 x 1280 display
  • 8 MP camera with 1080p video recording and LED flash
  • 16 GB internal storage (no microSD memory card slot)
  • Beats Audio
  • 1800 mAh battery (non-removable)

Rogers had a few months of exclusivity with the device in Canada, so maybe we'll see a version pop up on Bell too. The little regional guys, WIND and Mobilicity, haven't had much from HTC in awhile - the HTC Amaze 4G is the latest HTC Android phone either one is offering. 

The HTC One X can be ordered from TELUS here, but be sure to check out our review before taking the dive. Any Canadians particularly eager to snag one of these that hasn't already? Any preferences between Rogers or TELUS?

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2 years ago

Android 4.0.4 now available for the Samsung Galaxy Note on TELUS, Bell and Rogers

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The wait for Android 4.0 on Canadian Galaxy Note's (Android 4.0.4 to be precise) is now over for the most part. Samsung issued a press release yesterday, letting folks know rollout would start today and low and behold, they were right. TELUS and Bell customers are now getting the update pushed to their devices via OTA and if OTA isn't really your thing, the update is also available for download via Kies. On Rogers? Shout out in the comments if you see it pop up on a Rogers device, because we've not heard word of it landing on those as of yet.

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2 years ago

Q2 Nielsen numbers show Samsung, HTC jockeying for Android dominance

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Nielsen released its mobile subscriber data for Q2 2012 today, and it shows a tight race between Samsung and HTC for the title of top Android manufacturer. Among total Android users, 17 percent own a Samsung device, while 14 percent have an HTC device. Motorola claims 11 percent of the Android market share, coming in a close third.

Among all U.S. mobile subscribers, 54.9 percent now own a smartphone, with 51.8 percent of those subscribers owning an Android device, compared to iOS's 34.3 percent market share. Two out of three new mobile subscribers in Q2 opted for a smartphone, with 54.6 percent of those choosing an Android device, topping the 36.3 percent that chose an iPhone.

Source:  Nielsen

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2 years ago

Motorola Atrix HD hands-on and initial review

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It's been a while since I got a chance to review a Motorola phone, and I think the Atrix HD is going to be a great way to reacquaint myself. The moment you put it in your hands, you remember just how well Motorola builds their phones. Everything feels solid, looks good, and this puppy is Fast (with the capital F). 

Blur has been redesigned to go with Ice Cream Sandwich, and my first impression is that they've really come a long way with it. This Blur is not something i would hate to use, and I've already found something I wish my own phone could do -- gestures to open a quick-view panel for things like unread messages, favorite contacts, or your inbox. Swipe up from the home screen icon and you're presented with a handy pop-up with pertinent information. Well done Motorola.

Of course, it takes more than an hour to determine everything we like, and don't like about a phone. We like to share our first impressions (were we haven't been jaded or enamored by anything just yet) and we know a lot of you guys and girls are itching for some info about this one. 

Hit the break to see a short video and a couple pictures, and fill the forums with questions you need answered in our full review!

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