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1 year ago

HTC One VX hands on

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Perhaps the star of tonight’s AT&T Holiday preview here in New York is the One VX, the out-of-left-field entry from HTC that sits somewhere between the One V and T-Mobile’s One S. Like Phil said upon its unveiling a few days ago, this is a device in and of itself, and really brings the best of both worlds to AT&T’s LTE network. 

Spec wise, we’re following the new trend of high-end internals at low entry-level prices. The 4.5-inch Super LCD2 display is the same qHD resolution as the One S but the ever-so-slight bump in size makes a world of difference. It looks great too, and while it isn’t the mind-blowing 720p display on the One X+, it produces vivid color, excellent viewing angles, and admirable brightness. You won’t be disappointed here.

The Snapdragon S4 MSM 8390 is just a few clicks below the One S in terms of clock speed, but based on my short time with it tonight, it gets the job done. The One VX chugs along with nary a hiccup or stutter, and seems to be able to handle just about anything you throw at it. No, this isn’t the biggest and baddest processor/RAM combo you’ll find, but that doesn’t mean the VX doesn’t offer exceptional usability. The same can be said for the camera—its 5 megapixels are lower than the 8 on the One X and One S, but thanks to its ImageSense processor and advanced optics, we’re expecting exceptional photographs.

Physically, the VX really hits a sweet spot in terms of screen size and portability. It’s absolutely stunning, as we’ve come to expect from the One series. Slim and light, the VX looks quite similar to the One S with its rounded corners, super-slim profile, metal trim, and matte silver/white finish. It’s also the perfect balance between big and small- despite the 4.5-inch display, the VX is perfectly pocketable.

I do have some small gripes, like HTC’s decision to ship with Ice Cream Sandwich while the rest of the One line is queued up for its Jelly Bean upgrade. And don’t get me started on the name—HTC ruined a great thing with this choice, and completely screws up its super-clean One branding. Why not the V+? Or even the S-?

I’m on pins and needles to see what kind of pricetag AT&T slaps on the VX, as I think this phone has the potential to be huge at the right price point. Until we get a chance to put it through its paces, sit back, relax, and enjoy some hands-on after the break.

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1 year ago

First look at the HTC One X+ for AT&T

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Perhaps the most anticipated arrival on AT&T this holiday season is the follow up to the HTC One X, one of the best Android smartphones on the carrier (and any carrier, for that matter). The HTC One X+ is a modest yet attractive step up, complete with a beefed-up processor, a bigger battery, the next iteration of HTC’s Sense, and the buttery-smooth Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. What we’re seeing tonight here in New York is identical to the international version our resident Brit Alex Dobie got his hands on just two days ago,  save for AT&T LTE radios and branding. 

I’ve got to echo Alex’s sentiments—the screen is absolutely phenomenal, even if it isn’t any improvement over the already stunning HTC One X. Performance does indeed seem a bit snappier and more fluid with the over-clocked processor and new iteration of Android, and the camera is as impressive as ever. And physically, just like the original One X, the One X+ is one of the most striking, svelte, attractive devices available today.

I see where HTC is coming from with this release—with LG’s Optimus G and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 on the horizon, it needs to stay relevant enough to compete. I do wonder why HTC didn’t opt for 2 GB of RAM as its competitors have recently adopted. Despite the choice, the One X + is a nice stopgap between the original and HTC’s follow up, which will more than likely arrive early next year.

Some hands-on shots can be found after the break.

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1 year ago

Google says Motorola downsizing may be more expensive than anticipated

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Motorola has been undergoing significant "restructuring" for awhile, and Google recently said that even more than expected. Google increased the estimated cost of severance-related charges from $275 million to $300 million for the third quarter, and that another $40 million in facilities costs were possible. Google addressed these changes in a statements.

"Motorola has continued to refine its planned restructuring actions and now expects to broaden those actions to include additional geographic regions outside of the U.S. ... Motorola continues to evaluate its plans and further restructuring actions may occur, which may cause Google to incur additional restructuring charges, some of which may be significant."

Between the uphill battle of making Motorola profitable and the patent disputes that it has exposed Google to (nevermind defended them from), it's getting harder to see the $12.5 billion acquisition as a good idea. On the other hand, Motorola wasn't in particularly good shape when Google acquired it; one can only imagine how much longer Moto would have lasted on their own. 

What do you guys think: has Motorola still not had a chance to prove itself as a worthwhile investment to the Android ecosystem, or is it becoming too expensive for Google to reasonably keep around? Was the acquisition worth it for the patents alone, or are we likely to see some really excellent devices come out of Motorola with Google behind them? 

Via: Reuters

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1 year ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 launches on Vodafone UK

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Vodafone UK sends word that it's just launched the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung's latest 5.5-inch phone/tablet hybrid device. The device is available on Vodafone's "Red" price plan from £47 per month, which includes unlimited calls and texts, and 2GB of data. Other tariffs are available, although you'll pay an up-front fee for the phone if you go this route. For example, £33 per month will get you 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB, with a £150 up-front fee for the Note.

Currently, Voda's offering the Galaxy Note 2 in "marbel white" only -- there's no sign of the "titanium grey" version available from other vendors.

For more on the Galaxy Note 2, check out our hands-on coverage.  We'll publish our full review later today.

Source: Vodafone UK

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1 year ago

Sprint and AT&T getting the LG Optimus G

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LG today announced that Sprint and AT&T will carry the Optimus G, the 4.7-inch Android smartphone we saw announced last month. (See our hands-on from the launch in South Korea.)

AT&T will get the version of the Optimus G that sports an 8-megapixel camera. (Other regions are getting a 13MP shooter.) That makes a difference, because the 8MP camera is flush with the body of the phone, whereas the 13MP lens sticks out slightly. Sprint says it'll carry the 13-megapixel version. (See our pre-production Optimus G camera test.)

Both phones will run on their respective carriers' 4G LTE networks and sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 pro processor at 1.5 GHz. They've got 2 gigabytes of RAM and a 2100 mAh battery. AT&T's phone will have 32GB of storage, as will Sprint's.

No word on pricing or availability yet for either carrier.

We've got hands-on video and more pics after the break.

Source: AT&T, PR Newswire

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1 year ago

Pantech Element and Pantech Burst get Ice Cream Sandwich update

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Happy ICS day, Pantech Burst and Pantech Element, owners! The update to Android 4.0 for Pantech's smartphone and tablet are currently available through home page, or you can dig around in your on-device system settings to see if you can initiate the upgrade from there. So, what's new? 

  • Enhanced Home screen canvas switcher edit functionality(In the preview of home screen panels, users can change a main home screen panel).
  • Enhanced Multitasking and Notifications functionality.
  • Enhanced User Interface : Virtual buttons in System bar, contextual options in Action Bar.
  • Support for Face Unlock. (Burst only)
  • Improved text input and spell-checking (Android keyboard)
  • Control over Network data and Powerful web browsing
  • New! Self mode and Panorama capture mode in camera.
  • New! Time-Lapse recording function in video camera.

Anyone using either of these devices and itching to download? You can hit up Pantech's front page to get started. 

Thanks spudaj!

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1 year ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 initial photo and video samples

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We've been spending the past few days getting to know the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and we'll be publishing our full review soon. In the meantime, we've got a selection of photos and video from the phone's impressive 8-megapixel camera. Like the Galaxy S3, the Note 2 packs a rear camera with a BSI (backside illuminated) sensor and f/2.6 aperture. The camera software also shares many of the characteristics of the S3's, including rapid-capture capabilities and a HDR shooting mode. And it packs some impressive macro shooting capabilities, as you'll see in our samples after the break.

Click through for a gallery containing some of our sample images, along with some 1080p video footage.

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1 year ago

HTC One X+ headed to UK from Oct 22, priced £474, says retailer

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Hot on the heels of yesterday's HTC One X+ announcement, British retailer Clove Technology brings the first news of pricing and availability in the UK. Clove says it expects to begin stocking the refreshed version of the One X from Oct. 22, and is currently taking pre-orders for £474 inc. VAT (that's £395, or $630, ext. VAT). That's a lot of money, to be sure, but at least prices aren't advancing north of £500, as has been the case for devices like the Galaxy S3 earlier in the year.

As ever, pre-order prices are subject to change, but with the One X+ UK launch just a couple of weeks away, we feel fairly confident these numbers will be accurate.

Tempted by a One X+ at this price, or are you holding you holding out for a cut-price original One X? Shout out in the comments.

Source: Clove, More: Hands-on with the HTC One X+

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1 year ago

Galaxy Note 2 LTE coming to the UK on EE's 4G network

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EE (Everything Everywhere) will launch the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE on its network in the next couple of weeks, according to reports. UK tech blog Pocket-Lint has word that the international Galaxy Note 2 with LTE will arrive on EE from Oct. 15. As EE's 4G network has yet to launch, customers will first be required to sign up with one of EE's existing 3G network brands -- Orange or T-Mobile. Later, they'll have the option to switch to an EE 4G tariff, though pricing details and launch timeframes have yet to be announced.

The Galaxy Note 2 LTE will reportedly become available from Oct 15 on EE, joining the likes of the HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and iPhone 5, which are available now. We met with EE today for a quick demo of some already announced handsets, though they remained tight-lipped about the Note 2.

The Galaxy Note 2 and 4G LTE connectivity will be a tantalizing proposition for Android power users, but with EE's effective monopoly on 4G for the time being, it likely won't be cheap to get hold of the device and a matching service plan.

Source: Pocket-Lint

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1 year ago

Galaxy Note 2's Smart Rotation solves the ultimate first-world problem

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We've all been there before. You're reading something on your smartphone while laying down on a bed or sofa. You turn sideways, and the screen rotates. Suddenly, whatever you were reading is at 90 degrees to where it needs to be, and you're left trying to read at an awkward angle. Fortunately, we found a feature on the Galaxy Note 2 that seems to have been developed for this exact eventuality.

"Smart rotation" makes its debut on the Note 2, and like the Galaxy S3's Smart Stay, it uses a bit of front-facing camera trickery. When the phone rotates, the device uses the front-facer to work out what orientation your face is in and then match the orientation of the screen accordingly, based on the built-in sensor. That means even if you're reading at an angle, the Note 2 can recognize this and keep things the right way up. In our experience it functions pretty well, though the fact that it uses the front-facing camera means you need a little ambient light in order for it to work.

Smart Rotation is switched off by default on the Note 2, but can be enabled under Settings > Display. Perhaps not the most practical or necessary software feature ever conceived, but damned if it isn't cool.

If you're reading this article at a 90 degree angle, be sure to shout out in the comments.

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