Headlines

2 years ago

Live from Samsung Unpacked 2013 in New York City

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It's our liveblog of Samsung's Galaxy S4 launch event, live from NYC!

We're live the Radio City Music Hall in New York City for what is expected to be the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S4, easily the most anticipated Android phone since the Galaxy S3. Bigger? Better? Faster? More features? All likely talking points going into tonight's event.

The event officially kicks off at 7 p.m. EDT. That's 4 p.m. on the left coast, and 11 p.m. in the UK. Bookmark this page. Leave it open. E-mail it to your friends and family. 

And join us after the break for the one and only Android Central liveblog of Samsung's Galaxy S4 event. 

(And while you're waiting, be sure to swing by our Galaxy S4 forums.)

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2 years ago

LG Optimus G finally makes its way to the UK SIM-free

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Availability of the LG Optimus G may not be big news if you live in the U.S. or Japan, but the device is now making its way to the U.K. SIM-free for the first time. Falling in line with LG's previous announcement, the Optimus G is making its way to the U.K. with LTE on-board (800/900/1800/2100/2600Mhz) and is also pre-loaded with the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update. Other specs on the device seem to be the same as the U.S. -- Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

Expansys is quoting a price of £479.99 (incl. VAT) for the black model, and says that stock is expected in the next 5 days. Anyone in the U.K. still interested in picking one of these up as availability of the Optimus G Pro is on the horizon? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Expansys

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2 years ago

HTC One versus LG Nexus 4

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They're two of the hottest Android phones around right now, so how do the HTC One and the Nexus 4 stack up?

When Google released the LG-made Nexus 4 late last year, it went toe-to-toe with the leading hardware of the time at a fraction of the price. Now we've got our hands on the HTC One, one of the first big flagship phones of 2013, so how does the Nexus stand up against this latest round of hardware?

We've been using the Nexus 4 since launch, and though we've only had the HTC One for a little under a week, there are more than a few areas where it's clear HTC has pulled ahead. But these things are never as simple as comparing spec numbers, so head past the break and check out our comparison video to find out more. We've also got more words and pictures if you're into that sort of thing.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 'floating touch,' 'smart pause' features caught on video ahead of launch

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In just eleven hours time Samsung will be taking the wraps off the Galaxy S4 at its big presentation at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. In the meantime, we're seeing more leakage of the upcoming handset, including these two Chinese demos of the handset showing a couple of new features.

First up is 'smart pause,' which uses the front-facing camera to detect when you're looking away from a video, pausing it accordingly. And secondly there's 'floating touch,' a feature previously rumored for the S4, and one we've already seen on the Sony Xperia Sola. Like the S Pen's hovering capabilities on the Galaxy Note 2, this detects your finger at a distance, bringing up extra info like folder previews in the gallery app.

So it seems two of the rumored Galaxy S4 features may indeed be headed our way later today. Check out the "smart pause" demo above. We've got the "floating touch" video embedded after the break.

Stay tuned to AC for full coverage of the day's events, live from New York.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 forums

Source: istevecom; via @Mitridatex

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2 years ago

Latest Samsung Galaxy S4 leak has high-res pictures, spec details

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It's less than 24 hours until we hear everything there is to know about the Galaxy S4 at Samsung's Unpacked event in New York, but that isn't a reason to stop the leakage. The same dual-SIM variant that leaked out a few days ago is back, with plenty of details and some very clear high-res pictures.

The specs, according to the Chinese site it168 (and translated by Engadget Chinese):

  • 8-core Exynos 5410 at 1.8GHz
  • PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU
  • 4.99-inch 1080p screen
  • 7.7mm thick, 138 grams
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB ROM
  • microSD slot
  • 2600mAh battery 

The unit is also said to have a cross-hatch textured plastic back cover, that has already cracked on this particular unit. We can't read too much into that, as the plastic on previous Galaxy S models has been pretty durable. In addition, the eye-tracking software and hover-selection feature is said to be included.

Is this what we'll see tomorrow evening? We have no idea, but doubt there would be too many complaints if it were the case. Hit the break for a picture of the back of the phone.

Source: it168; via Engadget

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2 years ago

HTC Sense 5's BlinkFeed now features Mobile Nations news

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If you're lucky enough to have an HTC One in your hands, or are grooving along with Sense 5 on your Droid DNA, BlinkFeed just got a little better now that Mobile Nations sites are included feeds. Fire it up, and look under Technology & Science > Smartphone, and you'll see our sister site WP Central, and Android Central there to deliver the news straight to your home screen. 

Even though very few people have actually used it, we know plenty of folks aren't feeling the whole BlinkFeed thing. But for anyone using it now, or who will use it soon, can now get a little more Lloyd in their life. 

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2 years ago

Cricket launches Engage LT for $199 contract-free

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Cricket announced today that its latest Muve Music phone, the Engage LT, is available today for $199.99 without a contract. The device is clearly lower-end, which makes sense when considering the price and customers Cricket is marketing towards. The Engage LT has a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 4-inch WVGA (480x800) display and 1900mAh battery. The device is running Android 4.0 and looks to have a generally stock interface. The Engage LT is also a Muve Music device, which means that users can have access to unlimited music as part of their phone plan.

Cricket's plans start at $50 for unlimited talk, text and 1GB of full-speed data. $60 gets you 2.5GB and $70 5GB of full-speed data if you're willing to pay a bit more. The plans are of course no-contract and the device is unsubsidized at $199. These phones may not appeal to the power users among us, but still hit a more price-conscious market segment that want or need a cheaper smart phone.

Source: Cricket; (2)

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2 years ago

ASUS Padfone 2 now available on Vodafone in the UK, free on new £33 per month contract

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Back in Barcelona alongside the Padfone Infinity announcement, we also learned that its predecessor, the Padfone 2, would finally be launching on UK shores. The phone/tablet combination officially launched in the UK on March 1, and now it has become available subsidized on a new 2-year contract at Carphone Warehouse. 

Best of all, the Padfone 2 can be had for free on contracts from £33 per month. All deals are being offered on the Vodafone network, but considering what you get hardware wise it's not a particularly bad deal. Despite being somewhat overshadowed by the forthcoming Padfone Infinity, the Padfone 2 is no slouch. With a Snapdragon S4 Pro, 2GB of RAM and a Super IPS+ HD display, it still packs some impressive hardware specs. And, since the tablet portion is also included, it's pretty decent value for money too. 

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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2 years ago

SIM free Sony Xperia Z in purple available in the UK from early April

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Purple might not be the first color choice you think of when choosing a new smartphone, but Sony's Xperia Z actually looks pretty hot in that color. In the UK, carrier O2 managed to snag themselves the early exclusive on the purple versions, but that looks set to end pretty soon. 

Retailer, Clove Technology, has today announced that they will begin to sell the purple Xperia Z, completely carrier unlocked and SIM free beginning in early April. Orders for the phone can be placed now ahead of their shipping date next month. Pricing is the same as the black and white versions, at £498. Clove also says that the Xperia Z has proved pretty popular so far, with the other colors currently having sold out with more stock becoming available at the end of March. 

More: Sony Xperia Z Review

Source: Clove

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2 years ago

Motorola announces RAZR D1 and D3 for Brazil

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Motorola is announcing two new affordable additions to the RAZR line for Brazil -- the RAZR D1 and RAZR D3. Brazil has often received one-off designs and SKUs of devices to address its particular market segment, and that seems to be what's happening here again with these new RAZR devices. Both devices look very similar to that of the RAZR M, but hit two different markets and price points. The D1 is the lower-end of the two, with a 3.5-inch display, 1GB of RAM, 1GHz processor, 1785mAh battery and 4GB (plus SDcard) of storage. The D3 sports the same RAM and storage, but bumps up to a 4-inch display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 2000mAh battery.

An interesting thing to note about this announcement is that Motorola is launching both devices with Android 4.1 on board, as well as "a guaranteed upgrade to the next Android version". It seems Motorola since being acquired by Google is continuing its push of software updates as a feature of its devices, and we'd tend to agree that it is.

The D1 will hit stores today in single- and dual-SIM variants at R$549 (about $280 USD), and the D3 will follow in "several weeks" at R$799 (about $408 USD). While the D1 is clearly aimed at lower-end markets, the D3 could be an acceptable prepaid phone in places like Europe and the U.S. in the future. But for now, you'll have to be in Brazil to get your hands on one.

Source: Motorola

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2 years ago

HTC One Developer Edition announced with unlocked bootloader and SIM slot

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As rumors swirl that the HTC One may or may not be delayed, the company announced today that it will make a Developer Edition of the device available as well. Following up on HTC's continued commitment to its HTCdev program, the Developer Edition handset will have identical hardware to those sold by carriers and retailers, but will have both its SIM slot and bootloader completely unlocked out of the box. Regarding that SIM slot, HTC's announcement post reiterates that the radio frequencies of this device will be those most often used in the U.S.:

  • HSPA/WCDMA: 850/1900/2100 MHz
  • GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • LTE: 700/850/AWS/1900 MHz (US)

This device is a big deal for those who want to use the HTC One for android application and software development, giving them easier access to the hardware. HTC says the Developer Edition One will be available in "limited quantities" in the U.S. as soon as the carrier models are released, and will have the expectedly high price tag of $649.

Source: HTC

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2 years ago

The HTC Sense 5 app drawer: Making simple complicated

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If there's one feature of HTC's new Sense 5 that's taken us extra time to get used to, it's the new app drawer. HTC's attempt to simplify things has, in fact, made them more complicated. That's partly due to the new home screen scheme, with BlinkFeed anchored to the far left at all times (even if you never use it). It's also partly due to the app drawer itself. 

That's not to say it's without some interesting new features. But they almost seem forced together in a way that makes sense once you're familiar with them. Good luck explaining all this to a first-time Android user, though.

We'll explain.

Join the discussion in the HTC One forums

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2 years ago

HTC Droid DNA gets a taste of Sense 5

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If you've got an HTC Droid DNA, and are feeling a bit left out seeing all this Sense 5 talk about the HTC One, you might want to take a good look at this one. Using a software dump from the HTC One, Sense 5 has been ported over to the DNA, and folks are saying good thing about it.

There are a few bugs (some camera stuff and MMS for Verizon users isn't working) but most of the features (including BlinkFeed) are up and running. In addition, the features you expect from any custom ROM, like proper root and busybox, are included and good to go in the latest version.

Of course you'll need to have a DNA that's rooted (or running a software version that can still be rooted) and unlocked with a custom recovery in place. This may be the only way you'll ever get to experience Sense 5 on the DNA (this is Verizon we're dealing with, after all), so it's definitely worth looking at. Hit the source links below for all the information you need.

Source: XDA-Developers; via: Android Central forums

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2 years ago

HTC responds to reported European HTC One delay

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UK retailer Clove Technology is reporting that the flagship HTC One's European launch has been held back to Mar. 29, two weeks later than Clove's expected date of Mar. 15. Though HTC has not publicly announced a specific release date for the phone in any territory, Clove insists it's been "officially informed by HTC UK."

We've reached out to HTC, which has provided us with this statement on HTC One availability --

"We will start fulfilling pre-orders by end March in certain markets and will roll out to more markets as we approach April."

That's almost exactly what we were told around the launch event in February, so it appears little has changed from the manufacturer's perspective.

So we'll have to wait and see when the HTC One eventually becomes available in Europe, but we imagine that wait shouldn't be a long one. O2 Germany, for example, is already shipping the HTC One on contract, so we wouldn't discount the possibility of devices showing up for sale elsewhere before the month's end.

Specific details on U.S. availability are still unavailable -- we suspect we'll be waiting on announcements from individual carriers.

Source: Clove

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2 years ago

British carrier, retailer remind us they'll sell the Galaxy S4

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In case you were wondering, yes, Three UK and Phones4U will sell the Samsung Galaxy S4 Next Galaxy handset. As was the case last year, carriers and retailers are hopping aboard the Galaxy hype train with pre-launch pages allowing customers to register interest.

EE is playing its cards a little closer to its chest by merely tweeting one of Samsung's promotional posts.

Honestly, though, we'd be amazed if the Galaxy S4 wasn't available across every major UK network and retailer on launch day. That's the way things tend to roll out with any major handset in the UK.

Sit tight. We'll know more about the Galaxy S4 and when it'll be launching around the world after Samsung's NYC event on Thursday evening.

Source: Three, EE, Phones4U

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