It has been one heck of a summer for Samsung, with both good press (Olympic sponsorship) and bad press (ongoing litigation with Apple) fueling sales of its biggest device to date, the Galaxy S3. Since it went on sale just a few short months ago, the GS3 has been flying off the shelves, with nearly 10 million sold to date.
Late to the party is Verizon, the last of the big carriers to release its Galaxy S3 into the wild. So how does it stack up to the rest of Big Red's cache, and more importantly, how does Verizon's flavor compete with the rest of Samsung's flagship line?
HTC's flagship One X may be set to receive a minor specification bump before the end of 2012, according to reports from Stuff. The re-vamped model is known only by its codename "HTC Endeavor C2" -- note that the original One X was "Endeavor". It'll allegedly ship with a souped-up 1.7GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU, along with an "improved" battery, new color options and urBeats earphones included in the box. Stuff also claims that the new "Endeavor C2" will be compatible with all existing One X accessories, which to us implies that the chassis design will remain identical.
Essentially, the C2 could be to the One X what the Sensation XE was to the original Sensation last year -- the same design, with slightly upgraded internals. The news also converges nicely with rumors we've heard from T-Mobile USA, suggesting an "HTC One X+" may be arriving on that network later in the year.
Some software enhancements are reported too, including ClearVoice tech for improved voice call quality, in addition to "HTC Watch 2," a new version of the HTC movie streaming service. Though not confirmed in today's leak, we suspect Jelly Bean and HTC Sense 4.1 may also be on the cards, depending on the timing of the eventual release.
Speaking of which, the Endeavor C2 is said to be slated for a UK release around Oct. 1, with on-contract prices reportedly around £5 more per month than the original One X. HTC isn't expected to have a big showing at this year's IFA event, but if this release date turns out to be accurate, it's possible we might see an official announcement sooner rather than later.
Samsung's flexible AMOLED displays, long demonstrated to slack-jawed journos at trade shows, could be about to find its place in an upcoming smartphone, if reports from South Korea are accurate. In a recent article on the latest AMOLED display innovations, the Korea IT Times reports that the Galaxy Note 2, due to be unveiled in Berlin on Aug. 29, will utilize the bendy display tech. In addition, Samsung's new, thinner Unbreakable Plane (UBP) tech is also said to be used in the Note 2, freeing up space for extra battery capacity. That's interesting given that just a month ago the Korean press was reporting that UBP was off the table for the Note 2.
These rumors, combined with recent reports of RGB AMOLED displays reaching pixel densities of 350ppi, make for encouraging reading, suggesting that Samsung's upcoming stylus-toting smartphone may usher in a host new display technologies. In particular, the reported use of flexible AMOLED might suggest some sort of curved device encompassing a curved screen. Samsung has dabbled with curved glass in its phones before (in the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus, to name a couple), so it's possible the Note 2 might develop these ideas further by curving the AMOLED display beneath. (It should go without saying that the actual phone itself won't bend.)
We still know almost nothing about the Galaxy Note 2, but rumored specs suggest it'll sport a 5.5-inch, 16:9 display, up from the 5.3 inches of the original Note. Whatever form it takes, we'll be live from Berlin on the 29th to bring you full coverage of the next Galaxy Note, so keep it locked to AC.
Since Sony's social-focused Xperia Miro was announced almost two months ago it's remained pretty elusive. However, today it looks like a UK release may be close at hand, with the emergence of a holding page for the phone over at independent retailer the Carphone Warehouse.
Alongside the usual specs and pre-registration stuff, the page points to a tentative release date later this month -- that'd give the phone some time to gain traction before Sony shows off its new hotness at IFA in a few weeks. There's no pricing or network info just yet, but pre-order pages at other retailers suggest it'll go for between £180 and £210 off-contract.
Announced after a Facebook promotion earlier this year, the Xperia Miro sports Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on a 3.5-inch screen with a 5MP camera and an 800MHz CPU running the show. Design-wise, it's as if someone took a rolling pin to the Xperia Tipo -- the Miro sports the same design in a thinner chassis, spread over a larger surface area.
With phones like the Xperia Tipo and Miro, Sony certainly has all its bases covered at the low end. We'll be hoping for more bleeding-edge high-end stuff at the company's Aug. 29 IFA press conference.
MetroPCS has become the first operator to enable voice over LTE (VoLTE) service, with the LG Connect 4G in and around Dallas, Texas being the first handset to support it. MetroPCS was also the first carrier in the U.S. to offer LTE data services, ahead of the big names like Verizon and AT&T.
Granted, the footprint is tiny and the user base is small, but it's still no easy feat to present a new(ish) technology to an established network. Right now, the LG Connect 4G is the only capable device, but Metro says that will change in "the coming weeks" along with more locations.
What should users expect? According to Metro, you'll notice clearer calls when in an LTE service area. Since these toys we have are phones, clearer calls is always a good thing. Nice work MetroPCS.
The forthcoming Sony LT30p continues to pose for the camera ahead of its expected launch at IFA 2012, in Berlin, later this month. This time around, the folks at Nixanbal have got their hands on one and proceeded to take some pretty good looking shots of the device. By now we're starting to get a pretty good picture of at least what the final units will look like.
Just in case you've missed any of the leaked info thus far, the LT30p 'Mint' is expected to be known as the Xperia T come launch. Leaked specs include a 720p display, Snapdragon S4 CPU, 13MP rear camera and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with on screen buttons. It bears a passing resemblance to 2011's Xperia Arc with its curved rear panel too.
We know Sony will be showing off their new wares in Berlin, starting with their press conference on Aug 29. Android Central will be on the ground in Germany right through, so keep it locked to the site for all the best from Berlin.
Update: Nothing to see here, folks -- turns Moto's just "engaging with Facebook fans." We'll have to wait awhile longer for our RAZR HD fix. (thanks @ChloeAlbanesius)
Original: Today Motorola's taken to Facebook to tease what seems to be an upcoming smartphone, and it's promising an "big reveal" before the end of the week.
Motorola says, "We'll give a clue each day all week and make the big reveal on Friday." The first clue states that the phone has "the power of 4G LTE," which doesn't give too much away. Of course, it's possible that Moto's just engaging in Facebook banter with its fans, but to us this bears the hallmark of pre-release hype.
We've seen plenty of (Droid) RAZR HD leakage over the past month or so. The device has shown up at the FCC, as well as in a series of leaked images, some of which bear Verizon's 4G LTE branding. From what we can tell, the RAZR HD looks like a cross between the Atrix HD and last year's RAZR MAXX, with the former's 720p display and on-screen buttons, and the latter's chassis style and kevlar back panel.
We'll be watching closely later this week for the eventual reveal. Moto fans, are you hoping for a RAZR successor on Verizon this fall? Let us know down in the comments.
We've known for some time that the Motorola Droid 4 is on track to receive an update to Android 4.0 before the end of the third quarter. Now it looks like the long-awaited ICS upgrade could be close at hand, with the news that Motorola is preparing a soak task for the LTE-powered QWERTY slider.
According to posts on the Android Central forums, emails are going out to Droid 4 owners on the Motorola Feedback Network asking them to participate in the testing of a "new software release." Though ICS isn't mentioned by name, we'd be surprised if Moto were going to such trouble for another Gingerbread-based firmware revision. There's also no indication of when the soak test will begin, but based on earlier tests, we're probably looking at weeks, rather than months, until the public release is ready.
HTC has announced its unaudited July 2012 revenues, following the company's difficult second quarter. Last month HTC's unaudited consolidate revenues were NT$25 billion (~$835 million), down 45 percent from July 2011, and down some NT$5 billion (~$168 million) from the company's reported May revenues.
The fall in revenues can in part be attributed to the disruption in sales caused by the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III (S3). That phone arrived in the U.S. in July across all major carriers following a strong European launch.
Financially speaking, 2012 has been a difficult year for HTC. The company experienced a 35% year-on-year fall in revenues in Q1, followed by a 57.8 percent drop in Q2 due to weaker than expected sales of its HTC One series.
The folks at SonicElectronix have just built my dream car. Not because it's a big gas-guzzling Dodge RAM, or because it has black leather interior. Those are both great things, but they took the double-din head unit out and replaced it with a compartment to hold a Google Nexus 7 tablet to drive it over the edge for me.
Using an Audison bit one signal processor to drive the sound to the speakers, they have turned what many feel is the best tablet for the money into an information and entertainment device in the Dodge's ample dash. Of course you can use Google Navigation (though a Wifi connection from your phone or a hotspot), but more importantly you can use any of the numerous streaming services provided through the Play Store. While driving alone, I could jam to some Google Music, or while my wife is riding with me, she could watch a movie on Netflix. Or I could let her drive, grab a Bluetooth controller, and play Riptide GP.
Of course we've seen tablets built into cars and trucks before, but with Google's 7-inch offering in the Nexus 7, the project has a completely built-in OEM look and feel. Check out the video, then dream with me.
We told you over the weekend about Football's Sense 4.1-based ROM for the HTC One X. Today, we're taking it for a quick spin. And, as expected, it's still got the look and feel of the HTC One X. The homescreens are the same. The app drawer is the same. The settings menus look and feel the same. So HTC hasn't reinvented the wheel here, but neither did we expect them to.
You'll want to read through the maXimus ROM changelog for all the goodies. But for our purposes, there are a couple to focus on. One is the updated functionality of the recent apps button. Just like in the update we've seen for the HTC One S and the AT&T One X, it can now serve as a menu button, and it's still entirely optional.
The other big change is the addition of Quick Settings in a tab in the notification bar. And it couldn't have come too soon. That feature has been sorely missed ever we made the leap from Sense 3 to Sense 4. You'd think that it would have made the transition, but things happen. One way or the other, we'd look for it to hit the HTC One line of phones at some point. Check out our video after the break.
If you haven't yet made the jump to the "red hot" Android device of the moment (hint, hint, it's SSSuper…) then you might want set your calendars and come back here tomorrow at 11am EST sharp when we'll present you with an absolutely great offer with the lowest price available online for this phone that comes in multiple flavors on the big red network.
This offer is presented by the Android Central Phone Store in association with Best Buy Mobile Solutions and will be limited to the first 100 people who place their order.
The additional bonus is that thanks to Best Buy Mobile's new "Buy it today, get it today." capability you will not only be able to buy it online quickly and at a super price but even (in most instances) be able to pick it up on the very same day!
So set your watches and get ready for 11am EST tomorrow …
If you're on the fence about whether to drop your hard-earned currency on a new Galaxy smartphone, Samsung Mobile USA is hoping to sweeten the deal with a option to take your old phone off your hands. On its official Facebook page, the manufacturer offers customers picking up a Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3 or Galaxy Note the option to exchange your aging handset for up to $300 in cold, hard cash.
If you've just upgraded to a Note, S2 or S3, you can head to the Samsung Facebook page linked below and enter the details of your old phone, along with proof of purchase for your new one. You'll then be given a quote for your old handset, which is valid if you send your phone off to Samsung within 30 days.
As is always the case with buyback schemes like this, you're unlikely to make back a huge amount of money on a year-old handset, and even a newer devices like the iPhone 4S will only get you around $250 back. Nevertheless, if your old phone is just sitting around collecting dust, and you don't want to deal with the possible minefield of selling on eBay, Samsung's new upgrade program might be worth a look.
It looks like the Xperia P will be the next Sony handset in line for an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Sony Mobile India has taken to its official Facebook page to announce that ICS will start hitting Xperia P handsets from the week of Aug. 19-25. It's unclear whether this release window applies to India alone, but even if it does, other territories shouldn't expect too much of a delay given Sony's track record.
As we mentioned in our review of the Xperia P, it's a decent handset that was held back by the inclusion of Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box. With the much-needed bump up to ICS, the Xperia P will represent better value for money in an increasingly competitive mid-range smartphone market.
The news also bodes well for owners of the Xperia U and Xperia Sola, as these handsets are powered by the same internal hardware and run an almost identical ROM.
Latest unconfirmed reports suggest Galaxy S3 also well on its way to Android 4.1, Note 2 currently running ICS
Samsung's Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note could be on track to be updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean before the end of the year, according to the latest online rumors. The reports come from Samsung fansite SamMobie, and though they're unconfirmed rumors at this point, the site has proved fairly accurate with this sort of thing in the past.
Samsung's flagship Galaxy S III (S3) is said to be well on its way towards Jelly Bean, with internal testing proving successful, and "public" builds apparently now being put through their paces in anticipation of a late Q3 or early Q4 launch. Meanwhile, last year's leading Samsung phones, the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note are apparently being tested on Android 4.1 too. It's reported that the manufacturer currently plans to update both to Jelly Bean, though the decision isn't yet set in stone. Assuming these updates happen, the site suggests a release before the end of the year.
Looking forwards, there's uncertainty as to which version of Android the Galaxy Note 2 will ship with. The Note 2, which will be unveiled at a Samsung Unpacked event in Berlin on Aug. 29, is said to be running Ice Cream Sandwich right now, and the site's sources didn't know whether the final shipping firmware would be based on Android 4.0 or 4.1. Assuming it ships with ICS, it's suggested a Jelly Bean update will ship in the fourth quarter also.
We're well within unconfirmed rumor territory here, but the dates posited here certainly sound realistic. It's no surprise to see the S3 and Note 2 first in line for Jelly Bean, but today's reports might provide some hope for S2 and original Note owners that Samsung hasn't forgotten about them.
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