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2 years ago

Some Sony Xperia Z1s getting first firmware update

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HSPA+ Xperia Z1 owners reporting small firmware version bump

The Sony Xperia Z1 has only been available for a few days, but it looks like the first firmware upgrade is already pushing out for some devices. Reports from XperiaBlog say the HSPA+-only Xperia Z1 in India is getting an update to firmware version 14.1.G.1.531 (from .518), though there don't seem to be any obvious changes in the new build. As such, we're guessing it's mostly bug fixes and minor tweaks — and we've noticed one or two software issues on our review unit that could use a fix.

We're not seeing the update on our LTE-capable Xperia Z1 just yet though, so it's likely the new version will be pushed out in stages, as has been the case with earlier Sony OTAs.

Source: XperiaBlog

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2 years ago

Fess up: Who's buying an iPhone today?

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Here at Android Central it's just another Friday. But elsewhere it's iPhone day, with Apple releasing two new smartphones simultaneously for the first time ever. And we're sure some of you will be tempted to pick up the new iPhone 5s, with its optional gold exterior and 64-bit CPU. Or maybe the plastic fantastic iPhone 5c is your thing, with its numerous color options.

We're not here to judge, so feel free to fess up down in the comments. And if you're staying loyal to the Android army let us know which Android phone you're using — or thinking of picking up — instead of Apple's latest.

You'll find more iPhone launch day coverage from our friends over on iMore.

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2 years ago

Sony's 'no more leaks' sign gets leaked

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When it comes to information about upcoming handsets, Sony has proved to be a rather leaky organization. We were hearing details about its current flagship phone, the Xperia Z1, some four months ahead of its announcement. Understandably, Sony higher-ups want to put a stop to this trend, and so anti-leaking posters have been deployed throughout the company's headquarters. Naturally, that poster itself has now been leaked online.

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2 years ago

LG G2 tips and tricks: Long-press the volume buttons for app shortcuts

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The LG G2 brings with it some interesting new features. Chief among them is the moving of the power button and volume buttons to the rear of the phone. Used in conjunction with the "Knock-on" feature for turning on the display, it brings (somewhat) of a sense of normalcy to a very different phone.

But there's a bit of added functionality that we'd recommend you not forget about — and that brings us back to those rearward-facing volume buttons.

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 video walkthrough

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Find out how Sony's Snapdragon 800-powered beast stacks up

We're in the process of reviewing Sony's latest smartphone, the Xperia Z1, but we've had just enough time with the phone to bring you a video walkthrough of the device. With a new aluminum-framed chassis, Sony's "Triluminos" screen tech and a 20.7-megapixel camera, the Z1 certainly has the specs to impress — but hardware alone doesn't tell the full story. So check past the break to find out more about the phone in our complete video guide. You'll find that, and a hands-on photo gallery after the break.

Got questions? Hit the Xperia Z1 Q&A thread in the Android Central forums.

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2 years ago

Republic Wireless gets the Moto X in November for $299 outright

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Fledgling operator Republic Wireless — which has some of the more interesting plans we've seen in some time — today announced that it'll carry the Moto X starting in November. It'll cost $299 outright — as in no contract — with plans starting at $5 a month.

Yeah, you read that right.

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2 years ago

Update rolling out for the Verizon LG G2

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Attention, Verizon LG G2 owners: There's an update awaiting you this morning. We're trying to track down a changelog — "enhancements and improvements" is all we've got so far —  but you're up to Software version VS98011A, so there's that.

Please stand by.

More: Verizon; Thanks, Cory, Jason and iLLusive!

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2 years ago

We're answering your Sony Xperia Z1 questions on the Android Central forums!

Got questions about Sony's latest handset? Hit up the forums!

We've got the Sony Xperia Z1 in-house, and we're busy giving it the full review treatment. In the meantime if you've got questions about Sony's latest and greatest smartphone, you'll want to hit up our Xperia Z1 forums, where we're serving up the answers you crave.

Maybe you're wondering about how that 20.7-megapixel camera stacks up against the competition. Or how fast that Snapdragon 800 CPU really is. Maybe it's the 1080p "Triluminos" display that's piqued your interest. Whatever you need to know about the Xperia Z1, post in the forum thread linked below and we'll do our best to clue you in.

More: Sony Xperia Z Q&A in the Android Central forums

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom review

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Samsung's latest hybrid device is a decent phone and a decent camera — but is that enough?

With the arrival of handsets like the Nokia Lumia 1020, Sony Xperia Z1 and HTC One, it's officially the year of the cameraphone. As smartphone designs have become more homogenous, manufacturers have looked towards advanced imaging capabilities to differentiate their devices.

Phones like the Galaxy Note, Galaxy Beam and Galaxy Mega have proved that Samsung is a company willing to try any crazy idea once. Sometimes, as in the case of the Note, the result is a runaway success. In other instances, like the long-forgotten pico-projecting Galaxy Beam, it's a quickly-discarded flop.

Which brings us to the Galaxy S4 Zoom, Samsung's interpretation of what a camera-centric phone should be in 2013. Smartphone on the front, camera around the back, the Zoom was one of the more interesting products to launch at Samsung's busy Premiere 2013 event back in June. But having spent a couple of weeks with the handset, we’re not sure it exceeds the sum of its parts. Check past the break to learn why, in our full review of the Galaxy S4 Zoom.

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2 years ago

Unlocking the Xperia Z1 bootloader will screw up your camera, warns Sony

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Sony bootloader unlock site warns of camera woes for those who unlock the new handset

If you've just picked up a shiny new Sony Xperia Z1 and want to get hacking away at the device, you may want to hold off for awhile. A new message on the Sony Mobile bootloader unlock site warns that —

"Warning! At the moment, unlocking the Xperia™ Z1 boot loader will stop the camera functionality."

So presumably if you go ahead with the unlock process, that fancy 20.7-megapixel Exmor RS camera will turn into a pumpkin. It's likely this is a temporary glitch — and given Sony's track record with allowing devices to be unlocked we'd expect a fix to arrive in due course. Nevertheless, if you want to actually take photos on your Z1 it seems you'll need to keep your hands off the bootloader for now.

We've got an email out to Sony, and we'll update this post with any further info they provide.

Source: Sony Bootloader Unlock; via: XperiaBlog

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2 years ago

Moto X developer editions appear, Verizon version now available

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With a $650 price tag and 32GB of storage

The promised Moto X developer editions have made an appearance today. Available in a special black and woven white shell, with the words Developer Edition labeled across the back, the 32GB version models are now available for Verizon with a $650 price tag.

The GSM version (listed as working with AT&T and T-Mobile) has a page ready to go, but as of this writing there is no way to order them just yet.

At $650, I predict that these won't be very popular, but I know at least one person who will be clicking the button on the GSM version the minute it's able to be clicked. Anyone else out there waiting for these? Fill the comments with praise and rage. 

For more info, and ordering details, check the source links.

Source: Motorola (Verizon) (GSM)

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2 years ago

Galaxy S4 on AT&T and Verizon, S4 Active now have Safestrap support for ROM loading

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Load custom ROMs without touching the original boot loader using Safestrap

Folks with a Galaxy S4 on AT&T or Verizon, as well as users with the Galaxy S4 Active have a new method of loading custom ROMs in the works — Safestrap. Originally born out of necessity for the Motorola Droid line — many of which were and still are locked down tightly — Safestrap allows you to load a custom ROM of your choosing after your phone is booted.

What happens is that a system process the runs at the end of the boot process gets hijacked by crafty Android hackers, and is pointed to a bit of custom code that loads a sort of virtual machine running a custom recovery, which can continue loading a ROM of the users choosing. The original ROM is still safe and sound, it's just not active. Of course this is a simplified version of events. For the more technically inclined, you'll want to have a look at the further discussion here

Since AT&T and Verizon seem to have a need to get manufacturers — even ones who have been typically developer friendly like Samsung — to lock down their phones, seeing this come to the S4 and the S4 Active is really cool. The project is still in its infancy, so there will be bugs galore, but I have a feeling this one will grow into something very nice. Have a look at the link below for all the information you need to give it a try.

Source: XDA. Thanks, Matthew!

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2 years ago

AT&T gets the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini for 99 cents starting Sept. 27

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If you're looking for a little(ish) phone with a diminutive price, AT&T's about to have it. The U.S. carrier will, erm, carry the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini starting Sept. 27 for just 99 cents on contract. It'll go up for preorder on Sept. 19.

We last took a look at this guy way back in December 2012. It's a 4-inch device running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, powered by a  dual-core 1.2 GHz processor with 1GB of RAM. It's also got a 5-megapixel camera.

The usual suite of Samsung apps is on board as well — including the TouchWiz user interface, S Beam for sharing files, and S Voice for voice control. 

Check out our hands-on video after the break.

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

QSAlpha launches Indiegogo campaign for the Quasar IV - uses 'unprecedented' encryption

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QSAplha offers a secure ecosystem that promises to keep your data all yours

Protecting your precious personal data has never been more important. Our smartphones can contain not just our address book, but our banking information, credit card accounts and personal information moves in and out of our phones all the time, and it's important to secure it all as best we can.

A company named QSAlpha thinks they can help. They are developing the Quasar IV — and Android-based smartphone that will protect all of your data with what they are calling "unprecedented" encryption. Phone calls, SMS messages, application data, email and everything else moving in and out of your device with public and private keys for each user from 16x16x4 (16 to the power of 16 to the power of 4) three-dimensional matrices. This verifies and protects the user's identity, and makes sure the data going in and out is what it's supposed to be, and going where it's supposed to go.

This is done through a high-security ecosystem known as QuaWorks. QuaWorks consists of three parts — the Qua Store, a secure marketplace for applications; Qua Cloud storage which offers encrypted file storage; and Quatrix, which is the proprietary system used for all the encryption. 

All this will be free of charge for users with the Quasar IV, and they expect to launch in June 2014 (April 2014 for backers). We'll definitely have a good look at the platform when and if it launches, but a lot of that will depend on the success of the Indiegogo campaign. You can follow the source links to learn more, and the full press release is after the break.

More: QSAlpha; Indigogo

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom video walkthrough

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How does Samsung's half-phone, half-camera hybrid stack up?

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is one of the more unusual devices to pass across our desk — smartphone on the front, (a lot of) camera around the back. Essentially, it's the result of a head-on collision between a Galaxy Camera and Galaxy S4 Mini, with a dual-core CPU and qHD display, the latest version of TouchWiz and a 16-megapixel camera sporting 10X optical zoom.

But how does the resulting product shape up? Find out after the break, in our video walkthrough of the Galaxy S4 Zoom. We'll even throw in a quick photo gallery for good measure.

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