2 years ago

Retailers weigh in on Sony Xperia Z Ultra


Phones 4u confirms plans to stock device in the UK, Amazon.de pre-order pricing appears

Following yesterday's global announcement, we're starting to hear details of retailers' plans for Sony's latest smartphone/tablet hybrid, the Xperia Z Ultra. The 6.44-inch beast will be offered through Phones 4u, the retailer has confirmed, making P4u the second major UK player to hop aboard Sony the Z Ultra train. Yesterday Three UK said it'd carry  the device upon release.

Meanwhile the first SIM-free prices are starting to emerge, and Amazon Germany is listing the device for pre-order at €679 (£575, $884). An eye-watering European pre-order price isn't entirely unexpected considering the phone's laundry list of high-end specs. The Ultra includes Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 800 chip, a new "Triluminos" 1080p display from Sony, waterproof and dust-resistant credentials and a glass-backed chassis. A €679 or £575 launch-day price would put Sony's latest on equal footing with the Samsung Galaxy S4, which launched at £579.99 in the UK.

A global launch is scheduled to take place sometime in Q3, but there's no firm release date just yet. If you're not yet acquainted with the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, check out our hands-on impressions from yesterday's launch event.

More: Xperia Z Ultra hands-on

Source: Amazon.de via: XperiaBlog, Phones 4u

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2 years ago

Possible Moto X prototype sighted once again, Sprint release rumored


Motorola 'XT1056' said to be in testing on Sprint, appears to be running vanilla Android

While Motorola has officially acknowledged that the "Moto X" will be its next flagship device, we've yet to hear much in the way of official details from the manufacturer — and in the absence of any hard information, the rumors and leaks continue to flow. Today brings a fresh image of what might well be the front face of the device, sent to PhoneArena by an anonymous source. The phone appears to match the device sighted in Vietnam a few months back, and more recently in an AT&T-centric leak, hiding behind a dummy case.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A announced as world's first LTE-Advanced smartphone


Launching this summer in Korea in Blue Arctic and Red Aurora

Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy S4 LTE-A, the first smartphone ever to use LTE-Advanced technology. Samsung promises "twice-as-fast network speeds to produce an unparalleled multimedia experience." LTE-Advanced works by combining different frequencies, and using them as one -- something Samsung refers to as "leveraging carrier aggresion."

This new Galaxy S4 variant will have similar specifications to the current Galaxy S4, however will ship with Qualcomm's next generation processor -- the Snapdragon 800 with 2.3 GHz Quad Core CPUs. The screen, cameras, and battery capacity appear to be identical to the current Galaxy S4. Internal memory will have a capacity of 32 GB, with the standard micro SD slot available for an additional 64 GB.

So far it appears this phone will be a Korea exclusive, launching this summer. Initial color options will be Blue Arctic and Red Aurora, with more colors following after launch. The full press release from Seoul is available through the source link below.

Source: Samsung

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2 years ago

LG Optimus G2 appears in leaked slides


A Wild LG Optimus G2 appears; uses dual-buttons. It's super-effective!

If you weren't pretty sure we are about to see the LG Optimus G2 in New York on August 7, you haven't been paying close attention. That's OK, rumors fly around and they can be hard to keep track of, but usually pictures make it easier. Thanks to habitual leaker @evleaks, we now have a few.

Nothing that confirms or denies the expected specs of a Snapdragon S800 processor and 1080p HD display, but LG and Qualcomm pretty much let that out of the bag a week or so ago.

What is interesting is that the mystery buttons on the back of the device are shown in these pictures, along with a slide that leads us to believe they will be tied to the volume setting. We'll likely know all there is to know in a little over a month, but for now we can look at the images and speculate. Hit the break to see the rest.

Source: @evleaks. h/t Jerry's Kid!

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia Ion Jelly Bean update now available via PC companion software


Sony's update bonanza continues, as the Xperia Ion gets its Jelly Bean update

AT&T and Sony have released Android 4.1.2 for the Xperia Ion today, but so far we've heard no users getting it the normal way. Instead of pushing out the update over the airwaves, it looks like users will need to use the Sony PC Companion (the the Mac equivalent Sony Bridge for Mac) to update their handsets, at least for the time being.

The download and installation will bring the Ion to Android 4.1.2, build version 6.2.B.0.211. While there is no official changelog just yet, the expected things like Google Now and Project Butter should be on-board and available. 

There's no word that this will remain and update-by-wire situation, and it's possible that this limited test precludes a normal OTA push. Either way, if you've been waiting since you heard Jelly Bean was coming, taking a few minutes to use Sony's software won't be too much of a burden. 

Anyone try Jelly Bean on their Ion yet? Sound out in the comments and let us know what you think.

Source: Xperia Blog

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2 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S4 Developer edition goes on sale for $650


For sale directly through Samsung with no Verizon subsidy available

A few weeks ago we learned that Samsung was planning to bring a Developer Edition of the Galaxy S4 to both AT&T and Verizon customers.The Verizon handset has gone on sale first, and is available through Samsung starting today for $649.99. Since this version is only available through Samsung, there will be no subsidy for those looking to use their Verizon upgrades.

This version of the Galaxy S4 will be virtually identical to the version available through Verizon, with the important difference of shipping with an unlocked bootloader. This will enable users to install custom software on their devices right out of the box. However, with bootloader unlocking methods already available for the Verizon and AT&T versions of Galaxy S4, the value of a factory unlocked bootloader is arguable. It is worth noting that supporting developer editions such as this is important to ensure their continued future existence, especially when the day may come that Samsung bootloaders do not have unlocking methods available.

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2 years ago

T-Mobile HTC One S update fixes Jelly Bean battery life


OTA notifications start today, along with a manual update path

Since T-Mobile updated the HTC One S to Android 4.1.1 back in April, many users have seen a noticeable drop-off in battery life. This unfortunate bug soured an otherwise much anticipated update for One S owners who waited patiently on Ice Cream Sandwich for many months.

The newest update -- bringing the software version up to 3.14.531.17 70RD -- is solely focused on fixing the lower battery life caused by the update to Jelly Bean. Those wishing to update need to already be on software version 3.14.531.11 710RD, have a device that is not rooted, and ensure they have at least a 50% charge before beginning the update.

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2 years ago

Verizon's Casio G'zOne Commando follow-up adds LTE data


Verizon this morning announced the second generation of the horribly named Casio G'zOne Commando, adding 4G LTE data to the rugged Android smartphone.

It'll be available starting June 27 for $99 on a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate.

We've got full specs after the break.

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia Z Ultra hands-on


Sony enters the big leagues with a 6.44-inch screen and the latest Snapdragon 800 CPU

Sony hasn't always found itself ahead of the technological curve when it comes to smartphone internals. Often it's lagged a generation of so behind the competition, giving the likes of HTC and Samsung the first shot at releasing phones running the latest mobile chips. Yet here we sit with one of the very first Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 devices, and above its ginormous screen sits a Sony logo.

Say hello to the Xperia Z Ultra.

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia Z Ultra heading to Three UK


UK carrier has confirmed they will be carrying the Ultra on their Ultrafast network

There's a whole lot of ultra going on at Three UK this morning. The UK carrier has announced they will be offering the brand new Sony Xperia Z Ultra on their Ultrafast network. And, that's about all we do know. They have talked about all-you-can-eat data, so it's presumable that you'll be able to pick the Ultra up on Three's highly competitive One Plan. Three is the first out of the gate with an announcement for Sony's new 6.4-inch goliath, and we're sure they won't be the last. 

Source: Three

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2 years ago

Sony announces the stylus-friendly, 6.4-inch Xperia Z Ultra with Snapdragon 800


Sony today at Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai entered the world of the gianormous smartphone with the oversized, ultra-powered (and aptly named) Xperia Z Ultra.

The Xperia Z Ultra is a 6.4-inch monster with a 1080p display that works with a stylus (or any pencil, Sony says), runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and is powered by Qualcomm's latest, the Snapdragon 800 processor. Sony is heralding the phone as the "world's slimmest and largest full HD smartphone." At 6.5 mm, it's not quite as thin as the 6.18 mm Huawei Ascend P6 we got a look at last week, that's where the "largest full HD smartphone" comes in. (The full press release, which you can read after the break, is loaded with such caveats.)

Other specs of note include an 8-megapixel camera, a 3,000 mAh battery and 16 gigabytes of internal storage, with about 11 GB available to the user, and a microSD card slot for extra space. (Props to Sony for being up-front about the usable storage space.) It's loaded with Sony customizations and entertainment options.

The Xperia Z Ultra will be available in the third quarter (which starts next week, by the way), in black, white or purple.

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia Z Ultra specs


Snapdragon 800, 6.44-inch Triluminos display and Android 4.2 make the Z Ultra a beast of a smartphone

Sony's just made official its latest high-end handset, the Xperia Z Ultra, a device which straddles the line between smartphones and tablets with a 6.44-inch screen. The star of the show is Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 800 chip, which combines a 2.2GHz quad-core Krait 400 processor with the new Adreno 330 GPU.

On top of that there's a Full HD (1080p) "Triluminos" display, waterproof and dust-resistant credentials, and a chassis measuring in at 6.5mm thick. Also of note is the 8-megapixel rear camera and Android 4.2.2-based software.

We've got the broad strokes of the Xperia Z Ultra spec sheet and a few press shots for you after the break.

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2 years ago

New Sony smartwatch, 5-inch mid-ranger tipped ahead of Mobile Asia Expo


Sony 'Xperia C' and updated Android-powered wearable reportedly on the way

It seems Sony Mobile may about to reveal several high-profile devices at its press conference at Shanghai's Mobile Asia Expo tomorrow. We've already heard rumors about the "Togari" or Xperia ZU -- supposedly a Snapdragon 800-powered device with a 6.4-inch display -- and the latest round of leaks brings news of a possible smartwatch and mid-range handset to go with it.

The first report comes from CNET, which claims to have details of a new Android-powered smartwatch from the Japanese manufacturer. Supposedly a successor to the earlier NM2SW smartwatch, the new device will feature a larger display and feature a three-button layout similar to Xperia smartphones, according to the site's source. Like other Sony accessories, the watch is said to support pairing with smartphones via NFC, with further connectivity being handled over Bluetooth. For its part, Sony has been teasing a smartwatch-related announcement on its official Xperia Twitter account in recent days.

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2 years ago

Mid-range Acer Liquid E2 headed to Three UK


Three UK has announced that it'll be carrying Acer's latest mid-range Android offering, the Liquid E2. The 4.5-incher, which comes with a qHD (960x540) display resolution and a quad-core MediaTek 1.2GHz processor, will be arriving "soon," the network said in a media release today. Three says the Liquid E2 will run on Three's 42Mbps DC-HSDPA network, though it looks like support for the carrier's upcoming LTE network is out of the question.

Other notable specs include an 8-megapixel camera, stereo speakers, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage, expandable via microSD. No release date has been given for the Acer Liquid E2 on Three, though with the device appearing on Three's "Coming Soon" page today, a retail launch probably isn't too far off.

More: Three UK

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2 years ago

A Windows Phone fan reviews the LG Optimus G Pro


It's always good to try new things, and that includes your smart phone choices

Our own Anndrew Vacca was fairly smitten with the Optimus G Pro. He puts it plainly, that the OGP "has the features, style, and wow-factor to steal eyeballs (and customers) away from the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4", and that's a bold statement from someone who has been able to use all three. But sometimes, you want the point of view a more "normal" user has when you're interested in a new smart phone. We get it, and we understand.

WPCentral forums ambassador mase123987 recently spent some time with the 5.5-inch Optimus G Pro, and took the time to write quite the review over in the WPCentral forums. We're not going to spoil the ending, but it's a great read if you're a smart phone fan on any level. Go give it a read, and be sure to thank mase for his insight -- this is valuable stuff coming from someone without any preconceived Android prejudices. 

Review of the Optimus G Pro (and Android) by a WP Lover

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