Headlines

2 years ago

UK retailer slashes HTC One S price, now £314.99 SIM-free

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HTC is due to launch new products at an event in New York City next week, and that means retailers are keen to discount stock of existing handsets. One of these is the excellent HTC One S, which we reviewed back in April, and which can now be yours for £314.99 from Exansys in the UK -- around £100 less than the launch price. To sweeten the deal, the retailer's throwing in a free Krusell screen protector, too. The version on offer is the black "ceramic metal" model, which is treated using the unique micro-arc oxidation process.

There might be newer, shinier handsets on the horizon, but the One S remains a great phone, and represents good value at just over 300 quid. In the months since its release, we've yet to come across an Android phone with better build quality. More at the source link below.

Source: Expansys, Thanks, Chinmay!

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Ace 2, S Advance apparently skipping ICS, going straight to Jelly Bean

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Leading 2011 Samsung phones like the Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note may already be running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but many mid-range handsets remain on version 2.3, Gingerbread. Today brings good news for owners of two such devices, the Galaxy S Advance and Galaxy Ace 2, as according to a Facebook statement, both devices will be skipping ICS and jumping straight to the latest version of Google's OS.

A post on Samsung Bulgaria's Facebook page, spotted by GSMArena, states that an update from Gingerbread to Jelly Bean will indeed be available at some point in the future, moving both phones up two major platform versions. We'd take this with a pinch of salt until updates actually arrive, as statements like this aren't always 100 percent official. Nevertheless, we've already seen evidence that Samsung's working on Jelly Bean for its budget tablets, so it's not too surprising to see budget smartphones also getting the upgrade treatment.

However, with Jelly Bean still yet to arrive on phones like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note, Ace 2 and Advance owners may have a long wait ahead of them.

Source: Samsung Bulgaria Facebook, via: GSMArena

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2 years ago

Another LG Optimus G promo surfaces, promises world beating camera

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LG continues to try and wow the world ahead of the launch of their latest superphone, with yet another promotional video. This time around, the camera on the forthcoming LG Optimus G is the center of attention, with some bold claims being made by the Korean OEM. 

We're promised a 13MP rear shooter -- although in some markets, this will be reduced to 8MP -- with world beating image quality for smartphones. The ultra slim camera module was developed in house by LG Innotek, and has one of the largest pixel counts on a smartphone to date. As we've said before though, mega pixels mean nothing if the image quality is poor. 

An emphasis on new technologies, and "state of the art" comes across through the video, with the overall design of the phone itself not being compromised for the sake of a huge camera. Instead, it is the camera that has undergone a transformation. 

Features such as time machine camera, smart shutter and voice activated shooting are also mentioned. All around, the Optimus G is shaping up to be a goliath of an Android smartphone, and the more we learn the more excited we are to finally, one day get our hands on it. Whether or not the "worlds best" moniker holds up though, well, that's a story for another day.

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2 years ago

Samsung Mobile boss expects 30 million Galaxy S3 sales in 2012, 20 million target for Note 2

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Today might be iPhone day Rex Manning Day, but Samsung Mobile head JK Shin is attempting to make some news of his own with his latest comments to the Korean press. Speaking to Korean news agency Yonhap, Shin indicated that he expects the company's flagship Galaxy S3 phone, currently sitting at over 20 million units, to hit the 30 million mark before the year's end. Such a figure would be unprecedented for any single Samsung smartphone -- even the popular Galaxy S2 topped out at 20 million earlier this year.

Shin also told Yonhap that the recently announced Galaxy Note 2 is expected to shift twice as many units as its predecessor, though this seems to be a long-term target, rather than an aim for the next three and a half months. As the original Note sold 10 million worldwide, the new target, it seems, is 20 million.

With Samsung phones in general -- and the Galaxy S3 specifically -- continuing to fly off store shelves, we wouldn't bet against Samsung reaching either of its lofty goals. Nevertheless, it'll face stronger competition than ever over the next quarter, not least of which from whatever Apple announces in eight hours time.

Source: Yonhap

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Y Hello Kitty edition coming to Germany

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If you're looking for a decidedly entry-level Android handset, have a fetish for all things Hello Kitty, and live in Germany this one's for you. Samsung will be releasing a special Hello Kitty edition of the Galaxy Y in the Fatherland, complete with all the pink trim you could ever ask for. With a special home button, a two-tone pastel pink and white case, and even special wallpapers and ringtones this one is sure to please your tweener daughter, or that creepy middle-aged guy you know.

Unfortunately, there's no spec bump so you're left with a 3-inch screen, 800MHz CPU, and on old version of the software (based on Android 2.3). Clearly, the lure here is the pretty kitty and not the blazing speeds. We'll pass on this one, and wait it out for the Hello Kitty Galaxy Note 2. Be sure to click through and see the battery cover. ^_^

Source: SammyHub

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2 years ago

Droid RAZR M review

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It’s been just over a year since Motorola took the wraps off of the Droid RAZR, the device the company was counting on to keep it competitive. And with an intense push by Verizon, the RAZR managed to hold its ground in 2012 against blockbuster competitors such as Samsung’s Galaxy line and HTC’s One series. And with its follow up RAZR Maxx, Motorola managed to finally break away from the pack into a niche that has attracted an almost cult-like following. For those craving as much juice as their battery can produce, there is simply no other alternative.

With its revamped RAZRs, Motorola opted to add a third device into the lineup — the Droid RAZR M. It’s an interesting choice, considering that Motorola could have simply dropped the price of the RAZR and turned it into the entry-level device, ala what Apple does with the iPhone. Instead, Motorola took the original RAZR, added next-generation internals, shrunk it down without touching the screen, and slapped on a $99 pricetag. The result is a phone that impresses in both performance and aesthetics, and raises the bar for what entry level smartphones can achieve.


The RAZR M's performance is on-par with other flagship Android devices thanks to its top-of-the-line S4 processor. The M's size is compact without sacrificing the integrity or beauty of the healthy-sized 4.3-inch display. Motorola's hardware is unmatched in terms of quality and beauty.


The RAZR M's battery life isn't all it's cracked up to be, and its cameras are poor in both performance and quality. The M's display is of mere qHD resolution, a noticeable downgrade from 720p technology. 



The Droid RAZR M offers stunning performance, a gorgeous (albeit qHD) display, and unmatched design for the ultra-cool price of $99 on contract. It retains a large display despite its compact design, and with its top-of-the-line internals and Jelly Bean just a way's away, the M has earned itself a place among the best (and most unique) Android phones on the market today.

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2 years ago

O2 UK gets Xperia T 'Bond Phone' exclusive

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And AT&T's branding rears its head in promo shots once again...

As Sony's always keen to point out, the Xperia T is the official phone of upcoming 007 flick Skyfall, and now UK network O2 has secured exclusivity over a limited edition Skyfall-branded version of the phone, dubbed "The Bond Phone." By contrast, Vodafone and Three will offer the regular, less Bondier version of the Xperia T.

The Bond Phone looks virtually identical to the vanilla Xperia T, but comes pre-loaded with Skyfall-based content, including "the 007 ringtone, themes, screensavers and SKYFALL images geo-tagged to the film's locations plus exclusive James Bond packaging." (Who doesn't appreciate a good promotional geotag?) Early adopters will also get the chance to pick up the 007 Legends game on Xbox 360, PC or PS3.

Eagle-eyed readers may also notice that the promotional images for O2's bond phone actually bears AT&T's branding, adding further fuel to speculation that the U.S. carrier will eventually get Sony's latest flagship phone. Retailer Phones4U previously outed the AT&T Xperia T, as we reported last week.

Meanwhile, XperiaBlog reports via a tipster that O2 will also offer the Xperia T in white, though it's unclear whether this will be tied into the Bond Phone promotion. Whatever the case, expect a torrent of 007-based promotions as retailers and carriers start selling the Xperia T later this month.

Source: O2, XperiaBlog

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2 years ago

Vodafone UK announces Sony Xperia T and Xperia J

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Three UK isn't the only one getting new Sony phones these days; Vodafone has announced the Xperia T and Xperia J will be "launched over the coming months". Vodafone wouldn't confirm the £415 SIM-free pricetag for the T or the £140 for the J. We had heard the Xperia J will be coming out this month, but no doubt we'll hear something official soon enough. We did have some hands-on time with both devices at IFA if you want to get the tour. Here's the short version:

Xperia T:

  • 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU
  • 4.6-inch 720p HD Reality Display
  • 13MP camera
  • 16GB of internal storage

Xperia J:

  • 9.2mm slim stylish design
  • Large 4.0” FWVGA Display
  • Social media updates with illumination
  • 5MP AF camera
  • Front chat camera
  • Available in Black, Gold, White and Pink colours

Anyone biting? That 13 megapixel camera on the Xperia T is awfully tempting to try out... 

Source: Vodafone

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2 years ago

Verizon launches McAfee-powered Android security suite

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Verizon has just launched a mobile security service powered by McAfee with a whole bunch of useful security tools. The free version provides protection against spyware keyloggers, and potentially harmful sites that are visited in the native Android browser. For $1.99/month (or $1/month if you have Total Equipment Coverage already) you gets you remote tracking, audible alarm sounding, locking, and wiping, along with App Alert, which flags apps that are accessing personal data. 

While I'm not personally concerned about viruses in the traditional PC sense, there's plenty of malware out there that's worth protecting against in some form or another. How do you guys make sure your personal data is safe from malicious apps? Is it worth paying a monthly fee for protection?

Head on over to Verizon for more information or to sign up for Verizon Mobile Security.

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2 years ago

U.S. Cellular announces mid-range LG Splendor

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The LG Splendor will be in U.S. Cellular stores starting tomorrow for $79.99 after mail-in rebates. We caught a glimpse of this one a few days ago with a hint that it's sporting a 1700 mAh battery. As far as official specs go, the LG Splendor has a 4.3-inch display, 1 GHz processor, and a 5 megapixel camera on the back with a nifty voice-activated shutter - just say "cheese".  It's only 0.34 inches thick, though it only hosts 2 GB of internal storage plus the 4 GB microSD memory card it comes with. On the software side, the LG Splendor is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and has a cool Smartshare DLNA app for shunting photos and video to the TV, as well as QuickMemo, for handwriting notes on top of pictures. 

Sure, it's dab smack in the mid-range, but since we're in the thick of back-to-school, affordability is king. Any U.S. Cellular customers in the house looking for a new phone?

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2 years ago

Hands-on with EE's new 4G LTE - fast network is fast

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In Central London earlier today, the newly-rebranded EE mobile network was launched, promising the UK's first 4G LTE services in the coming weeks. EE plans to bring a number of Android handsets to its new 4G network, including the Galaxy S3 LTE and HTC One XL. Mobile Nations' James Richardson and Richard Edmonds were on-hand to test out EE's 4G speeds using the Speedtest.net app and downloading Angry Birds from the Google Play Store.

Needless to say, the speeds we enjoyed at today's event were considerably higher than anything we've seen from the UK's existing HSPA+ network, delivering speeds of around 30Mbps down and 20Mbps up. Impressive as that is, we'll have to wait and see how the network holds up under real-world usage, as EE's 4G isn't yet available for public use. Check out our video above, and for more on today's EE 4G announcements, check our earlier summary.

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia V boasts 'sensor-on-lens' screen technology

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Sony's late 2012 Xperia smartphones are about to hit store shelves in Europe, and among them is the LTE-capable Xperia V, a 4.3-incher with similar internals to the larger Xperia T. One feature that's unique to the V, however, is Sony's "sensor-on-lens" screen technology, which integrates touch sensor directly onto the surface of the display. Similar techniques like have been employed by manufacturers like ASUS in the Nexus 7, and Apple's iPhone 5 is widely rumored to have similar tech lurking within its display.

The result of combining these parts into a single layer is a brighter display -- Sony estimates a 5% improvement in luminance -- with less distortion when viewing the screen off-angle. The closeness of the touch sensor to the display, Sony says, should also remove the parallax effect involved with using traditional touchscreens.

The Sony Xperia V should arrive sometime in Q4. Unlike the xperia T, we've yet to hear any specifics regarding pricing of launch markets.

Source: Sony Developer Blog

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2 years ago

Motorola reminds us we're going to the edge next week

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Ol' Motorla's posted this little teaser video for next week's event in London, where we'll apparently be taken to "the edge," with Intel along for the ride. So pretty much we're expecting some Medfield action -- that's Intel's first foray into the Android world -- and dollars to doughnuts (not donuts) we'll see a display along the lines of the recently announced RAZR M, with its "edge-to-edge" glass.

Anyoo, we'll be there next week to bring you the whole thing live and in living color, so stay tuned.

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia T gets priced in the UK - yours for £415

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The Xperia T emerged as Sony's international flagship at IFA 2012, and now we have the first tentative information on how much the handset will cost when it arrives in the UK. British retailer unlocked-mobiles is listing the phone for pre-order at a price of £415 inc. VAT. That's surprisingly good value when you consider that most high-end smartphones sell for £500 or more in the UK. At launch, the Galaxy S3 would've set you back a whopping £550 SIM-free.

The T isn't light on specs either, with a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 720p HD Reality Display and a 13MP rear camera. If Three's on-contract prices are similarly competitive, Sony could have a sleeper hit on its hands.

The retailer says it's expecting stock in early October, which fits with what we've been hearing about the phone's likely release window. Anyone tempted by an Xperia T at this price? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Unlocked-Mobiles, via: Eurodroid

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2 years ago

CyanogenMod 10 'M1' builds released

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CyanogenMod 10 development continues apace, and if you've been following the progress of CM10 for your favorite device, you'll know that nightly builds and unofficial "KANG" releases aren't always the most stable or reliable. As such, the CM team has stepped in with a new type of release for the popular custom firmware -- "m-series" builds.

Typically "M" in the context of software refers to "milestone" -- M1 would be milestone one, and so on. However, the CM team says it doesn't have anything specific in mind as to what its M builds will stand for, just that they're meant to be more stable than nightly builds, and more frequent than beta builds. Currently, they're rolling out at the start of each month.

So the first CM10 M1 builds that are rolling out today should give owners of certain devices the chance to enjoy a more stable Jelly Bean-based CyanogenMod experience while we wait for the first official beta builds to appear. The current M1 builds are available now for 18 phones -- primarily Samsung devices. These include various flavors of Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, Galaxy S, Galaxy S2 and Galaxy S3. There are also builds for the AT&T Galaxy Note, Nexus 7, Sony Xperia Acro and Xperia S. The team says more devices will be added as things become more stable.

To pick up CyanogenMod 10 M1 for one of these devices, head on over to the download link below.

Source: CyanogenMod, Download: get.cm

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