Headlines

2 years ago

Motorola Defy Pro tumbles onto Rogers today

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After a bit of a wait, the rugged Motorola Defy Pro is now available at Rogers for free on a two-year contract, or $274.99 if you're going month-to-month. As you might expect, the Defy Pro is just as tough as its predecessor, the Motorola Defy, except it has a QWERTY keyboard. The specs are about in line with the pricetag, which is to say that they're on the lower end. Here's a run-down. 

  • 2.7-inch 320 x 480 HVGA display with Gorilla Glass
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1 GHz processor
  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and front-facing VGA camera
  • 1700 mAh battery, 12 hours continuous use time, 13.5 days standby
  • IP67-certified (totally protected against dust, protected against immersion between 15 cm and 1 m)

The Motorola Defy Pro still isn't showing up in the Rogers online store, but I'm sure it'll pop up soon enough. In the meantime, there's plenty of information at Motorola Canada. Personally, I'm excited to give this a shot. There aren't a whole lot of Android phones with good QWERTY keyboards in a portrait orientation, nevermind ones that have any amount of ruggedization. The last one was the Motorola Admiral, and it never found its way up here to Canada. 

Anyone thinking of picking this up? I'm looking at you, BlackBerry refugees. Is Gingerbread a dealbreaker?

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2 years ago

Samsung announces Europe launch for dual-SIM Galaxy S Duos

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It leaked around a month ago, but today it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S Duos is officially official. The phone is a 4-inch dual-SIM entry-level dealie, powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 CPU, backed up by 512MB of RAM and running Android 4.0 with Sammy's TouchWix Nature UX. There's also 4GB of on-board storage -- expandable via microSD card slot -- as well as a 1500mAh battery and 5MP rear camera. And unlike some dual-SIM phones, the S Duos allows both SIMs to be active at the same time, so you can take a call on one while receiving on the other.

Normally dual-SIM phones are limited to developing markets, where phone users often have two or more SIMs because individual network coverage is spotty. What's unique about the Galaxy S Duos is that it's aimed at the European market. We imagine this type of phone might be useful to frequent European travelers, who might be interested in keeping two SIMs from different countries in the same device.

There's no release date given for this device just yet, but we imagine we'll learn more about the Galaxy S Duos at the IFA show in Berlin next week.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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2 years ago

Carphone Warehouse launches Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

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A little after it made its worldwide debut in New York City, UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse has announced that it's now selling the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 online and in stores across the country. Prices start at £399.99 for the Wifi-only version, going up to £499.99 for the Wifi and 3G model.

That's no small amount of money, but if you want the best stylus experience you can get on a tablet, with Samsung's Wacom-powered S Pen, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is the only place you'll be able to get it. For more on the Note 10.1, be sure to check out our full preview of the device from last week's launch event in New York City.

Carphone also sends word that until this Thursday, Aug. 24, it's offering the original Galaxy Note smartphone for free on £21 per month contracts with T-Mobile UK. No prizes for guessing why the retailer might want to burn through the last of its original Galaxy Note stock before next week...

Source: Carphone Warehouse

More: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 hands-on

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2 years ago

OnLive restructuring to cost HTC $40 million

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When it comes to financials, it seems HTC can't catch a break lately. The Taiwanese manufacturer says it'll book a loss of $40 million from its investment in troubled cloud gaming provider OnLive. OnLive, as you may remember, last week underwent restructuring and was sold to a newly-formed company in order to avoid bankruptcy.

HTC invested in OnLive in February 2011, at the height of its success in the smartphone market. Since then, however, OnLive has been absent from all of the company's noteworthy devices, and it's continued to struggle financially due to the high operating costs associated with cloud gaming. This isn't the first time an HTC investment has gone sour. The manufacturer's investment in Beats Audio is another recent example -- that company's founders recently bought back half of HTC's investment in Beats, after Beats Audio integration failed to differentiate HTC's high-end smartphones.

Elsewhere, HTC's profits and market share continue to be squeezed, with July revenues down 45 percent from 2011 to 2012. The company will be hoping an expected fall refresh of some devices will help it deal with increasingly fierce competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung.

Source: PC World

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2 years ago

Sony announces next-gen Exmor RS image sensors for mobile devices

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Sony has announced its next generation of smartphone and tablet image sensors, dubbed 'Exmor RS.' Succeeding the company's current line-up of Exmor R sensors, Exmor RS will utilize a stacked CMOS sensor with a standard RGB coding, compared to earlier models which required additional detectors for white light in addition to red, green and blue.

Expected to make its debut in October, Exmor RS will come in three flavors -- two 8MP units, and a higher-end 13MP unit. In addition, Sony says it's developed new f/2.2 lenses to go with its new image sensors, opening the door to higher-quality HDR (high dynamic range) video recording on mobile devices.

Given the timing of this announcement, we don't expect to see Exmor RS used in any of the Sony phones to be announced at next week's IFA press conference on Aug. 29. instead, we'll be looking for the tech in the next generation of Sony phones in early 2013. But this isn't just big news for Sony fans -- remember that other brands like Samsung and Apple also use Sony camera tech in their leading products.

Source: Sony (Japanese), via: Engadget

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2 years ago

Samsung teases Galaxy Note 2 in IFA preview video

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It's just over a week until we're expecting to see the next Samsung Galaxy Note unveiled in Berlin, Germany. As such, Samsung's ramping up the hype surrounding the upcoming tablet/phone hybrid, today releasing a new teaser video that gives us our first fleeting glimpses of the device, along with a guest appearance from 'Wings of Desire' director Wim Wenders. Not much is being given away, but the new Note is described as "a thin and light thing, which might suggest that the expected increase in screen size hasn't resulted in any extra bulk in other areas.

Check out the full 37-second preview video above. We'll be live from Berlin next Wednesday to bring you full coverage of Samsung's Mobile Unpacked event.

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2 years ago

Droid RAZR HD video tutorials leaked (update - and now they're gone)

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Update: Well, looks like the YouTube account that uploaded the videos has been closed. That's the way it goes with leaks sometimes. 

A few video tutorials have leaked out, very similar to ones we've seen before for other Motorola devices, showing basic functions of using what we presume is the Droid RAZR HD. Although the device isn't actually properly called out as such, it's a pretty safe bet at this point given the design, Verizon branding and timing. Leaks like this line up with what we're assuming will be the launch of the device at a Verizon and Motorola event on September 5th.

The videos are pretty run of the mill, showing off basic functions of the latest Motorola UI over Ice Cream Sandwich -- which looks extremely similar to what we've seen on the Atrix HD. Unfortunately they don't give away much in the way of specs or a look at the rest of the device, but we'll know soon enough. Take a gander after the break at the rest of the videos.

Source: Droid Life

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia SL gets official - 1.7GHz Snapdragon S3, coming in four colours

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After numerous leaks, Sony's Xperia SL (LT26ii) -- a refreshed version of the Xperia S -- is now listed as "coming soon" on the company's website. The site listing confirms earlier rumors that the phone's Snapdragon S3 CPU has been clocked to 1.7GHz (up from 1.5GHz), and that two new colors, grey and pink, will be available in addition to the Xperia S's black and white. On the software side, the Xperia SL comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, so you won't need to worry about applying any updates when you first start the phone up.

We imagine the Xperia SL will be joined by a wide range of other Sony Xperia phones at the company's IFA press conference on Aug. 29. Naturally, we'll be live in Berlin to bring you full coverage.

Source: Sony, via: Engadget

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2 years ago

Huawei P1 to be 'enhanced' as it arrives on UK shores

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We have only just got first UK availability of the Huawei Ascend P1 -- read our full review here -- but according to the fellas at Coolsmartphone it might just be about to get some improvements.

By the time it gets into UK Android fan hands, the P1 will definitely qualify as a mid-range handset. A dual-core device living in a quad-core world, but it doesn't mean it isn't a perfectly capable smartphone. Apparently the UK version is to be given a more "premium" feel -- whatever that entails -- and the battery will actually be an 1800mAh powerplant. Not the 1670mAh we saw in our review unit and in the one listed for sale at Clove Technology. Considering we already spoke pretty highly of battery life on the P1, an additional bit of juice can be no bad thing. 

Source: Coolsmartphone

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2 years ago

Sprint Motorola Photon Q available today for $199

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Just a quick heads up that the Sprint Motorola Photon Q is available today for $199 with a two-year contract. If you've yet to do so (slacker), be sure to check out our hands-on with the Photon Q (we'll have a more thorough review this week), but already it's shaping up to be a solid slider from Moto, with Ice Cream Sandwich and a new UI.

It's also important to remember that this is a world phone, so you business types who have been longing for something with a keyboard that'll work outside the states have something new to consider. And it's also worth noting that the Photon Q is the first to take advantage of Motorola's new bootloader unlocking tool -- a tool of which we've already availed ourselves -- so you hacker types can have your way with it, too.

So ... who's buying?

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2 years ago

Snapshot: Verizon Galaxy S3 captures lightning strikes [from the forums]

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That the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a great camera is hardly a secret. But just how fast is that burst mode? Android Forums member BasPilot says he took nearly 2,000 pics of a recent storm in burst mode and got 25 or so good ones. Never mind the percentage on that one. Any good photog knows to just keep shooting. (This is the digital age, after all.)

Even better is that BasPilot's sharing a few of his captures in the forums. Hit the link below to check 'em out.

More: Caught Lightning in Action

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2 years ago

T-Mobile myTouch and myTouch Q review

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In a day and age where everyone seems to want the latest and greatest, and nothing short of the best, it can be a rough world out there for entry-level devices. But not everyone is looking for -- or needs -- the latest multi-core, 4.5-plus-inch Android smartphone. That said, there still is a market for those who just would rather something with some more features than their basic phone, but without the cost associated with the top of the line products.

T-Mobile has had the myTouch line for a few years now, changing a bit each time, and this year it was Huawei’s turn to take a stab at it. They have brought to the table a pair of phones -- the myTouch and myTouch Q. Could a well styled entry level device succeed in today's market, or will it be overlooked and left in the storage closets?

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2 years ago

Google launches 'experiment' to bring AOSP vanilla Android to Sony Xperia S

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More interesting news for open-source geeks this morning, as it's emerged Android Open-Source Project head Jean-Baptiste Queru has kicked off an “experiment” to bring AOSP support to Sony’s Xperia S. Previously, the only official AOSP target devices have been Nexus phones and certain “Google Experience” products like the Motorola Xoom. So the fact that work is underway to bring this kind of support to the Xperia S, which ships with a skinned UI and a bunch of proprietary Sony tech, is a fairly big deal, even if it is just an experiment for the time being.

In selecting the Xperia S, JBQ notes that it’s a powerful GSM device with an unlockable bootloader, and said that Sony had been “very friendly” towards AOSP. On that last point, Sony has long contributed code back to AOSP, and it’s even helped out amateur devs like the FreeXperia team working on CyanogenMod support for Xperia phones, giving them AOSP-friendly proprietary code for certain devices. The manufacturer has also released alpha and beta builds of some major software updates ahead of time, and actively sought feedback from advanced users. So despite its comparatively small market share, Sony seems a good for for this kind of project.

In his message to the Android Building mailing list, Queru encourages community developers to get involved with the project, but to do so while staying on the right side of the rules when it comes to handling proprietary binaries. As far as we’re aware, AOSP-friendly propertiary code will have to be released by Sony in order for this experiment to progress towards fully-functional builds, just as was the case with FreeXperia and CM. The camera firmware, for instance, is packed with proprietary Sony tech, so an entirely new binary might have to be created for this project.

Aside from the technical challenges ahead -- and there are more than a few -- it’s certainly cool to see the AOSP brass playing around with open-source Android on one of the more dev-friendly Android devices. We're a long, long way off having easily-flashable Google-approved AOSP available for certain devices alongside the manufacturer’s own ROM -- in fact, we’ll go on record and say that probably won’t ever happen. However, if this little experiment is a success, it could open the door to other non-Nexus phones being initiated into AOSP, and that can only be a good thing. We can't help but wonder what Google's long play might be in this respect.

We’ve reached out to Sony Mobile for comment on this experimental project, and we’ll keep you posted with any information they have to share.

Source: Android Building Group, via: The Verge

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2 years ago

CyanogenMod 10 nightly builds now rolling out for certain devices

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If you’ve been waiting patiently to get your hands on experimental Jelly Bean-based ROM for your phone, today could be your lucky day. The team behind popular custom firmware CyanogenMod has opened the floodgates and started churning out CM10 nightly builds for some supported devices.

Nightly builds are highly experimental, probably unstable and likely not suited to being used as a daily driver. However they do give owners of supported phones the chance to try out near-vanilla Android 4.1 Jelly Bean months before their official update will drop, in addition to introducing some helpful software tweaks from the CM team.

Notable devices now receiving CyanogenMod 10 nightlies include, but are not limited to --

  • The US SGS3 variants
  • The Galaxy Nexus variants
  • The Nexus S varaints
  • The Nexus 7
  • The Transformer and Transformer Prime
  • The SGS1 variants (Vibrant, Captivate, International, and i9000b)
  • The SGS2 i9100g
  • P3 and P5 tablets (Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and 10.1)

Other devices are getting nightlies too, so to see if your phone or tablet is supported, check the get.cm download link below. Kudos to the entire team of CM maintainers for bringing a taste of Jelly Bean to dozens of devices this morning!

Source: +CyanogenMod

Download: get.cm

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2 years ago

T-Mobile's Galaxy S3 getting an OTA to fix bugs and remove local search

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T-Mobile's Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3) is seeing an OTA update (also available via Kies) today that promises improvements to performance and stability and adds Allshare Cast to the device. Here's the list of changes from T-Mobile support --

  • Android version 4.0.4/Software version T999UVLH2
  • AllShare Cast added to device
  • Resolved the error, ‘Enter MAC address' after entering the correct MAC address in the Mobile HotSpot configuration page if the MAC address entered did not contain the colons (:) or spaces.
  • Resolved issue where the contents of a Home screen folder would be rearranged alphabetically after a reboot.
  • Resolved issue where the name does not populate when trying to add a contact with NameID information, you must manually add.

As we've seen with the other U.S. variants of the Galaxy S3, this update also removes local search ability from the phones -- a tiny piece of information that Samsung and T-Mobile forgot to mention in the change log. We expect that sort of thing by now, but we still don't like it.

Anyways, to get the update either check through your Galaxy S3's settings menu or fire up the latest version of Kies and you'll be set. For more details, and full instructions, hit the source link below.

Source: T-Mobile; via Android Central forums

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