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2 years ago

HTC One X+ (AT&T) Review

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HTC’s fourth-quarter refresh of the One X is good, but is it good enough to keep you from waiting for the next tier of hardware?

When first holding an HTC One X+ (or any One device, for that matter) in your hand, it's hard to believe that the company has had such abysmal sales figures the past several quaters. It arguably has one of the best screens on the market, paired with an upgraded Tegra 3 processor and bumped up internal storage of 64GB. On top of all that, the device is downright gorgeous. It really does seem like it checks all the boxes.

The One X+ seems every bit a capable high-end device as its competition, much the same way as the original One X from earlier this year. Should it be considered as your next device? Read on and you may have a better idea if it's the right choice for you.

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia E + E Dual get priced in Europe

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When Sony announced the Xperia E in both single and dual-SIM flavors last week, it said the device would be affordable, however so far pricing info has been difficult to track down. Today that changes, as price details for the Xperia E and Xperia E Dual have emerged in a press release from Sony Mobile Germany.

Sony's priced the new entry-level Xperia at €159 (£128) with single SIM support, or €169 (£136) for the dual-SIM variant. Other Xperia E specs include a 3.5-inch HVGA screen, a 1GHz CPU and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the single-SIM version (the Xperia E Dual will ship with ICS and get an upgrade later.)

One of the first Sony phones to ship with Jelly Bean, the Xperia E is due to go on sale during the first quarter of 2013.

Source: XperiaBlog

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2 years ago

LG says it's sold 10 million L-Series handsets worldwide

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LG is announcing today that since the launch of the "L-Series" group of handsets, it has sold 10 million units worldwide. When LG started rolling out the L-Series as the mid- to low-range set of devices to compliment its "G-Series" high-end phones, they didn't receive as much attention for obvious reasons. The big top-tier devices like the Optimus G hold the most mind share, but it's the quality affordable devices that are still doing huge sales numbers.

Devices like the Optimus L9 have started to make movement into the U.S. market, but most of the L-Series are likely being sold internationally. LG is seeing the need for a whole range of handsets, and reacting accordingly to hit the different price points that people want.

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2 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Note 2 - mini review and what's new

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Since its introduction back in October, Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 has skyrocketed to superstardom, pushing 5 million units and earning the top spot on holiday gift guides across all carriers. It has also been written about ad nauseam, without countless stories popping up across the internet ranging from that display (it’s as huge as they say) to the battery life (it’s as phenomenal as they say). Here at Android Central, we’ve got reviews on file for both the international and T-Mobile models, which both come to the consensus that this might just be the biggest, baddest phone you’ll be able to stuff your stocking with this holiday season.

So how does Verizon’s model differ from what we’ve come to know and love? Aside from the few details below, this behemoth is nearly identical to every other iteration, from the breakneck performance of the quad-core Exynos processor to the TouchWiz-touting Jelly Bean UI. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again—the Note 2 is simply one of the best Android devices ever produced.

If you want more mouth watering details on that 5.5-inch 720p SuperAMOLED Plus display, or that whopping 3,300 mAh battery, head on over to Alex's and Phil’s reviews. Hardware-wise, they're the same.

If you want to see what makes Verizon’s model unique, hit the break for the full rundown.

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2 years ago

ASUS PadFone 2 receiving Jelly Bean OTA

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The PadFone 2, ASUS' successor device to that weird interesting phone inside a tablet inside a laptop contraption, is finally grabbing an OTA to Jelly Bean starting today. We were surprised when the phone was announced back in October with just Ice Cream Sandwich on board, but it's good to see ASUS following it up quickly with an update. The device keeps the skinning present in the previous version, but new features like Google Now and enhanced notifications are all included here.

According to FoneArena, the OTA is starting its rollout in Asia -- although that makes sense because the device is primarily being sold there. If you happen to have imported one of these to the states, you'll likely have a shot at receiving the update yourself with this batch.

Source: FoneArena; More: ASUS PadFone Forums

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2 years ago

T-Mobile testing new prepaid 'GoSmart' plan in select markets

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There's no shortage of big T-Mobile news out there right now, and this one seems to fit in with what we're hearing the last couple of days. After announcing that it will no longer be subsidizing handsets starting in 2013, T-Mobile is also putting a new prepaid option through trials in select markets. FierceWireless has confirmed with T-Mobile directly that the carrier is looking to lanch a new set of plans called "GoSmart" with three different tiers:

  • $30 for unlimited voice and text
  • $35 for unlimited voice, text and 2G data
  • $45 for unlimited voice, text and "high speed" data

The first two tiers probably won't be too appealing to readers of this site, but the last one is quite interesting. T-Mobile's current prepaid offerings are a bit more complex, and you have to pay a minimum of $60 for any meaningful amount of data with unlimited talk and text. What is yet to be determined is what T-Mobile means by "high speed data" with these plans.

With its current plans, that refers to HSPA+ (or "4G" to T-Mo) and the user is then throttled to EDGE (2G) speeds after a certain point. Documentation of this new plan at this point is referring to "3G" as high speed, which leads to some confusion. T-Mobile hasn't operated its UMTS (3G) network independently for years, and has completely moved to just EDGE and HSPA+ for data services. We have to think at this point that this is just early confusion about a new plan.

Trials have begun and we'll surely know more about this plan if it ends up going live nationwide in 2013.

Source: FierceWireless

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2 years ago

Hands on and initial impressions with the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

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The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini may well be out gunned by its big brother the Galaxy S3 but that doesn't matter as they are not in competition with each other. The SGS3 Mini is perfectly suited for consumers that don't need a huge, top of the range smartphone and clearly this will be reflected in the price of the device.

Specs wise, the SGS3 Mini isn't bad at all for a mid range device. Sporting a beautiful Super AMOLED 4 inch display and powered by a 1GHz dual-core processor it is still pretty nippy. I think one of its selling points will actually be its size. Non smartphone geeks that go into a retail store to upgrade are going to be attracted to the SGS3 Mini, not only as it looks good, but it feels great in the hand. The 4 inch display is still the sweet spot for many smartphone users and with the device running Android Jelly Bean straight out of the box there really isn't much to dislike about it.

Available in both 8/16GB models, with MicroSD card support and removable battery these options will attract many consumers. With a 5MP camera and video recording in 720P HD the specs are more than adequate for the majority of Android users and I suspect this latest Galaxy variant could well be a great seller for the South Korean company.

You can catch the full specs below:

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2 years ago

HTC Butterfly trailer confirms color options, still China-only for now

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We don't yet have confirmation that the HTC Butterfly will launch anywhere outside of Asia. At the moment, it's only confirmed launch market is China, where it'll be available on the China Unicom carrier.

But what we do know is that it'll be available in three colors, as rumored, and it seems HTC will make a big marketing push for its latest high-end Asian handset. The promotional video released today by HTC China shows off a bunch of the phone's features, including splash resistance, Media Link HD sharing and fast photo capture, as demonstrated by a cast of attractive, stylish Butterfly owners.

Judging by the trailer, the Butterfly will be available in red, white and black. And the back panel on some models seems to have a slightly different, glossier finish, unlike its American cousin the Droid DNA.

We've got the trailer in full embedded after the break, if you'd like to see more of a phone you probably won't be able to buy.

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2 years ago

Jelly Bean updates ahoy for many Motorola phones in Q1 2013

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As part of its new OS upgrade strategy, Motorola has published another update on the progress of new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (and ICS) firmware for its fleet of phones and tablets.

It's an extensive list, with a complete breakdown of phones by territory, however, we've picked out a few of the biggest upcoming upgrades for readers in the West --

  • RAZR i Jelly Bean update now scheduled for Q1 2013
  • Verizon Droid RAZR HD/RAZR MAXX HD still due Jelly Bean update before 2013
  • AT&T Atrix HD due Jelly Bean update before 2013
  • 3G/LTE Xoom Jelly Bean update delayed to Q1 2013
  • Canadian Atrix HD + RAZR HD due to get Jelly Bean in Q1 2013
  • Euro RAZR HD Jelly Bean update scheduled for Dec. 2012

No word on Android 4.2 for any Motorola devices just yet, but at least Jelly Bean part one should be on the way for a great many Moto phones early next year.

If you want to look up a particular phone or territory, you can do so at the source link below.

Source: Motorola Android Software Upgrade News

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2 years ago

HTC One VX available today from AT&T for $49.99

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Despite having been announced for sale back in mid-November, and subsequently going M.I.A, the AT&T HTC One VX finally seems to have gone on sale. AT&T told us last week that we should be seeing it on Dec. 7, and true to their word we're seeing it on sale today. 

HTC's latest mid-range offering will cost just $49.99 on a 2-year deal from AT&T. For that you get Android 4.0 (with an update to 4.1 in the future,) a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon S4, a 4.5-inch qHD Super LCD 2 display, 1GB of RAM and 8GB onboard storage, expandable with microSD cards. 

All told it's a pretty nice device at this price point, but if you're still unsure, be sure to check out our hands on with the device back at the launch event in New York.

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

Sony jumps above HTC in UK sales, both still a long way behind Samsung

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Recent Q3 numbers for smartphone sales in the UK sees a change in the standings. Off the back of a major marketing campaign for its "Bond Phone," Sony has jumped ahead of HTC into second place. At this point second place is almost a win for either company, as both are still a long way behind the kind of numbers Samsung is posting in the UK. 

Sony sold 500,000 units in Q3, to 440,000 sold by HTC. There's not a lot in it, but it's sure to be welcome news for Sony. By contrast, Samsung's numbers sit at 3.2 million units for the same period. While not referring to specific numbers, the UK MD of Sony Mobile, Pierre Perron said to Mobile Magazine: 

All sources are confirming the same trend – that we are jumping into second place in the UK Android segment. This is what all our customers are telling us, that Sony Mobile is considered a top player in the UK Android space.

Sony's recent efforts deserve recognition. The hardware is well designed and well made, although the software does still let them down slightly. Nevertheless, with 2013's big show season right around the corner, we'll be interested to see what the future holds for Sony. 

Source: Mobile Magazine

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2 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich finally hits LG Optimus 2X

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It's been a long journey to bring Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich onto the LG Optimus 2X. First the update was rumored to have been canceled, then un-canceled, then delayed, then released, but just in Korea, followed by a source code drop a month or so ago.

But Optimus 2X owners can rejoice this morning, as it seems the ICS update for their phone is now going out to devices outside of Korea, indicating a widespread international launch for the upgrade. According to reports from XDA, the  Android 4.0.4-based v30a firmware is now available to download via LG's PC update utility.

The long-awaited ICS should bring a performance boost to the the world's first dual-core smartphone, which we first saw way back at CES 2011. The ICS upgrade will also allow Optimus 2X owners to run the latest Google apps, including the new versions of Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Chrome. It's also likely the update will include LG's latest Optimus UI 3.0, as previous LG ICS updates have, however we haven't been able to specifically confirm this.

Anyone still rocking an Optimus 2X? Let us know how you get on with the latest firmware update.

Source: XDA; via: PhoneArena

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2 years ago

HTC Butterfly loses the 'J', due to be released in China

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First, we had the HTC J-Butterfly. Next, came the Verizon Droid DNA. Now, what we appear to have is the same phone, with a slightly different name heading for other markets. The Butterfly has appeared on HTC's website with little else to indicate on where or when it may be available. 

The good news if you're in China -- it's heading your way. An HTC spokesperson has confirmed to Android Central that at present the Butterfly is slated for release in China, and that there is no information relating to availability in other markets at this time. 

Looking through the spec sheet, there are a couple of differences between the Butterfly and the Droid DNA. For one, there's no LTE. The other difference that stands out is the expandable storage. The Butterfly carries the same 16GB of on board storage as the DNA, but is expandable by way of microSD cards. It still runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Sense 4+ out of the box, and houses the same 2020mAh battery. Oh, and of course, that 5-inch, 1080p display.

Source: HTC

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2 years ago

LG Optimus Vu now available in the UAE

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LG has officially announced that the Optimus Vu is now for sale in the United Arab Emirates. This makes the 5-inch smartphone available in most major markets in North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and now the Middle East. 

The Optimus Vu eschews typical smartphone design, instead opting for a more squarish 4:3 aspect ration. The extra width is used by features such as QSlide and Quick Memo, and is appealing to folks who enjoy reading on their smartphones.

Alex was slightly underwhelmed by the Vu during his time reviewing it, but LG has sold 17 Million of the devices so clearly there is a market. In the end, it's great to see our friends in the UAE have a new choice.

Source: LG Newsroom (Korea)

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2 years ago

T-Mobile to stop subsidizing handsets in 2013

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We're hearing a ton of interesting information about T-Mobile's plans for the future today as part of Deutsche Telekom's analyst conference, and this may be the biggest yet. Starting in 2013, T-Mobile USA will no longer be subsidizing handsets with 2-year contracts, and will instead sell devices at full price or on installments. This means that devices and service will be completely separate going forward.

This is almost a carbon copy of its current "Value Plan" offerings, which give you cheaper monthly service prices (generally $20-$30 less) when you buy a phone full-priced or bring your own -- a model international users will be familiar with. T-Mobile said that 80-percent of its new line activations were on Value Plans in the last quarter, which means that this won't be too big of a shift from the way they're currently operating.

To the end user, the overall cost of smartphone ownership for the 2-year contract period will decrease, even when buying a device with monthly installments. Real savings can be had when holding onto a device for a longer period of time as well. The real roadblock here is going to be one of consumer education on the part of T-Mobile, which needs to explain to customers the benefits of this model. U.S. wireless customers are very comfortable with the idea of a subsidized handset that is bundled together with service.

Source: GigaOM

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