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2 years ago

Be sure to check out AC on Google Currents with your new Nexus 7

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Google has made Currents part of Android with Jelly Bean, and anyone with a Nexus 7 or other Nexus device who's updated has it sitting in their app drawer. That's not a bad thing -- the Currents app really is a great way to read the news, especially on today's big-screen devices. Refer back to our full walkthrough and review for tips on getting it all set up, but be sure to subscribe to Android Central. You'll find us in the Science & Tech section -- we're the ones with over 450,000 subscribers. 

Once you've got everything added, you'll find Currents a well thought out and handy way to read the news your way. Whether you skim headlines or delve into every story, the content is provided in an easy to navigate way with all the media you get from the desktop version of a particular news story. We really dig it around here, and think you will, too.

If you're not rocking with a Jelly Bean device, have no fear -- it's available in the Google Play store for devices running Froyo or higher. You can find it at the link below.

Download Google Currents  from Google Play

 

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2 years ago

ZTE Grand X hands-on

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We're live in London, where ZTE has just announced its new mid to high-end smartphone for Europe, the Grand X. It's a 4.3-inch device with a qHD screen, and a design that will remind Android enthusiasts of the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus phones. What's also familiar from the Nexus series is the software -- the Grand X runs a near-stock version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (no word on any Jelly Bean update just yet, unfortunately.)

Inside there's a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU, coupled with 512MB. Internal storage is limited to 1.6GB, but there's also a microSD card slot around the back to enable expandable storage. ZTE is pitching this device as a multimedia smartphone for price-conscious buyers, and the specs and price point are well-aligned with this demographic. ZTE says it's looking at a £180-190 price point in the UK, when the Grand X launches on Virgin Media and Phones4U, and it's also loaded with TegraZone games to take advantage of the NVIDIA chip under the hood.

The ZTE Grand X is expected to launch in August in the UK, followed by a wider European launch in France and Germany. Check out our full hands-on demonstration of the Grand X above. We've got more photos after the break.

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2 years ago

ZTE launches the Grand X in London

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We're live in London today, where ZTE has announced the Grand X, a new phone with a new processor but an older chipset.

The Grand X is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which we'd expect from a phone being announced today. (Sorry, but you're going to have to wait a little bit before seeing new phones with Jelly Bean.) It's sporting a 4.3-inch qHD-resolution display (that's 540x960) and is running NVIDIA's dual-core Tegra 2 platform at 1GHz.

It's also got a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera capable of shooting at 720p. The front-facing camera is 0.3MP.

Full specs include:

  • Processor: NVIDIA Tegra 2, Dual-core (AP20 Dual Core 1GHz)
  • Display Size: 4.3” – 16M QHD (960 x 540)
  • Modem: NVIDIA i450 (HSDPA Cat14, 21Mbps)
  • Weight: 110g
  • Dimensions: 127mmx64.6mmx9.9mm
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi, DLNA
  • Camera:  Dual Camera 5MP AF Flash/0.3 MP
  • User Memory: 4GB + up to 32GB Micro SD
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • Storage: 4GB, expandable to 32GB (Micro SD)
  • OS: Android 4.0 (ICS)
  • Battery: 1650 mAh Li-Ion
  • Others: Dolby Mobile Sound / HD Voice / HD video capture and playback / Facetones / Evernote / Documents to go / Tegra Zone (Gaming Marketplace)

It'll be launching with Virgin Media and Phones4U in early August in France, Germany and the UK.

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2 years ago

Nexus S Jelly Bean update reportedly set to start rolling out in the next couple of days

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It seems like the good news week is set to continue for Nexus fans, with reports emerging that the hotly anticipated update to Android 4.1 is set to starting rolling out to the Nexus S over the next couple of days.

Down under, in Australia, Vodafone Australia has posted to their blog the following in relation to to the Jelly Bean update: 

Approved by Vodafone, roll out by Google scheduled for 1:00pm AEST, 19th July 2012. Keep an eye on our blog for further information.

Don't forget, that July 19 in Australia is actually July 18 in the U.S -- albeit only just given the time. That time translates to around 04:00 BST 23:00 Eastern, and 20:00 Pacific.

Elsewhere, SFR in France, also has something to say on the update, which pretty much ties in with Vodafone Australia:

However, the deployment is slightly delayed on the Nexus S! Jelly Bean should be deployed July 18, 2012!

So, the signs are looking good. We'll be keeping a close eye on this one, but remember, it's pretty likely that this will only apply to the GSM versions as with the Galaxy Nexus -- sorry Sprint users. Until we see it though, as ever, let's treat it with a slight pinch of salt. Carriers have been known to give out incorrect information in the past let's not forget. 

We'll be keeping a close eye out for this one, but if any of you guys happen to see an update notification, hit us up in the Android Central forums or in the comments below. 

Source: SFR, Vodafone Australia

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2 years ago

Samsung: 64GB Galaxy S III not cancelled, still due before year's end

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With some retailers reportedly cancelling orders of the 64GB Samsung Galaxy S III in parts of Europe, rumors have been circulating that Samsung had canceled that version of its 2012 flagship. However, it seems that’s not quite the case, as we reached out to Samsung to double-check these details, and the manufacturer got back to us saying a release is still planned.

A Samsung spokesperson told Android Central --

"The 64GB model of the GALAXY S III will be available during the second half of this year.

The market availability and timing may vary and will be determined at the time of release."

So it looks like we’ll still get a 64GB-flavored S III, and with it the prospect of pairing it with a 64GB microSD card for a whopping 128GB of storage. Samsung’s language, though, suggests that not all S III launch territories will necessarily see the 64GB version, which could be why some retailers are hedging their bets and cancelling orders.

As Samsung said during its Galaxy S III announcement event in London, the plan always was to release the 64GB model a bit later than the 16 and 32GB versions. Of course we’re already in the second half of the year, so we could feasibly see this version appear at any point from now on. In the meantime, we’ll be watching for any further news on the 64GB S III, so keep it locked to AC.

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2 years ago

Early CyanogenMod 10 preview build brings Jelly Bean to Galaxy S III

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If you like to live dangerously, and can't wait any longer to get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on your Galaxy S III, you'll be pleased to hear that a (very) early preview build of CyanogenMod 10 is now available for Samsung's 2012 flagship. The build isn't yet feature complete, but it seems to be about as functional as the current batch of CM9 nightlies of the S III. That is to say the current build includes a couple of known stability issues with the camera and Wifi tethering -- the kind of thing you'd expect from a nightly-level build. Also, this build is only for the international Galaxy S III -- that's the one with 'GT-i9300' listed under Settings > About device > Model number.

Preview builds are also available for some of the North American (Snapdragon S4-based) Galaxy S III's, albeit with far more stuff broken. Find 'em here and here.

So it's not complete just yet, but it's an early taste of Jelly Bean on the Galaxy S III, and early reports suggest it's very quick and surprisingly stable. If you're feeling brave, you'll find flashing instructions -- and some disclaimers you should definitely read -- over at the source link.

Source: XDA

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2 years ago

Rogers kicks off 6 GB/$60 plan, Sony Xperia Ion in tow

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Canadians looking for an affordable LTE-capable device and lots of data to chew on will be interested to hear that Rogers has started a 6 GB promotional plan and now has the Sony Xperia Ion for sale for $49.99 on a three-year contract. The $60 plan includes unlimited calling to 10 Canadian numbers, unlimited texting, unlimited evenings and weekends, and 200 weekday minutes on top of the data. Rogers is even willing to toss in data sharing to multiple devices at $10 off every month for the next 10 months to help you burn through those 6 GB, though the promo is only running until August 8. 

As for the Sony Xperia Ion, you can read our full review here, but here's a run-down of the specifications.

  • 4.6-inch 1280 x 720 display
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 12 megapixel camera
  • 16 GB internal memory
  • LTE and HSPA+ connectivity

While I'm still not sure I'd pick the 6 GB plan over Mobilicity or WIND's current promotions (especially with that three-year commitment Rogers includes), it's hard to argue with Rogers coverage, and ever-expanding LTE is always sweet. Any Canadians interested in picking one up can find the Sony Xperia Ion over in the Rogers online store and can check out the 6 GB promotional plan over here

Source: Rogers RedBoard

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2 years ago

Motorola Defy Pro coming soon to Rogers

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Motorola has announced that the Defy Pro would be landing in Canada by way of Rogers this summer. Much liike the original Motorola Defy, this handset is built for punishment with dust, splash, and scratch resistance, except this time there's a keyboard. Here are the specs.

  • 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)

Awhile back I was really interested in the Motorola Admiral, but since it never made it to the GSM side of things, there was never really an option for us Canadians. As a guy with a history with BlackBerry, I can definitely appreciate the physical keyboard - hopefully it won't be dampened by the ho-hum specifications. I could live without ICS, but a bigger battery and some impact protection would be nice. Any Canadians interested in picking this one up? Any Americans looking for something tough and entry-level with a physical keyboard?

Folks can sign up for e-mail availability notifications at Motorola Canada

Source: Motorola

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2 years ago

HTC says Desire HD still getting ICS, refutes reports of update cancellation

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Last week some troubling news seemed to be emerging from Canadian carrier TELUS, which put out an update schedule suggesting that the Android 4.0 upgrade for the Desire HD had been canceled. The schedule indicated that the ICS update had been canned due to "poor device performance in testing," which didn't make a whole lot of sense given that we've seen ICS running on even less powerful phones like the Desire C in recent months.

As such, we reached out to HTC for comment, and an the manufacturer has informed us that ICS updates for the Desire HD, and the similarly-spec'd Desire S, are still on.

An HTC spokesperson told Android Central --

"We remain committed to providing customers with the latest software updates when possible. As such, we are pleased to confirm we are still on schedule to deliver an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade for both the HTC Desire HD and Desire S."

So there you go. The Desire HD may be approaching its second birthday, but at least it should see one more OS update before it's put out to pasture.

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia Go launches SIM-free and on O2 in the UK

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Announced a couple of months ago, the water-resistant Sony Xperia Go has gone on sale in the UK, and is now available SIM-free, as well as subsidized on-contract through O2 UK. The Go is the follow-up to last year's Xperia Active, which won critical praise for its unique, rugged design (which at one point helped it survive being run over by a Jeep).

The Xperia Go is a little sleeker than last year's ruggedized Xperia, and it should be plenty fast too, with a 1Ghz dual-core ST Ericsson CPU inside. Unfortunately, though, it's yet another Sony phone launching on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and as we look for updates from ICS to Jelly Bean from other manufacturers, that's a big disappointment. Nevertheless, if you're not a power user, and you're after something a decent little water-resistant smartphone, it's worth a look. The Xperia Go is yours for £200 SIM-free at Expansys and Clove, and O2 offers it for free on 24-month contracts starting at £18.50 per month.

Source: Expansys, Clove, O2 UK

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2 years ago

Kyocera Hydro hits Boost Mobile on Aug. 3

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Here's a quick heads up that the Kyocera Hydro, the 3.5-inch, submersible (as in dunk it in water) Android phone that we first showed you back in May will be available on Boost Mobile starting Aug. 3. The phone runs $129 and can be kept below the surface for 30 minutes, which is a good bit longer than you'll last, we imagine. It's more of a protection thing than a usability thing -- you won't be making calls under the sea or anything. 

On the other hand, it's running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, which is more than we can say for a good number of landlubbers out there. We've got the full release after the break.

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2 years ago

Contest Reminder: Win a Mobile Nations dream device of YOUR choice!

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The Mobile Nations team is celebrating the first birthday of the Monday Brief, and we want to hook a lucky winner up with their dream device. We're not just going to have a regular old "post a comment and win" type giveaway this time. Instead, we're recruiting YOU to help us revamp and refresh the Monday Brief intro. Have you been lusting after the Samsung Galaxy S III? How about the new iPad? Or perhaps you've been anxiously awaiting the next round of Windows Phone 8 devices or are holding out for BlackBerry 10? Well this is your chance to win one of those dream devices!

Over the years we've seen some pretty crazy entries for video contests here at Mobile Nations (Kevin often brings up a certain Pudding Wrestling in Time Square CrackBerry video), but we want to top them all, so we're gonna make this the best video contest Mobile Nations has ever had! Seriously, we want to you see you all get creative, get crazy and show us your passion to help. Let's have a look at what you could win:

  • GRAND PRIZE: One (1) phone, tablet, or gadget you've read about on Mobile Nations websites, valued at up to $600 USD
  • Runners Up: We'll hook you up with some awesome stuff. Either a coupon to one of the stores, some swag or something else you'll love. Don't worry, if we use your intro on a Monday Brief, we'll give you recognition and a nice little reward.

Once again, this is a video contest -- you'll have to get creative and assemble your most creative, funny, or just plain insane version of Ashley's weekly introduction to the Monday Brief. If you're not sure what part that is, watch the beginning of the show. Jump below to get the full details on how to enter and check out the rules, you'll need to follow them accordingly.

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2 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S Blaze 4G software update available, serves as preparation for ICS

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Although the Galaxy S Blaze 4G didn't garner a lot of attention, that doesn't mean T-Mobile has forgotten about the device. In fact, owners of the Blaze 4G should be checking for updates right now, as there is one currently available. The update is noted to be rolling out now through August 5th and available through OTA and Samsung Kies. As it stands, it fixes a few bugs but mostly it serves as preparation for a later update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich:

  • Over the air (OTA) update to Software T769UVLF4:T-Mobile will push the update to  your device sometime between 7/16 and 8/5. We cannot expedite how soon we send  the OTA to individuals.    See below steps to manually request the OTA update.
  • Manual download: If you want to update to T769UVLF4 after July 17, you can update via Samsung Kies. Ensure you are on the latest version of Kies prior to attempting the update. See http://www.samsung.com/us/kies/ to confirm the version.

Improvements

  • E911 issue over Wi-Fi resolved  
  • Echo issue when on Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) call  
  • Proximity Sensor improved

Sadly, T-Mobile left off the information of when exactly we may expect ICS to roll out to the device but you all can take comfort in knowing it will arrive eventually. Hopefully it's not too far off.

Source: T-Mobile

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2 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy Note is officially official

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T-Mobile has sent out a press release letting us know that the Samsung Galaxy Note will be coming "in the coming weeks", confirming the Tweet that went out this morning. The 5.3-inch T-Mobile Galaxy Note will feature HSPA+42 speeds, and be running the Qualcomm Snapdragon like it's counterpart on AT&T. It's also shipping with Ice Cream Sandwich, and features the same great S-Memo application we saw last week

T-Mobile specific features are Wifi calling, a 5-device mobile hotspot capability, and S.A.F.E. (Samsung Approved for Enterprise) designation, which means a full suite of enterprise-ready features and capabilities, IT policy support, AES256-bit encryption, enhanced support for Microsoft Exchange, and integrated VPN support. You can read the full press release after the break.

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2 years ago

LG Optimus Vu sighted wearing Verizon branding

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You may not have heard of the Optimus Vu, LG's answer to the Samsung Galaxy Note. The Vu is a 4:3 aspect ratio, 5-inch phone with pen input, released in South Korea earlier this year running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and it's due for an ICS update any day now. It's also yet to appear at all outside of Korea, so it's somewhat surprising to see it emerge today, apparently sporting a big Verizon Wireless logo atop its squarish XGA display.

The image above, and a few more, have been published by ​Android Police​, and by all accounts they appear to show a Verizon Optimus Vu (or LG VS950) running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, with Big Red's logo up top, and its 4G LTE branding around the back.

First announced at MWC in February, the Vu hasn't made too much of a splash on the smartphone world, so it's a little puzzling to see it as a candidate to appear on Verizon's network now. We should also point out that just because one prototype unit exists, it doesn't necessarily follow that the Vu will actually launch on Verizon. We've been through that before (hey there, HTC Merge).

So we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, you can find out all about the Optimus Vu in our hands-on non-unboxing unboxing of the Korean version.

Source: Android Police; via: The Verge

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