2 years ago

HTC highlights BlinkFeed in new commercials, wants you to stop digging


The HTC One has a lot going for it. There's the UltraPixel camera. It has a fantastic unibody aluminum design. Let's not forget the sillily-named but great-sounding BoomSound speakers. And so much more. And while all that is nice, HTC really wants you to know about the software, specifically they want you to know about BlinkFeed.

So HTC America's posted to YouTube a pair of new commercials (after the break) that highlight BlinkFeed. They both play off the same concept: BlinkFeed surfaces relevant content for you on its own, keeping you from having to dig for it yourself. Literally, digging. It's an interesting visual metaphor, watching that poor guy shovel a pile of dirt out of his not-an-HTC but-certainly-meant-to-represent-a-Samsung smartphone. While BlinkFeed might not be for everybody (though you should know that you can use BlinkFeed to keep up with Android Central and the rest of the Mobile Nations network), the excellent hardware of the HTC One isn't the only selling point HTC has to offer.

Though HTC is sure in both ads to point out that the One is "all-metal", surely another dig at Samsung. It's clear that HTC is targeting Samsung as their sole competitor here. Samsung's arguably-over-the-top TouchWiz Nature UX doesn't serve up nearly as much news and social information as cohesively BlinkFeed can, and the new Galaxy S4 is certainly much more on the all-plastic side in comparison to HTC's all-metal One.

HTC has retired their old "quietly brilliant" tagline as they've opted to be more aggressive in their advertising efforts. Money's tight for HTC, so even with a more assertive marketing campaign they can't hope to match what Samsung (and Apple) will be putting on the table. HTC's all-in with the One - but will it be enough? Simple, clever, and smartly-targeted commercials like this might do it - assuming HTC can afford to buy enough airtime to cut through the noise.

Source: HTC America (YouTube)

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2 years ago

Live long and prosper: Star Trek movies on special offer in Google Play UK


To celebrate the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie release, Google Play in the UK has a host of previous movies on special offer

If you're looking for some weekend watching, you could do worse than taking a look at the Google Play Store right now. In celebration at the release of the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie, Google is throwing a promotion on a host of previous Star Trek movies. If that's not enough, Google also sat down with Benedict Cumberbach, star of the new movie, for an exclusive interview. Because we're good to you, you'll find that interview down below after the break. 

The price cuts have been made to both rental and purchase prices. Rentals start at £2.49 with purchases down to just £3.99. Virtually the whole library is there, from Star Trek I through to Insurrection and the 2009 new Star Trek movie. Nemesis seems to have been excluded for whatever reason but for not a lot of money you can own the rest of the Star Trek back catalog. 

The U.S. doesn't seem to be included in the promotion, at least for purchases. Rental prices are showing up at $2.99 for most of the catalog, so while you're waiting to see Into Darkness, feast on some classic Trek movies this weekend. While you're at it, be sure to jump into the comments below and share your favorite Star Trek movie with us, and let us know if you're somewhere other than the UK that's seeing the promotion. My favorite is First Contact, for what it's worth. 

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2 years ago

'Galaxy S4 Zoom' rumors point to a curious new kind of cameraphone


Would Samsung really strap a 10X optical zoom and 16MP sensor to the back of a mid-range smartphone?

With the Galaxy S4 launch now mostly over and done with, Samsung rumormongers have turned their attention to the company's summer and fall product line-up. The most intriguing of these is a device rumored to go by the name 'Galaxy S4 Zoom.' Originally broken by SamMobile, initial reports suggested the 'Zoom' would be a mid-range handset with a 4.3-inch qHD SuperAMOLED screen on the front and a 16-megapixel camera strapped to the back. But that's not even the craziest part.

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2 years ago

Motorola XT1058 lands at the FCC, looks like the mystery XFON


Could the XT1058 be the XFON we're all waiting to see? This sketch of the rear from the FCC makes us think so.

About a week ago, we got a fairly decent look at an AT&T branded phone from Motorola, labeled the XFON. It certainly resembles an earlier leak from Vietnam, but there was no information to go along with the pictures. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

That might have changed this evening, as the Motorola XT1058 has landed at the FCC, and a quick breeze through the documents tells us a little about what we're looking at. The phone will have Bluetooth 4.0, NFC capabilities, 802.11ac Wifi, and carriers AT&T's LTE bands. It doesn't take much imagination to connect this with the AT&T XFON we saw last week.

Other than what you're reading above, we don't know anything about this one. The timing is certainly convenient for a showing at Google I/O, but nobody can know exactly when -- or if -- we'll see this one. My gut tells me it's soon, though, and it's high time Motorola delivered another high-end GSM Android phone. If this is to debut at Google I/O, we should know in a few short days.

Source: FCC; via: Phone Scoop

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2 years ago

HTC One CyanogenMod 10.1 nightlies now available


Nightly builds to begin rolling out "relatively soon" for both GSM and Sprint models of the One

With both a post on its official Google+ page and new thread in the HTC One forums at XDA, CyanogenMod has announced that CM10.1 nightlies are beginning to roll out for all models of the HTC One. Whether you have a GSM model or one running on Sprint, you can expect the first builds to show up on the get.cm site "relatively soon". These things take time, so while you're waiting you can follow the instructions from the forum post to make sure your device is ready. If you're running a GSM model you'll of course have to unlock the device via HTCDev, as well as have all of the downloads ready to flash a custom recovery and push all of the files over.

We're sure there are a whole lot of you that are ready to get cracking on some custom ROMs for your own HTC One, but following the right process will always help you in the long run. If you're unsure, you can always consult the forums and ask some questions before you dive in.

Source: XDA; +CyanogenMod; More: HTC One Forums

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2 years ago

AT&T Optimus G Pro review


The Optimus G Pro is the greatest device LG has created, but does it have what it takes to stand its ground against the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 2 on AT&T's shelves?

Has there ever been a more exciting time to be an Android fan? While iPhone and Windows Phone users have been nursing their flagship models in the hopes of an upcoming spec bump, Android users have seen the market flood with headline-grabbing models from three of the four major manufacturers. First HTC revamped its identity with the stunning aluminum unibody HTC One — later, Samsung added a handful of features to its already-phenomenal Galaxy S3 for its Galaxy S4. Now LG, never one to lay down and take a licking, has dropped a whopper of a device onto the American market—the Optimus G Pro proves that LG has both the capability and the savvy to compete in the toughest smartphone market to date.

The Optimus G Pro is big in every sense of the word. At 5.5-inches, this is the largest smartphone to hit the mainstream market this year. It’s got big processing power, a big beautiful display, and big shoes to fill — the Optimus G failed to make the splash that its competitors did in 2012, and the Pro is LG’s opportunity to steal headlines from Samsung, the king of all things “big.” But as we've continued to see over and over again, that chore is easier said than done.

Whereas LG could have simply released a refresh of the Optimus G and hoped for the best, it instead took a bold step in refining both its hardware and UI language. LG has gathered some of the best bits and pieces it’s ever created, from the lovely 1080p IPS display and super 13-megapixel camera to a well-balanced, attractive, and functional custom UI, to create a powerhouse that fills a void in the smartphone market at a crucial point in the refresh cycle. The Optimus G Pro is a worthy adversary to the HTC One and Galaxy S4, a product of LG’s refined vision and business savvy that can, and deservedly so, sit front and center amidst AT&T’s summer portfolio. 

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2 years ago

AT&T LG Optimus G Pro now on sale


LG's 5.5-incher is now available from AT&T, priced $199.99 with a two-year plan

Alongside the 32GB Galaxy S4, AT&T has also officially launched the LG Optimus G Pro today. The G Pro packs a gigantic 5.5-inch 1080p display, along with a Snapdragon 600 CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 13-megapixel camera. Around the back there's 32GB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD card, alongside a monstrous 3,140mAh battery. So it's certainly a beastly device, matching the latest phones from HTC and Samsung on paper.

The LG Optimus G Pro on AT&T sells for $199.99 on a two-year plan, or $549.99 outright. Keep watching later today for our full review.

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

32GB AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4 now available


$249.99 on two-year plan, "black mist" color only

Right on schedule, AT&T has launched its 32GB version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. If you're after a Galaxy S4 with a bit more internal storage -- and after the recent controversy surrounding the S4's available memory, we wouldn't blame you -- it'll set you back $249.99 on a two-year plan. That's $50 more than the base 16GB model, which goes for $199.99. If you're buying it outright, you're looking at a hefty $669.99 price tag.

At the moment it seems AT&T is only stocking the 32GB Galaxy S4 in the "black mist" color option, as the store page for the 32GB model doesn't allow you to pick a color.

Anyone picking up a 32GB GS4 today? Or are there any 16GB buyers out there wishing they'd waited a little longer and paid a bit more? Hit the comments and share your thoughts.

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

Huawei Ascend P2 coming to the UK in June


London event scheduled for June 18, Three UK confirms plans to carry the device

Huawei has announced that its latest flagship handset, the Ascend P2, will be hitting British shores this June. And on a related note, it's sending out press invites to an event in London on June 18. It'll be "a special moment to celebrate beauty, glamor and inspiration," the invite says. It's possible we might see some more unannounced Huawei stuff in London next month, but we're expecting the event to be very much P2-focused.

The Ascend P2 was announced back at Mobile World Congress in late February, with a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU inside, a 4.7-inch 720p display, a 13-megapixel camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. In terms of specs and build quality it's not quite up to the standards set by the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, but it looks like a solid mid-to-high-end device regardless.

In other Ascend P2 news, Three UK is the first British operator to announce plans to sell the device. Three says it'll support its 'Ultrafast' network on DC-HSDPA out of the box, and 4G LTE when it launches later in the year.

Source: Three, Recombu

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2 years ago

BBC Watchdog to investigate Samsung Galaxy S4 internal storage controversy


British consumer affairs show will air segment on Samsung's new handset next Wednesday

There's been some controversy over just how much of the Samsung Galaxy S4's internal storage is actually available for apps, music, pictures and other content. Of the 16 gigabytes on the current crop of GS4s, around 9.5 is available on the international model. On some U.S. carrier-branded models, it's even less.

Now it appears the phone's storage issues have caught the attention of long-running BBC consumer affairs show Watchdog, as a clip from the end of this week's edition reveals that it'll be investigating the S4 on its next broadcast, to go out next Wednesday, May 15. In the teaser, which we've embedded after the break, presenter Anne Robinson says "[Samsung] claims its new Galaxy phone has an extra-large memory - what did it forget to mention?"

The show will likely get into the difference between available and advertised storage, as well as reasons why a microSD card isn't necessarily a cure-all for storage problems on Android. For those wanting to tune in, Watchdog goes out on BBC1 at 8pm UK time next Wednesday.

Source: YouTube; via: Clove Blog

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2 years ago

Motorola RAZR i now available on Three UK


Intel-powered handset available for free on £17 per month contract or £250 on PAYG

Better late than never, Motorola's Intel Atom-powered RAZR i has landed on Three UK.  The phone packs a 4.3-inch qHD SuperAMOLED display, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and an 8-megapixel rear camera. (Essentially, it's a RAZR M with a different CPU.)

When we reviewed the RAZR i back in September we found it to be a capable mid-ranger, and it's still decent value today at Three's asking price. The network's offering the RAZR i for free on contracts starting at £17 per month (that gets you 250MB, 100 minutes and 5,000 texts) or for £249.99 up-front on PAYG.

For more on the Motorola RAZR i, check out our full review.

Source: Three UK

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2 years ago

Stealth Black HTC One now available online from AT&T


If you're looking to buy an HTC One, but silver's not really your thing, this "stealthy" black model is for you

AT&T has made the "Stealth Black" HTC One available from their website this evening, offering both the 32 and 64GB versions. Pricing is the same as the silver version we're all used to by now, namely $199 for the 32GB, and $299 for the 64GB with a new agreement, or $599 and $649 off contract and bought at full price.

We knew they were going to offer it eventually, so we're not very surprised, but it's good to see it available for the folks who have been waiting. Consider this your notice so you can jump on one of these if you're one of those people.

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

Megapixels and Ultrapixels: The Galaxy S4 versus HTC One camera shootout


We compare image quality on the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 rear cameras

Though they're direct competitors, the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 are two very different smartphones. That's especially evident when you look at the way they handle photography. The Galaxy S4 packs a 13-megapixel shooter with f/2.2 aperture, improving upon the 8-megapixel, f/2.6 unit in last year's S3 with the potential to capture even more detailed images. The HTC One trades sheer megapixel count for larger (2-micron) pixels on the sensor itself, allowing for improved low-light capabilities when combined with its wide-angle f/2.0 lens.

That's the basic hardware at work, but specs only go so far. That's why we've prepared a few direct comparison shots from the European HTC One (on the latest 1.29 firmware) and the international Samsung Galaxy S4 (GT-i9505). Check 'em out after the break.

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2 years ago

How to get lock screen widgets on the Samsung Galaxy S4


Lock screen widgets are easy to enable on the Galaxy S4, but there are a couple of extra settings to get to grips with

When you first pick up the Samsung Galaxy S4, it might appear that lock screen widgets aren't available. After all, the default lock screen is just a big clock widget with "life companion" or some other message up top. But as an Android 4.2 device, the S4 includes full support for lock screen widgets, it's just a case of enabling them in the phone's lock screen settings.

Head to Settings > My device > Lock screen and check "Multiple widgets." Once you've done that, you're able to swipe to the right and add more lock screen panels. There's the standard list of Google widgets as well as some new stuff from Samsung, including a new WatchON widget. This ties into the WatchON app, which is the Peel-powered universal remote included on the Galaxy S4, giving you an expandable universal remote right from your lock screen. Third-party offerings like Dashclock Widget should work just fine, too.

In stock Android, there's always a camera shortcut on the right-most lock screen panel. On the GS4 you can choose what goes here -- either a big, Nexus-style camera shortcut or a grid of favorite apps. Head to Settings > My device > Lock screen > Lock screen widgets > Favorite apps or Camera to configure this.

Like some of the other Samsung widgets, the main clock widget is customizable too. You can change or get rid of the message, have a dual clock if you're roaming overseas and customize the style and size of the on-screen fonts.

Check the quick video demo above to see lock screen widgets in action on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

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2 years ago

Jelly Bean update rolling out to Samsung Galaxy Note in Canada and the UK


TELUS, Rogers and Bell Galaxy Notes get Android 4.1.2 update, as does the UK SIM-unlocked version

Just a few days after the AT&T model got its Jelly Bean update, other Samsung Galaxy Note variants are starting to see the update to Android 4.1.2. According to reports from MobileSyrup and XDA, the Canadian carrier-branded versions on TELUS, Rogers, and Bell all have updates waiting for them. Meanwhile on the Android Central forums, a number of OG Note owners in the UK report that their GSM unlocked Notes are getting a similar update.

The Galaxy Note Jelly Bean update brings the new Google Search app with Google Now and improved responsiveness through the "Project Butter" performance enhancements, in addition to a new UI and a selection of newer software features from the Galaxy S3.

If you've updated your Galaxy Note to Jelly Bean, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: Android Central forums, ​MobileSyrup, XDA

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