Headlines

2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 now available at AT&T

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Those of you itching to get a hold of Samsung's latest phablet will be happy to hear that, as expected, the Galaxy Note 2 is now available at AT&T stores and online for $299 on a two-year contract. 

The Note 2 launch on AT&T is going to be a bit crowded by Windows Phones though, as both the Nokia Lumia 920 and the HTC 8X are also hitting shelves today, and they're getting a lot of visibility. On the other hand, Samsung has already sold 3 million Note 2 devices. There aren't any surprises as far as Note 2 specs go, as the 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display, LTE connectivity, 8 megapixel camera, and quad-core 1.6 GHz processor are the same as models released elsewhere. 

 Who's in? Of course, you'll want to check out our review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 before taking the plunge. 

More: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 forums

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2 years ago

Official Jelly Bean update hitting Motorola Droid RAZR M today

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We saw a leak of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for the Motorola Droid RAZR M just shy of a month ago, and Verizon has just taken off the wraps on the official update today. The official support page is now live, and the update will start rolling out in phases -- as is typical -- starting today. The page also indicates that eager users will be able to manually check in and download the update in the next week.

The update is bringing the whole host of Android 4.1 features including Google Now, smart keyboard predictions and a few Motorola tweaks like an enhanced notification pane thrown in. Love it or hate it, the update is bringing along ISIS mobile payments as well. Surely we would have preferred to see the device launch with Jelly Bean on board, but a hasty update right after launch is the next best thing. It looks like Google kept its promise on this update.

Source: Verizon; More: Motorola Droid RAZR M Forums

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the new black T-Mobile HTC One S

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Meet the new T-Mobile HTC One S. Same as the old T-Mobile HTC One S. Well, mostly.

See, way back in February, deep in Hall 8 of the Fira de Barcelona for Mobile World Congress, we discovered that there actually were two versions of the HTC One S. T-Mobile U.S. was to get the gray version, with its traditional "gradient paint color sheet," while the rest of the world got to play with the cool-looking black one with its Micro-Arc Oxidation treatment that basically fries the metal into thinking its a ceramic

And now, you can get that same MAO-treated phone on T-Mobile U.S. And this is it.

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2 years ago

Motorola RAZR MAXX lands on Alltel

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Alltel has started selling the Motorola RAZR MAXX today for $129.99 on contract or $499.99 off-contract. Don't confuse this with the RAZR MAXX HD, though it sounds like the last generation had great battery life too. Here's what's under the hood. 

  • 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with 1 GB of RAM
  • 4.3-inch 960 x 540 display
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • MHL video-out support
  • 3300 mAh battery with 21.5 hours talk time

Any RAZR MAXX owners out there? Alltel customers, anyone tempted to pick this one up, or would you sooner switch carriers for access to the MAXX HD?  

Anyone interested, can order a Motorola RAZR MAXX from Alltel Online over here

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2 years ago

AT&T's Samsung Captivate Glide gets Ice Cream Sandwich on Nov. 10

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AT&T this morning announced that the Samsung Captivate Glide -- the 4-inch QWERTY we first saw about a year ago -- will get its update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich starting this Sunday. It doesn't look like it'll be made available over the air -- it's still 2012, right? -- and instead you'll have to go to a Samsung update page, which at the time of this writing still says the update is on hold. 

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia advance on sale unlocked in the U.S.

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The Xperia Advance (known elsewhere in the world as the rugged Xperia Go) is now available to Americans through online retailers like Newegg for a scant $249.99. Beyond being pretty dang tough, here's what you can expect spec-wise. 

  • 3.5-inch 480 x 320 display
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (Jelly Bean is on the way)
  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and 720p video recording
  • IP67 dust and water resistant ("the highest level of dust and water resistance available on Any Android smartphone" as of October 29)
  • UMTS HSPA 850, 1900, 2100
  • GSM GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900
  • DLNA and USB host connectivity

So, entry-level, but a decent, affordable unlocked phone with a fair bit of ruggedness to boot. Good enough for any of you, or does it make more sense to sign on to a contract for something higher-end? Is the IP67 rating an attraction at all? Anyone in the UK pick up the European version? What do you think?

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini now available in the UK

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Samsung's miniaturized, mid-range Galaxy S3 Mini has gone on sale in the UK, where it's now available to purchase SIM-free and on-contract. If you're looking to buy one outright, online retailers Expansys and Unlocked Mobiles are selling the Galaxy S3 Mini for £299.99 and £294.98 respectively.

If you're after a network-subsidized Mini, you'll find it offered on 24-month contracts from £28 per month from Three UK, or £27 per month from O2. Three's plan is more data-friendly, with "all you can eat" data included, while O2's is limited to 500MB, but with unlimited texts. O2's price plans go as cheap as £16.50 per month, but if you opt for that deal, you'll pay over £100 up-front for the phone. (It's worth noting that Three isn't selling the S3 Mini online until Nov. 16 -- until then it'll be available in stores only.)

Anyone considering picking up a Galaxy S3 Mini today? Shout out in the comments!

More: Galaxy S3 Mini forum

Source: Three, Expansys, Unlocked Mobiles, O2

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2 years ago

Three UK launches Sony Xperia J, Alcatel One Touch 903

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Three UK has launched two new entry-level Android devices this morning, the Sony Xperia J and Alcatel One Touch 903.

The Xperia J is Sony's new budget-focused Android handset for late 2012. Unveiled alongside Xperias T, TX and V the IFA show in August, the Xperia J sports Sony's trademark "arc" chassis design, but with less meaty hardware. It's powered by a 1GHz single-core processor, with 4GB of internal storage and a 5MP camera. On the software side, it's on-par with other Sony handsets, running a skinned version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

That's more than can be said for Alcatel's One Touch, however, which ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 2MP camera and a 650MHz CPU. It's a pretty basic smartphone experience, but the starting price of £49.99 (plus top-up) on PAYG doesn't leave much room for fancy hardware. (On-contract prices start at £10 per month, with the phone given away for free)

Meanwhile, Three's Sony Xperia J sells for £149.99 on PAYG, and is given away for free on contracts starting at just £13 per month. That's not a bad deal if you're not after the very latest hardware.

Source: Three

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2 years ago

From the forums: Is the Nexus 4 merely an 'S' upgrade?

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Writes Lanhoj in our Nexus 4 forums:

"I feel bad saying it but the Nexus 4 feels like an "S" upgrade (like Apple's upgrades)."

First off, don't feel bad saying it. Apple's update strategy has proved to be successful, if annoying for those who want the top-of-the-line phone year after year but grimace at the cost. And there's an argument to be made here, though I'm not sure it quite adds up.

The internals of the Nexus 4 are a significant improvement over the Galaxy Nexus, both on paper and in actual use. Just ask anyone who's tried Photo Sphere on a Galaxy Nexus. The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro is a huge jump.

More: Our complete Nexus 4 review

Don't discount the improved camera, either. When I'd carry the Galaxy Nexus, I'd also carry a second phone, with a better camera. (Either the Galaxy S3 or the HTC One X.) That's not normal, I know. But that's how bad the Galaxy Nexus camera is compared to those two phones. And with the Nexus 4, I'll not be needing a second phone for proper photography.

Android 4.2 isn't a giant leap over Android 4.1, but there's enough there to keep it interesting, and we still don't know if the Galaxy Nexus will get all the improvements in the Nexus 4.

But maybe even more important is the price. You can get this phone for $299 or $349 unlocked. No contracts. In and out. And if it turns out you can't live with the anemic storage or lack of LTE data on AT&T in the U.S., (remember that there's no Verizon or Sprint-capable version, and T-Mobile still doesn't have any LTE) you'll be able to get most -- if not all -- of your investment back pretty quickly. What's it cost to upgrade to the latest iPhone or manufacturer's-best Android phone year after year?

More: Nexus 4 forums

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2 years ago

Galaxy S2 coming fashionably late to Virgin Mobile

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The Samsung Galaxy SII (S2) is making its way to Virgin Mobile. Yes, the Galaxy S2. Virgin Mobile has been reclaiming older devices and offering them at reasonable prices since Sprint has started moving to LTE and offloaded its WiMax network to prepaid operators. It started with devices like the Evo 3D coming to Virgin, and it will continue today with the Galaxy S2. We're going to go ahead and assume this device is going to look the exact same as Sprint's Galaxy S2 (Epic 4G Touch) from mid last year -- if the Boost Mobile variant is any indication -- save for probably a different logo on the back.

The device will be $369.99 without a contract, in both silver and white, from November 15th. Virgin Mobile "Beyond Talk" plans start at $35 per month for unlimited messaging and data.

Source: Virgin Mobile Newsroom

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2 years ago

All Samsung phones going on sale at T-Mobile for two days

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It's no secret that the Samsung devices are huge sellers for T-Mobile. Unfortunately, sometimes T-Mobile's on-contract pricing is a bit higher than other carriers, as we've seen with the recent launch of the Galaxy Note 2. Luckily if you're planning on grabbing the Note 2, Galaxy SIII (S3) or any of the several Samsung phones available on T-Mobile it looks like many will be free -- or very cheap -- on contract (with a Classic Plan) on November 16th and 17th.

T-Mobile's pricing structure is set up to try and incentivize you to buy phones on their Value Plans or Monthly 4G Prepaid plans, but if for some reason you're looking to stick with a Classic Plan, this next weekend will give you a good opportunity to save a few hundred dollars up-front.

Source: TmoNews

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia S removed from AOSP, project will live on at Sony GitHub

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The Sony Xperia S has been kicking around in the Android Open Source Project for a while now. It never was an official target, but with the work from Sony and JBQ it was a usable option for those willing to tinker around, and by most accounts a success. With things ramping up and preparing for the AOSP to move on to Android 4.2, it has been removed.

The project will still live on, though, as Sony has set up a dedicated git for the Xperia S at their GitHub space. Interested parties can still hack away at Android 4.1 for the device, with plenty of community and official support. Full instructions for pulling and building are available, and folks interested should find the experience hasn't changed much.

As for why it was removed, Sony engineers explain that Google can't commit time and resources to maintaining anything other than Nexus devices in the official AOSP. We still see the Pandaboard in AOSP though, so there's more to the issue. It appears that Sony is unwilling to release all the binary files needed to boot the Xperia S into a usable state, which is a good reason to have it removed from the AOSP. We're not sure if the move was mandated or voluntary, but it certainly wasn't unexpected with needed files being withheld.

Update: Jean-Baptiste Quéru, Google's "Android Open Source Tech Dude" and wrangler of the huge AOSP, has taken the time to reiterate that there is no conspiracy going on, and that Sony is now the company with the expertise needed to carry on the project, not Google. In addition, none of the current devices have all the proprietary files available, and never have. Thanks for taking the time, JBQ! 

Sony, we applaud you for taking an interest in the AOSP, and for the time you've spent working with the community and Google to come this far. We're not so happy about the binaries not being made available, but it's good the see a strong base being continued by your own engineering team instead of just abandoned.

Source: Sony. More: Sony on GitHub

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2 years ago

HTC One X+ review

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Six months on from the One X, a turbo-​charged successor arrives

After a tumultuous year, HTC needs to score some big wins this holiday season. Many critics, including ourselves, have been full of praise for its HTC One series, led by the venerable One X. But every passing quarter seems to bring depressingly familiar news for the Taiwanese manufacturer -- record sales and profits for Android rival Samsung, and tumbling revenues for HTC.

On the Windows Phone side, the HTC 8X -- a great handset by any standard -- looks set to make a big impact in the coming weeks. But what of Android? Well, as the year draws to a close, HTC is hoping to put the One series back in the spotlight with a revamped high-end offering, the One X+. On paper it’s a tantalizing proposition -- one of our favorite early 2012 phones re-imagined in a soft touch polycarbonate shell, with a larger battery, a faster CPU and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box.

But as HTC knows, specs alone have never been enough to guarantee a device’s success. Today the One X+ is but a drop in a sea of quad-core, 720p Androids, The high-end mobile space is a lot more crowded than it was back in March, when we reviewed the original One X.

And speaking of that device, what does the One X+ mean for those who’ve already invested in the HTC One series?

Answers to all these questions, and many more, are waiting in our full review of the HTC One X+. Read on.

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2 years ago

AT&T's Samsung Galaxy Express available Nov. 16 for $99

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AT&T this morning announced that its entry-level Samsung Galaxy Express will be available Nov. 16 for $99 on contract.

As you'll recall from our hands-on with the Express last month, it's a pretty basic Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, with a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, a 1GHz dual-core processor and a 2,000 mAh battery. It's got a 5-megapixel rear camera, and a few of the software tweaks seen in more powerful (and expensive) Samsung phones, like the Galaxy S3. It also runs on AT&T's LTE network, if you've got it where you live.

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

Purported Sony Yuga prototype shots emerge - 5-inch 1080p screen rumored

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It looks like HTC's J Butterfly and Droid DNA could have some competition in early 2013. Rumors of a 5-inch, quad-core Sony handset in development have been circulating for the past month or so, and today brings what could be the first images of the device, which apparently goes by the codename "Yuga."

The image above comes from a set obtained by Swiss Android site Android Schweiz, and is apparently a prototype for the next-gen Sony flagship. Along with the leaked pics, the site claims the prototype is running a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU -- most likely a Snapdragon S4 -- along with 2GB of RAM, a 12MP camera and a 5-inch 1080p display.

Physically, it's a pretty nondescript smartphone design. Earpiece, speaker and front-facing camera can be spotted in the shot above, and other images in the set show Xperia T-style on-screen buttons. The back of the device is difficult to make out, but seems to be at least partially reflective. The alleged prototype is running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean along with Sony's Xperia UI, which looks almost identical to what we've used on the Xperia T and other late 2012 Sony handsets.

Remember that both hardware and software are likely pre-production, so even if this is a legitimate Sony device, the final product is likely to differ from what we see in these leaked pics. We got to see several Sony prototypes recently, and as you might expect, they often don't quite match up with the finalized designs.

Sony tends to reveal new products first at CES each January, so we wouldn't be surprised to see the "Yuga," or whatever it's eventually called, making its public debut in Las Vegas in a couple of months.

Source: Android Schweiz (Translated)

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