Headlines

2 years ago

Samsung reportedly launching Galaxy XCover 2 at Mobile World Congress

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What we see here is reported to be the latest, rough and tough, rugged smartphone from Samsung. The follow up to the original Galaxy Xcover, the aptly named Xcover 2 has leaked out to the guys over at Sammobile and is reportedly set to launch at Mobile World Congress in February. 

It's been a couple of years since the original Xcover was announced, and like its predecessor, the Xcover 2 isn't looking like much of a specs powerhouse. But then, that's not necessarily why someone would buy one anyway. It's running Samsung's latest Nature UX on top of some version of Jelly Bean, although Sammobile couldn't offer an answer to which at this stage. 

It feels a little like a ruggedized version of the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini in truth, but with a little more juice in the battery. Leaked specs include a 1700mAh battery, a 4 inch 480x800 display, 5MP rear camera, 0.3MP front facing camera and 4GB of on board storage, expandable via microSD card support. 

The original Xcover was IP67 dirt, dust and water resistant, and we'd expect nothing less for the follow up. Needless to say these sort of phones aren't for everyone, but for some people they are essential. 

Of course, we'll be at Mobile World Congress next month, so anything we do see, we'll be bringing to you all as it happens. 

Source: Sammobile

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2 years ago

HTC Butterfly reportedly set to launch in India by end of January

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HTC's global 5-incher, the (J)Butterfly, so far hasn't made any kind of official appearances outside of a select few Asian markets, notably China and Japan. Hopes were raised, then dashed, of some kind of European availability, as we were informed the Butterfly -- without the 'J' -- would initially only be launching in China.

Since then, at least one global retailer has managed to snag some to sell on, but the next market to receive the device in an official capacity may well be India. According to well placed sources of Indian Android blog, AndroidOS.in, the Butterfly will be available by the end of January at a cost of INR 44,000. The launch is reportedly set to take place sometime in the next fortnight, with availability likely beginning the same day. 

India is a rapidly growing smartphone market, in particular in terms of Android smartphones. The reported price of the Butterfly will make it the most expensive smartphone on sale in the country, but with a 5 inch 1080p display, Snapdragon S4 Pro and 2GB of RAM inside, the specs at least back up a more premium asking price. 

Source: AndroidOS.in

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2 years ago

Android 4.1.2 update reportedly rolling out to unbranded Australian Samsung Galaxy S3

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Owners of an unbranded Samsung Galaxy S3 in Australia have cause for celebration -- the Android 4.1.2 update is reportedly rolling out to those devices right now. The guys at Ausdroid received the initial tip from one of their readers, and it seems the update is available to download via KIES. There's no word on an OTA variant pushing out just yet. 

Besides the 'Premium Suite' goodies the 4.1.2 update brings such as Multi Window, it's also said to contain fixes for the Exynos exploit and the so called 'sudden-death' that was affecting some handsets. If you own one of these eligible Galaxy S3s and have snagged the update for yourselves, be sure to share your experiences with us in the comments below, or head on into the Samsung Galaxy S3 forums.

Source: Ausdroid

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2 years ago

Xperia Z shows up on O2 Germany with LTE support

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We're still waiting for hard facts on pricing and release date for the newly announced Sony Xperia Z, but at least one carrier in Germany, O2, is committing to carrying it. The handset has shown up on the O2 Germany website with an expected release window of "February," but no specific timing other than that is available at this time. There's also no pricing, and your only option is to make a reservation price-unseen.

One interesting thing to note is that as one of Germany's LTE carriers, its version of the Xperia Z will have LTE support on-board, provided you're willing to pay the extra tariff to have the faster data speeds. Extra connectivity options aside, this is looking like the same device we've seen before, in the same black and white color options. Eager Germans among us can head to the source link and reserve one, again price-unseen, if you know that the Xperia Z is the device for you.

Source: O2 Germany; Thanks, Dhatam!

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2 years ago

Official Nexus 4 wireless charging orb appears at Norwegian retailer, Feb. release slated

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With the announcement of any official Nexus accessory comes the certainty of months of speculation as to if, when and where it'll eventually be released. So was the case with the Nexus 4's official Qi-based wireless charging station, first shown on launch day back in November, and increasingly elusive since that time.

Today the official orb-shaped charger has shown up for pre-order on Norwegian retailer Dustin Home, priced at 739 kr (around $114 U.S.) That might sound like a lot of cash for a charging orb, but we suspect that won't be indicative of U.S. pricing when it officially arrives in the States. (It's also worth remembering this price will include Norwegian VAT at 25%.)

Dustin Home has an estimated shipping date of Feb. 12, so you'll be waiting a while if you decide to get your order in early. There are cheaper alternatives available, as the Nexus 4 will work quite happily with any Qi-compatible charging mat. But if you're holding out for something a little more stylish, the mid-February shipping date suggests that wider orb availability may be upon us sooner rather than later.

If you're interested in using wireless charging on your Nexus 4, have you already picked up a mat, or are you holding out for the official charging orb? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Dustin Home; via: Reddit

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2 years ago

LG Mobile France director talks Nexus 4 supplies, Optimus G Euro launch

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Nexus 4 production ramping up over the next month; Optimus G to hit Europe in March

There's been a lot of back-and-forth over the past couple of months about exactly what's been behind the delays in getting the Nexus 4 back in stock on the Google Play Store. Before the holidays Google UK's managing director blamed "scarce and erratic" supplies for some of the issues experienced by Play Store customers. But in recent days LG has told the Korean press that they've had no issues with supplies at their end.

Today, an interview with LG Mobile France director Cathy Robin could give us our clearest indication of what's actually going on behind the scenes with supplies of the LG-made Nexus phone. Speaking with French outlet Challenges.fr, Robin says "the supply problems are not solely related to LG." Apparently Google presented LG with Play Store sales forecasts based on the performance of previous Nexus phones, but these turned out to be far exceeded by actual demand for the device. Despite these issues, she insists things are going "very well" between LG and Google.

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia Z to get Android 4.2 'shortly after launch'

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The Xperia Z will be first Sony phone to launch with Jelly Bean when it arrives in late February or early March, but out of the box it'll run Android 4.1 rather than the latest version 4.2. While the 4.2 upgrade isn't a big deal for "skinned" Android handsets, some of us like to be on the latest OS version, and in a recent online Q&A session, Sony fielded a question about future 4.2 upgrades for its new flagship device.

The good news is that a 4.2 update is scheduled for shortly after launch, but unfortunately that's as specific as Sony's being with timeframes at this point --

"Xperia Z launches on JB 4.1, but will receive 4.2 shortly after launch. As always, we’ll share more info on this over the coming weeks on the blog."

Unlike the jump from 4.0 to 4.1, Android 4.2's features are mostly UI-specific changes to stock Android, meaning they'll be less visible on a phone that's running a customized version of the OS. Regardless, Sony's commitment to a quick 4.2 upgrade will come as welcome news to fans of the platform. Here's hoping the company can deliver on its pledge of a speedy update.

Source: Sony; via: Ausdroid

More: Why you shouldn't worry about Android 4.2 updates

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia ZL spotted in red ahead of international release

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The Sony Xperia ZL may be coming to market in more than just black and white if these photos of a deep red model are to be believed. We had a look at the black and white versions of the Xperia ZL back at CES in Las Vegas and really enjoyed the quality of the handset, but the red version was nowhere to be found. The photo above is reportedly a prototype model handled at a South East Asia launch event, and word is that we shouldn't expect this for a worldwide launch like the other colors. The design is apparently identical, save for a back plate that's smooth rather than textured.

This is a touch confusing considering the white and black models were shown off so extensively at the major launch event in Las Vegas. Sony may have some final tweaking to do on the red model before it's ready for a consumer release, or it may be holding the third color as a special edition or regional device. Red version aside, we have no firm pricing or release date for the Xperia ZL (or it's brother, the Z) anywhere in the world. If you happen to be holding out for the device to make an appearance in the states, you may want to prepare to have it imported from overseas.

XperiaBlog has a good handful of pictures of the red Xperia ZL, if you're so inclined, at the source link below.

Source: XperiaBlog; Via: Pocket-Lint

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2 years ago

HTC One SV now available from Cricket for $369 sans contract

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Cricket has officially put the HTC One SV (read our review) up for sale on its website, bringing this little red beauty to willing customers for $369 without a contract. This decidedly mid-range priced device with some high-end flare is an interesting prospect for Cricket customers looking to stick with their carrier and have a quality handset. The One SV has a 4.3-inch WVGA display (read how Jerry feels about that,) Snapdragon S4 processor at 1.2GHz, a 5MP camera and that undeniably HTC "One" design wrapped around it. The device is running Android 4.0 and packing Cricket LTE support as well if it's live in your area, with no increase in your monthly bill for the faster data speeds.

If you happen to live in a market that Cricket offers service in, you can get your hands on the device at the source link below. Pricing is set at $369 retail, but online we're seeing $40 in discounts for a final price of $329 -- again without a contract. Cricket's plans are competitive as well, starting at $50 per month with unlimited talk, text and data (1GB of LTE.)  

Oh, and did we mention that our One SV review is up?

Source: Cricket

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2 years ago

4.2 update for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus is live on Google's servers, ripe for the picking

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The Android 4.2 update (JOP40D) for the Sprint flavored Galaxy Nexus is now live and hosted by Google. We've not yet seen any reports of an OTA, but adventurous types can manually download the update and install it with one of the various methods you'll find in the Galaxy Nexus forums. To get the roughly 100 MB update package, just click this link and save it somewhere on your computer. As mentioned, this package is direct from Google and won't contain any funny business. Then visit the forums if you need help getting it installed.

We have no idea when the OTA will start to roll out, but we've been watching for it for a few days since a leaked version was discovered at SXTP Developers. Since it's there for anyone to grab, we have to think that the OTA is close. If you see it, be sure to holler. 

Your move, Verizon.

Via: XDA-Developers. Thanks, Charlie!

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2 years ago

AT&T's Atrix 4G is prepping for a software update

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Motorola and AT&T are looking for a few people to soak test an unknown software update for the Atrix 4G. Here's where everyone get's excited and thinks OMG it has to be Ice Cream Sandwich, and we answer OMG no it doesn't have to be Ice Cream Sandwich. Let's not get our collective hopes up just yet.

We do know that invitations to participate in an early preview of a new software release are going out to folks with an AT&T branded Atrix 4G, who also happen to be in good standing at the Motorola Owners' Forums. In the past, these tests (known as soak tests) have ran the gamut from full-on OS updates to minor bug fixes. All updates need testing, and this is how Motorola does it. 

If you meet the qualifications, and have expressed interest in testing updates, keep an eye on your inbox for the message. We'll know more when the test gets underway, and you guys will be the first ones we tell. The test of the email is after the break.

Thanks, Anon!

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2 years ago

HTC 'M7' render leaks out

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There’s rightfully some excitement online today about a newly leaked render claiming to show what’s next from HTC -- a high-end Android smartphone known by the codename “M7.” The image comes from UnwiredView via @evleaks, which has a good track record of bringing leaked images like this into public view.

The shot seems to show the front face of a phone with rounded corners, the standard assortment of ports and sensors, and an unusual front-facing speaker setup -- or an even weirder earpiece and microphone arrangement. It looks more than a little odd. Yes, it looks a lot like an iPhone.

But to understand what’s going on with this render, it’s worth underscoring where it actually came from, and looking briefly at the history surrounding these kinds of leaks. Unlike many leaked renders, it wasn’t created to show of the device to the public and press. Consider these sentences from the original post:

"The render is apparently part of a short animation clip instructing new owners on first-time SIM card installation. However, the lack of branding and other details (distinct screen borders, for instance) suggest that this is not the exact design HTC is expected to debut at next month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.”

As an early leak, this is great stuff. But it's worth remembering that while this render might well come from an early version of the M7 ROM, it's not necessarily a lock for what the phone will look like. And there's precedent for this sort of thing, where early renders end up looking nothing like what's announced.

Let's have a look back.

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2 years ago

T-Mobile now offering the Nexus 7 with SIM through Google Play; Nexus 4 in all retail stores soon

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T-Mobile just hit us up with some new info regarding the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7. Here 'tis:

  • Nexus 4: Availability has been expanded to additional retail stores (so call yours to check), and it will be in all stores 'in the coming weeks." It'll be available again at T-Mobile's website starting Jan. 23.
  • Nexus 7: You can now get a 32GB version with a T-Mobile HSPA+ SIM card starting, well, now. Hardware is the same as the "AT&T version" that popped up yesterday, only this one says "T-Mobile" and doesn't come with a $100 credit on your bill. (We're double checking on any data plan requirements and will update.)

We still have absolutely no idea when you'll be able to buy an unlocked Nexus 4 through Google Play. Hopefully availability at T-Mobile's website next week points to general availability, but at this point who the hell knows ...

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2 years ago

AT&T starting to push Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update OTA

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After 6 weeks of availability only through Samsung Kies desktop software, the Jelly Bean update for AT&T's version of the Galaxy S3 is finally available over the air, as noted by the folks in our forums and confirmed to us by AT&T. (Engadget also has received separate confirmation.) Users were pretty confused as to why AT&T chose to only offer the Android 4.1 update via its desktop-based Kies program when it came out at the start of December, but the carrier has finally decided to make an OTA available for users that haven't updated -- and our guess would be a majority of users haven't. The update is still only available for download via a Wifi connection, but this is still a far better way to push out the update than with Kies. We're still scratching our heads wondering what AT&T was thinking the first time around.

Has your phone notified you of the update yet? Head to the forums and join in on the discussions with other users who woke up to a software update notification this morning.

Source: AT&T Galaxy S3 Forums

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2 years ago

Updates start to push for Samsung's Exynos exploit

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Sprint Epic 4G Touch, T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 getting fixes so far

When word dropped in December about an exploit to the kernel used with some Samsung Exynos chipsets, Sasmung promised an update "as quickly as possible" to plug the hole. Looks like fixes are starting to push out. Here's what we're seeing so far:

Other devices affected include the international Galaxy S2, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note and Note 2, certain tablets using Exynos 4, Galaxy Player models, Galaxy Tab 2s and the Galaxy Note 10.1.

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