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3 years ago

Pantech Star Q spotted, headed to Verizon packing 4G LTE

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Although Pantech hasn''t had a much success in the high-end market, they're still coming out with some entry level options to entice those people who may be jumping into the smartphone market for the first time. A new device for Verizon has now appeared going under the name Pantech Star Q. It's no head turner but considering it's suggested to retail for only $99 with 4G LTE it's worth a look:

  • Android 4.0.4
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 4-inch WVGA display
  • 3 MP rear camera, front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0

It is, what it is. The 5-row QWERTY may appeal to some folks given there is a shortage of those on Verizon other than that, we know whoever has one in their possession has uploaded some pics to Picassa and certainly likes Hemp seeds. We'll leave it at that.

Source: Android and Me

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3 years ago

HTC One X sees a price drop at Radio Shack, and the Trade & Save special is back

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If you're looking to pick up a new Android phone on AT&T this weekend, you might want to swing by Radio Shack and have a look at the HTC One X this Sunday. The folks at the Shack are dropping the price down to $100 (on a contract, of course) and have brought back the Trade & Save specials. That means that if you bring in any working phone when you buy a new one (again, with a contract) you will score somewhere between $30 and $300. Beats the heck out of trolling Craigslist looking for a buyer, or just letting your old phone sit in the junk drawer.

We know the best way to buy a phone is to get an unlocked GSM model and be free of pesky multi-year contracts. We get it. But not everyone is ready to spend upwards of $700 on a new phone, and if you're happy with your carrier and plan to be there for two years anyway, why not save some cash, right? Radio Shack is making it easy to get a great phone, at a great price, and maybe you'll even get some folding money from your old one. The promotion starts Sunday July 29, and the Trade & Save offer will run until Saturday Aug. 11. 

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3 years ago

HTC explains decision to drop Desire HD Ice Cream Sandwich update

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After a little confusion earlier this month, it was eventually revealed that HTC wouldn't be updating the venerable Desire HD to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich after all. At the time, the manufacturer simply said that the current Gingerbread-based firmware "provides customers with the best experience" on the phone. Now HTC has elaborated a little on the specific technical issues keeping the DHD from getting an Android 4.0 update. Basically, the system partition of the phone isn't large enough to hold Sense and Ice Cream Sandwich, and HTC found the device's performance on ICS to be below-par anyway.

Here's the company's statement in full, which goes into a fair amount of detail about what's involved --

We’ve heard your feedback on our decision not to update the HTC Desire HD to Android 4.0. We completely understand that this is a controversial decision.

For more background, due to how storage on the HTC Desire HD is partitioned – and the larger size of Android 4.0 – it would require re-partitioning device storage and overwriting user data in order to install this update. While technically advanced users might find this solution acceptable, the majority of customers would not. We also considered ways to reduce the overall size of the software package, but this would impact features and functionality that customers are currently using. Even after installing the update, there were other technical limitations which we felt negatively impacted the user experience.

We believe an update should always improve the user experience and carefully evaluate each update based on this criteria. While we are very aware of the disappointment from this decision, we believe the impact to user experience was too great. We recognize this is a change from our previous statement and for that we’re truly sorry.

So that's that. Clearly there's no way HTC could have anticipated the hardware or partitioning requirements of ICS when designing the Desire HD in mid-2010, so it's the decision to cut the update is an understandable one. Nevertheless, we're sure custom ROM developers will still find a way to get ICS ROMs loaded onto the Desire HD's smaller partition setup. So if you're still rocking a DHD, the custom ROM route should still be open to you.

Source: HTC Blog

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3 years ago

Samsung confirms Galaxy Note and Galaxy S3 appearance in Olympic opening ceremony

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In what seems to be a slightly premature blog post, Samsung has confirmed the appearance of the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S III (S3) at the Olympic opening ceremony in London -- an event some four hours away at the time of writing. Referring to the ceremony in the past tense, a post on the official Samsung Tomorrow blog noted Samsung's position as a global Olympic partner, and said the phones were featured "as part of a dance routine," in the show seen by "more than one billion people across the globe."

Samsung says to go to the official Samsung Mobile YouTube page for behind-the-scenes interviews from the opening ceremony, but it looks like these aren't live just yet.

We'll know more when the ceremonies kick off at 9pm London time (4pm EDT, 1pm PDT)

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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3 years ago

Entry-level Sony 'Xperia J' photos leak out ahead of possible IFA arrival

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We're already expecting to see a couple of new Sony phones at next month's IFA show in Berlin, and now it seems they may be joined by a third, budget-oriented offering. The Sony ST26i, rumored to go to market as the "Xperia J,"  has cropped up on Taiwanese site ePrice, along with a set of purported specs.

According to posters on the site, the Xperia J will sport a 4-inch FWVGA (854x480) display, a 1GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU and Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. Around the back there's said to be a 5MP camera with single LED flash. From what we can see of the design, the phone seems to be a plain old candybar/slab design, like some other leaked Sony handsets we've seen lately. The photos would also see to confirm at least three colors -- pink, black and white.

We'd expect the "Xperia J" to appear alongside the LT30p "Mint" and LT29i "Hayabusa" at the Sony booth at IFA next month, but of course nothing's being officially confirmed ahead of the event. Keep watching in late August, as we'll be live on the ground in Berlin.

Source: ePrice; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Virgin Mobile introduces $79.99 entry level PCD Chaser

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Virgin Mobile USA has today introduced their latest Android smartphone, the entry level PCD Chaser for just $79.99 without signing a contract. Marketing for the Chaser is aimed firmly at customers currently using a feature phone but wanting to make the jump to a smartphone. Featuring a 3.2" touchscreen, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 3MP camera and an 800MHz processor, the Chaser's specs won't set the world on fire. But, it's priced to move, and is currently showing up as temporarily out of stock on the Virgin Mobile website. 

It's available with Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans, starting at $35 a month. The Chaser will be rolling out through nationwide retailers starting in September, but it is available online from today -- or when it's in stock it will be, anyway. 

Source: Virgin Mobile

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3 years ago

Motorola launches Motoluxe XT685 for China, and it runs Android 4.0

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When we reviewed the European Motorola Motoluxe, there was one thing that let it down drastically. The software. Motorola's build quality was there in bundles, and despite being a low-powered, budget device, there was a lot to like. But it arrived with Gingerbread, and it didn't do particularly well with it either. 

Now, Motorola is set to launch the Motoluxe in China, and the XT685 as it is known comes much improved from the European one. The processor has been bumped up to 1GHz, but more importantly, the software has been bumped up to Ice Cream Sandwich. Otherwise, it looks very much the same as the European version with the same size 4-inch display, the 8MP camera on the rear and the darn sexy notification light strip in the bottom left. 

The Motoluxe XT685 is available across China now, in Brown or White, for RMB 1,999 ($313/£199) which puts in pretty much on par with its European cousin. No word yet on whether or not this will make it to any other global markets, but it looks like the device the Motoluxe should have been when it first launched. 

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

Samsung launches limited edition Team GB Galaxy S3 at Carphone Warehouse

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Today sees the official start of the Olympic Games, with the opening ceremony soon to kick off in London. Samsung, being a big Olympic sponsor, has decided to support the home team with a new series of official limited edition Team GB Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3) phones. Similar to the designs seen on the Olympic edition Galaxy Note, the Team GB Galaxy S3 models feature the union flag on a pebble blue background, or the Team GB lion on a marble white background.

Thoughtfully, Samsung realizes you might not want to celebrate the 2012 games throughout the entire multi-year life of the phone, so it's including a standard pebble blue or marble white back along with these Team GB designs. The Team GB Galaxy S3s will be available exclusively from the Carphone Warehouse from next Wednesday, Aug. 1, and will be offered on a range of contracts starting at £28 per month.

We've got Samsung's full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Samsung restores local search on international Galaxy S3 with new OTA

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After local search was mistakenly stripped out in the most recent software update for the international Samsung Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3), the manufacturer has this morning issued another update to restore the feature. The update weighs in at just 5MB, and also purports to offer "stability improvements." Delving into the "About device" page, we can see a new software version, XXBLG8, along with a new baseband, XXLG8, plus a new Linux kernel built just yesterday morning. The software's still based upon Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The feature has been the subject of an ongoing legal dispute in the U.S., where Apple has been granted a patent broadly covering searching from multiple databases on a mobile device and displaying the results in a certain way. Apple's patent complaints recently resulted in the Galaxy Nexus being briefly withdrawn from sale.

Samsung first pulled local search on the international Galaxy S3 on Wednesday, giving the impression that it, like the U.S. versions, were having functionality stripped out so as to avoid further litigation from Apple. Yesterday the company released a statement indicating that the move had been made "inadvertently," and that it'd be restored within in a few days. Just 24 hours later and it's back on our unlocked UK Galaxy S3, so kudos to Samsung for the quick turn-around.

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3 years ago

Sprint rolling out another update for the Samsung Galaxy S3

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Sprint has been keeping Samsung Galaxy S3 owners busy with updates for better or worse. The latest update shows as starting yesterday and is labeled L710VPLG4. Rather than sticking to a short and sweet change log, Sprint chose to lay it all out for this one and looking at it there is certainly some improvements listed:

  • KI – Touch Wiz home has stopped
  • Single picture MMS no longer displayed as slideshow
  • Optimized LTE system selection
  • Enhanced Smart Stay function
  • Enhanced Voice recognition algorithm
  • All-Share Cast (All-share accessory hub) support
  • Music Hub support
  • Security Fixes

Aside from the fixes, which are great to see, you may notice that Music Hub support is listed. Samsung hasn't as of yet anyhow, launched Music Hub in North America so we're left to wonder why it's listed. In any case, sound off in the comments or in the forums if you're seeing this update on your device. If it's not there yet, you'll just have to wait it out until it arrives.

Source: Sprint via: Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Google Handwrite announced for phones and tablets, write out your Google searches

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Google has just announced a new way to use its web search products on phones and tablets. Google Handwrite, available today from the Google Search settings menu, allows you to write out words with your fingers -- or a stylus, if you own one -- directly onto the page. Google then turns your scrawlings into text, and you can press the search button to complete your search. Google Handwrite seems to be a logical evolution of the Gesture Search app of old, only this one's much faster, and built on the web, rather than an app on a phone. We haven't tried it on a device with a stylus yet, but if you're rocking a Galaxy Note, this is something you'll want to enable right away.

Handwrite is currently accessible on Android 2.3+ phones, Android 4.0+ tablets and iOS5 devices, so to give it a try, head to the Settings menu on Google.com on your device. When you're done, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: Google Blog

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3 years ago

Sprint gets official with LTE-enabled Motorola Photon Q

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After a brief mention in their quarterly conference call earlier today, Sprint has made an official announcement of the Motorola Photon Q. Here's a quick rundown of the specs.

  • Android 4.0.4, Ice Cream Sandwich
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
  • Rear-facing 8MP camera with 1080p video capture and playback so you can leave your digital camera at home. Plus, those photos can be set to automatically upload to Google+ so you don’t have to worry about accidently deleting them.
  • Front-facing HD camera for easy Google+ Hangout video chats or conference calls
  • Mirror mode when connected with HDMI cable (sold separately) to view images, files and movies on a larger screen, like your TV at home.
  • Sprint ID, offering an innovative way to personalize an Android smartphone with apps, widgets, ringtones and more all, in a single download
  • NFC support to share links, apps, YouTube clips and more with Android Beam

Full specs and press release after the jump. We've got a full image gallery over here if you want to take a closer look at the hardware. 

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3 years ago

Orange UK launches Travel Angel app to keep track of international roaming

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If you're an Orange UK customer traveling abroad this summer, you'll want to check out the carrier's Travel Angel app, which is designed to simplify the often confusing world of international roaming. The Orange Travel Angel app lets Android (and BlackBerry) users keep track of their international usage in real time, rather than waiting for charges to appear online over a period of days. The app is also location-aware, meaning it can detect if it's in a country for which the customer doesn't have a roaming bundle. And the bundled themselves can be purchased directly through the app. Users can also get a detailed breakdown of which apps are using the most roaming data, and how many out-of-bundle calls and texts have been sent.

Hit the link below to download Orange's Travel Angel app from Google Play (you'll need to be an Orange customer to do so, of course). Or you can for a round-up of all the roaming deals across every major UK network, check out our EU roaming guide.

Download: Orange Travel Angel

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3 years ago

International Galaxy S3 local search removal 'inadvertent', says Samsung, patch due in days

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Following the removal of local search (or universal search) in the latest over-the-air update for the Samsung Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3), the manufacturer has released a statement addressing the issue. Samsung says that the removal of the ability to search content on the device from the Google Search app was "inadvertent," and that it will be restored for GT-i9300 owners in a future update.

Here's the statement Samsung released to UK site TechRadar --

"The most recent software upgrade for the Galaxy S III in the UK included the inadvertent removal of the universal search function. Samsung will provide the correct software upgrade within the next few days."

As we pointed out at the time, the removal of local search from the international S3 was a puzzling move, as Apple has yet to challenge Samsung over the feature in the European courts. Now it seems the loss of local search was most likely the result of programmer error, rather than Samsung hedging its bets and seeking to avoid further litigation.

In the U.S., the Sprint and AT&T Galaxy S3's have had the feature stripped out in over-the-air updates, as a precautionary measure, following legal action by Apple over local search, which temporarily resulted in the Galaxy Nexus being banned in the U.S. Unfortunately it's unlikely those phones will see local search return anytime soon, but at least it's good news today for international S3 owners.

Source: TechRadar

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3 years ago

Sprint CEO outs the Motorola Photon Q during earnings call

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Sprint has yet to officially announce the Motorola Photon Q, which we first showed you from a leak in our forums earlier this summer, and which has already made it through the FCC. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse this morning during the company's second-quarter earnings call said the phone is coming "very soon." It'll sport 4G LTE data and also serve as a GSM world phone outside the United States, in addition to having the five-row QWERTY keyboard you see above.

Unknown is whether it'll launch with Ice Cream Sandwich, as seen in the test device above, or whether it'll get a bump to Jelly Bean before release. We'd bet on the former, with an upgrade to the latter.

We'd expect an official announcement is in the works now, too.

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