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3 years ago

Lenovo announces S860, 850 and 660 range of phones with affordable price points

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New range of devices targeted at price-conscious users in select markets

Building on its popular lineup of S-series smartphones, Lenovo today announced the S860, 850 and 660 at MWC 2014 in Barcelona. These latest iterations in the S-series focus on longer battery life, quad-core performance and key productivity features including the newly-announced DOit suite of apps.

Naturally as the flagship, the Lenovo S860 offers all-day battery life, including 24 hours of talk time and the ability to charge other devices off of the phone. That's paired with a quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM for increased performance.

Taking one step down the line, the new S850 is focused on style with a thin and lightweight glass construction and a 5-inch display. You'll again be getting a quad-core processor, and also a 13MP rear and 5MP front camera for the photo buffs out there. 

Rounding out the group is the S660, a solid mid-range device with a brushed metal construction, solid battery life and again a 5-inch display. Lenovo is focusing on a value-level price and comfortable design for a device that slots in well below the S860 and 850.

Now about the pricing — the S860 will cost just $349 unlocked, with the S850 at $269 and S660 at $229. Availability is set for select markets and will be available from Lenovo's online store.

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3 years ago

Huawei announces the Ascend G6, a €249 unlocked phone with mid-range specs and high style

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Design that set you back $450 last year makes it to a lower-end device

​Alongside the MediaPad X1 and TalkBand B1, a less-flashy device, the Ascend G6, was announced to round out Huawei's mid-range effort. If you're familiar with the Ascend P6 from last year you'll know the design here — but the G6 trades specs in some places and in return adds a much-wanted LTE radio. You're getting the same plastic front and metal back with some nice accents and visual features like a 7.85mm thickness, as well as interesting color choices (our white balance isn't bad, that phone is actually pink).

The Ascend G6 steps down the screen most notably, going to a 4.5-inch 540 x 960 (qHD) display from 720 x 1280 in the P6. It keeps the same camera setup and 2000mAh battery though, but that could be considered a downgrade considering the Ascend G6 is being released several months later. The Ascend G6 benefits from the same software tweaks and improvements that we see on the MediaPad X1 — including a few UI tweaks and new camera software features.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Acer Liquid E3

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Acer's latest Android handset on show at Mobile World Congress

Before Mobile World Congress even started, Acer announced a pair of new Android smartphones in its liquid series. Of the two its the Liquid E3 that's a little more interesting, with a more premium looking design and the better class – though still mid-range – of hardware.

To recap, the Liquid E3 has a 4.7-inch 720p IPS display, 1.2GHz quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM. Acer is making a play for photographers especially those who like to take 'selfies' with its 2MP front facing camera and LED front facing flash. Round the back we find a 13MP shooter with a button that can be used to quick launch a designated app or the camera. Software is Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean at launch, but a KitKat is promised at some point down the line.

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3 years ago

Huawei MediaPad X1 7-inch phone hands-on

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An impressive display of hardware quality in a gigantic phone form factor

Huawei is making a big deal about its latest huge phone, the MediaPad X1, here at MWC 2014. Yes, this 7-inch device is technically a phone, but Huawei is marketing it more as an intersecting point of phones and tablets. We've seen Sony do it with the Z Ultra and Samsung with the Galaxy Mega, and now it's Huawei's turn.

This is basically just a gigantic phone, with little to make it easy to use one-handed. Huawei does its best by offering small bezels — less than 3mm on the left and right sides — and extreme thinness of 7.18mm. It accomplishes this thickness with an impressive build quality of an all-glass front and aluminum back and sides that uses an interesting nanotechnology to keep it rigid.

On the inside, Huawei is going with a relatively unknown Kirin 910 1.6 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of RAM — in our time with the device the UI seems snappy and fluid with not a single slowdown. The display comes in at an impressive 1200 x 1920 and looks absolutely great to our eyes with solid viewing angles and colors. Huawei is still doing some weird things with its interface that keep icons and settings overly-colorful to our eyes, but if you know its interface than you'll feel at home here.

Stick around for a closer look at the phone, including video, after the break.

The rest of the device rounds out just like most of Huawei's other devices — a 13MP Sony Exmor R camera on the rear and wide-angle 5MP camera on the front, a few new camera modes and the ability to charge other devices off the USB port. The hardware design is a step in the right directon for Huawei and really feels like a more premium device. The software still needs some work, we think, but is also heading in the right direction.

Huawei says that the MediaPad X1 will be coming to China, Russia, Western Europe, Middle East, Japan and Latin America in four colors starting in March. The price is an impressively-low €399, and we'll have more pricing details as they become available.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the LG G2 Mini

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LG G2 Mini fits into a weird, but targeted place in the smartphone spectrum

Let's just put this out in the open here. We're a bit perplexed by the prospect of the LG G2 Mini, which we've just taken a look at here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. On paper, it's not exactly a scaled-down version of the LG G2 — more like a scaled down, under-spec'd model, actually. A mere 4.7 inches — but at qHD 960x540 resolution. Whereas the G2 has a Snapdragon 800 processor, the G2 Mini sports either a Qualcomm MSM8926, or an NVIDIA Tegra 4i (not insignificant, but also not exaclty hard-core). A mere 8GB of total on-board storage, 1GB of RAM — but with a 13-megapixel camera, minus some features.

The LG G2 Mini is, simply put, not a smaller version of the high-end G2. What it basically is, however, is a lower-cost device, somewhere in between the even-lower L series (that's not what L stands for, but we can't help but make that distiction now). That's a murky area — but also not all that surprising given that it appears to be targeted for specific regional markets. That's something to keep in mind, we suppose.

But, bottom line? Not the worst "affordable" device we've ever seen. Low-end certainly isn't as low as it used to be.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the LG G Pro 2

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LG's largest Android smartphone gets bigger, and smarter

LG already introduced the new G Pro 2 over in Korea, and they're showing it off to the rest of the world here at Mobile World Congress for the first time. If you're thinking it looks a little familar, you'd be right. Gone is the physical home button of its predecessor and in are the rear mounted power and volume controls of the G2. It's actually pretty handsome. And quite large.

A quick specs recap first, then. The G Pro 2 houses a 5.9-inch 1080p IPS display, with a 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800 and 3GB of RAM underneath. You get either 16 or 32GB of onboard storage with a microSD card slot and a 13MP camera round the back with OIS. Software-wise we're looking at Android 4.4.2 KitKat and LG's own brand of customizations.

While LG's manage to keep the overall look and feel of the original G Pro, this one's definitely in the extra-large department. There's just no disguising 5.9 inches, small bezels or not. If you absolutely have to one-hand the G Pro 2, you can fire up Mini View, which shrinks things down into a windowed display. But that doesn't change the fact that you're manhandling a massive phone.

And Knock On — where you tap the screen twice to wake the phone — has gotten even better with Knock Code, which lets you set one of 80,000 some-odd combinations of knocking patterns, so you now have convience as well as security. Love this feature.

But enough words, you want to see it, right? Head on past the break for a hands-on look at the new LG G Pro 2.

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3 years ago

Grab a UK Nexus 5 for just £240!

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Black 16GB in stock now at Carphone Warehouse, other colors on back order

If you've been holding out on picking up a UK Nexus 5, Carphone Warehouse might just have given you the best reason there is to go out and grab one. As of right now, they will sell you one for just £240, the lowest price for a SIM free Nexus 5 we've seen to date in Britain.

The white and red versions are offered at £240, but both are currently out of stock showing a "pre order" button next to them. The white is scheduled to ship on Feb 27 according to the site. If you're happy with a black one, you can buy one right now for home delivery or to collect in your local store. Grab 'em while they're hot!

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

Geeksphone Revolution now on sale, €222 gives you the choice of Android or Firefox OS

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Mozilla's Firefox OS is still in its early fledgling stages, and Spanish manufacturer Geeksphone has probably been its biggest proponent. But getting people to commit to spending the cash for a phone that runs the unproven OS with primarily only webapps available has proven a challenge, and thus Geeksphone's going the dual-booting route with the new Revolution.

On sale today, the Geeksphone Revolution costs €222 (before tax) ($305 USD) and is capable of booting into either Android or Firefox OS. So you can try out the open source Mozilla OS without making a full commitment. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you'll just spend your time on Android.

Now, €222 doesn't get you a highly impressive phone, though what you get for the price isn't bad. The Revolution spots a 4.7-inch qHD (540x960) iPS display with an 8 megapixel camera on the back and 1.3 megapixels on the front. Chipset-wise there's a dual-core Intel Atom Z2560 clocked at 1.6GHz, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of storage (expandable via MicroSD). There's a standard compliment of Wi-Fi b/g/n radios and Bluetooth 3.0, though the HSDPA radio is a bit of a bummer. But, again, at that price it's not a deal-breaker.

The Revolution is actually an Android phone first, booting to Android (version number is unspecified, though by the press images it's 4.x of some sort, and it appears to be running Google apps) on first activation. Though you can switch to Firefox OS whenever you like. The question is, though, would you?

Source: Geeksphone

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3 years ago

Android at Mobile World Congress 2014 — What to expect from this year's show

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Samsung Galaxy S5, Sony Xperia Z2, LG G Pro 2 and new wearable devices

One of the largest mobile shows of the year is about to kick off on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. This weekend — and for much of next week — we’re at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where we’ll be covering some of the biggest mobile announcements of the year. Highlights are expected to include Samsung’s Galaxy S5, new Xperia devices from Sony, and Nokia’s first Android handset. And possibly new fare from HTC as well.

For the second year running the show itself is taking place at the futuristic Fira Gran Via, a new venue in Central Barcelona, and attending companies will also be holding press conferences all over the city. We’ll have six Mobile Nations editors on the ground — myself, Phil Nickinson, Andrew Martonik, Richard Devine, Kevin Michaluk and Daniel Rubino — so you’ll want to keep track of all our MWC coverage across Android Central, Windows Phone Central, CrackBerry, iMore and Smartwatch Fans.

MWC runs from Monday, Feb. 24, until Thursday, Feb. 27, with most of the big news happening on the 24th and 25th during the morning U.S. time. We'll have constant coverage through our massive Mobile World Congress hub page, which is where you'll find our latest news, articles, videos and behind-the-scenes stuff.

We’re in for a busy week at this year’s MWC, so let’s break down what we’re expecting from the major Android players ...

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3 years ago

Verizon Moto X getting Android 4.4.2 update today

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Yesterday's soak test be damned, Verizon's pushing out Android 4.4.2 KitKat for the Moto X today. This brings the Verizon Moto X right up to date with the latest version of Android, inline with the rest of the Moto X family, the HTC One (for some carriers), Google Play Edition devices , and Nexus devices. This is also ahead of Samsung, who has committed to updating an array of devices from the past two years to 4.4.2, but provided no timeframe for those updates.

The update to Android 4.4.2 brings relatively minor improvements to the Moto X, including improved 3G and 4G data stability and bug fixes related to call volume and MMS. The camera software has also been improved with better sky detection and auto-HDR.

Got Android 4.4.2 on your Moto X? Let us know how it's treating you.

Source: Verizon (pdf)

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3 years ago

LG G2 KitKat update hitting the UK from mid-March

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Speed boost promised with latest Android OS update

Android 4.4 KitKat for the LG G2 will bering rolling out to devices in the UK from mid-March, a video uploaded by LG UK reveals. The manufacturer says that the KitKat update brings performance improvements to the G2, alongside standard Android 4.4 features like cloud printing and the Chromium browsing engine for web views.

In the video above, LG uses a high frame rate camera to capture the performance differences between Jelly Bean and KitKat in a variety of tasks, including KnockOn wake-ups, app load times, camera startup and web page rendering. All in all, the company says KitKat makes the G2 17 percent faster, which is nothing to sniff at.

Thanks, gonk24!

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3 years ago

'The Next Galaxy' is coming at Samsung Unpacked 5

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New teaser shows the power of five

Continuing its focus on the "power of five," Samsung's teaser for its Unpacked 5 event next Monday in Barcelona leaves little doubt that we'll see the Galaxy S5 on the first day of MWC. Intercut with buzzwords, artsy photos and gratiutous use of the number five, it's not immediately clear what many of these slogans have to do with "The Next Galaxy," but you can bet we'll be on the ground to find out on Feb. 24.

Check the teaser out after the break, and don't forget to share your thoughts and theories down in the comments!

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3 years ago

Huawei MediaPad X1 and Ascend G6 leak ahead of MWC

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7-inch tablet and mid-range phone revealed

Thanks to its bizarre MWC teaser trailer, we know Huawei wants to make a splash at Mobile World Congress next week. And now we have a good idea what two of its new products will look like, as the Huawei MediaPad X1 and Ascend G6 have leaked out online ahead of their expected arrival in Barcelona. The MediaPad X1 is Huawei's latest 7-inch Android tablet, with previous leaks suggesting a the presence of a 1.6GHz quad-core CPU, a 1920x1200 display resolution, 6,000mAh battery, optional LTE connectivity and a price tag around $200. Images leaked today on Weibo show a white chassis with relatively trim bezels and an S View-like cover for the device.

Meanwhile Twitter leaker @evleaks has gotten hold of renders of the Huawei Ascend G6 — pictured after the break — the company's latest mid-range smartphone, which sports an Ascend P6-like look. Specs for the slim, multicolored handset are said to include a quad-core 1.3GHz CPU from Mediatek, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP rear camera and 5-megapixel front-facer.

We're still waiting for a good look at Huawei's new high-end handset, the Ascend P7, said in the company's teaser video to include all-day battery life, a high-quality front-facing camera, and support for next-gen LTE networks. No doubt we'll learn more at the Huawei MWC press conference this Sunday.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

I could watch this LG G Pro 2 teaser all day long

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Not that I have any idea what they're saying. It's just that Korean commercials are just so much more fun than what we usually get in the U.S.

The LG G Pro 2 launched in Korea this week for around $900 U.S. We'll get a better look at it next week at Mobile World Congress, and it's a good bet we'll see it in the U.S. at some point.

More: LG

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3 years ago

Archos announces new phones, tablets for Mobile World Congress

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Archos today announced four new devices ahead of Mobile World Congress — a tablet and three phones. Here's what we're looking at:

  • Archos 80 Helium 4G: An 8-inch Android 4.3 tablet powered by a quad-core Qualcomm MSM8926 processor and sporting 4G LTE data. It'll have full access to Google Play and costs $249.
  • Archos 50c Oxygen: Thus guy is a 5-inch phone (at 720p) running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. It's got an 8MP camera and is powered by an eight-core Mediatex processor at 1.7 GHz. It costs $199.
  • Archos 64 Xenon: As the name implies, this Xenon is 6.4 inches at 720p, powered by a Mediatek quad-core processor at 1.3 GHz. It's running Android 4.2 Jelly bean, has 4GB of storage and costs $199.
  • Archos 40b Titanium: And finally we've got a 4-inch (480p) phone running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, a half-gigabyte of RAM, 5MP camera and 4GB of storage. It costs$119.

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