3 years ago

Exclusive: International Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update coming next week


Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update to arrive shortly after Unpacked event on Aug. 29

The international Samsung Galaxy S3 (GT-i9300) will have its update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean launched next week after the company's Mobile Unpacked event in Berlin, Android Central can exclusively reveal. Sources familiar with Samsung's plans inform us that the firmware is in the final stages of testing. The current schedule calls for the release of the international S3 Jelly Bean update shortly after the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event in Berlin, Germany next Wednesday, Aug. 29. That's the same event at which we're expecting to see Samsung's Galaxy Note successor. Following the event, we understand the update will roll out in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom.

As we revealed during our teardown of a leaked Jelly Bean build, the update will introduce familiar Jelly Bean features like the redesigned notification shade and Google Now. In addition, it'll include new TouchWiz features like "dormant mode" for better notification and alert management, as well as "easy mode" for simplified home screen operation.

As for the U.S. and Canada, we have no information on when the LTE-capable Snapdragon S4-powered Galaxy S3 variants can expect their Jelly Bean update, but we're sure Samsung will be just as keen to deliver speedy Android 4.1 upgrades for customers in North America too.

Regardless, international S3 owners should have reason to celebrate in a little over a week's time, as Samsung turns around a major Android OS update in record time. It certainly wouldn't be the first time the manufacturer's delivered a product on announcement -- last week it announced and launched the Galaxy Note 10.1 on the same day in New York City.

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3 years ago

Here's the Samsung Galaxy S3 extended battery from Seidio


​A Galaxy S3 extended battery at 3500 mAh is bound to be big - but is it too big?

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is one of the slickest, slimmest phones around. Of that there should be little disagreement, no? And the battery life, at 2100 mAh, isn't anything to sneeze at, either, given just how slim and sleek it is.

So what's the year's hottest phone going to look like with a 3500 mAh monster strapped to its back? Behold, Seidio's extended battery for the Galaxy S3.

So, yeah. It's got that big hump that we're used to from Seidio's monster-sized extended batteries. And it certainly looks like it'll completely change the feel of the device, as well. Oh, and there's no NFC yet, though that's coming in a future model.

Any takers?

More: Seidio 3500 mAh extended battery for the Galaxy S3

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3 years ago

Sony applauds 'experiment' to build AOSP for Xperia S


Manufacturer tells Android Central it 'encourages and supports external innovation'

When Google's Jean-Baptiste Queru announced plans for an "experiment" that would make the Sony Xperia S a "target" for the Android Open Source Project, nerds and neckbeards got all flustered over the prospect of a non-Nexus device seeing some official AOSP love. It would be "a new challenge," Queru wrote in the Android Building group, later noting that "the potential end result that could be visible would be upgrades arriving very slightly earlier for Sony devices." And who wouldn't want that?

The other side of the equation here is Sony. (Or Sony Mobile, to be precise.) How's the manufacturer feel about all this mucking about with its hardware? They're all for it, a company spokesman told Android Central today.  

"Sony Mobile encourages and supports external innovation and the openness that Android brings," Sony told us in an official statement. "Our Developer World team have supported community driven Android projects for a long time

"It is now great to see that representatives from started this project, which aims at putting latest Vanilla Android on Xperia S, thanks to our unlockbootloader service. It is great to see that the project already received support from community of Android developers who can contribute to the project Google opened up. This project is driven outside Sony Mobile, however we will of course follow the progress and see if there are things we can contribute with along the way."

That shouldn't come as a surprise. Queru in an April Google+ post gave kudos to the code that Sony's been providing back to the AOSP in the first place, noting that it's made things easier for the company in the long run. And, indeed, Sony's on a bit of a tear when it comes to updating its devices.

Said Queru: "Since Sony has been contributing a lot to the Android Open Source Project, they have fewer changes that they need to maintain on their own: those changes of theirs are already there when the source code is first released."

And that, ladies and germs, is what this open-source thing is all about.

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3 years ago

Could Samsung's GT-i9260 Nexus 'Superior' be a spec-bumped Galaxy Nexus for 2012? [updated]


Well here’s an interesting development for Nexus watchers. Samsung fansite SamMobile has uncovered a list of specifications for a new Samsung phone with the model number GT-i9260. (If you’re not up to speed on your model numbers, the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus is GT-i9250.) ​The site alleges this will be an upcoming mid-range Nexus, and provides specs leaked from an internal spreadsheet in support of its claims.

Appearing alongside the codename “Superior,” the GT-i9260 seems to have a lot in common with the original Galaxy Nexus -- an HD SuperAMOLED display on 4.65-inch display, for instance. Interestingly, though, the “Superior” is reported as having a 1.5GHz dual-core Cortex A9 CPU (up from 1.2GHz in the Gnex), as well as an 8MP rear camera, 1.9MP front camera (up from 5.0 and 1.2 respectively), and a microSD card slot. That last part is worth underscoring -- we’ve reported previously on the Android dev team’s disdain for removable storage, and unless they’ve had a major change of heart since June, we’d be surprised to see any Nexus device with removable storage.

On the other hand, the GT-i9260 model number appears alongside the name "Nexus" in the leaked spreadsheet. This suggests the "Superior" is indeed another Samsung Nexus device, and not just a TouchWiz phone based on Gnex-like specs. The release date of Nov. 2012 would also be right about when we’re expecting new Nexus to drop.

If this is indeed a Nexus phone, what we’re likely looking at is a likely not a super-high-end device -- the specs and model number point to a mid-range product. That indicates that either the next Nexus will offer only a modest spec boost, or that another Nexus model will be present at the high end. Alternatively, maybe the listed GT-i9260 specs are incorrect -- possibly misinformation put out by Samsung to throw us off the trail.

There are still a lot of unknowns when it comes to the GT-i9260, but we’ll be watching with interest as November approaches.

Source: SamMobile

More: Why Nexus devices have no SD card

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3 years ago

Yet another Jelly Bean update leaks for international Galaxy S3


The pace of Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean leaks is showing no signs of slowing down, with a new build leaking today, bringing the total up to three in the past week. The latest build, version XXDLH6 is based on Android 4.1.1 and has appeared online, where it's available as an ODIN-flashable .md5 file. This makes it easier to flash than the last leak (XXDLH4), which was only available as an OTA package. Note that this is for the international Galaxy S3 only (GT-i9300), and won't work on the U.S. models.

At this point, we're pretty sure Jelly Bean for the international Galaxy S3 isn't far off -- rumors suggest a possible IFA 2012 launch, and we wouldn't be surprised if that turned out to be the case. If you know your way around ODIN, and you're feeling brave enough to flash pre-release firmware, you'll find download links over at the source page. If not, be sure to check out our Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean feature overview.

Source: XDA, SamMobiles

More: New features in Jelly Bean for the Galaxy S3

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Tipo hands-on and initial review


As much as we focus on the higher end of the smartphone food chain here at Android Central, there’s been no shortage of innovation among budget phones over the past year. Hardware which just a couple of years ago would’ve set customers back £300 or more is now coming in at around the £100 price point. With this comes proof that you don’t have to break the bank to to be part of the world of smartphones.

The Xperia Tipo is one such device -- with an 800MHz CPU, 512MB of RAM and a £100-120 price tag, the Tipo is undeniably a budget smartphone. But with the inclusion of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Sony manages to deliver a solid, reliable user experience at a relatively humble asking price.

The Tipo is the definition of cheap and chearful -- a small, light, compact smartphone with a reasonable price point. The 3.2-inch HVGA (320x480) screen may be a turn off to those accustomed to the 4.3-inch-plus panels of more expensive phones, but that kind of device isn’t for everyone. Physically, it’s very similar to last year’s Xperia Active -- it sports a curved, soft touch back panel that contrasts with its glossy front, which houses three capacitive buttons. The design is simple and elegant, and despite its budget leanings, the Tipo doesn’t look or feel cheap.

On the software side, we’ve got Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich in addition to Sony’s UXP NXT software. Sony’s UI skin hasn’t changed much since earlier Gingerbread-based builds, but what’s most striking about its ICS efforts is its performance. It’s speedier than you’d expect from an 800MHz chip, and it puts most of Sony’s Gingerbread phones -- including dual-core models -- to shame when it comes to responsiveness. Despite the bump up to ICS, most Sony’s own apps, such as Calendar, Messages, Music, PlayNow and Music Unlimited remain unchanged.

One area which has suffered, however, is the camera. Sony’s included a 3.2MP fixed focus rear camera on the Tipo, and it’s pretty dismal, even for a budget camera. Video recording is limited to VGA (640x480) resolution too, which is adequate  for playback on the Tipo’s small screen, but little else.

We’ll be testing the Sony Xperia Tipo thoroughly over the next week or so, so check back soon for a full review. In the meantime, we’ve got more photos and hands-on video after the break.

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3 years ago

Sony reminds that Android 4.0.4 is coming for Xperia phones, we await word on Jelly Bean


Sony this morning is reminding folks that it's bringing Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich to a number of its smartphones. That includes the Xperia Arc, Arc S, Neo, Neo V, Mini, Pro, Active and Ray, along with the Mini Pro, Neo L and Live with Walkman. Some of the phones are already on ICS, version 4.0.3 to be exact. So with that we present the following question: What's up with Jelly Bean, Sony?

Source: Sony

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3 years ago

Acer officially announces the Liquid Gallant and Gallant Duo, on show at IFA 2012


Having made a premature appearance on their website last week, Acer has gone and officially announced their latest entry level Android smartphones -- the Liquid Gallant, and Liquid Gallant Duo. Basically the same phone, the Duo as the name suggests is a dual-SIM device. 

Running what looks like near stock Android 4.0.4 out of the box, and coming with on-screen buttons, the 4.3-inch, qHD Gallant isn't a bad looking old Hector for the entry-level market. Additionally Swype will come pre-installed as a choice of keyboard. Coming in a choice of Gentle Black or Ceramic White, the devices will go on sale in September and will be shown off at Acer's booth at next weeks IFA 2012 show in Berlin. The full press release can be found after the break.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Black looks set to receive Android 4.0, eventually


Will they, won't they, Android update stories are one of the more frustrating topics to read about. Particularly, if you happen to be a proud owner of a device which seems to be teetering on the edge of getting an update or not. When it comes to updates, LG owners are all to aware of the pain, and the waiting, and the pain. While making great hardware, it is absolutely no secret that LG is less than positive with software updates. 

The latest LG news comes courtesy of the guys over at Tech Covet. While official information is often scarce, in this case it is the retail packaging that's doing the talking. This new, sealed Optimus Black proudly wears a sticker saying that it will be upgradable to Android 4.0. Huzzah!

Still treat this with a healthy pinch of salt though. Above all, it's just a sticker on a box. We're not saying it's all a marketing ploy to get the device into peoples hands, before a "sorry, you won't get ICS" statement comes out, not at all. But, until we see the software pushing out to devices, and with LG's track record, it's difficult to get overly excited just yet. 

Source: Tech Covet via GSMArena

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia J gets previewed ahead of an official announcement


Following recent tradition, a forthcoming Sony device has been extensively leaked and previewed. The ST26i, Xperia J, has been shown off by the chaps at ​mobile-review.com, and reveals a distinctly lower -end offering. 

The Xperia J is a 4-inch device, although apparently the screen quality leaves something to be desired. It is noted that it suffers from an element of glare, low viewing angles and poor color reproduction. Then again, the screen is one of the first areas to be sacrificed when a low end device is designed. There are no on-screen buttons either for the Xperia J, these are capacitive unlike the higher-end leaked 'Mint.' 

The battery is said to be a 1700mAh unit, which should provide a decent level of battery life given the reduced screen size and the same entry-level processor as the Xperia Tipo. RAM is set at 512MB. There is also a microSD card slot hiding away under the battery on the Xperia J.

The rear camera is a 5MP shooter with an LED flash, but apparently only shoots video at a pretty dreary 640x480. There is also a front facing camera, but nothing is said of it's specs. Given the rear camera, we're not expecting a lot from it. 

And then the software. As with the other leaked Sony devices, the Xperia J is at least running Android 4.0 out of the box. It is noted though that this is an 'older' version of the Sony ICS software, seen on the current Xperia devices, and not the newer version we've seen leaked on the 'Mint.' 

So, we're just a week out now from Sony's big press conference at IFA 2012 in Berlin, and given the sheer volume of device leaks we've seen, we're pretty much expecting there will be plenty to see. Of course, Android Central will be on the ground in Berlin all week to bring you all the very best. 

Source: Mobile-Review (translated), via Xperiablog

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3 years ago

Woz: HTC Thunderbolt among worst gadgets he bought


Normally I don't care about what other people think, especially when it's not on Android Central. I'm funny like that. But I'm also easily baited by Jerry Hildenbrand. And that brings us to the following: Gizmodo in its "Chatroom" feature today asked "What's the worst gadget you actually paid for?" We've all got one, of course. But one comment in particular stood out, for a couple reasons. It was from Steve Wozniak. Perhaps you've heard of him. And his poor purchase? The HTC ThunderBolt.

That's my HTC ThunderBolt you see up there. OK, maybe not exactly "mine." But until last Friday, it was still active on our company Verizon account -- and sitting on a shelf here in my house. We got it the day it (finally) came out, and for months it served as my Verizon LTE line. That mucked up display was but one problem. I'm a little rough on phones. I get that. But I've never had a display get that bad on me. And I have a few phones going in and out of my pockets. Then there's the kickstand, which for some reason decided to shed its skin on more than few of us. And then there are the legendary battery issues. Don't even think about using a ThunderBolt without one of those ridiculously big extended batteries. A year and a half ago, you'd have been relatively proud to take this thing out of your pocket. Now? You don't dare do so, but you also risk funny looks and "just happy to see me?" jokes.

HTC rebounded, of course. We hemmed and hawed and said "Hey, it's the first generation of LTE phones." And the 'Bolt indeed was one of those first phones. But that doesn't change the fact that what showed promise and power at the beginning turned into a lemon for many of us.

Woz, you're in good company.

More: Gizmodo

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3 years ago

MIUI updated to Jelly Bean codebase for some Nexus devices


If you bought a Nexus device so you could happily flash all manner of custom ROMs, today is a good day. MIUI has updated their codebase to include Jelly Bean for the 2.8.17 release, provided you have a GSM Nexus S, a Galaxy Nexus (in either GSM or Verizon's CDMA/LTE flavor) or a Nexus 7. 

The ROM will have all the goodies you expect from MIUI, with the addition of things like Google Now, and that delicious butter that makes all the difference. On the surface, things will look a lot like the previous versions of MIUI. Like Samsung, or HTC, the folks at MIUI have a look, feel, and feature set they think is worth keeping. A whole lot of users agree.

No word on when to expect any newer versions for other devices, but you can be sure the team is hard at work, and much will depend on manufacturers providing the necessary hardware drivers and kernel bits. In the meantime, MIUI fans with Nexus devices can find all the details and download links at the source link.

Source: MIUI

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3 years ago

Android Open Kang Project's first Jelly Bean build coming today


If you dig flashing ROM's then there is no doubt that you've been waiting on the Android Open Kang Project's (AOKP) first Jelly Bean build. With that said, you're patience will soon be rewarded as the first official build will roll out to a small number of devices. As noted on the Google+ page, there is entirely too much stuff packed in the ROM to make up a list but the noticeable items will include:

  • Notification Toggles
  • Lockscreen tweaks (no custom targets yet)
  • Navigation bar modifications
  • Custom kernel performance options
  • LED colors
  • Notification wallpapers
  • Phone ringer modifications (Flip call to silent, silent/vibrate when headphones are in)

You'll want to head on over to the AOKP site for the full details on how to download and install AOKP Jelly Bean Build 1. Right now, things still appear to be processing as the download is yet to be available but it is indeed coming within the next little while. Keep your eyes on the links below.

Source: Google+, AOKP

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3 years ago

Motorola Defy Pro tumbles onto Rogers today


After a bit of a wait, the rugged Motorola Defy Pro is now available at Rogers for free on a two-year contract, or $274.99 if you're going month-to-month. As you might expect, the Defy Pro is just as tough as its predecessor, the Motorola Defy, except it has a QWERTY keyboard. The specs are about in line with the pricetag, which is to say that they're on the lower end. Here's a run-down. 

  • 2.7-inch 320 x 480 HVGA display with Gorilla Glass
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1 GHz processor
  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and front-facing VGA camera
  • 1700 mAh battery, 12 hours continuous use time, 13.5 days standby
  • IP67-certified (totally protected against dust, protected against immersion between 15 cm and 1 m)

The Motorola Defy Pro still isn't showing up in the Rogers online store, but I'm sure it'll pop up soon enough. In the meantime, there's plenty of information at Motorola Canada. Personally, I'm excited to give this a shot. There aren't a whole lot of Android phones with good QWERTY keyboards in a portrait orientation, nevermind ones that have any amount of ruggedization. The last one was the Motorola Admiral, and it never found its way up here to Canada. 

Anyone thinking of picking this up? I'm looking at you, BlackBerry refugees. Is Gingerbread a dealbreaker?

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3 years ago

Samsung announces Europe launch for dual-SIM Galaxy S Duos


It leaked around a month ago, but today it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S Duos is officially official. The phone is a 4-inch dual-SIM entry-level dealie, powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 CPU, backed up by 512MB of RAM and running Android 4.0 with Sammy's TouchWix Nature UX. There's also 4GB of on-board storage -- expandable via microSD card slot -- as well as a 1500mAh battery and 5MP rear camera. And unlike some dual-SIM phones, the S Duos allows both SIMs to be active at the same time, so you can take a call on one while receiving on the other.

Normally dual-SIM phones are limited to developing markets, where phone users often have two or more SIMs because individual network coverage is spotty. What's unique about the Galaxy S Duos is that it's aimed at the European market. We imagine this type of phone might be useful to frequent European travelers, who might be interested in keeping two SIMs from different countries in the same device.

There's no release date given for this device just yet, but we imagine we'll learn more about the Galaxy S Duos at the IFA show in Berlin next week.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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