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3 years ago

HTC hosting events in NYC and London on Feb. 19 - 'M7' on the way?

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Invites to HTC events on Feb. 19 have just arrived in our inbox -- one in London, another in New York City, both running concurrently. Looks like that rumored "M7" handset could be on the way!

We're expecting HTC to show off its latest flagship device at the pre-Mobile World Congress event. Rumored to feature internal specs and design language similar to the Droid DNA, the "M7" will be HTC's first flagship smartphone of 2013. From what we've seen leak in recent weeks, it'll also pack a completely redesigned version of the company's "Sense" UI.

HTC will be hoping that by launching a week before Mobile World Congress it'll stand out from the crowd of smartphones and tablets at the show. The timing of the events also means HTC will be able to show off its new stuff to a wider audience just a week later, and ride a second wave of publicity out of MWC.

We'll be live from London and New York on Feb. 19 to bring you full coverage of whatever HTC announces.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Express goes global - mid-ranger with 4G LTE, SuperAMOLED Plus

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Update: Samsung's gotten in touch to tell us that the Galaxy Express will launch in the UK during the first half of the year.

It's the time of year when Samsung traditionally announces new mid-range products, and today it's the turn of the Galaxy Express to emerge into the international spotlight, following its AT&T debut last year. With a Galaxy S3-like design, 4G LTE connectivity and a 4.5-inch (WVGA resolution) SuperAMOLED Plus display, this device brings a small but significant increase in hardware muscle over the much-hyped Galaxy S3 mini.

Other notable specs include an unnamed 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and TouchWiz'd Android 4.1 Jelly Bean under the hood. Camera-wise, there's a 5MP shooter on the back, as well as a 1.3MP front-facer. And 8GB of built-in storage is included, expandable via microSD. That's all powered by a 2000mAh battery, a fair size for a device of this kind.

There's no solid info on release plans for the Galaxy Express, but given Samsung's lack of a budget 4G offering for the European market, we're hoping we'll see it in Europe first. For more on the Galaxy Express, check out our hands-on coverage of the AT&T version. We've also got video embedded after the break.

Source: Samsung

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 shows up for sale on Best Buy's website, T-Mobile contract in tow

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The Nexus 4 has just show up for sale on Best Buy's website, with familiar T-Mobile on-contract pricing of $199.99. In typical Best Buy fashion, the off-contract price of the phone has been inflated, showing $599.99 to buy the device outright. This is something Best Buy (and other retailers) does to both cover its overhead and most importantly compel people to sign 2-year contracts, and is nothing new for the Nexus 4.

This isn't likely to be any special deal between Google and Best Buy to offer the device though, as you can bet that Google would rather secure supply for its own store before branching out to yet another retailer. This is probably just T-Mobile's current deals to resell handsets and service with Best Buy extending to the new handset. New stock heading to a wider range of T-Mobile stores means it is ready to also let resellers sell the device on its behalf.

Although not many people are likely to head to Best Buy to pick it up, the Nexus 4 is certainly getting a little more exposure as these new listings arrive. Let's just hope that Google can get its own supply channels sorted out so it can offer the device through the Play Store once again.

Source: Best Buy

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3 years ago

Republic Wireless' Motorola Defy XT getting a software update

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The Republic Wireless Defy XT should be getting a software update this evening, and it will address the two biggest issues with the phone. I've been giving the service a run to see how it compares, and the two big drawbacks seem to be sound quality, and not being able to send a text while on Wifi. Both these issues are said to be fixed with this update, as well as Wifi enhancements and bug fixes.

The OTA is slated to begin rolling out at 6PM ET, and Republic says you'll need to be on Wifi with 50-percent or higher battery power still available to get it. 

While Republic is more about disrupting the current telecommunications mess the US is in with low priced service than they are fancy cutting edge devices, it's nice to see them not let the little Defy languish away with bugs. If you're using the service, be sure to check for updates if you don't get a push notification.

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3 years ago

3D printing and NFC make a great looking Nexus 4 dock

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We're all waiting for someone to sell that fancy orb docking station for the Nexus 4. In the meantime, ingenuity never rests and this 3D printed dock would make an awesome substitute. It uses a standard USB cable for charging, and an NFC sticker to trigger the NFC Task Launcher app to drop it into dock mode.

If you have access to a 3D printer, be sure to give this one a good look. And if you make any extra ones, give me a yell so I can throw my money at you.

Source: Thingiverse; via Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Sony 'HuaShan' shots leak - Xperia Z's mid-range sibling

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Sony traditionally showcases its mid-range products at Mobile World Congress, and it looks like this year's offering is the C5303 "HuaShan." The HuaShan -- named after one of China's great five mountains -- has appeared for the first time in leaked shots from German site USP Forum. And on the whole, it looks like a cheaper version of the recently-announced Xperia Z. We're still dealing with an unassuming rounded rectangle design, and the Xperia Z's signature power button can be seen on the right edge, along with a dedicated camera key.

The back appears to be furnished in black soft-touch plastic, with a central camera protruding slightly from the chassis. It's an altogether more plasticky affair than the Xperia Z, which sandwiches its components between two sheets of glass.

According to early benchmark information, it looks like this device is packing a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU (compared to the Xperia Z's 1.5GHz quad-core) and running at a screen resolution of 1280x720, with on-screen buttons. One of today's shots shows Android 4.1.2 running on the phone, same as its high-end counterpart.

Assuming Sony chooses to unveil its mid-range stuff at MWC -- and there are enough letters left in its alphabetic naming scheme -- we'll be live from Barcelona next month with full coverage. 

More pics after the break.

Source: USP forum; via: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 heading to Middle East - Saudi Arabia launch 'very soon'

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Looks like LG and Google's Nexus 4 is starting to spread its reach across the world. We've already heard that Canadian carriers and Australian retailers will begin selling the phone this February, and now it seems Saudi Arabia is also set to get the LG-made Nexus.

A post on the LG Electronics KSA Facebook page says it'll launch in the country "very soon," but gives no indication as to when exactly the launch will take place, or where it'll be available for sale.

Meanwhile, the device has consistently sold out on the Google Play Store, in the U.S., UK, Canada and elsewhere. LG representatives have blamed higher than expected demand for the scarcity of Nexus 4 stock, though the manufacturer expects to have the supply issues resolved by mid-February.

Source: LG Electronics KSA; Thanks, Follower!

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 'most recommended' smartphone in UK

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Samsung's Android smartphones are most recommended by UK retailers, according to new market research, with the Galaxy S3 being the most recommended handset. According to research carried out by Informa Telecoms and Media, which carried out the survey in leading high-street and carrier stores, sales assistants were more likely to recommend Samsung handsets than competing phones from Apple, HTC, Nokia or others.

At the other end of the scale, Android rivals like ZTE, Motorola, LG, Huawei had next to no in-store presence in the UK, Informa found.

According to UK newspaper The Telegraph, Infroma considers it "likely that sales assistants see the Samsung devices as a safe bet to earn greater commissions."

"The mystery shop showed that the most recommended Samsung handsets were the Galaxy SIII and the Galaxy Note II, despite having been on the market longer than the latest handsets from Apple, Nokia and HTC," said Julian Jest of Informa.

"However, most surprising was the way that, despite an in-store advertising campaign and recent product launch, Apple was recommended in only two stores, 3 and Phones 4 U, with both recommending the iPhone 5."

The Galaxy S3 was the most successful Android phone of 2012, even outselling Apple's iPhone in certain quarters. Sales of the device recently topped 30 million worldwide, as total Galaxy S line shipments reached 100 million.

Source: The Telegraph; via: iMore

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3 years ago

HTC 'M7' parts caught on video

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Droid DNA-like design in a smaller chassis, with a dedicated camera button to boot

With the recent emergence of certain leaked photos, we've slowly been able to piece together a picture of HTC's upcoming 'M7' handset. And the successor to the One X has cropped up on camera again today, disassembled, in the form couple of leaked component parts. ETrade Supply got hold of what seems to be the back case and front housing of the phone, which looks a little smaller than the similarly-designed Droid DNA. That suggests we might be dealing with a 4.7-inch screen, as has been rumored in recent months.

Also of note is the second front-facing speaker down below, which roughly matches a render that leaked out a couple of weeks ago. And there's what seems to be a dedicated camera button on the right edge, below the volume rocker, an unusual sight on an HTC Android phone.

Without the front glass in place -- not to mention functioning innards -- it's difficult to get an overall impression of the phone. But it looks like we're dealing with a handset that shares much in common with the DNA and its international cousin, the HTC Butterfly. The edges are squared off, in stark contrast to the curved One X and One S, and there's a slight hump to the back, like the DNA and Windows Phone 8X.

There's no way of knowing whether this is a finalized HTC design or merely a prototype, but the parts shown in today's video certainly tick all the boxes we were expecting from a 2013 HTC flagship. The 'M7' is expected at or around this year's Mobile World Congress in late February.

Source: Etrade Supply

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.1 nightlies for the Verizon and Sprint Galaxy Note 2 now available

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The CyanogenMod team has just given Verizon and Sprint Galaxy Note 2 users something to be happy about -- official 10.1 nighly builds for download. Users of these devices have been patiently waiting as development went along on the latest CyanogenMod builds, and now they have their chance. Of course these nightly builds are far less stable than general releases and may have many bugs, but some users are completely willing to put up with it.

If you're willing to deal with some quirks you can see what CyanogenMod 10.1 has to offer at the source links below. If you're not so sure how or why you should get into these nightly builds, head to our forums and get a few things figured out first. And remember, backing up before flashing is a great idea!

Source: Verizon Note 2 Download; Sprint Note 2 Download

More: Galaxy Note 2 Forums

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3 years ago

Verizon modifying prepaid plans Feb 1 with new $60 500MB tier

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Verizon doesn't put much focus on its prepaid plans, but according to a leaked document obtained by PhoneArena it will be dropping prices on prepaid offerings starting February 1st. Verizon's current offering is at $80 for smartphones, with unlimited talk/text and 2GB of data during its double data promotion. When the new plans take effect next week, the $80 plan is going away, making room for two new tiers at $60 and $70. The lower tier will offer 500MB of data, the higher 2GB, both with unlimited talk and text.

The document specifically says $80 plan users will be grandfathered in, but considering the new price structure there's no reason to stay on it. Users wanting more than 2GB of data will be paying $20 per 1GB overage, which is $5 more than adding an extra 1GB to a postpaid plan. Also remember that Verizon's prepaid plans are 3G only for the time being. This is still a good option for a select set of people though, so we're glad to see Verizon drop its prices a bit. Stick around after the break to see the document and details of the new plans.

Source: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

Infobar A02 announced on KDDI in Japan with interesting UI and design

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Japan is well-known for its seriously interesting mobile products, and the Infobar A02 on KDDI doesn't disappoint on design or creativity in the least. The Infobar series has traditionally been a design-leading line, and the A02 follows along with a striking thin unibody design in red, white and blue varieties. The design continues onto the interface, which is built on Android 4.1 -- although you wouldn't know it by looking at the homescreen. Closer to the paradigm of Windows Phone, the Inforbar uses a tiled interface comprised of smaller app tiles and larger widget tiles, in a vertical scrolling list.

This handset is actually manufactured by HTC, and has some top-notch specs on the inside. We're looking at a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 16GB of (expandable) storage, 1GB of RAM, 720x1280 TFT display, 2100mAh battery and of course LTE. Like many high-end Japanese handsets, the Infobar A02 is also waterproof and dustproof, and includes NFC for mobile payments as well as a 1seg TV antenna.

This is quite an interesting handset on all fronts, and worth a look at some of the materials on KDDI's product page for the phone. If you're interested, head to the source link and check out the galleries, especially the pictures showing the lineage of Infobar design for the last 10 years.

Source: KDDI

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3 years ago

HTC Butterfly to have companion 'Mini' handset available in China

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HTC looks poised to launch a companion handset device in the Chinese market to go along with the new HTC Butterfly (aka Droid DNA.) The Mini, which looks similar to many candybar phones of yesteryear, will pair with Bluetooth via NFC to your smartphone and let you make and receive calls, view call logs and calendar information on its monochrome screen. HTC apparently envisions the Mini being used for more than just calls though, acting as a remote for when the Butterfly is plugged into a TV and helping users find their Butterfly when it is lost.

At first glance we're not so sure how adding a second handset device makes anything easier on the consumer, because at some point you just start running out of pocket space, but you could easily see this as an accessory for around the house rather than when you're out and about. Come home, plop your phone on the wireless charger at the door, and just have the Mini with you to make/receive calls. It could easily be used as a home phone replacement. Let's also remember that different markets demand different features from phones, and this really could be appealing to Chinese users.

Because this looks to be a China-specific accessory, we wouldn't be surprised if it never made its way to other countries. It's interesting to see HTC experimenting with different accessories though, and we don't know what development of the Mini may lead to in the future for other markets around the world.

Source: Slashgear

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3 years ago

Sony releases Jelly Bean alpha for Xperia T

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The official Sony Xperia T Jelly Bean update might still be a few months away, but in order to give developers a sneak peek at what's ahead, Sony has released an early alpha ROM for the device. The Xperia T Jelly Bean alpha can be flashed using Sony's own flash tool, after unlocking the Xperia T via the official bootloader unlock utility.

A few caveats apply here -- radio functionality like Bluetooth, Wifi and mobile data is not included (likely for regulatory reasons), nor are Google apps. In addition, Sony says the UI has not yet been updated to reflect the final look and feel of the Xperia Jelly Bean firmware -- i.e. what's on the new Xperia Z. And crucially, if you unlock your Xperia T and apply this alpha ROM, you won't be able to update to the official Jelly Bean firmware once it's released. So this ROM really is one for advanced users and adventurous devs only.

Hopefully today's release will accelerate the progress of Jelly Bean-based custom ROMs for the Xperia T. If nothing else, we'd expect this to be hacked into something with working radios and Google Apps in a relatively short space of time. If you possess both a Sony Xperia T and a strong sense of adventure, you can find full instructions over at the source link.

Source: Sony Developer World Blog

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 headed to Fido in Canada next month

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Hot on the heels of Videotron's announcement yesterday, rival Canadian network Fido has announced that it too will carry the LG Nexus 4. The phone has appeared in Fido's reservation system, with a release scheduled for sometime in February. To secure a Nexus 4, Canadians will need to pay a C$40 up-front reservation fee.

Pricing information is promised in the near future, but if other territories are anything to go by, it's likely the unsubsidized cost will be somewhat higher than the Canadian Google Play Store price.

For an overview of how we've been getting on with the Nexus 4 since its November launch, check out our 'Nexus 4, two months on' feature.

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