3 years ago

HTC teases new device to be announced tomorrow


HTC has released a cryptic teaser on their Facebook page for a device to be announced tomorrow. It really doesn't say much, and it's anybody's guess what 10:08 means; presumably that's the time we'll have to tune in to HTC's various channels to see what's up. 

We've heard of at least two potential devices that HTC could be introducing. There's the One X 5, which is looking more real than ever at this point, and there's the considerably murkier Droid Incredible X, with what could be a 1080p-resolution display (that that would fit in pretty nicely with the 10:08 on the clock, wouldn't it?). Of course, there's also the very real possibility that there's nothing Android going on here at all, and that HTC will in fact be announcing a Windows Phone instead.

That clock font sure looks Windows Phoney to me, but what do you guys think? What kind of Android devices is HTC going to announce tomorrow? Do you think they'd lump in a Windows Phone on the side? 

Source: Facebook

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3 years ago

Current version of Chrome not compatible with RAZR i, Intel-friendly update coming soon


Upon loading up our pre-release Motorola RAZR i with our favorite Google apps, we were surprised to find one that simply refused to install -- Google's popular Chrome browser. Google Play allowed the Intel-powered phone to download Chrome, but promptly displayed a "package file is invalid" error upon installation.

Suspecting an incompatibility with the RAZR i's Intel Atom CPU, we contacted Motorola. The manufacturer confirmed our hypothesis -- the current version of Chrome is indeed incompatible with Intel-based Android phones, though there's good news for anyone considering picking up a RAZR i when it's released in early October. Motorola expects an updated, Intel-friendly version of Chrome for Android to be available around launch time. Here's Moto's statement in full --

There is not a version available that is optimised for Intel. We expect it at in-store launch or shortly thereafter.

In the meantime, we're managing just fine with the RAZR i's nippy native browser.

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3 years ago

Motorola RAZR i initial photo and video samples


For what's ostensibly a mid-range phone, we've been pleasantly surprised by the quality of images produced by the Motorola RAZR i's camera during our first few hours with the phone. The device comes with an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and 1080p video recording -- a spec it shares with just about every mid-to-high-end smartphone out there. But the images and video pumped out by the RAZR i are substantially above average. Maybe not HTC One X level, but certainly impressive given the class of the device.

In normal snapshot mode, image capture is near instant, something chipmaker Intel was keen take credit for in today's press conference. HDR mode takes a little longer to complete, but produces great results in bright outdoor scenes with a no noticeable ghosting. Helpfully, the camera app advises you to activate HDR mode where you're shooting images with very bright and dark areas. We did notice occasional discoloration in HDR images, however, likely the result of the post-processing and contrast enhancement that's employed by the phone's software. There are a few conspicuous absences in the built-in camera app, however, notably panorama mode. And there's only a sparse selection of effects, including black-and-white and sepia modes.

In our brief time recording sample video on the RAZR i, we were also pretty impressed with the footage produced. The frame rate was consistent, audio was relatively clear, and dynamic range was entirely reasonable.

So the overall picture is a positive one. If you're unconvinced, you can take a look at our sample shots and video after the break. Note that our RAZR i is running pre-release firmware, so the image quality in the retail version may vary somewhat.

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3 years ago

ZTE announces super-slim quad-core Grand Era U985


ZTE announced a new handsets for China called the Grand Era U985 today. It's boasting a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 display, an 8 megapixel camera, and an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core processor. Although ZTE is touting the Grand Era U985 as "the world's slimmest quad-core smartphone" at an average 8.6 mm thickness, it's done out by the recently-announced LG Optimus G, which is only 8.45 mm thick. At its slimmest part the Grand Era U985 is 7.9 mm, however, so take that as you will. 

ZTE is planning on showing off a few other handsets soon, including the quad-core Grand Era V985 and the Grand Era LTE, as well as the lower-end Grand V970 and Grand U930. We'll be keeping an eye out for those.  The Grand Era U985 is due to launch in China within the next couple of days with full support for the local TD-SCDMA network.

It's a little hard to get especially excited about something just launching in China, and there doesn't seem to be a lot here that would make anyone seriously wish it was available stateside. Besides, how big of a deal is slimness at this point? Does a difference of a millimeter or two of thickness really matter to you?

Source: ZTE

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3 years ago

Hands-on video with the LG Optimus G


We've finished up another day in Seoul, South Korea -- this time with the LG Optimus G under our wing for the better part of the afternoon. You've read our initial thoughts. Now it's time for a little video.

A reminder, though -- we're playing with preproduction hardware and software here. Things can get a little wonky, though you won't see it in this video. But the bottom line is this: LG  has some serious hardware on its hands here. And it's throwing some serious software at it. Yeah, it's still Ice Cream Sandwich. But it's completely usable. 

LG's new user experience -- it's dubbed "Life without boundaries" -- probably won't satiate most of our readers. Let's not  pretend otherwise. But it's definitely a step in the right direction. And, frankly, the speed at which it moves makes us not care all that much. We've been using the stock keyboard all day. And while the secondary functions could use some tweaking, it's still got a really good feel to it. The lack of haptic feedback might be making things seem that much smoother.

The app drawer is a bit of mess, but we're not going to hold that against it, seeing as how it's full of Korean apps we've never heard of and will never use in our daily lives. Still, it's a bit busy, and you'll definitely want to make sure you filter it alphabetically.

We -- and everybody else here -- have been pretty impressed with the camera. Some pics seem to be a bit hazy, but that could just be from our grubby fingers, or the prepro software. We'll have more samples later this week.

For now, enjoy the quick hardware overview above. There are a ton of software features we'll get into more when the software's a bit more finished.

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3 years ago

Motorola RAZR i hands-on gallery


Want to see more of the new Intel-powered Motorola RAZR i? You're in luck -- we've got wealth of hands-on photos waiting for you after the break.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Motorola RAZR i


We're live in London where Motorola and Intel have just taken the wraps off the RAZR i, a new Intel-powered smartphone with a 2GHz Atom CPU and edge-to-edge SuperAMOLED display. It's a big deal for Moto and Intel -- the RAZR i becomes the company's new international flagship, and it's also the first Intel phone from a top-tier smartphone manufacturer. The phone also sees Moto take a step forward in terms of build quality, with an aluminum-framed screen and significantly smaller bezel than its earlier efforts.

We've just had our first hands-on with the phone, so check past the break to get a quick tour of Moto and Intel's new baby.

More Motorola RAZR i --

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3 years ago

Motorola announces the RAZR i with Intel


This morning in London, Motorola and Intel have announced the Motorola RAZR i - the first smartphone to feature a 2GHz Intel processor. Running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and combined with a 4.3inch qHD edge-to-edge display, a 2000 mAh battery and a 1080p 8MP camera (which can take 10 pictures per second) the RAZR i looks like a good piece of kit.

The device will launch in the beginning of October with UK partners Orange, T-Mobile, Virgin, Tesco and Phones 4U.

We're still on the ground in London, so stay tuned to AC for our first hands on with the new Motorola RAZR i.

You can check the full press release below:

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3 years ago

Samsung calls BS on Galaxy S4 rumor


Samsung, through its Samsung Tomorrow arm, has called BS on that Korea Times story claiming the Galaxy S4 will be announced at Mobile World Congress the last week of February 2013, with general availability in March.

Shocked. Shocked, I say.

Writes Samsung (and roughly translated):

Please note that some media reported speculation that the Galaxy S Ⅲ subsequent models will be released in a simple rumor is not true. ... why spread these rumors?

Well, at least the 2013 part should be true.

Source: @samsungtomorrow

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3 years ago

Live from the Motorola-Intel event in London!


We're live from London this morning for the joint Motorola-Intel event, where we're expecting to see the smartphone maker and chip giant unveil the first Intel Atom-powered Motorola phone. A likely candidate is an international version of the Droid RAZR M, only with Euro-friendly HSPA+ radios and a Medfield chip in place of the Droid's Snapdragon S4. Maybe there'll be other stuff, too, like Europe-specific versions of Moto's new RAZR HD phones. We're sure Moto will have a few surprises to share.

So click that link below, and let's get to it! The event kicks off at 10am BST (5am EDT, 2am PDT 11am CEST).

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3 years ago

Redux: A second look at the LG Optimus G


We're just sitting down for a little more intimate time with the LG Optimus G here in Seoul, South Korea. And that means a couple things. For one, it means pictures that don't suck as much. For another, we're getting a better feel for the phone and the new user experience that LG's celebrating.

A few quick, initial thoughts, with the caveat that these are preproduction units:

  • For one, this thing is fast, fast, fast. OK, that's three. But it's worth repeating. The quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro is a little ridiculous. 
  • The display is gorgeous -- 4.7-inches of deep blacks and vibrant colors. 
  • Know how much I like HTC's lockscreen? And Samsung's? LG's is as good. You've got some icon shortcuts,  which do the obvious. But when you simply unlock the device, you get a preview of what you're unlocking to. That's a very nice detail.
  • The 13-megapixel camera has a quick shutter speed. Maybe not quite instantaneous, but it's damn quick. You've got a bunch of options in the camera app, including HDR and panorama.
  • The camera app also does a bit of magic wherein it's actually recording before you press the shutter. So if you don't quite snap the shot in time, you don't necessarily miss the pic.
  • Now that we're actually sitting down with the phone, we've got a better feel for the heft of the device. It's certainly not the lightest on the block, but neither is that a big negative for us. That might change a little when we see different internals in the U.S. versions.
  • The keyboard is surprisingly good. It's not perfect -- secondary functions could be triggered a little more quickly. But it's very much usable out of the box. That's not always the case with manufacturer's keyboards.
  • I'm very much digging the smooth, glossy back with the diamond design, called a crystal reflection finish. It might be a little too slick for some, though.
  • You know how almost every phone has ignored the cool TV-off effect that first showed up in Gingerbread? LG's got its own version, with the display focusing into a single point before blinking off.
  • Watching Korean TV on a phone is still cool.

That's it for now. We've got a bevy of better pics after the break.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G: Hands-on with the Korean manufacturer's latest, G Style


We're live from Seoul, South Korea, where we've gotten our first look at the Optimus G, the newest flagship Android smartphone from manufacturer LG. 

For as important as the hardware is to LG -- 4.7-inch True HD IPS display in a ridiculously thin form factor, quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor at 1.5GHz and a 13 MP camera -- it's the user interface that LG seems to be particularly proud of. There's still no mistaking that you're using an LG phone, as everything fits together just so and seems very much in its place. But at the same time, it's lost a bit of its rigidity.

The phone itself is a slim little wonder. It's decidedly rectangular. But its thinness keeps the lack of sweeping lines a non-issue. The rear of the phone practically shines, thanks to the ultra-reflective design.

The phone's got three capacitive buttons beneath the display (and, oh, what a display it is), done up in the back-home-menu configuration. Again, that sort of flies in the face of what Google intended for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and up, but it works well enough here. (And speaking of Ice Cream Sandwich, we can only assume we'll see a Jelly Bean update in the near future, and LG hinted as such, but there's nothing official yet.)

The 2100 mAh battery isn't removable, which continues that trend in smartphone design. We'll have to wait and see about whether that's a real concern, but the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro should lessen that concern.

We've got a few very quick pics after the break.

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3 years ago

LG officially launches the Optimus G


Monster of a flagship smartphone hits Korea next week, rest of the world to come

LG today officially launched the Optimus G, its newest flagship Android smartphone with specs that, on paper, should send even the most jaded smartphone nerd into a bit of a frenzy. It'll be available in Korea as of next week, with announcements for the rest of the world to come later. Let's recap, shall we?

  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor running at 1.5 GHz
  • 4.7-inch True HD IPS PLUS display at 1280x768 resolution, with a 15:9 aspect ratio
  • 32GB on-board storage
  • 2GB RAM
  • 13 MP rear camera (also shoots at 8 MP), 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 2100 mAh battery for 15 hours talk time, 335 hours standby

Plus the other bells and whistles you've come to expect. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. LG has teamed up the impressive hardware with what it's calling "a creative and engaging UX" that'll let you "live without boundaries." We'll have to see about that, of course, but LG's given us a primer on some of the more major functions:

  • There's QSlide, which puts two screens on the display at once, at lets you work on both at the same time.
  • Live zooming lets you get close-up to videos -- up to five times closer while it's playing.
  • Dual Scren Dual play mirrors the smartphone to a TV and also lets you have different content on each at the same time.
  • QuickMemo lets you add notes to a screen shot.
  • Screen Zooming, well, it enlarges the screen, letting you zoom into lists, e-mail, etc.
  • Application Link is like a time-based launcher, firing up after your alarm goes off, so apps are ready to go when you are.

LG's also touting a new, enhanced user interface -- which we've yet to see -- along with some enhancements to the camera applications. We've got the full presser for you after the break.

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3 years ago

No restrictions on SIM-free Xperia T sales, says Sony


Over the weekend news broke via one British online retailer that it might not be possible to get hold of an Xperia T phone without a contract in the UK. Expansys UK had reportedly told the press that it might be as long as January 2013 before the device was available SIM-free. We contacted Sony Mobile to get their side of the story, and it seems that there's been some crossing of wires over the exact details of the phone's availability.

A Sony Mobile spokesman informed us that the Xperia T will be available "within timescales previously announced through Vodafone, EE, O2, 3, Carphone Warehouse, Phones4U and Tesco." We were told that although it was up to these individual retailers as to how they allocated their stock, there were no Sony-imposed restrictions on whether the phone could be offered SIM-free or not.

In particular, Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U usually offer SIM-free deals in-store on new devices, and there's no reason to expect that they won't do the same for the new Sony flagship. So it looks like prospective Xperia T buyers don't have anything to worry about after all. The phone is expected to become available in the UK sometime next week, likely on or around Sept. 28.

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3 years ago

HTC 'One X 5' purportedly revealed in press render


Update: Ausdroid has pointed out that this is nothing more than a fan-inspired render. See the original at Danny Tu's Flikr stream. Maybe HTC should hire Mr. Tu, as everyone seems to love his design!

HTC’s mysterious Verizon-bound 5-inch smartphone has been the subject of numerous rumors over the past several months, and we’ve seen purported blurry-cam shots of the device in the past. However, today, we might have our first clear look at the large-screened device, as the image above has surfaced on Chinese social network Sina Weibo. In the top left corner it's labeled as the 'HTC One X 5,' which is the first time we've heard this name associated with the rumored device.

The image is low resolution, but it’s detailed enough to reveal a few key points -- a black design with red accents, Beats Audio branding, and both rear and front-facing cameras. The simulated image on the screen seems to have been taken from earlier HTC One X renders, as it displays Barcelona and Feb. 26 in the clock widget, as well as the old Android Market icon on the home screen. We’ve seen fake (and prototype) press renders leak out before, so there’s certainly no guarantee that this image is legitimate. The low resolution alone means it’d have been relatively easy to forge.

HTC has a big event lined up in New York City this Wednesday, so it’s possible the One X 5 -- or Droid Incredible X, as the Verizon version’s rumored to be called -- will make its debut there. It’s equally likely, however, that Big Red will want to save such a flagship device for CTIA, or some standalone event. We’ll have to wait and see. Whatever happens, we’ll be live from NYC this Wedneday to bring you all of the day’s HTC news.

Source: Engadget

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