Headlines

3 years ago

Verizon: Galaxy S III officially pushed to July 12

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Those of you looking to make a long trek to a Verizon store tomorrow need to change your plans. The carrier has officially announced that the in-store launch of its Samsung Galaxy S III has been pushed back 48 hours, to July 12. 

Preorders are still shipping, though the carrier's website now says to expect delivery by July 19, but we're willing to bet you'll see yours ship sooner.

Either way, it's a disappointing delay for a highly anticipated phone, but at least not everyone's left out in the cold.

More: Verizon Galaxy S III forums

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3 years ago

AT&T Galaxy Note Ice Cream Sandwich update coming, with extra sprinkles

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We go hands-on with the Android 4.0.4 update for the AT&T Galaxy Note, with Samsung Premium Suite

AT&T will soon be pushing out Ice Cream Sandwich for the Samsung Galaxy Note, and we got a chance to have an early look at the update, with it's own Value Pack of features. The Note was (to everyone's surprise) a very popular device, and Samsung has followed in the footsteps of their last popular device's ICS update -- leaving the UI much the same as it was with Gingerbread. Like the Galaxy S II, Touchwiz is basically unchanged. Nobody really expected Samsung to change the basic UI on a phone in the midst of it's lifespan, and that's a decision we can understand even if we don't like it very much.

The good news is that we do like it very much. All the features you know and love about the Note are still there, as they were, with the API changes and ability to run the latest apps built-in. Updates to the Google apps and others like Chrome for Android make the Note better, and the ICS features like Android Beam and Face Unlock are along for the ride. If you just can't accept TouchWiz, having ICS allows you to install Nova Launcher to get the stock feel. ICS improves the speed and stability of all the software, and those changes do come with the update. 

Along with the ability to run the latest apps and all the under-the-hood changes that come with Android 4.0.4, Samsung has tossed in what they're calling a Value Pack or Premium Suite. Consisting of a revamped S Memo app and the S Note app we've seen and heard was coming to Samsung's future tablets, it's two great pieces of software that you won't be calling bloat. S Memo's great home screen widget make it an app that's easy to use when you need to jot something down quickly, and the extra power that comes with S Note make it one of the best note taking apps we've run across. Check it out in the video and gallery after the break.

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3 years ago

Sony launches Xperia Unleashed campaign in UK, win stuff by finding tiny bots

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As announced last week, today sees the launch of Sony Mobile's "Xperia Unleashed" promotion, which challenges Xperia fans in the UK to track down tiny robots in order to win Sony swag. The story goes something like this -- the tiny Xperiabots seen in this ad have escaped, and instead of devouring the world at a microscopic level until all that remains is a a fine grey powder, the 'bots have chosen to hide out in Manchester and London with QR codes on their backs. These codes can be redeemed for an assortment of prizes, including Xperia NXT phones, Sony TVs and tickets  to DJ sessions, movie premieres and gigs.

Fortunately you won't need to search the length and breadth of the country, as Sony's helping fans out by pinpointing certain Xperiabots on a Google Map. The manufacturer also promises further hints across its social networking channels as the month progresses.

Source: Sony Mobile blog

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3 years ago

Samsung releases source code for the Galaxy S III on Verizon

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The Android community has been a bit upset at the fact that the Verizon branded Galaxy S III comes with a locked boot loader, and while this doesn't change that it is sure to make a few happy. Samsung has given up the source code for the Galaxy S III on Verizon, so if you are one of those that likes to build from code, or just poke around and see what is in there this will be of interest to you. 

If for some reason you are interested in comparing this source code to that of the AT&T or T-Mobile versions, you can grab them here, and check those out as well.

Source: Samsung Open Source (search for sch-i535); via: Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

Android 4.0.4 update for Galaxy S II available for some territories

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Cast your mind back to the original Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Samsung Galaxy S II, and you'll recall that version was based upon Android 4.0.3. Now it seems Samsung's 2011 flagship is getting another update to push it up  to the more recent version 4.0.4. According to reports from SamMobile, the new 4.0.4 firmware has been finalized and is to start rolling out over-the-air and through Kies, starting with unlocked Russian handsets.

The new "XWLPM" firmware for the Galaxy S II (international version, GT-i9100) was built just a few days ago on July 5, and includes a new radio firmware, too. Keep watching Kies, and that software update menu, to see when your device is ready to be updated. Or if you're feeling brave, and absolutely must have that extra 0.0.1 version bump, you'll find an ODIN-flashable version over at the source link.

Source: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Samsung plugs multimedia and sharing in latest U.S. Galaxy S III ads

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With the U.S. Galaxy S III launch now well underway, Samsung has launched three new TV commercials for the device. A far cry from the inspirational (or confusing) European Galaxy S III ads, Samsung has taken a more down-to-earth approach in its three latest S III ads for the U.S. market. Showcasing multimedia and sharing features like AllShare Play, AllShare Group Cast and Share Shot, Samsung's new ads feature more than fleeting glimpses of the product itself, and convey a clear message the device. That's in clear contrast to earlier Samsung ads, which variously poked fun at Apple fans, and bombarded viewers with random celebrity interludes.

If you want to check 'em out, we've got all three videos embedded after the break.

via The Verge

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3 years ago

AT&T lights up several new cities with LTE data

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AT&T this morning announced an expansion of its fledgling 4G LTE network. New cities to receive the faster data (as opposed to that "other" 4G data, the slower HSPA+) include:

  • Wichita, Kan.
  • Gainesville, Fla.
  • Greensboro, N.C.
  • Winston-Salem, N.C.
  • Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Burlington, N.C.
  • Buffalo, N.Y.

Charlotte, N.C., and Cleveland are seeing expanded LTE coverage as of today. AT&T's 4G LTE data is available on a number of Android smartphones, including the new Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X, among others.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

Sony releases Xperia S Ice Cream Sandwich kernel source

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Good news for custom ROM developers, as Sony Mobile has just released the kernel source code for its recent Xperia S Android 4.0.4 update, as it's required to do under the open source rules. The open source archive, based on the just-launched v6.1.A.0.452 ICS firmware, weighs in at around 132MB, and will be an essential download for anyone preparing aftermarket firmware for Sony's international flagship phone. Regular users and ROM-flashers won't find much of interest here for the moment. Instead, the benefit of this code should show itself in the weeks ahead, in the form of stable, more functional ICS ROMs for the Xperia S.

Developers can grab the 132MB archive from Sony over at the source link.

Source: Sony Developer World; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

The Galaxy Nexus is back at the Google Play store - sort of

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We heard it was going to happen, and today the Galaxy Nexus has appeared with a price and an "add to cart" button again in Google Play, but things are still a bit off. Prior to the sales ban, we were able to click and get almost instant gratification knowing the phone was shipping out immediately, but now we're seeing a two to three week delay. We're not sure if this is a way to get time to make changes to skirt Apple's legal team, but it sounds reasonable.

All we know is that with Jelly Bean, this is the phone to have. We're glad to see that add to cart button. If you've been thinking about it, might want to click it now before the next round of courtroom lunacy happens.

Order the Galaxy Nexus from Google Play. Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Verizon's Galaxy S III looks to have a protected bootloader

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Oh Verizon, why must you constantly mess with perfection? Hackers with early access to the Verizon Galaxy S III have discovered that the phone has a protected bootloader -- meaning no easy hacking or flashing unsigned images. This is in stark contrast to the rest of the Galaxy S III phones, or previous phones in the Galaxy series, or any other Samsung-built Android phone known to mankind. 

Not all hope is lost, but things are looking pretty bleak. It's possible a different version of Odin is needed, or there's an issue with the way the images are being packed, but it truly looks like the bootloader is locked up in typical Verizon fashion. Now this doesn't mean the phone won't ever get rooted or hacked. It just means that it won't be as easy as is typical with Samsung phones, and trickery will need be involved like HTC or Motorola phones on Big Red. 

And no, we don't know what prompted Verizon's decision to go this way, but I've asked for some clarification. My guess is that they will point to the Galaxy Nexus when they hear the word "hacking". Hell of a way to start the weekend, isn't it?

Source: XDA. via Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Appeals court delays Galaxy Nexus ban

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A federal appeals court today said that Google and Samsung can resume selling the Galaxy Nexus while awaiting a response from Apple, Bloomberg reported this afternoon. The temporary stay is in effect until Apple responds on July 12.

The case reached the appeals level after U.S. District Judge in the past week ruled that Android was infringing on a search patent owned by Apple (also known as the '604 or "Siri" patent) and that the Galaxy Nexus could no longer be sold until the infringing feature was removed or changed.

Google on Tuesday listed the Galaxy Nexus as "Coming soon" in the Google Play store, and it remains that way as of this writing. Google earlier this week told ABC News that it expects to have a workaround next week, and that the Galaxy Nexus should resume shipping then.

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia S, P and Sola arrive SIM-free in the U.S.

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The Xperia P and Xperia S have been available for some time in Europe, and today both phones make their debut in the United States. If you want either phone, you'll have to stump up the full SIM-free price, as neither is available subsidized on-contract. The Xperia P selling for $479.99 in black, silver and red at the Sony online store, while Newegg offers it for a slightly more reasonable $388.99. The Xperia S (in black and white) can only be found on Newegg at this stage, and comes with a similarly eye-watering price of $469.99. Meanwhile, the Xperia Sola, which has yet to launch in Europe, is available for $299.99.

We'll be honest here -- we don't think either phone is going to be a smash hit at its current price points, especially in a marketplace where Sony isn't well established as a smartphone manufacturer, and where consumers are used to subsidized phones at the $100-200 level. It also doesn't help that Sony's charging top dollar for what amounts to last-generation tech -- the Xperia S and Xperia P feature fairly low-powered dual-core CPUs and run Android 2.3 Gingerbread. In addition, you'll only be able to use them on AT&T's 3G and HSPA+ network in the U.S., due to radio limitations.

In any case, if you absolutely must have a Sony smartphone, and the Xperia Ion doesn't float your boat, you can now pay an inordinate amount of cash to own one of your very own. Just make sure you check out our reviews of the Xperia S and Xperia P before you part with your cash.

Source: Sony Store, Newegg; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III available in stores today

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Can't take the wait anymore? Need to get your hands on that brand new AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III, and shipping just wasn't for you? As of today the Galaxy S III is available in your local AT&T store for your purchasing pleasure. Whether still on the fence, or just need something to get you a little more excited about it, be sure to check out our full review, and then get yourself up and head to your local AT&T store. Deciding on the device may be the easy part, but picking the color, that will be the challenge. 

Will you be heading to your AT&T store to pick one up for yourself today or this weekend and if so which color will you be taking home?

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3 years ago

Fresh Galaxy Note 2 rumors suggest IFA launch, 5.5-inch screen

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The Samsung Galaxy Note is one of the surprise success stories of the past year, and as a successful product, it's no surprise to see rumors of successor circulating. The latest Galaxy Note 2 reports give some pause for thought, however. Korean news site MK says it's talked with "an official familiar with Samsung's product development," and is claiming to have details of the next Galaxy Note, including some tentative hardware specs, and news that it'll launch at this year's IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany.

The IFA news isn't too surprising when you consider that's where the original Note made its debut in 2011. But the reported spec list makes for tantalizing reading -- a 5.5-inch screen, quad-core CPU and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean are all claimed for the Galaxy Note 2. And there's the suggestion that the camera may be upgraded to a 12 or 13MP unit, compared to the 8MP sensor in the original Note. Interestingly, Samsung's thinner, lighter Unbreakable Plane (UBP) display tech will apparently not be debuting in the next Galaxy Note, with the manufacturer instead opting to save it for the next major product, MK says.

If the Note 2 does launch at IFA, we can probably expect a Q4 international release, which would tie in with MK's​ reports that the new phone-tablet hybrid will be positioned to compete against Apple's next iPhone.

Given the popularity of the original Note, a successor was always going to be on the cards, and everything MK​ is reporting certainly sounds feasible. Whatever Samsung shows at IFA this August, we'll be there to bring you full, live coverage

Source: MK.co.kr

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia 'LT30' details teased by Bluetooth SIG

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Since the arrival of the Xperia S in February, we haven't heard much in the way of high-end international phones from Sony. It looks like that might change in the near future, however, as today a new Sony device has cropped up in a  Bluetooth Special Interest Group  product listing, revealing a few tantalizing details.

The Bluetooth SIG product description indicates that the Sony "LT30" is "part of the premium product line", featuring "an attractive 'ARC' design with metal back cover." That certainly sounds a lot like the Xperia GX, which will be launching on Japan's NTT Docomo this month. Other details include a fairly complete list of specs -- a 4.6-inch 720p Bravia Engine screen, 1080p video recording, MHL capability, a 13MP rear camera and 720o-supporting front-facer. Approximate dimensions also place it in the same ballpark as the Xperia GX, as it apparently measures roughly 68 x129 x 9 mm and weighs 140 grams.

There's no indication as to where this product will end up appearing, but the lack of any suffix after LT30 (for example, i for international or a for Americas) suggest this thing may see release in multiple territories. Rumors also suggest that the LT30 is the same phone as the purported "Mint" codenamed device that first showed up in a leaked roadmap back in January. If that's the case, it'll likely be a high-end device with a ~€550 price tag.

Source: Bluetooth SIG; via: XperiaBlog

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