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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 f heading to Japan on December 19

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Miniature Xperia Z1 scheduled for pre-holiday arrival on Docomo

We've known for a while that Sony's dinky Xperia Z1 f was due to arrive on NTT Docomo in Japan this month, but now we have a firm date — Thursday, Dec. 19. An update to the carrier's online store reveals that the pint-sized version of the Xperia Z1 will launch in black, white, lime and pink just in time for the holidays, though there's still no hint of any Western release.

The Xperia Z1 f packs similar internals to its larger counterpart, only with a smaller 4.3-inch display and slightly reduced battery capacity, making it a tempting proposition for those wanting a smaller Android phone that doesn't skimp on hardware muscle. Given Sony's traditional early-year release cycle, there's a good chance we might see an international version of the device — the rumored Z1 S perhaps — at the company's CES press conference in Las Vegas early next month.

Source: Docomo; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Samsung resumes international Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 updates

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New firmware being pushed out starting today in parts of Europe

The Android 4.3 firmware rollout for Samsung's Galaxy S3 didn't go exactly to plan, leading to the manufacturer suspending the rollout to investigate numerous issues reported by S3 owners. Now it appears Samsung has completed its work squishing bugs in the 4.3 firmware as a new update is being pushed out to international Galaxy S3 (GT-i9300) owners in parts of Europe.

According to reports from SamMobile and XDA, the new firmware carries the build number I9300XXUGMK6, and was built on Nov. 28. Early reports from forums suggest that the performance and stability issues affecting the earlier update have been fixed in the latest build. As before, the 4.3 update also brings Samsung's KNOX enterprise security platform, as well as support for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

As always, the OTA will likely take at least a few days to filter out to all users; if you've got a European Galaxy S3, hit the comments and let us know if you've got this latest update.

Source: SamMobile, XDA

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3 years ago

KitKat for US Cellular Moto X rolling out in phases

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Welcome to the KitKat club, US Cellular

If your Moto X is U.S. Cellular branded, you'll want to check for an update to the OS. Motorola's Punit Soni has announced that the KitKat update for USC models of the Moto X is currently rolling out in stages,

When finished, don't expect things to look very different. Under the hood though, well that's another story. Changes to resource management will keep your Moto X running snappy even while more apps are open and running, and as new applications are written that take advantage of 4.4 features, you'll be ready for them.

Anyone on USC seeing this yet? Shout out in the comments!

Source: +Punit Soni

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3 years ago

Moto X holiday sale now live [Update: sold out!]

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Moto X $150-off promotion sells out almost immediately

Update, 12:10pm ET: That's it. Motorola is out of codes for today. The next chance to buy a Moto X at the promotional price is 12 noon ET next Monday.

Original story: As promised, Motorola has opened up its Moto X holiday sale, following the ill-fated Cyber Monday promotion that saw many customers unable to place orders. To make up for this, Moto X buyers in the U.S. can head over to motorola.com/holiday2daysale now and get a coupon code to claim a $150 discount code for a customized Moto X through Moto Maker. (Developer editions are excluded from this promotion.)

As outlined by the manufacturer yesterday, you'll receive your code within a couple of hours, and you'll then have seven days to complete your customizations, meaning you don't have to rush through the process.

If you're trying to get your hands on a discounted Moto X today, hit the comments and let us know how you get on. There'll be another chance to bag an off-contract Moto X at a reduced price next Monday, Dec. 9.

More: Motorola Holiday Sale

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3 years ago

LG: Nearly half of all smartphones will be curved, bendable by end of decade

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The LG G Flex is seen as just the first step in new direction for smartphones

Why make a flexible, bendable, curved phone, you ask? 

"Probably we got bored," LG's Ramchan Woo joked at a small press gathering Tuesday night in a San Francisco hotel. And you sort of get a sense of that when you hear LG talk about the G Flex. The company certainly isn't against trying something new. In September in Berlin we got our first look at the LG G2, which moved the power and volume buttons to the back of the phone. 

Now we have the G Flex. (Check out our hands-on.) The 6-inch Android smartphone bends. It curves. It's flexible. You can smash down on it with up to 88 pounds of force — about what you'd get if you sat on it, LG says — without causing any real damage. Hell, the thing heals itself from minor scratches.

And Dr. Woo — and LG along with him — see this as the future.

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3 years ago

Two-sided YotaPhone goes on sale in a handful of countries

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Initial launch in Russia, Austria, France, Spain and Germany, more to follow in 2014

It seems like an eternity ago that we got our first look at the YotaPhone, a quirky little Android handset with a regular LCD display on the front and e-ink on the back. Our interest was piqued by our time with the device at Mobile World Congress back in February, and now the phone is available to buy in five European countries, with 15 more European, CIS and Middle Eastern territories following in the first quarter of 2014. In addition to the online launch, the YotaPhone will go on sale in retail stores in Russia and Germany this month, according to today's press release, priced at 19,990 RUB and €499.

The YotaPhone features a 4.3-inch 720p LCD display on the front, with swipe gestures being used in place of regular Android buttons. Around the back is a similarly-sized e-ink panel at 360x640 resolution, which can be used to display secondary information, such as the weather and calendar alerts. It's also possible to send images to the rear display with a two-finger gesture.

The device powered by a dual-core 1.7GHz Krait processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, with support for the main HSPA and LTE bands used in Europe. There's also a 13-megapixel rear camera, an 1800mAh battery, and on the software side it's Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean running the show.

For more on the YotaPhone, check out our hands-on feature from Mobile World Congress.

More: Hands-on with the YotaPhone at MWC 2013

Also see: YotaPhone official site

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the LG G Flex

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Pick up the LG G Flex for the first time, and it's tough to tell which is the cooler feature. For one thing, this phone is curved. Not just "Oh, the glass is curved against your face." But "Holy crap, the entire phone is curved."

But that's just half the story. Because what good is a curved phone that's rigid? That's just asking for trouble. No, the LG G Flex also bends. From the glass atop the display, to the display itself, to the all-new battery, this phone is meant to withstand up to 88 pounds of pressure in its most sensitive of areas, moving just enough to keep things from breaking while providing what LG believes to be the most ergonomic fit yet.

But you're not supposed to be able to bend your phone, right?

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3 years ago

LG G Flex availability dates announced for Singapore and Hong Kong

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Global rollout coming 'soon' says LG

Though it's been available through importers for a while, The LG G Flex will soon be on store shelves in Singapore and Hong Kong. A preorder date of December 8 has been announced for Singapore, and a general availability date of December 13 means the phone will be for sale at carrier stores and electronic retailers in Hong Kong.

LG says this is just the beginning, and we should soon expect a global rollout of the G Flex. We've no time frame for any western releases, but we assume LG wants to get the flexible, self-healing phone into as many hands it can as fast as it can. When LG has something to tell us, we'll be sure to tell you!

Follow through for the full press release.

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3 years ago

Moto G versus Moto X

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A look at Motorola's low end, and how it matches up against the high end

It's time to compare apples to oranges. One of these things is not like the other. Insert your own dry, not very witty and overused nugget of colloquial wisdom here. But we're going to compare the Moto X against the new Moto G.

The Moto X — even without all the cores and other numbers that send the spec-conscious all in a tizzy — is Motorola's high-end device for the high-end market. It's well-built, fast, loved by just about everyone who has used it — and is our pick as the best smartphone you can buy at the moment. It's everything that the old Motorola wasn't, and a fresh, new offering from the company that invented the cell phone.

The Moto G is the other end of the Android spectrum. It's inexpensive, accessible all over the world and targeted at blossoming smartphone adopters in countries without the high market penetration rates we see in the west. The good news is, unlike the usual budget handsets with fairly shoddy craftsmanship and plain bad performance, the Moto G is a damn good phone. It's solid, dependable and speedy — all for under $200.

Follow along, and we'll see where these two are similar and where they aren't.

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3 years ago

HTC One Mini sales to be blocked in UK following court ruling

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HTC One also at risk of ban

A British judge has ruled that HTC must stop selling its One Mini handset in the UK from this Friday, Dec. 6, after finding that it infringed upon Nokia's patents. A report from Bloomberg states that the HTC One was also found to breach certain Nokia patents, but Judge Richard Arnold delayed any action against that product to give HTC the chance to appeal, as a sales ban of the flagship handset could "considerably" damage the company.

HTC had argued that the offending part was "a very small component" and thus didn't justify a sales ban.

Nokia says that it's also claiming financial compensation in the case, according to a statement given to Bloomberg, and that HTC has agreed not to import any more of the infringing products into the UK pending an appeal.

We've reached out to HTC for comment and we'll update this post with any official statement. In the meantime, UK buyers looking to pick up a One Mini would be advised to do so before Friday.

Update: And here's what HTC has to say:

“HTC is pleased by the decision of the High Court of England and Wales to stay an injunction against certain chipsets, including those in our flagship HTC One, pending the outcome of our appeal against the validity and infringement of Nokia's EP 0 998 024  patent.  Whilst the Court also granted an injunction that affects other third party chipsets, we have filed urgent application to appeal.  In the meantime, we are working with our chip suppliers to explore alternative solutions . As always, HTC's primary focus is on supporting our customers and ensuring minimal disruption to them and our business. Rest assured that our award winning HTC One handset will be available as usual.”

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

LG G2 down to £360 SIM-free from Amazon UK

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£129 off the RRP for LG's high-end handset

Despite being overshadowed (in some circles, at least) by the Nexus 5, LG's flagship G2 remains a great handset in its own right, recently earning a runner-up spot on our list of best Android phones. It's got the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor found in the Nexus 5, with a larger 5.2-inch display, a more capacious 3000mAh battery and a 13-megapixel with optical image stabilization.

The G2 is now available at a sizeable discount on Amazon.co.uk, where it's priced at £359.99 including VAT — a pretty good deal considering most UK outlets still charge somewhere north of £400. The deal comes directly from Amazon, not a third-party seller, so there should be no worries about shipping issues.

For more on the G2, check out our review of the AT&T version, or hit up the link below to see Amazon's deal.

Buy: LG G2 on Amazon UK (£359.99)

Thanks, Paul O'Brien!

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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S4 getting minor bug fix update

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MK2 update said to resolve 'sleep mode' issues

Sprint has announced on its community message boards that its Samsung Galaxy S4 has been updated with a minor bug-fixing patch. The update to firmware version "MK2" is said to resolve issues with sleep mode on the phone, but that's the only change pointed out in the carrier's official changelog. It comes a month after Sprint's GS4 got its Android 4.3 update.

Sprint's post flags this update as having been pushed out on Nov. 30, and according to reports from the Android Central forums, the update has been arriving on handsets over the weekend. So if you've not already got it, now's the time to start hitting that "Check for updates" button.

Source: Sprint, Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Moto G versus Nexus 4

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How does last year’s Nexus shape up against this year’s entry-level champion?

Motorola’s latest entry-level handset, the Moto G, has been turning heads thanks to its relatively low price point and compelling specs and feature set. It’s a step below the Nexus 5 — the device it tied with in the “best value” category of our most recent Android phone roundup. But what of the Nexus 4, no longer available on Google Play, but relatively easy to track down from other online vendors.

If you’ve got a Nexus 4, is the Moto G a valid upgrade path? And if you’ve got around $200 to spend on a smartphone, which is worth your money? We’ll take a look at both devices in more detail after the break.

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3 years ago

Reminder: If Motorola's servers ever come up, you can grab a Moto X off-contract for $350

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Motorola's servers appear to be taking quite a beating early this morning. But if you somehow manage to get through, here's your reminder that the Moto X — our current pick for the best Android phone available — is $150 off today, outright. That means $350 total gets you an off-contract, 16GB Moto X. Another $50 bumps you up to 32GB.

Accessories are still 30 percent off today as well.

Buy now: Motomaker.com

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3 years ago

Samsung announces 'merlot red' and 'rose gold' black and white Galaxy Note 3s

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'Rose gold white' Note 3 headed to China this month

A couple of days after it quietly unveiled the new color options in Argentina, Samsung has today officially announced the arrival of the Galaxy Note 3 with "rose gold" accents in black and white, as well as a new "merlot red" model. The two rose gold versions have front and back designs similar to the existing "classic white" and "jet black" Note 3s, but with bronze accents in place of the standard silver edges. The merlot red version with silver accents sports a more traditional paint job.

The new Note 3 colors join the existing classic white and jet black with silver accents, as well as the lesser-spotted blush pink variant. Samsung says the the "rose gold white" Galaxy Note 3 will launch this month in China, with other colors to be launched "according to each market’s preference."

Update: We've got a gallery featuring all the new Galaxy Note 3 colors after the break.

Source: Samsung

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