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3 years ago

Samsung announces Galaxy S4 Mini

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Dual-core 1.7GHz CPU, 4.3-inch qHD SuperAMOLED screen, UK launch in July

Samsung has announced the much-anticipated and heavily-leaked Galaxy S4 Mini. As the name suggests, it's a miniature version of the Galaxy S4, and like the Galaxy S3 Mini, it's packing suitably downsized specs inside its diminutive chassis.

The Galaxy S4 Mini rocks a 4.3-inch qHD (960x540) SuperAMOLED display, and is powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core processor with 1.5GB of RAM. Around the back there's an 8-megapixel camera, on the front is a 1.9MP front-facer. There's also 8GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD card. Powering everything is an 1,900mAh battery.

The Galaxy S4 Mini boasts many of the headline software features of its larger sibling. It's running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with the latest TouchWiz UI, and in today's press release Samsung highlights features like Sound and Shot, S Translator and S Health, as well as WatchON TV capabilities through a built-in IR blaster.

Connectivity-wise, you're looking at Wifi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and 3G/4G radios. Samsung says there'll be 3G, 4G LTE and dual-SIM variants, though the availability of these SKUs will vary depending on country.

The Galaxy S4 Mini will be shown off to attendees at Samsung's "Premiere 2013" event at London's Earls Court exhibition center on June 20. No release date has been revealed just yet, but the manufacturer did confirm that it'll be available in black and white color options.

We've got today's press release, along with more images, after the break.

Update: UK retailer Phones4u has confirmed that it'll offer the Galaxy S4 Mini "when it becomes available in the UK in July 2013."

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3 years ago

Moto X to be the lead device for the new Motorola

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Motorola's X phone is finally confirmed, now all we need are the details

Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside is speaking at D11, and he announced what many of us have been waiting to hear -- news of the Moto X. According to Woodside, who teases us by saying the phone is in his pocket but he can't show us, the Moto X will be a true game changer. Made in the USA, using all the APIs Google announced at Google I/O last month, the X is the lead device to show off the companies new direction.

He also was sure to mention that Motorola was ready to build high quality, low cost devices for emerging markets, but the X is not one of these. The X will be "more contextually aware. And you can interact with it in different ways." 

There's not much to go on here, but you can rest assured that we'll let you know as soon as we do.

Edit: A lot of the talk was about how the X will be different. Specifically mentioned was the battery tech, which we all care about. The question was asked: "How can you fix it, [battery life] when everyone else has struggled with it so much? There are ways to improve it, but can you solve the underlying problem? How do you go about doing that?"

The answer:

I'll save the more detailed discussion for later. But your question about how you understand the change in state and optimized the battery — we have some of the best engineers, and they've created a system where there are two processors that are more aware.

So we can expect an all-new "smart" battery monitoring processor of some sort. I can't wait for the details on this!

Edit 2: Motorola has also issued a mini press release, which you'll find after the break in its entirety. 

Via: The Verge

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3 years ago

Major update now pushing to the Verizon Galaxy S3

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Multiwindow, Best Shot added along with scores of other fixes, features

Hold onto your hats, folks. The Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3 is getting ready for a pretty major software update. The biggest bullet points probably are the addition of multiscreen and multiwindow, which let you run apps side-by-side. You'll also get some new camera functionality, including the ability to choose from five burst shots to get the "Best Shot."

That's just the tip of the iceberg for the update that has just started pushing out. Read on for the full rundown.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Exhibit available today on T-Mobile for $19.99 down

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T-Mobile this morning announced that the Samsung Galaxy Exhibit is now available online and in select stores. The decidedly entry-level device runs $19 down with 24 monthly payments of $9, or $235 outright.  For your trouble you get Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, a 5-megapixel camera, a 4-inch WVGA display, and a mere 1,500 mAh battery.

If you're looking for your first smartphone, chances are you'll get steered toward this. which essentially is a Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. Just know you're starting at the low end, and work your way up from there.

More: T-Mobile

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3 years ago

LG Optimus L5 down to £69.95 on PAYG upgrade

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Carphone Warehouse offering entry-level ICS phone at reduced price until June 6

British retailer Carphone Warehouse sends word that it's temporarily lowered the price of the LG Optimus L5 to a little under £70 on Pay As You Go upgrade. That means upgrading PAYG customers can walk into a CPW store, hand over £69.95 (plus a credit top-up, usually around £10), and leave with a fully functional -- if not particularly speccy -- Android smartphone.

The L5 is just over a year old, having made its debut at Mobile World Congress 2012. It's packing an 800MHz CPU, 512MB of RAM, a HVGA (320x480) display, 5MP camera and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. So it's nothing like the crazy hardware we're enjoying at the high end of the Android spectrum, but it's hard to imagine getting any more phone for your money at this price point.

Carphone Warehouse's promotion for the Optimus L5 runs until June 6.

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

Kernel source now available for Verizon Galaxy S4, Galaxy Tab 3, Galaxy Mega devices

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Code for VZW GS4, Tab 3, Mega 5.8 Duos and Mega 6.3 added to Samsung Open Source Repository

As required under the open-source rules, Samsung has published the Linux kernel source code for a slew of new, high-profile Galaxy devices, including the Verizon Galaxy S4. Alongside Big Red's GS4, Samsung Open Source Repository also saw kernel source code for the Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, Galaxy Mega 5.8 Duos (dual-SIM) and Galaxy Mega 6.3.

As always, the code itself won't be of any use to regular smartphone owners, even those who hack their phones and install custom ROMs. However it should help custom firmware-makers come up with better ROMs for these devices. If that's you, you can grab the fresh batch of Samsung code at the source links below.

Source: Samsung (VZW GS4, Tab 3, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3); via: AndroidPolice

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3 years ago

T-Mobile HTC One nationwide rollout slated for June 5

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After initial launch in 300 stores, T-Mobile's HTC One will arriv​e in the rest of the U.S. next Wednesday

The T-Mobile HTC One is set to arrive in stores nationwide from next Wednesday, June 5 following its launch in some 300 stores earlier in the month, according to reports from TmoNews. The site says the expanded HTC One rollout coincides with an increase in production from HTC, following the resolution of early component supply issues. (That's corroborated by recent comments from the company's North Asia president.) Launching alongside the HTC One on June 5 is the BlackBerry Q10.

The T-Mobile HTC One can be yours with a $99.99 down payment on a 24-month installment plan; alternatively it'll cost you $579.99 up-front. For more on the HTC One, check out our in-depth review.

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

The Nexus 4 Zebra Edition

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Is it the hot new look for the summer season, or just a black and white mess? There's a poll, let us know!

BlackBerry users have their Oreo, webOS users love their Panda, and now the Android faithful have their very own zebra -- that's with the short e, in the proper Queen's English. (Read it in Alex's voice)

The zebra acts a whole lot like the regular, plain old black (and now white) version, but it's more zebra-like. Sporting a fun, yet business-ready black and white look, it's ready for anything while staying stylish no matter what you throw at it. 

OK, I'll stop. But it is a pretty unique look, bound to have people who love it as well as folks who hate it. I'm digging the white one with the black bumper myself. What do you think? Answer the poll after the break, then fill the comments with praise or curses to let us all know why you feel that way. And of course, head into the forums where the zebra was first spotted.

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3 years ago

Verizon's Galaxy S4 will support AWS LTE via a software update

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A future software update will allow the Galaxy S4 to operate on Verizon's AWS LTE expansion network which is launching this summer in New York

When the Verizon version of the Galaxy S4 zipped through the FCC back in March, everyone noticed hardware support for the recently acquired AWS spectrum that will be used for Big Red's LTE expansion. Today, Bloomberg reports that this support is currently idle and will be enabled prior to the network going live this summer.

Verizon has been busy buying and selling AWS spectrum to bolster their current LTE network, which is slowly showing the effect of having so many phones and other devices running on it. The current 700MHz C-block is getting a bit, shall we say clogged, and because there's so little of it available there's not much chance of relief. As more and more customers sign up with an LTE-enabled smart phone or other device, Verizon needs more of the airwaves to serve them all. The amount of AWS spectrum available to Verizon means they could enable a very fast, nationwide network using it that can provide up to 400% (that'd be 20x20 compared to the existing 5x5 C-block network) of the capacity of their current LTE offerings.

Of course, to use this bigger and faster LTE network, you need hardware. That's where today's news comes into play. When Verizon is ready to flip the switch and light up the new AWS network in New York later this summer, a software update will make the Galaxy S4 ready to use it. We expect to see some incredible speed tests in the near future.

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the white Nexus 4

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Phone, ahoy! Have ye seen the white Nexus 4?

Aye, cap'n. We have. In fact, we've got the white Nexus 4 here in our hot little hands. And, yes. It's a Nexus 4. And it's white. It's a white Nexus 4. And ... That's really about it. LG this morning finally announced the existence of what has never really been that much of a secret, and it'll be available May 29.

So what's new on the white Nexus 4? We'll break it down.

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3 years ago

The best Android phone you can buy, as of June 2013

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Update: Find out our latest picks for Best Android Phone! (Updated in November)

Find out which handset gets the Android Central recommendation

We're six months down the road from our last "best Android phones" roundup, and the smartphone landscape has altered dramatically. Back in December we crowned the Samsung Galaxy S3 king of all Android phones, on account of its responsiveness, broad availability and excellent performance across the board. A generation later, the Android space is dominated by two new heavyweights -- the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, with other contenders including the Xperia Z and ZL from Sony and LG's Nexus 4.

In mid-2013, buttery-smooth performance, beautiful screens, high-quality cameras, 4G LTE connectivity and Jelly Bean out of the box come as standard at the high-end. Competition is more fierce than ever, and that's resulted in some of the best Android hardware we've ever seen.

But there can be only one winner. Join us after the break to find out which phone takes the prize.

Upda​te: Check out our new list of the best Android phones — updated for August 2013!

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3 years ago

Samsung reportedly considering OIS, optical zoom for Galaxy Note 3 camera

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Korean press says range of technologies being considered for upcoming Note successor

Cameras are one area of phone hardware in which there's always room for improvement. Recent flagships like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One have introduced high megapixel counts and optical image stabilization in an effort to produce better smartphone snaps. Looking ahead, rumored devices including the Sony "Honami" and "Galaxy S4 Zoom" could take things even further, with 20-megapixel sensors and optical zoom capabilities.

So it's interesting to hear reports today that Samsung's considering all manner of exotic imaging technologies for its upcoming Galaxy Note 2 successor. Quoting unnamed Samsung officials, Korea's ETNews reports that a 13-megapixel sensor is on the cards, along with optical image stabilization and optical zoom capabilities. The former allows the camera assembly itself to move in order to prevent motion blur, while the latter would vastly improve upon the digital zoom offered by most cameraphones. (As we mentioned, Samsung is already rumored to be experimenting with optical zoom on the "Galaxy S4 Zoom".)

We're not expecting the Galaxy Note 3 to make its debut before this year's IFA trade show in Berlin, scheduled for early September. As such, ETNews says the camera specs remain up in the air at this point. Nevertheless, if Samsung can cram an optical zoom into an (albeit large) smartphone, it could very well be a headline feature for the next Note.

Source: ETNews; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

LG VP comments on Nexus 5 'misinterpreted'

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Manufacturer says it's not currently working on Nexus 5, but wouldn't turn down the opportunity

An interview with European LG Mobile VP Won Kim sparked a bit of excitement this morning, as selected quotes appeared to show that the manufacturer wasn't interested in collaborating with Google on a future Nexus smartphone. In an article in Dutch publication AllAboutPhones, Kim is quoted as saying "The Nexus 4 was a great success despite the production problems for us and Google. However we do not need such a marketing success again."

Kim also appeared to distance himself from any possibility of "Google Edition" version of top LG handsets (as Samsung is doing with the Galaxy S4), saying LG has "no plans" to offer such a phone.

However LG quickly released a statement to clarify matters, saying that Kim's comments had been misinterpreted. The official message passed to The Next Web states that “What Mr. Won Kim said is that we are not currently working on a Nexus 5, which is true. But that doesn’t mean we would turn down the opportunity.”

The news comes amid rumors from the Korean press in recent weeks stating that LG is indeed the chosen partner for the next Nexus smartphone. Regardless, we're still a good five or six months out from the usual launch window for new Nexus devices, so we'll just have to wait and see how things pan out.

Source: The Next Web, AllAboutPhones

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3 years ago

LG officially announces white Nexus 4, on sale from May 29

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On sale beginning in Hong Kong, to follow in Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America in coming weeks

The Unicorn that suddenly thrust itself into public view in recent weeks is now officially official. LG has announced that the white variant of the Nexus 4 will be released to the world on May 29 in Hong Kong. After this, in the "coming weeks" we shall see it roll out globally, though no specific dates are available for other regions at this point. 

And that's about all she wrote. The white Nexus 4 still comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and there's no mention of any new storage options or even where we'll be able to buy it. Since this announcement has come from LG and not Google, there's a possibility -- at least to begin with -- that this isn't Play Store bound. If it doesn't get into the Play Store, we're not likely to see this version hit the same price point as the black one, so we'll keep our collective fingers crossed on that one. 

Source: LG

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3 years ago

Droid RAZR M, RAZR HD get blue paint job

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Mid-range and high-end RAZRs now available in new color option

Verizon Wireless has debuted a new color option for its Motorola Droid RAZR M and RAZR HD today. Both devices get an extra splash of color, with a new blue variant going on sale alongside the existing back and white models. You'll have to look closely to spot the changes to the RAZR HD, however, as only the power button and metallic trim have been colored.

Unfortunately it looks like there's no blue RAZR MAXX HD -- that phone is still only available in black.

The Droid RAZR M is currently free with a two-year plan, or $549.99 to buy on its own, while the RAZR HD is $99 on-contract or $599.99 outright. Check 'em out at the link below.

Source: Verizon Wireless (RAZR M, RAZR HD); via: AndroidPolice

More: Droid RAZR M review; Droid RAZR HD review

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