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1 year ago

What I'm using: Phil's current favorite smartphone of the week

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Asking me which phone is my favorite is like asking my which one of my children I prefer. Sure, I could probably come up with an answer, but there's no way in hell I'm going to tell you. I joke that my favorite smartphone is the one that's currently charged. And that's not far off, but neither is it a good answer. 

My daily driver really comes and goes with the release cycle. Much of 2011 was spent with an HTC ThunderBolt, before moving on to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Before that it was the Motorola Droid X and the Nexus One and the Samsung Infuse 4G and ...

You get the idea.

For the past few weeks, however, I've been using the HTC One X and the HTC One S. I've been using the One X more, mainly for radio reasons -- T-Mobile's just not that great where I live. But there's no denying that the display on the One X is gorgeous, if not a little big. So, yeah. The One X is my weapon of choice these days.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Sense 4. That's not to say it's perfect -- there are some bugs about and design choices I disagree with -- but it's a nice improvement over stock Ice Cream Sandwich (which I also really like). So there's that. I'm not running a third-party launcher on top of Sense. That's partially out of laziness, and partially because Sense is good enough. (I do miss vertical scrolling in the app drawer. But apparently I don't miss it enough to bother with a third party launcher.)

I'm actually only using two of the seven home screens. Craziness, I know. But folders on the main home screen takes care of most things, as does the customizable dock. Check it all out in the video below.

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1 year ago

Fresh rumors on next Samsung Nexus, new HTC Facebook phone offered by Digitimes

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Let's offer a little context right off the bat -- Taiwanese tech rumor site Digitimes has an at-best patchy record when it comes to reports on unannounced devices. So naturally we'd recommend taking these latest Samsung and HTC rumors with a hearty pinch of salt.

First off, it's reported that Samsung has once again been chosen by Google to produce its next Nexus handset -- the follow-up to the Galaxy Nexus that's expected to appear in late 2012. ​Digitimes ​says that Samsung's position as the leading Android smartphone manufacturer means Google will continue to co-operate with it on future Nexus phones, leveraging "its ability to control the supply of key components", according to the site's sources. This is the first rumored (and of course entirely unconfirmed) information we've heard regarding the 2012 Nexus, which would be the third Google flagship phone to come out of Samsung. The phone would presumably be the reference device for the next version of Android, said to be codenamed "Jelly Bean."

In other news, ​Digitimes​ also reports that HTC and Facebook are preparing to team up on another Facebook phone, which will come to market "in the third quarter of 2012 at the earliest." The two companies co-operated on the HTC ChaCha (Status) and Salsa last year, though neither device was met with much success. The new phone, which is said to be running Android, "will have a platform exclusive to Facebook to enable and integrate all functions available on the social networking site", according to the site's sources. That's pretty vague, but based on the direction Facebook's taking its official Android app, we wouldn't be surprised to see Facebook integration baked into the native camera and messaging apps, at the very least.

So there you have it -- two rumors, both completely unconfirmed. We'll have to see how things pan out in the months ahead, but we wouldn't be too shocked if either of these turned out to be legit. We've seen some pretty aggressive expansion out of Facebook recently, and we're sure no-one would be surprised to see yet another Samsung Nexus.

Be sure to give us your take on this latest batch of rumors down in the comments.

Source: Digitimes

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1 year ago

HTC One S available today on T-Mobile

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Today's the day, folks! The HTC One S is now available on T-Mobile here in the U.S., making it the first phone from the HTC One line to launch here in the states. (The HTC One X is coming May 6 on AT&T, and the EVO 4G LTE -- essentially Sprint's One X -- is coming eventually, with preorders beginning May 7.)

If you're on the fence, here are the broad strokes: It's ridiculous thin, especially considering that it's a 4.3-inch phone. It's light. It's got a power processor. It's got Sense 4, which we like a lot. And it runs on T-Mobile's 42 Mbps network. Aww, hell, just read our complete T-Mobile HTC One S review. It'll make your day a little brighter.

Buy now: T-Mobile HTC One S
More: HTC One S forums

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1 year ago

Carphone Warehouse outs 'Samsung Galaxy S3' with tiny teaser pic

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Last week we saw the the first retailer listing for the Samsung Galaxy S3 over on Amazon Germany, and today the plot thickens with a new stub appearing on Carphone Warehouse's "coming soon" page. The independent retailer lists the device, currently acknowledged by Samsung as the "next Galaxy", alongside a diminutive preview shot that's so tiny and generic it's impossible to tell whether it's an official render or not. If nothing else, it has its buttons in the right place for a Samsung phone -- you can clearly see a power button on the right and volume rocker on the left.

What's also intriguing is the slow gravitation we're seeing towards the "Galaxy S3" name rather than anything else. Over the past few days we've seen references to that name exactly -- Galaxy S3, not S 3 or S III -- leak out on Amazon, the official "Unpacked" app in the Google Play Store, and now CPW. Despite rumors that Samsung may attempt to ape Apple's naming scheme with a "new Galaxy S", we think the S3 name makes more sense in terms of branding. A "new Galaxy S" is too confusing for consumers upgrading from the S II, considering how schizophrenic Samsung's Galaxy branding already is across its phone and Tab lines. And a "Galaxy S III" with three as roman numerals isn't as instantly recognizable -- your brain takes a few more seconds to process those pesky three lines and differentiate "III" from "II".

Whatever the case, we're still in rumor territory with regards to much of what we "know" about this device. And we're not expecting that to change until the Galaxy S3, or whatever it's called, is unveiled in London on May 3.

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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1 year ago

Late-night poll: Did you set up your Google Drive?

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All the rumors and murmuring came to an end today, as Google unleashed Google Drive on the world. Some of the rumors were right, some not, but in the end anytime someone wants to give us more, we'll take it. I hope in the end Google gets things a bit more unified, but that's another story. I'll use it, so I set mine up.

Did you? Let us know in the poll!

 

Did you set up your Google Drive today?

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1 year ago

Coachella, through the eyes of the Samsung Epic 4G touch

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By all accounts folks that went to Coachella had a blast. Music, food, beverages, X, you name it -- it was there. So was AC member ramonm2 and his trusty Epic 4G Touch, and he has an entertaining tale about the funs times, and more importantly, how his Android phone helped him out and held up to a day in the desert. Check it out!

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1 year ago

Another 'Next Galaxy' dummy unit appears, throws Android style guide to the wind

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Ladies and gents, I present to you the Samsung Galaxy S III.

Except it ain't. It's another bit of secrecy in the never ending chain of Samsung Galaxy Next S III tales, and this one from the Taiwanese forum mobile01 truly takes the cake. The casing, yellow friction tape and all, is clearly not the finished product and the monstrosity of a navigation bar across the bottom makes me hope the view on the screen is faked as well. Don't get me wrong -- I'm a fan of buttons, including the coveted menu button, but forcing it off to the wrong side as in the above screen is not only against the Android style guidelines, but it's a giant mess for app development waiting to happen. At least HTC's offerings would look right when (if) apps get updated with the ICS UI. But this? There's no rhyme or reason.

I want to see this phone as much as the next guy. I'm excited to see what Samsung counters the HTC One series with, but if this is it I'm going to have to say no thanks Samsung. That's why I'm not buying it.

Source: mobile01 (since pulled); via The Verge

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1 year ago

T-Mobile Galaxy Note shows its gigantic self - with ICS

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The rumors and speculation that a T-Mobile version of the Samsung Galaxy Note is out there lurking around can be confirmed tonight. TmoNews got a set of leaked pictures of the 5.3-inch Note sporting T-Mobile branding, T-Mobile bloatware apps, and -- get this -- Ice Cream Sandwich. Other than the model number of SGH-T879, and the fact that it's running Android 4.0.3, it's still a mystery, and there's no telling which processor is inside or when to expect this one to get official -- if ever at all. As Phil reminds us, the life of a carrier smartphone is full of twists and turns.

We hope this one pans out and this isn't just a one-off or a test unit that never sees the light of day. You can bet everyone has feelers out and if there's more to be known, it will get known. In the meantime, hit the link and check out a slew of pics.

Source: TmoNews

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1 year ago

Motorola Droid 4 OTA update pushing out now

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If you own a Motorola Droid 4 and haven't already received notice of the OTA update, you will definitely want to check for updates right now! Unfortunately this isn't ICS, but this update does bring a couple of great enhancements along with it, including improved battery life. Beyond just the battery life enhancement they have also done the following

  • Enhanced loud call end and connect tones over Bluetooth
  • Power On function has been fixed
  • Improved battery life
  • Improvements made to reduce touch screen lockups, device sluggishness, and blank screen lockups
  • Keypad backlight only launches when needed
  • Successfully receive Visual Voice Mail notifications
  • MotoCast widget can be added to the homescreen and thumbnail view
  • Improved text message delivery when using the Messaging application
  • Improvements to WiFi connectivity
  • Reply With Quote

Pretty good update for you Droid 4 owners, so be sure to check it out, and let us know in the forums how it works out for you!

Discuss more in the forums!

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1 year ago

Ask AC: The T-Mobile HTC One S uses Carrier IQ?

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Thermalx, in our T-Mobile HTC One S Q&A, writes,

I thought carriers had about stopped with the whole Carrier IQ thing. But according to this T-Mo doc, the One S has Carrier IQ, any thoughts on that? Personally I'm not swayed much by it as I'll get CM9 as soon as it's available.

Ah ha! A good question, and one I'd meant to cover sooner. As part of our Ultimate Sense 4 Guide, we'd done a separate post on Privacy and the Tell HTC Experience Log. That covers analytics and other data that that Sense itself can collect. But it's not necessarily on your phone, and it's not necessarily the only analytics tool a carrier is using. 

When you first go through setup on the T-Mobile (US) HTC One S, you'll be asked whether you want T-Mobile to be able to collect diagnostics information. The section reads as follows:

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