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2 years ago

Sony Xperia P review

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Can build quality and multimedia chops redeem a phone lacking the latest version of Android? Find out as we take a closer look at the Sony Xperia P.

The fact that we’re starting to see dual-core phones at entry-level price points is a testament to the tremendous pace at which smartphone technology is advancing. Last year this kind of multiprocessing horsepower was reserved for only the most expensive handsets, but as we cross over into the second half of 2012, we’re increasingly seeing these chips in mid-range and low-end phones too.

One such device is the Sony Xperia P. Sitting between the Xperia S and Xperia U in terms of specs and price, the Xperia P is the middle child in Sony’s Xperia NXT series. It aims to differentiate itself with its own unique take on the Xperia NXT “transparent element” design, using an aluminum chassis. It also offers few extra whistles and bells, including NFC support and an 8MP EXMOR R camera.

But there’s a “but” coming, and if you’ve read our Xperia S and Xperia U reviews, you’ll probably have correctly guessed that the Xperia P ships with the 18-month-old Android 2.3 Gingerbread, as opposed to the newer 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. So is this a deal-breaker, or does Sony offer enough added value in other areas for this to be overlooked until the update arrives? Find out below, in our full review of the Sony Xperia P.

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2 years ago

Non-Sprint HTC EVO 3Ds getting their Ice Cream Sandwich update

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If you're rocking an EVO 3D outside the United States, know this: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is heading your way right ... about ... now!

But what about Sprint? While the phones are mostly the same on the outside, you have to remember that the internals are different -- and the EVO 3D in the United States is controlled by Sprint, and not the magical GSM fairies from abroad. And that means it's not surprising that they're on different update guidelines. Same as if Sprint got the update before all the GSM rest-of-world models. One doesn't affect the other.

But any update is a good one. Hit the link below to see what all the fuss is about.

More: EVO 3D forums

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2 years ago

July 5 weighs in as potential Droid Incredible 4G LTE release date

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Here we go again, right? A leaked shot shows a date, we all get our hopes up and then they are crushed when it changes.  Well, according to an internal Verizon document the Droid Incredible 4G LTE is gearing up to be in our hands on July 5. The device was officially announced back in May, and perhaps you'll recall our hands-on with it at CTIA, and Verizon initially stated that it would be available "in the coming weeks," and, well, more than a few weeks have passed since then. Keeping it mind that the all new Verizon plans kick in starting on June 28, having the device launch shortly after is a good way to get those customers back in to renew their contracts. The pricing currently shows at the $199 price point, a bit higher than we had hoped, but hopefully Verizon will add a rebate or something to bring that price down to the $99 - $150 range. Now we sit and wait, hoping that July 5 is the day.

Source: Droid-Life

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2 years ago

AT&T Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich update available again via Kies

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A quick heads up that the fine folks in our AT&T Galaxy S II forums are reporting that the phone's Ice Cream Sandwich update is available again from the Samsung Kies software. The update briefly went live last week only to disappear again; AT&T says it was just testing things. But now it appears to be ready and willing.

So fire up Kies, and hit the link below to see what everyone else is seeing.

More: AT&T Galaxy S II forums

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2 years ago

Official-looking pics of the T-Mobile-branded Galaxy Note

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We've seen the blurry-cam and unofficial pictures leak out of a Galaxy Note carrying T-Mobile branding, but the folks over at CellPhone Signal got their hands on what they're calling official images. Not a lot of other details have leaked out, but the few that have are pretty tasty -- the T-mobile version will come in Navy Blue, run Ice Cream Sandwich (as we saw in the previous leak), and have HSPA+ enabled on 850/1900 MHz bands along with standard AWS bands. T-Mobile is slowly shifting radio frequencies for HSPA+, and as a bonus it means it should work on AT&T once factory SIM unlocked with no rooting or fiddling

The also tell us to expect to see it for sale on July 11, so keep your eyes peeled for more info soon.

Source: CellPhone Signal

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia Ion Review

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The Sony Xperia Ion is launching today on AT&T, more than 5 months after being announced - and with last year's version of Android. So is it still worth your time?

The hunt for an Android device is one that is never ending, and it ultimately comes down to an internal battle of when "enough is enough" and one device is good enough to last you for the term of your contract. Is there ever a perfect device for everyone? No.

The beauty of Android is that there is a ton of devices to chose from, some big and some small, some powerful and others just spec'd for the entry level consumers. Back at CES 2012 we first caught wind of the Sony Xperia Ion, and until recently the device was in a sort of black hole. Sony is finally ready to put this device in consumer hands and that means it's time for you to begin wondering if this could be your next device. There is no definite yes or no for everyone, but let's hit the break together and go through some of the good and bad and see just how this device stacks up.

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2 years ago

HTC teases 'dog translator' app

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Update: HTC has confirmed that this is in fact just a joke, and they're not working on voice control tech for dogs or humans.

Original: The Galaxy S III might be "designed for humans," but HTC has just published photographic evidence of what seems to be an attempt to court the canine smartphone market. The manufacturer posted the image above on its official Facebook page, showing the HTC One X chatting it up with an unusually smartphone literate dog.

OK, so HTC probably isn't going into the field of animal behaviorology anytime soon, which means this is likely a not-so-subtle hint that HTC is set to join LG, Samsung and Apple in launching its own voice assistant app (OK, a Siri clone). Based on the image above, it looks like HTC's app will be able to manage appointments (such as walkies) and other general queries, much like Apple and Samsung's offerings. The big question will be how well the app's voice recognition features actually work, as we found this to be a major sticking point for S Voice, the Galaxy S III's voice control effort.

In any case, we'll be interested to see what HTC comes up with in this area, and how much of its Sense UI it's able to augment with the new voice-controlled tech.

Source: HTC on Facebook

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2 years ago

AT&T: Just testing that Galaxy S II update; it'll be back 'very soon'

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So the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the AT&T Galaxy S II kinda went live. Then it kinda didn't. And we've seen that happen wtih so many Samsung updates that we've kinda grown numb to it. But that doesn't mean we don't care. Here's the official word from AT&T corporate PR, which is a step or five over customer service chats.

We plan for the upgrade to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) for Galaxy S II customers to be live very soon.  Like with every OS update, we test it on our servers before we roll it out to customers.  We’re in the process of doing that with Android 4.0 (ICS) for Galaxy S II customers and hope to make that live soon.  We recommend customers wait to attempt the update.

So that's why you saw it, and now you don't. AT&T tells us it'll have more info at its consumer blog here once the update goes live. Hang in there, folks.

More: Galaxy S II forums

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2 years ago

Samsung brings iTunes and iOS data to Galaxy devices with Easy Phone Sync

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Samsung has announced that it's partnered with developer Mushroom Media to bring the company's Easy Phone Sync application to owners of Galaxy smartphones and tablets. As the name suggests, Easy Phone Sync is allows phones to transfer content from their PCs over a USB connection, with the particular focus being on importing music and other media from iTunes, and contacts and messages from iOS. The app, which will presumably be available for a fee at some point in the future, can be downloaded for free on Google Play if you've got a Galaxy device.

The app release and partnership with Mushroom Media is likely part of Samsung's plans to give iOS users an easy path from Apple's ecosystem to its own. Samsung has made no secret of its efforts to establish itself as a equal competitor to Apple, and the Korean manufacturer will be hoping to lure upgrading iPhone users to its Galaxy S III with apps like this. While Easy Phone Sync isn't anywhere near as polished as an Apple app, it's fast and functional enough to be of use to iOS converts making the switch to a Galaxy phone.

We've given Easy Phone Sync a quick test on the Galaxy S III, and it seems to work well enough. Inexplicably though, the phone app seems to run persistently in the background, leaving an unsightly notification in place at all times.  The phone all only serves to install a license key though, and after that it can be uninstalled. Regardless, persistent notifications are annoying, and make for a sub-par user experience -- on an officially-sanctioned app like this, there's no excuse.

You'll find today's presser from Samsung after the break, and download links below.

Download: Easy Phone Sync (Android), Easy Phone Sync (Mac, PC)

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2 years ago

Droid RAZR/RAZR MAXX get Ice Cream Sandwich!

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Last night was just the teaser. Today's the day, folks. After so many rumored dates have come and gone, Verizon has made it official that the Motorola Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX -- twins in every way except for battery size -- will get their update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich starting June 22. Today. The update also will turn on GSM world roaming capabilities, update a number of Moto's apps, improve mobile hotspot performance and Bluetooth audio, and you've got a new settings menu as well.

So be on the lookout for this one today, and be sure to hit up our Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX forums to spread the world. You can find the full details of the update at the link below.

Update: Not to confuse matters, but Motorola's just put out a post of its own, saying "A select number of DROID RAZR by Motorola and DROID RAZR MAXX by Motorola owners will start receiving the upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich this week as part of our standard upgrade process; broader deployments will come over the coming days."

So Verizon says it's starting today, Motorola says it's starting slowly this week.

Source: Verizon, update changelog (pdf)

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