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3 years ago

Moto G, two months on

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Motorola swept us off our feet with the affordable Moto G. But after two months and a software update, how has life fared for the little phone that could? 

Back in late November 2013, Alex Dobie and myself tooled up and headed to London to meet Motorola's latest Android smartphone. We already knew the name, but what we didn't know was just how much Motorola would blow us away that afternoon with the new Moto G. It's easy to pay lip service to budget devices and then forget all about them. But one thing was immediately clear; the Moto G was different. This was a phone we wanted to take notice of. 

Motorola has had something of a reduced presence in recent times outside of North America, with the last new UK release being the RAZR i about a year before. With the Moto G, it was back with a bang. Back with a product that was so well priced for what was on offer that folks would find it hard not to pick one up just to see it for themselves. 

In the two months or so since launch, I've used the Moto G regularly. It's easy to get swept up in the new high-end devices, but using the Moto G hasn't been the chore that using a budget phone once would have been.

Join us after the break for some long-term thoughts on the Moto G. 

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3 years ago

Moto G available for $99 off-contract from US Cellular starting today

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Online-only for today, in-store availability starts Feb. 10th

After writing yesterday of the expected Moto G launch on U.S. Cellular, we now have the full details on this budget device for the carrier. It turns out the date of February 10th for a launch was correct, but only for in-store availability — you can pick up a Moto G on U.S. Cellular today for just $99 (with free shipping) when paired with one of its No Contract plans.

The retail price is supposedly $189, but we're told (and the website reflects) that a $90 rebate is instantly applied when you buy the device. That's one heck of a deal, and matches Verizon's prepaid Moto G offering exactly. U.S. Cellular's No Contract plans start at just $50 per month for unlimited talk, text and data (500MB full speed) — a great deal when you also consider the price of this phone.

If you're interested in picking up a Moto G and U.S. Cellular is your carrier of choice, hit the source link below and get your order in now. And if you just have to pick one up in a store, you only have to wait a few days to do so.

Source: U.S. Cellular

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact versus Z1

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Sony's miniature marvel delivers almost everything that made the Z1 great, in more hand and pocket-friendly design

The Sony Xperia Z1 is a great phone. It's also a big, blocky phone with enormous bezels and an unashamedly chunky design. So we gave a warm welcome to its smaller sibling, the Xperia Z1 Compact, when we first saw it at CES 2014. The Compact, as we'll call it, incorporates just about all the high-end hardware of the full-size Z1, only with a significantly reduced footprint, making it an easier fit for hands and pockets alike. Unlike some other "mini" phones we could mention, you don't have to settle for lower-end hardware if you want a smaller handset.

So now that both are on the market in the UK, how do they compare? We've got a full walkthrough, including video, after the break.

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3 years ago

LG hosting pre-MWC press event in Korea on Feb. 13

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Likely introduction of LG G Pro 2 at event in Seoul

We already know that the LG G Pro 2 is a thing, and that its a thing we'll be seeing soon, but now it looks like we're likely seeing it next week. Invitations to an event at the LG Twin Towers in Seoul on February 13 have started going out to local press. While the invite doesn't hint at much with the message "Knock-knock knockin' on" and an image of footsteps the only visual aids. But given the time frame, we'd take a punt on it being the new G Pro 2.

Of course, in Europe later this month the worlds press and smartphone makers will be hitting up Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. This may have been a more obvious spot to introduce the G Pro 2, but then LG isn't always conventional in how it announces new devices and we shouldn't be totally surprised at a local debut first. Either way, we'll be expecting to get our own hands on it just over a week later in Spain. 

Source: ZDNet Korea via PhoneArena

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 + S4 Mini Black Edition availability announced

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Update: Hot on the heels of Samsung UK's statement, Samsung HQ has announced that the Black Edition GS4 and GS4 Mini will launch in "select markets" from February. The phones will come with exclusive wallpapers and ringtones, as well as black accessories and charging cables.

Original post: News has come in of Samsung Galaxy S4 models with a new Note 3-like leather-effect back — in recent days we've seen the new GS4 variants in Russia and South Korea sporting a redesigned derriere. So when might we see a Western release for this new (and, we'd argue, improved) flavor of Galaxy S4? Well, Samsung's keeping its cards close to its chest for now, not exactly confirming a UK launch for the "Black Edition" GS4 seen in Russia recently, but instead hinting at the possibility of announcements ahead.

A Samsung spokesperson told Android Central, “Samsung UK will announce availability for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Black Edition in due course.”

That doesn't tell us a whole lot, but it does suggest we haven't seen the last of these new GS4 models without the glossy back cover. With a likely Galaxy S5 launch happening before the end of the month, hopefully we won't have too long to wait.

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3 years ago

Verizon HTC One getting KitKat update 'shortly'

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Andorid 4.4 + Sense 5.5 update receives technical approval, OTA expected soon

Mo Versi, HTC's Executive Director of Product Management, sends word that the Verizon HTC One should start receiving its Android 4.4 KitKat and HTC Sense 5.5 update "shortly." In a tweet, Versi reveals that the update has passed technical approval, the final hurdle before over-the-air updates can begin being pushed out.

Verizon's HTC One should be the second U.S. carrier variant to get KitKat after Sprint launched the update late last week. Elsewhere, the update is live in Canada and Europe, as well as U.S. Developer Editions.

So, Verizon HTC One owners, now's the time to start checking for updates!

Source: @moversi

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3 years ago

OtterBox launches heavy duty cases for the LG G Flex

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Ultimate protection for your expensive curved phone

If you're dropping a fair wedge of cash on the LG G Flex, you might be considering some protection for it. Sure, it has that 'self-healing' back to protect against smaller scratches, but what about something a little more, heavy duty? Enter OtterBox with a new Defender series and Commuter series case for LG's curvy little number. 

If you're familiar with som of the OtterBox line of cases, they're about as heavy duty as you'd want to get from a phone case short of encasing it in concrete. If there's something to cover – display aside – the Commuter and Defender will pretty much cover it all. The construction of both is such that if the phone does flex, the case will go with it. The Defender will set you back $59.95 and the Commuter a bit less at $44.95. Both are available now at the source link below. 

Source: OtterBox

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 launches in the UK

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£649 gets you a 12-inch KitKat tablet with stylus capabilities

The Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 tablet is available to buy in the UK from today, Samsung has announced. The Wifi-only version of the tablet launches today from Samsung's own online store, its "Experience Store" at Westfield Stratford City, and "selected retailers" such as Carphone Warehouse and John Lewis. The 12.2-inch behemoth sports a similar chassis design and internals to the Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, and is priced at a whopping £649 for the Wifi-only version.

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 3 in red and rose gold white now available in the UK

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Carphone Warehouse launches new color options

UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has begun stocking the Galaxy Note 3 in two of the three new color options announced by Samsung late last year. From today CPW has the Note 3 in "merlot red" as well as "rose gold white," which combines a white front and back with bronze-tinted accents. So far there's no sign of the "rose gold black" Note 3 which was announced alongside these two.

On-contract prices start at £32 per month for a free Note 3, with tariffs on EE, Orange, T-Mobile, O2 and Vodafone; alternatively it's £579.95 outright.

Today's launch is the latest in a series of new Note 3 color rollouts around the world. The new colors appeared first in South America, before hitting the U.S. on Verizon Wireless late last month.

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

LG G Flex (AT&T) review

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Get bent! This phone curves and flexes, but after that ...?

LG calls it the world's first bendable flexible display. You can't look at the LG G Flex and not talk about the curve of the body, and once you learn that it actually does flex and give a little bit before breaking, you want to try it. Pushing and bending a phone is fun, because we've never been able to push and bend them before.

Are we ready for phones that bend, but not really bend? You can't fold it in half to slip it in a pocket, but it will likely be OK if you sit on it. It's not designed for be bendable, but designed not to break if it flexes. There's an important distinction that needs made here. Grabbing each end and trying to fold it in half will do little more than crack the glass if you have the strength in your hands. But pushing on the rear of the phone will cause it to flex and flatten out, hopefully saving the screen.

I've had one here for about a week, and it's time to let you know what I think of it and how it held up. I did more than bend and flex it. Read on for more.

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3 years ago

Grab the Moto G for £100 on Vodafone UK

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Moto's budget wonder still offering amazing value for money

If you've been thinking about picking up a Moto G in the UK but haven't yet, then Vodafone is making a good case for you to take your business to them. Launching with Vodafone's new 'Within Reach' campaign, a shiny new Moto G will set you back just £100 for the 8GB model. 

Vodafone says it comes out of the box with Android 4.3, but UK Moto G's have recently been seeing the update to Android 4.4 KitKat, so hopefully this one won't be too far behind. It already offered phenomenal value for money at the launch price of £135, so getting down to £100 just makes it an even more convincing purchase. The Moto G is still the best budget smartphone you can buy. 

More: Moto G review

Source: Vodafone

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3 years ago

New Galaxy S4 colors coming to Korea with leather-effect back

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Galaxy S4 LTE-A coming in 'rose gold white,' 'rose gold black' and 'deep black'

Even as we look towards the possibility of a Galaxy S5 unveiling before the end of the month, it's clear Samsung's not done with the Samsung Galaxy S4 just yet. The company has just unveiled three new flavors of GS4 for its home market of South Korea, specifically the LTE-Advanced model with support for super-fast data speeds. The new colors — rose gold white, rose gold black and deep black — all sport Galaxy Note 3-style stitched leather-effect back covers. The look might not appeal to everyone, but in our opinion the matte and soft-touch finish of Samsung's faux-leather backs are a big improvement on the glossy, fingerprinty battery door of old.

If the "gold" models look familiar, it's because this color scheme has already appeared on the Galaxy Note 3 in some countries. Similarly, the "deep black" version is a dead ringer for the "black edition" GS4 that's headed for Russia.

With a successor to the Galaxy S4 near on the horizon, it's unclear whether Samsung will be pushing these new color options out globally. But between these new Galaxy S4 designs and its new "Pro" series tablets, Samsung seems committed to this new visual style for the present.

Source: Newswire Korea, Flickr; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Samsung and Swarovski team up to bling out the Galaxy Note 3

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If faux leather isn't your thing, how about some crystal

The faux leather effect on the back of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a step up from the glossy plastic of old, but if you're looking for something a bit more, well blingy, then this might be for you. Samsung has teamed up with Swarovski to bling out the back of the Galaxy Note 3 to within an inch of its life with these crystal encrusted creations. 

The limited edition battery doors are available in the three colors seen here; Jet, Crystal Silver and a blend of Crystal Bermuda Blue and Crystal Metallic Light Gold. The partnership has been unveiled at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York. 

Before you rush out and buy, there's a couple of details you need to know. First up, the price. This shiny crystal goodness will set you back $299 but is bundled with a matching bracelet. So you and your phone can go out co-ordinated. If that doesn't put you off, you'll need to be around New York City to pick one up, as it's going on sale in the 5th Avenue Swarovski store in Manhattan. Anyone tempted? You'll find the full press release after the break. 

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3 years ago

Xperia Gallery app updated with KitKat support, immersive mode

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Android 4.4-powered Sony phones on the way?

An over-the-air update for Sony's Gallery app is rolling out to Xperia phones today, updating the app to to version 5.4.A.0.12. The update includes performance enhancements and "various" improvements for Sony's PlayMemories service. But more interestingly, the changelog notes that the new version adds "updates for Android 4.4/KitKat." As Sony doesn't currently have any Xperia phones running the latest flavor of Android, this is a sure sign of future devices being prepped with the new OS version. (Indeed, one of the preview images for the app shows a KitKat-style notification bar with a new battery icon and font.)

After loading the updated Xperia Gallery onto a Nexus 5 we've already spotted one such change — the app supports KitKat's immersive mode for fullscreen viewing. Besides that, the app functions much as it did before. Recent leaks have pointed to a Sony phone codenamed "Sirius" appearing in the near future with KitKat onboard, so we'll be watching out for that as Mobile World Congress approaches.

Xperia owners can grab the new Gallery app from Sony's Update Center app on their devices.

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3 years ago

Moto G gets midnight launch in India

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Dual-SIM version of affordable Moto handset coming to Flipkart

As expected, Motorola has announced availability details for the Moto G in India. The dual-SIM version of the device will be available from midnight tonight IST, exclusively from Indian outlet Flipkart. The 8GB model sells for Rs 12,499, while the 16GB version costs Rs 13,999 — and both come with free e-books, as well as a 70 percent discount on official colored shell backs. Other offers for Moto G buyers in India include Rs. 1000 off clothing from Flipkart and a chance to win 100% of the phone's value back in store credit.

Flipkart's store listing shows the Moto G as shipping with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean as opposed to the newer 4.4 KitKat shipping elsewhere. But as we said in our review of the device, the Moto G remains the best cheap Android phone you can buy right now, even on the earlier version of the OS.

More: Moto G review

Source: Motorola (Google+), Flipkart

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