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3 years ago

Gold HTC One now available in the UK

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UK retailers selling golden handset on-contract

Remember the gold HTC One? No, not the real gold HTC One — the one that's still made of aluminum but has a pale gold-colored exterior. The most exclusive of all the HTC One colors is now available from UK retailers Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u. Both outlets are selling the phone on-contract, but apparently not SIM-free, so you'll need to sign up for a monthly plan to get your hands on the champagne-hued device.

Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u have deals on all the major UK networks except Three, with prices ranging between £17 and £62 per month depending on monthly data allowances and how much you want to pay upfront for the phone. The cheapest deal for a "free" gold HTC One is a £29 per month plan on Vodafone with 1GB of 3G data.

Source: Carphone Warehouse, Phones 4u

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3 years ago

Pink Samsung Galaxy S4 arriving at Phones 4u in January

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New color variant available to pre-order now

UK retailer Phones 4u has scooped up yet another color exclusive — this time the Samsung Galaxy S4 in pink, which will be available from early January. The device comes with a light pink front and back, similar to the "blush pink" Galaxy Note 3, and sports a new bronze-color trim around its edges. P4u says it'll have exclusivity over the pink Galaxy S4 throughout January, and a pre-order page is live right now.

The pink GS4 will be sold on contract with prices starting at £33 per month for 3G (with 1GB of data on Vodafone) and £38 per month for 4G (6GB, also on Vodafone). And 4G buyers will get a free wireless speaker valued at £120 to sweeten the deal, the retailer says.

So... any takers?

More: Phones 4u

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Active LTE-A headed to Korea

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New Galaxy S4 Active model for SKT features Snapdragon 800, faster data and upgraded camera

Samsung has unveiled a new version of the Galaxy S4 Active in its home country, featuring an upgraded CPU, faster data speeds and an updated camera that brings it in line with the company's other 2013 flagships. The device boasts LTE-Advanced data speeds of up to 150Mbps, and as such it runs Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 CPU as opposed to the Snapdragon 600 used in the global GS4 Active. The camera is now a 13-megapixel unit, up from 8 megapixels on the original.

Like the global model the GS4 Active LTE-A is IP67-certified, meaning it's resistant to dust and water — for up to 30 minutes at three feet — and there's also a 1080p LCD display and 32GB of internal storage and a 2,600mAh battery.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Active with LTE-A will be headed to Korean carrier SKT, priced at 900,000 won (around $855).

Source: SamMobile, Samsung (Korean)

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3 years ago

Verizon's HTC One getting Android 4.3 today

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469MB update brings the HTC One to Android 4.3 and fixes a few bugs

Folks with an HTC One on Verizon should start checking for a software update, as the OTA to Android 4.3 is pushing out now. The update to 4.3 also carries a few other minor changes:

  • OS Upgrade to Android Jelly Bean 4.3
  • VZ Cloud application can back up contacts, photos and more
  • Ability to add your music to video highlights

Check your device through the settings menu, then head into the forums to discuss.

Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Android 4.3 update hitting AT&T Galaxy Note 2

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OTA brings Galaxy Gear support, KNOX security and new TouchWiz features

The AT&T Galaxy Note 2 is the latest Samsung device to receive an update to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean which. And as we've come to expect from Samsung updates of this kind, the firmware brings a bunch of new Samsung features alongside the newer Android OS version.

There's support for the Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Samsung's KNOX enterprise security suite, along with new "premium suite" features including a refreshed Galaxy Note 3-style multi-window mode, Easy Mode for a simplified UI in the launcher and other apps, and new camera features including Sound & Shot.

The update is rolling out over the air right now, so head to Settings > About phone > Software updates to get started — the build number to look for is I317UCUBMK6. If you're updating today, join the discussion in our AT&T Galaxy Note 2 forum.

More: AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 2 forum

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

EE to preview LG G Flex in-store ahead of February launch

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Bendy, curvy phone on display at ten EE stores from Friday, Dec. 20

UK operator EE will be getting the LG G Flex early next year, but it's giving Brits the chance to preview the phone in-store in the run up to the holidays. From this Friday, Dec. 20, ten EE stores will have the G Flex on display, including locations in London, Kent, Nottingham, Manchester, Brighton, Cambridge, Merry Hill and Sheffield.

But if you want to actually buy the LG G Flex on EE you'll need to do a little more waiting, as the carrier says it won't be available until February 2014. Unsurprisingly, the company isn't saying anything about pricing at this early stage either.

The G Flex sports a curved 6-inch display with 720p resolution, and its frame is designed to flex and withstand up to 88 pounds of force. The device also packs rear-mounted buttons like the LG G2, and a back panel designed to "self-heal" from minor scratches.

We've got more in our LG G Flex preview, where we take a look at the Korean version of the phone. Check past the break for the full rundown of EE stores previewing the G Flex this Friday.

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3 years ago

Android 4.4.2 OTA for the Google Play edition Sony Z Ultra rolling out

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Show stopping bugs addressed in the bump to KOT49H

We still don't yet have the URL for side loading, but the 4.4.2 OTA for the Sony Z Ultra GPe is starting to push out. We knew an update was coming "soon" to fix some of the issues we've seen with the phone, and we saw the LG G Pad — the other new Google Play device — get its own update today. Sony and Google have managed to get the software updated before the devices gets into too many hands.

It's confirmed that the 444MB update fixes the security settings bug, the app uninstall bug, the clear data bug and random issues with Google Now voice commands. 

We're up all night to get lucky try and find the URL for this one (I gotta have it myself) and we'll update when and if we come across it.

Update: Nobody can seem to capture a standard URL for this one, but thanks to sfagundes. we have a mirror for side loading. Grab it here. Thanks, Sean!

Thanks, Matthew!

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 arrives on China Mobile with a few hardware differences

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Build differences, 32GB internal storage and TD-LTE support for Chinese variant

Sony's latest Android flagship, the Xperia Z1, has today landed on China's largest carrier, the state-owned China Mobile. The Chinese Z1 looks much the same as its international cousin — from a distance, at least — and sports a similar spec sheet to its global counterpart. There's a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 5-inch Triuminos 1080p display, 3000mAh battery and 20.7-megapixel rear camera. 

But there are some key differences to be found the China Mobile Xperia Z1, which carries the model number L39t. There's 32GB of built-in storage, versus 16GB on the global version. What's more, the frame around the outside of the device is reportedly plastic like the Xperia Z and Z Ultra, not metal as on the global Z1. The position of the headphone jack is more centralized, and the noise-canceling speaker is now found behind a small hole in the glass back. In fact, the Chinese model is a dead ringer for the alleged T-Mobile U.S. version that leaked out a couple of months back.

The new Xperia Z1 variant also supports TD-LTE bands used by China Mobile, as well as TD-SCDMA and GSM.

The Chinese Xperia Z1 is running software based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean; presumably an update to 4.3 will follow at some point given that version's recent arrival on international Z1 devices. In any case, the new and slightly different Sony Xperia Z1 is slated launch on China Mobile for 4,499 yuan ($724) in black and purple flavors around the end of the month.

Source: XperiaBlog, ePrice

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3 years ago

More HTC Android 4.3 updates landing this week

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4.3 rolling out now for HTC One Mini; Verizon HTC One OTA due this week; international One Max also getting bugfix update

More Android 4.3 updates are arriving for certain HTC One series handsets this week. First up, the international HTC One Mini is getting an over-the-air update to version 2.12.401.1, based on Android 4.3 and HTC Sense 5.5, which brings it in line with the European HTC One. The update includes all the features we've previously seen Sense 5.5 updates for the One and One Max, including a re-vamped BlinkFeed and additional gallery and video highlight features.

Next is the Verizon HTC One, which had its Android 4.3 update delayed around a month and a half ago. According to a tweet by Mo Versi, HTC's Executive Director of Product Management, Verizon's M7 should be getting its Android 4.3 OTA this week after the update received technical approval from the carrier. It's unclear whether this update will be based on Sense 5.5 or the older Sense 5.0, however.

And finally the international version of the HTC One Max is getting a selection of bug fixes in an update now heading out to European handsets. Version 1.54.401.1 — still based on Android 4.3 — includes fixes for touch responsiveness, SIM card detection, Wifi connectivity and general system stability. In addition, the update resolves issues when posting HTC Shares to Facebook, and improves performance for the battery-toting HTC Power Flip Case.

Next up is Android 4.4 KitKat, which is already rolling out to unlocked and developer edition HTC Ones in the U.S., and due to land internationally by the end of January.

Source: XDA; @moversi; Thanks, Shen!

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Core Advance brings new accessibility features

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New features for disabled and visually impaired users in latest Samsung mid-ranger

Samsung has today announced a new mid-range smartphone, the Galaxy Core Advance. With a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM, a 4.7-inch WVGA display, a 2,000mAh battery and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean running the show, the Galaxy Core Advance doesn't stand out much in terms of specs. But Samsung is highlighting a range of new accessibility options on this device, designed to make it easier to use for disabled users and those with visual impairments.

A new optical scan feature uses the camera to recognize text, and reads it aloud. A new light-sensing feature can detect the direction and brightness of light. And an instant voice recorder app allows users to make quick spoken notes. "Screen curtain" allows the device to be operated with a black screen, "to ensure privacy and save battery life." A voice-guided camera app can also provide audio feedback on the picture being taken, for example giving the number of faces detected in the image.

The Galaxy Core Advance also sports a soft-touch plastic rear, much like the black Galaxy Note 3, in place of the glossy plastic more commonly found on Samsung smartphones. And there's a Galaxy S4 Active-style physical button setup on the front of the device, presumably to allow users to more easily feel each button before pressing.

Samsung says Galaxy Core Advance will be made available in "deep blue" and "pearl white" color options early in 2014.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 and Z Ultra Android 4.3 updates rolling out

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Performance tweaks and camera improvements for Z Ultra among changes in latest Sony firmware

Sony had previously promised that the Android 4.3 rollout for certain Xperia phones would begin this month, and now the first two devices on the list are being updated. Android 4.3 for the Sony Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z Ultra has started rolling out today, bringing an update from 4.2.2 and some Sony software improvements.

Among the changes are enhanced performance and updates to Sony's suite of built-in apps, such as Messaging, My Xperia, Smart Connect, Small apps, Track ID, Sony Select and the media apps, including Walkman, Album and Movies. As of this release the Xperia Z Ultra also gets access to Sony's "Smart Social Camera" feature from the Z1, which lets the rear camera use Sony's downloadable camera apps. The new firmware also supports downloadable themes through the Xperia Themes system, a feature Sony says it'll expand upon in the future.

Update: Xperiablog also reports that the Z1 camera issues for bootloader-unlocked phones has also been fixed.

The update should be available now for some Z1 and Z Ultra devices, though Sony points out that as with all updates it'll take time to roll out to all regions and carriers. (We're not yet seeing anything on our unlocked UK Z1, for what it's worth.) If you're updating your Xperia Z1 or Z Ultra today, hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

Source: Sony Mobile blog

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3 years ago

Google Play edition Z Ultra software bug prevents uninstalling applications

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Critical software flaw restarts UI when trying to remove a user-installed application

Update: These issues are fixed in the Android 4.4.2 update for the GPe Z Ultra, which is rolling out to devices now.

Original story: A second ugly software bug has reared its head in the Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition. Applications installed from Google Play can't be uninstalled — the process instead causes the entire phone UI to restart. This is the second serious bug found in the software on the Z Ultra, the first being no way to open the "Security" section of the device settings, as found by JR Raphael at Computerworld

Both bugs are more than mere inconvenience to the user, and present security as well as usability concerns. This latest bug affects all user-installed apps, and is present regardless of network state. We were unable to test side loaded applications, as access to side loading is currently blocked because we can't get into the security settings.

We can't be 100 percent certain we are running the final consumer build of the operating system, though we have questions out to Google and Sony to get the definitive answer. I've been talking with a few other early adopters about the issue and we've found it to be present on all devices so far. The device is currently available from Google Play for purchase.

We're fairly certain Sony will push an update to fix these issues in short order, but if you've already received your Z Ultra, or it's on the way now, it looks like you'll have some issues to deal with. 

More in our Z Ultra Google Play edition forums.

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3 years ago

Motorola starting software soak test for Verizon Droids

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Attention, owners of the Verizon Motorola Droid Ultra, Droid Mini and Droid Maxx: Motorola has just sent out invites for a software "soak test" for the trio of devices. Nothing definite, but that could well mean Android 4.4 KitKat is on its way. (Or it could be a lesser version. We've got our fingers crossed.)

It generally takes a few days for the soak test update to push — and it's entirely possible the update will push to everyone — soak test or not — at the same time. It's happened before.

Stay tuned.

More: Verizon Droid forums; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Black HTC One Max headed to Hong Kong

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With the HTC One and One Mini already available in a slew of different colors, HTC is bringing a little more variety to the latest member of the HTC One family, the One Max. The black HTC One Max has made its debut in Hong Kong, and the manufacturer's Hong Kong site shows the Max in its new murdered-out exterior. The metal front and back, as well as the plastic sides, are now jet black, giving the enormous handset a slightly more businesslike appearance. It also makes the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner — admittedly not our favorite One Max feature — a little less visually jarring.

There's no indication as to when (or even if) HTC might launch the black One Max outside of Hong Kong. But given HTC's track record of slowly rolling out additional color options we wouldn't be surprised to see this model arrive internationally at some point. Elsewhere, a red HTC One Max was recently spotted in an ad for Taiwanese carrier FarEasTone, so it's possible the device may get a splash of color in the near future.

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

Sprint's Moto X appears to be getting its KitKat update this morning

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And finally, Sprint's Moto X has begun getting its update to Android 4.4 KitKat, according to our inbox and folks in our Moto X forums. That makes all four major carriers (and US Cellular) to have updated the Moto X to the latest version of the Android operating system, within about six weeks of the code being made available.

The times, they are a-changin'.

More: Moto X forums

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