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3 years ago

Expansys UK removes HTC Butterfly from listings, won't be flying into Europe after all

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Following the announcement of the 5-inch, 1080p HTC Butterfly for China, a lot of people -- including us -- started getting a little excited when some signs of the device appeared on European retailers websites. HTC confirmed to us at the time that the device was officially only launching in China, leading us to believe that any purchases made in Europe would be of grey imports.

Seems that even this many not be the case anymore. The chaps over at the UK based site Coolsmartphone, actually went and pre-ordered a Butterfly from UK based Expansys. Granted, there was no price, no mention of when they would become available, but a definite intent it seemed that they would be offering the device for sale. Over the weekend they received this email from Expansys, detailing that in fact the device would not be coming to the UK at this time: 

Thank you for your recent interest and preorder of the HTC Butterfly. Unfortunately, we have now been informed by HTC that this device will not be available in European markets, and as such we have had to remove it from our website and cancel your preorder.

We're not all that sure where the Expansys stock may have been sourced from in the first place, but it's pretty clear cut that we won't be getting any. But, then again, Mobile World Congress takes place in just a couple of months, so who knows what the future may hold. 

Source: Coolsmartphone

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 once again sold out in UK, Germany

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After a couple of weeks of being on sale with lengthy waits for delivery, the LG Nexus 4 is officially sold out on the Google Play devices store in the UK and Germany. While the 8GB model sold out within hours of the second batch of stock going on sale, it had been possible to order the 16GB model, albeit with a 6-7 week shipping estimate. Today both flavors of Nexus 4 are marked as "sold out," in Britain and "ausverkauft" in Germany.

The news follows difficulties in getting some orders out to customers. Some who'd received 3-5 day shipping estimates had not received their orders as of Sunday, leading to Google UK & Ireland boss Dan Cobley getting involved. In a Google+ post made over the weekend, Cobley apologized for the delayed orders, and said stock from LG had been "scarce and erratic." Orders with pre-Christmas shipping estimates, he said, should be processed this week.

Did you manage to bag a Nexus 4 while it was available to order? Has yours arrived yet? Let us know about your Nexus 4 ordering experiences in the comments.

Source: Google Play

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia 'Yuga' prototype revealed in leaked images

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It's been a while since we've had reliable leaked details about Sony's upcoming 2013 torch-bearer, codenamed "Yuga". The device had been rumored to sport a 5-inch 1080p display of the kind set to become increasingly common at the high end in the next twelve months. Back in November, the first set of leaked photos showed an unassuming slab-shaped design with Sony branding.

Today a couple of fresh images have emerged, showing what seems to be the exact same device. There's the same unique earpiece design, and the same back cover which, like LG 's Optimus G and Nexus 4, seems to be coated in glass. The source of the leaked shots, Russian site Mobile-Review, says the device will be powered by "the latest chipset from Qualcomm." presumably a Snapdragon S4 Pro. The site dismisses other recent rumors of a Samsung Exynos-powered Sony flagship.

The back design happens to match up closely with an FCC filing for the Japanese variant of this phone, which carries the model number SO-02E. That listing suggested the device would pack a 2330mAh battery.

For the past several years, Sony Mobile has used CES as a launch platform for its new high-end stuff. So, with the pace of leaks increasing, and FCC filings starting to appear, we think it's likely the "Yuga" could be revealed in just a few weeks in Las Vegas. Whatever Sony shows at its CES press conference, we'll be there to cover it live.

Source: Mobile-Review (Russian)

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3 years ago

The Samsung Exynos kernel exploit - what you need to know

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A new kernel exploit has been found (credit to alephzain at XDA) that affects some Samsung Exynos chipsets -- which happen to power many of Samsung's more popular phones. Normally kernel exploits don't make the rounds as news, but this time the word "malware" got attached to it so it has a bit of steam behind it.

Let's start this by reminding everyone that any app or program that roots your Android phone or jailbreaks your iOS device is malware by this definition. People really need to give up on that damn click-bait, and instead worry about educating people to help keep them safer. That's what we're going to try to do, so read on and lets have a look.

Update: A couple new things here. First is that Supercurio has worked up a quick and easy app that'll patch this exploit if you're worried about it. It'll let you know if your device is vulnerable, closes the exploit without requiring root access (so it should work on any phone or tablet), and it "doesn't modify your system, copy files or flash anything." You can turn the fix off and on as you choose, which is good because it breaks camera functionality on some devices (read more after the break on why that happens), and it could mess with HDMI output on some devices, Supercurio says. Also, we're re-emphasizing Chainfire's thread in the link below. Great stuff from the Android community. Let's hope Samsung gets something pushed out on its end as soon as it can.

Source: XDA; More: Chainfire's ExynosAbuse root exploit thread

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3 years ago

Google UK boss offers 'unreserved apology' for delayed Nexus 4 orders

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Dan Cobley says pre-Christmas deliveries on track for this week, offers shipping refund for late orders

As we've reported in great detail over the past month, customers hoping to pick up the Nexus 4 directly from the Google Play Store haven't had the easiest time ordering the device. Even after dealing with a tumultuous ordering process, some in the UK have found that their orders had missed the shipping window they'd been given by Google Play.

As a result, some disgruntled customers decided to go straight to the top to get answers, reaching out to Google UK & Ireland Managing Director Dan Cobley on his Google+ page. Today Cobley has responded with an update on the situation, an apology to those affected, and a shipping refund for those whose orders had missed the quoted 3-5 day window. The bottom line is that orders with pre-Christmas shipping estimates should be processed in the coming week.

In his Google+ message, Cobley also addresses the subject of stock levels, saying supplies from Nexus 4 manufacturer LG have been "scarce and erratic." The first wave of Nexus 4 stock sold out in under an hour, and the second wave was back-ordered by over one month in under a day.

Check past the break for Cobley's message in full.

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3 years ago

Best Buy offering Samsung Galaxy S3 for $49 for one day only on Sunday Dec. 16

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If you fancy a little pre-holiday treat for yourself, Best Buy might have something for you. For one day only tomorrow, Sunday Dec. 16, the retailer is dropping the price of the Samsung Galaxy S3 to just $49 on a new 2-year contract. It's not the first time in recent months that the Android Central International and U.S. Best of the Best pick has been reduced. The difference this time round is that the Galaxy S3 will be available for that same price on the four big carriers. If you've been holding off, there might be little better opportunities to pick one up on the carrier of your choosing.

Source: @BBYNews 

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3 years ago

Samsung uses paper craft and the Note 2 to wish us happy holidays

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Kirigami is the ancient art of folding and cutting paper to make beautiful shapes or scenes. Most of us know it by the paper snowflakes we used to make as children. Samsung has taken it a step further, and along with the Note 2 have churned out another great commercial.

Using the Note 2 and it's large screen for motion effects, the paper craft work in the commercial really catches the eye. Commercials of this caliber are becoming the norm from Samsung, and we're enjoying each and every one. Have a watch, and if you decide to try any of this yourself (I know we have some very crafty readers) send in a short video or some pictures -- we'd love to have a look.

Souce: Samsung Mobile on Youtube

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3 years ago

U.S. Cellular's Samsung Galaxy S II finally getting an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade

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If you're rocking a U.S. Cellular Samsung Galaxy S II, your long wait for Android 4.0 is finally at an end. The update is available for download, although it doesn't look like it's going out OTA. Hit the source link at the bottom of this post for more, but basically you'll need to download the update and install via your computer. 

While still Touchwiz'd up, the jump from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich is a sizeable one. New ICS features like Face Unlock are baked in, and it opens up a whole new world of applications to take advantage of, like Google Chrome. Also built in to this update are 'additional apps' with Google Play Movies and Slacker being installed as part of the package. Jelly Bean hasn't rolled out to any worldwide models of the Galaxy S II, so this at least brings the U.S. Cellular variant up to date with it's compatriots. If you've snagged the update, be sure to shout out in the comments and let us know how you're finding it. 

Source: U.S. Cellular

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3 years ago

First images surface of Verizon employee exclusive Droid DNA

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It's kind of teasing posting up photos of a device most people can't buy, but when it looks like this it's definitely worth a mention. What we see here is the first shots of the Verizon employee exclusive Droid DNA, obtained by the guys over at Droid-Life. It's a regular old DNA at heart, but instead of the black back on the regular one, Verizon staff get theirs in a pretty impressive shade of red. And, since Verizon devices aren't short on logos, this DNA is absolutely no exception. In addition to the usual stuff, it also comes stamped as a “Verizon Employee Limited Edition.” It's not likely to hit everyone's tastes, but it sure stands out in a crowd. 

Source: Droid-Life

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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse expects Xperia E for Feb. 2013 release

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Sony hasn't given any date other than "Q1 2013" for the launch of the upcoming Xperia E, but U.K. phone retailer Carphone Warehouse says it expects the handset by February 2013. We got some pricing and spec info for the mid-range handset in the last week, but one thing left out was the release time.

This is shaping up to be a nice looking handset for the budget-conscious among us -- at a price of about £130 SIM free -- when it finally becomes available.

Source: Xperia blog

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update now available!

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The Verizon Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update. We've got it. Some of you have got it. We're installing now. 

... And we're up and running. The 400MB update takes a few minutes to install. Once you're done, you're at Android 4.1.1, build JRO03L.I535VRBLK3.

As is usually the case with updates, you're not going to see a huge visual change. TouchWiz is still TouchWiz. But you now have features like Google Now, which you access by long-pressing the menu button, and improvements to the notification area. The camera's gotten some improvements as well, including, of course, filters. Plus, the GS3 is now ready for the ISIS mobile payment system, but that only does you any good if you're in Austin, Texas, or Salt Lake City.

Update: And now we've got a quick video after the break.

More: Verizon Galaxy S3 forums

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3 years ago

Motorola Atrix HD gets Jelly Bean

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Mark it, Dude. The AT&T this morning announced that the Motorola Atrix HD is getting an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean starting today. That means you get cool things like Google Now, that Project Butter smoothness, plus all the other bells and whistles AT&T and Motorola have added in. 

You can get the update now by going to Settings>About Phone>Software updates. And we suggest you do.

Source: AT&T; More: Atrix HD forums

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3 years ago

Android 4.1.2 and 'Premium Suite' update hits Korean Galaxy S3

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U.S. Galaxy S3 models may have just received their Android 4.1.1 update, but international versions are already moving ahead with the new "Premium Suite" upgrade, which includes Android 4.1.2 and new features like full-screen multitasking. The update started pushing out in some European countries earlier in the week, and now it's landed in Sammy's home territory, as SamMobile reports that South Korean S3 models have started to receive the new software over the air and through the Kies desktop app.

So if you're running any of the four Korean Galaxy S3s -- SHW-M440S, SHV-E210S, SHV-E210K or SHV-E210L -- then it's time to head to Settings > About device > Software update, or if you're feeling particularly masochistic, plug your phone into Kies.

The "Premium Suite" upgrade introduces a bunch of new features from the Galaxy Note 2, including "multi-window," which allows two full-screen apps to be run on-screen at once, a re-vamped Gallery app and "page buddy," a context-sensitive home screen tile that offers different widgets and shortcuts based on what you're doing with your phone. Check our earlier post for more details on other features of the upgrade.

Source: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Leap Wireless and MetroPCS starting handset financing programs

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Leap Wireless and MetroPCS, both smaller prepaid carriers, are starting to offer handset financing programs for their devices. One of the issues facing carriers that only operate on a prepaid basis is the high up-front cost of handsets. Even though the customers will be saving lots of money in the long-run, the $500 or more required to buy a high-end device may turn some away. 

Leap, which operates the Cricket Wireless brand (which is somewhat confusing,) started offering its financing plans a couple weeks ago and now have them rolled out to all of its stores nationwide. Purchases of $200 or more -- both phones and accessories -- can qualify for financing of up to 90-percent of the purchase price. If the loan is paid off within 90 days, there are no fees or interest charges as well. This means that someone buying a device that is normally $500 will be paying just over $100 out the door for the device and the first month's service paid in full. MetroPCS wouldn't comment specifically on its financing plans, but intends to launch a similar setup of handset financing to its customers very soon.

Even with the financing plans, neither Leap nor MetroPCS will require a contract for its services and will remain completely prepaid. Both operators aren't requiring a credit check for financing either -- just an active bank account -- which is a big deal to many customers. Anything that can help users make the choice on going to prepaid to save money on their cellphone service is a good thing.

Source: FierceWireless

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3 years ago

The YotaPhone and its e-ink display gets shown off on video for the first time

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The YotaPhone from Russian broadband provider, Yota, was only unveiled yesterday with Android 4.2 and a second, e-ink display. It packs some pretty tasty specifications, but the difference maker is the e-ink display on the back -- or the front, whichever way you're looking at it. And, while we had a selection of renders to whet our appetite, what we really want is to see this thing in action. 

The good folks over at The Digital Reader stumbled upon this hands on video, shot with the Head of Software Development at Yota Devices. It shows off both sides of the device, the interesting looking gesture area that replaces the capacitive or on-screen buttons, and how some apps look when mirrored to the e-ink display. He goes through a series of use case scenarios for such a device, but no-one can say it isn't an interesting concept. It's also worth noting that it seems the on board storage and the final name of the device aren't yet decided. 

via The Digital Reader

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