3 years ago

Samsung teases Galaxy Note 2 in IFA preview video


It's just over a week until we're expecting to see the next Samsung Galaxy Note unveiled in Berlin, Germany. As such, Samsung's ramping up the hype surrounding the upcoming tablet/phone hybrid, today releasing a new teaser video that gives us our first fleeting glimpses of the device, along with a guest appearance from 'Wings of Desire' director Wim Wenders. Not much is being given away, but the new Note is described as "a thin and light thing, which might suggest that the expected increase in screen size hasn't resulted in any extra bulk in other areas.

Check out the full 37-second preview video above. We'll be live from Berlin next Wednesday to bring you full coverage of Samsung's Mobile Unpacked event.

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3 years ago

Droid RAZR HD video tutorials leaked (update - and now they're gone)



Update: Well, looks like the YouTube account that uploaded the videos has been closed. That's the way it goes with leaks sometimes. 

A few video tutorials have leaked out, very similar to ones we've seen before for other Motorola devices, showing basic functions of using what we presume is the Droid RAZR HD. Although the device isn't actually properly called out as such, it's a pretty safe bet at this point given the design, Verizon branding and timing. Leaks like this line up with what we're assuming will be the launch of the device at a Verizon and Motorola event on September 5th.

The videos are pretty run of the mill, showing off basic functions of the latest Motorola UI over Ice Cream Sandwich -- which looks extremely similar to what we've seen on the Atrix HD. Unfortunately they don't give away much in the way of specs or a look at the rest of the device, but we'll know soon enough. Take a gander after the break at the rest of the videos.

Source: Droid Life

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia SL gets official - 1.7GHz Snapdragon S3, coming in four colours


After numerous leaks, Sony's Xperia SL (LT26ii) -- a refreshed version of the Xperia S -- is now listed as "coming soon" on the company's website. The site listing confirms earlier rumors that the phone's Snapdragon S3 CPU has been clocked to 1.7GHz (up from 1.5GHz), and that two new colors, grey and pink, will be available in addition to the Xperia S's black and white. On the software side, the Xperia SL comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, so you won't need to worry about applying any updates when you first start the phone up.

We imagine the Xperia SL will be joined by a wide range of other Sony Xperia phones at the company's IFA press conference on Aug. 29. Naturally, we'll be live in Berlin to bring you full coverage.

Source: Sony, via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Huawei P1 to be 'enhanced' as it arrives on UK shores


We have only just got first UK availability of the Huawei Ascend P1 -- read our full review here -- but according to the fellas at Coolsmartphone it might just be about to get some improvements.

By the time it gets into UK Android fan hands, the P1 will definitely qualify as a mid-range handset. A dual-core device living in a quad-core world, but it doesn't mean it isn't a perfectly capable smartphone. Apparently the UK version is to be given a more "premium" feel -- whatever that entails -- and the battery will actually be an 1800mAh powerplant. Not the 1670mAh we saw in our review unit and in the one listed for sale at Clove Technology. Considering we already spoke pretty highly of battery life on the P1, an additional bit of juice can be no bad thing. 

Source: Coolsmartphone

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3 years ago

Sprint Motorola Photon Q available today for $199


Just a quick heads up that the Sprint Motorola Photon Q is available today for $199 with a two-year contract. If you've yet to do so (slacker), be sure to check out our hands-on with the Photon Q (we'll have a more thorough review this week), but already it's shaping up to be a solid slider from Moto, with Ice Cream Sandwich and a new UI.

It's also important to remember that this is a world phone, so you business types who have been longing for something with a keyboard that'll work outside the states have something new to consider. And it's also worth noting that the Photon Q is the first to take advantage of Motorola's new bootloader unlocking tool -- a tool of which we've already availed ourselves -- so you hacker types can have your way with it, too.

So ... who's buying?

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3 years ago

Snapshot: Verizon Galaxy S3 captures lightning strikes [from the forums]


That the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a great camera is hardly a secret. But just how fast is that burst mode? Android Forums member BasPilot says he took nearly 2,000 pics of a recent storm in burst mode and got 25 or so good ones. Never mind the percentage on that one. Any good photog knows to just keep shooting. (This is the digital age, after all.)

Even better is that BasPilot's sharing a few of his captures in the forums. Hit the link below to check 'em out.

More: Caught Lightning in Action

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3 years ago

T-Mobile myTouch and myTouch Q review


In a day and age where everyone seems to want the latest and greatest, and nothing short of the best, it can be a rough world out there for entry-level devices. But not everyone is looking for -- or needs -- the latest multi-core, 4.5-plus-inch Android smartphone. That said, there still is a market for those who just would rather something with some more features than their basic phone, but without the cost associated with the top of the line products.

T-Mobile has had the myTouch line for a few years now, changing a bit each time, and this year it was Huawei’s turn to take a stab at it. They have brought to the table a pair of phones -- the myTouch and myTouch Q. Could a well styled entry level device succeed in today's market, or will it be overlooked and left in the storage closets?

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3 years ago

Google launches 'experiment' to bring AOSP vanilla Android to Sony Xperia S


More interesting news for open-source geeks this morning, as it's emerged Android Open-Source Project head Jean-Baptiste Queru has kicked off an “experiment” to bring AOSP support to Sony’s Xperia S. Previously, the only official AOSP target devices have been Nexus phones and certain “Google Experience” products like the Motorola Xoom. So the fact that work is underway to bring this kind of support to the Xperia S, which ships with a skinned UI and a bunch of proprietary Sony tech, is a fairly big deal, even if it is just an experiment for the time being.

In selecting the Xperia S, JBQ notes that it’s a powerful GSM device with an unlockable bootloader, and said that Sony had been “very friendly” towards AOSP. On that last point, Sony has long contributed code back to AOSP, and it’s even helped out amateur devs like the FreeXperia team working on CyanogenMod support for Xperia phones, giving them AOSP-friendly proprietary code for certain devices. The manufacturer has also released alpha and beta builds of some major software updates ahead of time, and actively sought feedback from advanced users. So despite its comparatively small market share, Sony seems a good for for this kind of project.

In his message to the Android Building mailing list, Queru encourages community developers to get involved with the project, but to do so while staying on the right side of the rules when it comes to handling proprietary binaries. As far as we’re aware, AOSP-friendly propertiary code will have to be released by Sony in order for this experiment to progress towards fully-functional builds, just as was the case with FreeXperia and CM. The camera firmware, for instance, is packed with proprietary Sony tech, so an entirely new binary might have to be created for this project.

Aside from the technical challenges ahead -- and there are more than a few -- it’s certainly cool to see the AOSP brass playing around with open-source Android on one of the more dev-friendly Android devices. We're a long, long way off having easily-flashable Google-approved AOSP available for certain devices alongside the manufacturer’s own ROM -- in fact, we’ll go on record and say that probably won’t ever happen. However, if this little experiment is a success, it could open the door to other non-Nexus phones being initiated into AOSP, and that can only be a good thing. We can't help but wonder what Google's long play might be in this respect.

We’ve reached out to Sony Mobile for comment on this experimental project, and we’ll keep you posted with any information they have to share.

Source: Android Building Group, via: The Verge

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10 nightly builds now rolling out for certain devices


If you’ve been waiting patiently to get your hands on experimental Jelly Bean-based ROM for your phone, today could be your lucky day. The team behind popular custom firmware CyanogenMod has opened the floodgates and started churning out CM10 nightly builds for some supported devices.

Nightly builds are highly experimental, probably unstable and likely not suited to being used as a daily driver. However they do give owners of supported phones the chance to try out near-vanilla Android 4.1 Jelly Bean months before their official update will drop, in addition to introducing some helpful software tweaks from the CM team.

Notable devices now receiving CyanogenMod 10 nightlies include, but are not limited to --

  • The US SGS3 variants
  • The Galaxy Nexus variants
  • The Nexus S varaints
  • The Nexus 7
  • The Transformer and Transformer Prime
  • The SGS1 variants (Vibrant, Captivate, International, and i9000b)
  • The SGS2 i9100g
  • P3 and P5 tablets (Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and 10.1)

Other devices are getting nightlies too, so to see if your phone or tablet is supported, check the get.cm download link below. Kudos to the entire team of CM maintainers for bringing a taste of Jelly Bean to dozens of devices this morning!

Source: +CyanogenMod

Download: get.cm

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3 years ago

Sprint's Motorola Photon Q one of the first phones to grace Moto's bootloader unlock page


Remember the Motorola bootloader unlock site we talked about just an hour or two ago? We've got some great news to share direct from Moto -- the Sprint Photon Q will be one of the first phones eligible to use it. Per Motorola:

As of August 2012, the only Motorola devices which can be unlocked are:

  • Photon Q 4G LTE (Sprint)
  • RAZR Developer Edition (Europe Only)
  • XOOM

This leads to one huge question, which Moto addresses -- what about other phones? Moto says that they have to evaluate that on a phone-by-phone basis, and that they have worked with Sprint to come up with a solution that's favorable to everyone involved. It certainly appears that as far as Moto is concerned, unlocking shiny, new LTE phones is cool with them (using the right tools), but a lot of it will depend on the carrier. I don't want to sound discouraged, but we're all aware how that's going to fly with Verizon and AT&T.

Of course, there are risks involved when making your phone unsecure on purpose. Moto goes over these well, and it's a must read for anyone thinking of taking the plunge. We're just glad to see Motorola doing the right thing here, and now Android hackers and developers might not have to work as hard to own the phone they paid for.

As you can see, we've unlocked the Photon Q. The process only takes a few minutes, and pretty much mirrors what HTC's done with its more recent phones. You reboot into fastboot and get a token (you'll need the Android SDK installed, of course), feed that token back to Motorola, which gives you yet another number to repeat back. Quick, relatively easy -- if you can't follow these instructions, you really shouldn't be mucking about with custom software anyway -- and the way it should be done.

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

T-Mobile's Galaxy S3 getting an OTA to fix bugs and remove local search


T-Mobile's Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3) is seeing an OTA update (also available via Kies) today that promises improvements to performance and stability and adds Allshare Cast to the device. Here's the list of changes from T-Mobile support --

  • Android version 4.0.4/Software version T999UVLH2
  • AllShare Cast added to device
  • Resolved the error, ‘Enter MAC address' after entering the correct MAC address in the Mobile HotSpot configuration page if the MAC address entered did not contain the colons (:) or spaces.
  • Resolved issue where the contents of a Home screen folder would be rearranged alphabetically after a reboot.
  • Resolved issue where the name does not populate when trying to add a contact with NameID information, you must manually add.

As we've seen with the other U.S. variants of the Galaxy S3, this update also removes local search ability from the phones -- a tiny piece of information that Samsung and T-Mobile forgot to mention in the change log. We expect that sort of thing by now, but we still don't like it.

Anyways, to get the update either check through your Galaxy S3's settings menu or fire up the latest version of Kies and you'll be set. For more details, and full instructions, hit the source link below.

Source: T-Mobile; via Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Sprint Motorola Photon Q hands-on


Here she be, folks, the Sprint Motorola Photon Q. It's one of Sprint's newfangled 4G LTE devices, with a five-row keyboard thrown in for good measure. And what's more -- it's a "global-ready" device, too, meaning you can use it outside of the United States on a GSM network. And that combines a couple of key features we know a you road warriors have been craving -- a great keyboard with some world-phone love. 

The long and short of it is this: The Photon's got the same great keyboard we've experienced on the Droid 4 on Verizon. It's a spitting image. The Photon Q has a 4.3-inch qHD display, it's powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and it's running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (with a Jelly Bean update expected just as soon as possible, we imagine).

You'll also notice that new homescreen. And out of the box, the Photon has just that single homescreen. Crazy, no? Crazy like a fox, we'd argue. Swipe to the right, and you're presented with a screen that lets you add another blank screen, or one from a template. That's a great way of doing things.

Want more? We've got a quickie gallery and a few minutes of hands-on video after the break. Huzzah!

More: Photon Q specs; Photon Q forums

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3 years ago

Motorola's device unlocking page is live, but there are no devices listed yet


Update: Scratch that, folks! We've just unlocked the Photon Q!

Motorola has finally started their bootloader unlocking program, but it's not yet complete. The process, which Moto promised we'd have in late 2011, looks very similar to the way HTC and ASUS are going about it. You'll register , read through all the warnings telling you not to unlock your bootloader, and use the Android SDK and fastboot to OEM unlock the phone with a key. 

We've no problem with this method. Having people familiar with the tools used to do the deed before letting them do something as important -- and dangerous -- as unlocking the bootloader on their phone is a good thing. Like HTC's tool, we're going to assume that this doesn't give you a full unlock, where radios and other proprietary things can be fooled with. We're OK with that too. Files we're not legally allowed to distribute or hack at are off limits, which makes carriers feel better. Besides, it's pretty simple to work around if you just have to have access.

The one little issue here is that no devices are listed as unlockable just yet. You'll find a link to the supported device list, which asks you to sign up then gives you an error page. We're hoping that this is just a work-in-progress sort of thing and the list will get fuller shortly. Of course, this will all be at the carrier's discretion, so there's a good chance your RAZR MAXX won't ever be listed. Like many of you, we'll be keeping a close eye on this one.

Source: Motorola; thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

New features in Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update


New Android 4.1 and TouchWiz features arrive in Jelly Bean update for Samsung's Galaxy S3

Samsung has a track record of including new features of its own along with major OS updates for its phones. Earlier this year Galaxy Note owners got their Android 4.0 update, which included “Premium Suite,” a selection of new Samsung software enhancements. And it looks like the manufacturer’s set to continue this trend when its 2012 flagship, the Galaxy S III (Galaxy S3), gets updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Yesterday we took a quick look at an early, leaked build of Jelly Bean for the Galaxy S3. But since then an newer version has come to light, revealing not only stock Jelly Bean features like Google Now and the redesigned notification shade, but a host of extra TouchWiz goodies too. Of course, remember that we're dealing with an unofficial pre-release build here, so certain functionality may be added or removed between now and whenever the OTA hits.

We’ll take a look at each major feature, one by one, after the break. We’ve also got pictures, if you’d prefer to skip to the end.

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3 years ago

This is not the Samsung Galaxy Note 2


The blurry-cam photo above is doing the rounds today, claiming to show Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note successor. The image comes from Know Your Mobile, which was given the image anonymously. It supplies the shot along with a familiar spec sheet -- a 5.5-inch screen, quad-core CPU, etc., etc.

As much as we hate to burst anyone's bubble, there's a problem with that photo. The problem is we’ve seen it before -- Samsung fan artist Daniel UY published an almost identical looking creation yesterday on Twitter, with the same front panel configuration and silver trim. Daniel’s image wasn’t leaked from Samsung, but instead an original creation of his own. It's this which a third party has manipulated into the image above, and sent out to the blogs.

For his part, original artist Daniel UY has today released the full-sized original version of his "Note 2" mock-up. Check 'em out below.

They're mighty impressive, but they're just fan-made images rather than the real deal. Repeat: This is not the Galaxy Note 2. So hold your horses, Internet -- we’ll see the real Galaxy Note 2 in a couple of weeks in Berlin, Germany.

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