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3 years ago

UK retailer taking Sony Xperia Z pre-orders [update: price changed]

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Update: It seems Expansys' original price of £399.99 for the Xperia Z was an error, as the retailer has just changed its pre-order price to £529.99, in line with other European stores. Bad news for anyone in the UK hoping to bag an Xperia Z on the cheap.

Original story: With any new phone announcement comes the inevitable discussion of pricing and availability, which are almost never revealed at the initial press conference. So it is with the Sony Xperia Z, which we first saw us at last week's CES, and has appeared online with prices up to £530 ($850) in the following days.

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3 years ago

LG Korea: No problems with Nexus 4 supply

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Getting hold of an LG Nexus 4 through Google's official device store hasn't been an easy task. It's been two months since release day, and throughout most of that time the device has been either sold out or on back-order. It's safe to say that the Google Play buying experience has been less than ideal for many.

Before the holidays Google UK boss Dan Cobley blamed "scarce and erratic" Nexus 4 supplies for some of the issues faced by would-be Nexus buyers. However if recent quotes from LG officials in the Korean press are to be believed, the issues don't lie in the manufacturing or supply side. Korean news outlet Chosun Ilbo quotes LG officials as saying the company has "no problems" supplying Nexus 4s through its Pyeongtaek manufacturing plant.

The quoted officials also took the opportunity to dismiss some of the crazier Nexus 4 rumors to have surfaced in recent days, including unsubstantiated reports that LG had scaled back or stopped N4 production in favor of a new, spicier Nexus. These rumors were described as "unfounded."

Whatever's actually going on between LG and Google, the Nexus 4 is available to buy through other sources, including carriers like O2 and Three in the UK and T-Mobile in the States. So any issues are preventing more Play Store stock from arriving don't seem to be affecting wider supplies of the handset. In any case, with more back-ordered Nexus 4s arriving every day, our fingers are firmly crossed for a fresh influx of Play Store stock in the near future.

Source: Chosun Ilbo (Korean); via: The Verge

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3 years ago

BT debuts SmartTalk Wifi calling app in the UK

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British fixed-line telco BT has launched a new Android app allowing its landline customers to make calls on-the-go using their landline calling package. The BT SmartTalk app links with your BT.com account and landline number, and allows calls to be made over a Wifi or mobile data connection, with the resulting fee being billed to your BT phone bill.

This allows BT customers to make calls in areas where they have a Wifi connection, but no cellular reception, as well as enabling them to save money by using their BT landline allowance instead of their mobile operator's allocation of minutes. 0800 and 0845 numbers, for instance, are usually much more expensive when dialed from a mobile number.

A few caveats -- outgoing calls will still appear as coming from your mobile number, and there's currently no way to have incoming calls automatically routed through the app. So this is no Google Voice replacement for the UK -- at least not yet.

The setup process is relatively straightforward -- first sign in with your BT account and phone number, then BT calls your land line with a PIN which must be entered into the app. Next, BT confirms your mobile number by sending a text to your phone, which the app automatically intercepts.

BT SmartTalk links wit h your Android contact list, allowing you to select from existing people in a dropdown list. There's also the option to withhoold your mobile number when dialing out, or set the app as the automatic dialing choice for certain numbers, such as Freephone, 0845, 0870 and UK landline numbers.

The app is available through Google Play for UK devices running Android 2.1 and above. Hit the Google Play link above to grab it.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z goes up for pre-order in Slovakia at €605.99

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We don't have too many indications as to how much the newly announced Sony Xperia Z will cost, but one Slovakian retailer has pegged its pre-order price at €605.99. This is just a pre-order price at an online retailer MP3.sk, but we can assume that if a retailer is willing to put up a solid price that the final launch price will be close to it. The 5-inch 1080P display device has no expected release date on the site, but in the Sony booth at CES the rumblings were to expect availability in early March.

As we've seen in the past, unlocked pricing in Europe isn't a great indication of eventual pricing (if it comes here at all) for the U.S. market, but if you live in Europe this will give you an idea of what Sony is going to price the Xperia Z at. The device is a real treat to hold and use, so we can only hope that people can get their hands on one as soon as possible.

Source: MP3.sk; Via: Android Portal

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 launches on Virgin Mobile UK

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First it was O2 UK, then Three, and now two months after the original Nexus 4 launch date, the phone's headed to Virgin Mobile UK. The provider, which offers service through EE's 3G/HSPA network, is giving away the Nexus 4 for free on 24-month contracts starting at £31 p.m. -- that'll get you 200 minutes, 500 texts and 500MB. For data-heavy users, there are other options available, such as a £34 p.m. deal that provides 2500 minutes, unlimited texts and unlimited data -- although you'll pay £99 up-front for the handset if you choose this package.

Virgin Broadband + TV customers get handset insurance included for free, as well as free calls and texts to Virgin Mobile numbers.

With the Nexus 4 still sold out in the UK Google Play devices store, mobile operators' stores are the only sure-fire way to get hold of the coveted handset. Nevertheless, at this stage we'd advise you to think long and hard about whether a 24-month contract with no prospect of 4G LTE service is really worth your cash.

Source: Virgin Mobile UK

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3 years ago

Samsung Canada announces Galaxy Note 2 multi-window support

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That Android 4.1.2 update to the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 that has been making the rounds across T-Mobile U.S. and elsewhere over the last couple of weeks is finally finding its way to Canadians. The big feature here is split-screen multi-window support, which helps GNote 2 owners to be extra productive. Positions can be switched around, and videos can be popped out from the multi-window view so you can make use of the gigantic screen when you need it. Many of those on the west coast will also be happy to hear about the inclusion of simplified Chinese language support. 

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3 years ago

Samsung ships 100 million Galaxy S devices worldwide

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Galaxy S2, S3 shipments stand at 40 million each

Samsung has announced that its Galaxy S line of Android phones has shifted a total of 100 million units “on the supply side” to date. Meanwhile, the manufacturer’s leading Galaxy S3 smartphone has reportedly moved some 40 million units, as has its predecessor, the Galaxy S2.

Samsung broke the news through a Flickr post, in which it also revealed that the Galaxy S3 is currently selling at a rate of around 190,000 per day. (Our last update on Galaxy S3 numbers came in early November, when Samsung had moved 30 million units.)

The history of the series stretches back just over two and a half years, to the launch of the original Galaxy S in May 2010. Since then, Samsung has gone on to dominate the Android market, and in many countries its devices account for the majority of smartphone sales.

Desirable specs, broad international availability and aggressive marketing have seen the Galaxy S3 emerge as one of the biggest-selling handsets of the year, going toe-to-toe with Apple’s iPhone 5 in recent months.

As we move further into 2013, all eyes will be on the eventual successor to the Galaxy S3, though at present Samsung remains tight-lipped about any possible Galaxy S4 device.

Source: Flickr

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3 years ago

Archos 101 Titanium hands-on (updated with official announcement)

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Archos brought a slew of tablets to its CES booth this year, and we managed to get our hands on the lot of them. Here's the 101 Titanium, a distant cousin of the 101XS that we reviewed earlier this year. This iteration is part of Archos' Elements line, and therefore receives some of the goodies associated with the brand, such as a much-improved build quality and finish. This thing is solid, much more so than the 101XS, though fails to match the ultra-premium look and feel of the 97 Titanium with its Retina-quality display. 

Archos was tight lipped on details about these tablets, but based on what else we've seen from Archos here at CES, we should go ahead and count on a minor boost in terms of both processing power and internal storage, just like what happened on the 97 Platinum and the FamilyPad2. Jelly Bean is onboard here, an improvement from the 101XS, and I was pretty pleased with the responsiveness and speed of the tablet. 

To my naked eye, the 10.1-inch display isn't any better than the 101XS, so we can go ahead and guess that this, too, packs a 1280 x 800 resolution. However, I didn't notice that blue, washed-out hue that bugged me so much about the 101XS, so that's more than welcome news.

Archos isn't spilling the beans on pricing or availability, but I'd gladly pay a bit more for this device than the 101XS based on how solid and well-built it appears. This is a premium tablet, and proves once again that the French manufacturer is playing for keeps.

A hands-on gallery and video follow the break.

UPDATE: This morning, Archos formally introduced the new additions to its Titanium line, including the 101 Titanium. Our suspicions were confirmed, as the 101 will feature a 1.6 GHz dual-core CPU, quad-core graphics, and an impoved IPS display. The full press release has been added after the break.

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3 years ago

Samsung unveils the Galaxy S2 Plus, minor spec bump over the original

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Samsung has today introduced another new Android smartphone to add to its portfolio, and you'd be right in thinking it looks an awful lot like the Galaxy S2. That's because it does, and this new device is the Galaxy S2 Plus. The most notable improvement is the software. 

Running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung's latest Touchwiz Nature UX, the rest of the specs are either a minor bump from the Galaxy S2 or pretty much the same. The Plus houses a 4.3 inch WVGA Super-AMOLED Plus display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8MP and 2MP rear and front facing cameras respectively. On board storage is just 8GB, but is expandable by microSD card which Samsung says is supported upto 64GB.

Otherwise, that's about all she wrote. Looking through the specs there appears to be an NFC version and a non NFC version, and the camera has a pretty nice sounding zero lag shutter speed. No word as yet on price or availability, and you'll find the full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the ZTE Grand S LTE

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ZTE just made its latest flagship Grand S LTE official here at CES 2013, and we've got our hands on it. This is definitely the top of the line model for ZTE right now, joining in on the 1080P display game. As for the specs, they're all top of the line as well. We're looking at a 5-inch 1080x1920 display, a 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage (SDcard expandable,) 13MP / 2MP cameras, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and support for both DLNA streaming and MHL displays. This thing certainly checks all the boxes.

The external hardware is pretty high quality, with a nice unibody plastic construction that covers the entire back all the way up to the screen bezels. The 13MP camera is set in a piano black finished area that's slightly raised from the rest of the back plate. At just 6.9mm thick the Grand S LTE feels paper thin, but the curves around the sides make it still comfortable to hold. There are capacitive buttons -- back, home, menu -- on the bottom bezel, but they don't seem to light up very brightly. The display is quite nice, but it's really hard to judge in terrible trade show lighting conditions.

The one potential complaint after spending some time with it is that some of the devices were very glossy, which may turn some people away. Thankfully some of the other colors had more of a matte finish to them. Speaking of colors, ZTE has gone all-out with the selection here. From our count, there's light pink, dark pink (nearly red,) mint green, light grey, bright yellow, black and white colors of the Grand S LTE available.

Stick around after the break for a quick run-through of the software, as well as many pictures and hands-on video of the device from the show floor.

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3 years ago

Three UK pushing out Android 4.1.2 update to Samsung Galaxy S3

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The update train for the Samsung Galaxy S3 continues to roll, and next up to push out Android 4.1.2 to the S3 is Three UK. Some users are reporting that they received the update this past Sunday, but Three has officially confirmed that they are indeed pushing out 4.1.2. 

With the update also comes Samsung's 'premium suite' that includes a range of new Touchwiz features, including multi-window. Three says that the update is available to download now via Kies, but an OTA is also rolling out. If you've managed to snag it for yourselves, be sure to share your experiences with us in the comments below or head on into our Samsung Galaxy S3 forums. 

Source: Three UK

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3 years ago

Pantech Perception possibly leaked for Verizon, packs Qualcomm S4 and 720p screen

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It looks like AT&T isn't the only one getting a mid-range device from Pantech this quarter, as the Perception has apparently leaked out sporting big red's logo. Not a lot of details came with, but it's rumored to have a 720p LCD and a Qualcomm S4 under the hood. If this matches what we're about to see from the Pantech Discover, we expect a decent camera and low price point as well.

Not much ore we can say here, other than it's that time of year again. Expect to see as many leaks and rumors as you can handle during this year's Q1 trade show rush.

Source: Unwired View

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3 years ago

ZTE makes Grand S official, enters the 5 inch, 1080p space initially only in China

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As with so many of the devices announced at CES this week, the ZTE Grand S has leaked all over the place in the run up to the show. Nevertheless, today ZTE has made the device officially official, and they're bringing their 'A' game to the table with it. 

Like fellow devices from Sony, and Huawei, the Grand S packs a 5 inch, 1080p display. They're billing it as the "worlds thinnest smartphone" -- although, they're not the first to make that statement this week. It is thin though, make no mistake, coming in at just 6.9mm. Underneath the Grand S is powered by a 1.7GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro, backed up by 2GB of RAM and 16GB of on board storage. On the software side, the Grand S runs Jelly Bean, has camera wise there's a hefty 13MP shooter on the rear, and a 2MP front facing camera. And, of course, 1080p video recording. The Grand S is also LTE compatible, which bodes well should we see it any western markets. 

And, speaking of availability, at present only ZTE's native China is slated to see the Grand S, with a release due sometime in Q1. The full press release can be found after the break.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z reportedly hitting three Australian carriers in March

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Some great news arrives for our friends down under who may be gazing enviously at Sony's new 5 inch Xperia Z. According to a report from Gizmodo Australia, Vodafone and Optus are likely picking up the 1080p smartphone. The information comes from the gentleman in the driving seat at Sony Mobile Oceania, so it should hopefully stack up. 

This follows a confirmation to carry the device by Telstra, where a product registration page is now open. As in the UK, the Xperia Z is expected to launch in Australia in March. Thinking of picking one up? Be sure to let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to check out our hands on with the Xperia Z from CES 2013.

Source: Gizmodo Australia via Ausdroid

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3 years ago

Lenovo K900 hands-on

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Lenovo introduced its latest flagship smartphone tonight here at CES in Las Vegas, and it looks like it will live up to the hype: the K900 manages to pack a 5.5-inch, 1080P IPS display atop a strikingly-slim 6.9mm body weighing in at a mere 162 grams. The K900 is powered by Intel's brand new Clover Trail+  2GHz Atom processor along with 2GB of RAM -- coupled with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, this is set to become one of the most powerful smartphones on the market today.

The goodies don't end there -- the K900’s 13 MP camera should be atop any shutterbug's wishlist, boasting a Sony Exmor BSI sensor and a F1.8 lens for remarkable low-light performance. The front-facer isn't too shabby, either, sporting a super-wide angle lens.

The first thing you’ll notice about the K900 is its industrial design, with exposed screws, sharp corners, and both a gun metal black and two-tone silver finish -- this is more of a tool than a toy. It’s a huge device, no doubt, but it feels great in the hand, more akin to the Droid DNA than the Note 2 thanks to its more tall, less wide shape. And at 400 PPI, the display practically jumps off of the phone and slaps you in the face. Simply stunning.

Here’s the bad news: unfortunately, Lenovo has no plans to bring the K900 to North America, making this limited-market device the best smartphone American’s can’t buy. The K900 will head to China, India, Russia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam in the coming months for an undisclosed price. Our hands-on video and gallery are after the break.

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