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3 years ago

'Waterproof' Kyocera Hydro Elite headed to Verizon Aug. 29

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IPX5 and IPX7 certifications make the Hydro Elite a tough customer

A new "waterproof" phone is headed to Big Red this week — the Keyocera Hydro Elite. Closely resembling its counterpart on Sprint, the Hydro Edge, the Hydro Elite will feature "protection from blowing rain and immersion in up to one meter of water (3.28-feet) for as long as 30 minutes"

Let's be clear here. The Hydro Elite's main selling point will be the IPX5 certification for low-pressure water spray and the IPX7 certification for water immersion. This means that the phone will withstand "water spray projected at all angles through a half-inch (6.3 millimeters) nozzle at a flow rate of 3.3 gallons (12.5 liters) per minute at a gage pressure of 30kN/m2 for 3 minutes from 3.28 feet (1 meter)." And this is a big selling point for many, who aren't concerned with having the latest and greatest specs, or playing console-quality games on their smartphone. The rest of the supplied specifications — wireless charging, NFC, 2100mAh battery, 8MP (rear) and 1.3MP (front) cameras and expandable storage — are pretty standard for all phones now.

The Hydro Elite will be available online on August 29, for $99.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. See the source link for the full details.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 3 display leak shows reduced bezel, 5.68-inch size

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Also looks like a Galaxy Note

As we approach Galaxy Note 3 launch day, a new leak has given us our closest look yet at the phone — or at least part of it.

ETradeSupply managed to track down what it says is the display assembly from the upcoming handset, which they say has a 5.68-inch diagonal measurement — in line with earlier rumors. Besides the obvious similarities to both the Galaxy S4 and Note 2, the site spotted slimmed-down horizontal bezels — just 2.2mm, it says — suggesting that the Note 3 might not be much bigger than its predecessor.

The leak also appears to confirms the traditional Samsung three-button layout, along with the use of a brushed metal-like texture on the front of the darker model.

Stick with us in the run up to Samsung Unpacked 2013 Ep. 2, which kicks off next Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Source: ETradeSupply

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3 years ago

Why you might want to wait to buy a Moto X ...

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Maybe now's not the best time to buy a Moto X, actually. Oh, don't get us wrong, it's still a damn good phone — good enough to make our list of the best Android phones as of August 2013 out of the gate. But Moto X also introduces a new era of custom-made Android smartphones. And that brings with us a few reasons why you might just want to hold off for a bit.

So here are a good seven nuggets for why one of the best Android phones available today might not be the best Android phone for you right now.  

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 3 to feature 4K video, high-quality audio, Korean press reports

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Advanced audio and video capabilities purportedly heading to new Note device

With just over a week to go until Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 unveiling at its Unpacked 2013 Ep. 2 event in Berlin, we're starting to hear a little more about what might be lurking inside the company's next big-screen, high-end smartphone. Today the Korea Economic Daily, citing "industry insider sources, reports that the Note 3 will feature a 4K (3840x2160) video recording mode, as well as higher-definition 24-bit/192KHz music playback.

The outlet describes Samsung's 4K smartphone camera as a "world's first," however we suspect Sony might have something to say about that — it's expected to show its own 4K cameraphone, the Xperia Z1, at an event hours before Samsung's. Similarly, LG's already announced its G2 smartphone with 24-bit/192KHz playback, a step up from the 16-bit playback supported by current phones.

In any case, it's unlikely average users will see much benefit from 4K footage, as "Ultra HD" TVs remain expensive, and even high-end tablets can't display anywhere near that number of pixels. Regardless, there's no denying it's an impressive technical feat to cram this kind of video camera into device that fits into your pocket.

We'll be live from Berlin next week to bring you full coverage of Samsung's Unpacked event and the Galaxy Note 3 launch — as well as the rest of the IFA 2013 show.

Source: Korea Economic Daily; via: SamMobile, Engadget

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3 years ago

Sony shows pretty much all of the Xperia Z1 in new teaser video

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"The best of Sony is about to get even better"

It's not like we haven't already had a pretty good look at the Xperia Z1 (or "Honami") thanks to a spate of pre-release leaks, but this morning Sony's taken things a step further with a preview of — well, essentially the entire device.

A new teaser video shows a device similar in design to the original Xperia Z, with a Sony "G"-branded rear camera, a physical camera button and waterproof credentials, before stating "The best of Sony is about to get even better."

In a tweet linking to the video, the official Sony Xperia Twitter account said, "3...2....what comes next?," which suggests that the rumored Z1 name could be right on the money. Purported specs include a Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 20-megapixel rear camera with Sony G Lens and a five-plus-inch screen.

We're almost certain to see the the Xperia Z1 unveiled on Sept. 4 at Sony's pre-IFA press conference, but between this trailer and the various pre-release leaks, there might not be too much we haven't already seen.

Source: @SonyXperia

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3 years ago

Moto X coming to Verizon online Aug. 29, in-store 'in the coming weeks'

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Available in black and white for $199.99 on-contract, as expected

Verizon has just announced on its official @VZWnews Twitter account that you'll be able to get your hands on a Moto X for Big Red starting August 29th, provided you're okay ordering online. Just as we expected, on-contract pricing will hit $199.99 just like the other carriers, although remember that Verizon won't have access to Moto Maker just yet so you're going to be stuck (with the admittedly still nice) white or black versions.

For those of you wanting to buy the device in-store, Verizon isn't giving any timeframe other than "in the coming weeks". So you'll want to grab yours online if you want it as soon as possible. We have a feeling Thursday can't come soon enough for many Verizon customers out there.

Source: @VZWnews

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3 years ago

The best Android phone you can buy, as of August 2013

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See which phones get the nod from Android Central as the best you can get

We've hit a point in the year where most of the major manufacturers have had their biggest devices out in the market for a bit, and even the late-comers have dropped their entry into the 2013 smartphone game. This is about as "mature" as the market is going to get in the year before a new wave of devices gets ready to hit, so it really is a great time to evaluate where each one stands.

Manufacturers have started to focus a bit less on specs in 2013 (or so they'd like you to believe) and have really pushed forward new features and experiences on their devices, giving a variety of interesting outcomes. There are a robust number of great choices in the market, and we're also reaching a point where U.S. consumers have a variety of options regardless of their carrier.

It's been almost three months since our last "best Android phones" roundup, and now it's time to re-evaluate the ranks in late August. In the end there has to be one winner, so read along with us after the break and see which phone comes out on top.

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3 years ago

HTC One X and One X+ getting Android 4.2 update in the UK

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OTA also includes new Sense 5 UI, BlinkFeed, video highlights

The Android 4.2 and Sense 5 updates for the HTC One X and One X+ have been pushing out in parts of Europe and Asia over the past couple of weeks, and today they've landed on British shores. Users are reporting this morning that updates to version 4.18.401.2 on the One X, and version 2.18.401.2 on the One X+ are now hitting unlocked handsets in the UK.

The updates, both of which weigh around 400MB, bring the newer version of Android, and all the various goodies associated with it, along with new HTC features like the BlinkFeed home screen experience, a new Gallery/Camera app with video highlights, and various new lock screen styles.

If you're seeing the new software on your One X or One X+ today, hit the comments and tell us how you're getting on.

Thanks, Shen Ye!

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3 years ago

Blue HTC One casing spied in factory photo

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Here's the first evidence that the elusive blue HTC One exists as more than just a press render. The shot above was taken by a Chinese factory worker and posted on the Sina Weibo social network, showing a slightly more vivid shade of blue than witnessed in recently-leaked promotional images. Besides that, it's an HTC One in blue — same design as the silver, black and red versions.

There's no indication as to when the blue HTC One might make its way out onto the market. But as devices already seem to be rolling off the production line, hopefully buyers seeking a more colorful version of HTC's flagship won't have too long to wait.

Source: Sina Weibo; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Sony teases 'Honami' flagship device again, miniature 'Itsuki' rumors gather pace

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Could Sony release a 4.3-inch handset with a Snapdragon 800 CPU and 20-megapixel camera?

Sony's continuing to tweet out crafty close-up pictures of its upcoming "Xperia Z1" (or "Honami") flagship handset, and today's focuses on one of the phone's most-hyped features — its purported 20-megapixel camera with Sony G Lens. Sure enough, that's exactly what we see above — there's even a big "G" printed next to the lens. Previous Twitter teasers have included a look at the phone's metal-framed design and hints that it will be water-resistant.

But while a new flagship with a five-plus-inch screen is all well and good, a more curious Sony rumor has started doing the rounds in recent days. A blurry-cam picture leaked onto XDA a few days back appeared to show a smaller version of the "Honami" next to a BlackBerry Q10, and now Japanese site Blog of Mobile claims to have a spec sheet for the phone, which it says goes by the codename "Itsuki."

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3 years ago

Now you can look at the Moto X Dev. Edition on Moto's website

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Bootloader-unlockable Moto X to have 'a look all its own'

While you can't actually buy it just yet, there's a tantalizing still image of the Moto X Developer Edition on Motorola's U.S. site, showing its unique two-tone design.

Moto promises the 32GB, bootloader-unlockable version of its new flagship will have "a look all its own," and the image shows a chassis with a black front and white weave back, and "Developer Edition" engraved down below.

There's no launch date for the Developer Edition Moto X just yet — and it won't be customizable when it launches — but Moto VP Punit Soni recently said it should be arriving within a matter of days.

Anyone planning on picking one up?

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

HTC Mini+ is a phone for your phone

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HTC launched the HTC Mini companion handset in China last year, and now it appears the next version of the device is heading for a wider launch.

Following a recent update for the European HTC One which added support for the "Mini+," the second-gen "phone for your phone" has been listed on HTC's international site.

The HTC Mini+ (not to be confused with the One Mini, a standalone smartphone) connects to your HTC phone and has a 1.5-inch 4 gray OLED display with 128x128 resolution. (Yep, that's a slight step down from the HTC One's 1080p SuperLCD3 with 468ppi.)

Once paired, the Mini+ can be used to make calls, control your TV (through IR, presumably), view text messages and even take pictures from your phone's camera at a distance. There's also a built-in laser pointer and "slideshow remote control" for controlling PowerPoint presentations. A built-in 320mAh battery provides up to 9 hours of talk time, or 95 hours on standby.

The device is listed as being compatible with the HTC One mini, HTC Butterfly s, HTC Desire 200, HTC Desire 500 — presumably the full-sized HTC One isn't on that list yet because the required software update hasn't reached all the countries in which it's sold.

There's no word on when the Mini+ will be available to buy, nor how much it'll cost — but given that it's already on HTC's site, we're guessing the wait won't be too long.

Source: HTC; via: the::unwired

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3 years ago

Leaked render outs Sony Xperia Z1 in black, white and purple

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Xperia Z, with a side of bezels

Thanks to a wealth of pre-release leaks, there's not much we haven't seen of the Sony Xperia Z1 (or "Honami") at this point. But now there's an official-looking render of the device to confirm what we've been seeing for the past few months -- a phone very similar in design to the older Xperia Z, complete with hefty bezels.

The image from Chinese forum Digi-Wo shows the Z1 in the standard Sony tricolore -- black, white and purple -- the same colors used by the Xperia Z and Xperia Z Ultra. The back of the purple device shows off one of the Z1's most talked-about features, its 20-megapixel rear camera with Sony G Lens. On the inside, the Xperia Z1 is rumored to pack similar hardware to the Z Ultra -- a Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2 GB of RAM and microSD expandability.

We're expecting to see the Xperia Z1 unveiled at Sony's big pre-IFA press conference on Sept. 4, and we'll be live from Berlin to bring you full coverage of the phone.

Source: Digi-Wo; via: GSM Insider

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3 years ago

Motorola 'Droid 5' appears in leaked images

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Could yet another Motorola phone be headed for Verizon?

As evidenced by the recent LG Enact launch, Verizon clearly thinks there's still a market for smartphones with slide-out keyboards. And now it seems the flagship Droid line might get another QWERTY slider, if leaked images from China are to be believed. The shots above appeared on Chinese social network Weibo, and appear to show a slider with Motorola and Verizon branding.

The phone purportedly includes a shock, water and dust-resistant design, NFC support and a 4.3 to 4.5-inch display. An image of the (partially disassembled) back panel also seems to show wireless charging hardware. Curiously it's got on-screen keys, as opposed to the latest Droid phones, which use capacitive buttons — and a screenshot of the camera app also shows the old-style Motorola camera layout, suggesting this device is a prototype running older software.

If the images are accurate, the "Droid 5" release could come some 18 months after the Droid 4, which launched in February 2012. On the other hand, there's the possibility that this is merely a prototype of a phone that'll never see the light of day. Hit the comments and let us know which you think it is.

Source: NewCellphonesBlog; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid Ultra review

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For a phone with so many great parts about it, why do we question its existence?

"Droid". The word that Verizon has spent millions of dollars marketing, built a highly-successful line of phones on and confused general consumers across the country about what an Android phone actually is with. But with the release of the latest lineup of Droid devices from Motorola, "Droid" doesn't mean what it used to. Sure Verizon has managed to sprinkle in its own bits of crazy lightning bolt and robot eye branding and commercialization, but the general theme of Droid devices in late 2013 is a much nicer, consumer-friendly experience.

But on a carrier that offers this exact same device with a substantially larger battery and double the storage for just a $100 more and the Moto X with a more appealing design and ergonomics for the same price, why would someone consider buying the Droid Ultra? We're not entirely sure that that question can be answered, but we've come to a few conclusions about the device nonetheless. Read on for our full review of the middle price point entry for the 2013 Droid lineup, the Motorola Droid Ultra.

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