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3 years ago

OPPO Find 5 review


A name you've probably never heard is making devices better than you may think

The name "OPPO" probably doesn't come to mind when thinking of which phone to buy next, but the Chinese manufacturer is working hard to try and change that. Best known for making high quality Blu-Ray players and various other consumer electronics, the company has only dabbled in phones previously. But with an aggressive strategy of building high-end devices and selling direct to customers with some impressive prices, the components are all there to make at least a little splash in the market. The Find 5 is OPPO's latest attempt at a device that on paper has all of the line items to make a great phone.

But making smart phones is a difficult business to get into, and selling high-end unlocked handsets is the toughest area to aim for. Does OPPO have what it takes to branch out from making other consumer electronics and take a meaningful foothold with consumers? It certainly has some things going for it. Read on past the break for our full OPPO Find 5 review.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S3 getting Android 4.1.2 and multi-window update



T-Mo's Galaxy S3 gets full-screen multi-tasking in latest update

Looks like there's a new over-the-air update heading out to T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S3 today. Reports from XDA and TmoNews point to an official Android 4.1.2 update, which brings with it Samsung's "multi-window" feature. Multi-window, which we recently demonstrated on the Galaxy S4, allows the screen to be split between two concurrently-running applications. The new "Paper Artist" app, lock screen changes and a new "4G" logo are also among the reported changes.

The over-the-air update package weighs in at more than 186MB, so you might want to wait until you're on Wifi before hitting the download button. To see if your update is ready, head to Settings > About phone > Software updates.

T-Mo GS3 owners, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you're getting on with this latest firmware version.

Source: TmoNews, XDA

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3 years ago

'Blue Arctic' Samsung Galaxy S4 sighted in Japan


Docomo could carry dark blue variant of Samsung's new handset

So far the Samsung Galaxy S4 has only been available in "white frost" and "black mist" color options, but it seems a third option may be about to join them. Japanese blog Rbmen has spotted the new "blue arctic" color option on a promotional leaflet from Japanese carrier Docomo, and it looks a lot like the old "pebble blue" Galaxy S3.

There's no word on whether this color option might be offered outside of Japan, but Samsung has a history of offering its phones and tablets in all kinds of weird and wonderful colors, so we wouldn't be surprised to see a wider release at some point.

Aside from new color options, the spec sheet also mentions a couple of Japanese-specific features, like FeliCa support for use with electronic payment cards, and a retractable TV antenna.

Docomo reportedly has a presentation scheduled for May 15, so Japanese buyers shouldn't be too long to learn more about their Galaxy S4 variant.

Source: Rbmen; via: SamMobile

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3 years ago

White Nexus 4 spotted in the wild once again, still no sign of wider release


... And it still looks like a Nexus 4 in white

Remember that white Nexus 4 that cropped up in Vietnam a few months back? Well it's back, this time in the Philippines. Google+ user Ervin Sue has posted photos of the white-backed Nexus 4 which he says he bought from "a local buy and sell site." Like the white Nexus 4 we've seen in earlier leaks, this one has a white Crystal Reflective Process back and white sides, but a black trim around the display.

There's also no indication that this is anything other than an isolated appearance for the elusive white Nexus, which was rumored to have been given to some Google employees last year. It's not impossible that Google might opt for a more widespread launch in this color, especially if a new N4 variant is to be unveiled at Google I/O, but there's nothing here to suggest that'll happen.  So for the moment we'll have to make do with a few slightly blurry pics.

You'll find a couple more photos over at the source link.

Source: +Ervin Sue; via: CNET Asia

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3 years ago

Sony's Xperia ZR is a new, smaller waterproof handset


Basically a shrunken down, mid-level Xperia Z

Update: A Sony Mobile spokesperson tells Android Central that the company has "nothing to announce" at this stage with regards to UK availability for the Xperia ZR.

Original story: Sony has expanded its Xperia Z family today with the new, 4.55-inch Xperia ZR. Packing many of the same internal components -- and Xperia Z-like waterproof capabilities, (rated IP55 and IP58) the ZR will represent Sony in the mid to high-end space. In fact, Sony's touting its higher IP rating (the Xperia Z is rated IP55 and IP57) as making the ZR ideal for underwater HD video recording, if that's your thing.

Under the hood it's running a 1.5GHz quad-core CPU -- the same Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro that's powering Xperias Z and ZL -- with 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage and a microSD slot. On the front there's a 4.55-inch 720p display (in places described as a 4.6-inch panel, so go figure), and around the back is a 13-megapixel Sony Exmor RS camera with LED flash. All in all, a respectable set of components, and the ZR's curved back should make it a good deal more comfortable to hold than its brick-like sibling.

Sony's press release says the Xperia ZR includes LTE support, but the official spec sheet only mentions HSPA+, so it's possible this may depend on which market you're in. As far as HSPA+ connectivity is concerned, it seems there'll be one version supporting 900 and 2100MHz (for Europe) and another with 850, 1700, 1900 and 2100MHz support, likely for North America.

The Xperia ZR will land in "various global markets" during Q2, so make of that what you will.

Source: Sony MobilePress Release (PDF)

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3 years ago

HTC One, two months on ...


How has HTC's latest flagship fared after two months in the hands of an AC editor?

It’s been just over two months since I first got my hands on the HTC One -- first, a pre-production demo unit, then a final European retail model. For most of that time, HTC’s impressive 2013 flagship has been my daily driver -- the phone I use every day, and take with me just about everywhere I go. In that time it’s seen plenty of normal use, and ten days or so of not-so-normal use in New York City for our Galaxy S4 and #TM13 coverage

But the HTC One was in short supply when it first launched in Europe and it’s only recently hit the U.S. market, so we’re in a bit of a unique position to have used the phone for this long. With that in mind, now seems like the right moment to reflect on our time with the device.

Just as we did for the Nexus 4 in January, it’s time for our long-term, two-month retrospective feature on the HTC One. We’ve already brought you a full review of the phone, and a casual review of the Sprint version, of course. So consider this article a chance for us to share the kind of details that don’t come to light in the course of our normal review process, and an opportunity to let you know what to expect in the months ahead if you pick up an HTC One today.

Check past the break to learn how the HTC One has coped with 61 days in the hands of an Android Central editor.

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3 years ago

Galaxy S4 quick tip: Disable 'Auto adjust screen tone' for brighter whites


A simple setting change can get you extra brightness on web pages and documents

The Samsung Galaxy S4's Full HD SuperAMOLED screen is the best AMOLED display we've seen on a smartphone. However if you're noticing subpar brightness some of the time, there's an option in "Display settings" you might want to take a look at.

By default, the Galaxy S4 and many other Samsung devices ship with "Auto adjust display tone" turned on. You can find it under Settings > My device > Display > More settings. When enabled, it tweaks the display brightness based on the on-screen image to avoid burning through an excessive amount of juice. Most of the time you might not notice this, but there's an easy way to see its effects.

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3 years ago

Questions about the Optimus G Pro? Ask Android Central!


You have questions, we have answers in the Optimus G Pro forums

Since I picked it up last week, the LG Optimus G Pro has become my go-to daily driver and as I said in our full review, it is by and large a device worthy of sharing shelf space with the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One. It's an exciting and stressful time to buy an Android device on AT&T, but we're here to lend a hand-- if you're still on the fence about whether the Optimus G Pro is worthy your two-year commitment, join me in the forums where I'll be answering your questions as they come in. Fire away!

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3 years ago

AT&T Galaxy Note 2 update rolling out, still 4.1.2


The 69MB update is available over Wifi only, brings new kernel and new radio

Build UCAMC3 looks like it's rolling out heavy for the AT&T branded Galaxy Note 2. Since last night, plenty of users are reporting that they have received the 69MB OTA. There's no official change log posted, but a quick chat with someone who has received it shows that you'll be getting a new radio and a new kernel. Besides the obvious performance boosts to the network that comes with new radio software, users are reporting better and stronger Wifi, and increased performance overall.

You'll need to be on Wifi to download this update, so be sure you're not using your cell radio when you check (right after reading this) lest you get the check again in 24 hours message. When and if AT&T posts any official list of changes, we'll update this post.

Via: Android Central forums. Thanks, Shawn!

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3 years ago

HTC highlights BlinkFeed in new commercials, wants you to stop digging


The HTC One has a lot going for it. There's the UltraPixel camera. It has a fantastic unibody aluminum design. Let's not forget the sillily-named but great-sounding BoomSound speakers. And so much more. And while all that is nice, HTC really wants you to know about the software, specifically they want you to know about BlinkFeed.

So HTC America's posted to YouTube a pair of new commercials (after the break) that highlight BlinkFeed. They both play off the same concept: BlinkFeed surfaces relevant content for you on its own, keeping you from having to dig for it yourself. Literally, digging. It's an interesting visual metaphor, watching that poor guy shovel a pile of dirt out of his not-an-HTC but-certainly-meant-to-represent-a-Samsung smartphone. While BlinkFeed might not be for everybody (though you should know that you can use BlinkFeed to keep up with Android Central and the rest of the Mobile Nations network), the excellent hardware of the HTC One isn't the only selling point HTC has to offer.

Though HTC is sure in both ads to point out that the One is "all-metal", surely another dig at Samsung. It's clear that HTC is targeting Samsung as their sole competitor here. Samsung's arguably-over-the-top TouchWiz Nature UX doesn't serve up nearly as much news and social information as cohesively BlinkFeed can, and the new Galaxy S4 is certainly much more on the all-plastic side in comparison to HTC's all-metal One.

HTC has retired their old "quietly brilliant" tagline as they've opted to be more aggressive in their advertising efforts. Money's tight for HTC, so even with a more assertive marketing campaign they can't hope to match what Samsung (and Apple) will be putting on the table. HTC's all-in with the One - but will it be enough? Simple, clever, and smartly-targeted commercials like this might do it - assuming HTC can afford to buy enough airtime to cut through the noise.

Source: HTC America (YouTube)

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3 years ago

Live long and prosper: Star Trek movies on special offer in Google Play UK


To celebrate the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie release, Google Play in the UK has a host of previous movies on special offer

If you're looking for some weekend watching, you could do worse than taking a look at the Google Play Store right now. In celebration at the release of the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie, Google is throwing a promotion on a host of previous Star Trek movies. If that's not enough, Google also sat down with Benedict Cumberbach, star of the new movie, for an exclusive interview. Because we're good to you, you'll find that interview down below after the break. 

The price cuts have been made to both rental and purchase prices. Rentals start at £2.49 with purchases down to just £3.99. Virtually the whole library is there, from Star Trek I through to Insurrection and the 2009 new Star Trek movie. Nemesis seems to have been excluded for whatever reason but for not a lot of money you can own the rest of the Star Trek back catalog. 

The U.S. doesn't seem to be included in the promotion, at least for purchases. Rental prices are showing up at $2.99 for most of the catalog, so while you're waiting to see Into Darkness, feast on some classic Trek movies this weekend. While you're at it, be sure to jump into the comments below and share your favorite Star Trek movie with us, and let us know if you're somewhere other than the UK that's seeing the promotion. My favorite is First Contact, for what it's worth. 

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3 years ago

'Galaxy S4 Zoom' rumors point to a curious new kind of cameraphone


Would Samsung really strap a 10X optical zoom and 16MP sensor to the back of a mid-range smartphone?

With the Galaxy S4 launch now mostly over and done with, Samsung rumormongers have turned their attention to the company's summer and fall product line-up. The most intriguing of these is a device rumored to go by the name 'Galaxy S4 Zoom.' Originally broken by SamMobile, initial reports suggested the 'Zoom' would be a mid-range handset with a 4.3-inch qHD SuperAMOLED screen on the front and a 16-megapixel camera strapped to the back. But that's not even the craziest part.

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3 years ago

Motorola XT1058 lands at the FCC, looks like the mystery XFON


Could the XT1058 be the XFON we're all waiting to see? This sketch of the rear from the FCC makes us think so.

About a week ago, we got a fairly decent look at an AT&T branded phone from Motorola, labeled the XFON. It certainly resembles an earlier leak from Vietnam, but there was no information to go along with the pictures. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

That might have changed this evening, as the Motorola XT1058 has landed at the FCC, and a quick breeze through the documents tells us a little about what we're looking at. The phone will have Bluetooth 4.0, NFC capabilities, 802.11ac Wifi, and carriers AT&T's LTE bands. It doesn't take much imagination to connect this with the AT&T XFON we saw last week.

Other than what you're reading above, we don't know anything about this one. The timing is certainly convenient for a showing at Google I/O, but nobody can know exactly when -- or if -- we'll see this one. My gut tells me it's soon, though, and it's high time Motorola delivered another high-end GSM Android phone. If this is to debut at Google I/O, we should know in a few short days.

Source: FCC; via: Phone Scoop

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3 years ago

HTC One CyanogenMod 10.1 nightlies now available


Nightly builds to begin rolling out "relatively soon" for both GSM and Sprint models of the One

With both a post on its official Google+ page and new thread in the HTC One forums at XDA, CyanogenMod has announced that CM10.1 nightlies are beginning to roll out for all models of the HTC One. Whether you have a GSM model or one running on Sprint, you can expect the first builds to show up on the site "relatively soon". These things take time, so while you're waiting you can follow the instructions from the forum post to make sure your device is ready. If you're running a GSM model you'll of course have to unlock the device via HTCDev, as well as have all of the downloads ready to flash a custom recovery and push all of the files over.

We're sure there are a whole lot of you that are ready to get cracking on some custom ROMs for your own HTC One, but following the right process will always help you in the long run. If you're unsure, you can always consult the forums and ask some questions before you dive in.

Source: XDA; +CyanogenMod; More: HTC One Forums

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3 years ago

AT&T Optimus G Pro review


The Optimus G Pro is the greatest device LG has created, but does it have what it takes to stand its ground against the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 2 on AT&T's shelves?

Has there ever been a more exciting time to be an Android fan? While iPhone and Windows Phone users have been nursing their flagship models in the hopes of an upcoming spec bump, Android users have seen the market flood with headline-grabbing models from three of the four major manufacturers. First HTC revamped its identity with the stunning aluminum unibody HTC One — later, Samsung added a handful of features to its already-phenomenal Galaxy S3 for its Galaxy S4. Now LG, never one to lay down and take a licking, has dropped a whopper of a device onto the American market—the Optimus G Pro proves that LG has both the capability and the savvy to compete in the toughest smartphone market to date.

The Optimus G Pro is big in every sense of the word. At 5.5-inches, this is the largest smartphone to hit the mainstream market this year. It’s got big processing power, a big beautiful display, and big shoes to fill — the Optimus G failed to make the splash that its competitors did in 2012, and the Pro is LG’s opportunity to steal headlines from Samsung, the king of all things “big.” But as we've continued to see over and over again, that chore is easier said than done.

Whereas LG could have simply released a refresh of the Optimus G and hoped for the best, it instead took a bold step in refining both its hardware and UI language. LG has gathered some of the best bits and pieces it’s ever created, from the lovely 1080p IPS display and super 13-megapixel camera to a well-balanced, attractive, and functional custom UI, to create a powerhouse that fills a void in the smartphone market at a crucial point in the refresh cycle. The Optimus G Pro is a worthy adversary to the HTC One and Galaxy S4, a product of LG’s refined vision and business savvy that can, and deservedly so, sit front and center amidst AT&T’s summer portfolio. 

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