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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Pantech Discover on AT&T

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There's a good chance if you're reading this that the Pantech Discover is not for you. And that's cool. It's for your mom. Or your granddad. It's a first-timer device, with a first-timer price of $49 on contract with AT&T. And you know what? Pantech's done a pretty good job with it. 

Think of this as a large smartphone for someone who doesn't want, well, a Galaxy S3 or HTC One X on AT&T. But that doesn't mean it's not stylish. Start with a large, 4.8-inch 720p display. Nothing wrong with that. And Pantech blissfully diverges from the typical black-slap design, bringing some graceful curves to the textured back of the phone, with speakers tucked on either side. Haven't seen Samsung do that, have ya? (And those speakers sound pretty good, even in a crowded room.)

But the more interesting part of the Pantech Discover is the work that's gone into the custom user interface. It's built on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, and there actually are two UIs. Samsung's done this already, of course, but Pantech takes simple to a whole new level. Multiple home screens are pared down to one. The main home screen is nearly idiot-proof. Gone is the app drawer. Even the settings menu is hidden from where you'd normally expect it. And it's still pretty full of features, all things considered. It's got NFC, and AT&T's improved DriveMode is built-in, to help cut down on texting and driving. 

This one's worth a quick look in the store if you've got a first-timer looking for a phone and who doesn't want to spend a lot of dough doing it. 

We've got more pics and video of the Pantech Discover after the break.

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3 years ago

Nuance and ZTE make multi-year deal to bring voice services to devices

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Voice app provider Nuance has signed a multi-year deal with handset manufacturer ZTE to integrate its services into upcoming devices in 2013. Announced at CES 2013, the well-known voice service provider will partner with ZTE to bring better voice control to its "Car Mode" app. The app can be operated completely with voice, not even requiring any viewing of the screen.

You can wake up Car Mode with a wake-up word, and manage everything via voice (input and output) from there. After waking, users can dial contacts and numbers, launch navigation apps, get the local weather and play music on the device. While enabled, the app will also audibly announce incoming caller names as well as read aloud incoming text messages.

This is all necessary technology to help people be as safe as possible when driving with their phones. The new Nuance-enabled Car Mode app will be pre-loaded on ZTE's entire 2013 line of phones, and will offer voice control and feedback in 25 languages.

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3 years ago

LG announces new 'Panorama Note' feature coming to Optimus Vu: II

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LG is set to show off a new "Panorama Note" feature for its stylus-toting Optimus Vu: II at CES 2013. The feature takes features of LG's current note apps that take advantage of the large 4:3 screen on the Vu, and combine it with some of the fundamentals of a panoramic photo. Basically you'll get a 3:1 scrolling note that you can move and edit, meaning you'll have more effective real estate for note taking. Like using a big pad of paper, and working on just one area at a time.

When using the app you'll be able to zoom all the way in -- up to 5.8x -- to view specific content, then back out again to see the entire scope of the note. LG will surely be showing off this feature at its CES booth here in Las Vegas, and we'll be hoping to get a hands-on look at it in the coming days.

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3 years ago

Pantech Discover unveiled for AT&T, arrives Jan. 11 for $49.99

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The AT&T developer summit at CES is going down today in Las Vegas, but we've already seen the first new smartphone heading for the carrier. The Pantech Discover -- which strikes a passing resemblance to the old Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc -- is a 4G LTE device that will be released on Jan. 11 for $49.99 on a new 2-year contract. 

On the face of things the Discover looks like a pretty decent device for the price. It packs a 4.8 inch 1280x720 display,a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 4G LTE, a 12.1 MP rear camera with 1080p video recording, NFC is also built in, along with "3D surround sound" speakers. Storage is reasonable at 16GB and the whole thing is powered by a 2100mAh battery. The full press release and press pictures can be found after the break.

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3 years ago

Live from LG's CES 2013 press conference

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We're up bright and early in Las Vegas for LG's CES 2013 press conference. In amongst all manner of consumer electronics -- from refrigerators, to televisions, to cleaning robots -- LG's teased some new Android-powered goodies. An recent video has teased what looks like an Optimus G-class device, so we're likely in for some new Android-powered phones this morning.

Naturally, we're covering the whole event live. You can catch our liveblog after the break. The action kicks off at 8am PST (11am EST).

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3 years ago

Alcatel hits CES with three new One Touch Android smartphones

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Alcatel perhaps isn't the first brand you think of when choosing a new Android device, but as the CES madness kicks into gear, they have announced three new devices out in Las Vegas. Say hello to the Idol, the Idol Ultra, and the 5 inch Scribe HD.

The Idol comes right out of the gate swinging, claiming to be the lightest smartphone in its category at just 110 grams. Spec wise we're looking at a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 4.7 inch IPS display, an 8MP rear camera coupled to a 2MP front shooter and running Jelly Bean. No specification on whether or not it's 4.1 or 4.2, but the important thing is that it's Jelly Bean. And if the press shot here is anything to go by, it looks pretty stock.

Moving on to the Idol Ultra, and we're greeted with another bold statement -- the Idol Ultra is the thinnest smartphone in the world. It's crazy thin at just 6.45mm, and like the Idol packs a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, an 8MP rear camera with a 2MP front facer, Jelly Bean and a 4.7 inch display. The display on the Idol Ultra however is a HD AMOLED display instead of the IPS found on the Idol. 

And then we get to the Scribe HD. The Scribe HD is a 5 inch smartphone, and is the first to pack the MediaTek MT6589 quad-core chipset. There's no mention of it being a 1080p device, just "HD," but it's still pretty big. Again, like the other two devices, the Scribe HD runs Jelly Bean, and has an 8MP rear camera, with a 720p capable front facing camera. We're also told that the Scribe HD supports "4G speeds" but doesn't make any specific mention of LTE. 

There's a whole lot more to come from CES, and we're only just getting started. Stick around for everything Las Vegas has to throw at us. 

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3 years ago

Who won a free phone from Sprint and Android Central? Find out now!

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With the first week of the new year almost under our belts, it's time to let you all know the names of the lucky people that won the SEVEN phones we teamed up with Sprint to give away!  If your name is listed below, watch your email as I'll be in touch in the near future to get your shipping info. Congratulations to all the winners, enjoy your new phones!

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3 years ago

Leaked renders show new colors for Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini

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We first heard whispers of fresh paint jobs for some of Samsung's 2012 devices a couple of months back. Among them was the Galaxy S3 Mini. The previous rumors from SamMobile said that the new colors for Samsung's 4 inch Galaxy S3 Mini would be landing in December 2012, or early 2013. 

Of course, December has been and gone, but SamMobile is back, this time packing some press renders of the new varieties. In addition to the current white version, it looks like we'll be seeing Onyx Black, Garnet Red and Titanium Gray. All these colors are available on the regular Galaxy S3, and unlike the Galaxy Note 2, it looks like we won't be seeing this one in brown

The Galaxy S3 Mini shares the general look and feel of the Galaxy S3, but in a decidedly lower spec body. It does come with Jelly Bean out of the box though, and now at least it seems like there will be more than just plain old white to choose from. No expected date for these new versions has been mentioned at this time.

Source: SamMobile

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3 years ago

HTC One VX review

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The HTC One VX looks to be a great (and cheap) way to get an entry-level LTE smartphone on AT&T

This may be one of those rare instances in which we know too much. For those of us who live and breathe smartphones all day long (and that includes many of you out there), it's tough to look at an HTC One phone without seeing the entire line in context. With regards for pecking order, there's the One V. The One S. The One S. (There's also the new One SV in Europe and Asia, and in the U.S. on Cricket.) And now, on AT&T, we have the HTC One VX.

Where the hell does this phone fit in?

To answer that question, you need to take it out of context a little bit. Instead of looking at where it sits in the HTC family, think about where the One VX sits in the AT&T lineup. Things start to make a little more sense in that respect, especially considering that as of this writing, the One VX is exclusive to the U.S. carrier.

As its name might imply (again, to those of us who live and breathe this stuff), and as the spec sheet spells out, the One VX picks and chooses from some of the best features of the other phones in the HTC One line. You can't help but compare it to its older siblings. But it's also important to remember where it stands for AT&T. This phone serves a purpose for AT&T -- filling a hole in its lineup -- more than it does for HTC. And that's OK. Because what we end up with is a really good entry-level phone.

So, with all that said, on to our HTC One VX review.

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3 years ago

Samsung Korea details Jelly Bean update for Galaxy S2, without giving a date

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Samsung Galaxy S2 owners eager for a piece of Jelly Bean action will no doubts be delighted to hear the first official information surrounding the update. While no expected date has been provided, Samsung Korea has provided some details on what will be contained within the update to Android 4.1. 

First up the less positive points. The available internal storage will be reduced from 12GB to 11GB, thanks to a new system partition. Samsung says the changes in structure potentially means the update can take an hour to flash. Also, apparently it's only going to be available by Kies, with no OTA update option available. 

Now onto the fun stuff. Of course, an update to Jelly Bean brings the likes of Project Butter and Google Now to the table. As part of the update, some additional applications such as Google+, Google Play Books and Google Play Movies will be pre-loaded. Additional functionality will come to the camera app, and Pop Up Play and Smart Stay from some of Samsung's newer devices will also be added to the Galaxy S2. 

It's sadly still a waiting game at this point, but with some official news coming out from Samsung, we'd like to hope it means the update isn't that far away from dropping. 

Source: Samsung Korea (Translated) via SamMobile

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3 years ago

New 'Amber Brown' Galaxy Note 2 shows up again, this time in real photos

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Quickly following on the heels of leaked renders of two new colors of the Galaxy Note 2, we've got some real hands-on images of the Amber Brown version of the device. The device seems to be all the same as the other Note 2 varieties, but now covered in a deep brown color. This is probably going to be a bit of a polarizing color -- either love it or hate it -- if we have to be honest, but more options are always better. This model is a Japanese version for the carrier NTT Docomo but it's feasible that we could see this color, along with the new "Ruby Wine" (aka red) color, come to other markets also.

We've got one more look at the device for you after the break. The source link below has several more with pictures of the box, accessories and color-matched brown flip cover as well.

Source: GizChina

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3 years ago

More Sony Xperia Z leaks show off an apparent promo video confirming full HD display

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Sony device leaks are nothing new, and indeed we've recently seen plenty of the forthcoming Xperia Z. The device, known as Yuga for some time, is expected to be unveiled officially next week during Sony's CES press event in Las Vegas. We've already seen some leaked photos of the device, swiftly followed by leaked press renders. Now, we're treated to a series of slides obtained by ePrice that appear to be from some form of promo video. 

We're expecting from the leaks and rumors seen thus far that the Xperia Z will be a 5 inch, 1080p device. What we're seeing here most definitely backs that up -- well, the 1080p part at least. Other slides make mention of the "skeleton frame structure" giving a good look at the sides and back of the device. In short -- it looks nice. It looks really nice. 

The 13MP Exmor RS camera is also mentioned, and it looks to have fast capture and HDR on board for videos as well as pictures. And, like some of Sony's 2012 Xperia devices, the Xperia Z is also water resistant. 

We've got a pretty good picture by now of what the Xperia Z is all about, but needless to say, Android Central will be live from Sony's press conference to bring it all to you as it happens. 

Source: ePrice via Xperia Blog

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3 years ago

T-Mobile to offer truly unlimited data on Monthly 4G prepaid plans

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Just a few months after debuting its truly unlimited data plan for contract customers, T-Mobile will begin offering the same service option to Monthly 4G prepaid customers as well. Prior to this, the highest tier of the Monthly 4G service was $70 for unlimited talk, text and data -- with a throttle after 5GB of usage. It seems that this level will be replaced by a plan of the same price with truly unlimited, unthrottled data. This is a great move for T-Mobile, especially as it moves more of its spectrum to the 1900MHz frequency for HSPA+, which opens up possibilities to a whole host of new unlocked devices. Monthly 4G plans are prepaid, require no credit check or contract and can be used with any unlocked GSM device that supports its frequencies.

TmoNews claims the service will go live just a few short days from now on January 9th, and we'll be sure to check back in and see if that is the case. We've got a picture of the marketing materials for the plans for you to check out after the break. There's another image and more information at the source link below as well.

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean update now pushing out to HTC One X on O2 UK

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A quick heads up to our friends in the UK rocking a HTC One X on O2. A tasty treat has begun to push out in the form of the much awaited Jelly Bean update, confirmed today by HTC UK on their official Twitter feed. As is so often the case with these things, the update is being pushed out in batches, so not everyone will get it right away. To check if you're one of the lucky ones be sure to head into Settings>About>Software Updates>Check Now. 

The update is pretty hefty in size at 365MB, so you'll want to be connected to WiFi. The 4.1 update for the One X has been rolling out internationally for a few months now, and while O2 customers will no doubt have been chewing their fingers off in anticipation, at last their patience has paid off. In addition to all the benefits of Jelly Bean like Google Now and Project Butter, the update brings with it the latest version of HTC's Sense software, known as Sense 4+. If you've managed to snag the update today, be sure to share your experiences with us in the comments below. 

Source: HTC UK (Twitter), O2 Customer Support Forums

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3 years ago

First alleged Samsung Galaxy S4 render emerges

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Early image claims to show upcoming Samsung flagship, but there's reason to be skeptical

It’s that time of year again, boys and girls -- the first purported Samsung Galaxy S4 render has emerged online. This morning Samsung fansite SamMobile posted a photo of a render showing what it claims is the next flagship phone from the Korean manufacturer. The image, which the site says was passed to it by a Samsung insider, appears to be a photo of the render as displayed on a monitor or other LCD display.

The alleged Galaxy S4 (or Galaxy S IV, if you prefer) shot shows a Galaxy Note 2-like design, with accentuated, rounded corners and no physical buttons. The device also has an extremely minimal horizontal bezel, along with the usual assortment of buttons, ports and sensors in the usual places.

There’s no way of verifying the authenticity of this image, but SamMobile has a pretty decent track record when it comes to Samsung leaks. Nevertheless, given how many inaccurate Galaxy S3 renders did the rounds last year, we’re inclined take this latest pic with a hefty dose of salt for the time being.

Even if this image is a legitimate Samsung creation, there’s no guarantee that the device it shows will become the Galaxy S4. Samsung is notoriously secretive with its flagship products, even going as far as designing and developing multiple variations of the Galaxy S3 to reduce the likelihood that the real thing would leak. So there’s a chance this design might be just one of many on the table at this early stage. (Remember that buttonless Galaxy S3 we saw just weeks before the announcement?)

In a related post, the site reports that Samsung will show an early Galaxy S4 prototype to a handful of partner executives and other big-wigs behind closed doors at next week’s CES. If Samsung ships the S4 this spring, as is expected, we wouldn’t be surprised if a few VIPs got an early look at what the company’s cooking in Las Vegas. CES has always been a big business-to-business show, after all.

For now, all we have is an image that may or may not be an upcoming Samsung phone. But if this is the Galaxy S4, we know a few Android nerds who’ll be celebrating Samsung’s new-found affinity for on-screen buttons.

Source: SamMobile (2)

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