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3 years ago

Nexus 5 battery life first impressions: Good enough, but not great

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How does the Nexus 5's battery stand up after a few days of real-world use?

Battery life is one of those areas of smartphone performance that’s difficult to quantify. Synthetic tests rarely reflect real-world performance, and it takes time to get a feel for how a new phone stands up.

We’ve been using the Nexus 5 as our daily driver for the past few days — just about long enough to get a good idea of how the battery performs in regular day-to-day use. In a word — or two —  it’s good enough. Acceptable. OK, but not great. And certain tasks in particular seem to draw an inordinately large amount of juice from the phone’s 2300mAh reserves.

We’ll take a closer look after the break.

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3 years ago

Using the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear on Sprint

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Network improvements and S Pen refinement make both Sprint and the Note 3 worth a closer look

Sprint graciously sent us a shiny white Galaxy Note 3 and a Galaxy Gear to evaluate, and the way the dice roll they ended up in my hands for a week or so. The last experience I had of with any phone on Sprint left me a bit nervous, but hey — who isn't excited to get some time with a new Android and a fancy smart watch to go with it, right?

So I used them both full-time for a week, and have reached two conclusions that need to be shared.

  • Sprint is getting better. A lot better.
  • I don't like big phones that run crazy variants of Android, menu buttons make me twitchy, and SD cards are for cavemen. But I love the Note 3.

Yeah, I was as shocked as anyone who knows me is. But I'm happy, too. This is going to be as weird to write as it will be to read, so let's go.

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3 years ago

Switching launchers with Android 4.4's new 'Home' setting

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KitKat makes it easier to swap or uninstall custom launchers

Many of us enjoy using custom home screen launchers on our Android phones, but the process of switching between them has never been entirely foolproof. That's changed in the latest Android 4.4 KitKat, which introduces a new top-level menu in the Settings app allowing you to select your default launcher. That means you don't have to traipse into the Apps menu, find your custom launcher, then clear its defaults to change back. The new Home menu also gives you an easy way to uninstall custom launchers, by pressing the trash icon next to it.

Check out our video above for a quick walkthrough on the Nexus 5.

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3 years ago

Moto G announcement set for November 13

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Sign up page goes live for live online announcement set for just over a week's time

Up until this point we were pretty sure the Moto G is a real thing, and today Motorola has outright confirmed that with a sign up page and an email in our inbox with a confirmed date for the announcement of the new device. Everything is set to go down on November 13, and interested parties can sign up now for the live online announcement. 

From recent leaks we're expecting the Moto G to be a more budget conscious offering in the Motorola stable, with a similar look to the Moto X but with trimmed down size and specs. A recent UK based leak suggested the Moto G might be hitting the market at just £135, which if true has us extremely interested. 

Whatever the Moto G turns out to be, we'll be following everything as it happens on November 13, so keep it locked to Android Central. 

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

International Galaxy S3 Android 4.3 update rollout begins

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Firmware for Vodafone Ireland available, others to follow

Following recent Android 4.3 launches on the Galaxy S4, it seems it's the turn of Samsung's 2012 flagship to get the updated version of Google's OS. Reports from SamMobile suggest that the international 3G Galaxy S3 (GT-i9300) has begun receiving the update, starting with owners of the Vodafone Ireland branded version.

The update brings the Exynos-based GS3 to software version UGMJ9, which includes Android 4.3 and all its associated features, as well as Galaxy Gear support, ANT+ support, the apps-to-SD feature from the Galaxy S4 and Note 3, among other TouchWiz features. The Galaxy S3 skipped over Android 4.2, meaning there'll be a lot of new stuff to see for international GS3 owners, who'll be updating from Android 4.1.2.

If you're on Vodafone Ireland (with a carrier-branded device) you should be able to update over-the-air or through Samsung's Kies desktop software. As usual, other carriers and regions are expected to follow in the days and weeks ahead.

Source: SamMobile; via: XDA

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3 years ago

Nexus 5 camera samples and first impressions

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A quick overview of the new Nexus's photographic capabilities

Google's Nexus smartphones don't have the best reputation when it comes to photography. The Galaxy Nexus's rear camera was a pretty big disappointment, and the Nexus 4's was little more than adequate, despite the introduction of new features like Photosphere. So will this year be any different? Google certainly seems to thinks so — the LG-built Nexus 5 is pitched as a device for capturing "the everyday and the epic," boasting a new HDR+ mode and optical image stabilization (OIS) while maintaining megapixel parity with the last-gen Nexus, with its 8MP rear shooter. It also boasts a larger 1/3.2-inch sensor and f/2.4 aperture.

But is it any good in the real world? Let's find out after the break.

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3 years ago

Nexus 5 models 820 and 821: What's the difference?

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The only thing to consider when making your purchase is mobile radio bands

Just like in many cases, the Nexus 5 isn't one but rather two different phones — the D820 and D821. The former is made for use in North America, the latter in the rest of the world. While this isn't nearly as confusing as some phones, there are still a couple of differences between the two models. Externally both models are the exact same — the case, buttons, camera and design are indistinguishable. You have the same options of storage and colors as well, which is great.

On the inside, things are almost identical. You'll find the same spec sheet for the screen, processor, RAM, sensors, Wifi and everything else. All indications are that both the D820 and D821 run the exact same software build as well — Google seems to have gone all-out trying bring "one phone" to the entire world. The only tangible difference between the two models is mobile network bands — this makes sense, as it's basically impossible to fit every necessary radio into just a single model:

North America (D820) model:

  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • CDMA: Band Class: 0/1/10
  • WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
  • LTE: Bands: 1/2/4/5/17/19/25/26/41

Rest of World (D821) model:

  • GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8
  • LTE: Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20

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3 years ago

Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat video walkthrough

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Come take a look at the future of Android

The Nexus 5 is upon us, and with it Android 4.4 KitKat. The latest Nexus handset combines high-end Android hardware with the latest pure Android straight from Google. In the new OS version, KitKat, the stock UI has seen its biggest visual overhaul since Android 4.0, with brighter colors replacing the old "Holo" blue. Many of the staple Android apps have been overhauled too — text messages are now handled by Hangouts, the dialer has turned into a sort of digital yellow pages, and Google Now is now built into the stock launcher.

Software often soaks up much of the attention when there's a new Nexus phone, but the the Nexus 5's hardware is impressive in its own right. The (very soft) soft-touch back and sides . The jury's still out on the device's camera — we'll need to test it some more in the days ahead — but if nothing else it's a welcome improvement on the Nexus 4's disappointing shooter. And as we've seen on other high-end Android phones, Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 CPU screams with performance.

All in all, we're looking at one of the most impressive Android phones of the year. Check past the break to watch our video walkthrough of Android 4.4 KitKat and the new Google Nexus 5.

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3 years ago

In pictures: The Nexus 5

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Hands-on photo gallery

While we prepare our hands-on coverage of LG and Google's latest Nexus handset, why not take a glance over our complete hands-on photo gallery? We've got a dozen or Nexus 5 photos waiting for you in the gallery after the break — enjoy!

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3 years ago

No, Google, thank you — Nexus 5 retail launch as smooth as you'd expect

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Before we go any further today, we do need to mention just how smooth Thursday's launch of the Nexus 5 appeared to go from a retail standpoint. Google Play appeared to stand up to the nerd crush. Google Wallet — which in the past has been the bottleneck — handled the transactions as well as we could expect.

And phones are already shipping.

So kudos to the men and women behind the scenes — whose names and faces we never hear or see and who don't get anywhere near enough credit from an all-too-often ungrateful public — for keeping the wheels turning better than they have in previous launches. You made a lot of nerds happy this week.

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3 years ago

In Android 4.4, Google Now is finally part of your home screen

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Swipe left-to-right to get to Google Now from the KitKat launcher

When Google Now was unveiled back at Google I/O 2012, we asked how long it would be before this new predictive search app became your home screen. Now, with Android 4.4 KitKat on the Nexus 5, it seems that time has finally arrived.

Similar to HTC BlinkFeed, the stock KitKat launcher lets you swipe right from the leftmost home screen to get directly into Google Now. Of course you can still get to it the old fashioned way by swiping up from the home key, too. And it's also possible to disable the Google Now pane entirely through the new home settings menu, accessed by long-pressing on any blank space.

Google Now has taken on more and more importance within Android over the past year, to the point where it's even rumored to form a major part of Google's upcoming smartwatch. So it's no huge surprise to see it given a piece of prime Android real estate. If anything, it just underscores the idea that the future of mobile search is indeed predictive.

We've got a handful of screenshots after the break.

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3 years ago

Galaxy Nexus will not get Android 4.4 KitKat

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Android 4.3 is the end of the line for the Samsung-made Nexus

Galaxy Nexus owners, you might want to sit down for this. Your device won't be getting an official update to the newly-announced Android 4.4 KitKat. Quoth the Google support site:

Galaxy Nexus will not be receiving the Android 4.4 update. For more information about Galaxy Nexus, visit the Nexus Help Center.

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3 years ago

Yes, you can buy a Nexus 5 from Google Play and activate it on Sprint

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Good news, folks. A bunch of you have asked us if you can purchase a Nexus 5 from Google Play and activate it on Sprint. We've just heard back from Sprint, and the answer is in the affirmative.

Repeat: Yes, you can purchase a Nexus 5 from Google Play and activate it on Sprint.

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3 years ago

Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 will all get Android 4.4 KitKat

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Yeah, yeah. The new Nexus 5 is the first with Android 4.4. But if you're sitting on one of those other Nexus devices — as in 2012's Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, and the Nexus 7 (we presume both the 2012 and 2013 versions of it), know this: You'll be getting KitKat in the coming weeks as well.

In addition, the Google Play Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One also will be updated.

Here's the exact word from Google:

We’ll also be rolling out the Android 4.4 update worldwide in the next few weeks to all Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 devices, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Edition devices.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile says it'll carry the Nexus 5, forgets to give a price or date

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If you're looking to get the new Nexus 5 through T-Mobile, you're in luck. The carrier has announced that it, too, plans to carry Google's latest Android smartphone, the first to run Android 4.4. KitKat.

T-Mobile neglected to say when, or what the price will be.

More at T-Mobile.

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