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3 years ago

The Ubuntu phone's time, if ever, is now - not in 2014

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And any number of hurdles still stand in Canonical's way, no matter how cool things look now

Canonical has been buzzing in our ears about Ubuntu as a mobile device operating system for a while now. We've seen them tout integrating a solution into Android for a year, and before that they had plans for their own mobile version of Ubuntu that more than a few Linux geeks were following. Today they came full circle and showed off a native OS on an Android phone, getting some of us pumped for the "next big thing."

But with yet another announcement without a single flashable image, will Ubuntu OS even have a chance?

Let's discuss the pros and cons, and see why 2014 might be too late for any success for Canonical. Read on.

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3 years ago

Canonical announces its Ubuntu smartphone OS

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In its infancy for quite a long time now, software maker Cononical today is taking the wraps off of the smartphone variation of its Linux operating system Ubuntu. The interface will be distinctly in the Ubuntu style, and have many features of other modern smartphone operating systems. There are edge gestures, disappearing controls, global search, voice commands and support for both native and HTML5 web apps.

But Ubuntu for smartphones is more than just a phone OS, as it also provides a full desktop experience when the phone is docked to a mouse, keyboard and monitor. With the current specs of phones, its not unreasonable to expect a single device to be able to handle both a phone and desktop operating system when in each situation. Ubuntu is generally pretty lightweight, so it should run nicely while still remaining feature rich (unlike Motorola Webtop before it.)

Let's not forget that Ubuntu is also open source, giving plenty of options to later customization and tweaking by users as well as quick and free updates in the future. Canonical is holding an informational conference call to provide more details on the launch of its smartphone OS today, which should answer some burning questions. Canonical will also be showing off Ubuntu for smartphones at CES in under a week. In the meantime, take a look at the quick press release after the break.

More: Canonical

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3 years ago

Motorola Electrify M review

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It's been one hell of a year for the smartphone industry, and 2012 produced some of the biggest and most unique innovations to date. More important than the increase in pixel density or the additional processing cores, though, is the progress we've seen in the quality of non-flagship devices. Prior to 2012, shopping for a smartphone on a budget meant you were going to have to make some serious sacrifices in terms of both hardware and software, and if you were a customer of a small or regional carrier, you may as well just buy a Tracfone. All that has changed, though, and today we're seeing increasingly impressive internals and designs hitting the entry and mid-level market. 

Motorola deserves a lot of recognition for this, as it single-handedly changed the way I thought of non-flagship devices with its recent Droid RAZR M. The RAZR M blew me away in terms of how well it performed and how stunning it looked for the price-- this was as a mid-level device with specs that could have easily landed it in top-shelf territory on any other carrier. Thankfully, Motorola thought the same, and brought a nearly identical and equally impressive package, the Electrify M, to US Cellular's increasingly impressive lineup. 

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z shown off again in leaked press image

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Ahead of its rumored CES release, we've got a new look at the Sony Xperia Z (aka "Yuga") in a proper press image, shown above. We saw a pretty grainy angled view of the device a few days back, but this one gives us a much better look at the front of the device. We're looking at proper on-screen navigation buttons and Sony's UI customizations here, as you would expect, as well as the power and volume button layout poking out of the right of the device.

The reported specs are the same as we saw in the initial leak as well. We're looking at a 5-inch 1080P display, massive 13MP camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on the software front. It also looks like we'll see another variant in the form of the Xperia ZL, aka "Odin." (Earlier Sony naming schemes suggest that the ZL might be an LTE-capable version for certain markets, though we're speculating here.)

The devices are supposed to make their debut at CES 2013, which is just a week away, and hopefully Sony will bring more details on this device at that time as well.

Sources: XperiaBlogUnwiredView

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend Mate and D2 leaked press renders show us more of the same

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By this point, we're pretty sure that Huawei's CES cat is well and truly out of the bag. We know they're going to unveil a Windows Phone 8 device, but we also know that they're taking 2 super-sized Android phones to Las Vegas with them too -- the 5 inch Ascend D2 and the 6.1 inch Ascend Mate. We're also pretty sure by this point that we know what each device actually looks like. Having executives showing them off in brand stores kind of helps on that front. 

The serial tipsters @evleaks are back with some leaked press renders of each of the devices along with some spec information. They claim that the Ascend Mate's 6.1 inch screen will be at 720p resolution, with the whole device being powered by a 3800mAh battery.

The D2, that we see pictured here, sits well with the leaked photos we've previously seen. Pushing things along is said to be a quad-core 1.5GHz -- likely in house produced -- processor, a 1080p display and a 13MP camera. This backs up specs we've previously heard mentioned, and given @evleaks record there stands a good chance of it checking out. And, while a render isn't exactly a reliable source of software information, it looks here like we'll be seeing Jelly Bean on the D2. We'd expect nothing less from a device to be shown off at CES, but it's reasurring at least.

CES is right around the corner, and we'll be on the ground in Las Vegas throughout, so keep it locked to Android Central for all the best the show has to offer. 

Source: @evleaks (Unwired View) 

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3 years ago

Leaked images show new red and brown Galaxy Note 2 versions

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It looks as though the Galaxy Note 2 is going to have some new color options for 2013 -- at least brown and red as seen in a leaked image today. The official color names are "Ruby Wine" and "Amber Brown," but we think just "red" and "brown" will do. Our first reaction is to think that these may be carrier- or region-specific variants that get the new colors, but considering that the original two colors made it around the world at launch, we could see these hit the U.S. carriers as well.

This may remind you of a leaked image from a couple days ago which showed a Note 2 in svelte black casing, but AndroidSlash has updated its original story to say that the image appears to be a fan-made fake. For now, the best bet is that we'll see brown and red along with the current crop of colors. Anything more is a bonus.

Source: UnwiredView; AndroidSlash

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3 years ago

Korean Galaxy Note 2 sales reportedly top one million

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It's no secret that Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 has been a big seller around the world. Last month brought news that the 5.5-inch device had shifted five million units worldwide, and now reports from the Korean press suggest that one million of those were sold in Samsung's home country. The Galaxy Note 2 launched in Korea just over three months ago in late September, preceding a wider international launch in October.

Korean news site MK reported the one million milestone today, while also stating that the Note 2 is selling three times as fast as its predecessor. After hitting one million units sold globally before the end of 2011, the original Note went on to sell ten million units in ten months.

With smartphone screen sizes set to increase in 2013, it'll be interesting to see how the Galaxy Note 2 fares in the face of the big-screened competition. Rumors suggest that Samsung is planning to diversify its Note line with a new tablet, possibly in the 7-inch area. Whatever's announced and however big it is, we'll be covering it in full in the new year.

Source: MK

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend Mate leaked again ahead of expected CES unveiling

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Following the first sighting in the wild of Huawei's upcoming 6.1 inch monster phone, the Ascend Mate, the device has been leaked once more ahead of an expected CES unveiling. This time, the device is seen posing for a series of photos alongside -- albeit, only just -- another Huawei device we're expecting to see at CES, the 5 inch D2

The photos obtained by MyDrivers, show what is essentially a big -- really big -- black slab, with on-screen buttons. There appears to be a slight curve to the back of the device, which should make it a little nicer to hold in the hand. If a 6.1 inch smartphone could ever, truly feel nice in the hand. Thickness is supposedly just 9.9mm. 

Spec information still remains in the rumor territory at present, but MyDrivers goes on to claim that the Ascend Mate is powered by a quad-core 1.8GHz processor -- likely an in house effort -- 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a 4000mAh battery. Nothing here sounds too out of the ordinary, certainly not for a 2013 release, but until we actually get something official we'll keep the rumor tag on them. 

Along with the photos, a leaked advertisement for the Ascend Mate has also been seen. It makes no bones about who Huawei is competing with in this space -- the 5.5 inch Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Samsung has set an extremely high bar in the super sized phone market with the Note and the Note 2, and anyone who considers challenging had better bring their 'A' game. The Note offers a specific experience though, with the S-Pen, whereas at least for the time being, the Ascend Mate just looks like a gargantuan sized version of some of Huawei's other Android smartphones. 

Whatever the Ascend Mate may or may not turn out to be, Android Central will be in Las Vegas to bring you all the action as it unfolds. 

Source: MyDrivers via Unwired View

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3 years ago

Get a free flip cover and tectiles from Samsung for registering your device

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Samsung is running a promotion on its official Facebook page that lets Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy SIII (S3) users get their hands on a free flip cover and set of 6 TecTiles for registering their device. All you have to do is head to the Samsung Facebook page, click the "Holiday Offers" button and then follow through to register your device. While quantities last, you can get some free swag for giving Samsung a little information about yourself. You'll need an active Facebook account and authorize the Samsung "app" for your page, but that's about it.

Registering your phone with the manufacturer may already be something you want to do, so might as well get something free for it, right? Head to the source links below to get your own.

Source: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Forums; Samsung (Facebook)

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3 years ago

Custom ROMs for your Alltel RAZR MAXX are just a flash away

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Verizon may take most of the headlines, but the Motorola RAZR MAXX (sans Droid) also made it's way to other carriers -- like Alltel. We love seeing the smaller carriers getting great Android phones like the MAXX, but folks who want to run a custom ROM are usually out of luck when this happens. Not so this time.

Forum Moderator, Alltel subscriber, and Android hacker cole2kb has you covered. He has taken the most popular ICS and Jelly Bean custom ROMs for the Verizon version of the RAZR MAXX and ported them over to Alltel. Getting them installed is as easy as flashing the original ROM and a small patch from recovery. He's even figured out how to get MMS working, so you're set there.

This is why we love Android. Users getting their hands dirty to bring more options to the folks who want them. Thanks, Chris -- and I'm sure plenty of folks on Alltel are thankful as well. Click the link below to get started.

Got ROMs? Flashable ZIPs for your Alltel MAXX!

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3 years ago

Black Galaxy Note 2 spotted, reportedly coming in early 2013

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Rumors of new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 colors are nothing new, and nothing particularly surprising, given the diverse palette of Galaxy S3 colors now available. Since the phone's launch, though, many have to been hankering for a Galaxy Note 2 in classic black. If the latest rumors are to be believed, that's exactly what'll be coming in early 2013.

Swiss blog AndroidSlash has today come across a high-res press render of a Note 2 in black. And, well, it's a Galaxy Note 2. In black. Interesting to note is that the black Note 2 seems to retain its faux-metal texture, whereas the black Galaxy S3 lost this effect in favor of glossy plastic finish.

There's speculation that this, and other Note 2 color variants, will be shown at Mobile World Congress in February. But remember Samsung's also going to be at CES in just over a week, so there's a chance we might see the Note 2's new coat of paint sooner than expected. Lucky for you we'll be reporting live from both shows in the new year.

Anyone want to place bets on when the inevitable berry pink version will appear?

Source: AndroidSlash; via: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Another new wave of Nexus 4s shipping

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Nary a moment too soon, word in our Nexus 4 forums is that another batch of the hard-to-buy (and harder-to-ship, apparently) smartphone is on its way to the good boys and girls. The phone's still sold out on Google Play, both in the 8- and 16-gigabyte versions, as are the rubber bumpers. (Interesting, though, is that it's saying we've reached our limit for bumper purchases, not that they're sold out. Apparently we're consider bumper horders or something.)

Anyhoo. Be on the lookout for a shipping e-mail if you haven't gotten on already.

More: Nexus 4 forums

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3 years ago

Multi-window update for AT&T Galaxy Note 2 now live

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We heard from AT&T that today was the day for the long-awaited Galaxy Note 2 multi-window update, and it looks like the carrier has stuck to its word. Several users in our forums are finding OTA notifications on their devices -- while others have had success checking manually -- and reboot to find the new feature in working order. The download all together is 178MB, which is quite hefty, and keeps the Note 2 on Android 4.1.2 for the time being.

See the update hit your device yet? Head to the forums and let the other members know how it's working out.

Source: AT&T Galaxy Note 2 Forums; Thanks, Larry!

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend D2 makes a brief pre-CES appearance

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CES is right around the corner, and one of the devices Huawei will be showing off will be the Ascend D2, which was announced a few weeks ago. A batch of pictures have bubbled up giving us a closer look at the otherwise camera-shy D2. We all remember its predecessor, the dickwad D Quad, and it's battery-boosted bro, the D Quad XL, but the D2 stands to be a significant step up from both of them. The source of the latest batch of pictures of the device confirms it will have an HD-grade (1080p?) 5-inch display, a quad-core 1.5 GHz processor, 13 megapixel camera, run Android 4.1, and have a big honkin' 3,000 mAh battery. 

It's great to see Huawei continuing to push the higher-end market and get those devices into Europe and the U.S. - after all, competition is good, especially on price point. We may also see a new 6.1-inch tablet from Huawei at CES, which will be interesting to try out, to say the least.

Any of y'all happy Huawei device owners? Those that aren't, would you consider switching away from one of the bigger manufacturers if you could save a buck on your next device? 

Source: IT Home

Via: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

New Samsung Galaxy Note 2 ad targets business

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Samsung has just put out a fresh ad for the Galaxy Note 2 targeting enterprise users. In the span of a minute, it does a great job of showing how the Note 2 can be used to take notes, watch video, multitask, and transfer files over NFC. Despite being about work, it still has the same sense of humor as Samsung's previous TV spots, and I'm tempted to agree with the top-voted YouTube commenter for the ad: "Apple is going to have to get more creative with their marketing. Samsung is killing it."

Hit the jump for a playlist of Samsung's more holiday-themed ads. 

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