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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z review

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Sony bets big on a 5-incher for the European market. But is the Xperia Z the high-end handset it needs?

Don’t count out Sony Mobile. Sure, the Japanese giant’s smartphone arm may be an irrelevance in the U.S. market right now, for reasons we won’t get into here. But it’s made steady progress in Europe and the UK, where it’s now number two in Android market share behind Samsung. Admittedly, much of that has been down to Sony’s numerous entry-level and mid-range devices like the Xperia Tipo and Xperia U, rather than its high-end stuff.

That’s because Sony has lacked a kick-ass flagship smartphone for far too long. Last year neither the Xperia S nor Xperia T thrilled us enough to recommend them over the Samsung and HTC competition. The former arrived running the dated Android 2.3 Gingerbread, while the latter suffered from dismal battery life and ran ICS in a Jelly Bean-aspiring world.

So with a new year comes a new Sony phone, the Xperia Z. If nothing else, the manufacturer’s rapid turnover of high-end handsets has allowed it to finally catch up in the spec war. This new Xperia is fitted with a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, a 1080p display and a 13-megapixel camera with Sony’s fancy new Exmor RS sensor tech. Oh, and it’s also fully water-resistant.

But make no mistake, the Xperia Z is about to be born into a world of ferocious competition, with Samsung keen to hold onto its Android dominance, and HTC pulling no punches with its new HTC One. Once again Sony has the advantage of bringing a product to market first -- so can it deliver? Find out in our full review of the Xperia Z.

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3 years ago

Chinese 'Samsung Galaxy S4' appears in leaked video footage

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Yesterday we saw screenshots allegedly from a dual-SIM Samsung Galaxy S4 variant destined for the China Unicom carrier. Today we're getting an even closer look at the handset in question, courtesy of a leaked video that's come to light on the same Chinese forum, 52Samsung. The footage gives us a brief hardware tour, confirming the presence of a removable back cover and battery, microSD support and -- on this model at least -- dual SIM capabilities.

Just as we saw in yesterday's leaked images, the device looks a lot like a larger Galaxy S3, and appears to be running a re-vamped version of Samsung's TouchWiz Nature UX -- although things don't appear to have changed significantly on the software side.

Check out the leaked footage above, and as always, remember Samsung's history of putting out several versions of upcoming products to keep its true intentions secret. Whatever form the Galaxy S4 eventually takes, we won't have long to wait to see the finished article. We'll be live in New York City this Thursday with full coverage of the announcement event.

Thanks @android_indian!

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3 years ago

Samsung teases phone-shaped phone ahead of Galaxy S4 event

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Samsung's quite the tease lately. It's launched a campaign of bizarre teaser trailers for the upcoming Galaxy S4, but so far these have been devoid of any real information about the device. Today it's stepping things up a notch, publishing the image above on its Twitter and Facebook channels alongside a message promoting the Mar. 14 "Unpacked" event where we're all expecting to meet the Galaxy S4.

It's the outline of a phone. A phone-shaped phone. It looks a bit like the Galaxy S3, as well as a purported Galaxy S4 design that leaked out of China this morning. We're left wondering what's happened to the earpiece on this model, though.

If nothing else, the image might suggest that Samsung's sticking with the curvy "nature-inspired" design language for its 2013 handset. We'll find out for sure on Thursday evening, when Samsung unveils the Galaxy S4 in New York City.

Source: Twitter, Facebook

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3 years ago

BlinkFeed: Inside the HTC One's home screen reader

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It's one of the more controversial moves a smartphone manufacturer has made in recent memory. HTC has pared down the out-of-box home screen experience, instead going with a single traditional Android panel, while opening up a world of news, updates and features, that's just a single swipe away.

This is BlinkFeed.

You could say BlinkFeed looks a lot like Flipboard -- and you'd be right. The slight difference in animations notwithstanding, what you've got is an extremely capable (if a bit limited in scope) feed reader. News, social networking updates, the ability to post your status -- it's all right there.

So why's it controversial? Unlike apps like Pulse or Flipboard or even Google Currents, which are traditional applications, BlinkFeed is baked into the phone itself, as much a part of the home screen as the home screen itself. It's there, whether you plan on using it or not.

 

Join the discussion in the HTC One forums

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia J updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

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Good news for Sony Xperia J owners - the official rollout of Jelly Bean has begun. This will bump the Android OS up to version 4.1, bringing with it new features from Jelly Bean like Quick Settings in the notification area. A new version of Sony Select has also been packaged into the update. Xperia J users should be getting an update notification on their phones automatically in the coming days/weeks. If any users are unable to update over the air, they can check out Sony's official page for a manual install method.

Source: Sony; More: Sony Xperia J Forums

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3 years ago

HTC One versus the iPhone 5

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Just the same, only different: The iPhone 5 and HTC One are worlds apart

"The HTC One looks just like the iPhone 5!" Those were the words out of many a mouth after HTC unveiled its new, all aluminum Android smartphone last month. Metallurgy aside -- and we're willing to bet either Apple or HTC could talk ad nauseam about the chemical makeup of their particular blend of aluminum -- that's where the similarities end. Both phones are made of metal and glass.

Get over it.

Join the discussion in the HTC One forums

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3 years ago

Second Galaxy S4 teaser also tells us nothing about the actual phone

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Samsung Galaxy S4 guardian Jeremy Maxwell returns with his magical glowing box in the second teaser trailer for the upcoming handset. If you were hoping for any hint of actual information on what Samsung's bringing to New York this Thursday, then once again you're going to come away disappointed. Like last week's installment, there's very little going on here beyond hype-building. Though Jeremy does remark that the box's contents are his "favorite color," for whatever that's worth.

Check out the teaser above, and share any theories down in the comments. 

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3 years ago

Alleged Chinese Galaxy S4 variant photos appear online

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The Samsung Galaxy S4 rumor mill has been churning in the run up to Thursday's big announcement event in New York City, but so far we've seen little to indicate what the upcoming handset might look like.

But today Chinese forum 52Samsung has posted what it says are images of a dual-SIM Galaxy S4 variant for China. The device in question carries the model number GT-i9502 and looks an awful lot like a Galaxy S3, with internals indicative of a flagship product. Black and white (or at least light grey) color variants are shown, and it seems the pattern on the back and front of the chassis has changed somewhat -- shots of the white and black versions show what looks like a grid pattern.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus L5II to be available globally, starting with Brazil

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LG announced its LII Series of devices at MWC last month, and now we've got some details on the global availability of the Optimus L5II. As we covered when we had our hands on the devices at MWC, the LII Series is for more of a "mainstream" market and will target lower price points. The L5II has a 1GHz single-core processor, 4-inch 480x800 (WVGA) display, 512MB of RAM and run on Android 4.1.2. LG is announcing that the device will hit Brazil in a dual SIM variant now, with both single and dual SIM options coming globally -- South and Central America, Asia, Russia, Middle East and Africa -- from that point.

With specs like that, it's not surprising that LG has no plans to launch it in the states. We may see some different variation of these devices hit a U.S. prepaid carrier later on down the road (if at all), but they are best suited to more price-conscious markets around the world.

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3 years ago

HTC One: Ten frequently asked questions

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We're getting ever closer to the public release of the HTC One, with the all-new Sense 5, and we're putting this guy through its paces. There's quite a lot to go over, and we're getting a lot of the same questions from many of you folks on Twitter, Google+ and in our HTC One forums.

Our full review is coming in due time, of course. For now, let's tackle a few burning questions regarding the HTC One and Sense 5. (Chances are you'll see another installment at some point, so don't fret if we haven't answered your question just yet.)

Here we go!

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3 years ago

Samsung launches bright orange Galaxy Pop for South Korea

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Despite a name which almost screams low end, the Samsung Galaxy Pop is far from low end. Packing a quad-core processor, LTE, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and many of the software bells and whistles the Galaxy S 3 has, the Galaxy Pop doesn't sound bad at all. Granted, it isn't something we'll be seeing anytime soon in European or North American markets, but it is on sale in Samsung's native South Korea. 

Previously only available in white or grey, Samsung's latest push on the device sees this insanely colored bright orange version launching. Samsung is hoping to capture the imagination of younger smartphone users with this one, but one thing is certain -- it definitely stands out in a crowd.

via Sammyhub

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3 years ago

HTC One accessories on sale ahead of UK launch

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Android Central

The HTC One may not yet be on sale anywhere in the world, but that hasn't stopped the official OEM accessories arriving. UK retailer, Clove Technology, has already received stocks of three accessories for the forthcoming new hero device from HTC. 

First up is the 'Double Dip' hard shell case. Made of a soft touch polycarbonate, the phone slides into the main portion of the case then the 2 differently colored caps snap on at each end keeping the One nice and secure. It also seems to offer a slight lip around the front edges, so as to give a little extra protection when placed face down. The Double Dip costs £14.99. 

There's also a pack of 2 screen protectors, which do pretty much what you'd expect them too. Specific to the device, these cost £6.00

And last, but by no means least, the official HTC One car dock. Of all smartphone accessories, a good car dock is one often coveted by many users. HTC had some pretty nice car docks in the past, and this latest shouldn't disappoint either. When the phone is docked, bluetooth automatically activates so as to connect to your in-car bluetooth system. The design is somewhat unique too, with the actual cradle only covering the lower half of the phone. It's not the cheapest item at £44.99, but it's surely a fine way to utilise your new HTC One in the car. Full details and some early snaps of all three can be found at the source link below. 

Source: Clove Technology

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3 years ago

HTC One is in the house

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Finally, we've got our hands on the HTC One for official one-on-one time. This is finished hardware, and nearly complete software, so it's time to get our official HTC One review under way.

Before all that, though, it's worth reading over our HTC One preview. While things have been simplified, there's still a lot to go over. And if you've yet to visit our HTC One forums, there's a lot of good stuff going on in there as well.

A now a few quick thoughts, now that we've got the HTC One away from the show floors and into a more intimate setting. (We've turned down the lights and lit a few candles for this guy.)

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3 years ago

Optimus 4XHD Jelly Bean leaked, bootloader unlock achieved

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The Optimus 4X HD was a really well built device with great 2012 specifications released in the middle of last year. But it had some severe software problems, and was locked down so tight nobody could do anything hackish to try and fix them. Glaring software bugs and lack of third-party support is a recipe for a dud in the Android community, and the phone languished away with very few folks paying any attention to it.

Today, all that changes. Jelly Bean has been leaked, the bootloader has been unlocked, and there's already a ClockworkMod recovery built and ready to go. I warn you -- it's not as straight forward as some of the things you'll see, and you'll want to read, read, and read some more before you get started. Find all the information you need at the source link below. 

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

Wet swimsuit models remind us we want the Xperia Z

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A T-Mobile store in Prague has found a way to make everyone interested in the Xperia Z -- putting it in the hands of swimsuit models. Taking advantage of the Xperia Zs water-resistant design, both male and female models (look after the break, ladies) took turns in the showers with the Zs, and we assume the crowd was pleased with both the phones and the show.

The Xperia Z looks like a very impressive phone on its own, but advertisement like this certainly can't hurt. Hit the break to see the rest of the pictures.

via: Xperia Blog

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