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3 years ago

Nexus 4, two months on ...

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It's been a little more than two months since the LG Nexus 4 first made its way onto Google Play's virtual store shelves. And as we all know all too well, it sold out record fashion. (Or, if you prefer, Google failed to ensure supply kept up with demand even worse than with previous devices.) So it's probably safe to say that those of us with nine or 10 weeks of Nexus 4 usage under our belts are firmly in the minority.

With that in mind, we thought we'd revisit the Nexus 4 ownership experience two months on, and examine how the Android flag-bearer has performed as a daily driver. If you've recently picked up a Nexus 4, or you're still waiting to place your order, here's your chance to find out what the future holds.

Check past the break to find out how well the Nexus 4 has weathered 70 days in the hands of an Android Central editor.

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3 years ago

International Galaxy S2 gets Jelly Bean update and new Nature UX

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The official Jelly Bean update for the international Samsung Galaxy S2 (GT-i9100) has started to roll out, starting with unlocked handsets in Spain. The update is based on Android 4.1.2, and features all the benefits you'd expect from that version of the OS, including "Project Butter" performance enhancements and the new Google Search with Google Now.

What's also new is the "TouchWiz Nature UX" from Samsung's 2012 line-up, which has been back-ported to the Galaxy S2 along with Jelly Bean. This means S2 owners will be in for some pretty sweeping visual changes when they apply this latest firmware update. (The ICS update for 2011 Samsung phones was of course based upon the older TouchWiz 4 UI.) Galaxy S2 owners are also set to inherit a bunch of Galaxy S3 features in their Jelly Bean update, including Direct Call, Smart Stay and Pop-up Play (picture-in-picture video).

Right now the update is only available for Spanish Galaxy S2 phones, so other territories may have to wait a few days or weeks for localized firmware to be released. In particular, we wouldn't hold our breath for an immediate release on any of the U.S. Galaxy S2 models. Regardless, it's great to see the latest updates rolling out for an almost two-year-old handset.

Source: SamMobile, via XDA

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 back in stock on T-Mobile website

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We heard last week that the Nexus 4 would be back up for sale from T-Mobile directly starting January 23rd, and it has shown up right on time. Provided you're willing to sign up for 2 years on a Classic Plan at T-Mobile the 16GB Nexus 4 can be yours for $199.99, or if you decide to keep it off-contract (seriously consider this route) you can have it for $499.99 after mail-in rebate.

We're not sure how many are available, but hopefully it's enough to at least let some people have their chance at the latest Nexus. As for proper availability in the Play Store at $299 and $349... who knows. Here's hoping that this new wave of stock to T-Mobile means there's more on the way to Google as well.

Source: T-Mobile; Thanks, Frank!

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 8.0 to launch in March, says Samsung roadmap

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Galaxy Young, Galaxy XCover 2, Galaxy Pocket Plus also on the way according to leaked docs

The past week has seen the Galaxy Note 8.0 go from mere rumor to being more-or-less officially confirmed by Samsung. Now, thanks to a leaked Samsung roadmap obtained by TechnoBuffalo, we have our first clear indication of when the Note 10.1's little brother might become available to purchase. A slide on the Galaxy Note 8.0 says we can expect it to launch in March, so we're looking at a pretty quick turnaround following the tablet's expected Mobile World Congress debut.

Also confirmed on the Note 8.0 slide are previously-rumored specs, including an 8-inch 1280x800 Super Clear LCD, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and a quad-core 1.6GHz processor -- likely the same Exynos chip powering the Galaxy Note 2.

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3 years ago

EE launches limited edition 4G price plans - budget £31 contract and 20GB 'super-user' plans

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When EE (Everything Everywhere) first launched its 4G LTE service in the UK, two common complaints focused on the price of its subsidized smartphone contracts and the 8GB ceiling for data allowances. Today it seems the carrier's ready to test the water with some more adventurous price plans, as for a limited time it'll offer a budget-centric £31 per month, 24-month deal, along with a new "super-user" contracts with 20GB of data per month. 

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3 years ago

Latest reports tip Samsung Galaxy S4 for April release following March 'Unpacked' event

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The latest round of reports have Samsung’s Galaxy S3 successor coming to market this April, following an unveiling at a March “Unpacked” event in the United States.

Firstly, Korean news outlet Asian Economies reports via “telecommunications industry” sources that Samsung is planning to unveil the Galaxy S4 at an "Unpacked" event in the U.S. in late March. Specifically, Friday, March 22 was highlighted as a likely date for Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2013, which is said to be the largest such event yet. If accurate, it’d be the first major Unpacked event in the U.S. since the original Galaxy S made its debut in 2010.

News of a possible Galaxy S4 unveiling this March, also fits with the second report we’re seeing today, which comes via Samsung fansite SamMobile. SamMobile’s sources have a pretty consistent track record in revealing details of pre-release Samsung handsets, and today the site claims that the Galaxy S4 is on track for launch sometime in April.

The S4, supposedly known internally by the codename “Altius,” is said to come in black and white color options initially. It’s reported that current shipping timetables call for the device to become available from week 15 of this year -- that's the week commencing April 15. Other information reported by SamMobile includes details of the phone’s battery -- allegedly a 2600mAh unit -- and apparent confirmation of earlier rumors of an optional wireless charging back. This accessory is to be sold separately within "a couple of weeks” of the S4’s launch, the site claims. (That’d be an improvement on the lag time of several months for official Galaxy phone accessories in years past.)

It’s worth taking reports of this nature with a pretty major pinch of salt until the official confirmation arrives. Nevertheless, the more reliable Galaxy S4 rumors seem to be crystallizing around a late Q1 or early Q2 launch window. A stateside unveiling would certainly make sense for Samsung, given the importance of the U.S. market. What’s more, an Unpacked event less than a month after Mobile World Congress would minimize the amount of breathing space given to Android rivals like HTC, which is expected to use MWC to unveil its major 2013 handsets. Keep it locked to Android Central in the months ahead -- it’s going to be a crazy year, and things are just getting started.

Source: Asian Economies via PhoneArena; SamMobile

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3 years ago

More Sense 5 screenshots spotted on a Droid DNA

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Following today's leak of an unreleased version of Sense 5 running on the Droid DNA, we're now seeing more screenshots from users claiming to have their hands on the software as well. Member mdeejay at XDA has just put up several screenshots of what is said to be a stable build of Android 4.1.2 with Sense 5 running on the Verizon phone, as ported from -- wait for it -- a Sprint version of the rumored M7.

We're not sure if that answers more questions than it creates, but it certainly gives us a lot to think about. This probably isn't the last leak (or purported leak) we'll see in the coming weeks, as HTC is likely set to show off a number of new devices at MWC in February. You can take a gander at several more screenshots at the source link below.

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

NTT Docomo announces 11 new Android devices, Optimus G Pro and Xperia Tablet Z included

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As Japanese carriers tend to do, NTT Docomo has just released its complete spring lineup of devices, 11 of which are running Android. The 9 phones and 2 tablets cover a wide range of features and styles, with a few names we're not used to seeing here in the states. For phones we've got the "with" series, both with 720P displays, 1.5GHz S4 Pro processors, LTE and Android 4.1:

  • AQUOS PHONE EX (SH-04E)
  • MEDIAS X (N-04E)

The "NEXT" series of devices is a big group, with six devices, several of which have 1080P displays, large batteries and LTE:

Then we have two tablets, and one phone for kids:

  • Xperia™ Tablet Z (SO-03E)
  • dtab
  • Smartphone for Juniors (SH-05E)

Now that's more devices than you can shake a stick at, with just as many specs to go along with 'em. Most interestingly is the inclusion of the recently announced Xperia Tablet Z, as well as the Optimus G Pro which was only rumored up to this point.

If you want to check out these new devices coming to Docomo, hit up the source link below. If you want a direct link to the spec pages for the devices, check the second link instead. There are some pretty impressive phones and tablets here, and they'll start to become available starting January 25th.

Source: NTT Docomo; (2)

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G begins its worldwide availability rollout with Jelly Bean on board

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LG has just announced plans to roll out its latest flagship, the Optimus G, globally to 50 new countries. The Optimus G may seem like "old news" to some of us -- the phone has been available in the United States, Canada, Korea and Japan for some time now -- but it hasn't rolled out globally until now. Coming first to Singapore at the end of January and to dozens of other countries afterwards, this model of the Optimus G will have LTE connectivity onboard in any country that supports it. LG is really pushing the idea that their LTE technology and knowledge is top-notch, hoping to make an impact launching the same device with the fastest network capabilities in multiple countries.

Interestingly enough, the press release stipulates that the Optimus G heading out globally will also be running "the latest Jelly Bean OS and improved software," a huge upgrade from the original devices that ran Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box. That said, Android 4.2 isn't specifically mentioned, so it wouldn't surprise us in the least if we see Android 4.1 instead.

The full presser's after the break.

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3 years ago

'HTC Sense 5' spotted on Droid DNA in China

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Following the leaked images of a new version of HTC Sense running on what seems to be HTC's upcoming "M7" flagship, another photo has emerged apparently showing Sense 5 on Verizon's Droid DNA. The shot surfaced via the user "LeakROMs" on Chinese social network Weibo, and it's a dead ringer for the software pictured on the supposed M7 device just a few hours ago. In addition to the re-worked icons, we can also see the new Sense weather widget and a home screen split into dedicated sections for social networking, news and tutorials.

Now, this is far from official confirmation that Sense 5 is headed to 2012 devices line the DNA. But it seems to show someone, somewhere is experimenting with a new version of HTC's UI on existing handsets.

Who knows what form the finalized version of Sense 5 might take, but the prevalence of this design across multiple leaks suggests HTC is re-working its software from the ground up. We'll keep you apprised of any further details, and we'll be live from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month, where HTC is expected to publicly unveil its 2013 line-up.

Source: LeakROMS; via: HTCSource

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3 years ago

Samsung's JK Shin apparently confirms 8-inch Galaxy Note at MWC

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Last year in Barcelona, Samsung managed to out the Galaxy Note 10.1 on the side of a building at Plaça de Catalunya, a day ahead of the official announcement. Looks like we'll have no such slippage for Galaxy Note 8, as Samsung's JK Shin apparently has confirmed a previous report to INews24 that we'll see yet another size variation at  Mobile World Congress next month. 

What we don't yet know is whether this 'tweener will be more tablet than smartphone, or vice versa. We'll be in Barcelona, of course, and you'll be coming along for the ride.

Source: INews24; via Engadget

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3 years ago

NFC-capable Galaxy S3 Mini launching this month

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If you'd wanted to pick up a Galaxy S3 Mini, but had found your desire for the miniature smartphone soured by its lack of NFC support, then Samsung's got you covered. A new, NFC-capable version of the S3 Mini will launch in the UK starting at the end of the month, the manufacturer revealed in a press release this morning.

Besides the inclusion of NFC, giving the S3 Mini support for Samsung's "S Beam" NFC-based file-sharing capability, the S3 Mini with NFC is the same as its near-field-communicationless sibling. That is to say you're looking at a 4-inch device with a WVGA (800x480) SuperAMOLED display, a 1GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and TouchWiz'd Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Pricing has yet to be officially announced, but Samsung says the S3 Mini with NFC will launch across major UK carriers and retailers from the end of January. More info in the presser after the break.

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3 years ago

Fresh HTC 'M7' images emerge showing new version of Sense

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We’ve seen a few renders claiming to show HTC’s next flagship Android phone of late -- first an image based on an on-device animation, then another mock-up render did the rounds on Twitter and elsewhere over the weekend. These latest images, however, could be the most accurate yet.

Today’s shots come from Android Police, which received them via an anonymous tipster claiming to have access to HTC’s next big thing, a phone currently known only by the codename “M7.” Based on the images, the device looks to share many design cues with the Windows Phone 8X and Droid DNA -- a primarily squarish design, with rounded corners and a rounded back. Interestingly, it seems HTC has swapped the location of the home and task switching button on this device -- home is now on the far right, and task-switching now lives in the middle.

Alongside these photos, screenshots from the device show what’s said to be HTC Sense 5.0, the next version of HTC’s Android UI. If this is an accurate representation of what’s next from HTC, 2013’s version of Sense certainly looks more minimalist than earlier iterations -- the bright colors and faux 3D effects that’ve previously characterized Sense are nowhere to be seen here. There are new icons, new widgets, and what seems to be predetermined widget areas for social media updates, news and tutorials. The UI is also watermarked with “HTC Confidential” and a unique code, and Sense and Android versions marked as “protected.” Both are hallmarks of pre-release HTC software.

On the whole, these images look pretty promising. But we still have no way of knowing where in the prototyping process this device lies, and how close it is to the finished product. Certain anomalies, like the excessive bezel, derivative design and lack of regulatory info on the back suggest that the finished product might look a little different. Nevertheless, it’s our best indication yet as to what might be next from HTC. We’ll likely find out more at Mobile World Congress 2013, where the company is expected to officially announce the M7.

Source: Android Police

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.1 'M-Series' builds now available for select devices

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A handful of select devices are getting CyanogenMod 10.1 "M-Series" builds starting today. These builds are meant to be released less frequently, and are considered stable for daily use. You can think of M-Series builds as a step above nightly builds, which often have many bugs. The following devices are supported for now:

The CyanogenMod team says in its post that it is on-track for a stable release of 10.1 soon, and these M-Series builds are a good step in the right direction. If you have one of the above listed devices and are interested in the new builds, head to the source link below and grab your downloads.

Source: Cyanogenmod

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3 years ago

Samsung rumored to be launching enormous smartphone with ridiculous name in Europe

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Leak season continues, and we're back with Samsung this time around. Sammobile, a usually reliable source of all things Samsung, claims to have received word of a 5.8 inch smartphone from the Korean OEM destined for Europe. The reported name is, ready for this? The Samsung Galaxy Fonblet. 

The device is said to be loosely based around the Samsung Galaxy Player 5.8 PMP that was launched in Korea, only with cellular capabilities. The Galaxy Player 5.8 has a qHD display, and a 3MP rear camera. The bad news is that Sammobile claims the Fonblet is supposed to have the same display. So we're not looking at a high-end, Note 2 beating device. Additionally, it's expected to have dual-sim capabilities -- suggesting emerging European markets might be the target here -- and will come in white. Feels a lot like parts recycling though, if we're honest. 

Source: Sammobile

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