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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III available a day early for pre-order customers in some stores

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Samsung originally revealed May 29 as the official launch date of the Galaxy S III in Europe, before retailers started announcing the device for a purported May 30 release. Today it seems the original date of May 29 will still stand, but only for pre-order customers in a handful of stores across the UK.

This morning Samsung UK sends word that customers pre-ordering the Galaxy S III at the Samsung store at London's Westfield Stratford City will be able to pick up their phones from 6pm local time on Tuesday, May 29. But if you're not in London, then don't worry -- Samsung is giving other retailers the chance to hold its own early launch events for pre-orderers, as early as 7pm on that evening. So it's worth checking with any stores in your area if you fancy getting your hands on an S III a few hours before everyone else.

Regardless, the phone will go on sale nationwide on May 30, and it'll be available on all five major UK networks.

We've got Samsung's press release after the jump. For more on the Galaxy S III, check out our full coverage from the London launch event earlier this month.

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2 years ago

HTC One X and EVO 4G LTE imports stalled by U.S. customs

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HTC this evening has confirmed in a statement to Android Central (and everybody else, we imagine) that importation of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE handsets have been delayed at the U.S. border because of a customs review. As first reported by The Verge, this likely stems from the ITC exclusion order Apple was granted last December over hyperlinks in the messaging app and browser.

HTC's official statement:

The US availability of the HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE has been delayed due to a standard U.S. Customs review of shipments that is required after an ITC exclusion order. We believe we are in compliance with the ruling and HTC is working closely with Customs to secure approval. The HTC One X and HTC EVO 4G LTE have been received enthusiastically by customers and we appreciate their patience as we work to get these products into their hands as soon as possible.

HTC has said that the issues raised by Apple in front of the ITC were trivial and would be removed from their products, but customs must review the shipments coming in after the April 19 deadline set in place by the ITC. We hope HTC's confidence is warranted, and we see the phones on the shelf, where they belong.

Opines Rene Ritchie at our sister site, iMore.com:

Apple's lawsuits against HTC -- and Samsung and Motorola -- stem from Apple's feeling that Android was "grand theft" of iPhone intellectual property. Basically, they believe Google partnered with Apple, had their then-CEO Eric Schmidt on Apple's board, and then not only stole Apple's ideas about smartphone technology, but gave them away "promiscuously".

The late Steve Jobs reportedly vowed to go "thermonuclear" over Android, and spend every dime in Apple's tens of billions of dollars in the bank to reap horrible vengeance upon them.

Current Apple CEO Tim Cook has thus far been much calmer, but every bit as deadly about patent litigation, saying Apple shouldn't be the developers for the whole world.

Currently, the HTC One X is out of stock on AT&T's website, and it looks like it may stay that way for the near future. The EVO 4G LTE is due to go on sale at 8 a.m. Friday. The status of in-store stock is unclear. A Sprint spokesperson referred questions on the delay to HTC.

Can we fix the bullshit patent and trademark office yet?

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2 years ago

Multitasking on the HTC One X isn't broken, it's customized

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There's been a bit of fuss over the way the HTC One X (and One XL) handles multitasking, with some folks saying the phone is broken when talking about the way it handles tasks in the background. While it certainly is different than what we see on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, or other devices running previous versions of Android, it's not broken at all -- HTC has just tweaked it. Like everything else in the Android source code, the way the kernel and system free memory from background tasks is wide open and subject to the whim of whoever does the software building. In this case, it's an area we're pretty familiar with, and something we've been hacking at since the days of the lowly HTC Hero -- the minfree settings and kernel low memory killer. 

What's happening is that the settings have been adjusted to keep more memory free for Sense 4 to gobble up, at the expense of applications running in the background. It's not a big edit, but with the One X's big screen and Sense 4's big footprint, it's a big enough edit to force things to close in the background more aggressively than we're used to seeing. Apps that have a bit of priority (ranging from the important things like the phone dialer to the less-important like the music player) seem to act just fine, but bigger applications, like Chrome beta for example, seem to suspend and need to re-open whenever they are returned to from the application switching menu.

For the more nerdly among us, I've looked and found one set of changes in the One X's boot image. The Stock AOSP build of 4.0.4 writes these values to the minfree settings:

8099, 10132, 12165, 14213, 16245, 20295

The AT&T HTC One X uses these settings (as we're using the system, anyway):

7746, 9720, 11694, 13742, 15715, 24709

Our Tegra 3 version of the HTC One X is showing the following, again, as we're using the system:

8192, 10240, 12288, 14336, 16384, 20480

It's very likely that there are other changes in the kernel source as well. 

The real issue here is that it's different than what we're used to seeing. Many seem not to like it, and would prefer the "old way". If you're riding the root train, that's a possibility -- our own Senior Developer Beezy is looking at things, and working on a few edits. If you're not into hacking your device, you're going to have to realize that HTC has built the One X their way. It's not wrong, it's just not stock Android.

Source: Android Central forums

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2 years ago

Google bringing multiple manufacturers to the Nexus line, WSJ reports

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What would be better than a new Nexus phone each year? How about several Nexus devices, built by multiple manufacturers? According to the WSJ (and their confidential sources) that will become a reality in the near future. According to the Journal, Google will be working with as many as five device manufacturers to build Android lead devices, which they can then sell directly to consumers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia from their online device store. This is Google's way of exerting a modicum of control over Android, without stepping on the open-source toes at its roots. 

Right now you can walk into your carrier store and buy a great phone that runs an Android-based operating system like Sense 4, or the new TouchWiz, complete with full carrier support and customer service. With this news it sounds like those of us that aren't concerned with carrier subsidies or support may be able to shop at our own Android store. It's an answer that many of us have been looking for.

The devices are expected to run Jellybean, be completely SIM unlocked, and available near Thanksgiving. Start saving your pennies. 

I think this is a long time coming. It sounds like what Google was trying to do in 2010 with the Nexus One, but back then they didn't have the foothold (or is it stranglehold?) on customer mind-share that they do now. Two years later, and I'll wager a good many of us would jump on this opportunity, including some that didn't when the Nexus One was released.

If Google wants to pull this off, they will need to offer quality hardware at a reasonable price (I'm thinking under $500 per unit), and convince customers in the U.S. to switch away from Verizon and Sprint to GSM carriers. If they can manage this, they will have finally changed the mobile world, like they wanted to do all along. They certainly have my support.

Source: WSJ

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2 years ago

LG Optimus Elite now available from Virgin Mobile USA

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It was only a few days ago that pre-orders for the LG Optimus Elite were happening but now Virgin Mobile USA is ready to put their first device with NFC and Google Wallet into the hands of consumers. Yes, today is the day the LG Optimus Elite goes on sale today and you can pick yourself one up for only $150. A reminder of the specs let's us know it's not for everyone out there but it a reasonable device for those looking to possibly jump from a feature phone:

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 3.5-inch touchscreen
  • 800 MHz processor
  • 5MP rear-facing camera

As a bonus, LG has also team up with the folks from Box so if you pick up an LG Optimus Elite, you can download the Box app from the Google Play Store and get yourself 50GB of cloud storage space for free. Keep in mind though, that offer only runs until July 22, 2012. Need more details? Check out the full press release below or have a look at our hands-on.

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2 years ago

Sprint Galaxy Nexus review

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Welcome to Part 3 of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus story -- the one where the latest Google reference phone makes its way to Sprint, ready to put the upcoming LTE network to the test. Sprint was kind enough to loan us a review unit for a while, and I get to walk everyone through things this time. Luckily, we've got a couple excellent reviews of the Galaxy Nexus as it debuted for other networks in other places, so we can take this time to deviate from the standard path a bit, and focus on how the phone we all know and (mostly) love performs -- something that rarely gets covered in-depth in a "regular" review. Hit the break, and I'll walk you through how the Galaxy Nexus on Sprint worked out for me with a week's hard use.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III user manual appears in all its 181-page glory

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If you've been struggling to pass the time awaiting the moment when you can buy a Samsung Galaxy S III for yourselves, Samsung's got you covered. The full user manual for the international version of  the device is now out there on the interwebs for anyone interested in reading it. All 181 pages of it. Will it contain anything we haven't already covered? Most probably not, but it's there for those who want it. 

The only contentious point arising so far seems to surround the supported microSD card sizes. Page 20 of the manual states that the Galaxy S III will support sizes up to 32GB. We know from the keynote in London though, that the initial presentation of the S III's specs showed support for 64GB cards. Could be a mis-print. Or, there could be something more sinister behind it. For now though, we'll hedge our bets on the first one. In any case, hit the source link below if you're interested in taking a look. 

Source: SamMobile

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2 years ago

China gets the music-friendly Motorola Motosmart Mix XT550

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Motorola today announced the Motosmart Mix XT550, a China-bound for for "people who really care about music." The 4-inch Android 2.3 smartphone comes loaded with Dolby Mobile software, SRS WOW HD enhancements and is an exclusivity on the Sina Micro Music app. The Motosmart Mix XT550 also sports a 3MP rear camrea and a front-facing VGA camera, all powered by a 1750 mAh battery. 

More: Motorola

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2 years ago

HTC Desire C gallery

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Want a closer look at all three flavors of HTC Desire C? Look no further -- you'll find official renders of the red, white and black versions after the break.

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2 years ago

HTC Desire C is official - ICS, NFC and Beats on a 3.5-inch screen

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New budget phone from HTC coming to Three, Orange and T-Mobile UK

After a series of leaks, it looks like the HTC Desire C is finally official. The new entry-level device from HTC has been announced today, and in the UK it looks like it'll be heading to all five major networks, as well as Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Phones4U and Carphone Warehouse. The Desire C looks like an upgraded version of last year's Wildfire S -- it's got a 3.5-inch HVGA display, a 5MP camera, Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich, Beats Audio software enhancements and NFC capabilities. There's no official word on what's powering the Desire C, but pre-release reports point to a 600MHz Snapdragon processor.

T-Mobile will offer the Desire C for free on 2-year contracts from £15.50 per month, and it'll also sell the phone on Pay As You Go for £169.99. Orange UK will offer the same PAYG price, but a slightly higher monthly fee of £20.50 if you're after a free Desire C on contract. Other networks have yet to announce pricing details.

The release of the Desire C is slated for sometime in June, and in the UK it'll be available in black and white, while international markets will also get a red version.

The official trailer from HTC is embedded above, and we've got Three's video preview after the break, along with today's press release. We'll keep you updated as further info emerges.

via: Three UK, Clove, HTC, Orange

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