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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend G700 leaks as an affordable option for the Chinese market

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Shortly after MWC we saw a leak of the Huawei Ascend G710, and now a very similar G700 is making an appearance online. The renders above, tweeted out by leakster @evleaks, show a device that falls in line with current Huawei design. According to some sleuthing on the part of Engadget, the plastic device will be sporting a 5-inch "HD" (assumedly 720p) display, along with 2GB of RAM and a MediaTek quad-core processor. The indication is that the device will eventually sell for around $300 unlocked, which would put it well under the recent flagship Ascend D2 and Ascend Mate.

Interestingly, those specs line up very similarly to those of the previously leaked G710 although the designs seem to be different. With very similar names, we'd expect these devices to slot into price points right next to each other. Don't get your hopes up for a U.S. launch though, these are likely bound for just the Chinese market.

Source: @evleaks; Via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia E officially on sale in the UK, costing £129.99

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Sony's latest entry level offering, the Xperia E, is now officially on sale in the UK. In the past it had been pegged for a February release, but retailer Clove Technology now has the device for sale for the pretty reasonable price of £129.99. 

Only the black versions are currently available -- white ones are due sometime in April. For your money, you're getting a solid entry level Android smartphone. Better still, it's a solid entry level smartphone running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Other specs include a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 3.5-inch HVGA display, 4GB of onboard storage, 512MB of RAM a microSD card slot and a respectable for its size, 1500mAh battery. 

This is by no means going to excite those that breathe bleeding edge devices, but the Xperia E also has a little party piece. Sony has released an experimental Firefox OS ROM for the Xperia E, so for those so inclined, it's not an overly expensive way of checking that out either. 

Source: Clove

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3 years ago

Droid RAZR HD and MAXX HD Android 4.1.2 update is live

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Droid RAZR HD and MAXX HD owners have started receiving an update for their devices. This latest OTA will bump both versions of the RAZR HD to Android 4.1.2, and comes with security patches from Google and a fix for data roaming.

Multiple software improvements have also been made. Detection of USB cables has been improved, as has the devices' Wifi connectivity. Wallpaper options have been added when selecting home screen icons, and the camera app has had improvements made to its touch-to-focus, notifications, and low light performance. Headset connectivity is better, as is pixelation in video streaming. Media sync problems should also be gone, now that sync more stable.

If you're rocking a Droid RAZR HD or MAXX HD, be sure to hit the forums and let us know how you're getting on..

Source: Droid Life

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3 years ago

MetroPCS picks up Huawei Premia 4G

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MetroPC this morning announced the availability of the Huawei Premia 4G, a 4-inch Android smartphone. It's running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, has a 5-megapixel camera with Flash and is powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. The display is covered with Gorilla Glass.

On the software side, expect MetroPCS to push the "joyn" feature, which adds video and Wifi-calling, instant messaging, and file sharing. You'll have to have a 4G LTE data plan to use it.

The Huawei Premia 4G is available today for $149.

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 back in stock at German Google Play Store

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The UK isn't the only country that's just seen a fresh influx of Nexus 4 stock at its Google Play Store. Today the official +Nexus Google+ page sends word that the coveted handset is now back in stock in Germany. The phone is available in 8GB and 16GB flavors for €299 and €349 respectively, and set to ship in 3 to 5 days.

(Incidentally, the phone's still in stock in the UK and shipping within the same timeframe)

Grab 'em at the links below --

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3 years ago

Samsung aware of lock screen security issues, working on a fix

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The past few weeks have seen some prominent lock screen security issues come to light on certain Android 4.1-based Samsung phones, including the Galaxy Note 2. Most recently, blogger Terence Eden was able to completely bypass the Note 2's lock screen security by cleverly utilizing a vulnerability in the way Samsung's TouchWiz software exits out of certain emergency dialer menus.

This morning Samsung has confirmed to Android Central that it's aware of the issue and working on a fix. Here's the manufacturer's statement in full --

"Samsung considers user privacy and the security of user data its top priority.

We are aware of this issue and will release a fix at the earliest possibility."

As we mentioned in yesterday's post, using this technique to bypass a phone's security in the real world would be tricky and time-consuming process, so we're not losing any sleep just yet. Nevertheless, it's good to see that a fix is indeed on the way.

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3 years ago

Samsung confirms UK Galaxy S4 will use quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU

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It's quad-core, not octa-core, but that's not something worth worrying about

Following recent speculation across the blogosphere, Samsung has this morning confirmed to us that UK consumers will get the quad-core Snapdragon 600-powered Galaxy S4, rather than the octa-core Exynos 5 variant. That's contrary to the original press release sent out to UK media last week, which suggested the opposite.

Here's the updated statement from Samsung --

“Samsung Galaxy S 4 is equipped with a 1.9GHz Quad-core AP or a 1.6GHz Octa-core AP. The selection of AP varies by markets.

In the UK the Galaxy S 4 will be available as a 4G device with a 1.9GHz Quad Core Processor".

And as we know from speaking with Qualcomm last week, that quad-core CPU is the company's latest Snapdragon 600.

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3 years ago

Xperia Z devices are randomly dying, but Sony is working on a fix

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Some Sony Xperia Z users are reporting that their device is randomly shutting down, never to turn back on again. XperiaBlog points to several different user groups that are finding their devices shut down without their knowledge, and can't do anything to have them come back to life. Although some report success doing a hard reset (holding power + vol up), this doesn't seem to be universal fix. There also doesn't seem to be a known cause either, which makes the bug even more troublesome to diagnose.

Sony's response to the issue is that it has come up with a fix for the random shutdowns, which will be implemented with the device's next software update. Our own Xperia Z seems to be going along strong and hasn't had such an issue, but then again we may just be lucky.

Source: XperiaBlog; More: Sony Xperia Z Forums

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3 years ago

Comparing the HTC One speakers

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We put the HTC One up against the Galaxy Note 2, Nexus 4 and HTC One X in a basic test

As we've been prone to do with recent phones, we're doing more speaker comparisons. This is unscientific, to be sure. What we hear may be a little different than what you hear. And while it may be cliche, you really do have to hear some of these phones in person to get the full effect.

That's especially true for the HTC One. The "BoomSound" feature is a combination of hardware and software that eventually shoots from the stereo speakers (again, two is better than one here) from the front of the phone. The placement of the speakers makes as much a difference as maybe any of the other tweaks, Beats Audio included. We've seen that in tablets, previously, with speakers on the side as well as the front. (Switching from a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 to the Nexus 7, and thus switching to a rear speaker again, took some getting used to.)

The idea of front-facing speakers on a phone isn't exactly a new one, either. HTC went with a slider setup on the Windows Phone-powered HTC Surround. An interesting idea but not nearly the same as what's on the HTC One.

Here's what our own Alex Dobie had to say in our HTC One review:

This combination of larger speakers, more advanced membranes and Beats Audio results in the loudest and bassiest sound experience we’ve heard on any smartphone, without sacrificing clarity. For music and video content, that’s great. But on anything but the lowest volume setting, it’s almost too loud for regular notifications and ringtones. Powering on the HTC One for the first time, you’re assaulted by the full force of BoomSound in HTC jingle form. And the first phone call you receive on the device will be equally terrifying if it strikes you unprepared.

I tend to agree with most of that, especially on the low end, which is better than any smartphone I've ever used. The high-end is a little easier to get away with. As you'll hear in the comparisons below, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 handles that pretty well. Maybe even better. It does decently on volume, too, but the HTC One just has a much fuller sound. It's not quite properly conveyed here, I believe. But you'll get the idea.

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3 years ago

Samsung lock screen bypassed entirely with clever, meticulous trickery

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Another Samsung lock screen security issue has come to light today, potentially allowing someone with physical access to a Jelly Bean-based Samsung phone to bypass a pattern or PIN lock. Brought to light by blogger Terrence Eden -- who you may remember from his earlier Note 2 exploits -- this one's particularly impressive because of the clever array of tricks used to achieve the eventual unlock.

The method, demonstrated on a Galaxy Note 2 running Android 4.1.2, relies on the fact that returning from certain screens in the emergency dialer causes the previous app to be visible -- and fully usable -- for a split second. With precise timing and a bit of patience, it's possible to use these windows of usability to load Google Play, use voice search to find a screen unlocker app (yep, those exist), and run it, thus removing the lock screen security.

So in order to use this in the real world you'll need a fair bit of time alone with someone's phone, the ability to use voice search inconspicuously and the patience to correctly hit the required sequence of screen taps. Nevertheless, it's a incredibly clever way of circumventing Samsung's lock screen security, and Eden deserves credit for his ingenuity.

We've reached out to Samsung for comment on this issue, and we'll update this post with any official response. In the meantime we're not too worried about the real-world threats posed by this exploit, or any other that requires physical access to the phone for an extended period of time. Nevertheless, this is something that needs to be fixed.

We've got Terrence Eden's original video demonstration after the break.

Source: YouTube; via: SlashGear

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3 years ago

Reminder: Android 4.2.2 pushing now for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus

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Manual update file also is available

Just a quick reminder, folks, that Android 4.2.2 (Build JDQ39) is now available for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. You get all the benefits that other Galaxy Nexus owners have enjoyed for months, including DayDreams, lock screen widgets and the new trace keyboard, among other improvements.

Folks are reporting that the update is pushing out over the air. Or if you hate waiting and want to update manually, you can snag the file straight from Google here. (via XDA) As always, hit up our Verizon Galaxy Nexus forums if you need help or have any questions.

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3 years ago

UK retailer: Galaxy S4 pre-registrations 'four times' that of Galaxy S3

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UK mobile retailer the Carphone Warehouse has announced that it's received more than four times as much interest in the Galaxy S4 compared to last year's Galaxy S3. No specific numbers are revealed, but CPW said that pre-registration figures taken shortly after the Galaxy S4 announcement event were 446 percent of last year's Galaxy S3 pre-registrations.

Given Samsung's rise to Android dominance in the past year, we're not to surprised to see higher demand than ever for its upcoming flagship, and we're sure the company will have a big marketing push planned for next month's UK launch.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 is due to go on sale in the UK from Apr. 25/26.

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3 years ago

HTC One launch delayed, suppliers no longer see HTC as a 'tier-one' manufacturer

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The uphill battle for HTC continues. The proposed savior for the struggling company, the HTC One, now faces delays due to problems with component suppliers. The problem lies with one of the main selling points of the upcoming flagship phone - the "ultrapixel" camera. With the significant loss of profits and decrease in shipments HTC has had, an unnamed executive tells the WSJ that they are no longer considered a "tier-one" customer. This means they don't have the priority they once did with their parts suppliers, and are currently running short on components for the HTC One's camera and metal case.

It's worth noting that suppliers have not mentioned anything of the sort, and it's possible that frustrations have company executives a little emotional. This certainly seems the case with CEO Peter Chou, who The Verge tells us has stated he would step down if the HTC One "fails to become a hit with consumers". It's also hard to determine what a "hit with consumers" is. Focus Taiwan reports that pre-orders for the HTC One have exceeded the companies target, which sounds fairly successful to us. In short, we're not going to read too much into this one.

While there are still no concrete dates, HTC promises to start fulfilling pre-orders at the end of March in select markets, with a wider rollout scheduled for sometime in April. The HTC One's release is inching ever closer towards a confirmed release date of its strongest competitor, which could take away a much needed edge it would have with an earlier release.

Will fans wait it out through expected delays, or will we see potential buyers jumping ship for something else? Read the review and discuss in the forums.

Source: WSJ

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3 years ago

ZTE "Quantum" headed for Sprint?

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A new ZTE offering, tentatively named the Quantum, may be headed to a Sprint store near you. When compared to the recently released ZTE Force and upcoming ZTE Grand Memo, this looks to be a solid mid-tier phone. Labeled model number N8910, it is shown above sporting a 5" 720p screen with Android 4.1.2 and 4G LTE. Equipped with a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 and 1GB RAM, this phone won't be going up against the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One, but will certainly be much easier on the wallet. On the front is a 0.9 MP camera, and bringing up the rear is a 13 MP shooter. Wifi 802.11b/g/n dual-band and NFC are also included, as well as a SIM card slot - making this a potential world phone.

According to Android Police, the N8910 recently received Wifi and DLNA certifications, which means we may see the Quantum sooner rather than later. For those Sprint subscribers balling on a budget, keep an eye out for this one.

Source: Android Police

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3 years ago

HTC One review

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HTC returns with a sleek aluminum design, re-imagined software and a bold new camera experience

SanDisk

We’re all out of poetic ways to describe HTC’s current situation. A frustrating 2012 saw some of the year’s best mobile hardware being met with declining sales and market presence for the Taiwanese manufacturer. Once the leader of the Android pack,  HTC is increasingly seen as an also-ran.

That, in part, was down to the confused marketing strategy around last year’s HTC One series. The One X and One S were soon joined by Ones V, VX, XL, XT, XC, SU, SV, SC, and X+, further diluting the value of an already watery brand.

In 2013, however, there is only one One. The new HTC One is, as the name suggests, the singular focus of HTC’s high-end efforts. The company’s best build quality, software, screen and optics are to be brought to bear in a “kitchen sink” product that aims to leave no holds barred.

It’s also a device that seeks to achieve differentiation at every point on the spec sheet. As other smartphones are increasingly faceless, monolithic black slabs, HTC sandwiches its screen between two bassy front-facing speakers. BoomSound. As competitors crank out 13-megapixel shooters, HTC bucks the trend with a much lower megapixel count, but larger pixels and improved optics. UltraPixels. Add to that a new way to shoot and share images and video. Zoe Share. Plus, a new home screen experience that brings the world to you. BlinkFeed.

And let’s not forget how rare it is to come across a decent aluminum smartphone these days.

If HTC is to recover, it’ll be through a combination of intelligent marketing and great products. We can’t review the former, but you can bet we’re going to get stuck into the latter. In fact, we’ll do it right after the break, in our definitive review of the new HTC One.

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