Headlines

2 years ago

Vodafone Australia to live stream Samsung Galaxy S III event on Thursday

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While some of the UK despairs, our cousins down-under are building up in excitement. This coming Thursday, May 31, is the country's Samsung Galaxy S III launch event. Better still, those who can't be in Sydney to join in the fun, can watch it streamed online courtesy of Vodafone Australia. 

The stream will begin at 09:50 Sydney time, and will be available from the Vodafone Australia website. For anyone else around the world that's interested in watching, we've done a quick reckoner on what time you'll need to be watching in the UK and the US:

  • UK Time - 00:50
  • Eastern - 19:50 (Weds May 30)
  • Pacific - 16:50 (Weds May 30)

Let's hope that those delays on old Pebble Blue get worked out before the launch in Oz. 

via Ausdroid

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2 years ago

Samsung speaks out on Galaxy S III 'pebble blue' delays

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Blue version delayed in 'some regions' for next 2-3 weeks

Following yesterday's widespread reports that the "pebble blue" version of the Samsung Galaxy S III would miss the May 29/30 launch window, Samsung has released a statement offering an official explanation. Without going into specifics, the manufacturer seemed to pin the delay on quality concerns, possibly confirming recent rumors that it recently had to destroy several thousand defective pebble blue back covers.

Here's the statement in full --

“Samsung’s GALAXY S III Pebble Blue version comes with a newly invented blue colour and special hyperglaze material.

“In order to meet the highest internal quality standards and to provide the best quality GALAXY S III to customers, a short supply of Pebble Blue version is expected in some regions in the next 2-3 weeks.

“Samsung is working hard to ensure that customers will get the Pebble Blue coloured devices as soon as possible.”

We're not sure exactly how you go about "inventing" a color, but it seems that the combination of the blue shade and glossy finish presented some problems in the final few weeks of production. Hopefully the manufacturer's claims will prove accurate, and those who have their hearts set on a pebble blue will be able to get one soon enough. In the meantime, if you're after a Galaxy S III over the next few weeks, it looks like you'll be getting a marble white.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III launches in Europe today, sorta

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After what seems like an eternity of hype and pre-release buzz, today's the day you can actually (kinda) get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy S III in Europe. A triumphant Samsung media release announces that the phone launches in 28 countries today, though a few caveats apply.

Here in the UK, the phone will launch first at the Samsung brand store at the Westfield Stratford City shopping center this evening for pre-order customers only. A general launch is still expected for tomorrow, and according to the Twitters, English singer-songwriter Pixie Lott will be dropping by to pick up hers from noon on the 30th (hope she's not after one of those delayed pebble blues).

Wider availability is expected over the next few days -- the Carphone Warehouse will begin stocking the S III from May 31 (with a special pre-order event scheduled for the evening of the 30th at its leading London store). Meanwhile, independent retailers like Clove Technology are expecting to ship units starting June 1.

If you're picking up a Galaxy S III today, or if you've somehow already bagged one, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you go on.

Source: Samsung Korea, Pixie Lott

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2 years ago

Xperia Arc, Neo ICS updates now rolling out

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As promised, Sony Ericsson has started launched Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates for the remaining members of its 2011 Xperia family. Today the Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo get their updates straight to the latest version of Android -- 4.0.4. The update also introduces a few software enhancements found in Sony's UXP NXT UI, which you may remember from 2012 Xperias including the Xperia S. (There's no such luck for Xperia Play owners, as Sony confirmed last week that the Play will remain on Gingerbread.)

The update won't be sent out over the air, so you'll need to plug your Arc or Neo into the Sony PC Companion app to grab this optional, one-way update.

In other news, an update from Android 4.0.3 to 4.0.4 is reportedly hitting the 2011 Xperias that had already been updated to ICS, namely the Arc S, Neo V and Ray.

If you're updating your Xperia phone to ICS for the first time today, let us know how you're getting on down in the comments!

Source: XperiaBlog

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2 years ago

Huawei set to debut the Emotion UI for Android on June 9

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We can already hear the groans, another custom UI. Huawei are set to introduce their own brand of Android UI, dubbed Emotion, which will debut on June 9 ahead of a July arrival. 

Details are scarce, but given the recent device unveilings at CES and MWC it wouldn't be too far fetched to imagine that it will be incorporated into builds of Ice Cream Sandwich. A July launch will also tie in with the supposed arrival of the Ascend D Quad, which may well have been put back to July with this in mind. Interestingly enough, the hands on we had with the D Quad at CTIA showed Huawei's current attempts at a custom UI. 

There are no words on which devices may or may not get an update to Emotion, or for that matter if the western world will ever see it either. But, given Huawei's recent push to enter the global smartphone market, it's pretty likely we shall. What we really want though from Huawei, is the hardware. 

via Unwired View

 

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2 years ago

HTC Sensation XL Ice Cream Sandwich update rolling out

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The HTC Sensation XL is the latest Android phone to be graced with an update to version 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. According to forum reports, the update is now pushing out over the air to devices in Europe and Asia, so if you're rocking the Beats-toting 4.7-incher, then head to Settings > About phone > Software updates and hit that button.

The new version brings the Sensation XL up to Android 4.0.3, while HTC Sense remains at version 3.6. So XL owners will get many of the benefits of ICS (the new app dock, multi-tasking menu and face unlock), only without the completely re-vamped UI found on Sense 4.0 devices. This is the same version we've seen before in ICS updates for phones like the Rezound and (OG) Sensation.

Bear in mind that the update weighs in at just under 200MB, so if you're on a fixed data allowance, you may want to wait until you're on Wifi before downloading the new software.

Source: XDA

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2 years ago

Pebble Blue Samsung Galaxy S III delayed across the UK

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Sad news breaking this afternoon for anyone in the UK -- or abroad if you just couldn't wait -- that has pre-ordered a new Samsung Galaxy S III from Clove Technology. Just over 24 hours before the first appearance of the phone, the latest update from Clove has put the shipping dates back for both white and blue versions of the latest Samsung flagship. 

If you've ordered a white one, the delay is less. Instead of shipping on May 30, they will now begin shipping the following day, June 1, instead. It's the Pebble Blue variant that has a slight ring of alarm bells around it. But only slight. 

The first stock is now expected to arrive at Clove from June 5. The uneasy part, is that this date is still to be confirmed. 

For now, lets try not to panic too much. Yes, there have been rumors all over the interwebs about issues with the Pebble Blue Galaxy S III, and subsequent delays because of said rumored issues. At the moment, it is only Clove that have published details of any stock delays. 

We've reached out to our friends over at Clove to see if we can dig out some more details on this one. But, in the UK it's now out of office hours, so we may have to wait until morning. Sit tight folks. 

Update: The plot thickens, as it's now becoming clear this is a widespread delay --

  • Things are the same over at HandTec. They're on track for a May 31 release of the white version, but have no date available for the Pebble Blue. 
     
  • ​Digging through the UK carriers, it's clear that there is a blanket delay on the Pebble Blues. Three are showing a pre-order button for the white version, but "out of stock" next to the blue. O2 is the same story. Orange haven't changed from "coming soon" since the product page first went up, and T-Mobile still seem to be taking pre-orders for both versions. Over at Vodafone, the blue Galaxy S III is on back-order, with the aim to deliver within 2-4 weeks.
     
  • There are some small nuggets of good news though. The official Samsung store at Westfield has told us that they will still be holding their early launch for pre-order customers tomorrow, ahead of general release on May 30.
     
  • A press release from Carphone Warehouse today indicates that the retailer plans to stage an "early" launch on the evening of May 30, ahead of the Galaxy S III's general launch across its stores nationwide on May 31. No word on which colors will be available.
     
  • Supermarket giant Tesco -- who also have a phone network -- have added the following message to their website: “Please note: we have been advised by Samsung that stock of the Samsung Galaxy S III in Blue has been delayed. We will despatch your pre-order as soon as stock is available.”

Keep it locked to Android Central, we'll keep you posted as anything new comes in.

Source: Clove Technology

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia U review

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Despite some successes last year with devices like the Xperia Arc, Sony’s gotten off to a shaky start in 2012. It was first to market with a new flagship device, in the form of the Xperia S, only to be eclipsed just a month later by HTC One X. And with the formidable Samsung Galaxy S III looming, Sony’s flagship product looks set to remain on the sidelines.

So could the Japanese manufacturer fare better in the entry-level space, with a phone like the Xperia U? At first glance, the device sounds like a winner -- a budget smartphone with a dual-core CPU, Sony’s Bravia Engine display tech and excellent build quality. But could this be undone by a focus on visual gimmickry, and the inclusion of an aging version of Android? Find out after the break as we kick off our full review of the Sony Xperia U.

 


Good build quality, solid specs and decent performance. Excellent value for money, and an ICS update due in the weeks ahead...


…but in the meantime, it’s yet another Gingerbread phone. Swappable plastic bottoms are a bit of a gimmick. Dismal 4GB of media storage. Over-compression issues with the video camera. A few intermittent software bugs.


The Xperia U isn’t a flawless performance from Sony, but it is a nicely balanced entry-level handset all the same. The tiny amount of media storage, and lack of any expandable options, will be a deal-breaker for many. But around this price point, it's difficult to think of a phone that offers better value for money.

 

Inside this review

More info

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2 years ago

Orange UK showing off the UK's first Intel Android smartphone this week

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We've known Intel Medfield powered Android devices have been on the horizon now since CES in January. This little invite just landed in our inbox though. This coming Thursday, May 31, Orange UK will be showcasing their own-brand Intel phone, codenamed Santa Clara, which  will also become the first Intel Android device to hit the UK market. 

Naturally, we can't tell you where and when -- that's top secret -- but we've been waiting to get our hands on some Intel hardware since the grand unveiling in Las Vegas. We've also been told that Santa Clara won't be the device's launch name, so we should see a little more information on that as well. We'll also be looking to receive some launch dates and pricing information. Price is going to be the key component for the Santa Clara to be a success. Orange's own brand phones have traditionally been low end, low price affairs picked up by pay-as-you-go customers. 

One of the burning questions for prospective buyers is, will it see Ice Cream Sandwich? It's also sure to be one of the questions asked at some point during the session -- most probably by us -- so fingers crossed we'll come away satisified. 

Orange are sure to be marketing this one -- and the Intel Inside branding -- quite hard. Intel is a brand that the majority of average consumers are familiar with, so playing on it makes a whole heap of sense. Us though, we're more interested in what it can do. It'll be filled with Orange branding, Orange apps, Orange wallpapers -- a whole lot of Orange. But hopefully that won't detract from the real nuts and bolts of the phone. In any case, we're looking forward to going hands on. Intel's going to be a big deal.

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2 years ago

Video of ICS on an Xperia S will whet your whistle until the real thing drops

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First the Xperia S was going to get Ice Cream Sandwich in mid-April, then late May or early June, then finally sometime in Q2 (which will probably be June, just not early June). As the days drag on and your appetite for Android 4.0 grows, we're happy to bring you tidbits when we can that can satiate the incredible desire for the latest and greatest.

Our friends over at XperiaBlog happened to get their hands on a leaked video of Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, running on an Xperia S (courtesy of Sony XP). A couple of highlights include Sony's take on the lock screen, a slick music player, and a gorgeous, streamlined gallery.

I've always said seeing is believing, though, so we've got said video after the break.

Source: SonyXP via XperiaBlog

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