Headlines

3 years ago

TELUS sets up new site to keep customers informed about software update release dates

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Sometimes getting information from the carriers on device software updates is a painful process. They either don't know, won't tell or ignore the concerns altogether. TELUS in Canada is looking to change that just a little by adding some transparency to their device update process. TELUS has now launched a new site that highlights all the most recent and known upcoming device updates for not only Android devices but also their complete lineup as a whole. Sure, some slots still just simply say "Coming Soon" but clearly, TELUS is committed to at least acknowledging when updates are coming and that folks, is better than saying nothing at all. You can check out the new site via the link below.

Source: TELUS

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3 years ago

Kyocera Rise hands-on

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Kyocera this morning announced two new devices, the Kyocera Hydro (which we took a look at earlier), and the Kyocera Rise. At first the two devices don't look extremely different, they have the same screen size, and many of the same specs, but a big difference with the Rise is the inclusion of the physical QWERTY keyboard. Just like the Hydro the Rise features a 3.2-inch IPS display, but this device is not rugged nor waterproof, which gears it towards a different crowd.

Touring the hardware you will notice the set up is nothing we haven't seen, but they have added some nice touches to the device style wise to make it appealing. At the top you have the power button and headphone jack, on the left you have a volume rocker and the micro-USB charging port. On the right there is a dedicated camera key, which is something that I enjoy greatly. The back of the device is where the style really shines, with the two tone colors, and the nice glossy back that was used.

With the same 1GHz processor, and 2GB of on board storage for the device, the device does not lack speed, but it also isn't the fastest we have seen. The custom lock screen and Eco-Mode is also found on the Rise, and while only small additions to ICS, it is nice that they went above and beyond to bring something unique. The keyboard is actually very easy to use, and the keys are well spaced so that typing on them is rather accurate.

The device is geared towards a more entry level crowd, the specs and overall product show that, but that doesn't mean that it should be shun. They have done a great job with the device, and if you are looking for something entry level, want your first Android device, or want to grab something nice for your parents, this is a great option. Hit the break for some more shots and a video tour of the device.

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3 years ago

Kyocera Hyrdo Hands-on

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Earlier this morning at CTIA we saw Kyocera announce two new devices, the Kyocera Hydro and the Kyocera Rise. The aim of these devices was pretty evident, featuring 3.5-inch displays it was rather obvious that they weren't debuting some flagship devices, but that also doesn't mean that we should write them off without a fair look at them. First up is the Kyocera Hydro, their submersible Android device that is geared towards rugged users.

While the display may only be 3.5 inches, it's tempered by the fact that Kyocera opted to include an IPS display on this device. Some may find it to be a bit small, but aside from the personal preference there, Kyocera has done a rather nice job with the display. Right off the bat the one thing you will notice is the choice they made in regards to the buttons under the display, and unfortunately they have decided to go with four of them instead of three. This style decision is one that many may not enjoy, but it is there and we can't change that now.

Touring the hardware there isn't much different from other devices except when you flip it over you will notice the rugged design on the back. At the bottom of the battery door is the lock that helps create the waterproof seal for the device, since it is able to be submerged for up to a meter for 30 minutes without causing any damage to the device. Up at the top you have the 3.2MP camera which by no means is the greatest on the market, but it will do the trick.

Overall they have left the software of the device pretty stock, minus the lock screen, which they have customized in a way that will please some and annoy others. The lock screen has a large unlock button in the center, and right below that is the shortcut to the camera. To unlock the device, or access the camera you will need to flick the icon, which I found to be pretty easy to do, not an excessive force or repeated attempts were required.

Inside you have a 1GHz processor to help the device move along fluidly, along with 2GB of internal storage space for your favorite apps and files. The device allows for added storage as well via micro-SD which is under the sealed battery door. While far from a flagship device, the Kyocera Hydro is definitely a powerful little device that is sure to please the crowd of Android users looking for something a little more rugged. Hit the break for a quick video tour and some more hands on shots.

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3 years ago

Six stages in the production of the HTC One S

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The introduction of micro-arc oxidation on the HTC One S has been one of the more interesting (and controversial) moves in the smartphone manufacturing process. As you'll recall, the MAO treatment basically fries the aluminum shell in 1.21 Gigawats of electricity, changing the metal into a near-ceramic and giving the phone a decidedly unique look and feel. MAO's not without its share of criticism, though, with some complaining of chipping. Regardless of the outcome, you've got to admit that the process itself is pretty damn cool.

At HTC's booth at CTIA in Orleans, we're getting another look at that process, with the One S stripped down to its bare metal and shown through a half-dozen manufacturing steps. Sadly, nobody's frying any metal here, but we still get a pretty cool look at the production process of one of the sexiest phones in recent memory. Check it out.

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3 years ago

HTC EVO Design 4G coming to Boost Mobile

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Pre-paid carrier Boost Mobile has announced that it's to pick up its first Wimax smartphone -- the HTC EVO Design 4G. The EVO Design, which first appeared on Sprint back last November, will be available for $299 from May 31 in Boost Mobile stores and "select independent wireless dealer locations." Generally considered to be the EVO 3D's little brother, the EVO Design combines a 1.2GHz single-core CPU with a 5MP camera, 2GB of storage, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC Sense 3.6. As we pointed out in our review, it's a decent mid-range handset, albeit one that's a little lacking in star quality.

Boost says it'll sell the EVO Design 4G in conjunction with its "Android Monthly Unlimited" plan, with payments that start at $55 per month and shrink down to $40 per month with successive on-time payments. We've got the full presser after the break.

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3 years ago

Wimax hits Virgin Mobile with the HTC EVO V 4G

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Virgin Mobile this morning announced its first Wimax-powered Android smartphone, the HTC EVO V 4G. It'll run on Sprint's current 3G and 4G networks, as was foretold in its recent Q1 earnings call. Specs are as follows:

  • 4.3-inch qHD touchscreen
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • HTC Sense 3.6
  • Mobile hotspot capability – Connect up to five Wi-Fi devices
  • 5MP camera with video and 3D HD imaging, and 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 1730mAh battery (up to six hours of talk time)
  • 1GB RAM/4GB ROM
  • External micro SD memory card slot up to 32GB (8GB card included)
  • HDMI and Bluetooth-capable

The main attraction, of course, is Virgin's plans, which start at $35 a month for 300 voice minutes and data and messaging. Adding on a mobile hotspot will cost another $15 a month.

The phone, which costs $299, will be available online starting May 31 and in stores sometime in June. We've got the full presser after the break.

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3 years ago

International HTC One S gets first software update - v1.78 now rolling out

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If you've got an unlocked international (non-carrier branded) HTC One S, it's time to start hitting that "Check for updates" button, as a new firmware version is being pushed out over-the-air. The update to v1.78 weighs in at just under 60MB, and remains based on Android 4.0.3. The only obvious change we're noticing so far is the removal of the three-dot menu software menu button in certain Google apps. YouTube, for example, used to show an ICS-style overflow button up to and down below before, and now the unsightly bottom bar has gone. It's also likely this latest OTA includes a fix for the Wifi disconnection bug that's been plaguing some One S owners since day one, though as it's an intermittent issue we haven't been able to confirm this just yet.

It's worth noting that today's update is for unbranded One S models only, so if you bought yours through a carrier, you may have to wait an extra few weeks for a network-approved version to be pushed out. But those running an unlocked, unbranded One S can head head to Settings > About phone > Software updates to grab the latest OTA. When you're done, be sure to keep us posted of any changes or fixes down in the comments.

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3 years ago

Virgin Mobile Australia could stock the Samsung Galaxy S III

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Everyone's talking about the Samsung Galaxy S III. We've talked a whole heck of a lot about the Samsung Galaxy S III. But, what we really want, is the device in peoples hands. Worldwide. Heading down under to Australia, it seems that smaller carrier Virgin Mobile Australia could be shaping up to stock the device. This follows on from the nations three major carriers, who are already offering up interest registration pages.

The carrier recently put out a tweet linking a registration page for interest in Samsung Galaxy devices. While not specifically mentioning the Galaxy S III, as the guys over at Ausdroid point out, there's surely not much other reason for such a link at this time. 

via Ausdroid

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3 years ago

HTC EVO 4G LTE user guide slips out

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Now that we've gone through the "getting started" guide for the Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE, it's time to take a  look at the entire user manual, handy for those who really what to know what they're buying before they buy it. Flipping through, we're mostly seeing what we broke down for you in our Sense 4 walkthrough. But another burning question indeed is answered -- you'll be able to turn off LTE data in the mobile settings, which will go a long way toward prolonging battery life.

Give the whole thing a gander (and don't forget about our EVO 4G LTE hands-on), and let's all hope we get a release date soon.

Download: EVO 4G LTE user guide (pdf); via InsideSprintNow, EVO 4G LTE forums

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3 years ago

AT&T Xperia Ion could be coming in June, according to ad

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We haven't seen much of the AT&T Sony Xperia Ion since it first reared its head back at CES. But if a recent banner ad appearance is to be believed, Sony's 4.7-inch LTE device could be arriving stateside sooner rather than later. The text ad, sighted in Gmail by DroidMatters​, states that the Xperia Ion is "coming exclusively to AT&T in June." That's not entirely surprising given the Ion's purported "Q2" launch window, but it's a welcome sign that the phone hasn't been subjected to any further delays.

The Ion, which we first got to play with back in January, represents an important step in Sony's efforts to gain a greater foothold in the U.S. smartphone market. The manufacturer will be hoping the combination of a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, a 4.7-inch 720p display and 4G LTE connectivity will tempt American buyers over the next couple of months.

Source: DroidMatters; via: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

Kyocera announces the Hydro and Rise Ice Cream Sandwich handsets

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Kyocera has brought two new handsets to CTIA, the Hydro and the Rise, and they're letting them out of the bag this morning. Both phones are decidedly entry level, use the latest technology to enhance voice call sounds, and run Ice Cream Sandwich. The Hydro is a 3.5-inch HVGA with an MSM8655 Snapdragon at 1 GHz, and 512 MB of RAM. It's also waterproof at 1 meter for 30 minutes, because according to Kyocera "70% of users polled said that water resistance is an important feature in their next phones." We can't argue there, we've all seen horror stories about water and smartphones.

The Rise shares the same specs (and overall basic design) with a four-row horizontal sliding QWERTY keyboard instead of the water proof design. Again Kyocera tells us why, saying that "69 percent of consumers say QWERTY keyboards are a must-have or nice-to-have feature in their next mobile phones." A statistic that I can get behind, but I'm thinking most readers on the Internet will disagree with. 

Possibly the most interesting specification is the "Tissue Conduction" audio technology. Originally designed for hearing aid devices, the tech uses a piezoelectric transducer that transmits sound through air as sound waves, and through soft tissue as vibrations. This "delivers dramatically improved hearing in noisy environments" according to Kyocera. You'll simply place any portion of the "A-cover" over the outer ear and ambient noise is cut and the transducer splits the signal to transmit on both paths. It's a really interesting concept, and one we can't wait to try.

There's no word on carrier, release dates, or prices, but both phones are equipped with EVDO radios and should appear later this year on Sprint or Verizon. Given Sprint's relation with Kyocera, my money is on the Now Network. See the full specifications for both after the break.

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3 years ago

Late Night Poll: LCD or AMOLED in your device?

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Some of us are self-professed hardware junkies, some of us aren't.  But everybody has to do one thing to use their device, and that's look at the display.  Everybody's eyes are different, but one thing is definite, the better the display the better the overall experience.

This one goes back and forth, and the discussion gets heated at times, but we want to know, do you prefer an AMOLED display or LCD display on your device?

Do you prefer LCD or AMOLED technology in your smartphone's screen?

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3 years ago

Droid Incredible 4G LTE hands-on

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We’re here in New Orleans on the eve of CTIA, and Verizon has the next star in their lineup on-hand. The Droid Incredible 4G LTE made its rounds tonight, and from our short but sweet time with the device, we really like what we see. The next-gen Incredible is what would happen if the Droid line mated with the One line: quality HTC hardware with Verizon’s signature touch.

It would be simple to compare the new Incredible to the One S, but despite the similarities, the two are quite different and independently unique in their own right. Sure, they share the same display technology, the same processor, and the same user experience, but aesthetically, the two phones are quite different. Where the One S draws its ooohs and aaahs from its svelte physique, the Droid Incredible 4G LTE makes no apologies about its heftier footprint. If you’re familiar with the first two Incredibles, you’re going to feel right at home here. While they don’t pretend to be the most beautiful devices on the market, they certainly have a charm that’s hard to deny. The textured back, the chromed bezel, and even the 4-inch qHD display isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it adds up to a nice experience.

Internally, it’s pretty clear that Verizon has gotten its hands on HTC’s latest and greatest technology. We’ve got a 1.2 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, along with a full GB of RAM and 8 gigs of internal storage. The Droid Incredible 4G LTE’s got Ice Cream Sandwich onboard, which translates to the same experience we fell in love with on the One line. Sense 4.0 is like butter on top of Google’s latest OS. It’s fluid, it’s fast, and it looks absolutely stunning. I’ll go on record tonight and say that Sense has made some honest to goodness improvements to Android 4.0.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the main difference between the Incredible and HTC’s flagship devices: the camera. The Incredible lacks HTC’s ImageSense technology, though Verizon says that this camera is respectable in its own right. Regardless, we think its kind of a drag that Big Red customers are going to miss out on one of the best smartphone camera experiences on the market today.

We’ll get more down and dirty with the new Incredible in the coming days and weeks. You can grab yours “in the coming weeks” but until then, sit tight and take a look below at what we got to see tonight.

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3 years ago

HTC Rezound gets yet another Ice Cream Sandwich leak

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This should be old hat by now -- an ICS ROM has leaked out for the HTC Rezound. Just like the last leak, and the one before that, and the one before that, you need to either be S-Off or completely stock to load it, and this go 'round it brings new radios, and (you won't like this part) takes away the hidden dialer menu. That means if you've been using the Rezound on T-Mobile or AT&T, you'll want to stay far away from this leak, and likely the official update when it comes around. If you're rockin' the Rezound and wanna give it a look, hit the source links.

Source: Android Police via Android Central forums. Thanks, piizzadude!

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3 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Composition

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Take a look through the past photo contests, and you'll see that many of us have no problem getting clear, and beautiful pictures with our Android devices. With the HTC One series and the new awesome camera, we expect to see even more great pics. So, it's time we turn our fun little photo contests into a learning experience! 

This week we're going to focus on photo composition. Pointing the camera at something interesting and snapping a picture is more than fine for pictures to share with friends and family, but working on how your picture is laid out and the way it all looks takes things up a notch. Take a second and read Leanna's great article about the rule of thirds over at iMore. She did a great job at taking the theory of the golden ratio and breaking down how it helps make for great photographs. She really knows her stuff, and this week we're going to pay attention to how we set up our shots and follow her examples. Take the time to frame your subject, and show us a picture that has that professional look to it. I can't wait to see them this week.

We'll sift through them all, and pick the one that turns out the very best. The winner will get a pair of Beats by Dr. Dre Tour High-Resolution In-Ear Headphones so they can relax and listen to some music in style after a long day of taking pictures. There are a couple of rules, be sure to follow them:

  • Use an Android device to take a picture. Any Android device
  • Submit the picture in the forum thread we have set up for this week, so everyone can see your handiwork. E-mail was swamping us, and not everyone got to see all the entries. This way, we get to see them all. We like seeing it all.
  • Only submit one. We're going to check, and we'll know if you try to game the system.
  • Be sure to tell what device you used, and any effects or filters used on the photo. We can learn from these as well as have fun.
  • Get your picture in by Friday midnight (your local time). We'll pick the winner and the runners-up and throw them on the blog Sunday afternoon.

Good luck everyone!

Enter the weekly photo contest

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