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3 years ago

Sony 'HuaShan' shots leak - Xperia Z's mid-range sibling

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Sony traditionally showcases its mid-range products at Mobile World Congress, and it looks like this year's offering is the C5303 "HuaShan." The HuaShan -- named after one of China's great five mountains -- has appeared for the first time in leaked shots from German site USP Forum. And on the whole, it looks like a cheaper version of the recently-announced Xperia Z. We're still dealing with an unassuming rounded rectangle design, and the Xperia Z's signature power button can be seen on the right edge, along with a dedicated camera key.

The back appears to be furnished in black soft-touch plastic, with a central camera protruding slightly from the chassis. It's an altogether more plasticky affair than the Xperia Z, which sandwiches its components between two sheets of glass.

According to early benchmark information, it looks like this device is packing a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU (compared to the Xperia Z's 1.5GHz quad-core) and running at a screen resolution of 1280x720, with on-screen buttons. One of today's shots shows Android 4.1.2 running on the phone, same as its high-end counterpart.

Assuming Sony chooses to unveil its mid-range stuff at MWC -- and there are enough letters left in its alphabetic naming scheme -- we'll be live from Barcelona next month with full coverage. 

More pics after the break.

Source: USP forum; via: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 heading to Middle East - Saudi Arabia launch 'very soon'

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Looks like LG and Google's Nexus 4 is starting to spread its reach across the world. We've already heard that Canadian carriers and Australian retailers will begin selling the phone this February, and now it seems Saudi Arabia is also set to get the LG-made Nexus.

A post on the LG Electronics KSA Facebook page says it'll launch in the country "very soon," but gives no indication as to when exactly the launch will take place, or where it'll be available for sale.

Meanwhile, the device has consistently sold out on the Google Play Store, in the U.S., UK, Canada and elsewhere. LG representatives have blamed higher than expected demand for the scarcity of Nexus 4 stock, though the manufacturer expects to have the supply issues resolved by mid-February.

Source: LG Electronics KSA; Thanks, Follower!

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 'most recommended' smartphone in UK

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Samsung's Android smartphones are most recommended by UK retailers, according to new market research, with the Galaxy S3 being the most recommended handset. According to research carried out by Informa Telecoms and Media, which carried out the survey in leading high-street and carrier stores, sales assistants were more likely to recommend Samsung handsets than competing phones from Apple, HTC, Nokia or others.

At the other end of the scale, Android rivals like ZTE, Motorola, LG, Huawei had next to no in-store presence in the UK, Informa found.

According to UK newspaper The Telegraph, Infroma considers it "likely that sales assistants see the Samsung devices as a safe bet to earn greater commissions."

"The mystery shop showed that the most recommended Samsung handsets were the Galaxy SIII and the Galaxy Note II, despite having been on the market longer than the latest handsets from Apple, Nokia and HTC," said Julian Jest of Informa.

"However, most surprising was the way that, despite an in-store advertising campaign and recent product launch, Apple was recommended in only two stores, 3 and Phones 4 U, with both recommending the iPhone 5."

The Galaxy S3 was the most successful Android phone of 2012, even outselling Apple's iPhone in certain quarters. Sales of the device recently topped 30 million worldwide, as total Galaxy S line shipments reached 100 million.

Source: The Telegraph; via: iMore

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3 years ago

HTC 'M7' parts caught on video

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Droid DNA-like design in a smaller chassis, with a dedicated camera button to boot

With the recent emergence of certain leaked photos, we've slowly been able to piece together a picture of HTC's upcoming 'M7' handset. And the successor to the One X has cropped up on camera again today, disassembled, in the form couple of leaked component parts. ETrade Supply got hold of what seems to be the back case and front housing of the phone, which looks a little smaller than the similarly-designed Droid DNA. That suggests we might be dealing with a 4.7-inch screen, as has been rumored in recent months.

Also of note is the second front-facing speaker down below, which roughly matches a render that leaked out a couple of weeks ago. And there's what seems to be a dedicated camera button on the right edge, below the volume rocker, an unusual sight on an HTC Android phone.

Without the front glass in place -- not to mention functioning innards -- it's difficult to get an overall impression of the phone. But it looks like we're dealing with a handset that shares much in common with the DNA and its international cousin, the HTC Butterfly. The edges are squared off, in stark contrast to the curved One X and One S, and there's a slight hump to the back, like the DNA and Windows Phone 8X.

There's no way of knowing whether this is a finalized HTC design or merely a prototype, but the parts shown in today's video certainly tick all the boxes we were expecting from a 2013 HTC flagship. The 'M7' is expected at or around this year's Mobile World Congress in late February.

Source: Etrade Supply

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3 years ago

CyanogenMod 10.1 nightlies for the Verizon and Sprint Galaxy Note 2 now available

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The CyanogenMod team has just given Verizon and Sprint Galaxy Note 2 users something to be happy about -- official 10.1 nighly builds for download. Users of these devices have been patiently waiting as development went along on the latest CyanogenMod builds, and now they have their chance. Of course these nightly builds are far less stable than general releases and may have many bugs, but some users are completely willing to put up with it.

If you're willing to deal with some quirks you can see what CyanogenMod 10.1 has to offer at the source links below. If you're not so sure how or why you should get into these nightly builds, head to our forums and get a few things figured out first. And remember, backing up before flashing is a great idea!

Source: Verizon Note 2 Download; Sprint Note 2 Download

More: Galaxy Note 2 Forums

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3 years ago

Verizon modifying prepaid plans Feb 1 with new $60 500MB tier

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Verizon doesn't put much focus on its prepaid plans, but according to a leaked document obtained by PhoneArena it will be dropping prices on prepaid offerings starting February 1st. Verizon's current offering is at $80 for smartphones, with unlimited talk/text and 2GB of data during its double data promotion. When the new plans take effect next week, the $80 plan is going away, making room for two new tiers at $60 and $70. The lower tier will offer 500MB of data, the higher 2GB, both with unlimited talk and text.

The document specifically says $80 plan users will be grandfathered in, but considering the new price structure there's no reason to stay on it. Users wanting more than 2GB of data will be paying $20 per 1GB overage, which is $5 more than adding an extra 1GB to a postpaid plan. Also remember that Verizon's prepaid plans are 3G only for the time being. This is still a good option for a select set of people though, so we're glad to see Verizon drop its prices a bit. Stick around after the break to see the document and details of the new plans.

Source: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

Infobar A02 announced on KDDI in Japan with interesting UI and design

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Japan is well-known for its seriously interesting mobile products, and the Infobar A02 on KDDI doesn't disappoint on design or creativity in the least. The Infobar series has traditionally been a design-leading line, and the A02 follows along with a striking thin unibody design in red, white and blue varieties. The design continues onto the interface, which is built on Android 4.1 -- although you wouldn't know it by looking at the homescreen. Closer to the paradigm of Windows Phone, the Inforbar uses a tiled interface comprised of smaller app tiles and larger widget tiles, in a vertical scrolling list.

This handset is actually manufactured by HTC, and has some top-notch specs on the inside. We're looking at a 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 16GB of (expandable) storage, 1GB of RAM, 720x1280 TFT display, 2100mAh battery and of course LTE. Like many high-end Japanese handsets, the Infobar A02 is also waterproof and dustproof, and includes NFC for mobile payments as well as a 1seg TV antenna.

This is quite an interesting handset on all fronts, and worth a look at some of the materials on KDDI's product page for the phone. If you're interested, head to the source link and check out the galleries, especially the pictures showing the lineage of Infobar design for the last 10 years.

Source: KDDI

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3 years ago

HTC Butterfly to have companion 'Mini' handset available in China

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HTC looks poised to launch a companion handset device in the Chinese market to go along with the new HTC Butterfly (aka Droid DNA.) The Mini, which looks similar to many candybar phones of yesteryear, will pair with Bluetooth via NFC to your smartphone and let you make and receive calls, view call logs and calendar information on its monochrome screen. HTC apparently envisions the Mini being used for more than just calls though, acting as a remote for when the Butterfly is plugged into a TV and helping users find their Butterfly when it is lost.

At first glance we're not so sure how adding a second handset device makes anything easier on the consumer, because at some point you just start running out of pocket space, but you could easily see this as an accessory for around the house rather than when you're out and about. Come home, plop your phone on the wireless charger at the door, and just have the Mini with you to make/receive calls. It could easily be used as a home phone replacement. Let's also remember that different markets demand different features from phones, and this really could be appealing to Chinese users.

Because this looks to be a China-specific accessory, we wouldn't be surprised if it never made its way to other countries. It's interesting to see HTC experimenting with different accessories though, and we don't know what development of the Mini may lead to in the future for other markets around the world.

Source: Slashgear

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3 years ago

Sony releases Jelly Bean alpha for Xperia T

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The official Sony Xperia T Jelly Bean update might still be a few months away, but in order to give developers a sneak peek at what's ahead, Sony has released an early alpha ROM for the device. The Xperia T Jelly Bean alpha can be flashed using Sony's own flash tool, after unlocking the Xperia T via the official bootloader unlock utility.

A few caveats apply here -- radio functionality like Bluetooth, Wifi and mobile data is not included (likely for regulatory reasons), nor are Google apps. In addition, Sony says the UI has not yet been updated to reflect the final look and feel of the Xperia Jelly Bean firmware -- i.e. what's on the new Xperia Z. And crucially, if you unlock your Xperia T and apply this alpha ROM, you won't be able to update to the official Jelly Bean firmware once it's released. So this ROM really is one for advanced users and adventurous devs only.

Hopefully today's release will accelerate the progress of Jelly Bean-based custom ROMs for the Xperia T. If nothing else, we'd expect this to be hacked into something with working radios and Google Apps in a relatively short space of time. If you possess both a Sony Xperia T and a strong sense of adventure, you can find full instructions over at the source link.

Source: Sony Developer World Blog

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 headed to Fido in Canada next month

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Hot on the heels of Videotron's announcement yesterday, rival Canadian network Fido has announced that it too will carry the LG Nexus 4. The phone has appeared in Fido's reservation system, with a release scheduled for sometime in February. To secure a Nexus 4, Canadians will need to pay a C$40 up-front reservation fee.

Pricing information is promised in the near future, but if other territories are anything to go by, it's likely the unsubsidized cost will be somewhat higher than the Canadian Google Play Store price.

For an overview of how we've been getting on with the Nexus 4 since its November launch, check out our 'Nexus 4, two months on' feature.

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3 years ago

Samsung announces Galaxy Xcover 2, new ruggedized mid-range phone

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Following some brief leakage earlier this week, Samsung has announced the Galaxy Xcover 2, a new ruggedized mid-range phone running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. As the name suggests, it’s a follow-up to last year’s Galaxy Xcover, and it comes packing IP67-rated water and dust resistance.

Hardware-wise, we’re looking at a dual-core 1GHz CPU running the show, with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD slot. The screen’s a 4-inch WVGA (800x480), and there’s an 5MP rear camera and a VGA front-facer. (A dedicated camera key is also included.)

As ruggedized smartphones go, the Xcover 2 brings some interesting hardware and design chops, and the fact that it’s running an up-to-date version of Android should result in a pretty good user experience, too. Today’s announcement doesn’t specify any release date, but earlier leaks have suggested it could be out as soon as next month. 

We've got more images after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC announces Desire U, 4-inch mid-range device for Taiwan

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HTC has just quietly rolled out a spec page for a new device, the mid-range Desire U, targeted at the Taiwan market. Falling in line design-wise with the rest of the recent "One" and "Desire" devices, the Desire U has a smooth plastic body and rounded edges with a classy looking circle design that accents the back plate. On the inside, this device is clearly lower end, with a 1GHz processor, 4GB of (expandable) storage, 512MB of RAM and a 480x800 (WVGA) display. The U has a 1650mAh battery, which should give a good bit of life for a device with these specs.

The device is a Taiwanese listing, so the frequencies on this device are set up for that market -- 900 and 2100MHz HSPA along with 900, 1800 and 1900MHz GPRS/EDGE. No one is likely to import this, but with a striking design and acceptable specs, this low-ranger may do well in specific markets. We're finding unlocked pricing of about $275, which is quite competitive.

Source: HTC (translated)

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3 years ago

Leaked press image of forthcoming Huawei Ascend P2 emerges ahead of MWC unveiling

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This press image obtained by @evleaks claims to be the next high end offering from Huawei. Following on from the Ascend D2 which first launched at CES, the Ascend P2 that we see here is also reportedly joining the 1080p display club. Only, unlike the D2 which comes in at 5 inches, the P2 display is reported to be just 4.5 inches with on-screen buttons. 

Leaks of recent Huawei devices have proved pretty accurate, so while the usual rumor tag applies here too, there's plenty of cause to believe this is what we'll be seeing from Huawei in Barcelona next month at Mobile World Congress.

The P2, besides the display, is also reported to contain an in-house built 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a pretty hefty 3000mAh battery. Software is said to be Jelly Bean, with no indication as to which version.  If it all pans out, it's clear to see that Huawei didn't just leave their big guns in Las Vegas. How much is true remains to be seen, but we'll be live from Barcelona next month to take a look at whatever it is that Huawei brings. 

Source: @evleaks (Unwired View)

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3 years ago

Out of stock: T-Mobile's Nexus 4 inventory lasts about a day

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Can't say this is much of a surprise: A day after T-Mobile put the Nexus 4 back up for sale on its website, it's being listed as out of stock. TMo managed to keep it up for sale longer than just about anyone at this point, though, so we're not going to ding it too badly here.

On the other hand, that takes another major retailer off the table at a time when even Google still can't sell its flagship phone.

Source: T-Mobile; Thanks, Frank!

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean OTA out now for HTC One X devices on Telus

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Canadian carrier Rogers started its OTA rollout for the One X earlier this month, and now Telus has started pushing it as well. Stated on the official HTC Canada twitter account, the update should start coming OTA (Over The Air) to users as of last night. It will be pushed automatically, but eager users can always check in manually and should have the update waiting at that point as well. These big updates tend to roll out in groups or phases, but usually don't take long to hit everyone.

One user in our forums, guyfrombc, has the update downloading on their device, so we know it's out there in the wild at least in some capacity. Are you seeing it on your own Telus One X yet? Head to the forums and let others know what your experience is.

Source: @HTCCanada; More: HTC One X Forums

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