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3 years ago

Sprint aims for the low end with the Sprint Force

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Four-inch Android smartphone shouldn't wow anybody, but at least it's cheap

Sprint this morning announced the Sprint Force, a 4-inch low-end smartphone of dubious origin. The Force is running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by a 1.5-GHz dual-core processor. The display is a mere 480x800 is resolution. It's got a 5-megapixel camera on the back with flash, and a 1MP shooter out front. It'll serve as an LTE hotspot for up to eight devices and features Sprint ID.

The Sprint Force is available for $49.99 on a two-year contract, after $50 rebate.

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3 years ago

Reminder: Spring into TEGRA Contest Ends Tonight!

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Quick reminder for all...  The 'Spring into TEGRA' contest ends TONIGHT at 11:59 PM EST! Be sure to check out the contest details below and submit your entry for a chance to win one of TWO HTC One X+ devices!*

To enter, simply follow these three steps:

  1. Take a picture of yourself with your tired and worn out mobile device.
  2. Head over to the official contest thread.
  3. Post the picture, AND tell us why you absolutely NEED a new HTC One X+.

Head over to the official contest thread and get your entry in. You never know… with a little luck and creativity you may end up with a brand new device at your front door.

* Contest closes on March 1, 2013, at 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be selected shortly thereafter via PM and e-mail. ONE entry per person. Contest open to all Android Central members.

Good luck!

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3 years ago

AT&T Sony Xperia TL Jelly Bean update now rolling out

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Following in the footsteps of its international cousin, the Sony Xperia T, AT&T's Xperia TL is now being updated to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. In addition to the underlying OS update and all the performance and feature improvements it brings, TL owners will get a new and improved camera app with "Superior Auto" mode, a redesigned home screen launcher and a new lock screen setup. (All features from Sony's latest handset, the Xperia Z.)

Based on our recent hands-on time with Jelly Bean on the Xperia T, we'd say TL owners will want to grab this update as soon as possible. There are no reports of the new firmware heading out over-the-air just yet, but it is available as a manual update through Sony's PC Companion app.

Any Xperia TL owners out there? Hit the comments and let us know how you get on with this latest update.

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

HTC confirms some current devices will get Sense 5, or at least parts of it

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Don't get too excited yet, however; details still loom

HTC overnight on its Facebook page publicly confirmed what it first told us some weeks ago (and that we've largely expected anyway) -- that some current phones will receive updates that contain some features of Sense 5, which will make its debut in the coming weeks on the new HTC One.

Devices specifically mentioned were the HTC One X, One X+ and One S -- from the original "HTC One" line of 2012 -- as well as the HTC Butterfly, which was the first 1080p display phone that emerged late in the year.

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend G710 press render leaks out, details still sparse

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Huawei has released plenty of devices between CES and MWC, but there are surely more in the pipeline as press images of a Huawei Ascend G710 leaked out today. Like so many devices nowadays, the G710 is going to have a 5-inch display, but this one will purportedly have just 720x1280 resolution. That's quite a bit lower than the previously-announced Ascend D2 from Huawei, which has a full 1080P panel. The G710 will have capacitive keys at the bottom of the screen though, which leaves physically more space on the screen than the D2.

The only other known spec is a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, which is a Huawei staple lately. No other specs, availability or pricing is coming out on this one just yet, but we would be surprised if it ever hit the U.S. market.

Source: @evleaks; Via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 rumored to use multiple processor types

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We're just a few weeks away from knowing for sure, but news from Taiwan today suggests that Samsung will be using multiple types of processors for the different Galaxy S4 variants worldwide. According to the Taipei Times, investor group JP Morgan said in a note to clients

Similar to its previous Galaxy S3, Samsung is expected to adopt multiple solutions for the application processors and baseband chips in its new Galaxy S4, which will be unveiled in New York on March 14

In addition, the brokerage firm says the US versions of the S4 will use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600, while the rest of the world uses Samsung's own octa-core Exynos 5.

If this is the case, we have to wonder if global units will have full LTE support. It stands to reason that Qualcomm's new gear will support LTE as well as their current offerings do, so maybe Samsung wants to provide the best experience possible while they work on LTE support in-house.

Right now, everything is just a rumor. We'll know more on March 14.

Source: Taipei Times

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3 years ago

LG Optimus LTE III spotted in the wild in South Korea

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At first glance you'd be forgiven for mistaking what we see here for an LG Optimus L7, but it is in fact reportedly the latest in the Optimus LTE line -- the imaginatively titled Optimus LTE III. Spied in South Korea, the LTE III is supposedly launching sometime later this year on the country's SK Telecom network. 

Like the L-Series devices, the LTE III is reported to carry some decent mid-range specs, such as a 1280x720 display, and dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 processor. Software is said to be Android 4.1.2, which is hardly a surprise given what we've seen in Barcelona this week. It also supposedly packs a decent sized 2540 mAh battery to keep things ticking along.

Will LG release this outside of its native South Korea? Possibly not, but it's a nice looking device all the same -- though the physical home button still draws its critics. It also seems to have a sweet looking flip case available for it too, similar in style to that which we saw for the Optimus G Pro at Mobile World Congress. 

via Unwired View

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3 years ago

Sony releases experimental Firefox OS ROM for Xperia E

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Firefox OS has been on the horizon for a while now, and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona saw the first device partnerships announced for the fledgling mobile operating system. Though not showing any hardware in Barcelona, a press release was issued detailing Sony's plans to release a Firefox OS powered smartphone in 2014 in partnership with Telefonica. 

What we have here isn't quite a Sony Firefox phone, not by any stretch of the imagination. But, what it is, is a working experimental build of Firefox OS for the Xperia E. In line with their plans to develop devices carrying the software, Sony hopes that interested developers and early adopters will take a look and garner valuable feedback. 

The key thing to remember is that Sony has released this as an experimental developer ROM. It isn't meant to be a daily driver, although from the promo video we see here it looks reasonably functional, with even the camera app working properly. 

We know some of you kids like playing around with new stuff -- our own editor-in-chief Phil Nickinson played with an early, early build of Firefox OS -- so if you happen to have access to an Xperia E and try this out, be sure to share your experiences with us. 

Source: Sony Developer World

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3 years ago

Reminder: Spring into TEGRA Contest Ending Soon!

0

Quick reminder for all that the 'Spring into TEGRA' contest is ending real soon (March 1st at 11:59 PM EST). Be sure to check out the contest details below and submit your entry for a chance to win one of TWO HTC One X+ devices!*

To enter, simply follow these three steps:

  1. Take a picture of yourself with your tired and worn out mobile device.
  2. Head over to the official contest thread.
  3. Post the picture, AND tell us why you absolutely NEED a new HTC One X+.

That's all there really is to it! Head over to the official contest thread and get your entry in. You never know… with a little luck and creativity (hint, hint!) you may end up with a brand new device at your front door.

* Contest closes on March 1, 2013, at 11:59 PM EST. Winners will be selected shortly thereafter via PM and e-mail. ONE entry per person. Contest open to all Android Central members.

Good luck!

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3 years ago

YotaPhone hands-on - gestures, e-ink and vanilla Android

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The YotaPhone is an example of one of the things we like the most about Android -- crazy hardware implemented in new and interesting ways. Dual-screen smartphones are nothing new -- recall the ill-fated Kyocera Echo of old. But Yota Devices' YotaPhone is the first we can recall that packs both a traditional LCD front and e-ink back, and today we went hands-on with the phone at Mobile World Congress. Both sides are coated in Corning Gorilla Glass 2, though the back has more of a matte texture to it. This gives the YotaPhone a unique appearance, which is accentuated by its slightly curved back.

Powering the YotaPhone is a dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU at 1.5GHz. Around the back is a 12MP camera, and the power button cleverly doubles as a SIM tray. On the software side, it's near-vanilla Jelly Bean running the show -- Yota's left the Android UI mostly intact. Both screens are 4.3 inches diagonally, and the LCD clocks in at 1280x720 pixels. As you'd expect from the vanilla Android UI running on an S4 chip, the UI is smooth and lag-free.

The phone's also lacking traditional Android buttons -- instead, button commands are activated based on gesture controls on a panel under the LCD. Swipe halfway from right to left to go back, all the way to go home, and long press the middle for the task-switcher. Similarly, you can copy images from the front screen to the rear by swiping from top to bottom with two fingers.

Certain apps, such as Calendar and Weather, can also run natively on the rear display, and there's an in-app button for transferring things to the rear screen. This means you're able to view content without burning through quite so much juice -- and it could also be useful for viewing certain types of information in bright sunlight.

The YotaPhone probably won't be a mass-market seller in the West, but it is an incredibly cool device nonetheless, playing to the strengths of both LCD and e-ink. We've got hands-on photos and a quick video demo after the break.

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3 years ago

ZTE Grand Memo hands-on

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ZTE, like local rival Huawei, is desperately trying to establish itself as one of the bigger international smartphone players, focusing more and more on high-end "hero" devices. To that end, at a very businesslike (and rather awkward) Mobile World Congress press conference this week, the company revealed the Grand Memo. A 5.7-inch Galaxy Note-class device, the Memo incorporates high-end internals and a massive 5.7-inch 720p display.

As per ZTE's presser, the Grand Memo runs Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, though ZTE says the chipsets used will vary depending on country. (Update: ZTE staffers on the show floor tell us that the demo units on display are running Snapdragon S4 Pro (8064) chips, and that several different versions of the Memo will be available, including the Snapdragon 800-powered model announced earlier this week.)

For what it's worth, the company also had an NVIDIA Tegra 3-based Grand Memo on show at its MWC booth, however that device was unstable and extremely hot to the touch.

Other hardware notables include 2GB of RAM (1GB on the S4 version), 16GB of storage, 4G LTE support and a 13MP rear camera. The physical hardware of the Memo is standard smartphone fare -- a black slab with a plastic back and three buttons down below. On the back, a plastic battery cover. We saw several different back covers on the Grand Memo demo units at the show -- glossy, textures and matte versions in white and various shades of blue. Overall, the hardware is perfectly serviceable, if not outstanding.

Head past the break for more first impressions, along with more photos and video.

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3 years ago

Samsung HomeSync - hands-on with the Android-powered TV box

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As a global electronics giant, Samsung has presence in every room in the home, most notably the living room -- the company recently claimed to be selling three TVs every second. And as we all know, Samsung currently dominates the Android smartphone landscape. So it was only a matter of time before the Samsung TV and Android worlds collided.

At Mobile World Congress this week we got our first look at Samsung's HomeSync, a 1-terabyte TV box with a Google Play-certified Android front-end. HomeSync delivers a full Android experience, with a TouchWiz-based UI that actually scales up really well to the big screen. The main view is a grid of running windows, and you've also got a standard app drawer view, along with on-screen keys you can hit using your pointer.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the ASUS Padfone Infinity

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At the conceptual level, the ASUS Padfone series has always sounded cool, but it's never managed to translate that into mainstream success. Previous Padfones, though technically impressive, have been too expensive to win over consumers and carriers en masse. On top of that, ASUS has yet to present a really compelling use case for combining a phone with tablet dock.

Nevertheless, the Taiwanese manufacturer is back with a third Padfone iteration, the Padfone Infinity. The Infinity boasts superior specs, a redesigned, brushed aluminum chassis an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. But is that enough to justify this class of device? Check out our first impressions from Mobile World Congress after the break.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the ASUS Fonepad

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Android has a long history of playing host to ridiculously large smartphones. First there was the Dell Streak. Next came the original Samsung Galaxy Note. And now in 2013 we have the ASUS Fonepad, a 7-inch tablet that's also a 7-inch phone. On first inspection the Fonepad looks a little bit like a another 7-inch ASUS tablet, the Nexus 7. But unlike that device it's also a full 3G/HSPA phone, complete with earpiece and microphone. That's right, you can hold this seven-inch slab of electronics to your head and make telephone calls.

Where other large smartphones -- including Huawei's gigantic Ascend Mate -- trim down their bezels to make them more pocket and hand-friendly, ASUS has chosen to incorporate a tablet-sized screen trim on the Fonepad. As a result, using the device as a telephone in the usual way is the binary opposite of ergonomic. If you felt awkward making phone calls on a Galaxy Note, that's nothing by comparison. Assuming you posses digits large enough to palm the Fonepad to your ear, you're going to look and feel like an idiot walking around with it pressed to your face.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Grand

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With devices like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note, Samsung has been an integral part of the push towards bigger screens on smartphones. But traditionally these larger, higher-resolution devices have been aimed towards the high-end, carrying expectedly high-tier price tags. Today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, we saw a device that aims to defy that convention.

The Galaxy Grand is a mid-range smartphone with high-end ambitions. Its 5-inch screen and Galaxy Note-like aesthetic give it the appearance of a premium handset, though like most Samsung smartphones it’s bright, white shiny and plasticky. There’s no ‘S-Pen’ stylus to be found, but aside from that the Grand offers a fairly complete Samsung software experience. You’re getting the latest version of the company’s TouchWiz UI, which runs on top of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. The software package even includes newer additions like multi-window support -- Samsung’s method for running more than one app on-screen at a time.

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