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3 years ago

ASUS unveils PadFone Infinity with 5-inch 1080P display, Android 4.2

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ASUS is taking the wraps off of its latest phone-tablet hybrid docking device, the PadFone Infinity, at MWC 2013. The specs here will not disappoint, checking every box you'd expect for a high-end device in 2013. We're looking at a 5-inch 1080P display, quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, 32/64GB of storage and 13MP camera, all in a unibody aluminum frame. On the connectivity front, it has both 100mbps LTE and 42mbps HSPA+ radios and supports the latest 802.11ac Wifi. One major point of this device is that it's also running Android 4.2, something very few manufacturers have been able to announce at this point.

Oh, and did we mention it docks into a tablet? Following in the footsteps of the PadFones before it, the Infinity still docks into a 10.1-inch tablet frame called the "Infinity Station". The station has a 1920x1200 Super IPS display, with the same 400 nit brightness as the phone itself. The station also has its own 5000mAh battery, alongside the phone's own 2400mAh lithium polymer cell. The PadFone Infinity and Station will come together at a hair under 1.48lbs -- about middle of the road for 10-inch tablet weight nowadays.

ASUS is planning to launch the PadFone Infinity in the U.K. at an MSRP of £799 (incl VAT) with the Infinity Station, in three color choices --  Titanium Grey, Champagne Gold and Hot Pink. There are no specific availability dates for the U.K., and no indication at all that this will make its way to the U.S. market either. Considering that previous iterations of the PadFone didn't make it stateside, we're not holding our breath.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy XCover 2 hands-on

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Samsung gets a lot of stick over the build quality of some of its phones -- a common complaint of devices like the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 are that they're glossy, plasticky and cheap-looking. So it's ironic that the Korean manufacturer's come out with one of the nicest-looking ruggedized handsets we've seen so far. The Galaxy XCover 2, announced a few weeks back, packs mid-range smartphone internals into an attractive yet hardy exterior.

Make no mistake, this is still a plastic phone. But Samsung's done a good job of making the XCover 2's chassis look and feel more premium than the average rugged smartphone.The back and sides are textured, and have a metallic color not unlike the Galaxy Nexus. Around the front are the three standard Samsung buttons -- menu, home and back, and all they're of the old-fashioned clicky variety.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the LG Optimus L3 II, L5 II and L7 II

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LG announced the Optimus L II series last week, and today we got our first chance to check out the new mid-range handsets at Mobile World Congress. As it was last year, the L series represents LG's line of mainstream handsets, with increasingly powerful hardware as the numbers increase.

At the low end, there's the Optimus L3 II, powered by a 1GHz CPU on a 3.2-inch WVGA display. That's 320x240 pixels, and it looks about as good (or not) as you'd expect. On the other hand, this is a super-low-end smartphone, and we'd expect it to be priced as such. It's not all bad news though, as the L3 II runs Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean beneath LG's own skin, and the software experience is pretty snappy. You do however miss out on some of the higher-end features like the QSlide multitasking capability -- and the same is true of the L5 II and L7 II.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 event invites going out - March 14 in New York

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We've just received our invite to a Samsung event in New York on Mar. 14, inviting us to get "ready 4 the show." Looks highly likely that we're in for a Galaxy S4 event, and we'll be live in New York on the day to bring you full coverage!

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the LG Optimus G Pro

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LG's flagship Android smartphone gets bigger, faster and ... a bit familiar-looking

You're forgiven for thinking it. We all are. It's impossible to pick up the LG Optimus G Pro -- the oversized, 5.5-inch Android half-phone/half-tablet unveiled this week at Mobile World Congress in Spain -- and not think of another Korean manufacturer's similar product. Go ahead and get that out of your system.

This is the Optimus G Pro. Not the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. But, yeah. There are certain physical similarities. You can't help by notice that. And for sure the folks in the 50 or so countries LG's planning on launching the Optimus G Pro in (beginning in the second quarter) will notice. Maybe that's the idea. Or maybe not.

In a nutshell, it takes all of the hardware and software LG brought in the original, smaller Optimus G in the fall of 2012 and expands it to a larger platform. The display sports a 1920x1080 resolution, for about 400 pixels per inch. The internal specs are beefier, powered by a 1.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, the better to push all those pixels. Sluggish, this device is not.

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3 years ago

Samsung to hold Galaxy S IV event March 14 in New York

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According to a Samsung representative, Samsung will hold a Galaxy S IV inspired event March 14 in New York city. This will be the first Galaxy S event in the U.S. since the first round of Galaxy S phones were announced at CTIA in 2010, and Samsung mobile division chief JK Shin says the venue was moved because they were "bombarded with requests" from US carriers to hold the show in their own country.

Nobody knows exactly what to expect from Samsung's latest, but we are sure it will give us plenty to talk about. Expected with everything stronger, faster, and higher resolution that the current Galaxy S3, the handset is sure to be a hit amongst consumers.

All the details aren't known just yet, but you'll be able to count on Android Central to deliver you all the news about Samsung's next. 

Source: e. daily (Korean); via: Reuters

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3 years ago

A new Jelly Bean release is being tested for the Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX

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We've received a few reports that emails are going out to invite Motorola Feedback Network members to try a new release of Jelly Bean for the Droid RAZR and the Droid RAZR MAXX.

Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We are inviting owners of the Droid RAZR or Droid RAZR Maxx on Verizon to participate in an early preview of a new Jelly Bean software release, and provide feedback.  If you are not currently using a Droid RAZR or Droid RAZR Maxx on Verizon, please excuse and ignore this email.

Plenty of folks using these phones are anxious to get Jelly Bean on their devices. Hopefully this soak test is successful, and we see a software update roll out shortly after. Keep your eyes on Android Central, and jump into the forums to discuss!

More: Droid RAZR MAXX forums

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3 years ago

Head to head: NVIDIA's Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i

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Chipmaker shows its 2013 wares at Mobile World Congress

For NVIDIA in 2013 (so far at least), the conversation revolves around Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i. The gist is that Tegra 4 is more powerful of the two, with more GPU cores than Tegra 4i (72 versus 60) and boasting the ARM 15 processor as part of NVIDIA's 4+1 quad-core package. It's a little bigger and more expensive than Tegra 4i, which dispenses with a dozen GPU cores and integrates the i500 LTE modem onto the die. Tegra 4i also uses an ARM9-r4, which while not quite as bad-ass as the ARM15 can very much still hold its own thanks to the optimization from ARM and NVIDIA. 

We got an up-close look at the new systems today, on the eve of Mobile World Congress, in a series of relatively controlled scenarios on test hardare, including NVIDIA's own "Phoenix" reference phone. And it's tough not to let NVIDIA's enthusiasm for its new line rub off on you. On paper, anyway, and comparing to the best of what's currently available -- which means Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 and its own Tegra 3 -- the next generation of Tegra devices looks damned promising.

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3 years ago

Alcatel announces the 1080p One Touch Idol X

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Alcatel kicks of their presence at Mobile World Congress 2013 with an unexpectedly high-end offering, the 1080p One Touch Idol X. Don't let the Nokia style colored cases fool you, this one is all Android and a refreshing step up from what we've seen from Alcatel in the past.

Running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on a 5-inch LCD, the Idol X has a beautiful edge-to-edge design. Powered by a quad-core MediaTek 6589 CPU with 16GB of internal storage, a 13MP camera (subject to change based on location) and a 2000mAh battery, the One Touch Idol X looks like something we'll want to take a second look at.

No word of pricing or availability dates were supplied. 

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3 years ago

Kyocera Torque hands-on

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We're on the ground at Pepcom's MobileFocus Global, where we've just had the chance to get some hands-on time with Sprint and Kycera's latest smartphone, the Torque. Announced in late January and coming to market on Mar. 8, the Torque is the Japanese company's first ruggedized Android phone.

It runs a 1GHz CPU, a WVGA screen and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, pretty run of the mill stuff for a low-priced smartphone. But what's unique about the Torque, aside from its water resistance and toughened shell, is the system it's employing for audio playback.

Instead of using a traditional speaker, the Torque is fitted with skin a ceramic-based solution that vibrates the shell of the handset. That means it can be heard through skin and bone conduction, as well as through hardcore construction ear-protection gear. The effect works pretty well, and it's easy to see how this kind of feature could be useful to anyone working in a noisy environment.

Check out our hands-on video and gallery after the break. The Sprint Kyocera Torque launches on Mar. 8 for $99 on-contract.

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend P2 hands-on

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Huawei has just unveiled its latest Android handset, the Ascend P2, at an event held in Barcelona, Spain, and we've had the chance to get our hands on the device.

Succeeding last year's Ascend P1, the P2 brings some substantial changes in both hardware and software. Internally, the P2 now packs a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, and other specs have received customary upgrades too. The phone includes a 4.7-inch, 720p LCD on its front, and a 13-megapixel BSI camera around the back.

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3 years ago

Live from Mobile World Congress with Huawei

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We're live from Barcelona, Spain with Huawei, which is holding its big press conference today ahead of MWC. Possible Android developments include the Ascend P2, a quad-core successor to last year's Ascend P1. The action starts at 3pm Barcelona time (9am ET), so stick around for all the day's announcements!

You'll find our liveblog after the break.

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3 years ago

Report suggests LG to use own chips in Optimus G2, launch headed for IFA

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A report emerging this weekend from the Korea Times, suggests that LG is to develop their first in-house mobile processor for use in the Optimus G2. It's perhaps not all that surprising that LG is considering heading down this path, and taking the fight on another front to fellow Korean OEM, Samsung. 

The information comes from an un-named LG official during a telephone conversation with Korea Times, along with an alleged schedule for the launch of the Optimus G2: 

LG Electronics is going to mass-produce the Odin processors by using finer 28-nanometer level processing, applying high-k metal gate (HKMG) technology. The processors will be used in LG’s next flagship Optimus smartphone ― the Optimus GII ― which will probably be unveiled in this fall’s IFA trade fair

IFA doesn't take place until September in Berlin, and by that time will be about a full year since the Optimus G was first announced. LG was noticably quiet during the IFA 2012 show, instead opting for their own event in Korea to showcase the device. But, given the timeline, it stands a decent chance of being credible information.

LG's processors meanwhile are allegedly following a similar octa-core design to Samsung's recently announced Exynos 5 Octa. Known as 'Odin,' four A15 cores will kick in should the power be required, such as high intensity gaming, where four A7 cores will better serve for lighter intensity work. Like the Exynos 5 then, LG's efforts will be based on ARM's big.LITTLE processing.

Source: Korea Times

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 now official

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Samsung has stepped forward and officially announced the Galaxy Note 8.0. We've sen and heard enough leaks and rumors to know that we would be seeing an 8-inch version of the popular Note series, but tonights' news clears up al the speculation and replaces it with information direct from Seoul. 

The Note 8.0 takes everything you love about the Note series, adds some great new features, and packages it all into a solid tablet form factor. The Note 8.0 will still be able to make phone calls in some countries, but the 8-inch screen puts this one squarely into the portable tablet genre. And that's a good thing. Users who didn't want a full-sized 10-inch tablet, but still wanted access to the great S Pen technology now have that option.

We've spent some time with the Note 8.0 on the eve of Mobile World Congress 2013, and have the answers to all your questions covered. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 will be available world wide (Europe, Korea, North America, S.E. Asia, S. W. Africa, the Middle East, China, Taiwan, and Latin America) in Q2. Keep an eye on Android Central for exact dates and pricing. The full press release, press photos, and a Chat-On video featuring the Note 8.0 are after the break.

Galaxy Note 8.0 hands-on | Galaxy Note 8.0 specs | Galaxy Note 8.0 forums

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3 years ago

Republic Wireless offers unlimited everything for $19 a month, but is it too good to be true?

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Republic Wireless has been kicking around in beta form for about a year now, and they have recently allowed me to spend some time with their phone and their service. I'll admit, I went into it all a bit skeptical. I understand the phone choice (the lowly Motorola Defy XT) is far from ideal for an Android power user, but that's not what had me scrutinizing things so closely. It was the whole idea of unlimited calls, texts, and data for just 20 bucks a month using a Wifi connection when available, and how well things would work when one wasn't.

Republic is doing something that I love to see -- shaking up the status quo that the carriers in the United States have worked so hard to build. Delivering something different is important, and if it turns out to be more consumer friendly then we all win. I really wanted this to be a worthwhile service that provides an alternative for the value conscious smart phone buyer. Hit the break and see what I think.

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