Headlines

3 years ago

Late-night poll: Dual-core or quad-core?

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With all the talk of quad-core vs dual-core, and seeing the performance of both in the same phone, we want to know.  Do you want a dual-core or quad-core chip in your next device?  Last year around this time we were starting to see dual-core phones emerge from manufacturers.  They all promised the best performance in a mobile device you've ever seen.  And they were right.  The Tegra 2, and later the OMAP 4 and Exynos were all strong performers.  Then came quad-core.  The same promises were made.  And again, they proved to be true.  Tegra 3 (otherwise known as Kal-El) put last years dual-core chips to shame.

Now we have Qualcomm firing back with a dual-core chip, the S4.  They are making the same promises.  Better performance, better battery life.  As we saw in Phil's review (gotta love the header!) of the One X they are mostly right.  Some people still have a soft spot for more cores, though, and performance is the same.  So what say you, dear reader? Tell us in tonight's poll!

Dual-core or quad-core?

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3 years ago

AT&T HTC One X review

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Qualcomm's dual-core Snapdragon S4 and LTE trump the quad-core Tegra 3 in our definitive AT&T HTC One X review!

What more could we possibly say about the HTC One X? After several thousand words in our first HTC One X review (plus more in Alex Dobie's take, plus the countless forum threads), we already know everything there is to know about this phone, right? Right?!?

Not so fast.

As you'll recall, there actually are  two versions of the HTC One X. The first, the one we've already reviewed forward and backward, is powered by NVIDIA's quad-core Tegra 3 system and is your standard GSM/HSPA smartphone. The second version is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (you'll also hear it referred to as "Krait") and sports an LTE radio for faster data speeds. The latter version is what AT&T's rocking coming May 6, and it's known outside the United States as the HTC One XL.

They're the same phone, right? Really the only difference is that AT&T wanted an LTE version, and Tegra 3 and LTE still aren't ready to play together in prime time, right? Well, yes, and no. Let's just put it this way: One of our chief complaints about smartphones has been addressed here.

That's not to say we won't be making a few compromises with the AT&T One X. But we're also finding ourselves plenty blown away. Read on for our complete AT&T HTC One X review.

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus: how to manually update to Android 4.0.4

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So Android 4.0.4's starting to roll out to the Verizon version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. But maybe you don't want to wait? (We sure don't.) Android forums adviser and Galaxy Nexus guru dmmarck has you covered. He's went through and made the process as simple as possible, and is in there fielding questions and updating phones right now. 

What are you waiting for? Jump in and join the fun!

Dmmarck's Verizon Galaxy Nexus 4.0.4 update guide

 

 

 

 

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3 years ago

Latest Android version numbers show gains for ICS and Gingerbread

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The latest set of Android version numbers has been released by Google, showing details of the spread between various versions of the OS. As always, the stats were collected from devices accessing the Google Play Store during the last two weeks of the month. Here's a quick breakdown --

  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich grew from a 2.9% share last month to 4.9% this month, marking a continuation of the slow but steady climb for the latest version of the OS. This is likely due to sales of new ICS phones like the HTC One series, as well as updates for existing phones and tablets running Gingerbread and Honeycomb.
     
  • Android 3.x Honeycomb stayed flat at 3.3%, likely due to slow Honeycomb tablet sales, combined with a similarly-paced update schedule for current Honeycomb tabs.
     
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread rose from 63.7 to 64.4%, meaning people are still buying Gingerbread phones. No surprises there.
     
  • Android 2.2 Froyo and 2.1 Eclair steadily fell in market share, and now stand at 20.9 and 5.5% respectively. As older devices are left behind, and newer ones are updated to Gingerbread and ICS, we expect to see more of this in the months ahead.
     
  • Android 1.6 Donut and 1.5 Cupcake continue to soldier on with 0.7 and 0.3% of the Android market respectively. Go figure.

For some perspective, take a look at last month's numbers here. Though ICS continues to be out-represented by the likes of Eclair, we're expecting to see a big jump in the next 30 days, with the launch of devices like the AT&T HTC One X, Sprint HTC EVO 4G LTE and Samsung Galaxy S3, in addition to even more updates for existing hardware. If you like looking at charts, you'll find even more at the source link.

Source: Android Developers

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3 years ago

Why my dual-core S4 is as good as your quad-core

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My dual-core S4 is as good as your quad-core.  No really, it is.  Qualcomm recently (OK, maybe not that recently) announced the S4 Snapdragon with Krait CPU.  More recently Samsung announced the Exynos 4 Quad (confirmed to power the "next Galaxy"), and we've already seen what the Tegra 3 from NVIDIA can do.  Why, then, is the S4 as good as these quad-cores?  Put simply, you get all the performance of the quad-core (and then some), plus amazing battery life.  We've seen video proof of the performance.  With the S4 Qualcomm has introduced a new architecture, and it's cutting edge.  It's based on the same instruction set as the new ARM A15 processors, which gives it a significant advantage over it's competitors. It will do tasks faster, and more efficiently than the rest of the current generation hardware.

Based on a 28nm (nanometer -- a unit of measurement) production process, the Krait CPU is powerful, and power efficient.  The "pipe" (the electronic path that data flows through) has been widened and lengthened, which allows it to chew through more instructions at any given time.  How many more?  Up to 50% more than the old Scorpion cores we find in phones like the HTC EVO 3D and others from last year. Qualcomm claims up to a 30% improvement on the A9 based core used in the current generation Exynos, OMAPs, and Tegras of the world.  Keep in mind that these are per core numbers, which is why a dual-core can keep up with a quad-core.  When each core can perform 30 to 50 percent better, that means you don't need as many to do the same amount of work.

OK, so performance is awesome, but that's not all. Battery life is also substantially improved. All the power-saving improvements you hear about new quad-core processors are there, and more because of the smaller production die, and you're also running two cores instead of four. I'll leave it to Phil's AT&T One X review to show you just how much improvement there is, but it should be substantial.  And this is with LTE, which is built-in to the S4, giving us very tangible benefits to battery life over every previous LTE enabled phone we've seen.

So performance is just as good overall and battery life should be better.  The moral of the story?  The number of cores isn't the whole story.  How the device performs in your hand is. It's a topic we've been discussing at length in the Android hardware forums, and if you're interested in some serious tech-talk (or just want to learn what all those letters and numbers mean) you really should dive in and join us.

Qualcomm S4 Krait hardware breakdown | Read the AT&T HTC One X review

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus 4.0.4 update unofficially officially confirmed

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Everybody has been trying to confirm or debunk this mornings claims of a slow rollout of the Android 4.0.4 update for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Amidst all the fuss and confusion, Android Forums member Poseign just walked into his local Verizon store and had a peek at the display units. Sure enough, there's one on the shelf running the rumored update.

While we still have no idea about the rollout schedule, or have a file location for the hacker-types to manually update, at least we know it's real. A month and a day after the GSM version, which won't sit too well with some of you folks, but at least it's here. Keep your eyes peeled if you're running a Verizon Nexus, and if you get the update notice and want to help, head into the forums and holler -- they're there waiting for ya!

We've got an e-mail into Verizon and are waiting on more official word. In the meantime, there's another pic after the break that should satisfy your curiosity. 

Source: Android Forums; Verizon Galaxy Nexus update page
Also: Droid-Life.

Thanks, Poseign!

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3 years ago

Sprint Galaxy Nexus getting an update to fix network issues

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Well, would you look at that. The Sprint Galaxy Nexus (see our initial hands-on) is getting a software update to fix some network issues. The carrier says it should get pushed to all devices in the next day or so, at which time you'll have fixes for:

  • Device not connecting to data services after activation
  • Device not displaying correct network time after activation
  • And an update to Google Wallet

And now's a great time to remind folks that this update, which brings the phone to Android 4.0.4, Build FD02, has absolutely nothing to do with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus languishing on Android 4.0.2. (The horror!) That's not going to stop anyone from complaining (nor does it change the fact that Nexus phones are supposed to be updated early and often), but we feel better having said it.

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

Latest SGS3 leak makes us happy that May 3 is just two days away

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A mere two days away from the huge Galaxy S III announcement, we’re getting yet another sneak peek at what Samsung is hiding up its sleeve. This leak comes courtesy of Sammobile, and appears to show the “next Galaxy” running Android 4.0.4 out of the box. This device looks to be the GT-I9300, the same phone leaked by Gizmodo Brazil and promptly confirmed by The Verge to be nowhere near the final build.  Sammobile's anonymous tipster claims that whatever this pans out to be, it'll have a 12 megapixel camera, a spec all but confirmed for the GS3. 

Does this mean that the GT-I9800 that got its Wifi certification last week will be the actual Galaxy S III, or are these different model numbers perhaps a continuation of Samsung’s tradition of different Galaxies for different carriers? Is the device above ready to ship, or is it just another dummy casing? Who knows, but one thing’s for certain: we can all say adios to renders and prototypes in just 48 hours, when we'll all unravel the GS3 mystery together.

Source: Sammobile

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3 years ago

From the forums: Is the Verizon Galaxy Nexus really a Nexus

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The argument over whether the Verizon (or Sprint, for that matter) Galaxy Nexus is a "true" Nexus continues, and we've got a great thread going on in the forums. Our own Jerry Hildenbrand has weighed in, with a post you've need to read if for no other reason than for some great insight into the update and open-source process and how it's a little different for the CDMA carriers.

It's a great discussion, and it's all going down here.

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3 years ago

Second CM9 build for Galaxy Note looks a bit more functional

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Yesterday we reported on the first CyanogenMod 9 build for the (international) Samsung Galaxy Note, noting that it was still early days, and that a couple of major bugs would make it a non-starter for many users. In particular, the lack of working phone calls was a deal-breaker for us. However, the devs at TeamHacksung have followed up with a second build today, fixing most of the serious glitches, including voice calls and video recording.

There are still some issues to be ironed out, including DSP Manager and Movie Studio, but kudos to the developers for moving so quickly to squish bugs. If you're rocking an international (GT-N7000) Galaxy Note and are comfortable with experimental custom ROMs, then hit the links below to get started.

Source: TeamHacksung, XDA; Thanks @android_indian!

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3 years ago

Three UK offers an HTC One X update of its own, promises battery life improvements

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British network Three sends word via the Twitters that it's now pushing out the 1.28.771.9 firmware update for its branded versions of the HTC One X. This is the original OTA for the One X, which started going out to unbranded units a couple of weeks ago, not the newer 1.29 update that emerged last night. So Three-branded One X's are getting 1.28 just as it's been succeeded by a newer firmware version, which we're sure will irk some users. But to be fair to Three, a two-week turnaround on a firmware update is pretty fast for a European network -- in the past customers have had to wait a month or more, especially for minor updates like this.

Writing on its official Twitter account, Three says One X owners can look forward to "improvements [including] increased battery life" -- which matches what we've heard from One X owners running the unbranded version of 1.28.

If you've got a One X on Three, head to Settings > About > Software updates to grab today's OTA.

Source: @ThreeUK

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3 years ago

Vodafone UK cuts HTC One X and One S prices for a limited time

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Perhaps anticipating some big news from Samsung later in the week, Vodafone UK has lowered its on-contract prices for HTC's new One X and One S.

The flagship 4.7-inch One X is now available for free on 24-month plans starting at £36 per month -- that gets you  600 minutes, unlimited texts and 1GB. Meanwhile the smaller, thinner One S can now be yours from £31 per month, which comes with 300 minutes, the same unlimited texts package and 500MB. Neither is a trivial amount of money, but it's not at all bad when you consider you're getting a £450+ smartphone for nothing along with it.

Vodafone says the new prices will remain in place for just under a couple of weeks, expiring on Monday, May 14, so there's plenty of time to get on board. And if you're on the fence, then why not check out our reviews of the international HTC One X and One S for more on both devices.

More: Vodafone One X, Vodafone One S

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3 years ago

Late-night poll: Do you use the external speaker on your Android phone?

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We talk a lot about listening to music and watching video on our Android phones around here. Android handles multimedia well, and streaming services like YouTube and Google Music work really nicely on Android. Something most of us talk less about, but equally important is making phone calls. These are designed to be phones first and foremost. Both have one thing in common -- the speakers. There's pretty much three ways to get the sound from your phone to your ears; a wired headphones/headset, a Bluetooth set-up, or one of the speakers. 

Personally, I hate using the speaker on any phone or tablet. When I talk on the phone, I pick it up like a phone and hold it against my head. The only reason I have a Bluetooth headset is to test and review Android phones. I'm picky about the way calls sound, because with today's tech there's no reason for them to not sound good. When it comes to music, games or video, I prefer and use a wired headset -- small easy-to-carry ear buds if I'm out, or a big honking set of over-the-ear 'phones around the house. Nobody else wants to hear what I'm listening to -- if so they would ask. 

But since everyone's different, I gotta ask. Answer in tonight's poll.

 

Do you use the external speaker?

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3 years ago

HTC One X gets a second firmware update, v1.29 incoming

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A second firmware update is currently rolling out to the international, Tegra 3-flavored HTC One X, according to reports from multiple sources, including the Android Central forums. The update to version 1.29.401.7 weighs in at around 35MB and is being pushed out now to unbranded, unlocked European One X phones. Early reports from the forums indicate that this new version may address the intermittent Wifi disconnection issues that have been affecting some One X owners. In the meantime we've reached out to HTC for any official info on changes in the new firmware version, and we'll update you when they get back to us.

If you're rocking an international One X, head to Settings > About > Software updates to begin your journey to version 1.29. And if you notice anything new or improved, be sure to shout out in the comments!

More: HTC One X forums

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus accessories finally available in the UK

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It really seems like we've been waiting forever for UK stock of the Samsung OEM accessories for the Galaxy Nexus. After all, the phone itself arrived back in November, and it's taken more than five months for the accessories to arrive.

British online retailer Clove Technology is now stocking the official HDMI dock and the desktop dock for the Nexus. There's still no sign of the car dock, but the fact that anything at all is available is a positive development. Clove has also now received stock of the replacement battery and spare battery charger, as well as the Samsung branded MHL/HDMI adaptor. 

The HDMI dock will run you for £42 inc VAT and the desktop dock slightly more at £49.99. More details can be had at the source link below, but the advice is clear. If you've been waiting, and waiting, and waiting, now is the time. Have at it, folks. 

Source: Clove Technology

More: Samsung Galaxy Nexus OEM desktop dock review

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