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3 years ago

Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX Review

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This is the Motorola Droid RAZR MAXX on Verizon. Looks a lot like the Motorola Droid RAZR on Verizon, doesn't it? Because it is. You can sum up the MAXX in a single sentence: It's a Motorola DROID RAZR, with a bigger battery. Period, end of story. The software's the same. The hardware's nearly identical. It just has a larger-capacity battery, making the phone slightly thicker.

That can't be the whole review, can it? Well, it most certainly can. Or it could be. But it's not.


It's still big, it's still fast, and it's still got a lot of great software enhancements from Motorola. And now it has a bigger-capacity battery, that makes the phone feel better, too.


It's still got Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread. We've decided we don't like the display after all. And although the the battery's bigger, you still can't swap it out for a fresh one.



This is the Droid RAZR with a bigger batter. And it's what Motorola and Verizon should have released in November, plain and simple.

Inside this review

More info

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3 years ago

Enter to win a Galaxy Nexus by Samsung and 6 months free service courtesy of Mobilicity and Android Central!

To mark Mobilicity’s recent launch of the Galaxy Nexus by Samsung, and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Mobilicity wants to give one lucky person a small token of affection: a Galaxy Nexus by Samsung and 6 months of free unlimited talk, text, and data service on Mobilicity’s $40 Super Savings plan (a $55/month value)!

We want to make this contest interesting, so we want you to declare your love for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. And it might not hurt if you threw in some Android Central and Mobilicity affection as well. In the forum linked below, write a poem, a love letter, a limerick -- whatever suits your fancy -- showing us just how much love you have. Heck, you can even sing a song or make a video and upload it for all to see! It's all fair game.

Unfortunately, there are rules, but they are short. The contest is only open to those living in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa (Mobilicity’s unlimited zones). Keep your entries family friendly, as normal forum rules apply. The contest begins right now, and ends Sunday night at midnight PST so get those entries in!

Enter to win a Galaxy Nexus from Mobilicity!

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3 years ago

Quebec's Videotron sets its Galaxy Nexus launch for February 8

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Following fellow regional carriers WIND and Mobilicity's lead, Québec-based Videotron will launch the Samsung Galaxy Nexus this Wednesday, February 8. Still no word on pricing, though we'll keep our ears peeled the closer we get to Wednesday. The flagship device will be compatbible with Videotron's "4G" network, which boasts download speeds of up to 42 Mbps.

Videotron covers most of Québec's largest metro areas, including Montréal and Québec City. It is just the latest in a long list of Canadian carriers to snag the device, which includes TELUS, Rogers, and Fido to name a few. Hit the source link for the Videotron's product page, where you'll be able to snag the device once hump day rolls around.

Source: Videotron

 

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3 years ago

Fresh HTC Ville pics give a clearer look at HTC Sense 4.0

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Last Monday we got out first look at the HTC Ville, an upcoming handset that we're expecting to see unveiled at Mobile World Congress in a few weeks. Today four new photos of the phone have appeared over on Chinese forum ePrice, giving us a closer, clearer look at the currently unannounced device.

Judging by the icon placement, location, date, time and background, it looks like these images come from the same original source as last week's leaked video. However, unlike the video, these are of (reasonably) decent quality, showing off the chassis of the phone and HTC Sense 4.0's redesigned, geometric stylings.

Today's photos seem to confirm that version 4.0 will give HTC Sense it's biggest visual overhaul yet. The classic Sense dock is gone, replaced with ICS-style icons. And the iconic clock widget had undergone a few changes too, with more clean lines and less translucency. The lockscreen, however, seems to be more or less unchanged from Sense 3.x -- you've still got the familiar metal ring and four shortcuts. And in terms of industrial design, it's clear we're looking at a pretty thin device, with what seems to be slightly raised areas at the top and bottom of the back panel.

As with any unofficial leak, things can, and likely will change as the unveiling and eventual release approaches. We've got our fingers crossed for more HTC Ville goodness at MWC later this month. You'll find two more photos after the jump.

Source: ePrice; via: Phandroid

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3 years ago

Latest Galaxy S III rumors suggest May launch, 7mm thickness

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We now know it won't be at Mobile World Congress, but that hasn't stopped the steady trickle of rumors relating to the Samsung Galaxy S III. The latest round of unconfirmed, unverifiable info comes from Korean site ETNews, which cites its own "industry insiders."

According to these sources, the phone includes such previously-rumored specs as Android 4.0, a quad-core CPU and LTE support -- none of which is particularly unsurprising for a Samsung flagship product in 2012. However, the most interesting rumor concerns the device's dimensions -- it's said to measure just 7mm thick, thanks to the introduction of thinner internal components. At 7mm, the Galaxy S III would still be a hair thicker than Huawei's P1S, but considering its souped-up internals, it's still incredibly impressive. That figure would see Samsung shave almost a millimeter and a half off the girth of the Galaxy S II, which measured 8.49mm.

Other rumored specs for the Galaxy S III include a 2MP front-facing camera and 8MP rear-facing shooter, which apparently protrudes slightly from the back of the device.

Looking further ahead, ETNews suggests that Samsung, apparently undeterred by lukewarm uptake of other 3D phones, may be planning to launch its own 3D smartphone later in the year.

Today's rumors indicate a possible May 2012 launch for the Galaxy S III, which certainly wouldn't surprise us, and would fit within the Samsung's previously-announced timeframe. In any case, we're expecting to hear more about the Galaxy S III sometime after Mobile World Congress.

Source: ETNews; Thanks, Erich!

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3 years ago

HTC posts final Q4 2011 financials, expects weaker Q1 2012

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HTC has published its final Q4 2011 financial results, confirming the 2.49% year-on-year slip in earnings revealed in last month's unaudited numbers. In the fourth quarter of last year, HTC brought in NT$101.42 billion, down from NT$104 during the same period in 2010. There was also a gloomy outlook for the first quarter of 2012, with projected revenues of NT$65-70 billion (down from NT$104.16 billion in Q1 2011), and a much lower operating margin of around 7.5%.

The manufacturer said the Q4 slump, and expected weakness in Q1 2012, were a "temporary phenomenon" due to its current "product cycle transition", as it looks to unveil new handsets at Mobile World Congress later this month.

HTC faced strong competition in late 2011, with a resurgent Apple launching the iPhone 4S, as well as growing dominance of the Android space by Korean rival Samsung. The company has recently indicated its plans to do more with fewer models in 2012, focusing on stronger "hero" devices.

New models unveiled in Barcelona in a few weeks are expected to include the "HTC Ville", which leaked last week, and the quad-core "HTC Edge."

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

White Galaxy Nexus is official, coming to the UK from Feb. 13

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Following reports from some online retailers early last month, we now have official confirmation from Samsung that the white Galaxy Nexus is the real deal, and will be going on sale next week in the UK. Sammy promises that the white (GSM) Galaxy Nexus will be making its way to "a range of stores across the country" from next Monday, Feb. 13.

Like last year's white Nexus S, the white Galaxy Nexus switches up the color of the chassis, rather than the bezel surrounding the screen. That means you'll get a classy white finish on the back and sides of the device, while the front is furnished in the same black glass as the original. Internally, it's the same Galaxy Nexus we all know and love.

So far we've heard nothing about any possible North American release for the white Galaxy Nexus, however our fingers are crossed for the launch of the Sprint LTE version later in the year.

We've got Samsung's press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Pantech Burst review

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The Pantech Burst is one of AT&T's latest LTE-enabled handsets, and it's clearly aimed at the first-time or budget-minded smartphone buyer.  That's a huge market, and this is the first time we've seen 4G LTE directed at it.  But two years is a long time, and you're wise to do a little homework before you sign that commitment, no matter how low the up-front cost is.  Hit the break and see what we think of the Pantech Burst.

 


The Super AMOLED screen is great.  Pantech has done very nice things to Android, while keeping an overall stock feel to things.  The $399 off-contract price is quite a bargain.


The poor battery life while on an LTE network is still a sticking point.  The benefits of a low upfront cost pale when considering the price of the contract.



The Burst is really a nice little phone.  But the other AT&T LTE handsets offer a little more in the way of customizations and features.  If you're going to sign-on for two years, you should get the best product available.  If you're looking for a solid and inexpensive LTE phone for AT&T, and buying outright, that's where the Burst shines.

Inside this review

More info

  • Pantech Burst specs
  • Pantech Burst forums
     

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note now available for pre-order from AT&T and Best Buy

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AT&T will begin to take pre-orders today for the Samsung Galaxy Note, the 5.3-inch phablet will be sold in carbon blue or ceramic white, and check in at $299 with a new agreement.  Orders are set to be delivered by Feb. 17, just a bit too late for Valentine's Day.  Also scheduled to be in AT&T stores are a few accessories, notably a desktop docking station, a spare battery charger, and a flip cover case and pen holder.  Speaking of the flip cover, if you head into Best Buy and pre-order your Samsung Galaxy Note they will hook you up with one for free.  Everyone loves free.

The Note is big, bad, and just what a lot of folks are looking for.  It's huge as a phone, but has enough size to it that it could function as a tablet for many.  The lure of carrying one device to cover both use cases is bound to attract quite a few folks, and the fact that LTE data is built into the unit is certainly a big plus.  The rest of the specs are certainly no slouch either.  That 5.3-inch Super AMOLED screen has a 1280x800 HD resolution, there's a 1.5GHZ dual-core processor (word is it's the same Qualcomm as in the Skyrocket), a 2500mAh battery, 1GB of RAM, and Samsung's excellent 8MP camera all running Android 2.3.5.

If you're going to do the deed and sign up to buy one of these big beauties, be sure to head into the forums and join the discussion.  It won't make the wait any shorter, but it might help make it feel that way. 

Preorder: From AT&T | from Best Buy
More: AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note forums

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3 years ago

Best Buy Canada now taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note, pricing starts at $200

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We noted Best Buy in the U.S. was taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note and now their Canadian stores have started as well. Although the Canadian release doesn't include any free goodies to go along with it, the price points for the device do vary across carrier with Bell coming out on top in terms of pricing.

  • Bell - $200
  • TELUS - $250
  • Rogers - $300

Those price points are all on new, three-year contracts but that's a given for the Canadian mobile landscape. The Samsung Galaxy Note will be available on Feb. 14th so if you're looking to get your hands on one, head on over to Best Buy and get your pre-orders in.

Source: Best Buy Canada

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus Android 4.0.4 OTA package now available (unofficial)

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Android Central member seanmacanally got an OTA notification on his rooted Verizon Galaxy Nexus, and with a little help from the great crew in the forums got the package pulled and uploaded for everyone to play with.  A few caveats:

  • This is only for the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus
  • It's Android 4.0.4 IMM30B
  • You will need to be completely stock with stock recovery to install it as-is

This doesn't seem to be an OTA that's going out in full force, so it very well could be some sort of internal testing version.  Keep that in mind if you flash it -- things may not be working as well as you would hope.  

Manually flashing the OTA package is pretty easy, see the instructions here.  And you're going to need the file, which you can download right here.  Good luck, and have fun!

Source: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

'Xperia Sola' trademark hints at another possible Sony handset

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In contrast to the letter-based naming scheme that it's using internationally, it seems Sony may be sticking with something a bit more unique for one future device. Following the unveiling of the Xperia Ion at CES, it's emerged today that Sony has filed to trademark the name "Xperia Sola" at the U.S. Trademark and Patents Office, as well as its European counterpart the OHIM.

What such a product might eventually be is anyone's guess. A few possibilities could lie in the recently-leaked international roadmap.

However, the registration of a trademark doesn't guarantee that any product with that name will appear -- we've seen manufacturers snap up trademarks without using them in the past. But we have to admit that the "Xpreia Sola" name would certainly fit in with Sony's established nomenclature.

Any wild guesses about what, if anything, the "Xperia Sola" might turn out to be? Shout out in the comments!

Source: USPTO, OHIM; via: MobileSyrup

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3 years ago

Late night poll: Do you keep your phone for the duration of its contract?

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It seems like there's a new Android phone coming out every week.  As with all things electronic, the new stuff looks better than the old stuff.  It's enough to drive anyone, especially an Android blogger, insane.  But it's darn near impossible to justify buying a new phone, off contract and at full price, every couple of months.  And let's face it -- sometimes we just love what we have.  A lot of people stuck with the first Droid, or the Nexus One because nothing else has caught their eye just yet.  There's a lot of variables, and there could be a lot of answers.  So the logical thing is to just ask.  Let us know in tonight's poll.

 

 

Do you keep your phone for the duration of its contract?

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3 years ago

The best Australian Android phones - As of Feb. 4, 2012

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We're back for another look at the best Android Phones, and this time we're heading down under. We've teamed up with our pals at Ausdroid.net for this one for the best Android smartphones available in Australia. 

So without further ado, let's get to it. And be sure to check out our other Best Phones lists below.

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3 years ago

AC Explains: The Verizon Galaxy Nexus is still supported by Google

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Reports across the Internet about the Verizon Galaxy Nexus being dropped from AOSP support -- or even worse, no longer being updated by Google -- apparently were a bit premature.  Dan Morrill has posted the following to the Android Contributors Google Group:

Hello! This is a quick clarification about support for CDMA devices.

For various technical reasons, recent CDMA Android devices implement core telephony functionality in .apk files provided in binary form by the carriers. To function correctly, these .apk files must be signed by the so-called "platform" key. However, when an individual creates a custom build from the AOSP source code, they don't use the same signing key as these CDMA flies were signed with. [...]

He goes on to note that the AOSP documentation was simply updated to reflect this fact, and that they will continue to provide as much of the closed-source material as they can.  

So what does that mean? Signing keys are tricky things. When we build Android from the available AOSP source, we use a specific set of keys to digitally sign all the binaries. When "official" builds are made by Google or manufacturers, they use a different set of keys. When these keys are mismatched, things can get wonky. Google doesn't want your phone (or tablet) to be wonky. The fellow who built that custom ROM you're using doesn't want things to be wonky. If these changes weren't made and brought to everyone's attention, wonkiness would have resulted, and nobody would have known why without a lot of digging around.

Verizon Galaxy Nexus devices are still Nexus devices. They still have unlockable bootloaders. They still have the Android source available. They just have changed the way they redistribute binaries, because of incompatibilities with the signing keys.

Android developers will just have to change the way they build for the Toro (Verizon Galaxy Nexus), the Stingray (the LTE Xoom), and the Crespo 4G (Nexus S 4G). The sky has not fallen, and they'll figure it out.   

Source: Android Contributors

More info: AOSP documentation; Google Support pages (1), (2)

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