Headlines

2 years ago

T-Mobile Prism gets official May 9 at Walmart, May 23 elsewhere

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T-Mobile this morning unwrapped the Prism, a 3.5-inch (HVGA) Gingerbread device with a 3.2MP camera. The specs aren't going to wow you, but then again they're not really supposed to. It's the pricing that's the selling point here. The Prism will cost $19.99 after a $50 mail-in-rebate card with a two-year service agreement and qualifying Classic voice and data plan, or it'll cost $149.99 with no annual contract.

Anybody jumping on this one?

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2 years ago

Galaxy S 3 to be offered in blue and white?

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It's the day before a pretty significant product announcement (we'll be there!), so we're bound to see more leaks today, like this one suggesting that the Galaxy S 3 (or is it Galaxy S III) will be offered in more than one color at launch.  ​GSMarena​ got a hold of an inventory screen shot from Carphone Warehouse suggesting that Samsung will launch the "Next Galaxy" in blue and white.  As we've seen with the Galaxy Note, though, Samsung's idea of blue is more of a black with a blue tint in the right light.  If this is true it'll be nice to have more than one color option at launch, as opposed to having to wait a little longer for the mythical white version that gets everyone all excited.

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2 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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2 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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2 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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2 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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2 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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2 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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2 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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2 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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