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3 years ago

HTC Butterfly S Hello Kitty edition unveiled

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If the presence of cartoon felines features heavily in your smartphone-buying decision process, then look no further than this, the newly-announced Hello Kitty HTC Butterfly S, unveiled today in Taiwan. Engadget Chinese reports that the cat-centric 5-incher will go on sale in Taiwan only for NT$22,900 ($770) and come with nine matching Hello Kitty wallpapers in addition to the giant kitty face adorning the handset's rear. It's also sold with two Hello Kitty figurines and a transparent case covered in bows and stars.

The handset is being targeted at Taiwanese women, though we suspect that won't stop our own Jerry Hildenbrand from trying to import one of these when they go on sale. Hello Kitty just makes the awesome Butterfly S even awesomer.

So, any takers?

Source: Engadget Chinese, Engadget

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3 years ago

Verizon HTC One hands-on and first impressions

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The One we know with a few subtle changes

We're not going to beat around the bush — Verizon is late to the game picking up the HTC One. A full six months after it was announced, and a few months after Verizon indicated that it would get the device eventually, you can finally walk down to your local store and pick one up.

Everyone is pretty familiar with the hardware and software experience on the One at this point, but there are a few differences between this version and the others on sale out there today. Stick with us after the break and see our first impressions of the HTC One on Verizon.

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3 years ago

Acer announces Liquid S2 with 4K video recording

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New Snapdragon 800 phone with 6-inch 1080p display

In yet another pre-IFA, pre-announcement announcement, Acer has taken the wraps off its latest smartphone, the Liquid S2, ahead of a full unveiling at this week's show in Berlin.

The manufacturer claims it's the first smartphone with 4K video recording, a feature enabled by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 800 processor, though both Sony and Samsung are expected to announce 4K-recording phones later this week. Besides Qualcomm's latest processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, the Liquid S2 packs a gigantic 6-inch 1080p IPS LCD display and a hefty 3300mAh battery.

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3 years ago

What's behind Samsung's IFA products? Aliens

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Samsung's just unveiled its first IFA teaser, revealing the shocking secret behind its upcoming technology. That's right -- Aliens.

Sammy's not giving much away in this slightly nonsensical video, but we'll be live from the Unpacked 2013 event on Sept. 4 to bring you full coverage of the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear and other announcements, terrestrial or otherwise.

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3 years ago

Alcatel announces the One Touch S and One Touch Mini

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Alcatel has announced two new Android-powered smartphones in their One Touch Idol line — the One Touch S and the One Touch Mini. The two devices will both launch with Android 4.2, and be offered as Quad-band GSM models for operators the world over. Other specs of note:

One Touch S

  • Bands 1,2,4,5,7 and 8 LTE (will likely vary by model number)
  • 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 HD IPS LCD
  • 8MP 1080p rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 4GB of storage with SD card slot

One Touch Mini

  • 4.3-inch 854 x 480 LCD display
  • 5MP 720p rear camera, VGA front camera
  • 1.3GHz dual-core processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB or 8GB of internal storage with SD card slot

While very few of us would consider a phone with these specs, at the right price point the new One Touch models could make quite a splash in certain markets. We've no word on price or availability. See the source links for the full details.

Source: Alcatel. One Touch S; One Touch Mini

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3 years ago

Moto X best feature - Active Display

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Android Central member GMC MaXx writes in our Moto X forums (via the Android Central app, no less):

Not pushing a button to see the time doesn't seem like a big deal, but holy cow, it's awesome!

On my Galaxy Nexus I would push the button countless times a day just to see if I missed any notifications or to check the time. Now when I pull the Moto X out of my pocket the time and any notifications are already shown without hitting a button to turn on the screen. And I don't have to hit a button to turn the screen off before going back in the pocket.

Also, when the phone is sitting on my desk I just give it a nudge and the screen shows me the time. Its such a minor thing, but makes a world of difference in the awesomeness of the Moto X!

We're inclined to agree. It really does change the way you use a phone — even more than that other phone screen gimmick we're toying around with.

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3 years ago

The Samsung Galaxy Mega: AT&T’s worst smartphone is its best tablet

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Samsung has created a truly terrible smartphone and a downright dazzling tablet in the Galaxy Mega, available now on AT&T

Whispers. Crook-eyes. The occasional point-and-laugh. These are some of the things I’ve endured on a daily basis for the past week while using AT&T's Galaxy Mega as my main smartphone. Whether I’m making a call on my morning commute or shooting off a message while walking down the street, it’s been hard to escape judgment while carrying Samsung's latest Galaxy iteration.

And who can blame the skeptics? At 6.3 inches, the Mega is conspicuously larger than just about everything else consumers are making calls on. It’s not only the largest phone on AT&T’s shelves, but it’s one of the largest phones in the world, and never for a second pretends to be anything other than just that. Samsung can finally check the “6.3-inch” box off its to-do list, at the expense of unknowingly absurd-looking Galaxy fans.

Read: Our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3

Unfortunately, the Galaxy Mega is not only one of the largest phones on the market, but it’s also one of the worst. Shooting off an SMS takes brute strength and two meaty paws; making a phone call looks and feels ridiculous, despite what anyone graciously might tell you. The Mega is the most polarizing device in Samsung’s arsenal, and the tough love it’s been receiving from the skeptics as a poorly designed and gimmicky smartphone isn’t entirely unwarranted.

But perhaps all of us — consumers, Samsung, and AT&T — have got it all wrong. Maybe the Galaxy Mega is being unfairly judged as an awful smartphone when, in reality, it’s a fantastic tablet.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom gets an LTE model in Europe

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It's a Galaxy S4 Zoom, but with LTE

When we first saw the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom for ourselves at the Premiere 2013 event in London, one noticeable absentee was an LTE version. That open book can now be closed, as Samsung is today announcing an LTE S4 Zoom for European markets. 

In every other sense, this is the same exact camera phone we saw back in London. A Galaxy S4 Mini class phone on one side, with a 16MP camera on the rear with a 10x optical zoom and a bunch of specialist camera applications to help make the most of it. If you're going to be taking and sharing a lot of pictures with this thing — which lets face it, is why you'd buy one in the first place, right? — then on-board LTE is going to be a big assist. Check out the full press release after the break. 

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3 years ago

Knock Knock: How to turn on the LG G2 without the power button

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One of my favorite features in the LG G2 is the ability to wake the phone without using the power button by tapping twice on the screen. Called "Knock Knock" or "Knock On," it's sort of a necessary side effect from the power button being on the back of the phone. You might want to wake the phone to see a notification, but not necessarily pick it up to do so.

Nokia has done this in the past, and you can get the same sort of feature with a custom kernel. But this is the first time we've seen an Android manufacturer build it in.

And, so, we knock. Or tap. A double rap on the dark display wakes the phone. From there, you can double tap again on the lock screen to put it back to sleep.

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid Maxx: The phone for serious battery junkies

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Why aren't other manufacturers offering this kind of battery life?

Verizon has been pushing its three-tiered Droid strategy for a couple generations now, and the highest-end phone of the group has always sported a gigantic battery. The case is no different with the latest roundup of Droids — the Droid Mini, Droid Ultra and Droid Maxx — where the $299 on-contract Maxx has a substantially larger battery than the other two.

At 3500mAh it is over 64 percent more capacity than the Droid Ultra and 75 percent more than the Mini, while still fitting into a casing that is only 8.5mm thick. While Motorola claims an already high (but higher than we've experienced) 28 hours of "mixed usage" on the Droid Ultra, it claims an absurd 48 hours on the Maxx variant.

Throughout our time with the Droid Maxx, however, we found you can actually push closer to that 48 hour claim than you may think.

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3 years ago

The LG G2 rear buttons: A few quick thoughts

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So we've got the LG G2 here for a little one-on-one time. That's the good news. But we also need to make clear that this is a preproduction unit. The hardware is solid, but the software's not quite final. (As we found out already in a new hands-on video.) Not a huge deal, and it gives us time to play around with some of the more unique features of this phone before we get into review mode. 

So let's flip over to the back of this phone, where the volume rocker and power button live. Crazy, we know. But maybe — just maybe — it's our kind of crazy.

A few quick thoughts:

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend P6 review

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Great design, impressive specs and a solid price ... so where does it fall short?

Huawei is one of the dark-horse Android manufacturers, with a larger market share than you would guess (mostly outside the U.S.) and drastically better design and manufacturing chops than you'd expect from what most would call a "no name" manufacturer. The Chinese company has been making phones of all shapes, sizes and price points for many years now, but has just started moving into the higher-end smart phone game as of late where it sees room for growth.

It's latest entry into the market that is hoping turn a few heads is the Huawei Ascend P6, and on paper and in press images it looks like it has it all. A quad-core processor, a high-quality screen, numerous software features and all packed into a metal chassis that measures up at just 6.18mm thick. Add all of that up and you still come home with a device that has an unlocked price of about $450, which is even more impressive.

But can it ever live up to the marketing materials and spec sheets? Read on for our full review of the Huawei Ascend P6.

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3 years ago

Blue HTC One tipped for Sept. 10 launch on Sprint

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We've seen plenty of the blue HTC One of late, thanks to various pre-release leaks of the unannounced color option. And now it seems U.S. carrier Sprint might be getting first dibs on the new, blue version of the phone, if a leaked internal screenshot is to be believed.

PhoneArena has obtained an image of a recent Sprint handset update advisory showing the HTC One in blue listed alongside a Sept. 10 launch date. If accurate, the blue HTC One would join the "glamor red" version on Sprint -- the carrier already has exclusivity over that model in the U.S.

Source: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

LG G2: The video hands-on redux

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A deeper look at LG's latest device with big features and interesting buttons

This hot little number here? That's the LG G2, and it just flew halfway around the world and into our hot little hands for some one-on-one smartphone love.

Yes, this is the phone with the buttons on the back. The volume buttons and power button have been moved there in deference to the size of the smartphone itself. That's the sort of thing that's going to take some getting used to, but the logic is sound — and it makes the sides of this phone just feel slick, without any unsightly bumps and bulges.

The front end is as nice as we recall from the launch event in New York City as well — that 5.2-inch IPS display at 1080p resolution. And this is one of the first Snapdragon 800 devices to be released, so it'll be fun putting that system on a chip through its paces as well.

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3 years ago

10 phones that now cost more than the Nexus 4

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The Nexus 4's new price tag makes it cheaper than a lot of entry-level phones and older models

Google’s recent, dramatic price cut for the Nexus 4 on the Google Play Store has made it one of the best value handsets you can pick up. In fact, at £159 in the UK and $199 in the U.S., the Nexus 4 easily provides the best bang for your buy when buying an Android smartphone, with just a few caveats attached.

So we decided to take a look at the phone market at large and see where exactly the Nexus 4 fits at its new price point. And it’s surprising to see the company it’s keeping at its new $200-level price. Check past the break to see ten devices that are now more expensive than the Nexus 4.

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