Headlines

3 years ago

Sony's tiny Xperia Tipo headed to O2 and Orange in the UK

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Sony's latest entry-level smartphone, the Xperia Tipo, is set to launch on O2 and Orange in the UK from next month. Announced in mid-June, the pint-size handset comes loaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich as well as Sony's UXP NXT software. That makes the Xperia Tipo the first entry-level Sony handset to ship with ICS.

Hardware-wise, the Xperia Tipo provides enough horsepower for a basic Android smartphone experience -- a 3.2-inch screen, an 800MHz CPU, a 3.2MP rear camera and 1500mAh battery, which Sony says can deliver more than 24 hours of usage. Internal storage is split between 768MB for apps and 2.5GB for media, and that's expandable via a microSD card slot. That's all wrapped up in a neatly-designed package reminiscent of last year's Xperia Active.

An O2 "coming soon" page indicates that the Xperia Tipo will be arriving sometime in August. There's no word on pricing yet, but we'd expect the phone to sell for around £100 on Pay As You Go, or to be given away for free with 24 month contracts. 

Source: O2, Orange

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3 years ago

HTC closes office in South Korea following slow sales

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HTC has announced it is to close its office in South Korea, according to reports from Korean news agency Yonhap​. The move reportedly follows slow sales of HTC's smartphones in the country, and continuing difficulty in competing with Samsung in its own back yard.

In a market dominated by domestic manufacturers, analysts at Canalys estimate HTC had just one percent market share in South Korea in the first quarter of the year, down from two percent in 2011. By comparison, a recent report from Korea's ​MK​ news site estimated up to a 70 percent share of the Korean market for Samsung by the end of July, following the recent Galaxy S3 launch in the country.

HTC has taken a beating in terms of profits and market share over the past six months, after it saw record earnings in 2011. The Taiwanese manufacturer saw a 57.8 percent year-on-year fall in net profits during the second quarter of 2012, a situation it blamed on lackluster European sales of the HTC One series, in addition to litigation from Apple which briefly delayed the phones' U.S. launch.

Source: Yonhap; via: ZDNet

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3 years ago

Samsung announces UK availability of Galaxy Beam

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​Update: Carphone Warehouse is now offering the Galaxy Beam for free on a number of contracts starting at £31 per month.

​Original: It's been more than five months since we first saw the Samsung Galaxy Beam at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and now it looks like the phone/projector hybrid is set to officially make its way to the UK. A Samsung press release indicates that the Beam is available in Britain from today, though no specific retailers, networks or price points are mentioned. Pre-order prices have suggested a fairly hefty £454.80 including VAT, or £379 (~$600) excluding VAT to buy the Beam outright.

The reason you might pay that much is the Galaxy Beam's built-in pico projector, which allows you to fire images up to 50 feet away from the device, depending on various factors like ambient lighting. Other specs are relatively run-of-the-mill -- a 1GHz dual-core CPU, a 4-inch WVGA display, 5MP camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread (yeah, we know) backed up by Samsung's TouchWiz software. So there are certainly better deals to be had elsewhere for mainstream buyers, but if you want a portable image projector that ties into your smartphone, this is, for the moment, the only way you'll be able to get it.

We've got the full spec sheet and today's press release after the break.

More: Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Beam

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3 years ago

AT&T drops the price of the HTC One X to $99.99 on contract

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We already got the nod earlier in the week that Radio Shack was dropping the price of the AT&T HTC One X to $100, but now AT&T has followed suit. Thats right, you can now head over to AT&T directly and pick up the mighty HTC One X for just $99.99 on a new 2-year contract.

The no commitment price sits at $449.99 which for a smartphone as capable as the One X isn't a bad deal at all. It applies to both colors, and is available at these prices on the AT&T website right now. If you've been holding out, now is as good a time as any. And, if you haven't already, don't forget to check out our full review before parting with your dough.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Vu goes to Japan with NTT DoCoMo

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Should you live in Japan and have the urge to purchase a pretty large smartphone, then good news from LG. The 5-inch, LTE compatible Optimus Vu can be yours on NTT DoCoMo, which carries the device as part of their "NEXT" range. As a Japanese exclusive, limited models of the Vu will carry a special "JoJo Bizarre Adventure" design on the rear and the UI. Only 15,000 of these special editions will be available, so snap them up quickly if it's something for you.  

NTT DoCoMo has added a million LTE customers to their books in under 2 months. With LTE subscribers appearing at that rate, there is a definite market for the Vu. With its 4:3 aspect ratio it won't suit everyone, but the Japanese version will come equipped with a high-definition multimedia broadcast receiver -- something to do with video, perhaps -- which is bound to make full use of that screen real estate. Interested? Don't forget to check out our hands-on with the device back at CTIA in New Orleans

Source: LG (translated)

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3 years ago

Motorola and Nextel Brazil team up to release the Motorola i867 Ferrari

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If you're a Ferrari fan who lives in Brazil, Motorola and Nextel are hoping you'll take that Ferrari love to the next level with the Motorola i867 Ferrari. The Android 2.1 powered device isn't exactly a new phone, it's actually a rebadged version of the device with the same name with some Ferrari 458 inspirations. It's also not the first time Motorola has used the Ferrari name in brazil with Motorola i897 already available on Nextel. For those wondering, the specs are:

  • 3.1-inch touchscreen
  • Integrated GPS
  • Integrated WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • 3MP Camera with 4X zoom
  • Push To Talk
  • 200MB of storage with 32GB microSD capacity / 2GB microSD  included

In Brazil, the device will retail for R$ 1,499 or for the promotional price of R$ 799 with a data plan. The full press release can be found below.

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

Samsung goes behind the scenes at the Olympic opening ceremony

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As we reported yesterday, Samsung's Galaxy Note and Galaxy S3 phones appeared as part of the Olympic Games opening ceremony in London last night. Now the manufacturer (and global Olympic partner) is taking us behind the scenes, showing how Olympic staffers and opening ceremony performers have been using its Android phones. In addition appearing last night's show in Hyde Park, the Note has been used by Olympic organizers like Head of Ceremonies Martin Green in their day-to-day work preparing for the games. And it looks like Olympic volunteer dancers got shiny white Galaxy Notes for their troubles too, which is nice.

Check out the full presentation embedded above. You'll find more Android/Olympics crossover news over at this story tag.

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3 years ago

Phones4U quietly launches the ZTE Grand X, yours for £199

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ZTE's new vanilla Android mid-ranger has landed at one UK store a little earlier than expected. The Grand X, which we saw at its launch event last week, is now available online at Phones4U, with on-contract prices starting at £15.50 per month, with a £50 up-front charge for the phone. Alternatively you can get it for free on contracts starting at £20.50 per month, or buy it outright for £199.

The Grand X is ZTE's effort to enter the premium handset market in the UK, with a phone sporting a dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 CPU and a near-stock Android 4.0 software experience. The phone also rocks a 4.3-inch qHD LCD display, 512MB of RAM, a 5MP rear camera and a microSD card slot. It's not bleeding edge by any means, but considering you'd have paid top whack for that kind of device less than a year ago, a £199 price tag seems more than reasonable. Vanilla ICS should also win the Grand X some admiration among Android purists.

Hit the link below for the full list of tariffs offered by Phones4U on Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile. And make sure to check out our hands-on report and video preview for more info on the phone itself.

Source: Phones4U via Engadget;

More: ZTE Grand X hands-on

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3 years ago

LG Nitro HD sees another Android 4.0 ICS leak ahead of official update

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As we already know, AT&T will be updating the LG Nitro HD with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on July 31st but just in case you simply cannot wait, there is a new leak now out there claiming to be to be the official final build. You'll need to use the notably crappy LG Windows Suite to get it loaded up but it's there and available for download.

As with all things not officially official, we suggest some caution loading it but if you're one to tosses that suggestion to the wind, you'll find the link below. If you're on a different carrier, say Bell Mobility you're going to want to read through it all to ensure compatibility but that's where those cautionary measures come in once again.

Source: XDA

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3 years ago

Pantech Star Q spotted, headed to Verizon packing 4G LTE

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Although Pantech hasn''t had a much success in the high-end market, they're still coming out with some entry level options to entice those people who may be jumping into the smartphone market for the first time. A new device for Verizon has now appeared going under the name Pantech Star Q. It's no head turner but considering it's suggested to retail for only $99 with 4G LTE it's worth a look:

  • Android 4.0.4
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor
  • 4-inch WVGA display
  • 3 MP rear camera, front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0

It is, what it is. The 5-row QWERTY may appeal to some folks given there is a shortage of those on Verizon other than that, we know whoever has one in their possession has uploaded some pics to Picassa and certainly likes Hemp seeds. We'll leave it at that.

Source: Android and Me

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3 years ago

HTC One X sees a price drop at Radio Shack, and the Trade & Save special is back

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If you're looking to pick up a new Android phone on AT&T this weekend, you might want to swing by Radio Shack and have a look at the HTC One X this Sunday. The folks at the Shack are dropping the price down to $100 (on a contract, of course) and have brought back the Trade & Save specials. That means that if you bring in any working phone when you buy a new one (again, with a contract) you will score somewhere between $30 and $300. Beats the heck out of trolling Craigslist looking for a buyer, or just letting your old phone sit in the junk drawer.

We know the best way to buy a phone is to get an unlocked GSM model and be free of pesky multi-year contracts. We get it. But not everyone is ready to spend upwards of $700 on a new phone, and if you're happy with your carrier and plan to be there for two years anyway, why not save some cash, right? Radio Shack is making it easy to get a great phone, at a great price, and maybe you'll even get some folding money from your old one. The promotion starts Sunday July 29, and the Trade & Save offer will run until Saturday Aug. 11. 

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3 years ago

HTC explains decision to drop Desire HD Ice Cream Sandwich update

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After a little confusion earlier this month, it was eventually revealed that HTC wouldn't be updating the venerable Desire HD to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich after all. At the time, the manufacturer simply said that the current Gingerbread-based firmware "provides customers with the best experience" on the phone. Now HTC has elaborated a little on the specific technical issues keeping the DHD from getting an Android 4.0 update. Basically, the system partition of the phone isn't large enough to hold Sense and Ice Cream Sandwich, and HTC found the device's performance on ICS to be below-par anyway.

Here's the company's statement in full, which goes into a fair amount of detail about what's involved --

We’ve heard your feedback on our decision not to update the HTC Desire HD to Android 4.0. We completely understand that this is a controversial decision.

For more background, due to how storage on the HTC Desire HD is partitioned – and the larger size of Android 4.0 – it would require re-partitioning device storage and overwriting user data in order to install this update. While technically advanced users might find this solution acceptable, the majority of customers would not. We also considered ways to reduce the overall size of the software package, but this would impact features and functionality that customers are currently using. Even after installing the update, there were other technical limitations which we felt negatively impacted the user experience.

We believe an update should always improve the user experience and carefully evaluate each update based on this criteria. While we are very aware of the disappointment from this decision, we believe the impact to user experience was too great. We recognize this is a change from our previous statement and for that we’re truly sorry.

So that's that. Clearly there's no way HTC could have anticipated the hardware or partitioning requirements of ICS when designing the Desire HD in mid-2010, so it's the decision to cut the update is an understandable one. Nevertheless, we're sure custom ROM developers will still find a way to get ICS ROMs loaded onto the Desire HD's smaller partition setup. So if you're still rocking a DHD, the custom ROM route should still be open to you.

Source: HTC Blog

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3 years ago

Samsung confirms Galaxy Note and Galaxy S3 appearance in Olympic opening ceremony

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In what seems to be a slightly premature blog post, Samsung has confirmed the appearance of the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S III (S3) at the Olympic opening ceremony in London -- an event some four hours away at the time of writing. Referring to the ceremony in the past tense, a post on the official Samsung Tomorrow blog noted Samsung's position as a global Olympic partner, and said the phones were featured "as part of a dance routine," in the show seen by "more than one billion people across the globe."

Samsung says to go to the official Samsung Mobile YouTube page for behind-the-scenes interviews from the opening ceremony, but it looks like these aren't live just yet.

We'll know more when the ceremonies kick off at 9pm London time (4pm EDT, 1pm PDT)

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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3 years ago

Entry-level Sony 'Xperia J' photos leak out ahead of possible IFA arrival

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We're already expecting to see a couple of new Sony phones at next month's IFA show in Berlin, and now it seems they may be joined by a third, budget-oriented offering. The Sony ST26i, rumored to go to market as the "Xperia J,"  has cropped up on Taiwanese site ePrice, along with a set of purported specs.

According to posters on the site, the Xperia J will sport a 4-inch FWVGA (854x480) display, a 1GHz single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU and Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. Around the back there's said to be a 5MP camera with single LED flash. From what we can see of the design, the phone seems to be a plain old candybar/slab design, like some other leaked Sony handsets we've seen lately. The photos would also see to confirm at least three colors -- pink, black and white.

We'd expect the "Xperia J" to appear alongside the LT30p "Mint" and LT29i "Hayabusa" at the Sony booth at IFA next month, but of course nothing's being officially confirmed ahead of the event. Keep watching in late August, as we'll be live on the ground in Berlin.

Source: ePrice; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Virgin Mobile introduces $79.99 entry level PCD Chaser

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Virgin Mobile USA has today introduced their latest Android smartphone, the entry level PCD Chaser for just $79.99 without signing a contract. Marketing for the Chaser is aimed firmly at customers currently using a feature phone but wanting to make the jump to a smartphone. Featuring a 3.2" touchscreen, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 3MP camera and an 800MHz processor, the Chaser's specs won't set the world on fire. But, it's priced to move, and is currently showing up as temporarily out of stock on the Virgin Mobile website. 

It's available with Beyond Talk unlimited data and messaging plans, starting at $35 a month. The Chaser will be rolling out through nationwide retailers starting in September, but it is available online from today -- or when it's in stock it will be, anyway. 

Source: Virgin Mobile

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