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3 years ago

HTC One VX hands on

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Perhaps the star of tonight’s AT&T Holiday preview here in New York is the One VX, the out-of-left-field entry from HTC that sits somewhere between the One V and T-Mobile’s One S. Like Phil said upon its unveiling a few days ago, this is a device in and of itself, and really brings the best of both worlds to AT&T’s LTE network. 

Spec wise, we’re following the new trend of high-end internals at low entry-level prices. The 4.5-inch Super LCD2 display is the same qHD resolution as the One S but the ever-so-slight bump in size makes a world of difference. It looks great too, and while it isn’t the mind-blowing 720p display on the One X+, it produces vivid color, excellent viewing angles, and admirable brightness. You won’t be disappointed here.

The Snapdragon S4 MSM 8390 is just a few clicks below the One S in terms of clock speed, but based on my short time with it tonight, it gets the job done. The One VX chugs along with nary a hiccup or stutter, and seems to be able to handle just about anything you throw at it. No, this isn’t the biggest and baddest processor/RAM combo you’ll find, but that doesn’t mean the VX doesn’t offer exceptional usability. The same can be said for the camera—its 5 megapixels are lower than the 8 on the One X and One S, but thanks to its ImageSense processor and advanced optics, we’re expecting exceptional photographs.

Physically, the VX really hits a sweet spot in terms of screen size and portability. It’s absolutely stunning, as we’ve come to expect from the One series. Slim and light, the VX looks quite similar to the One S with its rounded corners, super-slim profile, metal trim, and matte silver/white finish. It’s also the perfect balance between big and small- despite the 4.5-inch display, the VX is perfectly pocketable.

I do have some small gripes, like HTC’s decision to ship with Ice Cream Sandwich while the rest of the One line is queued up for its Jelly Bean upgrade. And don’t get me started on the name—HTC ruined a great thing with this choice, and completely screws up its super-clean One branding. Why not the V+? Or even the S-?

I’m on pins and needles to see what kind of pricetag AT&T slaps on the VX, as I think this phone has the potential to be huge at the right price point. Until we get a chance to put it through its paces, sit back, relax, and enjoy some hands-on after the break.

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3 years ago

First look at the HTC One X+ for AT&T

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Perhaps the most anticipated arrival on AT&T this holiday season is the follow up to the HTC One X, one of the best Android smartphones on the carrier (and any carrier, for that matter). The HTC One X+ is a modest yet attractive step up, complete with a beefed-up processor, a bigger battery, the next iteration of HTC’s Sense, and the buttery-smooth Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. What we’re seeing tonight here in New York is identical to the international version our resident Brit Alex Dobie got his hands on just two days ago,  save for AT&T LTE radios and branding. 

I’ve got to echo Alex’s sentiments—the screen is absolutely phenomenal, even if it isn’t any improvement over the already stunning HTC One X. Performance does indeed seem a bit snappier and more fluid with the over-clocked processor and new iteration of Android, and the camera is as impressive as ever. And physically, just like the original One X, the One X+ is one of the most striking, svelte, attractive devices available today.

I see where HTC is coming from with this release—with LG’s Optimus G and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 on the horizon, it needs to stay relevant enough to compete. I do wonder why HTC didn’t opt for 2 GB of RAM as its competitors have recently adopted. Despite the choice, the One X + is a nice stopgap between the original and HTC’s follow up, which will more than likely arrive early next year.

Some hands-on shots can be found after the break.

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3 years ago

Google says Motorola downsizing may be more expensive than anticipated

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Motorola has been undergoing significant "restructuring" for awhile, and Google recently said that even more than expected. Google increased the estimated cost of severance-related charges from $275 million to $300 million for the third quarter, and that another $40 million in facilities costs were possible. Google addressed these changes in a statements.

"Motorola has continued to refine its planned restructuring actions and now expects to broaden those actions to include additional geographic regions outside of the U.S. ... Motorola continues to evaluate its plans and further restructuring actions may occur, which may cause Google to incur additional restructuring charges, some of which may be significant."

Between the uphill battle of making Motorola profitable and the patent disputes that it has exposed Google to (nevermind defended them from), it's getting harder to see the $12.5 billion acquisition as a good idea. On the other hand, Motorola wasn't in particularly good shape when Google acquired it; one can only imagine how much longer Moto would have lasted on their own. 

What do you guys think: has Motorola still not had a chance to prove itself as a worthwhile investment to the Android ecosystem, or is it becoming too expensive for Google to reasonably keep around? Was the acquisition worth it for the patents alone, or are we likely to see some really excellent devices come out of Motorola with Google behind them? 

Via: Reuters

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 launches on Vodafone UK

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Vodafone UK sends word that it's just launched the Galaxy Note 2, Samsung's latest 5.5-inch phone/tablet hybrid device. The device is available on Vodafone's "Red" price plan from £47 per month, which includes unlimited calls and texts, and 2GB of data. Other tariffs are available, although you'll pay an up-front fee for the phone if you go this route. For example, £33 per month will get you 600 minutes, unlimited texts and 500MB, with a £150 up-front fee for the Note.

Currently, Voda's offering the Galaxy Note 2 in "marbel white" only -- there's no sign of the "titanium grey" version available from other vendors.

For more on the Galaxy Note 2, check out our hands-on coverage.  We'll publish our full review later today.

Source: Vodafone UK

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3 years ago

Sprint and AT&T getting the LG Optimus G

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LG today announced that Sprint and AT&T will carry the Optimus G, the 4.7-inch Android smartphone we saw announced last month. (See our hands-on from the launch in South Korea.)

AT&T will get the version of the Optimus G that sports an 8-megapixel camera. (Other regions are getting a 13MP shooter.) That makes a difference, because the 8MP camera is flush with the body of the phone, whereas the 13MP lens sticks out slightly. Sprint says it'll carry the 13-megapixel version. (See our pre-production Optimus G camera test.)

Both phones will run on their respective carriers' 4G LTE networks and sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 pro processor at 1.5 GHz. They've got 2 gigabytes of RAM and a 2100 mAh battery. AT&T's phone will have 32GB of storage, as will Sprint's.

No word on pricing or availability yet for either carrier.

We've got hands-on video and more pics after the break.

Source: AT&T, PR Newswire

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3 years ago

Pantech Element and Pantech Burst get Ice Cream Sandwich update

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Happy ICS day, Pantech Burst and Pantech Element, owners! The update to Android 4.0 for Pantech's smartphone and tablet are currently available through home page, or you can dig around in your on-device system settings to see if you can initiate the upgrade from there. So, what's new? 

  • Enhanced Home screen canvas switcher edit functionality(In the preview of home screen panels, users can change a main home screen panel).
  • Enhanced Multitasking and Notifications functionality.
  • Enhanced User Interface : Virtual buttons in System bar, contextual options in Action Bar.
  • Support for Face Unlock. (Burst only)
  • Improved text input and spell-checking (Android keyboard)
  • Control over Network data and Powerful web browsing
  • New! Self mode and Panorama capture mode in camera.
  • New! Time-Lapse recording function in video camera.

Anyone using either of these devices and itching to download? You can hit up Pantech's front page to get started. 

Thanks spudaj!

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 initial photo and video samples

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We've been spending the past few days getting to know the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and we'll be publishing our full review soon. In the meantime, we've got a selection of photos and video from the phone's impressive 8-megapixel camera. Like the Galaxy S3, the Note 2 packs a rear camera with a BSI (backside illuminated) sensor and f/2.6 aperture. The camera software also shares many of the characteristics of the S3's, including rapid-capture capabilities and a HDR shooting mode. And it packs some impressive macro shooting capabilities, as you'll see in our samples after the break.

Click through for a gallery containing some of our sample images, along with some 1080p video footage.

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3 years ago

HTC One X+ headed to UK from Oct 22, priced £474, says retailer

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Hot on the heels of yesterday's HTC One X+ announcement, British retailer Clove Technology brings the first news of pricing and availability in the UK. Clove says it expects to begin stocking the refreshed version of the One X from Oct. 22, and is currently taking pre-orders for £474 inc. VAT (that's £395, or $630, ext. VAT). That's a lot of money, to be sure, but at least prices aren't advancing north of £500, as has been the case for devices like the Galaxy S3 earlier in the year.

As ever, pre-order prices are subject to change, but with the One X+ UK launch just a couple of weeks away, we feel fairly confident these numbers will be accurate.

Tempted by a One X+ at this price, or are you holding you holding out for a cut-price original One X? Shout out in the comments.

Source: Clove, More: Hands-on with the HTC One X+

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 2 LTE coming to the UK on EE's 4G network

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EE (Everything Everywhere) will launch the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE on its network in the next couple of weeks, according to reports. UK tech blog Pocket-Lint has word that the international Galaxy Note 2 with LTE will arrive on EE from Oct. 15. As EE's 4G network has yet to launch, customers will first be required to sign up with one of EE's existing 3G network brands -- Orange or T-Mobile. Later, they'll have the option to switch to an EE 4G tariff, though pricing details and launch timeframes have yet to be announced.

The Galaxy Note 2 LTE will reportedly become available from Oct 15 on EE, joining the likes of the HTC One XL, Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and iPhone 5, which are available now. We met with EE today for a quick demo of some already announced handsets, though they remained tight-lipped about the Note 2.

The Galaxy Note 2 and 4G LTE connectivity will be a tantalizing proposition for Android power users, but with EE's effective monopoly on 4G for the time being, it likely won't be cheap to get hold of the device and a matching service plan.

Source: Pocket-Lint

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 2's Smart Rotation solves the ultimate first-world problem

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We've all been there before. You're reading something on your smartphone while laying down on a bed or sofa. You turn sideways, and the screen rotates. Suddenly, whatever you were reading is at 90 degrees to where it needs to be, and you're left trying to read at an awkward angle. Fortunately, we found a feature on the Galaxy Note 2 that seems to have been developed for this exact eventuality.

"Smart rotation" makes its debut on the Note 2, and like the Galaxy S3's Smart Stay, it uses a bit of front-facing camera trickery. When the phone rotates, the device uses the front-facer to work out what orientation your face is in and then match the orientation of the screen accordingly, based on the built-in sensor. That means even if you're reading at an angle, the Note 2 can recognize this and keep things the right way up. In our experience it functions pretty well, though the fact that it uses the front-facing camera means you need a little ambient light in order for it to work.

Smart Rotation is switched off by default on the Note 2, but can be enabled under Settings > Display. Perhaps not the most practical or necessary software feature ever conceived, but damned if it isn't cool.

If you're reading this article at a 90 degree angle, be sure to shout out in the comments.

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3 years ago

Motorola drops ITC complaint against Apple

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In August, Motorola was seeking an import ban of the iPad and iPhone from the International Trade Commission due to patent infringement, but today Motorola has dropped the case. Since the seven non-standard-essential patents in question were never undisclosed, it's hard to say why exactly Motorola backed off. Motorola's statement clearly laid out that no out-of-court settlement was made, either. 

It's entirely possible that Motorola found they didn't have a strong case, or they needed to prepare more documents in order to properly sue Apple, or there were some other outside forces at play that we just plum don't know about. Conversely, Samsung has started its legal counterattack on Apple today, so the tension between Android and iOS isn't likely to let up, even if for whatever reason Google wanted to lay off legally antagonizing Apple. 

So, let's open up the floor to wild speculation as to why Motorola launched the complaint in the first place, and what could have made them retract from proceedings so close to an official investigation. 

Via: FOSS Patents

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3 years ago

TELUS confirms HTC One X+ is coming to Canada

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TELUS has just confirmed with us that they'll be offering the HTC One X+, though they remained skittish on pricing or timing details. They acknowledged the launch would be happening in the fall, though it's unclear if they were simply referring to when the device would be making its inaugural debut in Europe. 

In any case, have you seen this thing? Sure, it's not a major leap from the original One X, but that predecessor was already really great, and it's looking like it will raise the bar even further. The One X Plus will  boast a 1.7 GHz quad-core processor, keep the same 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 display, and has an 8 megapixel camera on the back. Best of all, the One X+ is packing Android 4.1 Jelly Bean right out of the box. 

I'm still waiting to hear back from Rogers or Bell to see if either one will be offering the One X+ as well or if they'll pick up the One VX. Update: Two big fat "no comment" replies from Bell and Rogers. 

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3 years ago

HTC shares some One X+ design sketches

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Now that the One X+ is good and official, HTC has posted a short walk-through of some of their thinking behind the design of their latest smartphone. There's not much said that isn't told through the sketches they've posted, other than obvious stuff like they were aiming to "create a smartphone you wanted to hold and use everyday". HTC does hint, however,that they're going to produce a longer series about the design process, which would be pretty nice. They did up an excellent video for the launch of their latest Windows Phone, and some similar content for Android devices would be great.

For those of you just tuning in, the HTC One X+ is a shaping up to be a great new Android handset hitting Europe this month. 

  • 1.7 GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2100mAh battery
  • 64GB of internal storage in the UK, other markets may vary
  • 4.7-inch laminated SuperLCD2 display at 720p (1280x720) resolution with Gorllla Glass 2
  • Internal speaker with built-in amplifier
  • 8.0MP rear camera with BSI sensor, f/2.0 lens and HTC ImageSense
  • 1.6MP front-facing camera with HTC ImageSense
  • HSPA+ 42Mbps connectivity in Europe, LTE connectivity in the U.S.
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC support
  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS with HTC Sense 4+
  • Size: 134.36 x 69.9 x 8.9mm
  • Weight: 135 grams with battery

What would you guys like to see in future HTC behind-the-scenes content? Personally, I think it would be really interesting to see some scrapped prototypes and hear from the designers and product managers why the kept certain aspects but ditched others. 

Source: HTC Blog

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3 years ago

AT&T announces the HTC One X+; Nvidia quad-core meets LTE

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AT&T and HTC have finally brought quad-core processors and LTE together in the U.S., with the unveiling of the HTC One X+. Take everything you know about the current AT&T One X (and we know quite a lot), and beef it up a notch for a refresh that's just about nice enough to make most people with the current One X a little green, but not quite enough for a new model name -- hence the One X+.

The specs are the same as the international version coming to Europe, namely a 1.7GHz Tegra 3 quad-core CPU, 64GB of internal storage, and a larger 2100mAh battery. You'll still have the great HTC camera and best-in-class LCD2 display, making the One X+ one for the best-of short list.

On the software side the One X+ will roll out of the gates with Jelly Bean and HTC Sense 4+, which brings new functionality to the camera, a new and improved gallery, and a unique Tap and Go function when paired with Beats speakers.

There's no word on pricing and availability just yet, only the ever-present "soon."  All in all it looks like a device that's bound to please quite a few, and one we're excited to get to know a little better. 

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3 years ago

Quick screen comparison: Galaxy Note 2 versus Galaxy S3

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Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 ushers in the post-PenTile era

In the past, most SuperAMOLED smartphone screens have used a "PenTile" matrix pattern for the subpixels that make up each dot on the display. This pattern of tiny LEDs in an RGBG (red, green, blue, green) layout can improve battery life compared to regular RGB, but may also be prone to discolored whites and jagged edges in text and other UI elements. The difference isn't always pronounced -- the Galaxy S3, for example, has one of the better-looking PenTile displays we've tested. However, in the past it's been a compromise you've had to deal with if you want a Samsung phone with a bright, high-contrast SuperAMOLED screen.

The Galaxy Note 2 is a bit different. Samsung's latest 5.5-inch monster phone makes a clean break from the PenTile past, introducing in an HD SuperAMOLED display with a more traditional RGB subpixel arrangement (the kind used in most LCD displays). That results in more subpixels making up each individual pixel, and in a more regular pattern. And that means there's less discoloration and sharper lines on-screen.

Interestingly, the Note 2's RGB subpixel arrangement isn't quite a standard RGB stripe -- it's got a red and green subpixel stacked on top of each other, with a larger (but darker) blue subpixel to the left. There's been some speculation that this setup allows for extra longevity, as blue AMOLEDs tend to burn out more quickly than other colors -- and so a larger, darker blue subpixel would last longer. We've yet to see any official confirmation of this theory, but at the very least, the larger blue subpixel doesn't seem to adversely affect color balance on the Note 2.

We've included an example of two icons above to show some of the differences. On the Galaxy S3 there are noticeably fewer subpixels making up the image, and some noticeable greenish-blue discoloration. The RGB-toting Note 2 produces a much sharper, more natural image. For a more detailed view, click the image above for an expanded view.

Needless to say our time with the Galaxy Note 2 has us excited for the future of AMOLED displays. If you find yourself anywhere near a Note 2 in-store demo unit anytime soon, you'll definitely want to check it out for yourself.

More: SLCD, SAMOLED, PenTile, RGB - Does it matter?

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