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3 years ago

Motorola RAZR M launching in Japan on October 26

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The Motorola RAZR M -- or, the full screen smartphone as it's often referred to -- is to receive a Japanese launch on carrier Softbank. Due to land on October 26, the RAZR M will take advantage of Softbank's 4G LTE services. Additionally, the first 10000 people to purchase the device will receive a Motorola P4000 Universal Portable Power Pack.

Anyone wanting to try one out before purchasing should head to Shibuya 109 special event space in Tokyo, on October 27, 28 and November 3, 4. Or, be sure to check out our full review of the Verizon RAZR M. Full press release can be found after the break. 

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3 years ago

LG Spectrum ICS update pushing out now

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Yesterday we got official word that Verizon would soon be pushing the Ice Cream Sandwich OTA to the LG Spectrum, and tonight we have confirmation that it's happening now. 

The update process comes in two packages, with a 26MB package to prepare the phone (it's a big jump from Gingerbread to ICS), then a second 390MB OTA complete with ICS and LG's touch from the Optimus UI. When things are done, you're running firmware version VS920ZV7 and Android 4.0.4.

Since it's a big change, Verizon and LG have dropped a few hints in the OS, specifically about the app drawer layout and finding widgets with the new system. Our tipster tells us "The update is pretty nice so far", and he may just start carrying this device again. Those are the kind of update stories we like to hear! Hit the break to see what we're talking about here.

If you haven't been already, start hammering the check for updates item in settings, then hash it all out in the forums!

Thanks, Tim!

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3 years ago

AT&T HTC One X gets root method for latest update

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The latest OTA update to the HTC One X on AT&T broke root methods that used to work in the past. Not to be outdone by a simple update, members over at XDA Forums already have another root method for the latest 2.20 firmware version. This method will use two different exploits to modify your CID and allow you to unlock your bootloader and root the device.

As is the case with these sorts of things, the usual set of disclaimers apply. Use these tools at your own risk, and rooting your device can have some seriously negative consequences if you're not careful. That being said, we know many of you want to still take a look at this and get your devices rooted. Take a look at the source link below!

Source: XDAThanks, Trevor!

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3 years ago

LG Spectrum 2 outed on Best Buy website

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The original LG Spectrum on Verizon wasn't exactly a blockbuster, but was an important mid-range staple nonetheless. Verizon looks to be following it up with a second iteration, as a Best Buy page has just gone live spilling the beans on the device. The Spectrum 2 will have a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 4.7-inch 720x1280 display, 8MP/1.3MP cameras, MicroSD card slot and of course LTE.

The Spectrum 2 really looks to be a bit of a mash-up between the original Spectrum and the Optimus G that we've seen as of late, bringing design cues and specs from each. The price listed on Best Buy is at $649 unsubsidized -- which isn't surprising -- but what will really be interesting is how Verizon prices this with a 2-year commitment.

Source: Best BuyThanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Pac-Man wokka-wokkas its way onto Nook

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The upcoming Nook HD and Nook HD+ will be home to the classic arcade game Pac-Man thanks to a recent release on the Barnes & Noble app store. Of course, those already with the original Nook or the Nook Color will also be able to get in on the pellet-chomping, ghost-fleeing action. Original, normal, and easy difficulty modes are available, along with three different control schemes, depending on your preferences. 

Hit up the BN website to buy Pac-Man for $2.99, which is a notch cheaper than the version currently available on Google Play. Any Nook owners out there hurting for some retro games? Anyone remember playing the original arcade games?

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3 years ago

Update: Droidax Powerpack for the Galaxy S3 fixes case design flaw

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Here's a quick update on the Droidax Power Pack for the Samsung Galaxy S3 that we reviewed a couple months ago. In our original review, we noted that the case didn't seem to fit properly up top, and so the phone could potentially come loose -- possibly damaging the microUSB plug on the case, or the port on the phone itself. Either way, that was no bueno.

Droidax has sent us a redesigned top half of the case, and the update indeed keeps things a little more snug. The left-hand side of the phone can still pop out ever so slightly, but the right-hand side kept everything as it should be.

And so with that update, we're ready to recommend the Droidax Power Pack for the Samsung Galaxy S3, if you're ready to spring $49 for the combination case/2300 mAh external battery. 

Check out our updated hands-on after the break.

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid Bionic Ice Cream Sandwich update now rolling out

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Long-suffering Motorola Droid Bionic owners, your Ice Cream Sandwich update has finally arrived. The Bionic, which has languished on Gingerbread since its release last fall, is today being bumped up to Android 4.0.4 via an over-the-air upgrade.

Reports from the Android Central forums indicate that the Bionic ICS update is now being sent out the masses, following a short soak test.

Unfortunately, it looks like the phone isn't on Motorola's Jelly Bean update roadmap, so Bionic owners will be running 4.0.4 for the foreseeable future. Regardless, ICS is a significant step up from Gingerbread, so Bionic owners will want to grab it right away.

If you're still rocking a bionic, hit the comments let us know how you're getting on with today's update.

Source: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

AT&T's Galaxy Note 2 available Nov. 9 for $299, preorders start Oct. 25

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AT&T this morning announced that its version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will be available Nov. 9 for $299 on contract. Preorders start Oct. 25.

More: Read our Galaxy Note 2 review

Specs for AT&T's version remain in line with other carriers', as well as the global version, with gorgeous 5.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display and a quad-core Exynos processor running at 1.6 GHz. It's got Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, and and Samsung's excellent 8-megapixel camera. Plus, it runs on AT&T's 4G LTE network, so long as you're in an area that has it.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

US Cellular gets the Alcatel One Touch Shockwave

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US Cellular this morning announced it'll carry the Alcatel One Touch Shockwave, a 3.5-inch Android smartphone. It's running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, has a 3.2 megapixel camera and sports a shock-resistant casing, Dragontrail tempered glass and is water resistant.

The Shockwave is available today for $49.99. 

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3 years ago

USPTO invalidates Apple rubber-band scrolling patent used in Samsung trial

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Good news for Samsung this morning, as a preliminary U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ruling has declared Apple's "rubber band" scrolling patents invalid. According to reports from TNW and FOSS Patents, the ruling isn't yet set in stone, but it means that, for the moment, 20 patent violation claims against Samsung relating to patent no. 7,469,381 no longer stand. Crucially, FOSS Patents says, this includes one claim involved in Apple's recent courtroom victory against the Korean manufacturer.

The USPTO is reported to have found evidence of prior art in some cases, and in others the inventions were deemed to have been obvious.

The "rubber band" scrolling feature can be found throughout Apple's range of iOS and OSX devices, as well as older Samsung smartphones. However, Samsung has long since pulled the feature from its Android-based phones.

As with everything relating to the on-going litigation between Samsung and Apple, and the wider patent wars, this is not yet finalized. Nevertheless, if things proceed in this direction, it could be helpful to Samsung's appeal in the high-profile California case.

Source: TNW, FOSS Patents

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3 years ago

'My Xperia' trademark filing points to possible Sony cloud service

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A trademark filing by Sony Mobile suggests the company may look to launch its own mobile-centric cloud service in the future. Sony has applied to trademark the term "MyXperia" at the European OHIM (Office of Harmonization for the Internal Market), and the listing is available online for all to see. 

The trademark application lists a number of mobile-based services for MyXperia, including “upload, storage, retrieval, download, transmission and delivery of digital content and media." That's a fairly vague definition, but it points to a possible proprietary Sony cloud service for exchanging photos, music and other data between Xperia phones and other devices.

Previously, Sony Mobile has relied on a partnership with Box.net to bring cloud storage to Xperia smartphone buyers.

The company also owns MyXperia.com, though currently that hosts nothing more than a nondescript login page.

With more and more mobile device manufacturers -- including Android giant Samsung -- getting into the cloud storage game, we wouldn't be too surprised to see MyXperia making an appearance on upcoming 2013 Xperia phones. Precisely what form it'll take, though, will remain to be seen.

Source: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Give an artist the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and he makes magic with the S Pen

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The artist is Gérémy Arène. His tools are the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with the S Pen, and the Sketchbook Mobile app. The result is amazing. 

I tried to say it before when we first saw the Galaxy Note 10.1. These are more than Android phones or tablets. The S Pen and Wacom digitizer makes them a real appliance. Gérémy says it better in this 10-minute video than I ever could.

Source: PhonAndroid (French); via +Cory Teague

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3 years ago

Official word on the Optimus G bootloader

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A lot of people are excited about the upcoming LG Optimus G launch on AT&T and Sprint, but it seems like the most common question I'm hearing is about the bootloader.

LG has historically been pretty open with their Android phones, and adding in no extra security or encryption on the bootloader. That all changed with the past couple releases, and plenty of folks were surprised when they found the bootloader on the Optimus 4XHD and Optimus VU locked up tight and encrypted. Everyone wants to know if the powerhouse that is the Optimus G will be hacker friendly, so I asked a contact at LG for the answer.

Hi Jerry,

The Optimus G doesn’t support an unlocked bootloader.

So there you have it. Expect things to be pretty locked down, and possibly never be cracked open. I can't say I'm any happier about it than you are, and I'm just glad we got the firm answer before money changed hands on release day.

Will this affect your decision to buy the Optimus G? Hash it all out in the Optimus G forums.

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3 years ago

EE announces UK 4G LTE pricing and data allowances

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Prices range from £36 to £56 per month, but unlimited data is MIA​

The UK's first 4G LTE carrier, EE, has finally revealed exactly how much it'll cost to get on the British LTE bandwagon at launch. The network, which officially launches in Oct. 30, will offer five tiers, each of which will come with unlimited calls and texts, and data allowances of various sizes as part of a 24-month contract. The cheapest package starts at £36 per month for 500MB, moving up to 1GB for £41, 3GB for £46, 5GB for £51 and 8GB for £56. So unlimited data is missing in action, but fortunately there's no limit on how you can use your allowance, so you won't have to purchase a separate tethering add-on.

EE's 4G smartphones, including the Galaxy S3 LTE, Galaxy Note 2 LTE and HTC One XL, will be available at various subsidized rates depending on the price of your monthly bill. A selection of SIM-only deals will be launching from Nov. 9, priced at £15 less per month than the 24-month, smartphone-inclusive tariffs. So that works out at £21 per month for 500MB, £26 for 1GB, £31 for 3GB, £36 for 5GB and £41 for 8GB.

EE customers will be able to increase their data allowances in various increments using "add-ons" -- £3 for 50MB, £6 for 500MB, £15 for 2GB or £20 for 4GB.

EE is also offering added incentives, including one-off £99 upgrade offers for Orange and T-Mobile UK customers who joined the network in the past six months, and one free movie rental per week from the new EE film store. And as part of the Orange and T-Mobile UK re-branding, all 700 of those carrier stores will be rebranded as "EE" before the end of the month, effectively ending those networks' high-street presence.

Tempted EE's 4G offerings now that the pricing has become known? Let us know what you think in the comments.

More: EE

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3 years ago

Sprint LG Optimus G review

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The Optimus G brings LG's 'A' game to Sprint, but is great hardware enough to sign on for two years?

A high-end, premium LG smartphone on a U.S. carrier is like a hen's tooth -- pretty darn rare. While other manufacturers were busy releasing top-tier products on the carriers in this country, it seems like LG was focusing more on the value space, and its products were lackluster to a dyed-in-the-wool Android fanatic.

There's something to be said for bringing the best of the bottom-end, and the various LG Optimus One phones really were a standout for the entry-level market, but as someone who is lucky enough to get to play with the heavy hitters LG has released in Europe and Asia on occasion, I've been waiting for this. The Optimus G is the best LG has ever offered, and it's a taste of quality hardware from LG that everyone needs to look at twice.

But there's a dark side to LG's foray into Android. Ask anyone who was excited and rushed to buy the T-Mobile G2X. I was one of those people (I bought one for myself and one for the wife) who was awfully impressed with the quality of materials and the build of the phone itself, and felt the small niggling software issues would soon be ironed out. Here we are, over a year later, and still waiting for those fixes. To put it frankly, the software on the Optimus G needs to be great out of the box, because there's no guarantee that it will ever get any better. 

Read on to see what I think of this one, and how my week with the best-spec'd phone ever made (so far) has turned out.

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