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3 years ago

LG Optimus Vu now available in the UAE

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LG has officially announced that the Optimus Vu is now for sale in the United Arab Emirates. This makes the 5-inch smartphone available in most major markets in North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, and now the Middle East. 

The Optimus Vu eschews typical smartphone design, instead opting for a more squarish 4:3 aspect ration. The extra width is used by features such as QSlide and Quick Memo, and is appealing to folks who enjoy reading on their smartphones.

Alex was slightly underwhelmed by the Vu during his time reviewing it, but LG has sold 17 Million of the devices so clearly there is a market. In the end, it's great to see our friends in the UAE have a new choice.

Source: LG Newsroom (Korea)

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3 years ago

T-Mobile to stop subsidizing handsets in 2013

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We're hearing a ton of interesting information about T-Mobile's plans for the future today as part of Deutsche Telekom's analyst conference, and this may be the biggest yet. Starting in 2013, T-Mobile USA will no longer be subsidizing handsets with 2-year contracts, and will instead sell devices at full price or on installments. This means that devices and service will be completely separate going forward.

This is almost a carbon copy of its current "Value Plan" offerings, which give you cheaper monthly service prices (generally $20-$30 less) when you buy a phone full-priced or bring your own -- a model international users will be familiar with. T-Mobile said that 80-percent of its new line activations were on Value Plans in the last quarter, which means that this won't be too big of a shift from the way they're currently operating.

To the end user, the overall cost of smartphone ownership for the 2-year contract period will decrease, even when buying a device with monthly installments. Real savings can be had when holding onto a device for a longer period of time as well. The real roadblock here is going to be one of consumer education on the part of T-Mobile, which needs to explain to customers the benefits of this model. U.S. wireless customers are very comfortable with the idea of a subsidized handset that is bundled together with service.

Source: GigaOM

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3 years ago

T-Mobile finalizes rollout of 1900MHz HSPA+ in 3 new markets

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T-Mobile rolled out 10 new markets with 1900MHz HSPA+ service just two weeks ago, and now the nation's fourth-largest carrier is adding another three markets. Users with unlocked handsets that operate on the 1900MHz frequency for HSPA+ (like AT&T handsets) will start seeing much higher data speeds in Seattle, WA; Minneapolis, MN and Atlanta, GA. These new markets bring the nationwide total to 18, with some of the largest markets in the country being represented.

This comes at an interesting time, as we're just hearing of T-Mobile's official plans to sell Apple devices (read: iPhone) on its network. The iPhone has traditionally only worked on 1900MHz and not T-Mobile's usual 1700/2100MHz (AWS) frequencies, so it will be interesting to see if this announcement pushes the rollout even faster.

T-Mobile's rollout of 1900MHz is much bigger than just supporting the iPhone of course, as it frees up spectrum for the carrier's move to LTE and support for a whole host of unlocked devices sold worldwide.

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 bumpers finally shipping in the UK

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After a few weeks, it seems the first batch of Nexus 4 bumpers is starting to make its way out to customers in the UK. Two UK Nexus 4 bumper orders placed by AC's British division shipped today, and the Twitters are alight with reports of fellow Brits whose bumpers are also in transit. (Update: we're also hearing reports that one or two bumpers shipped in the UK in the past week, too.)

Official Nexus accessories have been hard to come by in the past, particularly outside the U.S. So it's a small relief to see bumpers finally arriving with customers in Europe, even if it is more than three weeks after the first orders were placed on Google Play.

Unfortunately the UK Play Store still lists the Nexus 4 bumper as sold out, with no indication as to when fresh stock will arrive. So if you've yet to place an order you may have to be patient, or start looking elsewhere.

More: Nexus 4 bumpers on Google Play

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3 years ago

Sony releases flash tool for unlocked Xperia phones

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If you've hacked around with a bootloader-unlocked Sony Xperia phone at any point, you may be familiar with the unofficial Xperia Flashtool maintained by the forum denizens at XDA. The app allows Xperia owners to flash firmware packages to their phones in a similar manner to the ODIN utility that works with Samsung phones. Now Sony Mobile has released an official app of its own to allow unlocked Xperia phone owners to perform these kinds of tasks.

An initial beta version of the Xperia Flash Tool is available to download now, and can be used to flash official firmware back onto an unlocked Xperia phone. Right now the number of supported phones is minimal -- three, to be precise -- but if you have an Xperia S, Xperia Arc or Xperia Arc S, you should good to go with the official Flash Tool. Additional devices should receive Flash Tool support in the months ahead.

You'll find a quick overview of what the Flash Tool can do in the video above, and more details over at the source link.

Source: Sony Developer World

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3 years ago

The basics: How to install the Nexus 4 SIM card

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This one's super basic, but we've had enough people ask, so here's how to install the SIM card on the Nexus 4.

With the phone's display facing you in your hand, look on the left-and side. (If you see "Nexus", you're looking at the back, and so the SIM card tray will be on the right.) Look just below the volume rocker, and you'll see a little pinhole next to the SIM card tray.

In your Nexus 4 box there's a little metal SIM card tray ejector tool thingy. Kinda looks like a circle with a little pin sticking out of it. Press is straight into that pinhole, and the SIM card tray will pop out.

There's only one right way to insert the SIM card into the tray. Look for the notched corner, and make sure it matches up with the notch in the tray. The slide the tray back into the phone. (The printed side of the card faces the same direction as the front of the phone; the gold contacts face the rear.

You'll need to reboot once you've got the SIM card installed. But after that, you're golden.

Need more Nexus 4 help? Ask a question in our Nexus 4 forums!

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3 years ago

Our long national nightmare is over ...

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It appears the Nexus 4's Yellow Box of Death (remember, we didn't make that up) seen by many who ordered in the Nov. 27 wave overnight has morphed into the Green Box of Jubilation, and devices are on their way. (We might have made that up.) Folks in the forums are seeing it as well, and all is right in the world.

For now ...

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3 years ago

Droid DNA vs. Galaxy Note 2-- It's Day 1, and I'm heading to work

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I'm carrying two of Verizon Wireless' best devices to date in my pocket, and sharing my thoughts, complaints, and gut reactions as I try to decide which will earn my money this holiday season. It's day one, and I'm heading to work...

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3 years ago

Hot in the forums: The impending EVO 4G LTE update

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If you've never spent time in a forum for a Sprint device, well, things can get a little a little rowdy. Such is the case for the HTC EVO 4G LTE, which never really got the respect it deserved. (Much of that probably should be placed on Sprint's shoulders, but we digress.)

Currently the hot topic is a rumored update. Is it Jelly Bean? Is it just some other maintenance release? And just when will said update ever see the light of day? These questions -- and more -- in our EVO 4G LTE forum.

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3 years ago

The best Android phone you can buy, as of December 2012 (International edition)

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A lot has changed since we published our last round-up of the best Android phones available, and awarded the top prize to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. At the time, the Gnex outshone the competition thanks to the blistering performance and innovative features delivered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

But that was five long months ago. Since then, screen sizes, resolutions and core counts have continued to rise. There’s a new Nexus, and Android OEMs have had the chance to get their own Jelly Bean-based devices out into the wild. And this time around, it makes more sense to split things up and cover the U.S market separately (look for our U.S. round-up in the days ahead). In this article we’re going to focus on the best international Android phones, and recommend one unlocked world phone for Europe, Asia and beyond.

Join us after the break to find out more about our top four devices, and learn which gets our recommendation for international buyers.

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3 years ago

The Nexus 4 Yellow Box of Death

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That's what the kids are calling it, anyway. Looks like a new set of shipping notices has been sent out. But the wait continues. We're hashing it all out in our Nexus 4 forums

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3 years ago

Droid DNA down to $149.99 on Amazon Wireless

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A quick heads-up -- Amazon Wireless is now offering HTC's Droid DNA for $149.99 with a two-year service plan. That's a $50 saving compared to Verizon's own list price of $199.99 -- not a heap of cash, but every little helps with a major purchase like a new smartphone.

The Droid DNA is the first "full HD" smartphone to hit the U.S. market, with a whopping 5-inch screen packing in 1920x1080 pixels. It's powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, with 2GB of RAM, and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and HTC's Sense 4+ UI.

For more on the DNA, be sure to check out our full review.

More: Droid DNA on Amazon Wireless

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3 years ago

TomTom navigation updated, now supports 200+ devices

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When TomTom for Android first appeared a couple of months back, support was limited to a few devices with WVGA displays, a move which excluded many of the most popular handsets. Today the app has been updated to version 1.1, bringing with it support for more devices, including those with higher-resolution screens.

The new version also includes the ability to save map data to the SD card rather than the app storage partition, and a redesigned driving view, which TomTom says is designed to make key information clearer and easier to read.

As devices go, we can confirm the latest version supports the Nexus 4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S3 LTE, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X+, RAZR i, Xperia T, RAZR/RAZR MAXX, Optimus 4X HD, HTC One X and One S, among others. TomTom says that more than 200 devices are now compatible with the app. Tablet support still seems to be a non-starter in this version, however, as the app refused to install on our Nexus 7 or various flavors of Galaxy Tab.

The update is live now on Google Play. Prices vary depending on where you live and which region you're buying, but typically each pack will set you back around £30 or $50.

Source: Google Play, Engadget

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3 years ago

8GB Nexus 4 once again sold out on Google Play in UK + Germany

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Less than a day after the second wave of Nexus 4 stock landed on Google Play in the UK and Germany, the 8GB model is once again officially sold out in both countries. Yesterday evening the delivery window for the 8GB model slowly increased, from 4-5 weeks to 5-6 weeks, before being marked as "sold out" (or "ausverkauft," if you prefer) this morning.

The 16GB model is still available to order, though with a waiting period of 5-6 weeks in both countries, it'll likely be early January before orders placed today arrive.

If you tried to place a Nexus 4 order yesterday, let us know how you got on in the comments.

Source: Google Play

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3 years ago

Sony announces Xperia E - budget phone for Europe with dual-SIM option

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Sony Mobile's not depleted the alphabet just yet, so here's another mid-to-low-end Xperia phone, the Xperia E. A 3.5-incher aimed at the budget-conscious, the Xperia E packs a 3.5-inch HVGA screen, a 1GHz Qualcomm CPU and a 3.2MP rear camera, so it's a no frills Android experience on offer.

The regular version of the Xperia E will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean -- perhaps the first Sony phone to do so -- while a dual-SIM variant will be offered running ICS out of the box, but with an upgrade promised. Other notables include a 1500mAh battery, fairly sizeable for a device of this kind, and HD Voice support for improved call quality on supporting networks.

The Xperia E will launch in single and dual-SIM flavors Europe in Q1 2013. The single-SIM version will be available in black, white and pink, while the dual-SIM model will come in black and gold.

More info in the presser after the break.

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