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3 years ago

Samsung reminds us the U.S. Galaxy S3 will get Jelly Bean, can't say when, though

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New TouchWiz features confirmed for U.S. Galaxy S3 update

If you were after a vague, unspecified timeframe for your Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update, look no further than today's announcement from Samsung, which indicates that the update will be rolling out to U.S. S3 models "in the coming months." In a press release today, the manufacturer reveals that the eagerly-anticipated update will land at some point in the future between "the coming weeks" and "the coming years." In any case, at least it's on still its way to the U.S. (The update is, of course, rolling out right now in Europe.)

Also revealed is a list of new TouchWiz features in the U.S. S3 Jelly Bean update. We've already covered many of these on the international Galaxy S3 models, but these include new Android 4.1 features like Google Now and "Project Butter," in addition to new TouchWiz additions like blocking mode for added notification and contact control, resizeable Pop-up Play windows and an optional "easy mode" for the launcher. New AllShare functionality will be added too, including wireless mirroring through the AllShare Cast Wireless Hub, and one-touch NFC pairing on supported Bluetooth devices.

We've got the full breakdown of new TouchWiz features after the break.

More: Hands-on with new TouchWiz features in Jelly Bean Galaxy S3 update

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia T coming to Canada in November

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Sony has confirmed that Bell, Rogers, Mobilicity, and Videotron will all have the Sony Xperia T on sale in Canada come November.  We've begun putting the international version of the Xperia T through the paces, if you're interested in a closer look, but here's the short version. 

  • 4.6-inch 1280 x 720 Reality Display powered by the Mobile BRAVIA Engine for razor sharp clarity
  • 13 MP fast capture camera that goes from sleep mode to snap in just over a second
  • Easy connectivity with ‘One-touch’ function enabled by NFC
  • PlayStation™ Certified
  • Latest generation 1.5GHz dual core processor for improved battery life, fast performance and ultra sharp graphics
  • Android version 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Will be upgraded to Android version 4.1 (Jelly Bean) following launch.
  • MHL connectivity for viewing content on a big screen without the need for a charger
  • 16GB of internal memory
  • Battery: 1850mAh (embedded) - 7 hours talk time, 450 hours standby

The Xperia T will be hitting Canada with all of the usual James Bond branding to coincide with the upcoming Skyfall movie. There's no mention of pricing just yet, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. And hey, good on Mobilicity for getting such a swanky phone. I wonder if TELUS is going to get it? They aren't mentioned by name in the press release, but that doesn't necessarily rule them out. Canadians, are any of you interested in the Xperia T?

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3 years ago

HTC J Butterfly video round-up

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Japanese carrier AU is set to launch what's arguably the highest-spec'd Android handset we've seen to date, the HTC J Butterfly. With 4G LTE support, a beastly quad-core Snapdragon CPU and a whopping 5-inch 1080p SuperLCD3 (yes, three) display, there's little more you could want from a smartphone. (Well, OK, maybe a bigger battery.)

It's unlikely we'll see this exact handset outside of Japan -- although a Verizon version has long been rumored for release later in the year. Nevertheless, hands-on videos are starting to crop up around the web of the original Japanese version, and so we've collected some of the best for your perusal. Check 'em out after the break.

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G coming to Japan in blue and white on KDDI

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The LG Optimus G certainly seems to be making the rounds lately, and now Japanese carrier KDDI has announced the availability of the handset on its network. Overall, its the phone we know from previous launches, complete with the quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 13MP camera and LTE. The only difference here is the color choices -- white and two-tone blue/black -- in typical Japanese carrier fashion.

The Optimus G will go on sale with KDDI on November 2nd. For those of you in the states, we're working furiously on our reviews of the Sprint and AT&T versions of the Optimus G, and have already put up a couple quick hits on the device. 

Source: KDDI

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3 years ago

Sony announces Xperia VL for the Japanese market

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At this point, you almost feel like Sony is coming up on the limit of one and two letter combinations to put after "Xperia". There's at least room for one more, as Sony is adding yet another device to its expansive Xperia line -- the Xperia VL. This device, which is coming to the Japanese market (and likely only that market), seems to have some pretty standard specs on board from what has been released at this point.

This Sony "arc" designed device has a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4.3-inch Reality Display, 13MP camera with new shooting modes, NFC and LTE networking -- all running underneath Android 4.0.4. Sony says the device has "high levels" of dust and water resistance as well, which is often found on many Japanese handsets.

Our brilliant deduction and sleuthing makes us think that the VL is simply a reworking of the previously announced Xperia V, which should give you a better indication of the spec level. The Xperia VL is set to launch before the end of the year on KDDI in blue, white and pink varieties.

Source: Sony Xperia Product Blog; KDDI

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3 years ago

HTC J Butterfly with 5-inch 1080P screen makes its way to Japan

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We've heard a lot of rumors swirling lately about HTC releasing a 5-inch 1080P phone, and it looks like the first proof of this device's existence has just shown up in Japan. The HTC One X's SLCD 2 screen still holds the title in most people's minds as the best smartphone screen on the market, but they seem to have outdone themselves with the SLCD 3 on the J Butterfly. At 5 inches and a full 1080x1920 resolution, this screen produces a staggeringly high 440 ppi (pixels per inch), much higher than any other display we've seen. If HTC's previous screens are any indication, this is going to be a huge step up in display technology going forward.

Moving along past the screen, the J Butterfly has a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, LTE, NFC and an 8MP camera. For software, it is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sense 4+. It comes in a flashy red, more subtle black and white varieties, and will be released in Japan on KDDI in December. Hopefully we'll see this device's counterparts show up outside of Japan soon as well.

Source: KDDI; HTC

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S3 receiving small update, still not Jelly Bean

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Users in our forums are reporting that their Verizon Galaxy SIII (S3) handsets are pulling down a moderately sized (62MB) OTA update. Unfortunately, this isn't the Jelly Bean update that most users are hoping for -- you're still on 4.0.4 for now -- but it does seem to be bringing some useful enhancements. The latest software version, VRALHE, brings the Enhanced Zooming feature to the browser, email and more. It also claims to fix an issue with device restarts, as well as enhance stability in Google Play.

All good and necessary updates, but let's hope the next OTA is to Android 4.1. Take a look at the support document for the update at the source link below, then head to the forums and let us know how the update process went for you.

Source: Verizon (PDF)Android Central Forums; Thanks, Christopher!

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3 years ago

Affordable Android-powered MG device targets young gamers

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A Wi-Fi-only Android device called the MG was announced for pre-order today. Apparently MG stands for More Game, or My Generation, or something. It isn't made by anybody you've heard of, but they're hoping the low pricetag, preloaded games, parental controls, and included $10 credit towards Google Play apps will rope in at least a few moms and dads.

The MG has a Gorilla glass-clad 4-inch 480 x 800 display, a 1880 mAh battery with 3.75 hours of playtime, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by a single-core 1 GHz processor. Needless to say, hardcore gamers may be more interested in the Xperia Play, aged as it may be, since there are familiar hardware gaming controls included. It seems like MG is geared more towards to younger kids and their parents that want to monitor usage, though.

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3 years ago

Sprint Optimus G benchmarks and hardware testing

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It's no secret that I dislike benchmark applications on Android. I've got technical reasons that involve native code and virtual machines, but the fact remains that plenty of folks do like them, and I'm here to deliver what you guys want to see. I've put away my dislike for a moment today, because the Sprint Optimus G just blows the doors off of everything else and it deserves a look.

The quad-core APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro, high-speed RAM and Nand, and Adreno 320 GPU mean the Optimus G is a well-oiled killing machine when it comes to performance. In every benchmark we ran, it handily beats everything out there -- even while running less than optimal stock software.

We didn't stop at benchmarks. This was also a perfect opportunity to check the hardware performance as well, so you'll see some numbers and graphs for Wifi, GPS, and multitouch, too. Spoiler -- you'll be pleased. 

Hit the break and check it out.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 lasts slightly longer in blender than iPhone 5

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The fine folks at BlendTec have continued their fine heritage of appliance-based science by seeing whether or not the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the iPhone 5 are able to survive industrial-strength spinning blades. The short answer is no, neither of them can withstand BlendTec's whirling wrath, but as you can see from the video below, the Galaxy S3 manages to stay mostly in one piece longer than the iPhone 5. Some other decidedly more practical (though less scientific) toughness tests have show that the SGS3 doesn't fare quite as well against the iPhone 5 in drop tests

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3 years ago

AT&T Optimus G pre-orders start today

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Well, AT&T followed through on this one. Following announcement of pricing and availability for the LG Optimus G on AT&T yesterday, the pre-order page at AT&T's website is now live. $199 with a two-year agreement -- $549 outright -- and a circle on your calendar for Nov. 2 is all you need to reserve LG's latest flagship.

If you're still on the fence about this device, don't worry, Phil and Jerry are working to bring you their official Optimus G reviews. In the meantime, we've got a few sneak peeks at certain parts of the devices.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

HTC offers up 64GB One S Special Edition in Taiwan

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The HTC One S is probably one of the most under-appreciated devices of the year, so it's nice to see the phone getting a little bit of extra attention as HTC refreshes its Android line-up this fall. Alongside the One X+, the company's debuted the One S Special Edition (or "SE") in its home country of Taiwan. The changes aren't as sweeping as in the One X+, but they're no less striking. The phone gets an ice-white coat of paint, making it more One X-like in appearance, and the internal storage has been bumped up to 64GB -- although it's still non-expandable. Other specs, like the 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 SoC, 1GB of RAM and 8MP ImageSense camera, remain unchanged.

Storage space was one of our main complaints we leveled against the One S when we reviewed it back in April. The international version comes with 16GB of space, and of that only 10GB is available for music and other media.  With 64GB on-board, that suddenly becomes much less of an issue.

Right now we're not seeing any signs of the HTC One S Special Edition outside of Taiwan, but we've asked HTC about any international release plans, and we'll update this post with any info they provide.

Source: HTC, via: MoDaCo

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3 years ago

Sprint's Samsung Galaxy Note 2 drops Oct. 25 for $299

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Sprint this morning announced that its Samsung Galaxy  Note 2 will be available Oct. 25 for $299 on contract. It'll be available in Marble White or Titanium Gray.

More: Read our complete Galaxy Note 2 review

The Galaxy Note 2, as you'll recall, sports a massive 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display and is running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, with a ton of customizations and features from Samsung thrown in. It's all powered by a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor and has a rather ridiculous 3100 mAh battery.

Source: Sprint
More: Sprint Galaxy Note 2 forums

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3 years ago

ASUS Padfone 2 announced - quad-core phone/tablet dockable with LTE

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This morning at events in Milan, Italy and Taipei, Taiwan, ASUS has announced its second-generation phone and tablet hybrid device, the Padfone 2. Like the original Padfone, it’s an Android phone which can slot into a tablet dock to deliver a full-blown tablet experience. Time time around, ASUS has boosted specs throughout the device, including an upgrade of the CPU to a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip. The device also packs 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a 4.7-inch, 720p IPS display, matching the specs of leading Android phones like the LG Optimus G.

Unlike the first-generation Padfone, the Padfone 2 fits inside its tablet dock without needing to be secured in place with a door. What’s more, the weight of the entire package has been reduced to 649 grams, down from 853 grams in the original. On-stage in Milan today, ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih demonstrated the same seamless transition from phone to tablet UI, just as we saw from the original Padfone at Mobile World Congress.

On the software side, it’s running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with an upgrade to Jelly Bean promised in the future. Connectivity options include NFC and 4G LTE support, though no carriers were mentioned at today’s events.

The device will ship in Europe and Asia before the end of the year, in 32 and 64GB flavors, which will retail for €799 and €899 respectively with the tablet dock included. At this price, the new Padfone remains a niche product, but ASUS will be hoping that a focus on hardware specifications and a slimmed-down tablet chassis will help the Padfone 2 succeed where its predecessor stumbled.

Anyone tempted by ASUS’s latest Padfone iteration? Shout out in the comments! We've got more images after the break.

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3 years ago

Alcatel One Touch 960c coming to Alltel for $199.99

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Yes, Alltel Wireless is still around. The small carrier that focuses on value and no-contract plans in specific regions has a new mid-range device in the Alcatel One Touch Ultra 960C (yes, that's the real name). The device has pretty unassuming specs and is what you'd expect for this price and target market:

  • 4.3-inch display
  • 1.4GHz processor
  • 5MP camera / 720P video
  • Front-facing camera
  • DLNA support
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread

The 960C will set you back $199.99 off contract, or $19.99 with a two year agreement, with Alltel plans starting at $45 per month for unlimited talk and text. A full press release for the device can be found after the break. The phone will be available starting Oct. 18.

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