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3 years ago

The Chromebook Pixel might be the new Linux ultrabook you're waiting for

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After the announcement of the Chromebook Pixel yesterday, a lot of people were in love with the hardware, but thought the price tag was a bit high for a machine running Chrome OS. I'm in that camp as well. I think the hardware is mostly worth the price tag (a 256GB SSD would affirm that in a big way), but can't justify the price for a machine running Chrome OS the way things are now. 

We're pretty sure the Pixel is a portent of big things to come for Chrome OS, but just in case, here's a full blown version of Linux Mint running on the sexy thing. Bill Richardson, Chrome OS software engineer at Google, shows it off and gives fairly easy to understand instructions to do it yourself in his Google+ feed.

With devices shipping out today, things might get pretty interesting next week if you've been looking for a high-end Linux ultrabook. 

Source: +Bill Richardson

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3 years ago

Android at Mobile World Congress 2013 - what to expect from this year's show

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February is drawing to a close, and we’re getting ready to head to Barcelona, Spain, for another Mobile World Congress. Usually one of the highlight events of the year in mobile, MWC takes place between Feb. 25 and 28, although we’ll start to see the first announcements over the weekend. And despite HTC jumping the gun with the HTC One, and Samsung holding back for an expected post-MWC Galaxy S4 launch, there’s still plenty of Android to be found at this year’s show.

I’ll be there, as will Phil, and Daniel Rubino and Jay Bennett from Windows Phone Central will be joining us to cover the Windows Phone side of things.

As always, it’s going to be an interesting week. So let’s break down what the major players are likely to bring to Barcelona ...

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3 years ago

Sprint Kyocera Torque arriving March 8 for $99.99

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Sprint has announced that its latest ruggedized smartphone, the Kyocera Torque, is to go on sale on Mar. 8, priced at $99.99 on-contract. The torque, announced in late January, combined a hardened outer shell with 4G LTE connectivity and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Other vital stats include a 4-inch WVGA display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM and 2500mAh battery. Storage comes in at 4GB, expandable via microSD card. But it's the phone's durability that stands out, bring built to 810G MilSpec standards to help it withstand water, dust, dirt physical impacts and extreme temperatures. As such, Sprint's roped in adventurer Bear Grylls to promote the phone's nature-resistant capabilities, starting with a series of ads.

More details in the presser after the break.

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3 years ago

Samsung 'Orb' rumored to bring Photosphere-like panoramas to Galaxy S4

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Google's "Photosphere" 360-degree panoramas are one one of the stand-out features of Android 4.2. But we've been left guessing as to whether third-party manufacturers will get access to this tech when they ship their own non-Nexus devices. Now it seems at least one OEM may be prepared to go it alone with its own proprietary Photosphere-like feature.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia E Dual up for pre-order in the U.S. - $199.99, shipping Mar. 1

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If you're after a dual-SIM Android option in the U.S., there'll soon be a new device for you to consider. Sony's just put the Xperia E Dual, an entry-level phone with the ability to carry two SIMs, up for pre-order on its U.S. store for $199.99. The Xperia E and E Dual hit Europe a couple of months ago, where they became two of the first budget Android phones to run Jelly Bean.

The internal hardware isn't much to write home about -- there's a 1GHz CPU running the show, a 3.5-inch WVGA screen on the front and a 3.2MP rear camera. But like most budget devices from Sony, it looks well-built with a pretty attractive design. Both black and gold color options are available from the Sony online store. (A note on radio compatibility -- the phone only supports 850 and 1900MHz HSPA, so if you were hoping for full T-Mobile support you're out of luck.)

Orders are estimated to begin shipping from Mar. 1, and Sony's offering free ground shipping.

Source: Sony Store

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3 years ago

HTC One available for pre-order on Three UK beginning Feb 22

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The new HTC One is causing some excitement -- head on in to the new HTC One Forums to join in -- and gradually we're getting more concrete release information for various territories. One carrier in the UK picking it up is Three, and today we know when it's coming and how much it will cost. 

The One will be available to pre-order from Three beginning today, ahead of general release on Mar. 15. Three is marketing the One as compatible with its Ultrafast network, although this isn't surprising and will work on the carriers LTE network when it launches. Two tariffs are mentioned specifically, both with an upfront cost of £69 for the device. On the Ultimate Internet 500 tariff you're looking at £34 a month, but for just £2 more you can get the HTC One on The One Plan -- a whole lot of One -- which gives tethering along with unlimited data. Additionally, Three is selling the phone on pay-as-you-go for £479.99. You can pre-order one for yourselves at the source link below. 

Source: Three

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3 years ago

HTC adds IR control functions to OpenSense SDK

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HTC has just added a new API to its OpenSense SDK to help developers take advantage of the IR hardware on the HTC One. Because the device has an IR emitter -- which cleverly placed in the power button -- HTC is hoping that developers will be able to take advantage of it and offer new apps above and beyond the bundled Sense TV. The new API, which is available upon request, will let the One be programmed in the same way a universal remote can. HTC envisions that developers could build apps to have the One control TVs, printers, cameras and any other device that relies on IR for control.

Developers will have to contact HTC directly and apply for more information on the API, so it's clear that HTC is going to try and build partnerships to make compelling apps out of the gate. That little hurdle aside, it's important that a wider range of developers will have access to the hardware features at this level.

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia SP reported to bring aluminum framed 4.6-inch screen, customizable clear element

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We've already heard plenty about Sony's upcoming mid-ranger, the Xperia SP (codenamed "HuaShan") -- said to be a dual-core mid-ranger packing a 720p screen. And although there's no Sony press conference at this year's Mobile World Congress, we're expecting to see it next week in Barcelona.

Today new reports hint at some interesting build quality details for the SP, including an apparent aluminum-framed chassis (with plastic back) and customizable clear element, similar to the Xperia U. These latest details come from XperiaBlog, which cites a "trusted source" with knowledge of the device, and if accurate it's interesting to see Sony revisiting the transparent element as a design feature.

The screen size is also reported at 4.6-inches, which would put it on par with Sony's late 2012 flagship, the Xperia T. And the rear camera is reportedly a 8MP Exmor RS unit -- a lower megapixel count than the Xperia T, but with a more advanced sensor. Storage is said to clock in at 8GB internal, expandable via microSD. Other stats include measurements of 130.6 x 67.1 x 9.98mm and a fairly hefty weight of 155 grams.

MWC is traditionally where Sony shows off its mid-range devices, so we'll hopefully learn more about the Xperia SP in Barcelona in the days ahead.

Source: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G finally arrives in Europe, enhanced and improved along the way

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Sometime after the initial launch of the LG Optimus G, Europeans are finally getting a chance to sample it for themselves. We'd previously heard rumors that the Optimus G would be available in European territories before the end of Q1, and low and behold here it is. Better yet, the Optimus G has been 'enhanced and improved' during its long voyage to Europe. 

The big news is of course that the Optimus G now ships with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean on board. For whatever reason, LG decided to ship the Optimus G -- essentially the same hardware as the Nexus 4 -- on Ice Cream Sandwich, but that's old news now at least as far as prospective European customers should be concerned. 

With the Jelly Bean upgrade, the Optimus G receives the usual Google flavored treats such as Google Now and Project Butter, but LG has thrown in a couple of goodies too. QSlide, which allows users to use multiple applications at once as transparent layers on top of each other is included, as Safety Care and Privacy Keeper. 

Initially the Optimus G will go on sale in Sweden sometime before the end of the month, soon to be followed by other markets including France, Germany and Italy. Despite being somewhat overshadowed by the Nexus 4, the Optimus G is still one whole heck of a phone. The full press release and a video walkthrough can be found after the break. 

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3 years ago

An awesome X-ray look at the Nexus 4 and its wireless charger

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What's cooler than having a Nexus 4 and its official wireless charging orb to go along with it? How about having access to an X-ray machine and taking a look inside? Joshua Perry on Google+ has done just that, bombarding both phone and charger with radiation and posting the results.

Probably the most striking image is this side view of the wireless charging orb. You get a sense for how much space is left untouched in the half-sphere, with a handful of screws holding it all together. There's another great one showing the Nexus 4 while it's on the charger, and you really get a sense for how it all works, without the charging elements ever actually touching each other.

Check out Perry's complete Google+ gallery here.

Thanks, Joshua & Andrew!

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3 years ago

Pre-orders for Sony Xperia Z now being taken by Sony Australia

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The Sony Xperia Z is one of the hottest new devices launching in Q1 of 2013, and as we begin to see the first nations actually able to buy one, our friends down under are starting to join the party. Sony has only in the last few days held their official launch event for the Xperia Z in Australia, but now the 5-inch smartphone is available to pre-order directly from Sony Australia. 

The price is AUS $749 ($766/£504) which pretty much matches SIM-free pricing for the Xperia Z in other territories. An exact release schedule isn't provided at this time, although it's expected that the Xperia Z will become available in Australia sometime in March. 

More: Video Walkthrough of the Sony Xperia Z

via Ausdroid

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3 years ago

Financial Times gets onboard with BlinkFeed on HTC One

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The meat of HTC's new home screen experience in Sense 5 is the BlinkFeed -- a vertical-scrolling feed of news, social updates and other relevant info. This includes content from leading news organizations, and today the Financial Times has confirmed that it's onboard with BlinkFeed support on the recently-announced HTC One. As is the case when reading on the web, selected FT content will be available for free, but access to everything will require a subscription.

At Tuesday's press conference HTC boasted that it had more than 1,400 outlets supported within BlinkFeed, as part of the curated experience it's offering through the HTC One home screen. The presence of FT content is a plus for BlinkFeed, but that pesky paywall still stands in the way of full access to FT content.

For more on the Sense 5 home screen, BlinkFeed and the rest of the HTC One, check out our hands-on preview.

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3 years ago

ZTE Force LTE handset leaks out, landing on Sprint March 1

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Sprint's developing LTE network looks to be receiving a new device in the coming weeks from ZTE. This leaked Sprint product page obtained by Engadget shows what is supposedly the Sprint Force LTE, a mid-range Ice Cream Sandwich device due to arrive March 1.

As you would expect from a mid-range device, the specs certainly won't be setting the world on fire, yet look more than capable of delivering a solid experience. Pushing everything along is a 1.5GHz as yet unnamed dual-core processor, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The 4-inch display is covered by Gorilla Glass, and inside we're looking at 1GB of RAM and 4GB of on-board storage, with a 1730mAh battery powering the Force. At $49.99 on a new 2-year-contract, it could attract those looking for some Sprint LTE on a budget.

Source: Engadget

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3 years ago

LG announces Optimus F5 and F7 to improve LTE offerings

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LG is hoping to expand the number of LTE devices in its offerings with the Optimus F Series, a set of devices that are targeted at a mid- and high-range audience. As is usually the case, the official announcement of these devices didn't follow far behind leaked renders, which seem to have been spot on. First off is the Optimus F5, which has a 4.3-inch qHD (540x960) display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 5MP camera and 2,150mAh battery. It's big brother the Optimus F7 will have a larger 4.7-inch HD (720x1280) display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP camera and 2,540mAh battery.

The Optimus F5 and F7 will both offer LTE connectivity, run Android 4.1.2 with LG's customizations and come in both black and white varieties. The F5 will be available in Europe starting in the second quarter, while the F7 is expected to launch in "select markets" thereafter, with pricing and availability at a later date.

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3 years ago

ZTE and NVIDIA partner to release the first Tegra 4 Android phones

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It's no secret that NVIDIA's Tegra 4 processor is missing from the new device announcements of late, but today ZTE is about to change all that with the announcement of their new line of "super phones" running the beefy new chip. 

Available in China during the first half of 2013, these new devices are promised to offer "ultra-fast web browsing, improved app load times, more realistic gaming experiences and great battery life – thanks to the processor’s 72 custom NVIDIA GeForce cores and quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 CPU." In addition, the new i500 LTE enabled chipset, the phones will have the ability to provide world-wide LTE voice and data.

ZTE shocked everyone last year with the release of the U950, which offered a quad-core Tegra 3 processor for under 160 US, as well as the well received Grand X and Grand Era that were powerhouse phones using NVIDIA technology. We really would like to see the latest phone reach the rest of the world, but no distribution plans or prices were announced. 

For more information about the i500 LTE modem, visit NVIDIA here. For the full press release, just follow the break.

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