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3 years ago

Alcatel announces the 1080p One Touch Idol X

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Alcatel kicks of their presence at Mobile World Congress 2013 with an unexpectedly high-end offering, the 1080p One Touch Idol X. Don't let the Nokia style colored cases fool you, this one is all Android and a refreshing step up from what we've seen from Alcatel in the past.

Running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on a 5-inch LCD, the Idol X has a beautiful edge-to-edge design. Powered by a quad-core MediaTek 6589 CPU with 16GB of internal storage, a 13MP camera (subject to change based on location) and a 2000mAh battery, the One Touch Idol X looks like something we'll want to take a second look at.

No word of pricing or availability dates were supplied. 

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3 years ago

Kyocera Torque hands-on

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We're on the ground at Pepcom's MobileFocus Global, where we've just had the chance to get some hands-on time with Sprint and Kycera's latest smartphone, the Torque. Announced in late January and coming to market on Mar. 8, the Torque is the Japanese company's first ruggedized Android phone.

It runs a 1GHz CPU, a WVGA screen and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, pretty run of the mill stuff for a low-priced smartphone. But what's unique about the Torque, aside from its water resistance and toughened shell, is the system it's employing for audio playback.

Instead of using a traditional speaker, the Torque is fitted with skin a ceramic-based solution that vibrates the shell of the handset. That means it can be heard through skin and bone conduction, as well as through hardcore construction ear-protection gear. The effect works pretty well, and it's easy to see how this kind of feature could be useful to anyone working in a noisy environment.

Check out our hands-on video and gallery after the break. The Sprint Kyocera Torque launches on Mar. 8 for $99 on-contract.

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend P2 hands-on

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Huawei has just unveiled its latest Android handset, the Ascend P2, at an event held in Barcelona, Spain, and we've had the chance to get our hands on the device.

Succeeding last year's Ascend P1, the P2 brings some substantial changes in both hardware and software. Internally, the P2 now packs a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, and other specs have received customary upgrades too. The phone includes a 4.7-inch, 720p LCD on its front, and a 13-megapixel BSI camera around the back.

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3 years ago

Live from Mobile World Congress with Huawei

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We're live from Barcelona, Spain with Huawei, which is holding its big press conference today ahead of MWC. Possible Android developments include the Ascend P2, a quad-core successor to last year's Ascend P1. The action starts at 3pm Barcelona time (9am ET), so stick around for all the day's announcements!

You'll find our liveblog after the break.

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3 years ago

Report suggests LG to use own chips in Optimus G2, launch headed for IFA

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A report emerging this weekend from the Korea Times, suggests that LG is to develop their first in-house mobile processor for use in the Optimus G2. It's perhaps not all that surprising that LG is considering heading down this path, and taking the fight on another front to fellow Korean OEM, Samsung. 

The information comes from an un-named LG official during a telephone conversation with Korea Times, along with an alleged schedule for the launch of the Optimus G2: 

LG Electronics is going to mass-produce the Odin processors by using finer 28-nanometer level processing, applying high-k metal gate (HKMG) technology. The processors will be used in LG’s next flagship Optimus smartphone ― the Optimus GII ― which will probably be unveiled in this fall’s IFA trade fair

IFA doesn't take place until September in Berlin, and by that time will be about a full year since the Optimus G was first announced. LG was noticably quiet during the IFA 2012 show, instead opting for their own event in Korea to showcase the device. But, given the timeline, it stands a decent chance of being credible information.

LG's processors meanwhile are allegedly following a similar octa-core design to Samsung's recently announced Exynos 5 Octa. Known as 'Odin,' four A15 cores will kick in should the power be required, such as high intensity gaming, where four A7 cores will better serve for lighter intensity work. Like the Exynos 5 then, LG's efforts will be based on ARM's big.LITTLE processing.

Source: Korea Times

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 now official

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Samsung has stepped forward and officially announced the Galaxy Note 8.0. We've sen and heard enough leaks and rumors to know that we would be seeing an 8-inch version of the popular Note series, but tonights' news clears up al the speculation and replaces it with information direct from Seoul. 

The Note 8.0 takes everything you love about the Note series, adds some great new features, and packages it all into a solid tablet form factor. The Note 8.0 will still be able to make phone calls in some countries, but the 8-inch screen puts this one squarely into the portable tablet genre. And that's a good thing. Users who didn't want a full-sized 10-inch tablet, but still wanted access to the great S Pen technology now have that option.

We've spent some time with the Note 8.0 on the eve of Mobile World Congress 2013, and have the answers to all your questions covered. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 will be available world wide (Europe, Korea, North America, S.E. Asia, S. W. Africa, the Middle East, China, Taiwan, and Latin America) in Q2. Keep an eye on Android Central for exact dates and pricing. The full press release, press photos, and a Chat-On video featuring the Note 8.0 are after the break.

Galaxy Note 8.0 hands-on | Galaxy Note 8.0 specs | Galaxy Note 8.0 forums

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3 years ago

Republic Wireless offers unlimited everything for $19 a month, but is it too good to be true?

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Republic Wireless has been kicking around in beta form for about a year now, and they have recently allowed me to spend some time with their phone and their service. I'll admit, I went into it all a bit skeptical. I understand the phone choice (the lowly Motorola Defy XT) is far from ideal for an Android power user, but that's not what had me scrutinizing things so closely. It was the whole idea of unlimited calls, texts, and data for just 20 bucks a month using a Wifi connection when available, and how well things would work when one wasn't.

Republic is doing something that I love to see -- shaking up the status quo that the carriers in the United States have worked so hard to build. Delivering something different is important, and if it turns out to be more consumer friendly then we all win. I really wanted this to be a worthwhile service that provides an alternative for the value conscious smart phone buyer. Hit the break and see what I think.

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3 years ago

ZTE reveals competitive pricing on Grand S LTE in China

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ZTE is looking to launch its flagship Grand S LTE in mainland China at a competitive price, based on statements by executives. With a svelte design concealing a 1080P 5-inch display, Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 13MP camera, you might expect its price to fall in line with other high-end devices. Instead, head of ZTE's mobile division He Shiyou estimates the Grand S will hit mainland China in the range of ¥3,000 to ¥3,500 (or $480 to $560).

In our time with the device at CES 2013 we came away impressed with the step up in quality from what ZTE has offered in the past. The price may still have to come down a bit more to entice users away from other handsets though, especially considering the price sensitivity of the Chinese market. As for the U.S. market, we don't have any notable information on pricing or availability.

Source: Engadget

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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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