Recent Articles | Android Central

Pre-order BlackBerry DTEK50 for $299 | Shop Chromebooks: Asus Flip | Acer 14 | Dell 13

Headlines

3 years ago

Sony confirms HD voice support on Xperia T

2

If you've been using a Sony Xperia T in the couple of weeks since its release, you may have already noticed this. Nevertheless, Sony Mobile has today confirmed on its official product blog that its new high-end phone for Europe, the Xperia T, supports the HD Voice standard for higher-quality voice calls over the mobile network. The feature is fully functional on the Xperia T, but it's not currently mentioned anywhere on the official Sony specification page.

To get the most out of HD Voice, both callers will need HD Voice supported handsets and mobile networks. In the UK, Three and EE (Orange + T-Mobile) currently support the standard. But with all the pieces in place, the difference in call quality can be quite striking, as we've noticed during our time with the Sony Xperia T.

As data use increases, there's a general trend away from traditional voice calls on mobile handsets. But if you still find yourself making lots of calls, it may be a feature worth looking for in your next smartphone.

Source: Sony Mobile

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 and Ace Duo get Carbon Trust certification

7

Samsung has announced that it's boosted its green credentials by obtaining Carbon Trust "PAS 2050" certification for its Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Ace Duo smartphones in Europe. PAS 2050 is a standard for measures greenhouse gas emissions of devices throughout their lives.

Samsung had previously gained PAS 2050 certification for its Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note devices. However, the manufacturer notes that the S3's carbon footprint is some 14 percent lower than the S2, owing to fewer raw materials being used in its construction and the inclusion of a more efficient charger, as well as lower emissions during the manufacturing process.

Here's your obligatory "inspired by nature" quote --

“At Samsung, our philosophy is to ‘design for humans’ and be ‘inspired by nature’. So by design our products are not just smart and easy to use, they also strive to achieve the highest environmental standards,” said Bill Skeates, Head of Sustainability, Samsung Electronics Europe. “Yes, our customers want to own a great smartphone, but they also want to be responsible consumers, and the GALAXY SIII helps them to do both. Measuring the carbon footprint helps us to understand the environmental impact of our mobile phones and identify where we can continue to improve.  Samsung aims to calculate the carbon footprint for all of its mobile flagship devices.”

We've seen some smartphones boasting their eco-friendly credentials before -- remember last year's Samsung Replenish, for one. But would a more environmentally friendly smartphone sway your purchasing decision? Let us know in the comments.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

ASUS Padfone 2 heading to the UK in early 2013

11

The original Padfone from ASUS didn't really take off as they may have hoped, and in the UK it never received an official release. As such, we might expect the successor, the imaginatively named Padfone 2, to also skip by British shores. Apparently, not so. 

According to the folks at Techradar, an ASUS spokesman confirmed to them that the UK in fact would see an official release of the Padfone 2 early next year. There wasn't a whole lot said besides that, just that we would hopefully be seeing some further details before this year is out. 

On paper, the Padfone 2 is an enticing prospect. A quad-core Snapdragon S4, 2GB of RAM, 4G LTE support, a HD Super IPS+ display and a 13MP rear camera is enough to open anybody's eyes. We're still not convinced by the whole phone-tablet hybrid though. The price is high -- as you would expect for both a phone and a tablet -- but what we'd really like to see, is just the phone released on its own. Yes, that would contradict the whole Padfone concept, but we can dream. 

And, as an added bonus, if you're intrigued by the Padfone 2, ASUS has posted the entire press conference from Milan, Italy, for you to watch through at your leisure. You'll find it just a few clicks down, after the break. 

Source: Techradar

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Phones 4u selling brown Samsung Galaxy S3 in the UK

14

UK phone retailer Phones 4u has started to carry the Samsung Galaxy S3 in amber brown. It will sell the brown version alongside the stock “marble white” and “pebble blue” versions, but the brown is a web-exclusive, it says. Phones 4u’s S3 is the international quad-core Exynos version, with 16Gb of internal memory.

Consumers can get the device for about £49 with a £26-per-month, 2-year contract with Orange. Other options include a 2-year plan with Vodafone for £37 a month, and the device is yours for free.

In the US, Verizon announced black and brown flavors of Samsung’s superphone last week, in the dual-core Snapdragon version that the country's telcos have been carrying.

We’ve known about the various colors for a while now. Samsung announced the brown, “garnet red”, “sapphire black” and “titanium gray” in late August. In some countries, these have gone on to be carrier or retailer exclusives.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Motorola DROID RAZR M, RAZR i, RAZR HD, Atrix HD get root method

2

Motorola Droid users rejoice! xda-developers forum user Dan (@djrbliss) has managed to root the Motorola DROID RAZR MAtrix HD, the Photon Q, and the upcoming RAZR HD with an exploit called MotoFail2go. The RAZR i appears to be included, although the developer notes that additional hacking might be needed, involving replacing some of the binaries with x86 versions if your attempts fail.

The entire root process looks like a one-click operation, with the exploit requiring you to press some buttons along the way. You’re going to need a Windows PC for this, the latest Morotola USB drivers along with the Motofail2go_windows.zip exploit.

As always, back up before you proceed.

Source: xda-developers forum

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

LG Optimus Vu available unlocked from Expansys for £349

5

The LG Optimus Vu has popped up on Expanys for £349 (approximately $564). This is basically the same version that we reviewed, except it has a Tegra 3 processor rather than the Snapdragon S3.

AT 5-inches, the Vu is a Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2 competitor. It also costs much less than the Note 2, which can also be had from Expansys for £529 (approximately $854).  There are reasons for the cheaper price, however. We've mentioned a few aspects of the Vu that we've had issues with, such as the 4:3 aspect ratio, lack of slot for the stylus and lackluster camera performance.

Nevertheless, if you've been waiting for an opportunity to purchase an unlocked LG Optimus Vu, Expansys can help you out.

Source: Expansys

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

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

63

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

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Sony Xperia T coming to Canada in November

4

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?

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

HTC J Butterfly video round-up

60

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.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

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

2

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

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Sony announces Xperia VL for the Japanese market

0

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

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

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

92

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

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S3 receiving small update, still not Jelly Bean

29

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!

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Affordable Android-powered MG device targets young gamers

5

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.

Read more and comment

 
3 years ago

Sprint Optimus G benchmarks and hardware testing

22

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.

Read more and comment

 
Show More Headlines

Pages