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3 years ago

Nexus 4, 10 and phone bumpers now available in Australian Google Play Store (update)

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Update: Well, that was quick. Looks like both the 8 and 16GB Nexus 4's are sold out in the Australian Play Store.

And so it begins. Aussies, get out your credit cards and head to the Play Store to pick up your Nexus 4 and Nexus 10. The folks over at AusDroid have just clued in to the Play Store going live for purchase, and everyone else in the world is envious for just a few hours while you guys get the head start.

Also in this refresh of the store we see that Google will be selling official bumpers for the Nexus 4. They come in any color as long as it's black and are $19.99 here in the states.

Source: AusDroid; Google Play Store

More: Google Nexus 4 Forums; Nexus 10 Forums

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3 years ago

Google Play Music now live in selected European countries

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Google Play Music services are now live in some European countries. Warner Music Group artists now available worldwide.

Today isn't just Nexus Eve, at least, not in Europe anyway. Today also sees the long awaited arrival of Google Play Music on these shores! Customers in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain can now not only make use of Google's cloud storage service -- officially, at least -- but also purchase music right from within the Google Play Store. With the recent announcement that the Warner Music Group artists joining the catalog, we've got all the major players to choose from.

That's not all though. Perhaps as reward for waiting so long, Europeans also get to try out Google's new 'iTunes match' type service. Uploading all your music to the cloud isn't going to be for everyone, and whatever your internet connection, it takes some time. With this service going live -- initially only in Europe -- there is actually a viable alternative to uploading all your music manually. 

It's been a long time in coming, but a huge missing piece in Google Play's ecosystem here in Europe is finally with us. Hit us up in the comments below and let us know your thoughts and experiences with Google Play Music.

Note: If you're not yet seeing the Music tab in the Google Play Store app, head to Settings > Apps > All > Google Play Store, and hit "Clear Cache," then "Force Stop." Upon returning to the store, your Music tab should appear under "Apps." Thanks to Paul O'Brien of MoDaCo for the tip!

Source: Google Play Music

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3 years ago

Should I upgrade? Samsung Galaxy S3 versus the Nexus 4

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It’s time for the third installment of our “should I upgrade series,” and this time we’re pitting the brand new Nexus 4 against Samsung’s 30-million-selling Galaxy S3. Over the past week we’ve already compared the new LG-built Nexus against HTC’s One X and Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus. But this is the big one -- the Galaxy S3 is the year’s best-selling Android smartphone, and many S3 owners will be wondering whether it’s worth swapping out Samsung’s latest for the competitively-priced, Android 4.2-running Nexus.

When you consider hardware, software and connectivity, the choice between the Galaxy S3 and Nexus 4 is far from clear-cut. So join us after the break, as these two handsets fight to the death for your amusement.

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3 years ago

HTC One X+ and One VX hit AT&T Nov 16; One X+ pre-orders start tomorrow

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AT&T has finally announced the availability of the HTC One X+, as well as the HTC One VX, on their press site this afternoon. The One X+ (check our review of the European version) will be available in stores and online starting November 16, for $199.99 with a new agreement, and pre-orders start tomorrow (November 13). The One VX will be priced at just $49.99 with a new agreement, and also be made available starting November 16.

The One X+ offers a processor change for AT&T customers, as it ships with the Tegra 3 quad-core at 1.7 GHz. The phone will perform very comparable to the original One X, but offer the ability to play those TegraZone only games that catch so many of our eyes. Of course, the 4.7-inch 720p screen is still there, as well as the awesome HTC camera hardware. To make things really sweet, AT&T has put 64GB of storage into the One X+, which may just be the deciding factor.

The One XV really impressed us at AT&T's holiday event. Billed as a budget phone, we went away impressed with the size, performance, and value it has to offer. The 4.5-inch qHD display and dual-core Snapdragon processor make for a nice Android experience, and the same ImageSense system is on-board for an excellent camera. It sounds like a great device for those not wanting to break the bank.

If you've been watching all the Nexus 4 news, but decided it was not the phone for you, here are two you should take a good long look at. AT&T's press release, and a short video from their social media team follows.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II hitting Verizon for $129.99

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We saw a couple months ago in a leaked Verizon roadmap that a successor to the original Samsung Stratosphere would be hitting Verizon. Its finally been officially announced, a little later than expected, as a logical progression from its predecessor. The Galaxy Stratosphere II is again decidedly mid-range, with a 1.2Ghz dual-core processor, 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, NFC, QWERTY keyboard and of course 4G LTE, all running on Android 4.0 with TouchWiz.

There's no specific availability just yet but we do know it'll be hitting for $129.99 (after $50 mail-in rebate) -- which is an odd pricing scheme for Verizon -- in "the coming weeks".

Source: Verizon Newsroom

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3 years ago

The Nexus 4 sold by T-Mobile doesn't have Wifi Calling

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There's been a lot of back and forth about the specs of the Nexus 4 being sold by T-Mobile. We already gone over one hurdle confirming that all Nexus 4's are HSPA+ 42, and now we're going to clear the air on Wifi Calling. We've been saying since the end of October that Wifi Calling will not be included, and we're happy to report that we can confirm this independently. We've reached out to T-Mobile directly, and a spokesperson has confirmed for us that indeed there is no Wifi Calling on-board on the Nexus 4.

Let's all reflect on the fact that this is actually a good thing. Not having carrier software included on the Nexus 4 coming from T-Mobile reaffirms the idea that this is the exact same model being sold by Google in the Play Store. Users who buy their phones from a carrier shouldn't have to be second class citizens to those who buy directly. This is a good move by Google (and T-Mobile) and it will save a lot of frustration down the road when it comes to software support.

More: Google Nexus 4 Forums

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3 years ago

HTC publishes Jelly Bean update Q&A - 2012 devices first, excluding One V

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HTC has posted an updated Q&A page for Android 4.1, providing further details about Jelly Bean updates for its fleet of Android devices. In addition to confirming the already confirmed One S and One X Jelly Bean updates, the manufacturer says it's looking at updates for the rest of its 2012 portfolio on a device-by-device basis. However, two 2012 HTC devices that'll remain on Ice Cream Sandwich are the One V and Desire C. Both phones feature just 512MB of RAM, an apparent barrier to running Jelly Bean and HTC Sense.

But all isn't lost for older devices. HTC says it'll consider Jelly Bean updates for its 2011 phones too, assuming the hardware's up to the task. Given the restriction on 512MB devices, though, we suspect many won't make the cut. That said, we imagine popular phones like the HTC Sensation (with 768MB of RAM) might be in line for an official Android 4.1 update later in the year.

And interestingly, HTC says it plans to release "generic development ROMs" for devs, based upon Jelly Bean  for the One X and One S. Unfortunately, there's not much info on exactly what form these will take, or whether they'll be based on vanilla Android or HTC's Sense software. We've reached out to HTC for clarification, and will keep you posted with any new info they provide.

Elsewhere, HTC confirms that its Jelly Bean updates will include the latest version of HTC Sense, dubbed Sense 4+. We recently went hands-on with Sense 4+ on the company's latest European handset, the One X+.

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

Googler hints at time of Play Store Nexus 4/10 availability [updated]

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Updated: Launch Tuesday morning Euro time now on the cards?

Update: Keuchel has updated his post, indicating that Google has "stepped on the gas" and as such, the plan is to start taking orders through the Google Play devices store tomorrow morning, "around breakfast time" in Germany. (That's early morning Pacific time.) We've updated the article below to include this new information. An earlier post by the Google Germany employee suggested a late afternoon Euro launch.

We know many a smartphone nerd will have been hoping for a midnight debut of the new Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, which were announced a couple of weeks ago with a Nov. 13 launch date. However, it seems Google has other plans for its new phone and tablet launch. Google Germany employee Stefan Keuchel took to Google+ today to inform followers that the new devices would not be available at the stroke of midnight, as some had speculated. Instead, he says he's learned that Germans will be able to start ordering devices tomorrow morning Euro time. There's no information as to whether the devices will go on sale in the U.S. around the same time.

Take this with a pinch of salt, though, as the Google mothership has yet to make any official statement on the exact time of availability. But if devices do show up online around Tuesday morning German time, Europeans can expect to start receiving orders on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

Keuchel warns against staying up to check the Google Play Store. Nevertheless, we'll be checking store listings regularly over the next 24 hours.

Source: +Stefan Keuchel

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3 years ago

Latest HTC DLX pics point to wider international launch

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HTC has already announced one variant of its 5-inch, 1080p "DLX" handset, the Japanese HTC J Butterfly, and tomorrow in New York City we'll be seeing the Verizon version, the Droid DNA. Today, leaked information from a Taiwanese forum might indicate a wider Asian launch for the device.

The images above have emerged on ePrice, showing the HTC DLX in black, white and brown flavors. According to the source, the brown and black version will be available in China, while HTC's native Taiwan will get all three. The international DLX seems to be slightly thinner than the Verizon version -- note the protruding camera lens in the middle shot. This could point to a battery smaller than the 2500mAh unit reported to power the Droid DNA.

Various dates are being bandied about for the Chinese and Taiwanese launch of the DLX (which, by the way, we imagine is still a codename). The poster on ePrice says it might arrive in Taiwan as early as Dec. 20.

In addition to the crazy 1080p display, reported DLX/Droid DNA specs include a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 12MP camera, putting it on par with the J Butterfly.

Our fingers are firmly crossed for an unlocked European version of this beauty.

Source: ePrice; via: PhoneArena

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3 years ago

Sony to give away 24K gold Xperia P in Facebook contest

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What's better than a free Xperia P? A free Xperia P in 24 karat gold, presented in a fancy display case. Sony Mobile is offering the prize on its Swedish Facebook page as part of a Guldfredag -- or "Gold Friday" -- promotion.

As Xperia Blog points out, there's no information as to whether this limited edition Xperia P is solid gold, or merely gold plated, but we don't think the winner will be complaining -- either way, it's still packing more of the precious metal than your average smartphone.

In our review of the Xperia P back in June, we praised the phone's industrial design and display quality. However, we were underwhelmed by the Gingerbread-based firmware. Now the phone has ICS, making it a more tempting proposition. The regular Xperia P can be picked up for around £200 online -- we won't even guess at the value of the gold version.

Swedes in need of a blinged-out Sony smartphone can enter Sony's contest over at the source link.

Source: Sony Mobile Facebook (Sweden); via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Should I upgrade? HTC One X versus the Nexus 4

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Welcome to Round 2 of our "Should I upgrade?" series. We've already taken a look at the obvious -- the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

So let's move on to another of the flagship devices of the past year -- the HTC One X, and perhaps the new and improved HTC One X+ for good measure. (And you can basically apply all this to Sprint's EVO 4G LTE as well.) It's the pinnacle of the 2012 rebirth of HTC and packed quite the hardware punch, with HTC's usual design chops as well. 

So let's break it down: Should you upgrade to the Nexus 4 from the HTC One X?

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3 years ago

From the forums: Can I buy a Nexus 4 from another country's Google Play Store?

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This one was borne in our burgeoning Google Nexus 4 forums, and prompted us to do a little digging around in Google's support pages. The OP from forums member jerryberry83 read like this:

Hi can someone help me out ? I will be traveling from Europe to the USA for two weeks at the end of November. Would I be able to buy the Google Nexus 4 from the online store and can I use an international card ? How long does it take to deliver ? Have never bought from the store before!

It's a good question. The problem prospective buyers around the globe face, is price. Outside the reach of the Google Play Store, we're already hearing that the Nexus 4 will be considerably more expensive. While we don't necessarily like this, it isn't all that surprising. But, for consumers in countries not supported by device purchases direct from Google, can they use the store from a country that does have it, if like jerryberry83 they will be visiting such a country soon. Or, maybe if you have friends or family there to accept a delivery and forward it on for you. Or, anyway at all you could think of to buy a device using your card. Is it possible? 

The short answer, sadly, seems to be no. The answer lies within Google Play's own support pages, with the key points being these that relate to possible reasons for declined payments:

Your billing address doesn't match the one on file with your bank. Check that the address listed in your Google Wallet account matches the billing address that appears on your credit/debit card statement.

At this time, the country of your credit card must match the the country to which you're shipping.

In short, it has to be a credit card that not only matches the address registered to the Google Wallet account, but that also is registered in the country to which your device will be shipping. So, if you know someone in a Google Play supported country, you're going to need to get them to buy you one, with their credit card. 

One suggestion posed in response to the initial query, was the use of a VCC (Virtual Credit Card.) Again, this looks like a non-starter, as Google goes into specifics regarding these cards. A VCC cannot be used to purchase a device from the Play Store. 

So, there we have it. Not necessarily what some were hoping to hear, but likewise isn't new as far as policies go. For more on the subject, head on into the Google Play Support Pages at the link below. 

More: Google Play Support, LG Nexus 4 review

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3 years ago

One last set of Droid DNA renders confirms earlier leaks

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Nope, not done with the Droid DNA yet this morning. Our pals at @evleaks let loose another pair of renders of the coming Verizon smartphone, and this is the one I've been waiting for. The rear shot confirms the design is the same as in the pics we showed you back in October, and you can just make out the little holes to the left of the rear camera lens (even rez'd out here). It'll be interesting to see how much that camera housing sticks out from the body of the phone as well.

And it all line up with evleaks' other shots as well. It's safe to say this is it, folks.

We'll see you at Tuesday's launch in New York!

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Verizon makes the Droid DNA official

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Verizon on its website this morning officially outed the HTC Droid DNA. The phone, which will be unveiled at an event Tuesday morning in New York City (we'll be there), is clearly listed under Verizon's "News and Offers" section.

What's more is that Verizon's throwing a Google Hangout on Monday, Nov. 19, at noon Eastern. A special unboxing, apparently, some six days after this week's event.

More: Exclusive first pictures of the Droid DNA

The Droid DNA is expected to be a 5-inch device, the largest thus far of HTC's traditional smartphones, and a cousin to the J Butterfly released in Japan. It should have a ridiculous 1080x1920 resolution, powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor. Our previous leak pegs it at 1.5 Ghz, with 2GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear camera. It'll likely run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with the new Sense 4+ user interface.

Verizon's event Tuesday is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Eastern.

Source: Verizon; More: Verizon on Google+

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3 years ago

LG Escape review

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While the LG Escape isn’t brand new, nor was its release back in September exactly hotly anticipated, we here at Android Central are nothing if not thorough, and we believe that everyone should have all facts before they throw down some sawbucks on a new phone. Here, we’ll take a brief look at LG’s entry-level device and how the $50 Escape fares against the rest of AT&T’s portfolio, just in time for the holiday season.

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