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2 years ago

Which phone are we likely to see from HTC and Sprint on April 4?

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HTC and Sprint are getting together a few weeks from now in New York to show us something. We'll be there -- anytime there's a chance at seeing Android phones, an open bar, or catered hor d'oeuvres we're gonna show up. The real question, the one we all want to know, is what exactly will they be showing us?

The last time Sprint held a big shin-dig they showed us the Kyocera Echo. Everyone remembers that one, and most had a less-than-positive thing or two to say about it. But that's behind us, and we're pretty sure we'll be seeing something from the HTC One line this time around. That leaves us three distinct choices:

The HTC One V

Already rumored to be headed to Virgin Mobile (who uses the Sprint network), there would be little in the way of tooling to get this one on Sprint. It's a new generation of a budget device, with mediocre internals but awesome looking software. It's a phone built to appeal to the masses, but not so much to a dyed-in-the-wool Android enthusiast.

The HTC One S

Specs are beyond decent. A new S4 Snapdragon, a sexy magic MAO/ceramic/magic finish on a metal unibody, SAMOLED screen, and not built for giants. Plenty of folks want to get their hands on this one (this author included -- please sell it unlockable HTC).

The HTC One X

The beast. 4.7 inches of raw power (either the same S4 Snapdragon or the mighty Tegra 3), 720p display, and NFC. It's the phone a lot of folks would design if they had a chance. It's also the phone most folks would want Sprint to sell.

All three run Sense 4.0 on top of the Ice Cream Sandwich core. HTC promises that we'll love Sense 4.0, and what we've seen so far makes us believe them. They all will have Beats Audio, and some sort of new camera voodoo that we're champing at the bit to play with. All three are great looking phones in their own right, at least on paper. 

We'll have to wait and see just what Sprint and HTC announce in New York, but that won't stop us from having an opinion. Let us know in the poll what you want to see on April 4.

 

Which phone will Sprint and HTC announce in New York on April 4?

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2 years ago

How I back up my stock, unrooted Galaxy Nexus

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I get this question a lot: If my Galaxy Nexus is unrooted and running the stock ROM, how do I back up it via a custom recovery?

It's pretty easy, actually, and it goes back to our method of manually applying a stock update. You're going to need a few things (and chances are you've got them already):

So here's what you do:

  1. Download the custom recovery into the same folder as your fastboot file. (I like to rename mine just to keep things short.)
  2. Reboot your phone into the bootloader, either by turning it off and holding vol-up/vol-down+power, or reboot from the command line (adb reboot bootloader).
  3. Plug your phone into your computer if it's not already. (Type fastboot devices to make sure your computer sees it)
  4. In the command line, type fastboot boot xxxxxxx.img (where xxxxxxx is the name of the custom recovery you saved).

And that's it. You'll have booted into the custom recovery, and from there you can do a full backup, or restore a backup, or wipe the phone. All without rewriting anything. If you need a little more hand-holding, there's some video after the break. 

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2 years ago

Gameloft will optimize select titles for the upcoming LG Optimus 3D MAX

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Gameloft announced today that it has partnered with LG to optimize a number of its titles for the Korean manufacturer's upcoming Optimus 3D MAX smartphone. The following games will take advantage of the MAX's glasses-free 3D technology and will be available through LG Smart World upon the device's release:

  • Assassin’s Creed 3D
  • Dungeon Hunter 2 3D
  • James Cameron’s Avatar 3D
  • N.O.V.A. 2 – Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance 3D
  • Shrek Kart 3D
  • BackStab 3D 
  • Fishing Kings 3D 
  • Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus 3D
  • Shadow Guardian 3D 
  • Spider-Man: Total Mayhem 3D, Order & Chaos
  • Splinter Cell 3D

We got our hands on the Optimus 3D MAX back at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and while LG hasn't done much in terms of bumping the specs of its original Optimus 3D, it has added the ability to turn your plain old 2D apps into 3D ones. The titles above aren't so much simply converted as they are "optimized", so we're looking forward to seeing what Gameloft has done in terms of turning its titles into full-blown 3D experiences. Gameloft's announcement can be found after the break.

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2 years ago

Droid Charge also set to get Verizon Remote Diagnostics app, along with other fixes

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The venerable Samsung Droid Charge is about to get another software update. And included in version FP1, along with a bevy of bugfixes, is the new Verizon Remote Diagnostics application we've already seen added to the LG Revolution. That's the one that -- with your permission -- would allow Verizon customer service to temporarily take over your phone "for troubleshooting, device training and application demonstrations." Again, we (and Verizon) stress that nobody's taking over your phone without your permissions, and Verizon already has told us that this isn't a background monitoring tool.

Other additions in this software update include:

  • Updated User Interface (UI).
  • Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
  • No longer receive a promotional notification popup when using Mobile Hotspot.
  • Device allows for USB tethering while in Wi-Fi mode.
  • No longer lose data connectivity when the USB cable is connected or disconnected.
  • Easily view data activity with the Wi-Fi icon located in the status bar.
  • Complete calls without experiencing choppy audio, clicking noises and/or one-way audio noises.
  • Resolved “no tones” dial pad issue, allowing for easy access to voice mail and other automated systems

Plus, VZ Navigator has been updated, Google Play Books, the Play Store and Gmail apps have been updated (that really should be done outside of a software update, folks), the browser now defaults to google.com, and desk dock crashes are said to have been resolved.

Source: Verizon (pdf); More: Droid Charge forums
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 might come standard with wireless charging

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Two words that should never go together -- "charging" and "proprietary." But that might be what we see in the Samsung Galaxy S3 (or Galaxy S III, if you prefer), if a Korean publication is correct. DDaily is reporting that the SGSIII might well have a proprietary inductive charging system -- a la on the now-defunct Palm line of phones (and modded onto a number of Android devices) -- included as the stock back. (Or it might be optional. DDaily's not sure.) It also would have some sort of magic that would let it charge without actually touching the charging pad. (Woe is the child, pet or insect who steps foot between them.)

Hey, sounds great. Wireless charging (or at least charging via plugless contacts) should become the norm. But anytime we hear the word "proprietary" included with "charging," the hairs on the back of our neck start to stand up. Charging should never be proprietary. We've finally gotten all the manufacturers on board with microUSB (even if they do cheat sometimes -- say, in the case of the Nook Color's extra-long microUSB plug, or that not all manufacturers' chargers play nicely with each other's phones). We don't need a wireless charging war.

Anyhoo, we're still a long way out here, and there's a better than average chance that things will shift by the time anything's announced.

Source: DDaily (translated); via The Verge
More: Samsung Galaxy S III forums

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia S review

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The past year has seen many a transformation at Sony Mobile, formerly known as Sony Ericsson. In addition to the buyout by Sony and subsequent rebranding, the company has refocused on smartphones and brought to market a well-rounded lineup of products in several form factors. So hopes are high as the manufacturer launches its first high-end smartphone under the Sony banner, the Xperia S.

On paper, the Xperia S is a tantalizing piece of kit -- buyers get a 4.3-inch 720p screen, a fast dual-core CPU and a best-in-class camera for less money than many competing devices. And unlike 2012 flagships from Samsung and HTC, the Xperia S actually exists, and you can go out and buy one today.

The catch? It’s running Android 2.3 out of the box, and it could be months before the phone’s updated to the latest version of Google’s OS. So join us after the break as we take a closer look at the Xperia S, and decide whether there’s a place for a high-end device running Gingerbread in Spring 2012.
 


A well-built phone which feels good in the hand. Sharp, bright screen. The Mobile Bravia Engine makes for a stunning video experience. Best smartphone camera available.


Still waiting on Android 4.0 update. Bizarre button setup, keys sometimes unresponsive. Occasional software lag. Soft touch finish is a scratch magnet.



It's tough going back to Gingerbread, and we think Sony's dropped the ball in shipping its first major handset of 2012 with an old version of Android. But the Xperia S makes up for this shortcoming in other areas. Once it gets that sorely-needed ICS update, the Xperia S could be one of the first great handsets of the year. Until then, it's another decent Android phone with a handful of outstanding features.
 

Inside this review

More info

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2 years ago

Late-night poll: Phone cases - yea or nay?

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Smart phones are expensive. More-so if you buy them off contract and unlocked, but even subsidized with a new agreement the high-end phones are going to cost you about three-fiddy after taxes and that's a whole lot of money. When you spend that much money, you want to try to take very good care of something lest you break it, and for many of us that means a case of some sort. On the other side, it's awful nice to use a hot new Android phone without a case. The Galaxy S II or  the Bionic are super thin and beg to be felt in the hand. It's a difficult decision.

I use a case sometimes. I have one that I will slap on a phone if I'm headed outdoors doing something that sounds like it would tear up a phone, but most of the time I just slip my phone into my pocket and roll the dice. So far, so good.

What about you folks? Let us know in the poll.

 

Do you use a case on your Android phone?

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2 years ago

Tripit gets significant redesign for Android tablets, phone version tweaked, too

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Tripit easily is our favorite app for frequent travelers, and it's just gotten an pretty significant update for tablets as well as phones.

On the larger screens, there's a new layout that includes interactive maps and multiscreen views. Trips and points accounts all share space on the main screen. There also are larger (and scrollable!) widgets available if you're running Android 3.0 and up.

On the phone side, the points accounts section has been redesigned -- your account details, status and activity all have their own collapsible sections -- and the app refreshes faster while using less data.

All in all, a good update to an indispensable application for frequent travelers. We've got download links after the break if you need 'em.

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2 years ago

L.A. Noire for tablets now available through OnLive

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Rockstar has announced the availability of L.A. Noire: Touch Edition built specifically for tablet play via OnLive Desktop. If you're not familiar, have a look at our hands-on with OnLive, and see how it streams programs installed in a Windows 7 desktop environment to your tablet or smartphone. L.A. Noire is no exception, and what you'll be playing on your tablet is a natively installed Windows game, with controls optimized for the touch interface. 

Rockstar has optimized the award winning game to make controls and menus designed for tablet use, and it appears they have done a very nice job. It's the first time a game of this scope and complexity has been re-built this way, and it a good indicator of things to come. If you already have L.A. Noire, or L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition through OnLive, your game has already been updated with touch support. If you haven't tried it yet, you can rent or buy it through the OnLive Game System for as little as $5.99 /£3.99.

Of course you'll need the Android OnLive client, which is completely free and runs on any Android device with Gingerbread or higher installed. You can find the download link after the break.

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2 years ago

Pre-order the HTC One X from Optus today

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Aussies using Optus can pre-order the HTC One X online today. According to Optus, folks who order early enough will have a One X with it's quad-core Tegra 3 in their hands as soon as April 2. The price varies according to the plan, with a $59 monthly plan having a cost of zero per month and the $19 monthly plan costing an extra $17 monthly for the handset. This puts it on par with the Galaxy Nexus, and looks to be the norm for high-end handsets on contract. 

The One X promises to deliver an all-new experience with it's high-end internals, HTC Sense 4.0, Beats Audio, and a remarkable new camera setup. For a sneak peek at what to expect have a look at our hands-on from Barcelona during Mobile World Congress 2012.

If you're looking to get one of the hottest new devices on Optus, have a look and get out your credit cards!

Source: Optus; via Ausdroid

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