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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 coming to UK on Oct. 1

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Samsung has announced that its latest smartphone/tablet hybrid, the Galaxy Note 2, will land on British shores next Monday, Oct. 1. Like the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 10.1 before it, the Note 2 will be available first at the Samsung brand store at the Westfield shopping center in Stratford, London, as well as major UK networks, and independent retailers. That roughly fits with what we were hearing yesterday from Phones4U, which expects to fulfill Note 2 orders from Oct 2.

The Galaxy Note 2 will become the first major non-Nexus Android device to hit store shelves with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. And with a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos CPU and 2GB of RAM, it's no slouch in terms of hardware specs either. Like its predecessor, the Note 2 comes with a Wacom-based Samsung "S Pen," which this time around has been redesigned for easier grip and better on-screen action. For more on the Galaxy Note 2, check out our hands-on coverage from IFA.

Samsung informs us that the Note 2 will be available in both marble white and titanium grey colors, so it looks like there'll be no waiting around for secondary color options, as was the case around Galaxy S3 launch time.

Anyone picking up a launch day Galaxy Note 2 in the UK? Hit the comments and let us know. We've got today's press release in full after the break.

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3 years ago

'Martian pink' Samsung Galaxy S3 is official, headed to South Korea

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New color launches in South Korea, as sales figures suggest six percent of the country's population now own a Galaxy S3

It was leaked last week, but now it's official -- the Samsung Galaxy S3 will be launching in South Korea in a new "Martian pink" color. Currently, Samsung plans to make available just 100,000 of the pink S3s across South Korea's three main mobile operators.

On its official Korean blog, the company quoted an official as saying (roughly translated) --

"The Martian pink Galaxy S III is refined and sensuous. With its distinctive style, we expect a great response from the younger generation and women."

Samsung also notes that it's surpassed 3 million Galaxy S3 sales in its home territory, which is all the more impressive considering the country's population of just under 50 million. By our calculations, that suggests that six percent of all South Koreans now own a Galaxy S3. Internationally, sales of the phone stand at 20 million, and that's expected to rise to 30 million before the end of the year.

Samsung's accustomed to strong sales of its handsets in Korea. Back in January it emerged that some 5 million Galaxy S2 phones had been sold in the country, the equivalent of 10 percent of the population.

Samsung hasn't announced any plans to launch the new Martian pink S3 outside of South Korea, but given its track record with the pink Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note, we wouldn't be surprised to see this a Martian pink invasion of Europe taking place in a few months' time.

Source: Samsung (Korean, Translated)

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3 years ago

Who needs a car head unit when you have a Galaxy S3?

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Looking for something to replace that lackluster 8-Track, cassette, or CD player that came with your car? Instead of using some goofy adapter or FM transmitter, why not replace the entire unit with a Samsung Galaxy S III?

That was the train of thought for Steve, aka youtube user philstuffs. He had an old JVC head unit that just wasn't cutting it. So instead of spend the money on a stand-alone head unit for his vehicle, he used his trusty SGS3. He modified a standard car charger so the phone charges when the car is on and he hooked up the audio-out from his phone to the amplifier in his trunk. Simple and effective.

Before you get on his case for the phone not being centered, he knows this. He states in his youtube video description that he still needs to come up with a "prettier facia" and is even thinking about using fiberglass. 

What I want to know is: How does he take the phone with him when he leaves the vehicle? From the looks of it, that facia he cooked up is removable, and he can unhook his SGS3 and be on his way. Not the most practical solution. Maybe his final design will be more practical and user friendly.

Would you replace your entire head unit with your smartphone? How do you listen to music from your phone in your car? Let us know in the comments. Video after the break.

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3 years ago

AOKP JB build 3 released; Samsung devices added, Motorola devices dropped

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Image courtesy BlueWall

AOKP has released the JB 3 build of their popular Jelly Bean ROM, with a few new features, some bug fixes, and device support news. Support for the Samsung i9100, Samsung i9100g (OMAP version of the Galaxy S 2), and Samsung i9300 has been added to the project, as well as the return of the two Sprint Nexus devices, the Toroplus and Crespo 4G.

Unfortunately, due to lack of a device maintainer, support for both the Wingray and Stingray (Motorola Xoom devices) has been dropped. This puts a damper on the otherwise good news, and we hope someone can step forward and get Motorola's best tablets back into the game.

The four new features are SMS Quickreply, stopwatch and countdown timers in the clock app, "expert" calculator options (graphing. matrices and the like), and adding IME switching and vibration/ringer toggle to the navigation ring targets. Bugs squashed include the ability to add custom ringtones again, as well as other under-the-hood fixes and improvements. 

Downloads for the various Nexus devices are already live, and you can find them here (as well as the G apps you'll need). Keep an eye out for the newly added devices to be released as the maintainers get things up to speed.

Source: AOKP

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3 years ago

Galaxy Note 2 UK on-contract prices emerge, shipping next Tuesday

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UK SIM-free pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 emerged some time ago, but if you're still wondering much it'll set you back on-contract, then wonder no more. The answer, it seems, is a lot. Independent UK retailer Phones4U has published its subsidized prices for the Note 2, which it's offering on Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile and Orange. But if you want to pick up a Galaxy Note 2 for free, you'll be paying at least £41 per month to one of the UK's leading networks.

On O2, that'll get you a free Galaxy Note 2, and an allowance consisting of unlimited texts, unlimited minutes and 1GB of data. Though for just a pound more per month, Vodafone offers the same call and text package, but with 2GB of data thrown in. Cheaper plans are available, but you'll pay up to £299 for the phone itself.

Phones4U expects to fulfill orders from next Tuesday, Oct. 2, which would fit with rumored release dates that've been doing the rounds in the past few days.

Source: Phones4U

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3 years ago

Motorola XPRT update brings Gingerbread and bugfixes

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The Motorola XPRT, that BlackBerry-like keyboard phone on Sprint, has finally made its move to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Along with bumping up to the next platform version, the update brings a decent grouping of bug fixes for the device:

  • Email User Interface fixes.
  • Contact User Interface fixes.
  • UXD fix to color backgrounds (remove red).
  • Fix the ability to use Bluetooth car kits.
  • Improve EAS GAL (Global Address List) Search.
  • Improve EAS First Sync timing.
  • Fix Forward / Reply markers to original email. (this is if you reply or forward an email from your phone, it would not display in your EAS email account.)
  • SMS fix when using () in SMS body.
  • Bluetooth toasts when syncing contacts improved.

The latest software version, 4.5.1-110-kns-46, is available now and your device should prompt you to update. If you haven't been updated yet, a quick trip to Settings > About phone > System updates should remedy that. As far as Ice Cream Sandwich goes, we think this is probably the end of the road for updates on the XPRT.

Source: Sprint Support

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3 years ago

Motorola Droid RAZR M torn down on video, phone parts found inside

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Motorola's latest Android offering, the Droid RAZR M, has a complete and thorough teardown video available now thanks to the folks over at DirectFix. This is a pretty quick turnaround considering the RAZR M just hit Verizon stores, and we're glad there are people out there who are willing and capable of tearing these new gadgets apart. If for some reason you need to know how to replace a part in your new device -- or maybe you're just curious what Moto has packed behind that kevlar back plate, we wouldn't blame you -- then this video may be of interest to you.

Source: DirectFix YouTube

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Tipo mini-review

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Sony has released more smartphones than ever before 2012, hoping that strength in numbers will help it overcome Android competition from the likes of Samsung and HTC. One important, but often overlooked area of any manufacturer’s line-up is the entry level -- it’s these devices which attract first-time smartphone users, giving them their first taste of the Android platform. We’re taking a look at one such device today.

The Sony Xperia Tipo is the manufacturer’s cheapest 2012 smartphone -- a budget phone with a basic feature set. When you’re selling a device like the Tipo unsubsidized around the £100 mark, compromises inevitably must be made. But does enough smartphone muscle remain to deliver a compelling user experience? Join us after the break to find out, in our bite-size mini-review of the tiny Xpeira Tipo.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 confirmed across across Canada, still no dates or prices

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TELUS, WIND Mobile, and Mobilicity have confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 would be arriving across their respective Canadians networks this fall. It wouldn't be surprising to see Rogers and Bell to soon follow suit soon with equally vague announcements. No dates or prices have been revealed, but a few have put up landing pages in their online store. The UK is going to be getting the Galaxy Note 2 in mid-October for £546, while the American version won't be around until mid-November. That should give us an idea of what to expect in Canada. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is the amped-up successor to the original phablet. The specs are pretty sweet, as you can see.

  • Network: 3G: HSPA+ 21Mbps (HSDPA 21Mbps / HSUPA 5.76Mbps); 4G LTE: 100Mbps/ 50Mbps
  • Processor: 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • Display: 5.5” HD Super AMOLED (1,280 x 720)
  • OS: Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • Camera: Main(Rear): 8 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash, BSI; Sub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel VT Camera, BSI; Best Photo, Best Faces, Low light shot
  • GPS: A-GPS; Glonass
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth® v 4.0 (Apt-X Codec support) LE; USB 2.0 Host; WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz), Wi-Fi HT40; Wi-Fi Direct; mHL; NFC
  • Memory: 16/32/64GB User memory + 2GB (RAM); microSD (up to 64GB)
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-ion 3,100mAh

You can get a closer look at the device in our hands-on video over here. Canadians, any of you interested in picking up the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, or is it still way too big? 

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3 years ago

LG Optimus G 13-megapixel sample pictures

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One of the more important features of the LG Optimus G -- of any current smartphone, really -- is the camera. The Optimus G actually will come in a couple flavors. We took the 13-megapixel smartphone for a test-drive last week in Seoul, South Korea. Other regions will see an 8-megapixel shooter, with the added bonus that it gives the phone a slightly slimmer profile.

So how'd the camera perform? Pretty well. We do have to keep in mind that we were using a preproduction unit, but we were told the camera should be pretty darn close to the experience we'll have in a retail unit.  But the camera app was decent enough and had all the usual bells and whistles in the usual places.

Our one main concern was that a number of our pics seemed to be a little hazy. We tracked that down to our greasy fingerprints on the lens, and we found ourselves having to constantly wipe it down before taking a clear picture. That's not something we have to do with every device. (Or maybe we should be more worried about it?) It'll be interesting to see if that's just us holding it wrong, or if others of you will muck it up just as much.

Anyhoo. We've got a bevy of sample pics after the break. Some are in HDR, but we're not going to tell you which ones. The HDR mode actually seems to be kind of weak, so we're curious if you can spot it in action. 

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia T arrives at Carphone Warehouse and Phones4U in the UK

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A little ahead of schedule, Sony’s new international flagship, the Xperia T, is now available in the UK. Phones4U and the Carphone Warehouse are offering the device on-contract through their respective websites. Both retailers are selling the Xperia T with O2, Vodafone and Orange contracts, starting at £26 per month. That’ll get you 200 minutes, unlimited texts and 750MB of data on Orange through CPW, though if you don’t mind parting with an extra £2.50 per month, P4U will hook you up with 1GB of data, 600 minutes and 3000 texts.

There’s currently no way to buy an unlocked Xperia T online through these retailers, and independent online stores aren’t expecting stock until October. However, we called around a few of our local Phones4U stores, and it seems they’re more than willing to sell you a SIM-free Xperia T when it arrives in-store this Thursday. The Carphone Warehouse stores we contacted were unsure as to when stock would arrive, or if SIM-free sales would be allowed. Neither chain was able to give us any SIM-free pricing details.

Meanwhile, XperiaBlog reports that the Xperia T has gone on sale in Germany, where it’s available through O2. Over there, handset’s currently priced at €449 on Pay As You Go.

via XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Intel confirms next-gen, dual-core Medfield + LTE plans

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The current crop of "Medfield"-based Intel Atom smartphone chips has one major disadvantage compared to much of the ARM-based competition -- these SoCs don't support 4G LTE connectivity. Recent Intel-based phones like the Motorola RAZR i and Orange San Diego are 3G/HSPA-only, single-core devices, which has proved a barrier to U.S. carrier uptake. Though these chips boast Intel's Hyperthreading technology for improved multitasking, the chip giant is keen to move into true multi-core territory, while implementing 4G LTE support, allowing it to move into the U.S. market.

Speaking with TechCrunch, Intel's Director of Product Marketing Sumeet Syal said the company was readying LTE products "later this year and ramping into 2013." In the U.S. market in particular, Motorola would be the manufacturer to watch for future LTE-connected Intel-powered phones. Moto has partnered with Intel to develop multiple devices over the next few years, and it's already started with the RAZR i in Europe.

In addition, it should come as no surprise to see Intel readying dual-core Medfield chips to take on higher-end ARM offerings. Syal told TechCrunch "Our next gen product will be a dual-core but again that product will also have hyper threading so essentially… you will also have dual-core with four threads."

It's just the beginning for Intel on Android, and we expect there'll be more to see starting early next year at CES.

Source: TechCrunch

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3 years ago

Samsung updates Android 4.1 Jelly Bean roadmap

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Alongside today's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for some Galaxy S3 models, the Korean manufacturer has confirmed that it'll also be updating some fifteen existing devices to the latest version of Google's OS. Though no timeframe for release is provided, owners of the devices below can rest assured that they'll eventually get Jelly Bean, even if the update takes a few months to arrive.

The devices so far confirmed by Samsung as "following soon" are  --

GALAXY Tab 2 7.0 & 10.1, GALAXY Note 10.1, GALAXY SII, GALAXY Note, GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus, GALAXY S Advance, GALAXY SII LTE, GALAXY Music, GALAXY Chat, GALAXY Ace 2, GALAXY Beam, GALAXY Ace Plus, GALAXY mini II and GALAXY S DUOS.

The Galaxy S2 and Galaxy Note had already been extensively rumored to have Jelly Bean updates in the works, though we're surprised not to see devices like the Galaxy Tab 7.7 and 10.1 on that list. Though that doesn't necessarily mean they'll never get Jelly Bean.

Disappointed Samsung device owners may want to check out our recent article on the cruel world of Android updates.

via The Verge

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3 years ago

Android 4.1 update for Galaxy S3 rolling out, starting in Poland

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Jelly Bean for the Galaxy S3 finally arrives, available first as a Kies update

Samsing has started pushing out the official Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for the international Galaxy S3 (GT-i9300).The update appears to be pushing out to Galaxy S3 owners with unbranded handsets in the Poland ("XEO" region) initially, with other regions and networks expected to follow shortly. At the time of writing, the update is being pushed out through Samsung's Kies software, rather than over the air.

As we reported last month, the update will introduce familiar Jelly Bean features like Google Now, "Project Butter" performance enhancements and the redesigned notification shade, in addition to new TouchWiz features. These include dormant mode, for better notification and alert management, as well as "easy mode" for simplified home screen operation.

Owners of the unlocked international Galaxy S3 should be getting their updates very soon, even if they're not in Poland -- usually when one region starts being updated, it's a matter of days before others follow. Carrier-branded versions, such as the U.S. Galaxy S3 models, may have a little longer to wait, as those devices must go through additional certification.

To see if your update is ready to go, start up Kies on your PC and plug in your phone. If you're already up and running with Jelly Bean on your S3, head into the comments and let us know how you're getting on.

More: New features in Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean/TouchWiz update

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3 years ago

Motorola RAZR i review

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The Intel-Motorola partnership has been a long time coming. The two officially hooked up at CES 2012, where they committed to a “multi-year, multi-device agreement” to bring Intel-powered Moto phones to market. Ten months and a few leaks later, the first such device, the Motorola RAZR i, reaches European store shelves. It may not have been the bleeding-edge, multi-core, 4G behemoth that some -- including us -- were hoping for, but the RAZR i is nevertheless an important device for both companies. For Moto, it’s a chance to tackle the less hotly-contested mid-range phone market, and differentiate itself through its unique Intel internals. And it’s Intel’s first major Android smartphone from a top-tier manufacturer -- an important milestone for the chip giant in its ongoing war against the ever-present ARM.

But all this talk of important firsts and key partnerships means nothing if the device itself isn’t up to snuff. So just how does the Motorola RAZR i shape up in the crowded and fiercely competitive smartphone marketplace of late 2012? Read on to find out.


The RAZR i is a speedy, well-featured handset from Motorola, and it does a great job of showcasing the power of Intel on Android. Camera performance is impressive for a mid-range handset.


Ho-hum industrial design, last-generation screen tech. Compatibility issues in a handful of applications. Launches with ICS as others are preparing to jump to Jelly Bean.


There’s nothing terribly wrong with the RAZR i, and on the whole, we like the direction Moto and Intel are moving in. They’ve delivered a fast performer with a couple of outstanding features, and they deserve credit for that. But does the RAZR i have what it takes to survive the firestorm of competing smartphones coming this October? We’re just not sure.
 

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