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3 years ago

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S review

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The past 11 months have seen Sony Ericsson recover from the disappointments and frustrations of its early Android efforts, releasing a solid line-up of well-designed Gingerbread-based phones in a range of different form factors. SE’s market share might be dwarfed by rival Android manufacturers like HTC and Samsung, but there’s no doubting the quality of its 2011 Xperia series.

So as we enter the final stretch of the year, Sony Ericsson brings us a refreshed version of its earlier flagship device, the Xperia Arc. The Arc S is mostly identical to its little brother, save for a fresh coat of paint and a faster, more efficient 1.4 GHz CPU. It’s still an Xperia Arc, and as such, just about everything we said in our original Arc review still stands. For that reason, we’re going to take a slightly different approach in this mini-review, focusing on the enhancements that’ve been made to the Arc’s hardware and software, and seeing how it measures up to other competing handsets. Join us after the jump to find out what we thought.


Thin and light phone with great aesthetics, fully-featured software and one of the best cameras around.


Not a massive upgrade over the original Arc, build quality's a little plasticky, 3D panoramic feature is temperamental.



It's not the fastest high-end Android smartphone out there, but the Xperia Arc S has a lot to offer, and at a lower price point than most dual-core handsets. If you want a premium Android device without an excessive price tag, the Xperia Arc S is a solid bet.

Inside this review

More info

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3 years ago

LG finally ready to release Optimus Gingerbread update to Europe

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The long wait is finally, almost, at an end for users of LG's Optimus line as they have today released details of the European rollout of their much awaited Gingerbread update for the "three premium smartphones" in the lineup.

It's important to remember that the dates provided by LG, refer specifically to unlocked, unbranded versions of the devices. Those bought from carriers may have to wait a little while longer. The good news though, is that for the Optimus 2X, the update starts from November 1. The Optimus 3D, and the Optimus Black will follow shortly after, followed by a global rollout. No specific dates have been provided though for outside of Europe. 

The dates are:

  • LG Optimus 2X - From Nov. 1 for open models in Europe
  • LG Optimus 3D - From week commencing21st Nov. 21 for open models in Europe
  • LG Optimus Black - From week commencing Nov. 28 for open models in Europe

Thanks powerbart!

More: LG Facebook page

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3 years ago

Breaksclusive: Samsung Galaxy Nexus render with a 4G symbol found lurking on Samsung's site

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Hey, guess what. If you've been trolling around the Android Central Forums for the past day or so -- hey, it's Halloween weekend, but it's still the place to be -- you no doubt know by now that there's been a Samsung SCH-i515 -- you know that as the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus -- lurking in some source code on Sammy's site. You'll also realize that it's really not that big a deal, since it's a pretty plain render of the Galaxy Nexus with a 4G symbol in the status bar -- and not even the "4G LTE" symbol we've come to expect on Verizon phones. But, hey, it's just an image, so we're not all that worked up over it. But what the hell. It's Sunday night. Enjoy.

Source: Samsung; Galaxy Nexus Forums

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3 years ago

Motorola RAZR and Samsung Galaxy S Glide possibly coming to Rogers next week

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If the internal procured by MobileSyrup are correct, Rogers subscribers will have a pair of hot new phones to check out next week -- the Galaxy S Glide is slated for a Nov. 3 launch, and the MotoRAZR shows up the next day on Nov. 4.  The Glide packs a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a 1.2 GHz processor, and a full sliding qwerty keyboard, and our Canadian office (hey Chris!) is itching to have a play with it.  The RAZR is super thin (7.1mm), has a 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP, 4.3-inch AMOLED, and the Rogers version may be bootloader unlockable direct from Motorola.  They both look like real winners, and should see lots of fans on both sides of the 49th parallel.

Source: MobileSyrup

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3 years ago

HTC rolling out update to Android 2.3.5, Sense 3.0 for Desire S in UK

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Android Central

According to reports from multiple sources, the HTC Desire S is currently receiving an update to Android 2.3.5, which also bumps the mid-range handset from HTC Sense 2.1 right up to Sense 3.0. The new version of Sense, which first shipped on the Sensation earlier in the year, features a redesigned 3D launcher and lock screen setup, amongst other enhancements.

Apparently unbranded Desire S owners in the UK, as well as owners of Vodafone T-Mobile, O2 and Orange have begun to see the update roll out to their handsets over the past few days. To see if you're in line for the update yet, head to Menu -> Settings -> About phone -> Software update. If you're not seeing anything just yet, then hold tight, it'll probably be sent out sooner rather than later.

Source: XDA; via: Eurodroid

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3 years ago

HTC releases Gingerbread kernel source for EVO Shift 4G, Thunderbolt, and Droid Incredible

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HTC has made the Gingerbread kernel source for the EVO Shift 4G, HTC Thunderbolt, and Droid Incredible available for download on their developer center website.  As always, unless you're a kernel developer or ROM chef, this won't do too much for you -- other than build anticipation for the awesome new flashables that will be coming soon for these three. 

Devs, have at it.  And don't be afraid to holler at us when you get something good cooked up!

Source: HTC Developer Center

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3 years ago

Samsung Italy apparently confirms what we already guessed -- new Tabs, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy note to get Ice Cream Sandwich

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According to the Italian blog Android.HD, Samsung has confirmed that they will be providing the Ice Cream Sandwich update to their latest top-tier devices. Phones and tablets set to get a bit of the latest tasty treat are:

This is a pretty obvious list, and we came up with something very similar ourselves.  Samsung is playing it safe by not announcing an ICS update for devices like the Galaxy W, or the original Galaxy S line, which we never really expected to see the Android 4.0 update anyway.  While there's no official timeline, expect the updates to start rolling out early next year -- then again in 2013 for the US carrier versions.  Yeah, I went there.

Source: Android.HD

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3 years ago

Dolphin Browser responds to allegations of data mining

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Several days ago we (and likely many others) were contacted about a potentially serious security issue with Dolphin Browser.  Apparently, quite a bit of information about your browsing session, including URL data for secure websites and search strings, was being forwarded to a remote server -- http://en.mywebzines.com.  We tore things apart and verified it, sure enough, it was happening and we were concerned.  Today the folks at Dolphin Browser have responded:

With roughly 300 Webzines supported at the moment, it was necessary for the client to check the current user URL against a database housing these 300 Webzine columns...None of these URLs have ever been stored by Dolphin, instead being used to cross-index if a Webzine for the current site exists. If it does, the current site is immediately converted to Webzine format; if not, it remains the standard mobile site. Again, none of this process is stored on the backend of our servers and we are deeply sorry that this was not made clear to our users from the beginning.

While the security nerd inside of us still cringes a bit at this, it's a perfectly reasonable explanation.  It's also the best way to handle the situation -- Webzine is pretty cool, and we don't want to have to maintain that database of 300 supported sites on our devices.  This should have been presented to the user before using the Webzine feature, but Dolphin Browser isn't evil.  We're glad they took the time to explain the whole mess, and now we can go back to using it.  Read the concerns, and Dolphin's entire response at the source links.

More: XDA-DevelopersDolphin Browser blog

Thanks, CB!

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3 years ago

HTC EVO Design 4G hands-on

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I've got to hand it to HTC. They continue to make beautiful-looking devices, one after another, with nary an end in sight. The latest in their lineup is the EVO Design 4G, a solid, mid-range phone that carries Sprint's EVO branding.

At first glance it looks like, well, an EVO. Not quite big enough to be the original EVO 4G and not as bulky as the current EVO 3D, the Design 4G is the thinner, lighter sibling in the EVO line. And that's ok.

The aluminum unibody design is one of the best features about this phone, not just aesthetically, but because it keeps everything feeling solid while still unbelievably light. If HTC could pull it off, I'd hope to see more phones (and more powerful phones) come out with this design more often.

The 4-inch screen is bright and clean, and doesn't leave much to be desired. Because the screen is more convervatively sized, the phone itself feels great in the hand and doesn't require any of the awkward thumb/palm shifts larger phones do.

The 1.2GHz processor gets the job done, but there's still mad lag when the phone's first turning on. That's no surprise, and I'm glad to see "less powerful" phones that still run really well. (Remember when a 1.2GHz processor was the deal?)

There's not much more I can say right now, so I'll just leave you guys (and gals) with a whole bevy of shots and a hands-on video after the break.

More in the EVO Design 4G Forums

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3 years ago

LG Revolution receives its official Gingerbread update

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Here's some good news for all of you who have been wondering if the LG Revolution would ever receive its Gingerbread update: Verizon has made it official and is pushing it out as we speak. In addition to Android 2.3, the update (software version VS910ZV7) also brings with it a host of improvements, all listed above. A welcome update indeed. Sit tight if you're still waiting, and hit the source link for detailed instructions on how to initiate and accept the OTA push. 

Source: Verizon WirelessThanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Nexus hands-on [updated with video]

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Much hay has been made about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the device which just a few weeks ago we were calling the Nexus Prime. If you're new around these parts, this is the big new Android phone for 2011 and at least most of 2012, thanks to it being the first with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and few Android smartphones have had such an insane level of hype to live up to. The Galaxy Nexus is supposed to be the phone that has everything -- a shiny new version of Android, combined with the best internals and display tech Samsung has to offer.

Already Internet discussion abounds, splitting hairs over this spec or that, but how does the phone look and feel in person? Is this really a perfect storm of next-generation Android and top-class hardware? Check out our full write-up and video walkthrough after the jump.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note hands-on [updated with video]

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Is it a phone? Is it a tablet? As smartphones move to sizes of 4.5 inches and beyond, it's a question we've found ourselves asking more and more. The Samsung Galaxy Note is a new "flagship" product which straddles the line between both categories of device. Technically it's a phone, and you can make calls on it, but the large 5.3-inch 1280x800 display means it's not a million miles away from the Honeycomb-powered Galaxy Tab 7.7 in terms of specs. And the Galaxy Note has another trick up its sleeve, in the form of Samsung's new "S Pen", a pressure-sensitive stylus similar to what we've seen from HTC in the past. Samsung's keen to tout the Galaxy Note as a high-end product for business professionals and creatives alike, and we got to see its note-taking and drawing capabilities at today's Galaxy Note World Tour event.

Join us after the jump for a full video run-through of the new features of the Samsung Galaxy Note, along with our complete write-up.

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3 years ago

Watch the London Samsung Galaxy Note/Galaxy Nexus event here

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You've seen our hands-ons in London with the Samsung Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus. Now watch the event for yourself. Ease on past the break to see it.

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3 years ago

Samsung bringing S-Pen SDK to developers in December

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During Thursday's presentation at the Samsung Galaxy Note World Tour event in London, the S-Pen stylus was extensively shown off including a local artist creating the image seen here. Further enhancing their commitment to the device, and that it isn't a mere gimmick they also announced that an SDK for it will be available from December. 

Samsung are obviously keen to push the technology, and to engage the third-party developers in taking advantage of the device. They also unveiled the first batch of third-party applications designed specifically for the Note -- Omnisketch, Comic Book and Sooner Workplace.

The first two are the creative, arty type of app that we're bound to see plenty of appearing for the Note. Sooner Workplace however is the first application to take advantage of the obvious enterprise use case for the Note, including collaboration on documents among it's features. 

If you haven't already, check out our hands on with the Galaxy Note during last nights European launch event.

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note commercial availability announced, hits European markets first

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Back when Samsung unveiled their 5.3-inch, dual-core Galaxy Note with a SuperAMOLED HD display they never mentioned when, exactly anyone would be able to pick one up. Now though, Samsung has finally announced the commercial availability of the Galaxy Note, which will go on sale in European markets starting with Germany on October 29.

Launching with Android 2.3 and a 1.4 GHz dual core processor you'll also get a massive 2500 mAh battery to power that 1280x800 SuperAMOLED HD display, HSPA+ data as well as the 8MP rear camera and 2MP front-facing shooter.

And we can't forget the S Pen, which is included with the Galaxy Note. The Galaxy Note supports screenshot-taking and annotation across all areas of the UI using the S Pen and its technology, which Samsung will be offering an SDK for eventually.

Source: Samsung

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