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3 years ago

Sony Xperia J gets previewed ahead of an official announcement

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Following recent tradition, a forthcoming Sony device has been extensively leaked and previewed. The ST26i, Xperia J, has been shown off by the chaps at ​mobile-review.com, and reveals a distinctly lower -end offering. 

The Xperia J is a 4-inch device, although apparently the screen quality leaves something to be desired. It is noted that it suffers from an element of glare, low viewing angles and poor color reproduction. Then again, the screen is one of the first areas to be sacrificed when a low end device is designed. There are no on-screen buttons either for the Xperia J, these are capacitive unlike the higher-end leaked 'Mint.' 

The battery is said to be a 1700mAh unit, which should provide a decent level of battery life given the reduced screen size and the same entry-level processor as the Xperia Tipo. RAM is set at 512MB. There is also a microSD card slot hiding away under the battery on the Xperia J.

The rear camera is a 5MP shooter with an LED flash, but apparently only shoots video at a pretty dreary 640x480. There is also a front facing camera, but nothing is said of it's specs. Given the rear camera, we're not expecting a lot from it. 

And then the software. As with the other leaked Sony devices, the Xperia J is at least running Android 4.0 out of the box. It is noted though that this is an 'older' version of the Sony ICS software, seen on the current Xperia devices, and not the newer version we've seen leaked on the 'Mint.' 

So, we're just a week out now from Sony's big press conference at IFA 2012 in Berlin, and given the sheer volume of device leaks we've seen, we're pretty much expecting there will be plenty to see. Of course, Android Central will be on the ground in Berlin all week to bring you all the very best. 

Source: Mobile-Review (translated), via Xperiablog

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3 years ago

Woz: HTC Thunderbolt among worst gadgets he bought

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Normally I don't care about what other people think, especially when it's not on Android Central. I'm funny like that. But I'm also easily baited by Jerry Hildenbrand. And that brings us to the following: Gizmodo in its "Chatroom" feature today asked "What's the worst gadget you actually paid for?" We've all got one, of course. But one comment in particular stood out, for a couple reasons. It was from Steve Wozniak. Perhaps you've heard of him. And his poor purchase? The HTC ThunderBolt.

That's my HTC ThunderBolt you see up there. OK, maybe not exactly "mine." But until last Friday, it was still active on our company Verizon account -- and sitting on a shelf here in my house. We got it the day it (finally) came out, and for months it served as my Verizon LTE line. That mucked up display was but one problem. I'm a little rough on phones. I get that. But I've never had a display get that bad on me. And I have a few phones going in and out of my pockets. Then there's the kickstand, which for some reason decided to shed its skin on more than few of us. And then there are the legendary battery issues. Don't even think about using a ThunderBolt without one of those ridiculously big extended batteries. A year and a half ago, you'd have been relatively proud to take this thing out of your pocket. Now? You don't dare do so, but you also risk funny looks and "just happy to see me?" jokes.

HTC rebounded, of course. We hemmed and hawed and said "Hey, it's the first generation of LTE phones." And the 'Bolt indeed was one of those first phones. But that doesn't change the fact that what showed promise and power at the beginning turned into a lemon for many of us.

Woz, you're in good company.

More: Gizmodo

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3 years ago

MIUI updated to Jelly Bean codebase for some Nexus devices

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If you bought a Nexus device so you could happily flash all manner of custom ROMs, today is a good day. MIUI has updated their codebase to include Jelly Bean for the 2.8.17 release, provided you have a GSM Nexus S, a Galaxy Nexus (in either GSM or Verizon's CDMA/LTE flavor) or a Nexus 7. 

The ROM will have all the goodies you expect from MIUI, with the addition of things like Google Now, and that delicious butter that makes all the difference. On the surface, things will look a lot like the previous versions of MIUI. Like Samsung, or HTC, the folks at MIUI have a look, feel, and feature set they think is worth keeping. A whole lot of users agree.

No word on when to expect any newer versions for other devices, but you can be sure the team is hard at work, and much will depend on manufacturers providing the necessary hardware drivers and kernel bits. In the meantime, MIUI fans with Nexus devices can find all the details and download links at the source link.

Source: MIUI

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3 years ago

Android Open Kang Project's first Jelly Bean build coming today

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If you dig flashing ROM's then there is no doubt that you've been waiting on the Android Open Kang Project's (AOKP) first Jelly Bean build. With that said, you're patience will soon be rewarded as the first official build will roll out to a small number of devices. As noted on the Google+ page, there is entirely too much stuff packed in the ROM to make up a list but the noticeable items will include:

  • Notification Toggles
  • Lockscreen tweaks (no custom targets yet)
  • Navigation bar modifications
  • Custom kernel performance options
  • LED colors
  • Notification wallpapers
  • Phone ringer modifications (Flip call to silent, silent/vibrate when headphones are in)

You'll want to head on over to the AOKP site for the full details on how to download and install AOKP Jelly Bean Build 1. Right now, things still appear to be processing as the download is yet to be available but it is indeed coming within the next little while. Keep your eyes on the links below.

Source: Google+, AOKP

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3 years ago

Motorola Defy Pro tumbles onto Rogers today

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After a bit of a wait, the rugged Motorola Defy Pro is now available at Rogers for free on a two-year contract, or $274.99 if you're going month-to-month. As you might expect, the Defy Pro is just as tough as its predecessor, the Motorola Defy, except it has a QWERTY keyboard. The specs are about in line with the pricetag, which is to say that they're on the lower end. Here's a run-down. 

  • 2.7-inch 320 x 480 HVGA display with Gorilla Glass
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1 GHz processor
  • 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and front-facing VGA camera
  • 1700 mAh battery, 12 hours continuous use time, 13.5 days standby
  • IP67-certified (totally protected against dust, protected against immersion between 15 cm and 1 m)

The Motorola Defy Pro still isn't showing up in the Rogers online store, but I'm sure it'll pop up soon enough. In the meantime, there's plenty of information at Motorola Canada. Personally, I'm excited to give this a shot. There aren't a whole lot of Android phones with good QWERTY keyboards in a portrait orientation, nevermind ones that have any amount of ruggedization. The last one was the Motorola Admiral, and it never found its way up here to Canada. 

Anyone thinking of picking this up? I'm looking at you, BlackBerry refugees. Is Gingerbread a dealbreaker?

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3 years ago

Samsung announces Europe launch for dual-SIM Galaxy S Duos

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It leaked around a month ago, but today it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S Duos is officially official. The phone is a 4-inch dual-SIM entry-level dealie, powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 CPU, backed up by 512MB of RAM and running Android 4.0 with Sammy's TouchWix Nature UX. There's also 4GB of on-board storage -- expandable via microSD card slot -- as well as a 1500mAh battery and 5MP rear camera. And unlike some dual-SIM phones, the S Duos allows both SIMs to be active at the same time, so you can take a call on one while receiving on the other.

Normally dual-SIM phones are limited to developing markets, where phone users often have two or more SIMs because individual network coverage is spotty. What's unique about the Galaxy S Duos is that it's aimed at the European market. We imagine this type of phone might be useful to frequent European travelers, who might be interested in keeping two SIMs from different countries in the same device.

There's no release date given for this device just yet, but we imagine we'll learn more about the Galaxy S Duos at the IFA show in Berlin next week.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse launches Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

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A little after it made its worldwide debut in New York City, UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse has announced that it's now selling the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 online and in stores across the country. Prices start at £399.99 for the Wifi-only version, going up to £499.99 for the Wifi and 3G model.

That's no small amount of money, but if you want the best stylus experience you can get on a tablet, with Samsung's Wacom-powered S Pen, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is the only place you'll be able to get it. For more on the Note 10.1, be sure to check out our full preview of the device from last week's launch event in New York City.

Carphone also sends word that until this Thursday, Aug. 24, it's offering the original Galaxy Note smartphone for free on £21 per month contracts with T-Mobile UK. No prizes for guessing why the retailer might want to burn through the last of its original Galaxy Note stock before next week...

Source: Carphone Warehouse

More: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 hands-on

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3 years ago

OnLive restructuring to cost HTC $40 million

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When it comes to financials, it seems HTC can't catch a break lately. The Taiwanese manufacturer says it'll book a loss of $40 million from its investment in troubled cloud gaming provider OnLive. OnLive, as you may remember, last week underwent restructuring and was sold to a newly-formed company in order to avoid bankruptcy.

HTC invested in OnLive in February 2011, at the height of its success in the smartphone market. Since then, however, OnLive has been absent from all of the company's noteworthy devices, and it's continued to struggle financially due to the high operating costs associated with cloud gaming. This isn't the first time an HTC investment has gone sour. The manufacturer's investment in Beats Audio is another recent example -- that company's founders recently bought back half of HTC's investment in Beats, after Beats Audio integration failed to differentiate HTC's high-end smartphones.

Elsewhere, HTC's profits and market share continue to be squeezed, with July revenues down 45 percent from 2011 to 2012. The company will be hoping an expected fall refresh of some devices will help it deal with increasingly fierce competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung.

Source: PC World

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3 years ago

Sony announces next-gen Exmor RS image sensors for mobile devices

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Sony has announced its next generation of smartphone and tablet image sensors, dubbed 'Exmor RS.' Succeeding the company's current line-up of Exmor R sensors, Exmor RS will utilize a stacked CMOS sensor with a standard RGB coding, compared to earlier models which required additional detectors for white light in addition to red, green and blue.

Expected to make its debut in October, Exmor RS will come in three flavors -- two 8MP units, and a higher-end 13MP unit. In addition, Sony says it's developed new f/2.2 lenses to go with its new image sensors, opening the door to higher-quality HDR (high dynamic range) video recording on mobile devices.

Given the timing of this announcement, we don't expect to see Exmor RS used in any of the Sony phones to be announced at next week's IFA press conference on Aug. 29. instead, we'll be looking for the tech in the next generation of Sony phones in early 2013. But this isn't just big news for Sony fans -- remember that other brands like Samsung and Apple also use Sony camera tech in their leading products.

Source: Sony (Japanese), via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Samsung teases Galaxy Note 2 in IFA preview video

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It's just over a week until we're expecting to see the next Samsung Galaxy Note unveiled in Berlin, Germany. As such, Samsung's ramping up the hype surrounding the upcoming tablet/phone hybrid, today releasing a new teaser video that gives us our first fleeting glimpses of the device, along with a guest appearance from 'Wings of Desire' director Wim Wenders. Not much is being given away, but the new Note is described as "a thin and light thing, which might suggest that the expected increase in screen size hasn't resulted in any extra bulk in other areas.

Check out the full 37-second preview video above. We'll be live from Berlin next Wednesday to bring you full coverage of Samsung's Mobile Unpacked event.

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3 years ago

Droid RAZR HD video tutorials leaked (update - and now they're gone)

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Update: Well, looks like the YouTube account that uploaded the videos has been closed. That's the way it goes with leaks sometimes. 

A few video tutorials have leaked out, very similar to ones we've seen before for other Motorola devices, showing basic functions of using what we presume is the Droid RAZR HD. Although the device isn't actually properly called out as such, it's a pretty safe bet at this point given the design, Verizon branding and timing. Leaks like this line up with what we're assuming will be the launch of the device at a Verizon and Motorola event on September 5th.

The videos are pretty run of the mill, showing off basic functions of the latest Motorola UI over Ice Cream Sandwich -- which looks extremely similar to what we've seen on the Atrix HD. Unfortunately they don't give away much in the way of specs or a look at the rest of the device, but we'll know soon enough. Take a gander after the break at the rest of the videos.

Source: Droid Life

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia SL gets official - 1.7GHz Snapdragon S3, coming in four colours

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After numerous leaks, Sony's Xperia SL (LT26ii) -- a refreshed version of the Xperia S -- is now listed as "coming soon" on the company's website. The site listing confirms earlier rumors that the phone's Snapdragon S3 CPU has been clocked to 1.7GHz (up from 1.5GHz), and that two new colors, grey and pink, will be available in addition to the Xperia S's black and white. On the software side, the Xperia SL comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, so you won't need to worry about applying any updates when you first start the phone up.

We imagine the Xperia SL will be joined by a wide range of other Sony Xperia phones at the company's IFA press conference on Aug. 29. Naturally, we'll be live in Berlin to bring you full coverage.

Source: Sony, via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Huawei P1 to be 'enhanced' as it arrives on UK shores

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We have only just got first UK availability of the Huawei Ascend P1 -- read our full review here -- but according to the fellas at Coolsmartphone it might just be about to get some improvements.

By the time it gets into UK Android fan hands, the P1 will definitely qualify as a mid-range handset. A dual-core device living in a quad-core world, but it doesn't mean it isn't a perfectly capable smartphone. Apparently the UK version is to be given a more "premium" feel -- whatever that entails -- and the battery will actually be an 1800mAh powerplant. Not the 1670mAh we saw in our review unit and in the one listed for sale at Clove Technology. Considering we already spoke pretty highly of battery life on the P1, an additional bit of juice can be no bad thing. 

Source: Coolsmartphone

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3 years ago

Sprint Motorola Photon Q available today for $199

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Just a quick heads up that the Sprint Motorola Photon Q is available today for $199 with a two-year contract. If you've yet to do so (slacker), be sure to check out our hands-on with the Photon Q (we'll have a more thorough review this week), but already it's shaping up to be a solid slider from Moto, with Ice Cream Sandwich and a new UI.

It's also important to remember that this is a world phone, so you business types who have been longing for something with a keyboard that'll work outside the states have something new to consider. And it's also worth noting that the Photon Q is the first to take advantage of Motorola's new bootloader unlocking tool -- a tool of which we've already availed ourselves -- so you hacker types can have your way with it, too.

So ... who's buying?

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3 years ago

Snapshot: Verizon Galaxy S3 captures lightning strikes [from the forums]

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That the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a great camera is hardly a secret. But just how fast is that burst mode? Android Forums member BasPilot says he took nearly 2,000 pics of a recent storm in burst mode and got 25 or so good ones. Never mind the percentage on that one. Any good photog knows to just keep shooting. (This is the digital age, after all.)

Even better is that BasPilot's sharing a few of his captures in the forums. Hit the link below to check 'em out.

More: Caught Lightning in Action

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