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3 years ago

Quick screen comparison: Galaxy Note 2 versus Galaxy S3

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Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 ushers in the post-PenTile era

In the past, most SuperAMOLED smartphone screens have used a "PenTile" matrix pattern for the subpixels that make up each dot on the display. This pattern of tiny LEDs in an RGBG (red, green, blue, green) layout can improve battery life compared to regular RGB, but may also be prone to discolored whites and jagged edges in text and other UI elements. The difference isn't always pronounced -- the Galaxy S3, for example, has one of the better-looking PenTile displays we've tested. However, in the past it's been a compromise you've had to deal with if you want a Samsung phone with a bright, high-contrast SuperAMOLED screen.

The Galaxy Note 2 is a bit different. Samsung's latest 5.5-inch monster phone makes a clean break from the PenTile past, introducing in an HD SuperAMOLED display with a more traditional RGB subpixel arrangement (the kind used in most LCD displays). That results in more subpixels making up each individual pixel, and in a more regular pattern. And that means there's less discoloration and sharper lines on-screen.

Interestingly, the Note 2's RGB subpixel arrangement isn't quite a standard RGB stripe -- it's got a red and green subpixel stacked on top of each other, with a larger (but darker) blue subpixel to the left. There's been some speculation that this setup allows for extra longevity, as blue AMOLEDs tend to burn out more quickly than other colors -- and so a larger, darker blue subpixel would last longer. We've yet to see any official confirmation of this theory, but at the very least, the larger blue subpixel doesn't seem to adversely affect color balance on the Note 2.

We've included an example of two icons above to show some of the differences. On the Galaxy S3 there are noticeably fewer subpixels making up the image, and some noticeable greenish-blue discoloration. The RGB-toting Note 2 produces a much sharper, more natural image. For a more detailed view, click the image above for an expanded view.

Needless to say our time with the Galaxy Note 2 has us excited for the future of AMOLED displays. If you find yourself anywhere near a Note 2 in-store demo unit anytime soon, you'll definitely want to check it out for yourself.

More: SLCD, SAMOLED, PenTile, RGB - Does it matter?

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3 years ago

Best of both worlds? The AT&T HTC One VX

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Is it an improved One V in the One S body? Or a toned-down One S? Don't overthink it - AT&T's added a few tricks you'll want to check out either way

Hot on the heels of the global announcement (and AT&T's as well) of the HTC One X+ comes the HTC One VX, also for AT&T. This one's going to take a little explaining, so settle in.

First off, it looks a great deal like the HTC One S we've been enjoying for the past seven months or so. (For you Europeans out there, it'll probably be more akin to the Desire X we saw in late August.) It's been tweaked a little out front, mainly with an earpiece akin to what's on the One V. The rear's also moved to more of a unibody design, though like the One S, you won't be taking the battery out of this thing. The display has changed somewhat as well, moving up to a 4.5-inch (from 4.3 inches) Super LCD 2 at qHD resolution, or 540x960.

Under the hood is where things start to get really interesting. The One VX has a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM 8390) processor, so that's a slightly lower clock speed than the HTC One S, but faster (and a better platform) than the One V. It's got 8 gigabytes of on-board storage, and 1GB of RAM. 

And here's the kicker: HTC's managed to squeeze in a microSD card. And NFC. And a bigger battery -- 1810 mAh, up from the 1650 mAh on the One S. Plus, it's got AT&T's 4G LTE, HSPA+ and other cell bands you might need, along with 802.11 a/b/g/n Wifi. Want FM radio? It's there, too.

See also: HTC One VX specs

And we haven't even mentioned the camera yet. The One VX has a 5-megapixel rear shooter. That's a lower resolution than the 8MP camera on the One S. But it's still go the f/2.0, 28mm lens. It's also got backside illumination (BSI) and does video in 1080p. The phone's also got a VGA front-facing camera, and the whole thing is controlled by HTC's ImageSense processor.

The whole package is a tad bigger (in all dimensions) than the One S, but not by more than a couple millimeters.

Let's talk software: The One VX is launching with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but it will be upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, same as for the One X and One S. Along with that, it'll get the update to Sense 4+, which brings a tightened user interface along with new camera modes, including Auto Portrait and Sightseeing, which speeds the shooting process by bypassing the lockscreen. There also will be new ways to view pictures and videos in the gallery.

What we don't have -- and unfortunately this is par for the course these days -- is a launch date or pricing. Stay tuned for that.

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3 years ago

AT&T HTC One VX image gallery

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Here's a slightly ridiculously large gallery of images of the HTC One VX, announced for AT&T:

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3 years ago

HTC One VX specs

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Complete specs for the HTC One VX on AT&T:

  • Operating system: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4 (with an update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Sense 4+ to come).
  • Display: 4.5-inch qHD Supre LCD 2 (540x960), 245 pixels per inch
  • Processor: Dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (MSM 8930) at 1.2 GHz
  • Camera: Rear 5-megapixel camera with 28mm, f/2.0 aperture; smart LED flash; BSI sensor; HTC ImageSense processor; front-facing VGA camera
  • RAM: 1GB DDR2
  • Storage: 8GB on-board (OS will take up some); microSD card up to 32GB
  • Battery: 1810 mAh, non-removable
  • Connectivity: LTE, HSPA+/HSPA/UMTS, GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • Wifi: 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Dimensions: 133.5 x 67.5 x 9.19 mm
  • Weight: 124.7 grams / 4.4 ounces
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • NFC
  • FM Radio
  • Micro SIM
  • GPS/a-GPS
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Dual noice-canceling mics

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3 years ago

Samsung adds iPhone 5 to patent complaints against Apple

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As soon as the U.S. sales ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was lifted, Samsung leaped back into the legal offensive, tacking on the iPhone 5 to its own patent claims against Apple. The fresh complaints are an amendment to Samsung's original lawsuit, but surprisingly don't have anything to do with LTE (a technology for which Samsung holds a handful of patents). The patents in question include six utility patents and two UMTS standard essential ones, which are all listed below. 

You may recall that Samsung had tried to get their hands on the iPhone 5 prior to any announcement to see if it applied to any of the complaints they were laying against the then-current breed of iOS smartphone, but was flatly denied. Now that the iPhone 5 is out though, it's fair game.  

If you're into the legal nitty-gritty, the amendment by Samsung is embedded below. Things are looking grim for Samsung in this case right now, but they aren't out of the fight yet. Do you guys think they'll be able to strike back at Apple, or at least fend off the beefy infringement fine

Source: CNET

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3 years ago

Some international Galaxy Note 2s shipping without multi-window feature

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One of the cooler features of the Galaxy Note 2 is its ability run multiple apps in split-screen mode. The feature, known as multi-window, wasn't ready for prime-time at IFA, but was showcased a few days back in an official Samsung preview video.

However, many new Galaxy Note 2 owners in Europe have noticed that the feature isn't available on their handsets. Normally, it can be activated by long-pressing the back key, however on certain devices -- including ours -- this isn't working. According to numerous forum reports, the cause is an older firmware version on these devices. So if your international Note 2 comes with version N7100XXALIE, you'll find multi-window is unavailable. If you're on the newer N7100XXALIH, as many others are, the feature should work as expected. You can check your software version by heading to Settings > About device.

The reason for the omission isn't clear, though it's likely the manufacturer will update those phones stuck on the earlier firmware at some point in the near future. So full-screen multi-tasking should be just a software update away for those affected. In the meantime, we've reached out to Samsung for comment, and will update this post with any info they provide.

via Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the HTC One X+ and Sense 4+

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In spite of all the hype surrounding a certain competitor, the HTC One X was a very strong entrant in the high-end smartphone space earlier in the year. Many of our editors own it. If you’re reading this, there’s an above-average chance you do, too. Though lacking in mindshare compared to the Galaxy S3, the One X remains a formidable smartphone, even besting Samsung’s flagship in many areas.

But as the year draws to a close, it’s time for a successor, as part of HTC’s annual fall product refresh. Last year the Sensation XE built upon the strengths of the Sensation, with a larger battery, a faster CPU and enhanced software. And later this month, the One X will undergo similar augmentation, with the resulting device coming to market as the HTC One X+. Read on for an extensive preview of HTC’s flagship Android phone for late 2012.

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3 years ago

HTC One X+ is official - faster CPU, bigger battery, Sense 4+ and Jelly Bean

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HTC has announced a new high-end phone based upon its popular One X, the HTC One X+. Variously rumored and leaked over the past month, the One X+ runs upgraded hardware compared to the original. There's a faster 1.7 GHz Tegra 3 AP37 CPU on-board, along with 64GB of storage and a larger 2100mAh battery.

Some other specs remain unchanged from the One X -- there's still 1GB of on-board RAM, a 4.7-inch SuperLCD2 display, and an 8MP rear camera with BSI sensor and HTC's ImageSense chip. The front-facer has undergone a small upgrade, though, jumping from 1.3MP to 1.6, and with this upgrade it gains the ability to use ImageSense.

On the software side, the One X+ is the first HTC phone to run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the new HTC Sense 4+, which offers some minor software tweaks over earlier versions of HTC's UI. Be sure to check out our full hands-on report on the One X+ for more on HTC's latest handset.

HTC says the One X+ will launch in the UK and Europe early October, followed by Asia in November. U.S. release plans have yet to be revealed. Today's full press release is after the break.

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3 years ago

HTC to deliver Jelly Bean and Sense 4+ upgrade for One S, X and XL this month

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Alongside today's HTC One X+ announcement comes the news that HTC will upgrade some of its earlier One series phones to the latest versions of Android and Sense. The Sense 4+ and Jelly Bean update is scheduled to hit One S, X and XL phones later this month, and HTC tells us that every feature of the One X+ that doesn't require additional hardware will be made available on these devices. Note, as ever, that carrier-specific versions of these phones may take a little while longer to see this update.

Sadly, there's no mention of the One V -- or any other existing HTC phones -- in today's announcement. It's unlikely HTC will leave its entire back catalog in the lurch, but the lack of any announcements for earlier devices isn’t encouraging news for owners of these phones.

Nevertheless, it's a welcome development for the many One S, One X or One XL owners out there.

More: HTC One X+ announcement, HTC One X+ hands-on

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3 years ago

HTC One X+ specs

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HTC's just announced the One X+, its new high-end smartphone running upgraded One X-based internals. If you're looking for full specs, we've got 'em after the break.

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3 years ago

Over 25 percent of Android devices now running 4.0 and above

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As it tends to do, Google has released a breakdown of what versions of Android devices out in the wild are currently running as of today, October 1. We're now over the milestone of having one in every four Android devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or higher -- unfortunately Jelly Bean makes up just 1.8 percentage-points of that right now, but let's not be too down on these numbers. Rounding out the rest of the chart is 2.3 Gingerbread at 55.8 percent, naturally, with all previous versions adding up to just 16.8 percent of active devices.

Android 4.0 and above has seen a pretty quick pickup in adoption since a large number of the world's best selling devices have launched or been updated to it at this point. This is really good news in terms of user adoption, but it also means that app developers have more incentive than ever to start following those "holo" guidelines we seem to ramble on about at times. Be sure to check out the full report at the source link below.

Source: Android Developers Dashboard

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S Blaze 4G Ice Cream Sandwich update available Oct. 3

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T-Mobile has just put up a support page indicating that the Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G (seriously, these names are getting to be a bit much) is going to be receiving an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich starting on October 3rd. The latest software -- version T769UVLF4 -- will bring all of the latest ICS features in addition to a Mobile Hotspot and Email fix. Unfortunately, it will only be available via Samsung Kies and not over the air like the previous update. That being said, we've got to be thankful that ICS is coming to the device via official means.

One interesting thing to note here is that T-Mobile specifically points out that the device cannot be rooted and receive the update. Of course most of us know this, but seeing it pointed out specifically in the support documentation is probably a good thing.

Source: TmoNews; T-Mobile Support

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean update leaks for Sprint Galaxy S3

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It's been a little while since we saw the international Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3) receiving an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in Poland, and now it seems that the Galaxy S3 on the Now Network is poised to get its own update. A 4.1.1 build for the device has leaked out and packaged up for users to test their luck flashing over at the XDA forums, bearing the build number JRO03L.L710VPBLIF. Both Odexed and DeOdexed versions of the ROM are available, and as is usually the case with leaks like this, users are reporting mixed results using it as a daily driver.

If you're interested in doing some tinkering and want to try Jelly Bean on your Sprint Galaxy S3, hit the source link below. As always, flash at your own risk and do your self a favor by backing up first!

Source: XDA Forums; Thanks everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia T now available from Vodafone UK

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Following recent announcements from fellow UK carriers, Three and O2, Vodafone has made their own announcement regarding the Sony Xperia T. The latest high-end offering from Sony is now available from the carrier for free, on their Red price plans starting at £37 per month. For that, you'll get unlimited minutes and messaging, 1GB of data and 2GB of BTOpenZone WiFi access. 

At this price, Vodafone is slightly more expensive than competing networks, in particular Three. In any case, if you've been waiting for an Xperia T to hit Vodafone, now's your chance. Let us know in the comments below if you're thinking of picking one up. The full presser can be found after the break.

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3 years ago

Sony's Xperia TL finally official on AT&T

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You'll have to excuse us for not acting more surprised to see the Sony Xperia T announced today for AT&T in the United States, as we've seen it wearing the carrier's colors for the better part of a month. But, here it is, reborn as the Xperia TL. You'll recall our hands-on with the Xperia T back at the IFA conference in Berlin last month. Here's a recap on the specs:

  • 4.6-inch "HD Reality Display" at 720 x 1280 resolution with the Mobile Bravia engine
  • 13-megapixel rear camera
  • PlayStation certified
  • NFC
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • Launching with Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, with an upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to come.

Things we don't yet know: Pricing and an availability date. Stick around.

Source: AT&T

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