3 years ago

Latest Galaxy S III rumors suggest May launch, 7mm thickness



We now know it won't be at Mobile World Congress, but that hasn't stopped the steady trickle of rumors relating to the Samsung Galaxy S III. The latest round of unconfirmed, unverifiable info comes from Korean site ETNews, which cites its own "industry insiders."

According to these sources, the phone includes such previously-rumored specs as Android 4.0, a quad-core CPU and LTE support -- none of which is particularly unsurprising for a Samsung flagship product in 2012. However, the most interesting rumor concerns the device's dimensions -- it's said to measure just 7mm thick, thanks to the introduction of thinner internal components. At 7mm, the Galaxy S III would still be a hair thicker than Huawei's P1S, but considering its souped-up internals, it's still incredibly impressive. That figure would see Samsung shave almost a millimeter and a half off the girth of the Galaxy S II, which measured 8.49mm.

Other rumored specs for the Galaxy S III include a 2MP front-facing camera and 8MP rear-facing shooter, which apparently protrudes slightly from the back of the device.

Looking further ahead, ETNews suggests that Samsung, apparently undeterred by lukewarm uptake of other 3D phones, may be planning to launch its own 3D smartphone later in the year.

Today's rumors indicate a possible May 2012 launch for the Galaxy S III, which certainly wouldn't surprise us, and would fit within the Samsung's previously-announced timeframe. In any case, we're expecting to hear more about the Galaxy S III sometime after Mobile World Congress.

Source: ETNews; Thanks, Erich!

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3 years ago

HTC posts final Q4 2011 financials, expects weaker Q1 2012


HTC has published its final Q4 2011 financial results, confirming the 2.49% year-on-year slip in earnings revealed in last month's unaudited numbers. In the fourth quarter of last year, HTC brought in NT$101.42 billion, down from NT$104 during the same period in 2010. There was also a gloomy outlook for the first quarter of 2012, with projected revenues of NT$65-70 billion (down from NT$104.16 billion in Q1 2011), and a much lower operating margin of around 7.5%.

The manufacturer said the Q4 slump, and expected weakness in Q1 2012, were a "temporary phenomenon" due to its current "product cycle transition", as it looks to unveil new handsets at Mobile World Congress later this month.

HTC faced strong competition in late 2011, with a resurgent Apple launching the iPhone 4S, as well as growing dominance of the Android space by Korean rival Samsung. The company has recently indicated its plans to do more with fewer models in 2012, focusing on stronger "hero" devices.

New models unveiled in Barcelona in a few weeks are expected to include the "HTC Ville", which leaked last week, and the quad-core "HTC Edge."

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

White Galaxy Nexus is official, coming to the UK from Feb. 13


Following reports from some online retailers early last month, we now have official confirmation from Samsung that the white Galaxy Nexus is the real deal, and will be going on sale next week in the UK. Sammy promises that the white (GSM) Galaxy Nexus will be making its way to "a range of stores across the country" from next Monday, Feb. 13.

Like last year's white Nexus S, the white Galaxy Nexus switches up the color of the chassis, rather than the bezel surrounding the screen. That means you'll get a classy white finish on the back and sides of the device, while the front is furnished in the same black glass as the original. Internally, it's the same Galaxy Nexus we all know and love.

So far we've heard nothing about any possible North American release for the white Galaxy Nexus, however our fingers are crossed for the launch of the Sprint LTE version later in the year.

We've got Samsung's press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Pantech Burst review


The Pantech Burst is one of AT&T's latest LTE-enabled handsets, and it's clearly aimed at the first-time or budget-minded smartphone buyer.  That's a huge market, and this is the first time we've seen 4G LTE directed at it.  But two years is a long time, and you're wise to do a little homework before you sign that commitment, no matter how low the up-front cost is.  Hit the break and see what we think of the Pantech Burst.


The Super AMOLED screen is great.  Pantech has done very nice things to Android, while keeping an overall stock feel to things.  The $399 off-contract price is quite a bargain.

The poor battery life while on an LTE network is still a sticking point.  The benefits of a low upfront cost pale when considering the price of the contract.

The Burst is really a nice little phone.  But the other AT&T LTE handsets offer a little more in the way of customizations and features.  If you're going to sign-on for two years, you should get the best product available.  If you're looking for a solid and inexpensive LTE phone for AT&T, and buying outright, that's where the Burst shines.

Inside this review

More info

  • Pantech Burst specs
  • Pantech Burst forums

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note now available for pre-order from AT&T and Best Buy


AT&T will begin to take pre-orders today for the Samsung Galaxy Note, the 5.3-inch phablet will be sold in carbon blue or ceramic white, and check in at $299 with a new agreement.  Orders are set to be delivered by Feb. 17, just a bit too late for Valentine's Day.  Also scheduled to be in AT&T stores are a few accessories, notably a desktop docking station, a spare battery charger, and a flip cover case and pen holder.  Speaking of the flip cover, if you head into Best Buy and pre-order your Samsung Galaxy Note they will hook you up with one for free.  Everyone loves free.

The Note is big, bad, and just what a lot of folks are looking for.  It's huge as a phone, but has enough size to it that it could function as a tablet for many.  The lure of carrying one device to cover both use cases is bound to attract quite a few folks, and the fact that LTE data is built into the unit is certainly a big plus.  The rest of the specs are certainly no slouch either.  That 5.3-inch Super AMOLED screen has a 1280x800 HD resolution, there's a 1.5GHZ dual-core processor (word is it's the same Qualcomm as in the Skyrocket), a 2500mAh battery, 1GB of RAM, and Samsung's excellent 8MP camera all running Android 2.3.5.

If you're going to do the deed and sign up to buy one of these big beauties, be sure to head into the forums and join the discussion.  It won't make the wait any shorter, but it might help make it feel that way. 

Preorder: From AT&T | from Best Buy
More: AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note forums

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3 years ago

Best Buy Canada now taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note, pricing starts at $200


We noted Best Buy in the U.S. was taking pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy Note and now their Canadian stores have started as well. Although the Canadian release doesn't include any free goodies to go along with it, the price points for the device do vary across carrier with Bell coming out on top in terms of pricing.

  • Bell - $200
  • TELUS - $250
  • Rogers - $300

Those price points are all on new, three-year contracts but that's a given for the Canadian mobile landscape. The Samsung Galaxy Note will be available on Feb. 14th so if you're looking to get your hands on one, head on over to Best Buy and get your pre-orders in.

Source: Best Buy Canada

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3 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus Android 4.0.4 OTA package now available (unofficial)


Android Central member seanmacanally got an OTA notification on his rooted Verizon Galaxy Nexus, and with a little help from the great crew in the forums got the package pulled and uploaded for everyone to play with.  A few caveats:

  • This is only for the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus
  • It's Android 4.0.4 IMM30B
  • You will need to be completely stock with stock recovery to install it as-is

This doesn't seem to be an OTA that's going out in full force, so it very well could be some sort of internal testing version.  Keep that in mind if you flash it -- things may not be working as well as you would hope.  

Manually flashing the OTA package is pretty easy, see the instructions here.  And you're going to need the file, which you can download right here.  Good luck, and have fun!

Source: Android Central forums

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3 years ago

'Xperia Sola' trademark hints at another possible Sony handset



In contrast to the letter-based naming scheme that it's using internationally, it seems Sony may be sticking with something a bit more unique for one future device. Following the unveiling of the Xperia Ion at CES, it's emerged today that Sony has filed to trademark the name "Xperia Sola" at the U.S. Trademark and Patents Office, as well as its European counterpart the OHIM.

What such a product might eventually be is anyone's guess. A few possibilities could lie in the recently-leaked international roadmap.

However, the registration of a trademark doesn't guarantee that any product with that name will appear -- we've seen manufacturers snap up trademarks without using them in the past. But we have to admit that the "Xpreia Sola" name would certainly fit in with Sony's established nomenclature.

Any wild guesses about what, if anything, the "Xperia Sola" might turn out to be? Shout out in the comments!

Source: USPTO, OHIM; via: MobileSyrup

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3 years ago

Late night poll: Do you keep your phone for the duration of its contract?


It seems like there's a new Android phone coming out every week.  As with all things electronic, the new stuff looks better than the old stuff.  It's enough to drive anyone, especially an Android blogger, insane.  But it's darn near impossible to justify buying a new phone, off contract and at full price, every couple of months.  And let's face it -- sometimes we just love what we have.  A lot of people stuck with the first Droid, or the Nexus One because nothing else has caught their eye just yet.  There's a lot of variables, and there could be a lot of answers.  So the logical thing is to just ask.  Let us know in tonight's poll.



Do you keep your phone for the duration of its contract?

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3 years ago

The best Australian Android phones - As of Feb. 4, 2012


We're back for another look at the best Android Phones, and this time we're heading down under. We've teamed up with our pals at Ausdroid.net for this one for the best Android smartphones available in Australia. 

So without further ado, let's get to it. And be sure to check out our other Best Phones lists below.

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3 years ago

AC Explains: The Verizon Galaxy Nexus is still supported by Google


Reports across the Internet about the Verizon Galaxy Nexus being dropped from AOSP support -- or even worse, no longer being updated by Google -- apparently were a bit premature.  Dan Morrill has posted the following to the Android Contributors Google Group:

Hello! This is a quick clarification about support for CDMA devices.

For various technical reasons, recent CDMA Android devices implement core telephony functionality in .apk files provided in binary form by the carriers. To function correctly, these .apk files must be signed by the so-called "platform" key. However, when an individual creates a custom build from the AOSP source code, they don't use the same signing key as these CDMA flies were signed with. [...]

He goes on to note that the AOSP documentation was simply updated to reflect this fact, and that they will continue to provide as much of the closed-source material as they can.  

So what does that mean? Signing keys are tricky things. When we build Android from the available AOSP source, we use a specific set of keys to digitally sign all the binaries. When "official" builds are made by Google or manufacturers, they use a different set of keys. When these keys are mismatched, things can get wonky. Google doesn't want your phone (or tablet) to be wonky. The fellow who built that custom ROM you're using doesn't want things to be wonky. If these changes weren't made and brought to everyone's attention, wonkiness would have resulted, and nobody would have known why without a lot of digging around.

Verizon Galaxy Nexus devices are still Nexus devices. They still have unlockable bootloaders. They still have the Android source available. They just have changed the way they redistribute binaries, because of incompatibilities with the signing keys.

Android developers will just have to change the way they build for the Toro (Verizon Galaxy Nexus), the Stingray (the LTE Xoom), and the Crespo 4G (Nexus S 4G). The sky has not fallen, and they'll figure it out.   

Source: Android Contributors

More info: AOSP documentation; Google Support pages (1), (2)

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3 years ago

Best Buy opening Samsung Galaxy Note pre-orders with free Flip Cover Case offer


If you're looking to be the cool kid on the block by being one of the first to get a Samsung Glaxy Note from AT&T in your hands, Best Buy is where you'll want to sign up. They've opened up pre-orders for the device and to sweeten the deal a bit further, they'll be tossing in a free flip cover case. Pre-orders start Feb. 5 -- that's this Sunday -- with the device being available Feb. 19 for $300.

Source: Best Buy

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3 years ago

Secure Android phones to be rolled out to U.S. military and government officials



"Secure" Android smartphones capable of handling classified content are to be given to U.S. officials across various government and military departments later this year, according to reports from CNN. The network's sources indicate that the devices, which run a modified version of Android, will first be given to U.S. soldiers, and then later rolled out to other officials and government contractors.

Current regulations don't allow those with access to classified information view it using a smartphone, and any device that's used to view or send such data is subject to strict security certifications. According to today's report, government developers have completed work on a version of Android that's certified to store -- but not send -- classified messages, and smartphones cleared to transmit classified data are expected "in the next few months."

CNN reports that the government-approved, secured version of Android, phone users will have control of each individual data transmission to the Internet, to ensure that sensitive information isn't included.

This isn't the first time we've seen Android win approval from the U.S. military. In late 2010 it emerged that General Dynamics was to build its GD300 Wearable Rugged Computer on Android software. Android's emergence as the platform of choice for secure government and military smartphones should go some way towards dispelling the myth that it's less secure than competing operating systems.

Source: CNN; Thanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Sony Ericsson Xperia NX arriving in Japan from Feb. 24


It looks like Japanese consumers will be the first to get their hands on Sony Ericsson's 2012 smartphones. Japan's largest carrier, NTT Docomo, has announced that it'll start taking pre-orders of the Xperia NX from Feb. 10, with the first units due to go on sale on Feb. 24. Pricing information has yet to be announced.

The Xperia NX is Japan's version of the Xperia S, which was announced alongside its chunkier, waterpoof sibling the Xperia Acro HD last month. Curiously, both Japanese devices are sticking with Sony Ericsson branding, while U.S. and international variants bare the Sony name. The Xperia S, Sony's international flagship smartphone, is due to go on sale in Europe a couple of weeks later, in early March.

Source: NTT Docomo; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Sony Ericsson partners with Billabong, announces Xperia Active Billabong Edition


Sony Ericsson has announced that it's entered into a global partenrship with Australian sports clothing brand Billabong, in an effort to extend the appeal of its Xperia phones to extreme sports enthusiasts. As part of the partnership, SE has revealed the Xperia Active Billabong Edition, which in addition to the fancy back cover shown above, also features a couple of unique software features. These include Billabong-branded screensavers and videos, along the Billabong LIVE app for keeping track of pro surfing news, if you're into that sort of thing.

Besides the Xperia Active, Sony says that its Xperia smartphones will be featured at major Billabong events, and that Xperia Play owners will soon be able to download Billabong Suft Trip, an "exclusive surf game".

If you're cooler than us, you can pick up the Xperia Active Billabong Edition from today in "selected markets". Check out our full review to find out more about the original Xperia Active. We've got today's full press release after the break.

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