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2 years ago

HTC One S coming to T-Mobile USA, available this spring

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T-Mobile has announced that they will be carrying the HTC One S, coming sometime this spring. The HTC One S features the same Sense 4 experience and high performance camera as the One X, in a smaller and thinner (7.9mm) package, making it T-Mobile's thinnest smartphone. The One S will be equipped with an HSPA+42 modem for fast 4G speeds, and features an aluminum unibody design. The Qualcomm S4 dual-core 1.5GHz CPU combines with Beats Audio and HTC's all-new advanced 8MP camera will bring rich multimedia content to the forefront, whether it's user created or just being enjoyed on the 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED Plus display.

We're getting some hands-on with the One S at the HTC event, be sure to keep an eye out. T-Mobile's press release is after the break.

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2 years ago

HTC One X will be available on AT&T LTE network for US Customers

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AT&T has announced that they will be carrying the HTC One X on it's LTE network in the US in the coming months. The One X and it's new technology promises to bring "a camera so good it's a true digital camera on your phone" and it looks like a very nice next generation Android handset. With specs like a Qualcomm S4 Snapdragon CPU in the LTE version, 32GB of storage and Beats audio, the One X will fit nicely with AT&T's high speed LTE network and their Sense 4 version of Ice Cream Sandwich promises to bring a new experience that many will love. 

The 4.7-inch HD display will provide clear and sharp images with an 80 degree viewing angle, and the Gorilla Glass coating will help keep things crystal clear and scratch free. Paired with a polycarbonate unibody design, the One X will look as good as it performs, and it's sure to quickly become a favorite with Android fans everywhere. 

Specific availability dates and prices aren't yet available, but with the phones set to be on the shelves in "the coming months" we should be hearing something soon. We'll be sure to let you know when it happens. AT&T's announcement is after the break.

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2 years ago

HTC One X to feature NVIDIA 4-PLUS-1 architecture Tegra 3 CPU

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One piece of news from HTC's event at Mobile World Congress that has everyone excited is the word that the HSPA+ versions of the HTC One X will feature the NVIDIA 4-PLUS-1 architecture Tegra 3 CPU. The rest of the specs for the One X are impressive, you can't just ignore 32GB of internal storage and a 4.7-inch Gorilla Glass HD display by any means, but the star of the show is the Tegra 3 brain of HTC's next flagship device.

HTC has long used Qualcomm processors in their handsets, in both Android and Windows versions. Many expected to see news about the S4 Snapdragon announced last October making it's way into a device, and while we can't rule that out in 2012 we're going to have to wait for another day to see if it happens and the LTE version of the One X carries such a beast. Today's news, however, is just as good (if not better in many ways) as the Tegra 3 is one hot performer. With four high speed (1.5GHz for the version in the One X) CPU cores, 12 GeForce GPU cores, and a fifth low power companion CPU core the Tegra 3 chews through things like game graphics, HD video, and web browser rendering while being ultra power efficient at the same time thanks to the 4-PLUS-1 architecture design. The companion core sips power and controls things like background processes and UI rendering while the device isn't under heavy load, and the four high-power cores are ready to kick into gear when needed to provide the maximum user experience. Anyone with an ASUS Transformer Prime can tell you, NVIDIA has hit the mark with their System on Chip design.

What this means for the One X is power and performance that we've never seen before in a smartphone, combined with (hopefully) excellent battery life. HTC has taken a beating for less than stellar battery life, and while it may be deserved in some cases the fact remains that to do all the things we ask our phones to do is going to take a lot of juice. The more we expect, the more battery power it's going to take. With the Tegra 3, HTC aims to strike a balance between the performance customers want, and the time away from the charger that we need. It remains to be seen if they will fully succeed, but any improvement is a good thing and I like the direction HTC is heading. Using the best available technology to lengthen time between charges is a welcome idea and we can't wait to give it a try. The NVIDIA press release is after the break.

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2 years ago

HTC goes all in on camera technology with its new ImageSense in HTC One X

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One of our chief complaints about HTC devices -- OK, just about everybody's chief complaint about HTC devices -- used to be about the camera. While the smartphone hardware would be top-notch, and the design darn near a work of art, the cameras nearly seemed like an afterthought, and companies like Samsung quickly took over the top spot in that spec race.

That started to change in 2011 with the likes of the HTC MyTouch 4G Slide and the HTC Sensation 4G, which finally had good cameras. Maybe not quite the best available, but certainly leaps and bounds above what HTC had previously produced. The software improved as well, with more scenes and modes (panorama, finally!) available out of the box.

With the new crop of smartphones just announced at Mobile World Congress, HTC is putting it on record that it's serious about technology. How serious? It's developer its own processor for the camera side of things. HTC calls this new technology ImageSense, one of the three pillars of the new Sense 4.0.

Starting with the HTC One X, HTC has a whole new generation of camera tech that promises faster shutter speeds for near-instantaneous pictuers. You're able to snap a still image while shooting video. And probably most impressive (if a little nerdy) is that images are being shot in RAW format for greater processing flexibility on the device before given to you as a more user-friendly JPEG format. 

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2 years ago

HTC brings Beats Audio to all Sense 4.0 devices

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One of HTC's major (if questionable) maneuvers of 2011 was the purchase of Beats Audio. With the reportedly $300 million deal came better earbuds for a few phones released late in the year, as well as some on-board audio enhancements.

But from a software standpoint, the Beats improvements were fairly sandboxed. HTC's apps could play with Beats, but not much else.

That chances with Sense 4.0.

The Beats software has been rearranged in the audio stack so that all applications on a Sense 4.0 smartphone can take take advantage of the feature. That means just about any application you download -- any third-party music player, any third-party video player, any game -- use the Beats Audio enhancements in an HTC device.

Will you notice an improvement in, say, Google Music? Or Pandora? Maybe. Or maybe not. But the point is that with the upcoming HTC devices that were just announced this evening, you'll have the opportunity to find out.

Headphones image via Shutterstock

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2 years ago

Sony taking Xperia Ion worldwide, Xperia S available now

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We just heard what Sony had to tell us at Mobile World Congress, and while there was no one "big" announcement they did have a lot to say. The spent a good portion of the time telling us how the buyout of Sony Ericsson would lead to better, more connected products and how it would improve Sony by unifying their products and media company-wide. With things like a dedicated Movie and Music service from the entertainment group and games from the Playstation Network available on all Sony devices with a screen, we're going to have to agree -- Sony is a name to watch in 2012.

On the smartphone side, we had a good look at the Xperia Ion -- Sony's LTE device with a 4.6-inch HD display. Previously announced for AT&T in the United States, we learned that it will be selling world-wide soon. We'll be sure to keep an eye on that. We also had another look at the Xperia P and Xperia U, two stunners in their own right that we'll be seeing sometime in the second quarter of 2012. Last but not least, we were told that the Xperia S would be available starting today (Feb. 26) at the Sony store in Barcelona. 

It looks to be an exciting year for Sony, and they plan to launch their biggest advertising campaign ever for the Xperia line worldwide. Alex is on the floor getting some hands-on time with the phones, and we'll be sure to share with you.  

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2 years ago

Three and Orange UK to carry Sony Xperia U

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We're only just leaving the Sony press conference at MWC, but we're already seeing first news from carriers who will be stocking Sony's latest. Three UK have confirmed that they will be stocking the Sony Xperia U on both pay as you go and contract terms.

No pricing or dates available at this point, but good news nonetheless that carriers are already picking up the new devices. Three have already confirmed previously that they will be stocking the Xperia S, which is expected to be launched in March. 

Meanwhile, not to be outdone. Rival UK carrier Orange have made their own announcement that they intend to carry the Xperia U. Orange will exclusively be offering the white version from Q2 2012.

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2 years ago

LG Optimus 3D Max hands-on

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LG started this whole 3D craze a year ago at Mobile World Congress, and now the Korean manufacturer is stepping things up a bit with the Optimus 3D Max. On one hand, it's very much the same experience. A 4.3-inch display, Android 2.3, and a pair of 5MP cameras that get the 3D ball rolling.

Look, this part's simple: If you weren't sold on 3D displays a year ago, the Optimus 3D Max probably isn't going to change your mind now. It's very much the same experience. But LG has thrown real-time editing of 3D (and 2D) videos into the mix. The camera shutter button and 2D/3D toggle have been merged. Very cool stuff.

But it's software tweaks that really make the difference here. In addition to the video editing, the 3D Max has the ability to convert standard 2D applications to 3D applications. Something like Angry Birds, for example works, and actually it's almost a better experience than dedicated 3D games because it's not quite as in-your-face. Google Earth in 3D? Very cool.

Another interesting upgrade is real-time range-finding. Because the space between the dual-cameras is a fixed distance, some simple triangulation can be done, and the phone can tell you the distance to a given object in real time. Or, it can give you the distance between two objects. Dunno how much we'd use that in our daily lives, but it's cool to see.

We've got some more hands-on goodness after the break.

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2 years ago

Hands-on with the LG Optimus Vu

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Here we go again, folks. Another monster phone. The LG Optimus Vu is a 5-inch behemoth. It's big. It's got a 4:3 aspect ratio, so it's wider than you're used to. And you know what? It works. Mostly.

Just like with the Samsung Galaxy Note, once you get over the size you're left with a pretty good smartphone. It's got LTE baked in as well, so that's an obvious plus. And the XGA screen resolution is great at that size. Apps that are designed for this sort of palm-reading form factor are really nice -- news reading and the included comics app to name but two.

Where the Optimus Vu falls short is with its uninspired user interface. A good bit of that blame can be placed on the fact that it's running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and not Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. But a larger display like this screams out for something other than a grid of icons. Le sigh.

The included stylus works well enough, but the rubber tip certainly doesn't have the same sex appeal as the Wacom system on the Galaxy Note, and the rubber gives the writing experience some serious drag, where as the plastic tip on the GNote keeps things smooth.

We've got some hands-on pics and video after the break.

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2 years ago

Video hands-on with the Huawei Ascend D quad

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We're live at Huawei's Ascend D series announcement, where the manufacturer's just taken the lid off its first quad-core smartphone, the Ascend D quad. The device sees Huawei challenging top-tier Android manufacturers with a device offering super high-end specs in just about every area. Read on to find out what we thought of the phone, along with the first video of it in action.

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