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4 years ago

Sony announces Xperia VL for the Japanese market

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At this point, you almost feel like Sony is coming up on the limit of one and two letter combinations to put after "Xperia". There's at least room for one more, as Sony is adding yet another device to its expansive Xperia line -- the Xperia VL. This device, which is coming to the Japanese market (and likely only that market), seems to have some pretty standard specs on board from what has been released at this point.

This Sony "arc" designed device has a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4.3-inch Reality Display, 13MP camera with new shooting modes, NFC and LTE networking -- all running underneath Android 4.0.4. Sony says the device has "high levels" of dust and water resistance as well, which is often found on many Japanese handsets.

Our brilliant deduction and sleuthing makes us think that the VL is simply a reworking of the previously announced Xperia V, which should give you a better indication of the spec level. The Xperia VL is set to launch before the end of the year on KDDI in blue, white and pink varieties.

Source: Sony Xperia Product Blog; KDDI

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4 years ago

HTC J Butterfly with 5-inch 1080P screen makes its way to Japan

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We've heard a lot of rumors swirling lately about HTC releasing a 5-inch 1080P phone, and it looks like the first proof of this device's existence has just shown up in Japan. The HTC One X's SLCD 2 screen still holds the title in most people's minds as the best smartphone screen on the market, but they seem to have outdone themselves with the SLCD 3 on the J Butterfly. At 5 inches and a full 1080x1920 resolution, this screen produces a staggeringly high 440 ppi (pixels per inch), much higher than any other display we've seen. If HTC's previous screens are any indication, this is going to be a huge step up in display technology going forward.

Moving along past the screen, the J Butterfly has a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, LTE, NFC and an 8MP camera. For software, it is running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Sense 4+. It comes in a flashy red, more subtle black and white varieties, and will be released in Japan on KDDI in December. Hopefully we'll see this device's counterparts show up outside of Japan soon as well.

Source: KDDI; HTC

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4 years ago

Verizon Galaxy S3 receiving small update, still not Jelly Bean

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Users in our forums are reporting that their Verizon Galaxy SIII (S3) handsets are pulling down a moderately sized (62MB) OTA update. Unfortunately, this isn't the Jelly Bean update that most users are hoping for -- you're still on 4.0.4 for now -- but it does seem to be bringing some useful enhancements. The latest software version, VRALHE, brings the Enhanced Zooming feature to the browser, email and more. It also claims to fix an issue with device restarts, as well as enhance stability in Google Play.

All good and necessary updates, but let's hope the next OTA is to Android 4.1. Take a look at the support document for the update at the source link below, then head to the forums and let us know how the update process went for you.

Source: Verizon (PDF)Android Central Forums; Thanks, Christopher!

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4 years ago

Affordable Android-powered MG device targets young gamers

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A Wi-Fi-only Android device called the MG was announced for pre-order today. Apparently MG stands for More Game, or My Generation, or something. It isn't made by anybody you've heard of, but they're hoping the low pricetag, preloaded games, parental controls, and included $10 credit towards Google Play apps will rope in at least a few moms and dads.

The MG has a Gorilla glass-clad 4-inch 480 x 800 display, a 1880 mAh battery with 3.75 hours of playtime, and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and is powered by a single-core 1 GHz processor. Needless to say, hardcore gamers may be more interested in the Xperia Play, aged as it may be, since there are familiar hardware gaming controls included. It seems like MG is geared more towards to younger kids and their parents that want to monitor usage, though.

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4 years ago

Sprint Optimus G benchmarks and hardware testing

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It's no secret that I dislike benchmark applications on Android. I've got technical reasons that involve native code and virtual machines, but the fact remains that plenty of folks do like them, and I'm here to deliver what you guys want to see. I've put away my dislike for a moment today, because the Sprint Optimus G just blows the doors off of everything else and it deserves a look.

The quad-core APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro, high-speed RAM and Nand, and Adreno 320 GPU mean the Optimus G is a well-oiled killing machine when it comes to performance. In every benchmark we ran, it handily beats everything out there -- even while running less than optimal stock software.

We didn't stop at benchmarks. This was also a perfect opportunity to check the hardware performance as well, so you'll see some numbers and graphs for Wifi, GPS, and multitouch, too. Spoiler -- you'll be pleased. 

Hit the break and check it out.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 lasts slightly longer in blender than iPhone 5

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The fine folks at BlendTec have continued their fine heritage of appliance-based science by seeing whether or not the Samsung Galaxy S3 or the iPhone 5 are able to survive industrial-strength spinning blades. The short answer is no, neither of them can withstand BlendTec's whirling wrath, but as you can see from the video below, the Galaxy S3 manages to stay mostly in one piece longer than the iPhone 5. Some other decidedly more practical (though less scientific) toughness tests have show that the SGS3 doesn't fare quite as well against the iPhone 5 in drop tests

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4 years ago

AT&T Optimus G pre-orders start today

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Well, AT&T followed through on this one. Following announcement of pricing and availability for the LG Optimus G on AT&T yesterday, the pre-order page at AT&T's website is now live. $199 with a two-year agreement -- $549 outright -- and a circle on your calendar for Nov. 2 is all you need to reserve LG's latest flagship.

If you're still on the fence about this device, don't worry, Phil and Jerry are working to bring you their official Optimus G reviews. In the meantime, we've got a few sneak peeks at certain parts of the devices.

Source: AT&T

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4 years ago

HTC offers up 64GB One S Special Edition in Taiwan

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The HTC One S is probably one of the most under-appreciated devices of the year, so it's nice to see the phone getting a little bit of extra attention as HTC refreshes its Android line-up this fall. Alongside the One X+, the company's debuted the One S Special Edition (or "SE") in its home country of Taiwan. The changes aren't as sweeping as in the One X+, but they're no less striking. The phone gets an ice-white coat of paint, making it more One X-like in appearance, and the internal storage has been bumped up to 64GB -- although it's still non-expandable. Other specs, like the 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 SoC, 1GB of RAM and 8MP ImageSense camera, remain unchanged.

Storage space was one of our main complaints we leveled against the One S when we reviewed it back in April. The international version comes with 16GB of space, and of that only 10GB is available for music and other media.  With 64GB on-board, that suddenly becomes much less of an issue.

Right now we're not seeing any signs of the HTC One S Special Edition outside of Taiwan, but we've asked HTC about any international release plans, and we'll update this post with any info they provide.

Source: HTC, via: MoDaCo

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4 years ago

Sprint's Samsung Galaxy Note 2 drops Oct. 25 for $299

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Sprint this morning announced that its Samsung Galaxy  Note 2 will be available Oct. 25 for $299 on contract. It'll be available in Marble White or Titanium Gray.

More: Read our complete Galaxy Note 2 review

The Galaxy Note 2, as you'll recall, sports a massive 5.5-inch Super AMOLED display and is running Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, with a ton of customizations and features from Samsung thrown in. It's all powered by a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor and has a rather ridiculous 3100 mAh battery.

Source: Sprint
More: Sprint Galaxy Note 2 forums

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4 years ago

ASUS Padfone 2 announced - quad-core phone/tablet dockable with LTE

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This morning at events in Milan, Italy and Taipei, Taiwan, ASUS has announced its second-generation phone and tablet hybrid device, the Padfone 2. Like the original Padfone, it’s an Android phone which can slot into a tablet dock to deliver a full-blown tablet experience. Time time around, ASUS has boosted specs throughout the device, including an upgrade of the CPU to a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip. The device also packs 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a 4.7-inch, 720p IPS display, matching the specs of leading Android phones like the LG Optimus G.

Unlike the first-generation Padfone, the Padfone 2 fits inside its tablet dock without needing to be secured in place with a door. What’s more, the weight of the entire package has been reduced to 649 grams, down from 853 grams in the original. On-stage in Milan today, ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih demonstrated the same seamless transition from phone to tablet UI, just as we saw from the original Padfone at Mobile World Congress.

On the software side, it’s running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with an upgrade to Jelly Bean promised in the future. Connectivity options include NFC and 4G LTE support, though no carriers were mentioned at today’s events.

The device will ship in Europe and Asia before the end of the year, in 32 and 64GB flavors, which will retail for €799 and €899 respectively with the tablet dock included. At this price, the new Padfone remains a niche product, but ASUS will be hoping that a focus on hardware specifications and a slimmed-down tablet chassis will help the Padfone 2 succeed where its predecessor stumbled.

Anyone tempted by ASUS’s latest Padfone iteration? Shout out in the comments! We've got more images after the break.

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4 years ago

Alcatel One Touch 960c coming to Alltel for $199.99

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Yes, Alltel Wireless is still around. The small carrier that focuses on value and no-contract plans in specific regions has a new mid-range device in the Alcatel One Touch Ultra 960C (yes, that's the real name). The device has pretty unassuming specs and is what you'd expect for this price and target market:

  • 4.3-inch display
  • 1.4GHz processor
  • 5MP camera / 720P video
  • Front-facing camera
  • DLNA support
  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread

The 960C will set you back $199.99 off contract, or $19.99 with a two year agreement, with Alltel plans starting at $45 per month for unlimited talk and text. A full press release for the device can be found after the break. The phone will be available starting Oct. 18.

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4 years ago

Sprint's LG Optimus G first impressions

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The unapologetic first impressions after 10 minutes of use

From time to time we review phones here at AC. Some of us are really good at it, with a fine eye for detail, some of us have used so many phones, we have an excellent idea of how they compare to each other, and some of us think a bit differently and look at things normal people wouldn't think to. That's how we roll, and I think it makes for a great mix, especially when more than one of us get to look at the same phone. 

I'm holding Sprint's LG Optimus G (coming November 11) in my grubby claws, and after 10 minutes of sitting in my chair and toying with it I've got a couple things to say -- both good and bad,

The good

  • This thing is fast. It's the first phone running stock software that's faster than anything else out there. Faster than the Galaxy S3, faster than the Galaxy Nexus running 4.1.2, and faster than the One X with HTC's UI-focused multitasking.
  • The screen. Yes, it's as good as the One X, and that's saying a lot.
  • The back "glass". I can't describe it any better than Phil can, but when you hold it you know it feels like glass but isn't really glass. And it survives a four foot drop-test on the hardwood floor (don't look Sprint) with nary a scratch or ding.
  • The notification icons tell you how many unread you have with a red bubble. A subtle, yet meaningful touch that Google totally needs to steal.

The bad

  • The fake chrome ring around the edge isn't flush, and you feel it when you rub your thumb across it. Or not. See here for more.
  • Ice Cream Sandwich. Jelly Bean coming soon doesn't cut it with me.
  • The ultra colorful UI. Tone that down a bit, please. 
  • I'm rubbing my thumb across that trim ring again, so I had to mention it twice.
  • 78 kbps 3G speeds from Sprint

I've put all my other toys away and will be using the G exclusively, look for more soon.

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4 years ago

Sprint's Optimus G lands Nov. 11 for $199; preorders start Nov. 1

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Hot on the heels of AT&T's announcement today, Sprint has given word that its LG Optimus G will be available on Nov. 11, for $199 on contract. Preorders start Nov. 1.

We took a gander at the Sprint version last week at CTIA. And as you'll recall, it's a bit different than AT&T's Optimus G (as well as the global version). Will it stand up to full scrutiny? Only The Shadow Jerry Hildenbrand knows.

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4 years ago

Android 4.1.2 update rolling out to some GSM Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S phones

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Android 4.1.2 hit the Nexus 7 last week, and now it seems the latest version of Jelly Bean is slowly starting to make its way to the GSM/HSPA Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S. Currently the only version confirmed to have received the update is the "yakju" variant of the phone -- that's the one sold outside of the U.S. without Google Wallet support. We'll likely see the "takju" Galaxy Nexus -- the one sold through the Google Play Store -- hit 4.1.2 in the coming days. (Sorry, Verizon people, you're likely in for a much longer wait.) On the Nexus S, users in the U.S. and Canada (GT-i9020T/i9023) are reporting that they've received the update.

On phones, Android 4.1.2 is a minor update over the previous version 4.1.1. The changelog points to small performance and stability fixes. Unlike the Nexus 7, Android 4.1.2 on Nexus phones doesn't enable landscape mode in the launcher.

If you're feeling adventurous, and have the right kind of Galaxy Nexus, you'll find direct links to the OTA to flash your device manually. We'd recommend just waiting for the update to hit, though, as you're not missing out on much by being back on 4.1.1.

Source: Android Central forums, XDA

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4 years ago

AT&T Optimus G available Nov. 2 for $199; preorders start tomorrow

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AT&T's LG Optimus G will be available Nov. 2 for $199 on contract. Pre-orders start tomorrow. 

And, well, that's about it. We've got the carrier's version of the Optimus G in our hot little hands, and it's pretty faithful to the worldwide version, though as we noted in our side-by-side with the Sprint iteration, some software and hardware features have been tweaked.

Source: AT&T

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