Headlines

3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Beam UK pre-order prices emerge

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If you were watching our MWC coverage closely, you'll recall the Samsung Galaxy Beam, a quirky 4-inch Gingerbread device with a 15 lumen pico projector. That means you can fire images up to 50 feet away from the device, making it the ideal choice for buyers who want to screw with their pets, or hold impromptu Powerpoint presentations on-the-go.

In any case, the Galaxy Beam has shown up today on UK retailer Clove Technology, with a surprisingly high pre-order price tag of £454.80 including VAT, or £379 (~$600) excluding VAT. For your money, the Galaxy Beam also delivers a 1GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD card. So you're mostly paying for that pico projector, and if you're after a mainstream smartphone there are certainly better deals to be had elsewhere.

There's no word on when (or even if) the Galaxy Beam will venture outside of European markets. But if you want to take a look at what it's capable of, you can check out our hands-on feature from Mobile World Congress after the break.

Source: Clove Technology

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3 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest: Flowers

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It's springtime here at the Android Central offices, that means longer days, warmer temps, and a nice change in the scenery. Winter has past, and things are looking mighty floral. And let's be honest, everyone can see the beauty in a flower -- even a neckbeard. I know I can't be the only one, so I want to see who is with me. Grab your phone or tablet, and snap me a picture of some flowers from your yard or garden. Or even your coffee table -- we won't discriminate against flowers of the silk variety. Will pick out the best one, and send the winner a case of their choice from ShopAndroid. The rules are simple:

  • Use an Android device to take the picture.
  • Send it to pics@androidcentral.com, along with a name we can use and the model of Android you used to take it. We like knowing this kind of stuff.
  • If you send in more than one, or send me a link instead of an attachment, your entry gets filed in the trash folder, so don't do it. I hate it when I have to do that.
  • Get me the pictures before the end of the night on Friday.

The rain took my cherry blossoms. Console me with something beautiful from your neck of the woods.

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3 years ago

Samsung Epic 4G receives an update to fix force-close issues

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The Samsung Epic 4G is no stranger to updates, in fact it just received an update at the end of January, and now it's back with yet another one. This update looks like a small one on paper, but it definitely will be warmly welcomed by everyone. Unfortunately it appears as though the last update caused some issues with force closing when receiving a phone call, which can be quite an annoyance. They have fixed the issue along with enhancing the Sprint Connections Optimizer, so hopefully the signal should be a bit better now.  If you haven't already received the notification for the update be sure to hop into your settings and check manually.

You know the drill, let us know how the update goes for you, and any changes you may see besides those listed in the forums!

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

LG Lucid hits Verizon March 29

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Here it is, folks, the LG Lucid. It's bringing its 4-inch self to Verizon this Thursday, March 29, for $79 on contract (and after $50 mail-in rebate). And for that you get an Android 2.3 device (with a promise of an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 5MP rear-facing camera. A fairly mid-range device on paper. We'll see how it holds up in actual use.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

O2-branded Galaxy S II's get ICS update, unlocked UK models left waiting

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Owners of O2-branded Samsung Galaxy S II phones should now be able to update to the latest version of Android, the network has announced. Writing on its official Twitter feed, O2 says the update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for its Galaxy S II users is now available through Samsung's Kies software. O2 is the second British network to release the update, joining Three, which launched its ICS build last week. T-Mobile UK and Orange are promising the update in April, while Vodafone says it's still testing its version.

However, in a bizarre (and frustrating) turn of events, unlocked Galaxy S II owners in the UK have been left waiting for their update. After informing customers that ICS for unbranded UK phones would be landing last Monday, March 19, Samsung now says it's not able to offer any estimated release date. In a post on its UK Facebook page, the manufacturer assures increasingly impatient users that it's going as fast as it can --

Samsung UK is working hard to bring Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to our Galaxy S II customers. We are unable to confirm exact dates as the software testing and approval process is subject to several variables, but we are working as quickly as we can. Thank you for your patience.

This development is a reversal of the usual Android update situation. Generally, when a new version is released, unlocked phones are the first to get it, while carrier-branded phones have to wait around a month for additional testing to be carried out. We're not sure exactly what's holding up the ICS release for unbranded British devices, as the update has already landed in many other countries, including Poland, Hungary, Sweden, and Korea.

Impatient Galaxy S II owners can always change their CSC code and apply another region's ICS update directly through the ODIN utility. Or for those feeling brave, there's also the option to root and install an ICS ROM directly through a custom recovery. (If you don't know what any of that means, you're probably better off sticking it out on Gingerbread until Samsung releases the official update package.)

As ever, Galaxy S II phones in the U.S. have a little longer to wait for their updates, on account of the hardware differences from carrier to carrier. Leaked builds for certain devices have started to appear over the past few days, though, which is a good sign.

Galaxy S II users, be sure to shout out in the comments and let us know if you've received your ICS update yet.

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3 years ago

Temple Run for Android now available from Google Play

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Everyone waiting for Temple Run to appear for Android, you're in luck as it's landed in the Google Play store. Stolen idols, evil monkeys, coins and everything else is there, waiting for you to grab your phone or tablet and give it a go.

45 million folks with iDevices are playing it, and they all can't be wrong. Hit the break for the download link, and be on the lookout for our full review.

More: Imagni Studios

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3 years ago

HTCSense.com sync service shutting down from April 30 to make way for new cloud services

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The message above is currently displayed on HTCSense.com, informing visitors that HTC's online sync service will be shutting down from April 30. This gives HTCSense.com users just over a month to log in and download any contacts, text messages or other personal data on their account. The message is also being sent out by email to HTCSense.com account holders.

HTC says the move away from HTCSense.com is part of the transition to "new and improved" online services it's working on. With carriers preparing to launch the One X in Europe in just over a week, we'd guess that phone may be the first to see whatever HTC's cooking up.

In addition to the purge of personal data, HTC tells us that the online security and backup services are currently unavailable too, and that users should head to Google Play to download a replacement. Security apps like Lookout offer similar services, for a price.

In the meantime, we'll have to wait and see what HTC's future cloud plans entail. And we'll be hoping that the new service is a little more reliable than HTCSense.com. In our experience the service, which first launched on the Desire HD in late 2010, was temperamental at the best of times.

More: HTCSense.com

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3 years ago

FYI: The Droid Charge is still the Droid Charge

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Fear not, Samsung owners -- your Droid Charge is still a Droid Charge. An e-mail sent this afternoon and Verizon's own website seem to contradict that, calling it the "4G LTE CHARGE by Samsung." But Verizon has assured us that "there has been no change to the product's name."

Phew.

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3 years ago

Three UK taking HTC One X upgrade orders from existing subscribers

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Three UK might not be taking orders for the HTC One X from new customers just yet, but if you're due an upgrade from them, you may be in luck. It seems the network is already allowing existing customers to secure themselves a One X on launch day, assuming they're eligible for an upgrade. So if your contract with Three is up for a renewal, check the upgrades area and you should be able to select the One X in grey or white.

Orders placed over the past few days are reportedly due for delivery on April 5, which as we all know is the reported launch date for the HTC One series.

As we reported a few weeks back, the HTC One X will be sold on every major network in the UK. Vodafone UK is currently taking pre-orders, while O2 has said it expects to stock the device from April 5. T-Mobile and Orange both specify an April release window.

Thanks to AC reader +Andrew Jones-McGuire for letting us know!

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3 years ago

AT&T HTC One X benchmarked again

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The AT&T version of the HTC One X has been hitting the benchmark apps the past couple of days, and a friend of a friend of a friend was kind enough to send in a few results. On Sunday we saw a few benchmark results from our forums appear, and with one of them, the Vellamo browser benchmark, being built by Qualcomm there was some speculation that it would naturally score higher. We have to agree with that, as any company would want to stack the deck if at all possible -- that's how this sort of thing goes.

Now we have results from AndEbench, Antutu, and CF-Bench to compare. You can see them after the break, but the important thing is that they all appear exactly as we expect them to. New high-spec processor scores higher than last generation's high-spec processor. Tossing out the Vellamo results (they may or may not be biased, so they have to be dismissed), we can see that the Qualcomm S4 is still a great performer, but not the score-doubling monster that Qualcomm's browser benchmark makes it out to be.

I'm still not impressed by benchmarks. They depend far too much on software (especially in Android because of the Dalvik machine) and are easy to manipulate -- either by users or the folks writing the benchmark apps. Will the AT&T version of the One X be a good phone? I'm pretty sure it will be. Will it be as good at the International version with NVIDIA's Tegra 3? Maybe, we'll have to put them side-by-side and compare before we give the final word. As for the specs-on-paper battle, I'm staying out of it because I'm not a big enough hardware-geek to know or care. I'll leave that to the experts, and judge the phones on how they work in my hands. Hit the break to see all the results.

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

Samsung Rugby Smart review

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The Samsung Rugby Smart is not a "superphone." It doesn't pretend to be one, isn't marketed as one, and we're not about to call it one. What it is is a very solid offering from AT&T and Samsung that fills the rugged, life-proof niche.  We've seen plenty of rugged phones get released that run Android, but so far most have been less that stellar offerings. That's where the Rugby Smart shines, as it's a good Android smartphone that can take a bit of abuse. Hit the break and read more, and see some abuse for yourself.

 


A very solid-feeling, and solid-looking phone. The Rugby Smart won't wow a seasoned Android veteran with its specifications, but it's tops in durability. Dustproof, dirtproof, shock resistant, temperature resistant, and waterproof. It does it all while still being a decent performer.


A phone launching in 2012 and still running Gingerbread will always get a ding here. The Qualcomm Scorpion CPU won't play the latest 3D games as well as some others, though it runs most things decently. When minimum hardware specs increase, this phone may be left behind with 2011 internals.



Know what you're looking for. If you need a rugged life-proof phone, this is the one to get. It's head and shoulders above other ruggedized phones, and you'll enjoy having a real smartphone that won't be ruined by how you treat it. If that's not what you need, maybe look up the chain a little at the Galaxy S II or Skyrocket.

Inside this review

More info

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3 years ago

Huawei Ascend P1 pegged for April release in China

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Back during CES 2012 we spent sometime with Huawei's flagship device, the Ascend P1. Shortly after that, there was speculation it would land in China available in late March but it seems that date may have now been pushed to mid-April with other regions getting the device later on. As a reminder, here is what folks will be waiting for:

  • 4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD (960 x 540)
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processor
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 8MP rear camera with 1080p recording
  • 1.3MP front-facing camera with 720p recording
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB ROM
  • Quadband (GSM/GPRS/EDGE)
  • Pentaband (UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA)

In our hands-on with the device, it was remarkably fast and the screen was brilliantly crisp. However, with the date reportedly slipping it's hard to say now when the Ascend P1 will hit the US and by the time it does, it'll be going up against a multitude of other handsets arriving.

Source: Unwiredview

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3 years ago

Ustream app hits 2.5 million downloads, version 2.0 is released

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The folks from Ustream are celebrating today with their app having now hit 2.5 Million downloads. To ensure everyone else can get in on the celebrations, they've gone ahead and released Ustream v2.0 to the masses bringing along some improvements and requested features including a fresh new UI and more:

  • Quick Broadcast widget - Go live right on the spot using the new Quick Broadcast widget. You can easily place it on your Android home screen, and simply tap it whenever you see something interesting. It will go live instantly, broadcasting to an unlimited audience using the camera of your device. Please sign in and select your channel before your first broadcast.
  • Premium Membership, Ad-Free, In-App Billing support - The Ustream Android app has always been free to download for the community. To maintain its development, the app is supported by unobtrusive banner ads appearing at the bottom of some screens. Enjoy Ad-Free experience at any time by purchasing Premium Membership – either in the app using Google Wallet or on the Ustream website. Your Membership benefits will work on all your Android (and even iOS) devices, but you get even more at ustream.tv.
  • Korean localization - In addition to English and Japanese, the Ustream Android app supports Korean language starting from version 2.0.

The ad-free option is pretty sweet if you're going to be going with a premium membership. That means if you're using the Ustream app to listen to the world's greatest Android podcast each Thursday night, you'll not have to deal with audio ads nor any ads in the app itself now. The update to v2.0 is available on the Google Play Store and you'll find the download beyond the break.

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3 years ago

'HTC Wind' sighted - a dual-SIM One S lookalike for China

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An as yet unannounced HTC phone for the Chinese market has found its way onto Taiwanese forum ePrice. The T328w is said to launch as the "HTC Wind", offering mid-range hardware and dual-SIM support. This is a feature which is particularly useful in developing countries, as users often move in and out of different networks' coverage areas.

Internally, you've got respectable list of specs -- a 1GHz single-core CPU, 512MB of RAM, a 4-inch Super LCD WVGA screen and a 5MP rear camera with LED flash. On the software side, the Wind delivers Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and version "4a" of HTC Sense -- presumably some derivative of what's launching on the One X and One S in the weeks ahead.

Price-wise, you're looking at 1999 Chinese yuan, which is around $315, so you're getting a reasonable amount of smartphone for your money. It's unlikely we'll see this device launched in the U.S. or internationally, though the Wind's 900/2100MHz HSPA bands mean it'd work in Europe. In any case, the HTC Wind looks like a solid budget smartphone.

Source: ePrice; via: Unwired View

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3 years ago

Update: Microsoft decides to make good after getting smoked in its own game

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Update: And just as we suspected, Microsoft's decided to do the right thing. Ben Rudolph (aka @BenThePCGuy) just tweeted the following:

Hey @sahaskatta , @Microsoftstore & I want to make things right. So I've got a laptop & phone (& apology) for you. Email me!

Wish it hadn't taken a public shaming, though.

Original: We've always watched Microsoft's "Smoked by Windows Phone" competition with a bit of amusement. On one hand, Microsoft hit a stroke of marketing genius here. (And lord knows it's had enough experiences in the opposite direction.) Put a Windows Phone up against anything else to see which can perform a specific task more quickly, and film it for posterity.

We've used Windows Phone. It absolutely can do some specific tasks pretty darn quickly -- often enough more quickly than other phones, and catching folks getting "Smoked" is YouTube gold. But it's also always been a bit of a techie carnival sideshow, albeit a popular one, as we saw for ourselves at Mobile World Congress. (No, I didn't actually get smoked, because I didn't belly up to that midway game.)

That brings us to today's tale. Skatter Tech's Sahas Katta writes that his Galaxy Nexus, armed with a couple weather widgets on the home screen, indeed was able to beat Windows Phone at its own game -- "bring up the weather of two different cities," Katta says. He had an ace in the hole: An option mod that bypasses the Ice Cream Sandwich lock screen and goes straight to the home screen when he presses the power button. The Windows Phone competition didn't have that, and finished "a split second later."

So Katta and his Galaxy Nexus won, right? Nope. the Santa Clara (Calif.) Microsoft store decided, after some gnashing of teeth, followed by some quick thinking, that it had to be to cities in different states. Oh. Good bye $1,000 custom laptop, hello "Smoked" pic of shame.

We're willing to bet Microsoft makes good here after this PR gaffe, and that some store employees might have seen better days. And let's hope Microsoft does it on camera, and posts it alongside its other "Smoked" videos.

Source: Skatter Tech, via WPCentral; more: Smoked by Windows Phone

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