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2 years ago

Pantech Burst review

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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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2 years ago

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

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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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2 years ago

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

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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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2 years ago

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

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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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2 years ago

'Xperia Sola' trademark hints at another possible Sony handset

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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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2 years ago

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

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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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2 years ago

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

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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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2 years ago

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

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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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2 years ago

MIUI ROM is going open-source

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MIUI is not the ROM for everyone, we get that.  But for those that do enjoy using it, things just got a little better -- Xiaomi has decided to release the source code changes and is in the process of open-sourcing the project.  As of the time of this writing, you'll find the core patches to things like the framework and the make files as well as code for the file explorer, notes app, compass app, and sound recorder at MiCode's github pages.  An official sounding announcement on the MIUI Android blog says to expect code for more applications in the "very near future".  Hooray!

MIUI is more than just a custom ROM.  Xiaomi builds and releases phones in China running the heavily customized version of Android, and through the hard work of their development team and independent developers, the builds have been modified to work with many phones we're familiar with here in the rest of the world.  It's a big change from the stock look and feel of Android, and some say it has a very Apple-esque vibe about it.  Have a look at a review of MIUI for the Nexus S and see what we're talking about.  This is a far cry from a developer adding in a few custom tweaks to the AOSP -- we're talking a very big rewrite much like HTC, Motorola, Samsung and LG do with their custom builds of Android.  The difference is that MIUI has now decided to share with everyone.

Building MIUI isn't going to be something that most of us will do.  But your favorite ROM developers, especially those that work with MIUI for various devices already, now have a whole new toolbox at their disposal.  Look for more, and better, builds of MIUI to come from this, as well as some features and options from MIUI to make their way into more customs ROMs everywhere.  Good news all around.

Source: MIUI Android

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2 years ago

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

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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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