Headlines

2 years ago

AT&T Galaxy Note available Feb. 19 for $299, preorders start Feb. 5

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The AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note will be available Feb. 19 for $299 on contract, Samsung announced this morning. It'll be available in carbon blue and ceramic white, and preorders will begin Feb. 5 and will be delivered by Feb. 17.

Along with the phablet itself -- remember that this bad boy is 5.3 inches -- there are a number of accessories available, including a desktop dock, spare battery charger, flip cover case and pen holder kit.

Be sure to check out our hands-on video with the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note from CES earlier this month. We've got the full release after the break.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S Advance announced in full mid-range glory

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Samsung announced the Galaxy S Advance today, due for Russia in February, and heading to just about everywhere but North America after that. The form factor sure looks familiar, and the specs are decidedly mid-range. It's powered by a dual-core 1 GHz processor, enjoys a 4-inch WVGA Super AMOLED touch display, and sports a 5 megapixel camera on the back plus a secondary front shooter. The Samsung Galaxy S Advance is running Android 2.3, and connects via 14.4 Mbps HSPA, firmly locking it down as a middle-of-the road smartphone. 

It's not terribly exciting, but Mobile World Congress is just around the corner - who knows what else Samsung will have to show us? Full press release after the jump..

Source: Samsung

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2 years ago

Rogers brings 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy Note to Canada

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We got our first look at AT&T's LTE-powered Samsung Galaxy Note back at CES, and now it looks like a very similar-looking device will be making its way to Canada on Rogers. A blog post on Rogers' official RedBoard site reveals that the network will offer the four-button, 4G LTE version of the Note from February.

For the uninitiated, the Galaxy Note is Samsung's gigantic 5.3-inch phone/hybrid tablet, which carries a massive 1280x800 HD SuperAMOLED display, and offers stylus input through Samsung's WACOM-powered "S Pen". Like the AT&T version, Rogers' Galaxy Note apparently totes a "1.5 GHz dual-core processor" of some description. Though unconfirmed, rumors suggest this is a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip rather than the Samsung Exynos found on the international Note.

For more on the Galaxy Note, check out our review of the international version, or our hands-on coverage of the AT&T version.

Source: RedBoard

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2 years ago

T-Mobile UK launches new price plans, offers unlimited data that's actually unlimited

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T-Mobile UK has announced new range of price plans that offer its customers truly unlimited data for the first time. Previously, T-Mo UK has offered a "unlimited" data on many of its plans, but with a "fair use" limit, sometimes as low as 500MB. If customers used more than this fair use limit, they faced throttled speeds and restrictions on visiting certain websites.

The network's new "Full Monty" price plans put an end to this chicanery, offering users unlimited data without any kind of fair use limit buried in the small print. "Fully Monty" price plans start at £36 per month for 24 months, for unlimited T-Mobile calls, unlimited texts, unlimited data and 2000 minutes of calls to other networks. At this price point, T-Mo will also throw in a free Galaxy S II or HTC Sensation XE. Step it up to £41 per month and you'll get unlimited calls to other networks, too. The higher-priced £46 and £61 per month plans offer the same unlimited everything, with a lower up-front cost for your handset of choice. All four price plans include unlimited tethering, and will be available from Feb. 1.

All of the major UK networks moved away from unlimited data plans in 2010, in an attempt to curb heavy data use by smartphone users. We've seen this trend slowly reversing over the past year, though, with O2 offering unlimited data through its "GiffGaff" network, and Three selling "all-you-can-eat" data plans to contracted and pre-paid customers. It'll be interesting to see whether things continue to move in this direction as UK carriers begin to roll out 4G LTE coverage over the next couple of years.

Source: T-Mobile UK

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2 years ago

'Xperia P' branding rumored for Sony LT22i 'Nypon'

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Some more evidence has cropped up this morning to suggest that Sony (Ericsson) is moving forwards with a letter-based naming scheme for its 2012 line-up. Just like last week, when we saw suggestions that the entry-level ST25i 'Kumquat' looked set to become the Xperia U, a recent listing by the Indonesian telecom authority has revealed the name 'Xperia P' or Sony's purported mid-range offering, the LT22i 'Nypon'.

Rumored specs for the 'Nypon' include a 1GHz dual-core processor, a 4-inch qHD (960x540) Reality Display and an 8MP EXMOR R camera. According to the recently-leaked roadmap, the device may be due for release as early as April, at a €370 price point.

Whatever the case, we'll be hoping to get our first look at the Xperia P, or whatever it's called, at Mobile World Congress in just a few weeks.

Source: e-POSTEL; via: XperiaBlog

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2 years ago

Motorola RAZR Developer Edition on the way to Europe, unlocked bootloader in tow

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More news coming out of Motorola today surrounding the RAZR. Yet another variant is on its way, only this time it's coming with an unlocked bootloader

The Motorola RAZR Developer Edition will be available in Europe first, and is available for pre-order right now through Moto's own online store. They make a point of letting you know that phone will be sold without any warranty and will set you back 499 (about $660.)

In a statement on the official Motorola Blog, the company claims that releasing a developer edition allows them to continue to meet their carrier and regulatory obligations, but also meets the needs being expressed by their developer community. While the idea of an unlocked RAZRs isn't new -- Ausdroid scored the scoop on that way back in October -- at the time it seemed like a half-assed nod to developers and hackers, and that carriers would still have the option to (and undoubtedly would) keep the bootloaders locket up tight.

But what about you guys in the U.S.? While the Developer Edition is a Europe-only launch, plans are in place to launch an "unlockable developer device" in the State though the MOTODEV network. No time-frame is listed for this as yet though, and Motorola doesn't actually say whether it's the RAZR, or perhaps the newer RAZR MAXX with its larger battery, or maybe a different device altogether. 

The addition of the RAZR Developer Edition gives Motorola two "developer" devices in its stable, the other being the Motorola XOOM tablet, the first to show off Android 3.2 Honeycomb, and now is one of the first to get an update to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Hit the links below for more info and to order in the EU. 

Source: Motorola; Preorder: Motorola Online Store
More: MOTODEV

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2 years ago

Android Central weekly photo contest winner: Transportation

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The winner of this week's Android Central photo contest is August with his picture of a compact in a quiet street scene, taken with his Samsung Galaxy S II using Retro Camera .  This week's pictures were as amazing as last time around, and picking just one was no easy feat.  It's the kind of work we all enjoy though, so we love doing it.  Keep an eye on your e-mail August, I'll be contacting you about getting your battery shipped out.

With so many great pictures, even picking the 10 runners-up was difficult.  We finally settled on them, hit the break to have a look.  Don't forget, we're starting up a new round tomorrow, so keep an eye out.  

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2 years ago

Sprint Galaxy Nexus official Google sign-up page now live

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The official Google sign-up page for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus is now live, waiting for all Sprint subscribers to register for "more information".  We've known it was coming since Sprint verified the rumors on January 9, and I know plenty of folks who are pretty darn excited at the prospect of an LTE powered Samsung Galaxy Nexus on the Now Network.  And who could blame them?  Ice Cream Sandwich on that gorgeous 720p display is a thing of real beauty, and pairing it with the last chance at unlimited data in the USA is a great idea.  

It should be the networks first LTE device, and we know it's coming with 32 GB of storage.  There's also a lot of rumors still going strong about features that may be different in the Sprint version.  Some think there may be a higher CPU speed (don't count on that one) because of an early advertisement that showed it with a 1.5 GHz CPU which may have been a misprint.  Also, because the folks at CES didn't want anyone to capture the back of the device on camera, many think it will have a larger stock battery than either the Verizon version or the GSM world version.  We'll have to wait and see, because at this point nobody has a clue just when we're going to see this one on the shelves.  Sprint's been cryptic, like smart companies always are, saying things like "soon" and "mid-2012".  Anyone who claims to have a date is just guessing for the most part, so we're not going to add to the confusion.

In any case, just about everyone reading this who uses Sprint is ready to get their paws on an LTE Galaxy Nexus, so proceed to try to crush the servers hosting the sign-up page with hope and love.  Then jump into the Sprint Galaxy Nexus forums and share your excitement with everyone in hopes that it makes the waiting seem shorter.

Source: Google; via  Android Central forums.  Thanks, DaEXfactoR!

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2 years ago

Latest Android Malware scare might be premature

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The folks at Symantec have tipped everyone off about a new piece of Android Malware, calling Android.Counterclank "a bot-like threat that can receive commands to carry out certain actions, as well as steal information from the device."  They note that starting one of the apps "infected" with the apperhand SDK package will show a second service running, and often places a search icon on the home screen.  They have verified this is in 13 applications on the Android Market and are calling it "the highest distribution of any malware identified so far this year."  Some reports on the internet claim it may have affected 5 million users.  That's 5,000,000 -- a huge and scary number. And it makes for a great headline.

But it looks like Symantec might have jumped the gun a bit.

Lookout, a competitor in the Android security field, says that the applications are not malware, and the apperhand package actually is a legitimate, but aggressive, advertisement component.  It's part of an advertising software development kit that's a modified version of the "ChoopCheec" platform” or “Plankton” SDK that was the focus of some privacy concerns in June 2011.  This newer version is cleaner, but it still has capabilities common to many ad networks. Writes Lookout:

  • It is capable of identifying the user uniquely by their IMEI number, for instance. But unlike some networks, this SDK forward-hashes the IMEI before sending to its server. They’re identifying your device, but they are obfuscating the raw data. (That's a good thing.)
  • The SDK has the capability to deliver “Push Notification” ads to the user. We’re not huge fans of push notifications, but we also don’t consider push notification advertising to be malware.
  • The SDK drops a search icon onto the desktop. Again, we consider bad form, though we don’t consider this a smoking gun for malware provided the content that is delivered is safe.  In this case, it is simply a link to a search engine.
  • The SDK also has the capability to push bookmarks to the browser.  In our opinion, this is crosses a line; although we do not believe this is cause to classify the SDK as malware.

We're not sure exactly how far is too far, but if the applications are using practices found in "many" other ad networks, we agree with Lookouts points listed here and have to call this one a non-issue when talking about malware.  On the issue of privacy and wanton sharing of user data, we're not loving it, but it's not malware.  

We're not security specialists, and we never claim to be.  We can tear applications apart and see what's hiding in there, but in-depth scanning and analysis is best left to the experts.  That being said, we are experts at catching bullshit, and this one reeks of it.  Nobody likes ads, but we can't just call them malware anytime we like.  They're a part of the ad-supported app model, and we should expect to see more than we like.  When they misbehave, call for someone's head, but not before.  

But that's not sensational.  Headlines like Computerworld's "Massive Android malware op may have infected 5 million users" cause controversy, and everyone loves a controversy.  Explaining that the 5 million mark is from adding the high end of the download counters, which allows for a 4 million-device margin of error, is conveniently forgotten.  And we'd like to think that if as many as 1 million devices on the low end had been infected, Google and the Android Market team would have said something.

The long and the short of it is, we're sleeping just fine tonight. Move along.

More: Symantec; Lookout

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2 years ago

Late night poll: Do you hack your Android phone?

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Hacking is half (or more) the fun for many an Android user.  With the right phone, you can change just about everything, making it have little resemblance to the way it came out of the box.  It's fun and addicting for the same reason computer tweaking and hacking is -- we do it because we can.  There's a good chance many of you guys reading this are the same way.  The simple fact that you found an Android site on the Internet makes you a more informed user, and you're exposed to all this hacking jazz.  

There's as good a chance that you're not into breaking hacking your phone.  We get that.  You like things well enough the way they are, and just use your phone.  We wanna hear from both sides this evening, so let us know in the poll.

 

Do you hack your Android phone?

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