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3 years ago

Setting change lets Nexus 4 pick up limited LTE signal in Canada

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So, the LG Nexus 4 has a dormant LTE capability inside, and no it's not going to magically start working with LTE. Or is it? Kind of, is possibly the best way to describe what we're now starting to see. Seems some enterprising types up in Canada have been fiddling with things and amazingly have managed to kick LTE into gear on TELUS and Rogers by changing a setting in Android's testing menu (*#*#4636#*#* in the dialer app).

It all stems from an apparent compatibility with LTE band 4 on the 1700MHz and 2100MHz frequencies, due to the existing radio assembly supporting LTE on those bands. It looks like for some reason LG decided to leave a fully functional LTE radio on the N4, but disable it through a software setting. In Canada, LTE band 4 is supported by TELUS, Rogers and Bell. Outside of Canada, your HSPA+ Nexus 4 won't be able to pick up any LTE reception, unless you're in one of the very few markets AT&T has enabled LTE on band 4.

It's a neat trick, make no mistake, but before we all go running off to try and do this we should remember a few things. Just because it's possible, doesn't mean we'll be able to make good use of it for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's no use anywhere outside of Canada right now. Secondly, the Nexus 4 is not approved for use with LTE anywhere in the world at this moment in time, and as such it will likely be patched out in the future to avoid LG getting into hot water with the regulators. Remember, the Nexus 4 is marketed as a HSPA+ phone for a reason, and regulations have a part to play in that. Technically, it's unlawful to use LTE on these bands without regulatory approval, even if all it takes to enable it is a quick setting change. (It's also slightly baffling as to why LG would've left LTE radio software in a non-LTE phone -- presumably this is a hang-over from the Optimus G rather than something specifically designed for the N4.)

In any case, click on past the break for a walkthrough video of how it all came about. 

Source: XDA Developers via Android Central Forums

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3 years ago

LG Nexus 4 - a second opinion

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LG's Nexus 4 is the best Google-branded handset since the Nexus One, and if you live in the UK, Europe or anywhere else LTE coverage isn't yet widespread, then you should buy one at your earliest convenience.

If you were wondering whether the Nexus 4 is worth your money, there's your answer. But you probably already knew that if you've read Phil's exhaustive review of the phone.

So I'm not going to re-hash everything we've already said about the Nexus 4 -- instead, this "second opinion" piece is going to focus on a few interesting aspects of the phone, and pick out some less-discussed areas for comment.

Read on after the break. You just might learn something.

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3 years ago

SwiftKey 3 and SwiftKey 3 Tablet now half off

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Yet another app sale for the Thanksgiving / Black Friday weekend is SwiftKey. Both smartphone and tablet versions of the custom Android keyboard are half off - $1.99 a pop. 

For those unfamiliar, SwiftKey is a highly respected Android keyboard replacement that emphasizes predictive suggestions based on Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail usage. There's a really wide range of language support too, which is a must-have for many users. If you're looking for something comparable to Swype with gesture-based typing, you'll have to wait for SwiftKey Flow.

Any big SwifKey users here? Who's been holding off for a price cut?

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3 years ago

More 'HTC Deluxe' promo shots leak

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Verizon's HTC Droid DNA may have already been released (and reviewed), but mystery still surrounds the possibility of an international version of the phone. Earlier leaks have referred to it as the "DLX" or "Deluxe," though it's not clear whether this is the marketing name for the device or merely a codename.

In any case, the latest round of leaked shots, obtained by GSMArena, shows the brown, black and white versions of the "Deluxe" in suitably luxurious settings. As for the device itself, it's the spitting image of the American Droid DNA and Japanese J Butterfly, and we'd imagine the internal specs match up, too. So expect a quad-core Snapdragon S4 and a 1080p SuperLCD3 screen.

GSMArena's source says to expect more info on Dec. 6, which happens to be around the time the device is rumored to make its Chinese and Taiwanese debuts. As always, our fingers are crossed for a European launch to be announced alongside these territories.

More pics after the break.

Source: GSMArena

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3 years ago

SIM-free Nexus 4 now available at Carphone Warehouse

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After a week or so of selling the phone on contract, UK retailer Carphone Warehouse has placed the LG Nexus 4 up for sale SIM-free, but with a hefty price tag. Carphone is selling the 16GB version of Google's latest Nexus for £389.95 outright, a price hike of more than £110 over the Google Play Store price for the same model. Of course, the crucial difference is that Carphone Warehouse actually has stock, whereas Google's own store is expected to be fresh out of Nexii for the next few weeks.

The £389.95 price tag sounds familiar, it's because it appeared in several pre-release leaks from the retailer, including website listings and in-store displays.

As always, CPW offers home delivery, as well as the option to reserve a phone to collect from your local store. It's also likely that the retailer will begin selling Nexus 4s at this price in its brick-and-mortar stores, though as it's outside business hours in the UK, we've been unable to confirm this.

So Brits now have an easy (though expensive) way to pick up a bona fide SIM-free Nexus 4 without signing a contract. Despite the price, it's an improvement on the situation in the U.S., where the phone is sold out on the Google Play Store and as of this morning, on T-Mobile USA's website too.

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Camera arrives in Canada on Dec. 7

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With the Samsung Galaxy Camera already on sale in Europe and the U.S., Samsung is set to expand the reach of its Android-powered point-and-shoot, with a Canadian launch now scheduled for Dec. 7.

The Canadian Galaxy Camera will be the same quad-band HSPA+/Wifi version that's on sale in other territories. The device features a 16MP sensor and 21X Samsung Zoom Lens, backed up by a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos chip, which runs TouchWiz-flavored Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

No specific pricing is mentioned in today's announcement, but it's likely the Canadian price will fall close to the $499 amount charged by AT&T in the U.S.

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3 years ago

Amazing Spider-Man, Gangstar Rio, and other Gameloft titles on sale for Thanksgiving

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Gameloft has kicked off their Thanksgiving / Black Friday sale by cutting the price of a handful of their titles down to a buck.

First up is The Amazing Spider-Man, an action game based on the latest movie. You can see our full review over here. Then there's Gangstar Rio, the "homage" to the popular open-world GTA games. Then there's BackStab, which mixes up 3D platforming and stealth action with a pirate-flavored twist. If you're looking for something a little more lighthearted, The Adventures of Tintin offers fast-paced action that's suitable for the young'uns. Finally, the sci-fi shooter N.O.V.A. 3 is also on sale, though you've got to get it through the Amazon Appstore.

So, anything catching your eye? Seeing any other solid Android game sales for Black Friday? 

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3 years ago

Nexus 4 sells out on T-Mobile USA website

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It might've taken a matter of days and not minutes, as was the case on the Google Play Store, but the LG Nexus 4 has now sold out on T-Mobile USA's website. Tmo had been selling the latest Nexus handset, which includes support for its 42Mbps HSPA+ network, for $199 with a two-year service agreement. The carrier's site offers no details as to when additional stock is expected, but given the difficulties experienced by Google's own device store, we could be looking at weeks rather than days of waiting. (So much for Google's efforts to nudge would-be N4 buyers in Tmo's direction.)

In the meantime, there's a chance that brick-and-mortar T-Mobile stores might still have Nexus 4s in stock, so it might be worth checking your local store if you're after a Nexus 4 this Black Friday.

Overwhelming demand has already resulted in the Nexus 4 selling out on Google Play in Australia, Canada, Europe and the U.S. Google says it expects more stock to arrive "in the coming weeks". Meanwhile, customers with outstanding Nexus 4 orders were last week told to expect delivery within 3 weeks.

More: LG Nexus 4 review

Source: T-Mobile USA

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3 years ago

Plague Inc adds Neurax Worm for $1.99

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Bored with bacteria? Fed up with fungus?  Bio-weapons got you down? If you're tired of the same old destruction in Plague Inc. -- a happy little game from Ndemic Creations in which your job is to eradicate humanity -- a new update brings forth the Neurax Worm, a "manipulative organism that burrows into the brain."

The expansion pack also burrows into your wallet a tad, to the tune of a $1.99 in-app purchase. But when was the last time you purchased a mind-controll worm so cheap?

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3 years ago

Samsung Stratosphere 2 quietly goes on sale - here's your first look!

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When Verizon and Samsung announced the Stratosphere II (full annoying name is Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere 2) a couple weeks ago, the only clue we got as to availability was the ever-ambiguous "coming soon." Turns out, it's available now. In addition to being listed on Verizon's website ($129 on contract, $449 outright), Android Central reader Steve picked one up at his local Radio Shack for his wife, who "loves it," he writes. "She has to have a keyboard phone so she's thrilled to finally have a new phone."

Steve brings us a pretty good look at the QWERTY smartphone, with its five-row silder keyboard hidden behind the display when not in use.

Note that it's running Android 4.0.4 out of the box, is sporting a 4-inch Super AMOLED display powered by a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and has NFC and is ISIS-ready, plus a microSD card.

We've got more pics of the Stratosphere 2 after the break.

Thanks, Steve!

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3 years ago

T-Mobile stores starting to carry microSIM adapters

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In a quest to lure unlocked device users to its network, T-Mobile is becoming even more SIM-swap friendly by offering microSIM adapters in-store. Most recent devices, like the shiny new Nexus 4, are coming out only accepting microSIM cards. Unfortunately, every other device you have -- Galaxy Nexus or Nexus S, perhaps -- probably still has a miniSIM (what we often call a "normal" SIM.) Once you cut yours down, its not always the best choice to try and go back without an adapter. T-Mobile knows this, and now looks to be offering its own micro-to-mini SIM adapters in store for just $4.99.

It's no secret that T-Mobile is trying to appeal to the frequent device switcher, and this is just one more thing they can do to be friendlier to someone bringing their own devices to the network. We're not entirely sure when these will start showing up in a large number of stores, but we wouldn't expect it to take long.

Source: TmoNews

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3 years ago

Barnes & Noble Nook HD and HD+ now on sale in the UK

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After a month on pre-order, Barnes & Noble has launched its Nook HD and Nook HD+ in the UK. The tablets are available in retail locations and from B&N directly at its online store.

Announced in September, B&N's new tablets will go head-to-head with Amazon's Kindle series, as well as Apple's iPad and iPad Mini, and Google's latest round of Nexus tablets.

The Nook HD features a 1440x900 display, and is powered by a 1.3GHz dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. The Nook HD+ bumps this up to 1920x1080 ("Full HD"), along with a small CPU speed increase to 1.5GHz. The HD is priced at Nexus 7-matching £159, while the HD+ can be yours for £229.

Anyone in the UK considering picking one of these up over the weekend?

Source: Nook UK

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3 years ago

Plume updated with Android 4.2 lock screen widget

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One of the leading Twitter apps in the Play Store, Plume, is joining the small list of apps that have been updated to work with Android 4.2's lock screen widget functionality. In this latest update -- version 4.70 -- users can add the regular Plume widget to the lock screen, with full support for scrolling, buttons and responses. It looks and acts exactly as the home screen version does. These kinds of widgets are actually one of the few that may actually be considered useful on the lock screen, and we're glad they've chosen to incorporate it.

There are a group of quick fixes as part of the update as well, including fixes for DM (direct message) display, issues with the Facebook timeline not loading and unread list items appearing multiple times. If you're interested in trying out a Twitter client with lock screen widgets, take a look at Plume via the Google Play Store link above.

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3 years ago

Jelly Bean update starts pushing to Wifi Galaxy Tab 2 7.0

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If you decided to take Samsung up on its bargain basement prices for the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Wifi-only edition, then there's some good news for you this Thanksgiving morn. The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for the Wifi-only 7-inch Tab 2 (GT-P3110) has started pushing out in some territories, starting with France. The update is available through Kies, as well as over-the-air on the device itself. According to SamMobile, the build number you'll want to look out for is XXCLK5.

The update to Jelly Bean will give Tab 2 owners the chance to experience improved performance thanks to Android 4.1's "Project Butter" software enhancements, as well as enabling predictive search capabilities through Google Now.

If you're rocking a Tab 2 in France, head to Settings > About device > Software updates to see if yours is ready. Other territories are likely to follow in the weeks ahead.

Source: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Aussie carrier Telstra publishes new update schedule

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Australian network operator Telstra has published an announcement on the status of software updates for some of its major Android handsets, including the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Nexus. Many handsets can look forward to receiving ICS or Jelly Bean updates before the end of the year, however some have slipped into early 2013.

Here's a breakdown of what Telstra customers can expect in the weeks ahead --

  • Galaxy S2 4G - Ice Cream Sandwich update expected Dec. 10
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus - Jelly Bean (4.1) expected to be approved in December. Availability TBC.
  • HTC One XL - Jelly Bean (4.1) expected to land before end of year.
  • HTC One S - Jelly Bean (4.1) due in early 2013.
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 - "Showstopper" bug uncovered in testing the Jelly Bean (4.1) firmware means this update isn't expected before early 2013.
  • Sony Xperia U - ICS update to launch Dec. 17.
  • Motorola RAZR HD - Jelly Bean (4.1) update expected Dec. 17.
  • Motorola RAZR M - Jelly Bean (4.1) update expected Feb. 8, 2013.

Many of these updates lag behind the international versions of these handsets -- for example, the international Galaxy S3 got Jelly Bean over a month ago, while the Galaxy Nexus is already on Android 4.2 in other territories. In any case, hopefully Aussies can take solace in the fact that update schedules are available to them -- that's more than many other carriers offer.

Source: Telstra, via: Ausdroid

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