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3 years ago

Android Central 123: Giant fake phones?

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Audio-only stream below

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is coming, Samsung says, but are recent leaked pictures real? Plus, HTC leaks, the state of the Nexus, and your e-mails and voicemails.

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3 years ago

HTC announces Desire U, 4-inch mid-range device for Taiwan

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HTC has just quietly rolled out a spec page for a new device, the mid-range Desire U, targeted at the Taiwan market. Falling in line design-wise with the rest of the recent "One" and "Desire" devices, the Desire U has a smooth plastic body and rounded edges with a classy looking circle design that accents the back plate. On the inside, this device is clearly lower end, with a 1GHz processor, 4GB of (expandable) storage, 512MB of RAM and a 480x800 (WVGA) display. The U has a 1650mAh battery, which should give a good bit of life for a device with these specs.

The device is a Taiwanese listing, so the frequencies on this device are set up for that market -- 900 and 2100MHz HSPA along with 900, 1800 and 1900MHz GPRS/EDGE. No one is likely to import this, but with a striking design and acceptable specs, this low-ranger may do well in specific markets. We're finding unlocked pricing of about $275, which is quite competitive.

Source: HTC (translated)

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3 years ago

Samsung's Q4 2012 financial earnings: "We made lots of money"

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Samsung has announced their financial results for the last quarter in 2012, and they beat all estimates -- even their own. The electronics group posted an operating profit of 8.84 trillion Won ( that's about 8.27 billion US dollars), on 56.06 trillion Won (about 52.45 billion US dollars) in revenue. That's a 10-percent increase in profit over the Q3 2012 earnings, and almost a 90-percent jump year-over-year. Total profits for 2012 came in at 29.05 trillion Won (about 27.2 billion US dollars), on a total revenue of 201.10 trillion Won (approximately 188.15 billion US dollars). In addition, Samsung spent 2.96 trillion Won (about 2.76 billion US dollars) on research and development over the quarter.

That's a whole lot of cash.

Of course, much of this profit comes from smartphone sales, and with Samsung that means Android. By getting product into the hands of people who want it, Samsung has made more money from Android in one quarter than Google did with all their products and services. We don't see this slowing down anytime soon, and imagine a new crop of Samsung mobile products will set the stage for similar numbers next year. Hit the link for the full financial results.

Source: Samsung (pdf)

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3 years ago

iPhone continues to dominate AT&T; the rest is Android?

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AT&T has just posted its Q4 2012 earnings, showing strong growth in both wireless and wireline businesses. We'll be focusing here on the wireless business, naturally, so let's get right into the notable points:

Some 10.2 million smartphones were activated in the final three months of the year, the carrier said. Of that, 8.6 million were iPhones. AT&T didn't break down how much of the remaining 16 percent of sales were Android phones, but it did mention that our fare platform had its best-ever quarter. 

More of the financial stuff is after the break.

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3 years ago

Intel introduces the Yolo, a low-cost Android smartphone heading to Kenya

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Intel, partnering with Safaricoma Kenyan based provider, has announced a new smartphone, the Yolo, headed to African markets. Back at CES, Intel took to the stage to introduce Lexington, which is their new processor targeted at emerging markets. The Yolo is the first smartphone to have that chip and looks positioned to make quite an impact in emerging markets.

The Intel Yolo will contain:

  • 3.5-inch screen (320 x 420)
  • 1.2GHz processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage
  • micro-SD slot that supports up to 32GB
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Android 4.04 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 5MP camera

The specs are low to mid-range because that's what this phone is aimed at. Intel wants to make a real push in emerging markets and the Yolo looks poised to do just that. Kenya will be the first market in Africa to get the phone, but we're betting that we'll see it in other markets soon. The phone will cost Ksh 10,999, which is about $125.It will also come bundled with 500MB.

Source: Intel; Techweez

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3 years ago

Leaked press image of forthcoming Huawei Ascend P2 emerges ahead of MWC unveiling

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This press image obtained by @evleaks claims to be the next high end offering from Huawei. Following on from the Ascend D2 which first launched at CES, the Ascend P2 that we see here is also reportedly joining the 1080p display club. Only, unlike the D2 which comes in at 5 inches, the P2 display is reported to be just 4.5 inches with on-screen buttons. 

Leaks of recent Huawei devices have proved pretty accurate, so while the usual rumor tag applies here too, there's plenty of cause to believe this is what we'll be seeing from Huawei in Barcelona next month at Mobile World Congress.

The P2, besides the display, is also reported to contain an in-house built 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a pretty hefty 3000mAh battery. Software is said to be Jelly Bean, with no indication as to which version.  If it all pans out, it's clear to see that Huawei didn't just leave their big guns in Las Vegas. How much is true remains to be seen, but we'll be live from Barcelona next month to take a look at whatever it is that Huawei brings. 

Source: @evleaks (Unwired View)

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3 years ago

Preorder now: The Lloyd Flex Case for the Galaxy S3!

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You wanted it, we've got it. Behold the Lloyd Flex Case for the Samsung Galaxy S3, available for preorder now from ShopAndroid.com. This TPU-style case is made from shock-absorbent and scratch-resistant material, perfect for protecting your precious GS3 from damange and dings. Plus it's slim and lightweight (unlike the lovable Lloyd that graces the back of the case), and it wraps all the way around the phone, to keep the display from hitting the tablet face-down.

It's available in four colors -- black (seen here), clear, smoke and green -- for $14.95 each. (That's 25 percent off, by the way.)

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3 years ago

Skype update adds portrait calling on tablets, rest of the app locked in landscape

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The latest update to Skype improved the UI and added a much asked for feature in portrait calling, but unfortunately the rest of the app is locked in landscape. The portrait calling seemed like a no-brainer fix, especially considering many smaller tablets -- like the Nexus 7 -- have camera setups meant for portrait orientation. The unfortunate bug (or at least we hope it's a bug) is that for now the rest of the UI is locked into landscape orientation. This means that browsing your contacts and initiating calls is all in landscape, then you have to rotate the tablet to hold the call.

Overall the new UI is great and pretty well mirrors the styling of the phone UI, but the perpetual landscape really puts a damper on things. Let's hope Skype pushes out a new update to add back in the portrait support, and in the meantime we can at least enjoy portrait video calls.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S2 receiving small OTA update, still ICS for now

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The T-Mobile version of the Galaxy SII (S2) is receiving an update today, either via OTA or Samsung Kies, that keeps the device on Android 4.0.4 but brings a few needed fixes. The update, which can bring you to baseband version T989UVLI1 or T989UVLH1, is just 11MB when downloaded OTA and has a few fixes on board. Apparently a Qualcomm fix is included, along with other security enhancements and Vlingo S Voice improvements.

When first seeing that an update was available for the Galaxy S2 we instantly jumped to conclusions, thinking that this may be the Jelly Bean update. The update started rolling out for the international S2 yesterday, but unfortunately T-Mobile's model is on ICS for just a while longer. Have you received the update via OTA or Kies? Head to the forums and chime in, as some users are already reporting seeing the update arrive on their devices.

Source: T-Mobile Support; More: T-Mobile Galaxy S2 Forums

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3 years ago

Ouya announces new controller with improved design based on feedback

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Taking a whole boatload of feedback into consideration, the Ouya team has made several notable improvements to its controller. Developers that have had their hands on the consoles for a few weeks have started to give their recommendations back as to how the controller could be improved, and the team is taking it all to heart.

First, the D-pad on the controller has switched from a "disc" to more traditional "cross" layout, which should help prevent accidental movements. The thumbstick caps have been redesigned to give more grip, and the touchpad area has better sensitivity now. The triggers have been improved as well, and are now more flush with the body of the controller. And last but not least, the battery compartment has been redesigned for a tighter fit, and some materials will be changed out for higher quality ones by the time the final units ship.

Those are some notable improvements, changing basically all of the input surfaces on the controller. Ouya seems committed to delivering a high quality product to consumers, so let's hope this all comes through in the end.

Source: Ouya

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3 years ago

Out of stock: T-Mobile's Nexus 4 inventory lasts about a day

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Can't say this is much of a surprise: A day after T-Mobile put the Nexus 4 back up for sale on its website, it's being listed as out of stock. TMo managed to keep it up for sale longer than just about anyone at this point, though, so we're not going to ding it too badly here.

On the other hand, that takes another major retailer off the table at a time when even Google still can't sell its flagship phone.

Source: T-Mobile; Thanks, Frank!

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3 years ago

G Cloud Backup isn't made by Google, but does a pretty good job at backing up your Android device

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Don't let the name confuse you, this isn't another app from Google. Despite the tenuous naming link, G Cloud Backup is made by a developer known as Genie9, and sets out to backup all your personal particulars on your Android device. We're not just talking about files and folders, or simply being a cloud locker in which to dump things either. SMS messages, contacts, external SD cards, call logs, all in addition to such items as photos, videos and music. And, root access isn't required for anything, so this one's for everyone. The cloud part is Amazon's S3 cloud storage.

There's no shortage of options when it comes to backing up, or indeed cloud services, on Android. But the cliché still applies -- choice is a good thing. No doubt at first glance, some of the offered services Google already takes care of, but does G Cloud Backup have enough to make it worth a look? Stick around and we'll find out.

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3 years ago

Vine for Twitter, and what it means for you on Android

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There's no Vine app for Android just yet, but that doesn't mean you can escape its 6-second video onslaught

Twitter and Vine today announced that (1) Vine is now available for iOS devices and (2) has been purchased by Twitter. If you hadn't heard of Vine before today, we're not too surprised -- it's been in limited beta testing until now, and it's not available for Android. But, seeing as how all roads (eventually) lead to Android these days, we're taking a quick look at it here.

The oversimplified version is that Vine is to video what Instagram is to pictures. In actuality, it's a fairly simple app that lets you take up to 6 seconds of video that might well be mistaken for a really good animated gif. It doesn't have to be 6 consecutive seconds, though. You can do two 3-second clips strung together. Or three 2-second clips. Or, if you hate your friends, six 1-second clips.

You're going to start seeing a lot of these, even if there's no Android app.

Rene reviewed how Vine for iPhone works (or doesn't) over on iMore.  More of my thoughts, after the break.

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3 years ago

Poetic Borderline bumper case for the Nexus 4

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Let's face it, the back of the Nexus 4 is glass and it will get scratched. But it's so darn cool looking you don't want to cover it up! This is why Google announced that it would be selling a bumper case alongside the Nexus 4, but it's pretty hard to come by. Luckily case maker Poetic has stepped in here, and makes a pretty nice bumper case for the Nexus 4 at an affordable price.

The basic idea of a bumper case is to cover up the sides of the device to provide some grip and keep either the front or back panels of the phone lifted off of any surface you put the phone on. This way the edges of the case take most of the bumps and bruises instead of the glass, but you still get to keep the nice aesthetics of that glittery back plate. In this respect the Borderline case does its job. The hard plastic colored sides are accented with grippy grey rubber material, which pulls double duty adding grip for when you're using the case and grip on tables when you set it down. Speaking of colors, as of now the Borderline is available in blue, green, purple, red, yellow and black.

The case definitely adds a bit of bulk to the Nexus 4, which may push it over the edge of being too big for some people's hands. I have pretty large hands and don't really notice the extra width and thickness, but this definitely isn't a paper-thin case. Because the edges are raised up higher than the whole of the back plate, the bumper actually does make the phone a little awkward to hold. With most devices you're used to having a convex back that you can wrap your fingers around, but using a bumper on the Nexus 4 means the back is technically concave and it definitely takes some getting used to.

The Poetic Borderline bumper case is probably your best bet right now if you're looking for a good middle ground between protecting your device and showing off the striking design. And at a hair under $10 on Amazon, it's kind of a no-brainer even if you'll only occasionally use it. Stick around after the break for a quick hands-on video and photos of the case.

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3 years ago

Big News - a simple and well-designed news widget

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There are plenty of news readers and widgets out there, but not many do their job as elegantly as Big News Pro. Since moving to a new design language with Ice Cream Sandwich, we've been looking to fill our homescreens and app drawers with as many properly-designed holo apps as possible. Big News fits right in with this design, and actually has a nice feature set hiding behind its simplistic exterior. 

Read on past the break and see what Big News has to offer as a news widget.

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