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3 years ago

Sprint Vital mini review

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The Sprint Vital offers a lot of bang for your buck, but it's not for everyone, especially given the carrier's handful of other budget-friendly options.

Things have changed quite a bit over the past year in terms of what $100 can buy you, and for those who can’t stomach dropping more than a Benjamin on a new smartphone, there’s never been a better time to upgrade. Budget-busting flagships are no longer the only devices worthy of writing a check for – Android has come a long way, and yesterday’s specs are becoming more and more evergreen.

The Vital, made by Chinese manufacturer ZTE yet sold under the Sprint moniker, isn’t cracking any glass ceilings – a game changer this is not. But it does mark a welcome new addition to the growing “high-end budget” market, which is great news for consumers. It faces some stiff competition on Sprint’s shelves, though, especially given the carrier’s recent promotions offering some of yesterday’s top-shelf phones for pennies on the dollar.  For Sprint customers looking to save some money on their next smartphone, the Vital is just one of many choices offering some serious bang for your buck.

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3 years ago

We're answering your HTC One Mini questions on the Android Central forums!

The HTC One Mini is in the house - head to the forums for answers to your burning questions

The One Mini is HTC's upcoming 4.3-inch variant of its flagship device, with a 720p display and familiar industrial design. Last week we got our hands we got our hands on the device for a quick preview, but from today we've got one all to ourselves.

We'll have a full HTC One Mini review posted in the days ahead, but until then you can hit up our Q&A thread on the Android Central forums to ask whatever burning questions you might have about the device. If you're not yet a forum member, registration is free, quick and easy.

Hit the link below to get started!

More: HTC One Mini Q&A on the Android Central forums

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3 years ago

Sonos now plays music stored directly on your phone

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A quick but important update to the Sonos app today — you can now play back music and podcasts stored directly on your phone. (No, we're not sure how this wasn't an option before now, either.) Podcasts work so long as you're running at least Android 2.2, which should damn near be just about everyone reading this.

After you update your app, look for "This Mobile Device" in the menu, and you're good to go.

More: Sonos

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3 years ago

New Sony Honami images emerge matching up to earlier leaks

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Matches earlier leaked renders, looks a lot like a refresh to the Xperia Z

At this point we're somewhat used to new Sony devices leaking out ahead of their launch, and Sony's next big device, codenamed Honami, is no exception. Following earlier leaked renders, some pretty clear photographs have emerged claiming to be Honami, and they show a device that looks as though it could be a refresh to the Xperia Z line. 

The overall form factor is very similar to the Xperia Z, with the same external skeleton frame we've seen before, only colored to match the device. The back looks to possibly be glass again, and that rumored 20MP camera sits up in the top left as we've seen before. Down on the bottom edge of the device there's what looks to be a pretty hefty speaker, and round the front it looks pretty much the same as other Sony smartphones. 

Other rumors state that inside the Honami is a Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM, a 3000mAh battery, all sitting beneath a 5-inch, 1080p Triluminos displays. At this point none of the alleged specs are unlikely, and all that remains now is for it to finally launch. We're expecting our first look at the Honami at Sony's September 4 press conference in Berlin at IFA, where of course we'll be on the ground throughout. Hit up the links below for more images. 

Source: Gadget Helpline via Xperia Blog

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3 years ago

HTC unveils entry-level Desire 500 for Taiwan

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HTC has taken the wraps off its latest budget-focused smartphone for its home market of Taiwan. The Desire 500 packs a 4.3-inch WVGA (800x480) display, and is powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 processor with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage, expandable via microSD. On the software side, the star of the show is the company's latest Sense 5 UI, which complete with the BlinkFeed home screen reader. Buyers will miss out on big-name HTC feautres like BoomSound and the Ultrapixel camera, however, as the Desire 500 comes with a standard 8-megapixel shooter and single rear speaker. Engadget is reporting a MSRP of NT$11,900 ($400), which might also make the 500 a tough sell.

Elsewhere, HTC has recently expanded Desire line in Eastern Europe with the Desire 200 and Desire 600.

Source: HTC; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Samsung's new Exynos 5 Octa 5420 brings double the GPU power of the current silicon

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It should come as no surprise that next year's chips will be better than this years. Moore's Law and common sense tell us that product specification will continue to rise, even if we no longer need them to be more powerful. The CPU in your smartphone is no different.

Samsung has unveiled the new Exynos 5 Octa 5420, which has a six-core ARM Mali-T628 GPU and runs a big.LITTLE implementation with four ARM Cortex-A15 cores at 1.8 GHz, and four Cortex-A7 cores at 1.3GHz . Samsung says this new chip will boost 3D graphic processing performance to double that of the current Exynos 5 Octa, be able to run complex and computationally intensive algorithms or operations on the GPU, and fully support OpenGL ES 3.0 and Full Profile Open CL 1.1. These are the types of advancements that mean more than extra cores and more Gigahertz, and will open new opportunities for vendors who use the chips in mobile devices and laptops. 

The new Exynos is currently being shopped around to OEMs and vendors, and we should expect to see the chip go into full production in August. The full press release follows the jump.

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3 years ago

Moto X camera interface revealed with on-screen tutorial

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Features include new slide-in controls, hidden buttons and slow-motion video mode

We've seen a whole lot of hardware and spec leaks of the Moto X in the past several days, and now we've got our first in-depth look at a big component of the software experience -- the camera. In several different screenshots of the UI obtained by AndroidPolice, the refined Motorola camera UI is shown to be a completely new paradigm with some small adaptations of what we see on stock Android 4.2 currently.

The main interface change at play here is that the camera controls are revealed by a swipe in from the left edge of the screen and are arranged in a wheel. Swiping from the right instead brings you into the Gallery, the same as you would expect on stock Android 4.2. Buttons to switch between front and rear-facing cameras and to toggle video mode are stagnant on the bottom of the interface. There is no shutter button on the Moto X and pictures can instead be taken by tapping -- and holding for burst mode -- anywhere in the viewfinder. Additionally, digital zoom can be done with swiping up and down on the screen with the camera launched.

If you're looking to learn even more about the Moto X you won't have to wait long, as Motorola is set to unveil the device on August 1st. For now, hang around after the break for a few more looks at the camera interface. 

Source: AndroidPolice

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3 years ago

Recon Jet Android-powered HUD glasses sell out before initial pre-order period ends

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Second batch, shipping in February 2014, now available for $599

Recon Instruments' new Android-powered HUD glasses, dubbed the "Recon Jet" have sold out before the first pre-order period ended at $499 each. These early "Pilot Edition" models went on sale for $100 off retail price to entice early adopters over to the platform, and the plan seems to have worked. Even though these shipments aren't expected until December of this year, pre-orders are all sold out.

Because of the high demand, Recon Instruments has decided to open up another pre-order period at the retail price of $599. This next batch of devices will be sold on a first come, first serve basis and won't ship until February 2014 but will still get to early adopters before the devices hit store shelves officially. The order page is now live at the source link below if you're interested in picking up a pair.

More: Recon Instruments

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3 years ago

'Limited Edition' Motorola Droid Ultra leaks ahead of Verizon's NYC event

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A design that checks all of the boxes for a Verizon 'Droid' phone

We're inside of 24 hours until Verizon does its thing in New York City, and we have a nice looking leak of an upcoming device expected at the event. Courtesy of HelloMotoHK, a close-up picture of a purported "Limited Edition" Droid Ultra has surfaced showing off a woven kevlar back and some special red coloring. The kevlar looks to be coated in an extremely shiny finish, and the dramatic red and black paint scheme along with prominent "Droid" branding makes sure you won't forget what carrier you're on. The red stripe is likely something reserved for the Limited Edition model -- which we've seen for previous devices -- but we wouldn't mind if some other crazy patterns were made available.

We got a nice look at a press render of the device's front a couple of weeks ago, but this is the first clear in-person look we've got of the back. We're not entirely sure where this particular device will fit into the lineup of phones we're expecting Verizon to show us tomorrow, but we won't have to wait long to find out.

Source: Droid-Life

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3 years ago

Invites for the LG G2 event in New York are making the rounds, and LG isn't keeping secrets

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LG puts the G2 front and center in today's press invitation to New York on August 7.

LG's not even trying to hide it anymore, as a new round of press invites for their August 7 event in New York have went out, and they not only picture the G2, but name it in the text.

To be honest, we think this is a great thing. Everyone knows what LG has coming, everyone is excited about the new G2, and giving us pictures and dropping the name around makes us look forward to the event even more. As a refresher, what we expect to see inside the G2:

With those internals, it's no wonder that a lot of folks can't wait to see and hear more about the LG G2. We'll be there in New York, not just because it's our job to be there, but because we're also Android nerds are are pretty excited.

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3 years ago

You can safely ignore Wall Street — Google is doing just fine

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Stocks show expectation, not always reality

Late last week Google reported its Q2 results. If you’ve been reading any of the financial headlines then I couldn’t blame you for thinking the latest set of financial results was troubling. The traditional tech and financial media is ripe with stories about how the Mountain View search giant missed revenue estimates, fell short on earnings and is seeing pressure on the price per click it charges advertisers.

As is often the case in financial reporting, the headlines don’t match reality. If you happen to be a shareholder (as I am) then you can rest assured Google is chugging along just fine. Android users need not worry, as the mothership is poised to make more money than ever before, ensuring lots more awesome product development.

The quick numbers: Google brought in $14.1 billion in quarterly revenue, and this includes Motorola, which was acquired in 2012. Wall Street was expecting Google to bring in $14.4 billion, so the top line was mildly disappointing. But here’s what most headlines miss: Google is primarily an advertising company that cares about long-term quality. Sometimes it changes its policies and kicks some lousy advertising to the curb. That’s what it did in Q2, forcing some advertising partners to either comply with the new rules or leave. Google does this semi-regularly, and it has a small effect on revenue for the quarter. 

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3 years ago

The 'new' SIM card exploit probably doesn't concern you

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Cracked encryption allows hackers to potentially clone your SIM, priovided you're still using an out-dated encryption protocol.

Over the weekend some news broke about an exploit that affects millions of phone users. Apparently, the encryption used has a flaw that allows a hacker to clone the encryption credentials of a SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card, potentially allowing them to clone your SIM card and retrieve things like information about your plan and payments, or identify you on the network.

It sounds scary, and it is for the 500 million affected SIM cards in the wild. But like any good security scare worth it's salt, there's a lot more to the story than we're hearing. Click through and we'll talk about it a bit.

Source: Security Research Labs

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3 years ago

AT&T announces new 300MB and 2GB Mobile Share data tiers

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New data plan options go live online July 26, in-store starting today

In an attempt to get more people moved over to its "Mobile Share" data plans, AT&T is filling out the bottom end of its offerings with two new data tiers. Slotting in at $20 and $50 per month, new 300MB and 2GB tiers fit in along the previous 1GB and 4GB options to give customers more choices when selecting data plans.

These plans are directed at accounts with smart phones -- unlike the data-only plans -- and include unlimited talk and text, but of course require an additional fee per device to connect to the account. The fee starts now at $50 per smart phone added when at the 300MB data tier, and goes down in $5 increments until you hit $30 per smart phone at 10GB and above.

It makes the 300MB shared tier a pretty poor value, and will likely only work to push customers up towards the 1GB and 2GB tier if there are any more than 2 phones on the account. The new tiers go live starting July 26th, but AT&T's website indicates that you can call or go into an AT&T retail store if you would like them a few days sooner.

Source: AT&T

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3 years ago

LG offers a sneak peek at the G2 - it will learn from you, as long as the video doesn't give you a seizure

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This video from LG promises the G2 will learn from you, but take your Dramamine before watching. 

We're all looking forward to seeing what LG's next -- dubbed the G2 (don't call it an Optimus) -- will have to offer. We thrive on details and specifications. LG's latest video teaser doesn't give us a lot of those, but it does focus on how the G2 will learn from you. That is, if the video doesn't give you a seizure first. 

We'll be on hand come August 7 when LG unveils the G2 in New York. For now, hit the break to see the latest video.

Source: LGMobileHQ on YouTube; LG's countdown page

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Student Edition bundle includes keyboard and dock

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Available for the first time in white, bundled with a Bluetooth keyboard and dock for $349.99

Samsung released a special edition of their Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 yesterday, dubbed the Student Edition. Coming in a special color, white (not previously available in the U.S.), the tablet is bundled with Samsung's own Desktop Dock and slim Bluetooth Keyboard. Software freebies are part of the bundle as well, which include a copy of Polaris Office, 50GB of Dropbox storage for one year, and a three month subscription to streaming content provider Hulu Plus.

Marketed towards students, Samsung touts the bundle's laptop-like functionality without the laptop-like heft, and over $100 savings over buying each bundle component separately.

The Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 Student Edition bundle is available now at Best Buy, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Toys ‘R’ Us, BJ’s, P.C. Richard & Son and Office Max for $349.99.

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