Headlines

3 years ago

Which Samsung Galaxy S II is right for you?

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Plus, a recap of the U.S. launch event

So here's your obligatory shot of the three U.S. versions (so far) of the Samsung Galaxy S II. We crawled all over these guys at the U.S. launch event, and they're definitely lookers. We could ask you which one you like the best, or which one you think looks better. But to anyone who's actually held one (or all three), it's pretty obvious that you're pretty much dealing with the same device here, insofar as look, feel and performance go.

And the Super AMOLED Plus displays? (They're so named because they have more subpixels that a mere Super AMOLED display.) You're going to want to see these in action if you haven't already.

Oh, there are some subtle differences in software (but nothing really to write home about just yet), and the AT&T Galaxy S II (that's it's official name, by the way) is noticeably smaller at 4.3 inches, instead of the 4.52 inches seen in Sprint and T-Mobile's versions. Trust us when we say you'll be OK with that.

No, the deciding factor over which Galaxy S II version you get in the United States really comes down to which carrier you're on. Let's break it all down, after the break.

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3 years ago

A sneak peak at the Droid Bionic training docs, plus more confirmation of a Sept. 8 launch

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If you sell Verizon smartphones, chances are you're well on your way to being properly trained up on the Motorola Droid Bionic. And we've gotten a sneak peak at the training, which we'll share with you here. There aren't many surprises -- it'll have all the usual accessories and Webtop dock -- it'll even come with a phone charger! But seeing as how it's been a couple hours since we last teased the DB, we now present you with more, after the break.

Oh, and with the demise of the fake Droid Bionic Twitter account also comes the demise of the unofficial Sept. 8 launch date. It's cool, though. We've gotten more confirmation that independent retailers are expecting inventory on Sept. 8, and we may see pre-orders start on Sept. 1, so be sure to check in.

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3 years ago

Sony Ericsson unveils Xperia Arc S with 1.4GHz CPU, coming October

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Sony Ericsson has unveiled the latest addition to its 2011 Xperia line -- the Xperia Arc S, which builds on its previous flagship device by bumping its CPU speed from 1.0 to 1.4 GHz, a change SE says will deliver "up to 25% faster" entertainment experiences. The Arc S includes the same 8.1-megapixel Exmor R camera sensor found in the original Arc, and thanks to a software upgrade, the new model will also support 3D sweep panorama recording out of the box.

Design-wise, it's the same slim Xperia Arc chassis we all know and love, available in a variety of colors, including "Pure White, Midnight Blue, Misty Silver, Gloss Black and Sakura Pink". Like its predecessor, the Arc S also runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread on top of which sits Sony Ericsson's custom UX.

The Xperia Arc's sleek design and high-performance camera made it one of our favorite phones of the year so far, and we look forward to getting our hands on the re-vamped model when it's available this October. Join us after the jump for the full specs, along with today's press release in.

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3 years ago

US Department of Justice files motion opposing AT&T/T-Mobile merger (update: AT&T responds)

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Back in March, AT&T announced their plan to acquire T-Mobile USA, which spurred vehement opposition. Dan Hesse, the CEO of Sprint, didn't hesitate to let everyone know he thought it was a terrible idea. T-Mobile customers voiced their concerns, which stemmed from their dislike of AT&T. Well, T-Mobile customers and Hesse may have just gained a huge ally, as the US Department of Justice has filed court papers blocking the merger.

In its filing, the DOJ said, "AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market." If the deal falls through, AT&T faces paying T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom a $3 billion break-up fee.

Update: AT&T has responded to the DOJ's filing, expressing "surprise and disappointment" --

We are surprised and disappointed by today’s action, particularly since we have met repeatedly with the Department of Justice and there was no indication from the DOJ that this action was being contemplated.

We plan to ask for an expedited hearing so the enormous benefits of this merger can be fully reviewed. The DOJ has the burden of proving alleged anti-competitive affects and we intend to vigorously contest this matter in court.

At the end of the day, we believe facts will guide any final decision and the facts are clear. This merger will:

· Help solve our nation’s spectrum exhaust situation and improve wireless service for millions.
· Allow AT&T to expand 4G LTE mobile broadband to another 55 million Americans, or 97% of the population;
· Result in billions of additional investment and tens of thousands of jobs, at a time when our nation needs them most.

We remain confident that this merger is in the best interest of consumers and our country, and the facts will prevail in court.

Source: BloombergThanks to everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

AT&T announces the Jetstream - HTC's first Honeycomb tablet, available Sept. 4 for $699 with LTE data

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AT&T has finally unwrapped HTC's first Honeycomb tablet -- the 10.1-inch Jetstream. This puppy's been leaked every which way to Sunday, and specs are largely as we've previously seen.

Here's the breakdown:

  • LTE (700/AWS)
  • HSPA+/HSPA/UMTS (850/1900/2100 MHz)
  • EDGE/GPRS (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • Android 3.1 (Honeycomb)
  • HTC Sense™ UX for tablets
  • Display: 10.1” WXGA HD screen
  • Processor: Third-generation Snapdragon 1.5GHz dual-core processor
  • Camera: Front Facing 1.3 MP, Rear facing 8 MP and Dual LED Flash
  • Battery: 7,300 mAh
  • Expandable Memory: MicroSD up to 32 GB
  • Dimensions: 7” (l) x 9.87” (w) x 51” (d)
  • Weight: 25 ounces

It's also got the HTC Scribe writing feature, which isn't a huge surprise since HTC outed it previously in its Honeycomb SDK.

Now, let's talk pricing. This is all a little new since AT&T's just now launching its LTE network in a scant few cities. The Jetstream itself retails for a whopping $699 with two-year contract. Then you have to consider a data plan. And you've got three options there:

  • A $35, 3 GB-a-month deal with a two year contract.
  • Month-by-month post-paid (as in it shows up on your bill) contracts of $14.99 for 250MB, or $25 for 2 GB. If you have the 2GB plan and go over, you'll be charged $10 per extra GB.
  • Month-by-month prepaid service with the same pricing as the post-paid plan, only if you go over the 2GB plan, you can purchase another 2GB for $25. You'll be billing all this directly to your credit card.

Interesting choices, indeed, though the relatively small footprint of AT&T's budding LTE network and that $699 price point on the tablet itself are going to cause a bit of heartburn.

Source: AT&T


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3 years ago

Droid Bionic finally on Droid Does site, needs help from us lowly bloggers

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Now this is interesting. The Droid Bionic has finally gone up on Verizon's Droid Does page, and there's some hidden material waiting to be unlocked. And who has the codes? A few of your favorite blogs. Along with Boing Boing, BGR and Joystiq, we've been tasked with helping unlocked whatever VZW's got cooped up behind there.

Looks like we've at least got some video waiting for us all. And don't worry, we'll get to work on this soon enough.

More: Droid Bionic forums

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3 years ago

Motorola Milestone 2 to get Gingerbread in 'early Q4'

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Just as Motorola Droid 2 owners in the US are eagerly awaiting their Gingerbread update, users of its international equivilent, the Milestone 2, received some welcome news from Motorola Europe today. Moto Europe reports on its Facebook page that the Milestone 2 will receive an official bump up to Android 2.3 Gingerbread during 'early Q4'. So, sometime in the next couple of months, with any luck.

It's a definite improvement over the situation with the original Milestone, which languished on Eclair until mid-March. Our fingers are crossed for you, Milestone 2 owners!

Source: Motorola Europe on Facebook

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3 years ago

Toshiba Thrive coming to Europe as the AT100

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The Toshiba Thrive has been available stateside for almost two months, and now it seems the Japanese manufacturer is about to let Euros in on the action, too. The chunky Honeycomb tablet has appeared on Toshiba Europe's products website sporting the name AT100-100. There are no references to the Thrive branding specifically, but the specs are an exact match, as is the product image.

If the idea of a larger Android tablet with full USB, SD card and MMC support has your interest piqued, then be sure to read our full review of the American version to find out more.

Source: Toshiba EU; via: Eurodroid

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3 years ago

Android App Review: Barcode Scanner

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This one's a classic, and with 10 to 50 million installs, it should be. Most of you have probably heard of it, but for those who haven't, it's called Barcode Scanner and you're going to want to get it.

Barcode Scanner is pretty straightforward. Open up the app, line up a barcode in between the rectangular viewfinder, and you're off to the races. If you're scanning traditional barcodes, Barcode Scanner will give you price comparisons on whatever product you're looking at as well as user reviews.

What really makes Barcode Scanner something you'll want to download is the fact it scans and reads QR codes. For those who don't know, QR codes are those black-and-white squares found at the end of all of our app reviews. They usually contain data like a text file, or in this case, a link to an app on the Market. Having Barcode Scanner at your disposal means you can just scan the code and get taken to the app in the Market, no searching necessary.

Barcode Scanner also has some cool sharing options. You can send information you scan to someone via a text message or you can share it on any number of networks you've downloaded on your phone. That includes email, bluetooth, or in my case, Google+. It's another simple and intuitive way to get the word out about something you scanned and makes it easy on others trying to access the same information.

Barcode Scanner is completely free to download and totally ad-free as well. It's a small app with no frills about it. You can scan barcodes (and QR codes) and that's about it.

If you've got an Android phone, you probably already have it, but in case you don't, download links and a few more screenshots are after the break.

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3 years ago

Android 3.2 SDK update now available

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Google has made the Honeycomb 3.2 SDK component available for download, as well as an update to the SDK tools, the compatibility package and a new release of the Android NDK.  These tools help developers create new apps using features introduced with the 3.2 update, including optimizations for more tablet types, compatibility zoom for apps that are fixed size, media sync from SD card support, and an extended API for managing screen size (including 720p televisions and similar devices).

The details are all at the Android Developer site, and the updates can be downloaded from within the SDK.  Google seems to be stepping up for Honeycomb development, and we're sure more great apps will follow.

Source: Android Developers

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S II, Photon Blur [From the Forums]

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Wow.. A Samsung Galaxy S II explosion just happened right before our eyes. If you missed it, you can catch up on the blogs post but for sure, hit up the Android Central forums as well for more discussion.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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3 years ago

LG Thrill 4G to finally show up at Radio Shack, will cost $80 on contract and $550 outright

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The LG Thrill 4G, AT&T's version of the Optimus 3D, should be arriving this week in Radio Shack stores across the country according to the flyer you see above.  The good news is that once they arrive, the Shack is able to start selling them right away.  We've seen a few delays with this one, so we'll take a "this week" release date and be thankful for it.  The Thrill will cost you $80 with new contract or a qualifying upgrade, or $550 for those that prefer to stay contract-free and use cash.  If you pick one of these up, be sure to tell us about it in the forums!

Thanks, Anon!

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the Sprint Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch (updated with video)

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After this morning's jump-the-gun leak revealed everything there is to know about the Sprint Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, you probably have a pretty good idea of what the device has in store. Pictures speak louder than words, though, and until you see the Epic 4G Touch in the flesh, you only know half the story. It is an absolutely beautiful device that truly lives up to its name.

To refresh your memory, the Epic 4G Touch has got some major goodies under the hood:

  • 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus display
  • Ultra-thin (9.59mm) design
  • Samsung Exynos 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • Wimax 4G radio
  • Media Hub
  • 8MP rear camera and 2MP front camera
  • Social Hub
  • HD video recording
  • Samsung Kies Air
  • Wifi calling
  • NOVA 2 HD pre-loaded
  • Swype pre-loaded
  • AES-256 internal/external hardware encryption
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Sprint ID
  • Polaris Office
  • Hotspot controls up to eight devices
  • Android 2.3
  • Optional USB Host kit for connection keyboards, cameras, printers and thumb drives
  • Optional HDMI adapter
  • Multimedia and Car docks will be available

Performance on the Epic 4G Touch, from what we can tell, is top of the line. Hiccups are absent and switching between homescreens, opening apps, and multitasking is smooth as can be. And that 4.52-inch Super AMOLED Plus is worth the price of admission ($199 on contract) alone. Colors are crisp, blacks are deep, and viewing angles are superb. There isn't much to say until you see it with your own eyes. Wow. Oh, and one more cherry on top-- The Epic 4G bucks the trend with an LED notification light. A welcome addition to this new crop from Samsung.

Like the rest of the Galaxy S II line, the Epic 4G Touch is thin and incredibly light. It's got the patented Samsung plastic feel, but that has grown on us. Take a gander at the rest of the shots from this evening's event, which should hold you over until the device hits the market on September 16.

Hit the break for the video and more photos.

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3 years ago

Eyes on the T-Mobile Galaxy S II (updated with eyes-on video)

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There's always one kid who comes to class unprepared, and tonight it's T-Mobile. While AT&T and Sprint let us get our grubby hands all over their merchandise, T-Mobile kept their variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II under wraps (a glass cube, to be specific). Why, you ask? Well we did ask, and it appears that big T hasn't officially released full specs, a release date, or even a name for the device. No knock against T-Mobile, really, as we're firm believers in better late than never, especially when it means putting some final touches on an already stunning device.

And you can put money on it being in the same vein as all the other Galaxy S II devices -- with a 4.5-inch Super AMOLED display, dual-core 1.2GHz processor, TouchWiz, and all that jazz. One more pic to whet your appetite is after the break.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with AT&T's Galaxy S II (updated with video)

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Here we have AT&T's Galaxy S II. But seeing as how AT&T's already done a 4.5-inch phone in the Samsung Infuse, it's chosen to scale things down just a smidge with its Galaxy S II. The display is a mere 4.3 inches. But it's made up for losing those two-tenths of an inch with the Super AMOLED Plus display. Side by side with the Samsung Infuse -- which we've come to love and cherish the past few months -- it's a noticeable difference. Blacks are blacker. Colors are more colorful. And where there were once only eight subpixels, there are now 12.

Otherwise, you're pretty much looking at the same ol' Galaxy S II, which is to say you're looking at the thinnest (8.89 mm), lightest smartphone you can find. And it's got AT&T's brand of 4G to boot. More specs? Let's switch to handy bullet point form.

  • 4G – HSPA+
  • Android (2.3 Gingerbread)
  • GSM Quad-band (850/900/1800/1900MHz)
  • UMTS Tri-band( 850/1900/2100MHz)
  • Screen: 4.3” Super AMOLED Plus
  • Processor: 1.2Ghz x 2 (dual core)
  • Camera: 8MP AF with LED flash + 2MP front
  • Video Record: 1080p Full HD
  • HDMI Out: HDMI via HDTV Smart Adapter with HDCP
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Battery: 1650mAh
  • Sensor: Motion UX, 6-axis gyroscope, proximity, light, noise (Audience A2220)

In a word: Sexy. More pics and a video are after the break.

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