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4 years ago

SGP Crumena Leather Pouch for Samsung Galaxy S3 review

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Traditional phone cases are all well and good, but sometimes you just want something that'll protect your device when it's in transit, or in a bag or pocket with other items. For that kind of protection, it's hard to beat a good old-fashioned leather pouch, such as SGP's Crumena pouch for the Samsung Galaxy S3.

This is a snug-fitting pouch for the Galaxy S3 (international and U.S. versions) that protects it from scuffs and scrapes, and includes a cut-out area for the microphone so as to not to mask the sound of ringtones and notifications. To remove the phone, simply pull on the magnetic tab, and it'll rise out from the case -- and it's that magnet which helps to secure the device in place. And as the pouch is designed to be loaded with the headphone jack at the top, you can easily listen to music on your S3 while it's loaded inside the case.

The outside of the case is furnished in leather, which gives it a soft, yet sturdy feel. On the inside, there's a soft coating to help protect the screen and glossy back of the device. Overall, it's well-built, and ideal for S3 owners looking for occasional protection while their phone's in a backpack or handbag.

The SGP Crumena Leather Pouch for the Samsung Galaxy S3 is currently available in brown from ShopAndroid.com, priced $29.99. Black and white versions are coming soon, and are available to pre-order.

We've got more photos after the break.

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4 years ago

Rovio announces Bad Piggies - swine-centric, slingshot-free action begins Sept. 27

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Following a recent teaser, Angry Birds creator Rovio has officially announced the next chapter in the popular game series -- Bad Piggies. Featuring the infamous pigs from the Angry Birds games, the nature of Bad Piggies' gameplay remains a unknown, though the developer promises that there won't be a "slingshot in sight." Bad Piggies is due to launch on Sept. 27 on Android, iOS and Mac, with PC, Windows 8 and Windows Phone versions following shortly thereafter.

“There’s a lot of empathy towards the lovable enemies from the Angry Birds games, and we’ve been constantly asked: what about the pigs’ side of the story?” said Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio. “Bad Piggies gives you the chance to play as the second-most-loved characters in the Angry Birds universe, and explore this rich world through their green eyes.”

Rovio's sure to launch more teaser videos to keep the hype buzzing over in the weeks ahead, so chances are we'll learn more about this swine-centric sequel before long. Let us know what you think in the comments -- are you up for a fresh take on the avian-versus-boar dynamic? Or with so many existing spin-offs, have both pig and bird already jumped the shark?

Source: Rovio

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Stellar announced for Verizon

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Alongside the LG Intuition, Verizon also announced the Samsung Galaxy Stellar today. We had caught a glimpse of this mid-range phone at Best Buy not too long ago. Though it's not exactly a powerhouse, the Samsung Galaxy Stellar packs LTE connectivity, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, which is nothing to sneeze at considering the pricetag. 

The Samsung Galaxy Stellar lands on Verizon's online store this Thursday for free after a two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate. Full specs and press release after the jump. 

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4 years ago

Verizon getting 5 inches of Android in the LG Intuition on Sept. 6 for $199

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It's not all that much of a surprise at this point, but it finally is official. Verizon this morning announced that it'll carry the LG Intuition, the U.S. carrier's version of what the rest of the world knows as the LG Optimus Vu. The Vu, as you know from our full review, was LG's answer to the Samsung Galaxy Note, which ushered in the 5-inches-plus era of Android smartphones. The Intuition/Vu did so in a unique way, however, with a 4:3 aspect ratio, giving the whole thing a much more square feel than traditional smartphones.

The Intuition will launch with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, be we imagine it'll end up with a Jelly Bean update at some point.

It'll be available online Sept. 6 and in stores Sept. 10 for $199 on contract.

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4 years ago

New Sony Xperia phones get tentative eurozone pricing

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The first European pricing information for Sony's new Xperia T, Xperia V and Xperia J smartphones has come to light, as several German retailers have put the devices up for pre-order. According to online stores Idealo and notebooksbilliger, the high-end Xperia T is listed with a €549 price tag, while the LTE-enabled Xperia V will set you back €580. Meanwhile, the budget-focused Xperia J will apparently sell for €265. These prices roughly equate to £450 for the T and £210 for the J for British consumers (with no LTE networks in the UK, it's unlikely we'll get the Xperia V at all). These are also SIM-free prices, so as ever, if you pick one of these up with a contract, you can expect to pay considerably less.

We've already seen one UK retailer report SIM-free pricing for the Xperia J, and with a SIM-free pre-order price of £190, Clove's pricing closely matches what we're seeing from these German retailers.

Pre-order prices are always subject to change, but with so many retailers reporting the same RRP, it's likely the final pricing won't stray too far from that mark. Sony's new Xperia phones are expected to appear from tomorrow, Sept. 5, starting at UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse.

Source: XperiaBlog

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia T appears in promo shot with AT&T branding

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Last week we learned all about Sony's new flagship smartphones at IFA 2012, however there was nothing offered in the way of U.S. release information. Today that may have changed, as the Sony's new international flagship, the Xperia T, has appeared in a promotional photo bearing AT&T's globe logo.

The image comes from UK retailer Phones4U, which has published it alongside a number of shots of the European Xperia T. That phone has Sony's Xperia branding under the screen, while the final promotional image swaps it out for the U.S. carrier's logo. Also of note is the back of this AT&T Xperia T, which is split up into three segments. On the international version, which we saw at IFA last week, the phone's back panel is smooth, with no dividers at the top or bottom. One possible reason for this design change might be to enable 4G LTE connectivity.

In any case, we've reached out to AT&T for comment, and we'll update this post with any info they provide.

Source: Phones4U; Thanks, Paolo!

​More: Hands-on with Sony's latest at IFA

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4 years ago

HTC Desire X gets SIM-free pricing in the UK

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The first pricing information for HTC's new Desire X has become available over at an online UK-based retailer. Clove Technology is now listing the Desire X for pre-order with a SIM-free price of £228 inc. VAT (£190 exc. VAT). The phone, which is offered in "stealth black" and "neutral white," is expected to begin shipping in Europe later this month.

As we discovered during our hands-on time with the HTC Desire X, it's a nicely balanced mid-range smartphone, with a few outstanding features, including a 5MP BSI rear camera a sharp SuperLCD display and a dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU. Around the £200 mark, you'll be hard pushed to find a similarly-spec'd device, and HTC's Sense 4 remains one of our favorite Android UIs.

More pre-order info can be found at the source link. If you're still on the fence about the Desire X, be sure to check out our hands-on coverage of the phone from IFA 2012.

Source: Clove

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4 years ago

TVCatchup app leaves beta, joins Google Play Store

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After a fairly lengthy beta test period, UK TV streaming service TVCatchup has graduated its Android app from beta, and launched it on the Google Play Store. The app, like the TVCatchup website, allows license fee-paying Brits to watch live online streams of many of the country's free-to-air TV channels -- currently over 50, the app claims. We've been using the app throughout its beta test phase, and we've found it to be just as reliable as the website.

Note that you'll need to be in the UK to download this app, and that it won't work if you're not on a UK ISP or mobile network. Also, if you want to stay on the right side of the law, you'll need to hold a TV license to view live broadcasts.

With that out of the way, Brits can head to the Google Play link above to download TVCatchup for Android. It's free and ad-supported, and you'll need a phone or tablet running at least Android 2.2.

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4 years ago

Sony releases binaries to support JBQ AOSP project

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Last month Google’s Android Open Source Project lead Jean-Baptiste Queru (JBQ) announced the launch of an “experimental” project to bring the latest open-source Android to the Sony Xperia S (LT26). Sony quickly confirmed its support of the project, and today it’s followed through with the release of closed-source binaries to allow the project to continue. These are blobs of compiled code (e.g. graphics firmware) that cannot be open-sourced, but which must be built in advance in order for any AOSP build to work on Xperia S hardware.

In addition, Sony has reaffirmed its commitment to open-source Android “and the innovation it brings.” The company says that with the help of the proprietary files that have been provided, it expects the AOSP build should be capable of booting up and reaching the home screen.

The binaries are available to download from Sony’s developer world site at the source link. While the binaries won’t be of any use to custom ROM enthusiasts, they just might result in the quicker arrival of more stable AOSP builds for the Xperia S. There’s a long way left to go before Xperia S owners will be able to download and build open-source Android for their devices, but this is an important step along the way. We’ll be watching with interest in the months ahead.

Source: Sony Developer World

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4 years ago

Rovio teases next installment in Angry Birds saga, something PIG is coming

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Rovio Mobile has released a teaser trailer for what will be the next installment in the Birds v Pigs saga. Only this time, it looks like the boot is on the other foot. Something PIG is coming. 

Otherwise, we don't get to see much. There's no hints on potential gameplay, release date, anything at all. After such a long old time though, it looks like it's time for the little green pigs to fight back.

Source: Badpiggies via iMore

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Laboring away on Labor Day

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So today's the Labor Day holiday here in the states, which I'm told celebrates people who work by giving them a day off. It's also the unofficial end of summer (though here in Florida, that usually doesn't happen until sometime in October), and the signal that school's about to start for many. So with that, a few Labor Day thoughts:

  • Back to that school thing for a second. Kids are going to be walking to the bus stop. They're not paying attention to you. You're in a hurry, possibly with your own kids in the back seat. Leave your damn phone alone. If you still can't help yourself, there are a number of apps to treat you like a grade-schooler to lock it out while your car's moving. Sprint and AT&T have been champions of that for a while now. But above all, put down the phone.
  • Fun fact: There's an HTC One XC and One XT, Chinese variants, both. I didn't know that.
  • Alex and Richard killed it at the IFA conference in Berlin last week. (And I'm still a little jealous that I didn't go.) My highlights? No surprise, really -- the Samsung Galaxy Camera and Galaxy Note 2. Can't wait to play with them. Catch up on all the IFA news here.
  • It's smartphone hell week this week. Or tech heaven, depending on how you look at it. We've got the Motorola-Verizon event in New York, the Amazon event in California, a Sony event in London, some other stuff going on, plus our pals at WP Central have a Nokia-Microsoft thing laid on. This is going to be a good (long) week.
  • Oh, and I'm in New York City this week on HTC's dime for the second Frequencies event, for some more candid conversation with some of the top names in tech journalism. (Seriously, it's humbling to be in this group). If you've got anything you want me to pass on, leave a note in the comments. (But, no, I won't be asking them about ICS for the Thunderbolt. HTC knows it's late.)
  • And believe it or not, this is just the start of an unusually busy fall season. We've got the fall CTIA event coming up in a little more than month. It's been renamed "MobileCon" (from "Apps & Enterprise"). Not sure if that'll make it any more worth the trip (last year was pretty slow), but, hey, it's the job. I also can already taste the tacos in San Diego. Nom.

That's enough for now. It's a holiday, after all. See y'all on the flip side.

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4 years ago

First signs of SIM free pricing emerge for Sony Xperia J

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We've already had the first wave of information on when the new Sony devices announced at IFA will be available, but any information on price is still somewhat lacking. At least one British retailer has tagged a price on the entry-level Xperia J, despite not being able to offer it themselves until October. 

Clove Technology has come out and priced the Xperia J at £190, but will not have stock available until late October. This is a little after the September 5 release date previously supplied by other retailers, but it's the first indication we've received of a UK RRP for the new device. 

Clove also intends to stock the full range of colors for the Xperia J, but notes that the first units will only be available in black or white. 

Source: Clove Blog

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4 years ago

Why the Samsung Galaxy Camera makes perfect sense

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While much of the buzz leading up to last Wednesday’s Samsung Mobile Unpacked event focused on the Galaxy Note 2, it could be argued that the real star of the show was the Galaxy Camera, Sammy’s new Android-powered point-and-shoot. Sure, the Note 2 is an impressive piece of kit, but it is essentially an incremental upgrade of a device we already know. The Galaxy Camera, on the other hand, could represent the future of point-and-shoots, or an entirely new class of product altogether.

There’s been much talk of Samsung the copycat over the past month or so, but the Galaxy Camera is an example of the Korean manufacturer using its experience in multiple product categories to introduce something really new. Like the original Galaxy Note, it’s a new spin on an existing category of device that’s just crazy enough to succeed. And if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Read on to find out why.

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4 years ago

Eyes on the new Hisense Pulse Google TV set-top box

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Officially unveiled prior to the annual IFA 2012 show in Berlin, Hisense were on hand at the show in to demonstrate their first Google TV box for the first time. The Pulse as it goes by name, is the latest product of a Google TV partnership, and packs a potentially killer feature. Its price. Like the low priced competitor, Vizio Co-Star, the Pulse is priced to move at just $99. But, even at such a low price point, it still needs to deliver the goods. Whilst on the ground in Berlin, we tracked down the Pulse and took a first look at this latest entrant into the Google TV arena. 

In terms of hardware, the Pulse is a rather un-assuming black box to look at. It's relatively small though, and should fade into a front room set up with very little effort. It won't stand out, but it won't look out of place either. It's all glossy plastic, which doesn't give off the impression of a high quality product, but at $99 we wouldn't really expect that much more. The expected ports are all present, a solitary USB port on one side of the box, with the HDMI, ethernet and power sockets all on the rear. Also to be found on the rear is a connector for an IR blaster.

The Remote too doesn't exactly strike the same impression as that of a high end TV, but importantly it offers full functionality. On one side is a full QWERTY keyboard packed with rubber keys. Typing isn't too difficult, the keys feel just like a regular old TV remote. There seems to be ample space between keys so as to avoid hitting the wrong ones. 

Flipping round to the main side of the remote, we're treated to a bevy of controls and a touch sensitive trackpad. The trackpad is quite small though, and we had some definite troubles using it to zoom in whilst using Google Chrome. This could have been -- and likely was -- an issue with Chrome though, as it seemed relatively responsive when being used to direct the on screen cursor. 

The remainder of the keys are pretty much standard Google TV fare, although the Pulse Remote does have dedicated buttons for YouTube and for Netflix. 

A quick look at the performance of the device highlights similar issues reported from early purchasers of the Vizio Co-Star. It isn't massively smooth in some areas, and when navigating around the menus there was some noticeable lag. In particular, Google Chrome seemed pretty slow to respond. However,  we shouldn't forget that this is a trade show with pre-release hardware and software the norm. 

All in all though the Pulse isn't a bad little box. It will be launching in the U.S. sometime during the fall, but Hisense did confirm to us that they have every intention of bringing the Pulse to Europe in 2013. As Google TV is still in its infancy on European shores, a set-top box in this price category could be what's needed to give it a little kick start. 

Be sure to check out our photo gallery of the Hisense Pulse after the break.

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