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2 years ago

Martian Watches bringing the Notifier, new features to Mobile World Congress


First seen at CES, Martian's latest smartwatch also heading to Europe

The folks at Martian Watches have dropped us a line outlining some of the plans for the company at Mobile World Congress next week in Barcelona. Turns out its latest watch, the Notifier, will be coming to Europe after an introduction in Las Vegas at CES.

In addition to a more global reach for the Notifier, Martian is also going to be demonstrating some additional new features for its existing range of smartwatches. The Martian watches are different to some other smartwatches, in the sense that they look like a regular watch while still offering connected capabilities.

In any case, we're on the ground in force in Spain next week, so keep it locked to Android Central for all the best from the show. If you're curious about the Martian Notifier, head on past the break for a first look from CES with our buddies over at Smartwatch Fans

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2 years ago

ZTE to launch Grand Memo II LTE, show off new MiFavor 2.3 UI at MWC


Few details given, naturally, but we're set to see a brand-new 6-inch device and software suite

Getting out ahead of the impending flood of news out of MWC, ZTE is giving folks a better idea of what it will be showing off at the show in Barcelona. While we don't have all of the specifics just yet (some secrets are better kept until the show), we know ZTE will unveil its latest big device, the Grand Memo II LTE, with a 6-inch screen to replace the aging orginal Grand Memo. It will also show off its latest Firefox OS device, the Open C.

On the software front, ZTE will unveil the latest flavor of its interface for Android, called MiFavor 2.3. No details are given at this point about the new software, but we hope it brings a more unified experience across its devices, as the previous iterations of software have been rather disjointed depending on the phone you were using — even devices that were developed simultaneously.

ZTE already put its biggest devices for the first half of the year on display at CES back in January, so this show will likely be a bit slower for the manufacturer, but it looks like we'll be in for at least a few surprises next week.

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2 years ago

HTC's either about to do something really smart, or really dumb

2 years ago

Here's how Knock Code works on the new LG G Pro 2


LG changed things up a wee bit in 2013 when it introduced "Knock On" — its method of knocking on the display to wake the phone. And once you use it, it's tough to go back. WIth this year's G Pro 2 — which we'll get a look at next week at Mobile World Congress — LG's gone one further, adding some lock screen functionality into it.

Dubbed Knock Code, you'll be able to choose from a number of patterns with which you can unlock your phone. As you can see from this launch-event video from Seoul, the pattern appears to work in multiple locations on the phone, and at different scales. Pretty slick, indeed, and we'll knock to our heart's content next week.

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2 years ago

HTC Desire 8 may be headed to the US


Details tip versions compatible with Sprint and AT&T

We know the HTC Desire 8 is headed to China, super-super camera and all. But it looks like it could be headed stateside, too.

The folks that get this sort of information and early software builds at LlabToofer have uncovered some details that point to compatibility with Sprint and AT&T. There's a very good chance that regional and MVNO carriers, like Virgin Mobile, Boost or Aio could end up carrying the Desire 8 for folks who want a premium-styled midrange device.

Granted, nothing is official here, but the Desire line has seen some life in the states on regional carriers and Virgin Mobile before. Hopefully, we know more at Mobile World Congress when HTC is expected to show us what they have lined up for the first half of the year.

Source: LlabToofer

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Core LTE announced, mid-ranger bound for Europe and Asia


A little under one year ago saw Samsung introduce the Galaxy Core, a mid-range Android with specs from a year prior and a price to match, and today they're following up with the Galaxy Core LTE. Like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Core LTE isn't exactly an overwhelming device, but it's still one that will be adequate — especially in the low-cost markets at which Samsung is targeting the phone.

The Galaxy Core LTE sports a 1.2GHz dual core processor (just like its predecessor) and a 5MP rear camera (just like its predecessor). The visual language has been updated, where the Galaxy Core looked like a smaller Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Core LTE apes the design language of its more powerful bigger brother Galaxy S4.

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia Tablet Z2 tipped for MWC [update: now with image]


Rumored specs include Snapdragon 800, 10.1-inch 1920x1200 display, waterproof design

A full year after the last one, we could soon see the launch of a new Android-powered Sony tablet. Serial leaker @evleaks says the device will pack a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 10.1-inch 1920x1200 "Triluminos" display. Other notables are said to include 16GB of storage, expandable via microSD, 8MP and 2MP cameras, and a 6,000mAh battery. Like its predecessor, the Xperia Tablet Z, the new slate will apparently be super-thin, measuring just 6.6mm (down from the original's 6.9mm) and boast waterproof credentials; on the software side Android 4.4 KitKat is reported.

That's mostly standard high-end Android tablet fare, but the decision to remain at 1920x1200 resolution may raise eyebrows when rivals like Samsung are pushing to the dizzying heights of 2560x1600.

Though it's not explicitly mentioned, it's likely the Xperia Tablet Z2 could debut at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week. MWC was the venue for last year's Tablet Z unveiling, and this year we're also expecting to find out what's next from Sony in the smartphone space.

Update: @evleaks has now shared what is claimed to be a promotional render of the new tablet showing the KitKat UI and a something reminiscent of the original Tablet Z. You'll find it after the break.

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2 years ago

US Cellular's Galaxy S4 to get KitKat on Feb. 19, internal doc shows


Staggered rollout will require valid Google account and WIfi access

Next in line for some crunchy-good KitKat upgrade magic will be US Cellular's Samsung Galaxy S4. The OTA, which they're calling a maintenance release — they just don't understand the power of KitKat, apparently — should start to arrive February 19. Like most things that are good, some will have to wait as this is another staggered rollout. The good news is that 10 days after it starts, everyone should have it. Hooray!

Besides the update to Android 4.4 (we're not exactly sure of the point number here), the Daily Perks and MobiTiles apps will be removed from the operating system. Users who want to continue using either of these apps can find them in Google Play for download and installation, just like they should be. More hooray!

Anyhoo, if you're a USCC customer with a Galaxy S4, you've got one day to get prepared for the OTA if you've hacked your phone to oblivion. You'll need to be on the approved current version, and have all your Google and Samsung ducks in a row. Be sure to holler when you start seeing this one.

Thanks, Anon!

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S5 to have fingerprint scanner, report claims


Swipe style scanner embedded in the physical home button

We're just 7 days away from what we expect to be the grand unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S5, and we're hearing yet more apparent details about the new device. The folks at SamMobile have reportedly got their hands on some juicy inside information that claims there will be a swipe style fingerprint scanner embedded into the home button. Oh, and that there will still be physical buttons.

It's also claimed Samsung's fingerprint scanner will have increased functionality when compared to something like Apple's Touch ID. You'll be able to link up 8 fingerprints, but you can also assign said prints to certain tasks like launching apps. Swipe sensors aren't perhaps as user friendly as the static sensor in Touch ID, perhaps even less so on the home button. But they are secure.

In addition, SamMobile goes on to state there will also be a Personal folder and a Private Mode where you will be able to hide apps and content that can only be accessed by a password or by your fingerprint. Of course, until we see it all for ourselves in 7 days treat it with the usual dose of skepticism, and we'll be live from Barcelona to tell you all you need to know.

Source: SamMobile

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy NotePRO and TabPRO first impressions


The latest entries into the Galaxy tablet lineup deserve the PRO moniker

When the Galaxy TabPRO and Galaxy NotePRO line of tablets was first introduced in Las Vegas last month, it was met with a subdued reception: Samsung, after all, seems to announce tablets in brand new sizes and spec configurations on an increasingly-regular basis, leading critics and consumers alike to dismiss yet another set of Galaxy tablets with an incremental bump in specs. But a closer look at the new PRO line revealed something exciting — this wasn’t just one of Samsung’s run-of-the-mill refreshes, but rather an exciting overhaul of both its Tab and Note lineups. With a fresh new UI, the best spec sheet in the business, and a few new sizes added for good measure, the PRO line just might include some of Samsung’s best tablets to date.

Our Galaxy TabPRO 8.4 and Galaxy NotePRO 12.2 arrived on Saturday, and we spent the snowy weekend curled up getting to know what it takes to be a PRO. We’ll be spending much more quality time with the tablets in the coming weeks, but ahead of our full in-depth review, here are a few of our initial takeaways.

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2 years ago

Koush teases Android mirroring to Chromecast


Flappy Bird on your TV

Now that the Google Cast SDK is out in the open, developers are free to conjure up all kinds of ways to take advantage of Chromecast, Google's inexpensive streaming dongle. And today developer Koushik Dutta, of CyanogenMod and AllCast fame, has teased an implementation of the SDK that enables system-level mirroring of an Android device's screen onto Chromecast.

The minute teaser video shows Chromecast enabled in the Cast screen menu, before hopping into a game or three of Flappy Bird. The mirroring isn't quite instantaneous, but at this early stage it's impressive nonetheless. It's also not quite clear whether this is an upcoming CM feature or a new app, though the former is more likely since we're talking about system-wide mirroring.

Source: +Koushik Dutta

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2 years ago

Healthy Android accessories roundup; enter to win $50 in store credit

Your Android device shouldn't restrain you from your active lifestyle, which is why we're highlighting our favorite fitness items to make your workouts more enjoyable and manageable.

Jump over to the ShopAndroid Blog and see how you can stay in shape with healthy Android accessories and get a chance to win $50 in store credit!

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2 years ago

HTC set to unveil Desire 8 in China on Feb. 24


Name and launch event detailed on HTC's Weibo account

Having leaked out last week, today it seems HTC's next Android device is going to be the Desire 8. The other good news is that it seems those pretty hot looking leaked images are in fact the real deal. It all comes about from a post on the HTC Weibo account in China, talking up a Feb 24. launch event in Beijing.

It also teases a "super-super" camera for the Desire 8, though equally that could be a rough translation. In any case, no specs or other firm details about the phone are available at this time. Purported specs line this up as a giant 5.5-inch mid-range handset, with a 13MP and 5MP combination of cameras – which could account for the "super-super" part.

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2 years ago

PSA: Our wallpaper gallery is back online


A quick heads up for everyone who's been trying to download wallpapers through the wallpaper gallery in our app: We broke things just a bit last week when we upgraded some servers. We've since fixed things, and all should be back to normal.

You don't need to update the app or anything — it'll just work now.

If you've yet to give our app a shot (and, really, what are you waiting for?!?!) you can download it here! Apologies for the down time.

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2 years ago

Huawei launches Ascend Y530 for the UK with new smartphone users in mind


New 'Simple Android Interface' makes things easier for new Android users

Huawei has today introduced its latest entry level offering for the UK, the Ascend Y530. While the specs won't bowl anyone over, Huawei is making a play for the new smartphone user with the inclusion of its new Simple Android Interface. The option to switch to this from the regular Emotion UI is designed to make the phone easier to interact with for those new to Android, or smartphones in general.

Both interfaces are layered on top of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, residing beneath a 4.5-inch 854x480 display. A 1.2GHz dual-core CPU is accompanied by 4GB of onboard storage with microSD card expansion, a 5MP rear camera and a 1700mAh battery.

The biggest issue with the Y530 is its price. At £149.95 it's quite a bit more than you can find a Moto G for these days, and less smartphone for that money. While we'd still recommend Motorola's effort, it is still great to see Huawei offering something attractive to those new to smartphones. It's available to buy now from Argos in black, and will hit Carphone Warehouse in March in black and white. Head on past the break for the full press release.

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