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2 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: What's in my Berlin gear bag

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Welcome to the Labor Day holiday! It's the unofficial end of summer (which, really, for where I am in Florida doesn't come until some time in October) — and for us the official start of the fall silly season. 

I'm headed off to Berlin, Germany, today for the IFA conference — sort of the CES of Europe. It's my first time at IFA and my first time in Berlin, so this should be fun. (And looking at our schedule, it's also going to be the usual ridiculous amount of work.) If you've yet to do so, swing by Alex's IFA 2013 preview for a look at what we're expecting.

And now, following in the footsteps of Alex, Jerry and Andrew, a look at what I'm lugging over there with me:

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2 years ago

Verizon buys out Vodafone's 45 percent interest in the company for $130 billion

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UK company Vodafone has owned a big chunk (45 percent) of Verizon Wireless since 1999, but that is about to change

Verizon has confirmed the rumor that they will be buying all of Vodafone's stake in the wireless division of their company in a $130 billion cash and stock deal that should close by Q1 2014. The deal was unanimously approved by the board of both companies, but still has to be approved by the government and company shareholders.

The executives at both companies are pretty bullish on the deal, and Verizon's Lowell McAdam says:

This transaction will enhance value across platforms and allow Verizon to operate more efficiently, so we can continue to focus on producing more seamless and integrated products and solutions for our customers. We believe full ownership will provide increased opportunities in the enterprise and consumer wireline markets.

In addition to today's news of the Vodafone buyout, Verizon has also announced an increase in the quarterly dividend of 1.5-cents to 53-cents per share. 

With $130 billion about to flow into Vodafone, and Verizon still recording a profit after announcing such an expenditure, it's obvious that the mobile industry is not about to slow down any time soon. See the full press release after the break.

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2 years ago

HTC Butterfly S Hello Kitty edition unveiled

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If the presence of cartoon felines features heavily in your smartphone-buying decision process, then look no further than this, the newly-announced Hello Kitty HTC Butterfly S, unveiled today in Taiwan. Engadget Chinese reports that the cat-centric 5-incher will go on sale in Taiwan only for NT$22,900 ($770) and come with nine matching Hello Kitty wallpapers in addition to the giant kitty face adorning the handset's rear. It's also sold with two Hello Kitty figurines and a transparent case covered in bows and stars.

The handset is being targeted at Taiwanese women, though we suspect that won't stop our own Jerry Hildenbrand from trying to import one of these when they go on sale. Hello Kitty just makes the awesome Butterfly S even awesomer.

So, any takers?

Source: Engadget Chinese, Engadget

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2 years ago

Vector 8: Sascha Segan on the fastest mobile networks

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Vector is Mobile Nation's newest show. It takes the most important topics in technology today, focuses on them from interesting angles, and then discusses the hell out of them. On this episode Sascha Segan, lead mobile analyst at PC Magazine, talks to Rene about the evolution of data connections, the annual Fastest Mobile Networks survey, the triumphs and tragedies of modern carriers, and why we can't always have nice phones.

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2 years ago

Verizon HTC One hands-on and first impressions

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The One we know with a few subtle changes

We're not going to beat around the bush — Verizon is late to the game picking up the HTC One. A full six months after it was announced, and a few months after Verizon indicated that it would get the device eventually, you can finally walk down to your local store and pick one up.

Everyone is pretty familiar with the hardware and software experience on the One at this point, but there are a few differences between this version and the others on sale out there today. Stick with us after the break and see our first impressions of the HTC One on Verizon.

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2 years ago

Acer unveils new Android tablet and all-in-one PC

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24-inch Tegra 3 PC and 10.1-inch budget tablet

Acer's other IFA 2013-related Android announcements come in the form of two new tablet-like devices -- the first a standard, low-cost 10.1-inch slate, the second a full-sized all-in-one PC running Google's OS.

The Acer Iconia A3 runs an unnamed 1.2GHz quad-core Cortex A7 chip with 16 or 32GB of storage, microSD expandability and up to 9 hours of battery life. The tablet's 10.1-inch display is a basic 1280x800-resolution panel, and it also comes with Dolby Digital 5.1 channel surround sound tech. It's slated to hit EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) in October for €249 with Wifi connectivity. A 3G version will arrive the following month for €299.

Next up, the Acer DA241HL is an NVIDIA Tegra 3-powered all-in-one PC running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on a 24-inch 1080p display. A cross between a tablet and a desktop PC, the new "all-in-one" device can use an MHL connection to send content to an external display. Pricing for the device will start at €429 when it launches in mid-October.

Stick with this week for more Android announcements from the IFA show in Berlin.

Source: Engadget (2)

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2 years ago

Acer announces Liquid S2 with 4K video recording

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New Snapdragon 800 phone with 6-inch 1080p display

In yet another pre-IFA, pre-announcement announcement, Acer has taken the wraps off its latest smartphone, the Liquid S2, ahead of a full unveiling at this week's show in Berlin.

The manufacturer claims it's the first smartphone with 4K video recording, a feature enabled by Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 800 processor, though both Sony and Samsung are expected to announce 4K-recording phones later this week. Besides Qualcomm's latest processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, the Liquid S2 packs a gigantic 6-inch 1080p IPS LCD display and a hefty 3300mAh battery.

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2 years ago

What's behind Samsung's IFA products? Aliens

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Samsung's just unveiled its first IFA teaser, revealing the shocking secret behind its upcoming technology. That's right -- Aliens.

Sammy's not giving much away in this slightly nonsensical video, but we'll be live from the Unpacked 2013 event on Sept. 4 to bring you full coverage of the Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear and other announcements, terrestrial or otherwise.

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2 years ago

Is this the Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch?

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Samsung's smart watch leaks ahead of its IFA debut

According to sources at Venture Beat, you're looking at a prototype of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Gear smart watch. It was sent to a trusted partner, who showed it, and a demo video, to Venture Beat.

The watch is said to be about 3-inches diagonally, with an OLED display and a 4MP camera and speakers built into the strap. On the function side, the watch is said to come preloaded with health and fitness applications, which will connect with your Galaxy smartphone (and possibly all Android phones) to be a companion device rather than a stand alone solution. Also included are social integration apps like Twitter and Facebook, and the ability to initiate calls from the watch itself.

Smart watches are nothing new. Motorola has tried and apparently given up (for now) with their Motoactv series, Sony has released several models with limited success, and the Pebble is enjoying a limited, but enthusiastic, user base from fans of wearable tech. With the three giants of the mobile industry — Apple, Google and Samsung — said to be developing smart watches, we expect to see big things this holiday season. 

For more details about today's leak from Samsung, visit the source link below.

Source: Venture Beat

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2 years ago

Seidio Innocell 4500mAh battery for Galaxy Note 2

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A little extra bulk gives you a big boost in battery life

 

The Galaxy Note 2 already packs a pretty sizeable battery, but one of the perks of having a removable cell is the option to upgrade it for a larger one. Whether you're looking for just that extra bit of capacity or want to have a spare for a day when you know you're going to drain the phone, Seidio is offering a 4500mAh replacement that offers extra juice for those who want it.

Hang around after the break to see a few impressions of this extended battery and see how it effects the usability of a device that is already quite large.

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2 years ago

Labor Day Weekend Sale: Save 15% on all Android cases and accessories at ShopAndroid.com!

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In honor of the Labor Day Weekend in the USA and Canada, you, dear Android Central readers, can save 15 percent on all Android accessories this weekend when using coupon code LDW13 at checkout.

They've got tons of cases, batteries, chargers, Bluetooth accessories and more for both so many of the 35,000 (more or less) various Android devices, so be sure to browse around and take advantage of the savings.

If you don't have one yet, be sure to check out the awesome line of Lloyd Gear!

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2 years ago

LG officially announces the G Pad 8.3 tablet, will hit North America later this year

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LG this morning (OK, Saturday evening in much of the world) has announced the already sort-of announced G Pad 8.3 Android tablet. It'll be formally introduced this (next) week at the IFA conference in Berlin

This will be LG's first tablet since the 3D-happy LG Optimus Pad of 2011, which pretty much flamed out alongside every other 3D device that year.

The G Pad sports the aforementioned 8.3-inch display at 1920x1200 resolution (for 273 pixels per inch). That's a little larger than our current favorite, the 2013 Nexus 7, but with a slightly lower pixels per inch — the new Nexus 7 is at 323 ppi.

The G Pad 8.3 is powered by a Snapdragon 600 processor at 1.7 GHz, with the nominal 2GB of RAM thrown in. It's running Android 4.2.2 out of the box, and has a few of the features we're currently enjoying in the companion LG G2 smartphone — namely Knock On (for turning on the display without using the power button), Slide Aside and QSlide. It's got a 4,600 mAh battery powering things.

And we called the new LG G2 a companion phone for a reason. The G Pad 8.3 will truly pair with it. When you receieve a call or message on the phone, it can also appear at the same time on the paired tablet, as part of the QPair app. Same goes for notes. And this feature won't be exclusive to LG devices — it'll work on other Android phones and tablets running Jely Bean.

The G Pad 8.3 will be available in white or black. It'll hit North America, Europe and Asia later this year, starting in the fourth quarter.

We'll get a better look at this guy this (next) week in Berlin. For now, we've got the full presser after the break.

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2 years ago

ASUS teases new Transformer Pad unveiling next week

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Teaser image shows what looks like a new Android tablet to be shown off in 4 days time

ASUS is no stranger to Android tablets, and if this teaser is anything to go by it looks like we might be seeing one in just a few short days. Not much is known other than what we see here, which in the top right hand corner shows what is clearly the standard Android status bar. The "We Transform" moniker would also indicate that we could be looking at a new Transformer Pad device. 

4 days time puts us in Berlin for IFA 2013, but ASUS is not directly exhibiting at the event nor has a press conference scheduled. But, that doesn't necessarily mean the new tablet won't be on show somewhere through a partner, perhaps such as a European carrier. We'll know all next week, but as ever with ASUS tablets, we're interested. 

Source: ASUS (Facebook)

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2 years ago

Apps of the Week: Yahoo! Weather, Fractal, PaperKarma and more!

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See what apps we're using this weekend

It's Saturday, and that means its time for our weekly post where we show off the best apps that the Android Central writers are currently using. Each week we ask the folks here at AC to chime in with a few words about an app that is sticking around on their devices and why it works for them.

This week we're looking at a beautiful way to check the weather, a way to cut down on spam in your (physical) mailbox and a few games to help you pass the time. Hang with us after the break and see how the picks stack up this week.

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2 years ago

Alcatel announces the One Touch S and One Touch Mini

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Alcatel has announced two new Android-powered smartphones in their One Touch Idol line — the One Touch S and the One Touch Mini. The two devices will both launch with Android 4.2, and be offered as Quad-band GSM models for operators the world over. Other specs of note:

One Touch S

  • Bands 1,2,4,5,7 and 8 LTE (will likely vary by model number)
  • 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 HD IPS LCD
  • 8MP 1080p rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB of RAM
  • 4GB of storage with SD card slot

One Touch Mini

  • 4.3-inch 854 x 480 LCD display
  • 5MP 720p rear camera, VGA front camera
  • 1.3GHz dual-core processor
  • 512MB of RAM
  • 4GB or 8GB of internal storage with SD card slot

While very few of us would consider a phone with these specs, at the right price point the new One Touch models could make quite a splash in certain markets. We've no word on price or availability. See the source links for the full details.

Source: Alcatel. One Touch S; One Touch Mini

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