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3 years ago

Sony announces next-gen Exmor RS image sensors for mobile devices

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Sony has announced its next generation of smartphone and tablet image sensors, dubbed 'Exmor RS.' Succeeding the company's current line-up of Exmor R sensors, Exmor RS will utilize a stacked CMOS sensor with a standard RGB coding, compared to earlier models which required additional detectors for white light in addition to red, green and blue.

Expected to make its debut in October, Exmor RS will come in three flavors -- two 8MP units, and a higher-end 13MP unit. In addition, Sony says it's developed new f/2.2 lenses to go with its new image sensors, opening the door to higher-quality HDR (high dynamic range) video recording on mobile devices.

Given the timing of this announcement, we don't expect to see Exmor RS used in any of the Sony phones to be announced at next week's IFA press conference on Aug. 29. instead, we'll be looking for the tech in the next generation of Sony phones in early 2013. But this isn't just big news for Sony fans -- remember that other brands like Samsung and Apple also use Sony camera tech in their leading products.

Source: Sony (Japanese), via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Samsung teases Galaxy Note 2 in IFA preview video

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It's just over a week until we're expecting to see the next Samsung Galaxy Note unveiled in Berlin, Germany. As such, Samsung's ramping up the hype surrounding the upcoming tablet/phone hybrid, today releasing a new teaser video that gives us our first fleeting glimpses of the device, along with a guest appearance from 'Wings of Desire' director Wim Wenders. Not much is being given away, but the new Note is described as "a thin and light thing, which might suggest that the expected increase in screen size hasn't resulted in any extra bulk in other areas.

Check out the full 37-second preview video above. We'll be live from Berlin next Wednesday to bring you full coverage of Samsung's Mobile Unpacked event.

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3 years ago

Droid RAZR HD video tutorials leaked (update - and now they're gone)

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Update: Well, looks like the YouTube account that uploaded the videos has been closed. That's the way it goes with leaks sometimes. 

A few video tutorials have leaked out, very similar to ones we've seen before for other Motorola devices, showing basic functions of using what we presume is the Droid RAZR HD. Although the device isn't actually properly called out as such, it's a pretty safe bet at this point given the design, Verizon branding and timing. Leaks like this line up with what we're assuming will be the launch of the device at a Verizon and Motorola event on September 5th.

The videos are pretty run of the mill, showing off basic functions of the latest Motorola UI over Ice Cream Sandwich -- which looks extremely similar to what we've seen on the Atrix HD. Unfortunately they don't give away much in the way of specs or a look at the rest of the device, but we'll know soon enough. Take a gander after the break at the rest of the videos.

Source: Droid Life

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3 years ago

LG Optimus Vu making its global debut in September with Tegra 3

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LG has announced that its newest flagship phone, the Optimus Vu (see our review), will be available globally in September. It has been available in only Japan and Korea thus far and will see a release next month in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America and then the U.S. sometime this quarter. This news comes on the heels of LG's announcement that they have sold more than 500,000 worldwide already, which is quite impressive. That number will likely see a big increase once it hits more markets this fall.

The Optimus Vu sports a beautiful 5-inch screen, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), 8MP rear-camera, a 1.3MP front-facing camera and 32GB of memory. Also notable is the fact that the international Optimus Vu will run a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU, rather than the dual-core Snapdragon S3 found in the Korean and Japanese variants. It's also likely the international Vu will lose some of its quirkier features, like the slide-out antenna for watching digital TV broadcasts.

If you've been anxiously awaiting the newest phone from LG, this announcement is great news as you'll be able to buy one very soon. Full press release after the break. Will you be first in line? Tell us in the LG Optimus Vu Forum!

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3 years ago

OnLive releases statement about Friday's ownership change (sky not falling)

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The folks at OnLive have reached out this evening, in an attempt to put an end to all the rumors and speculation since Friday's change of ownership. If you weren't paying attention (or were smart enough to ignore rumors), the Internet was filled with accusations, images, and all sorts of general nonsense about OnLive's purchase. That sort of thing isn't good for business, so were glad to see OnLive step forward over the weekend to address some concerns.

The full press release is after the break, but as Android fans there's one very important bullet point -- 

The OnLive Service has been in operation 24/7 without interruption since its launch over two years ago, and is expected to continue to operate smoothly under the new company. All games, products and services remain available, and the company has new product and partnership announcements on the way.

That's good news for the folks at Ouya (full disclosure -- we're a backer) and for the new Visio Co-Star, as well as all of us looking forward to using the service on our devices in the future. Of course, there will be more questions -- there's always more questions -- and the folks at OnLive say they will be addressing those as they arise. Read the press release and Q&A after the break.

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3 years ago

Here are your five lucky Android neon light winners

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Remember when we were giving away five of those killer neon desk lamps shaped like bugdroid last week? Today's the day we announce the winners of what's probably the coolest thing you'll have in your house. After much deliberation the king of the Sea-Monkeys I keep in a Mason jar on the window sill has given me our winners, and here they are. Not really, we use a random number generator, but how cool would it be to have a talking Sea-Monkey king like the one on the box? Anyways, here's your winners.

Congrats ladies and/or gents, keep an eye on the inbox of the e-mail account you used to register for Android Central, because Michelle will be contacting you shortly about redeeming your prize. Let's all congratulate these fine folks, and get ready for the next contest from your pals at AC.

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Discussions with devs; CM10 nightlies; Kate Upton, where were you?

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No rest for the weary, so here are a few quick hits to start the week:

  • Developers rock: A late-night quip on Google+ about how there are some good Android apps with horrible scrolling has turned into a pretty awesome discussion about how things work. My point is that scrolling is one of those basic things that most of us (at least those of us who don't code for fun or money) take for granted, but it's also more difficult to do well than you'd think. The developers of Carbon and Tweet Lanes weigh in. (And you get some insight into what's taking Carbon so long to be release, if you're curious.) Check out the whole thread here.
  • CM10 nightlies: Remember me? The guy too busy to put anything custom on his Galaxy Nexus, a process that takes all of 10 minutes? Well, I just slapped the first CyanogenMod 10 onto the Verizon Galaxy S3. Only took three flashes back to stock (thanks, Odin!). Guess I'm a little out of practice. I've used the New TouchWiz for a month or so now. It's been a while since I've run a CM ROM. The biggest thing I'm missing thus far is a good camera app. Samsung's just has far more features. (So do all the manufacturers' camera apps, actually.) It's only been a day, but overall, I"m liking what I'm seeing.
  • Google Play gift cards: Finally! This is a big deal, folks. Because the music labels and movie and television studios presumably are involved, this couldn't have been simple as ginning up some redeemable codes and putting them in stores. Let's just hope things don't go sour after someone thought it was a good idea to share how to redeem codes that you're not supposed to yet have in the first place. Unzipping a Google Play apk to see what's what is one thing. Telling folks how to purchase things with money they're not yet supposed to have access to to is another thing entirely and crosses a line.
  • The other Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 event: Apparently our invitation to the second GNote 10.1 event was lost in the mail. Don't get us wrong, it was a fine press event. I just think Samsung missed a golden opportunity to have some bloggers teach those models and celebrities a thing or two. That and Kate Upton kept texting, asking us where we were.
  • The NFL returns: Preseason sucks, but, man, I can taste it.

TTFN. It's back to work I go.

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia SL gets official - 1.7GHz Snapdragon S3, coming in four colours

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After numerous leaks, Sony's Xperia SL (LT26ii) -- a refreshed version of the Xperia S -- is now listed as "coming soon" on the company's website. The site listing confirms earlier rumors that the phone's Snapdragon S3 CPU has been clocked to 1.7GHz (up from 1.5GHz), and that two new colors, grey and pink, will be available in addition to the Xperia S's black and white. On the software side, the Xperia SL comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, so you won't need to worry about applying any updates when you first start the phone up.

We imagine the Xperia SL will be joined by a wide range of other Sony Xperia phones at the company's IFA press conference on Aug. 29. Naturally, we'll be live in Berlin to bring you full coverage.

Source: Sony, via: Engadget

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3 years ago

Huawei P1 to be 'enhanced' as it arrives on UK shores

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We have only just got first UK availability of the Huawei Ascend P1 -- read our full review here -- but according to the fellas at Coolsmartphone it might just be about to get some improvements.

By the time it gets into UK Android fan hands, the P1 will definitely qualify as a mid-range handset. A dual-core device living in a quad-core world, but it doesn't mean it isn't a perfectly capable smartphone. Apparently the UK version is to be given a more "premium" feel -- whatever that entails -- and the battery will actually be an 1800mAh powerplant. Not the 1670mAh we saw in our review unit and in the one listed for sale at Clove Technology. Considering we already spoke pretty highly of battery life on the P1, an additional bit of juice can be no bad thing. 

Source: Coolsmartphone

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3 years ago

Sprint Motorola Photon Q available today for $199

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Just a quick heads up that the Sprint Motorola Photon Q is available today for $199 with a two-year contract. If you've yet to do so (slacker), be sure to check out our hands-on with the Photon Q (we'll have a more thorough review this week), but already it's shaping up to be a solid slider from Moto, with Ice Cream Sandwich and a new UI.

It's also important to remember that this is a world phone, so you business types who have been longing for something with a keyboard that'll work outside the states have something new to consider. And it's also worth noting that the Photon Q is the first to take advantage of Motorola's new bootloader unlocking tool -- a tool of which we've already availed ourselves -- so you hacker types can have your way with it, too.

So ... who's buying?

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3 years ago

Snapshot: Verizon Galaxy S3 captures lightning strikes [from the forums]

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That the Samsung Galaxy S3 has a great camera is hardly a secret. But just how fast is that burst mode? Android Forums member BasPilot says he took nearly 2,000 pics of a recent storm in burst mode and got 25 or so good ones. Never mind the percentage on that one. Any good photog knows to just keep shooting. (This is the digital age, after all.)

Even better is that BasPilot's sharing a few of his captures in the forums. Hit the link below to check 'em out.

More: Caught Lightning in Action

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3 years ago

Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Student Edition Bundle goes on sale tomorrow for $250

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Samsung will be offering the special Student Edition Bundle of the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 in select stores tomorrow. For $250 you'll be able to buy an Ice Cream Sandwich powered, 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2 (the 8GB version in a limited white color), a keyboard dock, and a USB adapter from Best Buy, Tiger Direct, Fry's Electronics, Amazon, or Costco. The keyboard dock and USB adapter will bring more functionality to the tablet, and Samsung is also including an insert of recommended education applications available at Google Play. This offer will only be available until September 1.

The price of this package is a hundred dollar savings over buying the individual pieces, so it's worth a look if you need a tablet with a keyboard. Of course, there is another 7-inch option out there in the Nexus 7, but the Tab 2 7.0 does offer an SDcard slot, IR blaster, and a rear camera. We just like to see all the different choices. Samsung's press release is after the break.

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3 years ago

Apps of the Week - 1Weather, Steam, Perfect Viewer and more!

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Another week in the books and that means yet another chance for us to show you all some of our favorite applications. While some may be fun, others a bit more practical, they all serve a purpose, and rock at doing so. Let's hit the break and check out some of our favorites from this week!

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3 years ago

Sprint ready to offer up to $400 in-store credit to certain customers?

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It looks like Sprint really wants your business, to the sum of a potential $400 in-store credit to be had for activating three lines on their Everything Data Share or Simply Everything Data plans. Said credit is then to be available to use towards the purchase of "qualifying devices," whichever they may be. 

A 2-year deal will be required -- as you would expect -- and all lines must be active a minimum of 60 days. The qualifying period is set to start in stores only tomorrow, Aug 19, running through September 15. 

As with all offers, there looks to be some fine print, a few caveats. Qualifying devices appear to be only phones. Tablets, accessories and portable hotspots look to be right out. And, if the device you're getting using the credit is eligible for a mail-in rebate, you won't get that on top. Can't have everything, after all. The credit has to be used in full at the time of purchase too. 

The definite catch though, is that one line must be transferred from another carrier, and one that isn't affiliated with Sprint such as Virgin or Boost Mobile. Sprint definitely wants your business, but they also want new business. 

All this comes from a leaked flyer, so it's not exactly 100% concrete. But, if it sounds like your kind of deal, maybe head into a local Sprint store tomorrow. See what's going on. 

Source: Phonearena

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3 years ago

Android Central international round-up - August 18, 2012

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As it often is, Samsung was the focus of much of the last week’s international Android news. The Korean manufacturer finally announced and released its Galaxy Note 10.1, an Android 4.0 tablet with a quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM and a Wacom-powered stylus. We were live at the launch event, and we’ve got a hands-on preview of the device for you to take a look over.

Elsewhere, we had two Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean leaks in quick succession. Early, but official Samsung firmware for the international S3 (GT-i9300) leaked out on Thursday, followed by a more recent build on Friday. Rumors suggest that Sammy may announce Jelly Bean for the Galaxy S3 alongside the Galaxy Note 2 at its pre-IFA press conference on Aug. 29. Based on what we’ve seen so far, we certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

This week also saw the first wave of Galaxy Note 2 rumors, with some believably -- and not-so-believable -- images of the upcoming Note successor showed up online. The first photo, leaked to a French blog, claimed to show the phone’s front panel and screen -- a 5.5-inch 16:9 aspect ratio display with a gap below for a Galaxy S3-style clicky button. This was followed later in the week by a couple of renders we’re all sure are fake.

What we now know isn't fake, however, is the long-rumored black version of the Galaxy S3 -- that was confirmed as being real by two different retailers this week. The black S3 is said to be launching around early October with 64GB of internal storage on-board.

Expect more IFA leakage over the next seven days, in the run up to one of Europe’s biggest tech shows. We’ll be live in Berlin to bring you full IFA coverage the week after.

Check out some of the weeks’ biggest international Android stories below. If you’ve got news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

Special features:

News:

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