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3 years ago

Fresh Galaxy Note 8.0 photos emerge showing S Pen, software

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Just a day after we got our first look at the Galaxy Note 8.0 in leaked spy shots, a couple more photos of the 8-inch tablet have emerged online. Today's pics come via French Android community Frandroid, showing apparently the Note 8.0 alongside its 5.5-inch sibling, the Galaxy Note 2. As with yesterday's images, we see a tablet with a curved design and a phone-style three-button setup on the bottom bezel instead of traditional on-screen keys. And this time around we get to see the larger "S Pen" stylus, which was docked away in yesterday's images.

Yes, there's also an earpiece up top for making calls, as we saw in yesterday's shots. But that's nothing new -- 7-inch Samsung tablets have been doing that since the original 2010 Galaxy Tab.

Today's pics reveal a little more about the device's software. Unsurprisingly, the Note 8.0 is running Samsung's TouchWiz UI, but it also seems to be using a "phone-style" launcher, similar to the direction taken with the stock tablet launcher in Android 4.2 -- which this device is rumored to be running. The presence of floating windows suggests that Samsung's included its multi-window tech in the Note 8.0, too. In addition, we can also clearly see a notification bar up top in both shots.

Samsung's expected to make the Note 8.0 all officially official at Mobile World Congress at the end of February. Leaked spec sheets suggest we can expect similar internals to the Galaxy Note 2 -- a 1.6GHz Exynos 4 Quad CPU, 2GB of RAM and 16 and 32GB storage options, expandable via microSD slot. Stick with Android Central for full coverage of the Note 8.0 and other Samsung devices at MWC, and be sure to check out our latest podcast for more discussion on this device.

Source: Frandroid

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3 years ago

Samsung announces Galaxy Xcover 2, new ruggedized mid-range phone

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Following some brief leakage earlier this week, Samsung has announced the Galaxy Xcover 2, a new ruggedized mid-range phone running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. As the name suggests, it’s a follow-up to last year’s Galaxy Xcover, and it comes packing IP67-rated water and dust resistance.

Hardware-wise, we’re looking at a dual-core 1GHz CPU running the show, with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD slot. The screen’s a 4-inch WVGA (800x480), and there’s an 5MP rear camera and a VGA front-facer. (A dedicated camera key is also included.)

As ruggedized smartphones go, the Xcover 2 brings some interesting hardware and design chops, and the fact that it’s running an up-to-date version of Android should result in a pretty good user experience, too. Today’s announcement doesn’t specify any release date, but earlier leaks have suggested it could be out as soon as next month. 

We've got more images after the break.

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3 years ago

Android Central 123: Giant fake phones?

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Audio-only stream below

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is coming, Samsung says, but are recent leaked pictures real? Plus, HTC leaks, the state of the Nexus, and your e-mails and voicemails.

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3 years ago

HTC announces Desire U, 4-inch mid-range device for Taiwan

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HTC has just quietly rolled out a spec page for a new device, the mid-range Desire U, targeted at the Taiwan market. Falling in line design-wise with the rest of the recent "One" and "Desire" devices, the Desire U has a smooth plastic body and rounded edges with a classy looking circle design that accents the back plate. On the inside, this device is clearly lower end, with a 1GHz processor, 4GB of (expandable) storage, 512MB of RAM and a 480x800 (WVGA) display. The U has a 1650mAh battery, which should give a good bit of life for a device with these specs.

The device is a Taiwanese listing, so the frequencies on this device are set up for that market -- 900 and 2100MHz HSPA along with 900, 1800 and 1900MHz GPRS/EDGE. No one is likely to import this, but with a striking design and acceptable specs, this low-ranger may do well in specific markets. We're finding unlocked pricing of about $275, which is quite competitive.

Source: HTC (translated)

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3 years ago

Samsung's Q4 2012 financial earnings: "We made lots of money"

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Samsung has announced their financial results for the last quarter in 2012, and they beat all estimates -- even their own. The electronics group posted an operating profit of 8.84 trillion Won ( that's about 8.27 billion US dollars), on 56.06 trillion Won (about 52.45 billion US dollars) in revenue. That's a 10-percent increase in profit over the Q3 2012 earnings, and almost a 90-percent jump year-over-year. Total profits for 2012 came in at 29.05 trillion Won (about 27.2 billion US dollars), on a total revenue of 201.10 trillion Won (approximately 188.15 billion US dollars). In addition, Samsung spent 2.96 trillion Won (about 2.76 billion US dollars) on research and development over the quarter.

That's a whole lot of cash.

Of course, much of this profit comes from smartphone sales, and with Samsung that means Android. By getting product into the hands of people who want it, Samsung has made more money from Android in one quarter than Google did with all their products and services. We don't see this slowing down anytime soon, and imagine a new crop of Samsung mobile products will set the stage for similar numbers next year. Hit the link for the full financial results.

Source: Samsung (pdf)

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3 years ago

iPhone continues to dominate AT&T; the rest is Android?

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AT&T has just posted its Q4 2012 earnings, showing strong growth in both wireless and wireline businesses. We'll be focusing here on the wireless business, naturally, so let's get right into the notable points:

Some 10.2 million smartphones were activated in the final three months of the year, the carrier said. Of that, 8.6 million were iPhones. AT&T didn't break down how much of the remaining 16 percent of sales were Android phones, but it did mention that our fare platform had its best-ever quarter. 

More of the financial stuff is after the break.

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3 years ago

Intel introduces the Yolo, a low-cost Android smartphone heading to Kenya

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Intel, partnering with Safaricoma Kenyan based provider, has announced a new smartphone, the Yolo, headed to African markets. Back at CES, Intel took to the stage to introduce Lexington, which is their new processor targeted at emerging markets. The Yolo is the first smartphone to have that chip and looks positioned to make quite an impact in emerging markets.

The Intel Yolo will contain:

  • 3.5-inch screen (320 x 420)
  • 1.2GHz processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • 4GB internal storage
  • micro-SD slot that supports up to 32GB
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Android 4.04 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 5MP camera

The specs are low to mid-range because that's what this phone is aimed at. Intel wants to make a real push in emerging markets and the Yolo looks poised to do just that. Kenya will be the first market in Africa to get the phone, but we're betting that we'll see it in other markets soon. The phone will cost Ksh 10,999, which is about $125.It will also come bundled with 500MB.

Source: Intel; Techweez

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3 years ago

Leaked press image of forthcoming Huawei Ascend P2 emerges ahead of MWC unveiling

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This press image obtained by @evleaks claims to be the next high end offering from Huawei. Following on from the Ascend D2 which first launched at CES, the Ascend P2 that we see here is also reportedly joining the 1080p display club. Only, unlike the D2 which comes in at 5 inches, the P2 display is reported to be just 4.5 inches with on-screen buttons. 

Leaks of recent Huawei devices have proved pretty accurate, so while the usual rumor tag applies here too, there's plenty of cause to believe this is what we'll be seeing from Huawei in Barcelona next month at Mobile World Congress.

The P2, besides the display, is also reported to contain an in-house built 1.8GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13MP camera and a pretty hefty 3000mAh battery. Software is said to be Jelly Bean, with no indication as to which version.  If it all pans out, it's clear to see that Huawei didn't just leave their big guns in Las Vegas. How much is true remains to be seen, but we'll be live from Barcelona next month to take a look at whatever it is that Huawei brings. 

Source: @evleaks (Unwired View)

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3 years ago

Preorder now: The Lloyd Flex Case for the Galaxy S3!

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You wanted it, we've got it. Behold the Lloyd Flex Case for the Samsung Galaxy S3, available for preorder now from ShopAndroid.com. This TPU-style case is made from shock-absorbent and scratch-resistant material, perfect for protecting your precious GS3 from damange and dings. Plus it's slim and lightweight (unlike the lovable Lloyd that graces the back of the case), and it wraps all the way around the phone, to keep the display from hitting the tablet face-down.

It's available in four colors -- black (seen here), clear, smoke and green -- for $14.95 each. (That's 25 percent off, by the way.)

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3 years ago

Skype update adds portrait calling on tablets, rest of the app locked in landscape

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The latest update to Skype improved the UI and added a much asked for feature in portrait calling, but unfortunately the rest of the app is locked in landscape. The portrait calling seemed like a no-brainer fix, especially considering many smaller tablets -- like the Nexus 7 -- have camera setups meant for portrait orientation. The unfortunate bug (or at least we hope it's a bug) is that for now the rest of the UI is locked into landscape orientation. This means that browsing your contacts and initiating calls is all in landscape, then you have to rotate the tablet to hold the call.

Overall the new UI is great and pretty well mirrors the styling of the phone UI, but the perpetual landscape really puts a damper on things. Let's hope Skype pushes out a new update to add back in the portrait support, and in the meantime we can at least enjoy portrait video calls.

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3 years ago

T-Mobile Galaxy S2 receiving small OTA update, still ICS for now

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The T-Mobile version of the Galaxy SII (S2) is receiving an update today, either via OTA or Samsung Kies, that keeps the device on Android 4.0.4 but brings a few needed fixes. The update, which can bring you to baseband version T989UVLI1 or T989UVLH1, is just 11MB when downloaded OTA and has a few fixes on board. Apparently a Qualcomm fix is included, along with other security enhancements and Vlingo S Voice improvements.

When first seeing that an update was available for the Galaxy S2 we instantly jumped to conclusions, thinking that this may be the Jelly Bean update. The update started rolling out for the international S2 yesterday, but unfortunately T-Mobile's model is on ICS for just a while longer. Have you received the update via OTA or Kies? Head to the forums and chime in, as some users are already reporting seeing the update arrive on their devices.

Source: T-Mobile Support; More: T-Mobile Galaxy S2 Forums

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3 years ago

Ouya announces new controller with improved design based on feedback

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Taking a whole boatload of feedback into consideration, the Ouya team has made several notable improvements to its controller. Developers that have had their hands on the consoles for a few weeks have started to give their recommendations back as to how the controller could be improved, and the team is taking it all to heart.

First, the D-pad on the controller has switched from a "disc" to more traditional "cross" layout, which should help prevent accidental movements. The thumbstick caps have been redesigned to give more grip, and the touchpad area has better sensitivity now. The triggers have been improved as well, and are now more flush with the body of the controller. And last but not least, the battery compartment has been redesigned for a tighter fit, and some materials will be changed out for higher quality ones by the time the final units ship.

Those are some notable improvements, changing basically all of the input surfaces on the controller. Ouya seems committed to delivering a high quality product to consumers, so let's hope this all comes through in the end.

Source: Ouya

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3 years ago

Out of stock: T-Mobile's Nexus 4 inventory lasts about a day

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Can't say this is much of a surprise: A day after T-Mobile put the Nexus 4 back up for sale on its website, it's being listed as out of stock. TMo managed to keep it up for sale longer than just about anyone at this point, though, so we're not going to ding it too badly here.

On the other hand, that takes another major retailer off the table at a time when even Google still can't sell its flagship phone.

Source: T-Mobile; Thanks, Frank!

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3 years ago

G Cloud Backup isn't made by Google, but does a pretty good job at backing up your Android device

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Don't let the name confuse you, this isn't another app from Google. Despite the tenuous naming link, G Cloud Backup is made by a developer known as Genie9, and sets out to backup all your personal particulars on your Android device. We're not just talking about files and folders, or simply being a cloud locker in which to dump things either. SMS messages, contacts, external SD cards, call logs, all in addition to such items as photos, videos and music. And, root access isn't required for anything, so this one's for everyone. The cloud part is Amazon's S3 cloud storage.

There's no shortage of options when it comes to backing up, or indeed cloud services, on Android. But the cliché still applies -- choice is a good thing. No doubt at first glance, some of the offered services Google already takes care of, but does G Cloud Backup have enough to make it worth a look? Stick around and we'll find out.

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3 years ago

Vine for Twitter, and what it means for you on Android

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There's no Vine app for Android just yet, but that doesn't mean you can escape its 6-second video onslaught

Twitter and Vine today announced that (1) Vine is now available for iOS devices and (2) has been purchased by Twitter. If you hadn't heard of Vine before today, we're not too surprised -- it's been in limited beta testing until now, and it's not available for Android. But, seeing as how all roads (eventually) lead to Android these days, we're taking a quick look at it here.

The oversimplified version is that Vine is to video what Instagram is to pictures. In actuality, it's a fairly simple app that lets you take up to 6 seconds of video that might well be mistaken for a really good animated gif. It doesn't have to be 6 consecutive seconds, though. You can do two 3-second clips strung together. Or three 2-second clips. Or, if you hate your friends, six 1-second clips.

You're going to start seeing a lot of these, even if there's no Android app.

Rene reviewed how Vine for iPhone works (or doesn't) over on iMore.  More of my thoughts, after the break.

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