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3 years ago

The Nexus 4 Zebra Edition

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Is it the hot new look for the summer season, or just a black and white mess? There's a poll, let us know!

BlackBerry users have their Oreo, webOS users love their Panda, and now the Android faithful have their very own zebra -- that's with the short e, in the proper Queen's English. (Read it in Alex's voice)

The zebra acts a whole lot like the regular, plain old black (and now white) version, but it's more zebra-like. Sporting a fun, yet business-ready black and white look, it's ready for anything while staying stylish no matter what you throw at it. 

OK, I'll stop. But it is a pretty unique look, bound to have people who love it as well as folks who hate it. I'm digging the white one with the black bumper myself. What do you think? Answer the poll after the break, then fill the comments with praise or curses to let us all know why you feel that way. And of course, head into the forums where the zebra was first spotted.

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3 years ago

The Hisense Sero 7 Pro gets reviewed in the forums

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Users seem to be loving the new $149 Hisense Sero 7 Pro tablet, be sure to join the discussion with questions or comments

Last week we told you about a new line of inexpensive Android tablets coming to Walmart from Hisense. The price looked marvelous, and the $149 Sero 7 Pro had some pretty nice specs -- besting the crowd favorite Nexus 7 in most ways. At that price you knew Android fans were going to bite, and now the forums has a handful of folks talking about their new purchase.

I don't want to give too many spoilers, but the reviews are good. It looks like Hisense has kept things mostly stock, and the Tegra 3 with Jelly Bean performs as well here as it does on other, more expensive models.

All this has me looking at the Sero 7 Pro myself, so maybe we'll squeeze a front page review into the schedule soon. But in the meantime, join folks just like you who are using the tablet every day in the forums, and see what they think about their new pick up.

The Hisense Sero 7 review thread

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3 years ago

Verizon's Galaxy S4 will support AWS LTE via a software update

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A future software update will allow the Galaxy S4 to operate on Verizon's AWS LTE expansion network which is launching this summer in New York

When the Verizon version of the Galaxy S4 zipped through the FCC back in March, everyone noticed hardware support for the recently acquired AWS spectrum that will be used for Big Red's LTE expansion. Today, Bloomberg reports that this support is currently idle and will be enabled prior to the network going live this summer.

Verizon has been busy buying and selling AWS spectrum to bolster their current LTE network, which is slowly showing the effect of having so many phones and other devices running on it. The current 700MHz C-block is getting a bit, shall we say clogged, and because there's so little of it available there's not much chance of relief. As more and more customers sign up with an LTE-enabled smart phone or other device, Verizon needs more of the airwaves to serve them all. The amount of AWS spectrum available to Verizon means they could enable a very fast, nationwide network using it that can provide up to 400% (that'd be 20x20 compared to the existing 5x5 C-block network) of the capacity of their current LTE offerings.

Of course, to use this bigger and faster LTE network, you need hardware. That's where today's news comes into play. When Verizon is ready to flip the switch and light up the new AWS network in New York later this summer, a software update will make the Galaxy S4 ready to use it. We expect to see some incredible speed tests in the near future.

Source: Bloomberg

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the white Nexus 4

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Phone, ahoy! Have ye seen the white Nexus 4?

Aye, cap'n. We have. In fact, we've got the white Nexus 4 here in our hot little hands. And, yes. It's a Nexus 4. And it's white. It's a white Nexus 4. And ... That's really about it. LG this morning finally announced the existence of what has never really been that much of a secret, and it'll be available May 29.

So what's new on the white Nexus 4? We'll break it down.

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3 years ago

Samsung Desktop Dock with the Galaxy S4

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One of our favorite features of the Samsung Galaxy S4 is that it's essentially the same size as its predecessor, and so a number of accessories released for the Galaxy S3 work with the newer version as well. 

That brings us to what you see here -- the Samsung Multimedia Desktop Dock. It's a pretty basic deal -- plop your Galaxy S4 into it and it'll automatically switch to Desktop mode. Plug in with a microUSB cable and you'll charge the phone at the same time. And use the optional 3.5mm line out to play music while the phone's docked. 

This thing's pretty portable as well, with the dock section flipping down into itself for easy travel. And perhaps most important, you can get it fairly cheap since technically it's "last year's" dock.

We've got a handful of pics after the break. Give 'em a gander.

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3 years ago

The best Android phone you can buy, as of June 2013

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Update: Find out our latest picks for Best Android Phone! (Updated in November)

Find out which handset gets the Android Central recommendation

We're six months down the road from our last "best Android phones" roundup, and the smartphone landscape has altered dramatically. Back in December we crowned the Samsung Galaxy S3 king of all Android phones, on account of its responsiveness, broad availability and excellent performance across the board. A generation later, the Android space is dominated by two new heavyweights -- the Galaxy S4 and HTC One, with other contenders including the Xperia Z and ZL from Sony and LG's Nexus 4.

In mid-2013, buttery-smooth performance, beautiful screens, high-quality cameras, 4G LTE connectivity and Jelly Bean out of the box come as standard at the high-end. Competition is more fierce than ever, and that's resulted in some of the best Android hardware we've ever seen.

But there can be only one winner. Join us after the break to find out which phone takes the prize.

Upda​te: Check out our new list of the best Android phones — updated for August 2013!

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3 years ago

Catch Phil on Pocketnow VIP this morning

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Welcome back from the three-day weekend, folks. (OK, maybe not for everybody. But you gotta dance with the one who brung ya.) Just a quick heads up that I'll be doing the Pocketnow VIP show this morning. Never mind that I'm actually as far from a VIP as you can get -- the important part is chatting with some of our oldest pals here in the mobile space. 

It's going down at 11 a.m. EDT, so be sure to head on over and check it out. They'll shoot out the link a few minutes before things go live.

More: Pocketnow VIP

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3 years ago

Samsung reportedly considering OIS, optical zoom for Galaxy Note 3 camera

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Korean press says range of technologies being considered for upcoming Note successor

Cameras are one area of phone hardware in which there's always room for improvement. Recent flagships like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One have introduced high megapixel counts and optical image stabilization in an effort to produce better smartphone snaps. Looking ahead, rumored devices including the Sony "Honami" and "Galaxy S4 Zoom" could take things even further, with 20-megapixel sensors and optical zoom capabilities.

So it's interesting to hear reports today that Samsung's considering all manner of exotic imaging technologies for its upcoming Galaxy Note 2 successor. Quoting unnamed Samsung officials, Korea's ETNews reports that a 13-megapixel sensor is on the cards, along with optical image stabilization and optical zoom capabilities. The former allows the camera assembly itself to move in order to prevent motion blur, while the latter would vastly improve upon the digital zoom offered by most cameraphones. (As we mentioned, Samsung is already rumored to be experimenting with optical zoom on the "Galaxy S4 Zoom".)

We're not expecting the Galaxy Note 3 to make its debut before this year's IFA trade show in Berlin, scheduled for early September. As such, ETNews says the camera specs remain up in the air at this point. Nevertheless, if Samsung can cram an optical zoom into an (albeit large) smartphone, it could very well be a headline feature for the next Note.

Source: ETNews; via: Engadget

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3 years ago

LG VP comments on Nexus 5 'misinterpreted'

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Manufacturer says it's not currently working on Nexus 5, but wouldn't turn down the opportunity

An interview with European LG Mobile VP Won Kim sparked a bit of excitement this morning, as selected quotes appeared to show that the manufacturer wasn't interested in collaborating with Google on a future Nexus smartphone. In an article in Dutch publication AllAboutPhones, Kim is quoted as saying "The Nexus 4 was a great success despite the production problems for us and Google. However we do not need such a marketing success again."

Kim also appeared to distance himself from any possibility of "Google Edition" version of top LG handsets (as Samsung is doing with the Galaxy S4), saying LG has "no plans" to offer such a phone.

However LG quickly released a statement to clarify matters, saying that Kim's comments had been misinterpreted. The official message passed to The Next Web states that “What Mr. Won Kim said is that we are not currently working on a Nexus 5, which is true. But that doesn’t mean we would turn down the opportunity.”

The news comes amid rumors from the Korean press in recent weeks stating that LG is indeed the chosen partner for the next Nexus smartphone. Regardless, we're still a good five or six months out from the usual launch window for new Nexus devices, so we'll just have to wait and see how things pan out.

Source: The Next Web, AllAboutPhones

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3 years ago

LG officially announces white Nexus 4, on sale from May 29

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On sale beginning in Hong Kong, to follow in Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America in coming weeks

The Unicorn that suddenly thrust itself into public view in recent weeks is now officially official. LG has announced that the white variant of the Nexus 4 will be released to the world on May 29 in Hong Kong. After this, in the "coming weeks" we shall see it roll out globally, though no specific dates are available for other regions at this point. 

And that's about all she wrote. The white Nexus 4 still comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and there's no mention of any new storage options or even where we'll be able to buy it. Since this announcement has come from LG and not Google, there's a possibility -- at least to begin with -- that this isn't Play Store bound. If it doesn't get into the Play Store, we're not likely to see this version hit the same price point as the black one, so we'll keep our collective fingers crossed on that one. 

Source: LG

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3 years ago

Droid RAZR M, RAZR HD get blue paint job

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Mid-range and high-end RAZRs now available in new color option

Verizon Wireless has debuted a new color option for its Motorola Droid RAZR M and RAZR HD today. Both devices get an extra splash of color, with a new blue variant going on sale alongside the existing back and white models. You'll have to look closely to spot the changes to the RAZR HD, however, as only the power button and metallic trim have been colored.

Unfortunately it looks like there's no blue RAZR MAXX HD -- that phone is still only available in black.

The Droid RAZR M is currently free with a two-year plan, or $549.99 to buy on its own, while the RAZR HD is $99 on-contract or $599.99 outright. Check 'em out at the link below.

Source: Verizon Wireless (RAZR M, RAZR HD); via: AndroidPolice

More: Droid RAZR M review; Droid RAZR HD review

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3 years ago

Samsung teases 'Premiere 2013' London event for June 20

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New Galaxy and Ativ devices promised

The teaser image above has just hit the Samsung Mobile press site, bringing news of new Galaxy (Android) and Ativ (Windows) devices. "Samsung Premiere 2013" will take place on Thursday, June 20 at London's Earls Court Exhibition Center -- that's the same venue that hosted the Galaxy S3 reveal last year. The action's set to begin around 7pm local time, and Samsung will be livestreaming everything on YouTube.

The first of the three teaser images accompanying the news looks an awful lot like the Galaxy S4 Active we've seen leak in recent days. The other two are a bit less conspicuous -- there's what looks like the lid of a laptop, and some kind of glowing ring. It's possible (however unlikely) we could see more Windows Phone hardware from Samsung at the event. Our money's on new Ativ-branded Windows 8 tablets or laptops, though. On the Android side, we might see the extensively-leaked Galaxy S4 Mini debut alongside the Active.

What are you hoping to see from Samsung in London  next month? Hit the comments and let us know!

Source: Samsung Mobile Press

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3 years ago

Oppo Find 5 now available in Europe

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Prices start at €399 from the Oppo Europe store

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo has opened its European online store today, and with it the Oppo Find 5 sees its European debut. Oppo's high-specced flagship smartphone sells at €399 with 16GB of storage or €429 with 32GB, and is available in white and 'midnight" color options. There's also a range of accessories on offer, including a protective cover, NFC tags, screen protectors and spare EU chargers.

The Oppo Find 5 packs a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, making it pretty good value for the asking price. In our review we praised the Find 5's specs and build quality, but found it somewhat uncomfortable to hold and use with just one hand.

The Oppo Style store seems to be buckling a little under the launch day pressure, but if you want to take a closer look at the Find 5, you can always check out our full review.

Source: Oppo Style

More: Oppo Find 5 review

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3 years ago

Tapatalk 4 beta released, we go hands-on!

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A fresh UI, new features and a way to manage all your​ forum accounts in the new Tapatalk 4 beta

Tapatalk should be a familiar name to anyone who spends time browsing forums on their Android phone. It’s designed to rework the often tedious process of navigating pages, forums and threads on a small screen, providing a cleaner, phone-friendly layout and some unique features to boot.

Today the Tapatalk team has released the first beta build of an all-new version of their app, Tapatalk 4. We’ve had the chance to preview the new Tapatalk for several days, and get to grips with all the new features. So let's take a look at what’s new in Tapatalk 4 beta. We've got video and more after the break.

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3 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Leaving the desert

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What do you do if you're covering the final spring CTIA event in Las Vegas, at which not a single major mobile manufacturer has a booth, the only real hardware releases came from Kyocera (which is very much trying to get a foothold in the smartphone space, and good on them for doing it), and the only major operator news came from ... Jennifer Lopez?

Yeah, that was our week in Vegas. It'd be easy to bitch and moan about it being a "slow" show. But then again it'd be easier (and far, far cheaper) to not have come in the first place. So we did what we do -- we cover what we can see, and search for things we can't. In fact, it almost becomes a bit of a game among the press. With no pressure to be "first," it's a test to see who can dig up something to write. 

We had three of us here, which probably was two too many. The An(n)drews, as I've taken to calling them -- Anndrew Vacca and Andrew Martonik -- did fine work while I mostly tended to some #TM13 duties. But then came Verizon's announcement, which pretty much was the only thing we knew we had to be at. We had no idea what it was going to be, but it was the only real press invite of the week. So, we went. And what did we get? The one and only Jennifer Lopez standing about 20 feet away, awkwardly squinting into a large teleprompter, launching Viva Movil, which promises a better mobile shop shopping experience aimed at Latinos. A fine proposition, I think, and I've got nothing against marketing to certain demographics. (For those decrying the move as racist, every marketing campaign is racist. And sexist. And takes age and prosperity into consideration. Welcome to the real world.)

The next morning, after a good portion of the attendees had cleared out (to say nothing of most of the press), Ashton Kutcher had a little fireside chat with CNBC's Julia Boorstin. It was interesting, if a bit rambling, but on the whole not the worst way to spend an hour.

Readers' reactions were interesting, though. It's nice that folks worry about us wasting our time -- and it happens, sure -- but this is our job, after all. There was so much more gnashing of teeth over the Verizon/Jennifer Lopez announcement (which really had less to do with Verizon, since it's a silent player in all this) and less talk of Ashton Kutcher's 60 minutes on stage, which was filled with great quotes and (surprise, surprise) even a few insights. It's easier to get upset than parse, I guess.

Me? I was just stoked to have taken some of the best liveblog pictures in my career. Maybe I'm finally getting more comfortable with it. Or maybe it helped having them closer and well-lit.

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