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3 years ago

Archos 101 XS review


With the introduction of its brand new Gen10 XS line, Archos is reminding the world today that the Android tablet market is not limited to a couple of high roller manufacturers. It’s latest flagship, the 101 XS, is a tablet that shies away from competing with the likes of Samsung and Motorola and enters a niche that gives Archos an opportunity to cement its name in the mobile computing world. The Gen10 XS line is Archos’ attempt at replacing your laptop, and while its goals might be lofty, the French manufacturer has at least stepped out of the box.

The 101 XS performs admirably well, and its onboard OMAP processor rarely stumbles. Archos has been known to be prompt with Android updates, and the company says Jelly Bean is right around the corner. The Coverboard-included price of $399 is a deal.

The 101 XS' display is really, really terrible. The Coverboard works well enough under perfect conditions, but all too often fails when needed. Furthermore, it doesn't remain attached to the 101 XS when not in use.

The 101 XS is a nice step up from Archos G9 series, and its budget friendly price gets you a lot of hardware for your buck. The Coverboard is a unique idea and it's great that Archos is including it in the $399 pricetag, but at this time you'll be hard pressed to replace your keyboard with it. If you can get past the screen, though, the 101 XS is a well-performing Android tablet at an affordable price.

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3 years ago

ARCHOS introduces the Gen10 XS line, led by the 101 XS


ARCHOS today introduced the Gen10 XS line, the successor to last summer’s G9 tablets. The 101 XS, the company’s latest flagship tablet, will be the first to carry the Gen10 XS name, and comes equipped with a 10.1-inch display, a dual-core OMAP 4470 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, and a nearly-stock Ice Cream Sandwich experience. ARCHOS says that a Jelly Bean update will be released in early Q4 2012. The 101 XS weighs only 21 ounces and measures .31 inches thin.

The defining feature of ARCHOS’ new line is the “Coverboard”, a magnetic keyboard that doubles as the tablet’s cover. The Coverboard connects to the Gen101 XS via a proprietary dock to enable a full-keyboard experience, complete with shortcut buttons custom tailored to Android 4.0. The Coverboard, ARCHOS says, is designed to protect the 101 XS while adding only .2 inches to the tablet’s size, and ships with every Gen10 XS tablet.

The Gen101 XS will be available through major retailers beginning in November with a suggested retail price of $399. The 9.7 inch 97 XS and the 8-inch 80 XS will be available “later in 2012.” ARCHOS’ full presser can be found after the break, while our full review can be found here.

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3 years ago

Vizio Co-Star torn down by iFixit, reveals a dual-core processor


The team over at iFixit has gotten their hands on one of the newest Google TV boxes, the Vizio Co-Star. They of course pulled it apart, looked at its guts, and showed them to the world. When Vizio announced the box, it specified some of the features, but not all of the internal specs, so it's cool to find out what the box is sporting.

Their inspection has revealed many of the specs, such as:

  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB NAND Flash

The team also opened up the remote, which revealed, among other things, Bluetooth 3.0.

If you want to see the rest of the pictures of the teardown, hit up the source link.

Source: iFixit

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3 years ago

Sense 4.1 and Android 4.0.4 reportedly hitting European HTC One S


Reports are coming in from around the web that the European version of HTC's One S is receiving an over-the-air update to Android 4.0.4 (from 4.0.3) and HTC Sense 4.1. The update to software version 2.31 weighs in at 157MB, and is hitting unlocked handsets today. Sense 4.1 is said to improve performance throughout, while introducing a coupe of new features like quick settings in the notification dropdown. And as we saw in recent One X updates, the new software version also lets you remap the multitasking key, if you prefer to use it as a menu button. Early reports also suggest the usual combination of bug fixes and stability improvements.

If you’re rocking an unlocked European HTC One S, head to Settings > About phone > Software updates to see if your OTA is ready. Branded versions of the One S, including the T-Mobile U.S. variant, will likely see their updates pushed out in the weeks ahead, after they’ve been properly certified. (Fingers crossed, One X owners -- hopefully your update won't be far behind!)

Source: XDA, The Verge

More: HTC Sense 4.1 preview

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3 years ago

ZTE Blade III outed by Finnish retailer


The ZTE Blade III hasn’t been announced by its manufacturer yet, but one Finnish retailer has already jumped the gun and revealed promotional images of the phone, along with a full spec sheet. The images on show a curved, white design reminiscent of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. According to the listed specs, the phone runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon chip with 512MB of RAM. On the front there’s a 3.5-inch WVGA TFT display, and around the back there’s a 5MP camera.

So nothing earth shattering, but ZTE will be hoping that the handset’s design, along with the presence of Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, will be enough to coax European buyers into parting with their €199.

It seems the phone’s not far off release, so we’ll be on the lookout for the ZTE Blade III at the IFA show in Berlin next week.

Source: esphoneblog, Thanks, Jonne!

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3 years ago

Seidio Convert Extended Combo case review - bulk meets battery


The Seidio Convert Extended Combo case is a mammoth of a case with plenty of room for an extended battery and comes with a custom-made clip holster. The construction is as rugged as you could reasonably hope for from a smartphone case: first there is a hard plastic core, then a silicon skin wrapping around it, then, of all things another hard case along the outside. The whole package also comes with a screen protector and a lockable holster, making it an exceptionally rugged package all around.

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3 years ago

Spotify planning expansion into Canada, Asia and South America not far behind


Management filings from Spotify's European parent company have confirmed that Canadian launch is on the way, and that the company's looking at Asian, and South American expansions. While there's no date set for these plans, the filing was written back in April and subsidiaries in each of those regions are already formed. The last geographic expansion for Spotify was in Australia and New Zealand.

As a Canadian, I'm pretty pumped about this, but it all depends on how long it takes for the service to get here. Between Slacker and Songza, there are already a couple of free streaming mobile music services to get comfortable with in Canada. Seeing as Spotify only recently made the radio feature free and unlimited for mobile users, the one real selling point is the desktop client, which can bring up everything from their massive library on demand.  

In any case, it's good to hear that plans are well underway, plus Asia and South America are both huge markets to tackle.  Canadians, having you been holding out for Spotify? Current Spotify users, what's your favorite part of the service? 

Source: WSJ

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3 years ago

A quick look at Ice Cream Sandwich on the HTC ThunderBolt


Ice Cream Sandwich on the HTC ThunderBolt. Whodathunkit, eh?

Here we have a very quick look at that leaked Android 4.0.3 ROM put forth by Team BAMF for what either is the best phone of the past year or so, or the worst, depending on your point of view. What you see here is ICS, of course, and it's got Sense 3.6 atop it. That's complete with all the bells and whistles you would expect, including HTC's excellent lockscreen customizations, quick settings in the notification pull-down, and HTC's other reworkings.

And you know what? It runs surprisingly well. We're not going to pass final judgment on that just yet -- this is an unofficial leak, after all, so let's wait until Verizon actually pushes the thing. But so far, we're pleasantly surprised, and we have a feeling you will be, too.

More: Team BAMF

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3 years ago

Nikon Coolpix S800c preorder at B&H for $349


We don't yet have a sale date on the Nikon S800c, the camera manufacturer's first Android-powered point-and-shoot announced last night, but we're starting to see the first pre-orders be made available. New York's B&H Photo has the Gingerbread camera (that feels really weird to type, by the way) listed for $349. It mentions a shipping time of seven to 10 days, but that almost feels as more of a placeholder. The sooner the better, we say, because this 16MP shooter needs to be put up against the likes of the HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy S3, and everything from Sony in the past year. This is gonna get good.

B&H has both the white and black version up for preorder. 

More: B&H Photo

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3 years ago

LG rumored to be prepping new high-end 'Optimus G' for global launch


LG’s Optimus 4X HD may have only just landed on European store shelves, but already it seems the Korean company may be preparing a new high-end smartphone for multiple territories. Korean news site Asia Today reports that the device is currently codenamed “Optimus G,” and that it’ll come with 4G LTE connectivity, a 4.7-inch screen, quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 13MP camera. On the software side, reports indicate a combination of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and LG’s Optimus UI 3.0.

Asia Today reports that LG is positioning the phone as a direct competitor to Samsung’s Galaxy S3, and if the reports of quad-core Krait lurking inside are true, the "Optimus G" should certainly give Samsung’s flagship a run for its money in benchmarks.

Eagle-eyed readers will remember that this isn’t the first quad-core S4-based LG phone we’ve heard whispers about. The Sprint LG Eclipse has cropped up a few times over the past month, most recently at the FCC. The jury’s out on whether this is the same device, but the hardware specs certainly look familiar.

Despite the fact that IFA 2012 -- a major tech show -- is just around the corner, our understanding is that LG won’t showcase any major new phones in Berlin next week. So if these rumors do turn out to be accurate, we’ll likely have to wait a little longer to get our first glimpse of the Optimus G.

Source: Asia Today, via: TechRadar

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3 years ago

Motorola Xoom (Verizon 3G) for $200 at Daily Steals


The one thing I like better than Android devices is a deal, so I had to pass this one along. It's refurbished, no longer qualifies for the LTE upgrade, and only carries a 90-day warranty -- but a 32GB Xoom for 200 bills is a hell of a deal. Hit the link for ordering details.

Source: Daily Steals

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3 years ago

T-Mobile makes Unlimited Nationwide 4G plan official


T-Mobile has announced that the previously rumored Unlimited Nationwide 4G plan is a reality this evening. Starting September 5, users will have the option to sign up for a completely unthrottled, uncapped, HSPA+ 4G plan from the nations number four carrier, and the pricing is right. When added to a Value plan, the data package will be $20, and on a Classic plan it will be $30. 

OK, we know that T-Mobile's plans can be a bit confusing. Even those of us who are T-Mobile subscribers get confused sometimes. Here's the skinny -- T-Mobile's "Value" plan is a package they sell a bit cheaper for folks who don't want to subsidize a new phone. It's the plan you want when you're using an unlocked phone, or you like your current phone and don't want to upgrade. The "Classic" plan is the normal subsidised plan. A bit of quick math, and that means if you don't need a new phone, $69.99 per month gets you unlimited everything. No counting minutes, no counting texts, and no worrying about data limits. If you do need a subsidised phone, like a new Galaxy S3, it will cost you $89.99 for the same.

Not a bad deal if you have good T-Mobile service. Read the full press release after the break.

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3 years ago

Nikon announces the Android-powered Coolpix S800c


Nikon today announced its first Android-powered camera, the previously rumored S800c. It's a 16-megapixel shooter with a 10x optical zoom and NIKKOR lens. And, yes, it runs Android. Android 2.3 Gingerbread, to be exact, and it's Wifi-enabled (802.11 b/g/n), of course. 

Answering the big question, though, is that, yes, it's got full access to Google Play. That means Instagram. That means HDR apps. That means Facebook. That means Google+. Anything you shoot with the S800c, you'll be able to share the same as with your phone. 

The UI, which is displayed on a 3.5-inch OLED touchscreen, appears to be a mix of traditional "stock" Android -- that's an icon-laden homescreen you see above, complete with Gingerbread launcher -- with what we presume will be a bevy of tweaks. Nikon's providing its own Picturetown app, just in case you need yet another place to upload your pics. The camera also has aGPS, so everything can be geotagged.

Other specs of note include:

  • 25mm to 250mm shooting
  • Vibration reduction (VR)
  • Built-in flash
  • 8 frames per second still shooting
  • 1080p video recording
  • 2GB on-board storage

Will it get you to put down your phone and pick up a "real" camera of relatively similar expense? Time will tell. We'll also have to see just how useful Nikon's UI ends up being. 

And we'll have to see what the hell folks are able to hack onto it.

Source: Nikon; full specs

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3 years ago

Google Play gift card redemption now showing in some Play store apps


Some users with the 3.8.16 version of Google Play are seeing the "Redeem" entry show up in their menu, pushing us that much closer to live Google Play gift cards. This is happening with no hacking or tearing apart apk files, but not every phone is seeing it yet. Case in point -- my HTC One X has the right version, but the menu entry is missing, while my Galaxy Nexus has it.

We're pretty certain that it's something server side, and until the gift cards start hitting stores en masse, there's no reason to fret if you aren't seeing it just yet. We're excited though, as gift cards are something that's been on our wishlist for quite a while. 

To check if your phone is ready for them, just fire up the Google Play app and open the overflow menu. Feel free to shout out in the comments if you're seeing it, and of course any ideas to force it to happen will be welcome. There's a screenshot after the break of the page itself.

Thanks, Ben!

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3 years ago

HotSpot software setups, AOKP Jelly Bean Style [From the Forums]


Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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