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4 years ago

Phones 4u selling brown Samsung Galaxy S3 in the UK


UK phone retailer Phones 4u has started to carry the Samsung Galaxy S3 in amber brown. It will sell the brown version alongside the stock “marble white” and “pebble blue” versions, but the brown is a web-exclusive, it says. Phones 4u’s S3 is the international quad-core Exynos version, with 16Gb of internal memory.

Consumers can get the device for about £49 with a £26-per-month, 2-year contract with Orange. Other options include a 2-year plan with Vodafone for £37 a month, and the device is yours for free.

In the US, Verizon announced black and brown flavors of Samsung’s superphone last week, in the dual-core Snapdragon version that the country's telcos have been carrying.

We’ve known about the various colors for a while now. Samsung announced the brown, “garnet red”, “sapphire black” and “titanium gray” in late August. In some countries, these have gone on to be carrier or retailer exclusives.

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4 years ago

Who guessed the correct number of jellybeans and won a Nexus 7?


Last week in our Nexus 7 A Week Giveaway, we asked you to take a guess at the number of jellybeans in the picture above. Out of 3000+ entries, there were 15 people who guessed the exact number of jellybeans! Since we aren't giving away 15 tablets this week (sorry!) we put everyone's name on a slip of paper and drew out one at random as our winner.

The winning guess of 143 jellybeans and the proud new owner of a Nexus 7 tablet is:

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4 years ago

Angry Birds Star Wars to take on the Kessel Run?


Love or hate Angry Birds, the Star Wars nerds among us have to be looking forward to seeing what the tie up between the two brings to the table. We know it's coming, we know when it's coming to be precise, but we're still a little in the dark as to what the gameplay will entail. 

It'll likely be the Angry Birds style of gameplay we've all become oh so accustomed to over the years, but it's how the Star Wars world integrates into this that intrigues us. This latest trailer gives us perhaps a little clue. After Han Solo is done talking up the Millennium Falcon, what's that we see? A catapult adorned on the top of the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs? Interesting. 

Source: Rovio (YouTube)

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4 years ago

Reminder: Google prepaid card ends today


We’ve just reached the final expiration date of the Google Wallet prepaid card.

Google announced the end of its early payment experiment just last month, and has started phasing out the card today, as promised. It set a relatively near cut-off date of Sept. 17 where people would not be able to add funds to their cards, so that service has been unavailable for a full month already.

The card itself expires today, so users won’t be able to use them any longer. Refunds on existing balances can be requested from today, however.

The move comes at a time where Google is moving quickly to pack in more compatibility with credit and debit cards in Google Wallet. The prepaid option was a stopgap allowing early adopters to add funds to the Google Wallet app, which previously only supported Citi’s MasterCard.

This is only going to affect users in the US, as the app has not been made available to users in other regions.

If you haven’t spent what’s left in your balance, Google is allowing users to request a refund of their remaining funds here.

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4 years ago

Cab hailing service Hailo launches in the U.S, with its arrival in Boston


We're big fans of Hailo, the service that lets you hail and pay for a cab using your Android device. It helps make commuting through London less of a struggle, and we like that. Almost a year on from its first inception in the UK, Hailo has since branched out to Dublin and to Toronto. But, from today, the service finally arrives on U.S. shores beginning with Boston. 

While Chicago and New York City are both currently under active development, it's Boston that gets the nod as the first to experience the service. By partnering with licensed taxi drivers, Hailo offers not only an easy way to flag down a cab, but also offers a guarentee of safety to its users. 

The app itself is free to download, and if you're in Boston and decide to try this out, hit us up in the comments with your experience. 

Source: Hailo via TNW

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4 years ago

Motorola DROID RAZR M, RAZR i, RAZR HD, Atrix HD get root method


Motorola Droid users rejoice! xda-developers forum user Dan (@djrbliss) has managed to root the Motorola DROID RAZR MAtrix HD, the Photon Q, and the upcoming RAZR HD with an exploit called MotoFail2go. The RAZR i appears to be included, although the developer notes that additional hacking might be needed, involving replacing some of the binaries with x86 versions if your attempts fail.

The entire root process looks like a one-click operation, with the exploit requiring you to press some buttons along the way. You’re going to need a Windows PC for this, the latest Morotola USB drivers along with the exploit.

As always, back up before you proceed.

Source: xda-developers forum

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4 years ago

LG Optimus Vu available unlocked from Expansys for £349


The LG Optimus Vu has popped up on Expanys for £349 (approximately $564). This is basically the same version that we reviewed, except it has a Tegra 3 processor rather than the Snapdragon S3.

AT 5-inches, the Vu is a Galaxy Note and Galaxy Note 2 competitor. It also costs much less than the Note 2, which can also be had from Expansys for £529 (approximately $854).  There are reasons for the cheaper price, however. We've mentioned a few aspects of the Vu that we've had issues with, such as the 4:3 aspect ratio, lack of slot for the stylus and lackluster camera performance.

Nevertheless, if you've been waiting for an opportunity to purchase an unlocked LG Optimus Vu, Expansys can help you out.

Source: Expansys

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4 years ago

Buy Google Play credit directly from the Google Play web store


It seems that Google has enabled an option in the web version of the Play Store that allows users to directly buy Google Play credit. If you're in the web version of the Play Store, scroll to the bottom and you'll see an option that reads "Buy Google Play Credit." You can purchase credit in increments of $5, $10, $15, $25 and $50 and it seems that you can only buy the credit for yourself thus far, so no gifting. No word yet on how many markets, if any, are supported outside the U.S., so if you are elsewhere and are seeing this option, let us know in the comments.

Source: Google Play Store; thanks to everyone who sent this in.

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4 years ago

Samsung reminds us the U.S. Galaxy S3 will get Jelly Bean, can't say when, though


New TouchWiz features confirmed for U.S. Galaxy S3 update

If you were after a vague, unspecified timeframe for your Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update, look no further than today's announcement from Samsung, which indicates that the update will be rolling out to U.S. S3 models "in the coming months." In a press release today, the manufacturer reveals that the eagerly-anticipated update will land at some point in the future between "the coming weeks" and "the coming years." In any case, at least it's on still its way to the U.S. (The update is, of course, rolling out right now in Europe.)

Also revealed is a list of new TouchWiz features in the U.S. S3 Jelly Bean update. We've already covered many of these on the international Galaxy S3 models, but these include new Android 4.1 features like Google Now and "Project Butter," in addition to new TouchWiz additions like blocking mode for added notification and contact control, resizeable Pop-up Play windows and an optional "easy mode" for the launcher. New AllShare functionality will be added too, including wireless mirroring through the AllShare Cast Wireless Hub, and one-touch NFC pairing on supported Bluetooth devices.

We've got the full breakdown of new TouchWiz features after the break.

More: Hands-on with new TouchWiz features in Jelly Bean Galaxy S3 update

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4 years ago

Sony Xperia T coming to Canada in November


Sony has confirmed that Bell, Rogers, Mobilicity, and Videotron will all have the Sony Xperia T on sale in Canada come November.  We've begun putting the international version of the Xperia T through the paces, if you're interested in a closer look, but here's the short version. 

  • 4.6-inch 1280 x 720 Reality Display powered by the Mobile BRAVIA Engine for razor sharp clarity
  • 13 MP fast capture camera that goes from sleep mode to snap in just over a second
  • Easy connectivity with ‘One-touch’ function enabled by NFC
  • PlayStation™ Certified
  • Latest generation 1.5GHz dual core processor for improved battery life, fast performance and ultra sharp graphics
  • Android version 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Will be upgraded to Android version 4.1 (Jelly Bean) following launch.
  • MHL connectivity for viewing content on a big screen without the need for a charger
  • 16GB of internal memory
  • Battery: 1850mAh (embedded) - 7 hours talk time, 450 hours standby

The Xperia T will be hitting Canada with all of the usual James Bond branding to coincide with the upcoming Skyfall movie. There's no mention of pricing just yet, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. And hey, good on Mobilicity for getting such a swanky phone. I wonder if TELUS is going to get it? They aren't mentioned by name in the press release, but that doesn't necessarily rule them out. Canadians, are any of you interested in the Xperia T?

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4 years ago

HTC J Butterfly video round-up


Japanese carrier AU is set to launch what's arguably the highest-spec'd Android handset we've seen to date, the HTC J Butterfly. With 4G LTE support, a beastly quad-core Snapdragon CPU and a whopping 5-inch 1080p SuperLCD3 (yes, three) display, there's little more you could want from a smartphone. (Well, OK, maybe a bigger battery.)

It's unlikely we'll see this exact handset outside of Japan -- although a Verizon version has long been rumored for release later in the year. Nevertheless, hands-on videos are starting to crop up around the web of the original Japanese version, and so we've collected some of the best for your perusal. Check 'em out after the break.

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4 years ago

Google will/won't bring out $99 Nexus tablet this quarter


From (where else), DigiTimes:

One supply chain source says it'll be released later in the fourth quarter (which we're now in, by the way). Meanwhile, ASUS, DT reports, says it "has no plans to launch a $99 Nexus." Which is nice, but it's Google that sells this thing, not ASUS.


Chances are if we do see a $99 Nexus 7, it'll be carrier subsidized. Which would be ridiculous given the outright price is only twice that.

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4 years ago

32GB Nexus 7 coming to the UK for £199.99


It's been rumored for the past few weeks, and now we have confirmation that a 32GB version of Google and ASUS' Nexus 7 tablet will arrive in time for the holidays. UK retailer Argos just released its Christmas gift guide, and we tracked down the listing for the 32GB Nexus 7, which is marked for sale at £199.99. The £199 price point is significant, as this is the current standard retail price for the 16GB Nexus 7 in the UK, adding fuel to speculation that the 32GB will replace the 16GB model entirely. (In the UK, the 8GB Nexus 7 is only sold through the Google Play device store.)

The extra storage space should address one of the major concerns with the Nexus 7, as on the basic 8GB model just over 6GB is actually available for users' own media. At just £40 more than the 8GB Nexus, this new 32GB variant should make for a tempting upgrade. No release date information is provided in the Argos gift guide, but we've got to believe it'll be hitting store shelves sooner rather than later.

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4 years ago

LG Optimus G coming to Japan in blue and white on KDDI


The LG Optimus G certainly seems to be making the rounds lately, and now Japanese carrier KDDI has announced the availability of the handset on its network. Overall, its the phone we know from previous launches, complete with the quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB of RAM, 13MP camera and LTE. The only difference here is the color choices -- white and two-tone blue/black -- in typical Japanese carrier fashion.

The Optimus G will go on sale with KDDI on November 2nd. For those of you in the states, we're working furiously on our reviews of the Sprint and AT&T versions of the Optimus G, and have already put up a couple quick hits on the device. 

Source: KDDI

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4 years ago

Sony announces Xperia VL for the Japanese market


At this point, you almost feel like Sony is coming up on the limit of one and two letter combinations to put after "Xperia". There's at least room for one more, as Sony is adding yet another device to its expansive Xperia line -- the Xperia VL. This device, which is coming to the Japanese market (and likely only that market), seems to have some pretty standard specs on board from what has been released at this point.

This Sony "arc" designed device has a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB of RAM, 4.3-inch Reality Display, 13MP camera with new shooting modes, NFC and LTE networking -- all running underneath Android 4.0.4. Sony says the device has "high levels" of dust and water resistance as well, which is often found on many Japanese handsets.

Our brilliant deduction and sleuthing makes us think that the VL is simply a reworking of the previously announced Xperia V, which should give you a better indication of the spec level. The Xperia VL is set to launch before the end of the year on KDDI in blue, white and pink varieties.

Source: Sony Xperia Product Blog; KDDI

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