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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10-inch)

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And here we have the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 that looks more like a brother from another mother. It's a Galaxy Tab, all right. But the speakers have been brought out front -- basically it's the same body as what we saw released in Germany to stave off design patent issues. That makes it different from the newly announced Galaxy Note 10.1, which also throws in the S Pen feature. Elsewhere on the hardware front, we've got a 10.1-inch plane-line switching display at 1280x800 resolution, a 1 GHz dual-core processor, and it's running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with the TouchWiz UI improvements on top. 

Things are as speedy as you'd expect, and Samsung's done well with the UI tweaks to make use of all that extra space.

We've got a complete hands-on with still and moving pictures after he break.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the ASUS Transformer Pad 300

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Along with the Padfone and Transformer Pad Infinity, ASUS unveiled the Transformer Pad 300 at Mobile World Congress this week. The Transformer Pad 300 is best described as a budget version of the Transformer Prime -- if there is such a thing as a budget quad-core tablet. In any case, it's mainly the screen resolution and build that separates the Pad 300 from its higher-end (and likely more expensive) siblings.

The Pad 300 is constructed of plastic as opposed to aluminum, and the resolution is limited to 1280x800, compared to the Infinity's dizzying 1920x1200. But that's still nothing to sniff at, and the IPS displays used by ASUS look great, even at the lower resolution. And although it's chunkier, and made of plastic, the Pad 300 still feels good -- if a little bulkier -- in the hand. We should probably mention that laptop docking functionality is included too, just as you'd expect for a Transformer series device, and the business of docking the tablet is just as seamless as it's ever been.

The Transformer Pad 300 is loaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which flies along on NVIDIA's quad-core chip. ASUS has included its usual selection of widgets and subtle changes to stock Android, which will be familiar to current Transformer and Transformer Prime owners.

Join us after the break for our initial hands-on video of the ASUS Transformer Pad 300.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7-inch)

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There are those who swear by the 10-inch tablet, and then there are those who say that the smaller size is the only way to go. Samsung's brought out new hardware for both, with the newly announced Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1-inch), and this, the previously announced 7-inch Galaxy Tab 2.

We're still not entirely sold on the need for all the variations of the smaller-size tablets, but the 7-incher GTab2 does feel great in the hand. It's got all the usual Samsung improvements, including TouchWiz running atop Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The 7-inch PLS TFT display (that's Samsung's version of an IPS screen) rock a 1024x600 resolution, and it's all powered by a 1GHz processor.

We've got more pics and hands-on video after the break.

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4 years ago

Texas Instruments shows off ultrasonic stylus that can work in three dimensions

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At Mobile World Congress 2012, Texas Instruments was demonstrating a stylus that communicates its distance from a tablet over ultrasonic frequencies. The tablet in this demo has a microphone in each of its four corners, which can pinpoint exactly where the stylus is pointing at the screen, even if you're not touching it. Of course, the stylus also works perfectly well along the two standard planes, but it's particularly cool when you pull back and the model correspondingly zooms out. 

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4 years ago

Dancing Androids - Mobile World Congress edition

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

You didn't think we'd go an entire show without seeing some dancing Android robots, did ya? Intel had few at its booth.

And, no. We didn't dance.

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy Mini 2

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Awwwwww, the Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 is a cute little bugger. It's a little bizarre going from a world of 5-inch-plus smartphones down to the diminutive Galaxy Mini 2, but darned if it doesn't feel kinda nice in the hand, kinda like you're holding a little child by the hand, waiting to show it through the big, brave world. No, really. Because in when you're comparing it to the high-resolution, quad-core monsters out there, you sort of want to keep the Galaxy Mini 2 close, where it's safe. Its 3.7-inch HVGA (320x480) display isn't really the sort of thing we'd want to give a seasoned smartphone user, and you're not going to be outputting any video with that 800 MHz processor. But if you remember that this merely is an entry level Android 2.3 smartphone, it could stand to serve you well.

We've got more pics and hands-on video after the break.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S II inexplicably wins smartphone of the year at MWC

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The GSMA -- the group that puts on the fine Mobile World Congress we've been attending all week -- has released 17th annual Global Mobile Awards for this year's show. Of note for you Android fans out there are:

  • Angry Birds Rio (Rovio), best mobile app for consumers
  • WhatsApp (WhatsApp), best overall mobile app
  • SwiftKey (TouchType), best innovative mobile app
  • Google Maps for Android (Google), best consumer mobile service
  • Galaxy S II (Samsung), best smartphone
  • Samsung, device manufacturer of the year

We have absolutely no idea how one of last year's top smartphones -- the Galaxy S II -- won an award this year, especially with the likes of HTC, Sony, LG, Nokia, ZTE and Fujitsu all bringing new products to Barcelona. OK, OK. Yeah. It's last year's phones. We get that. But we're also under an avalanche of this year's phones. We know what we liked. We wanna see what everyone else like from the show, too.

The judges' comment was "A phenomenal success around the world, this has outperformed all its Android rivals and demonstrated the maturity of the ecosystem." We wouldn't argue against that. But that was last year. It's also worth noting that the categories have changed a bit. In 2011, the iPhone 4 won Best Mobile Device (never mind that Apple is nowhere to be seen around here), and HTC was Device Manufacturer of the year.

You can check out the full list for yourself at the link below.

Source: GSMA Global Mobile Awards (2012, 2011)

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4 years ago

HTC One at Mobile World Congress highlights reel now online

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Youtube link for mobile viewing

HTC held one of the biggest events at Mobile World Congress this year when they introduced the One series. It's not hard to understand, they certainly look good, and from what we've seen they blow us away with speed and usability. Even Sense has been trimmed and now looks, and in our opinion runs, much better. I think most Android fans are looking forward to seeing them be released.

What most of us didn't get to see was the presentation and show they put on in Barcelona. We missed them demo the .7 second shutter on the new camera hardware. We missed when Peter Chou told us about the new way they are integrating Beats Audio. And the info about micro-arc oxidation would have been great to sit in on. That's why we're pumped to see that HTC has posted a five-minute video with highlights of their event. 

It's not as fun as being there, but it will have to do. And it makes us want to see these phones on the shelves even more.

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4 years ago

Mobile World Congress day two wrap-up

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Day two of Mobile World Congress is in the bag, and it was another day filled with news from Barcelona about great Android-powered gadgets. I can't be the only one the sees phones and tablets and bugdroids in my sleep, and for an Android fan it's a good problem to have -- I'm certainly not complaining. We've seen something for just about everyone, from the small to the gigantic, and in every sort of style imaginable. It can get a bit overwhelming though, and that's why I'm here to help. I spend my day immersed in what's happening in Ciutat Comtal because you might not have time to.

Hit the jump, and let's walk through it all!

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4 years ago

Twitter to start pushing "promoted tweets" into main timeline on official Android app

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Twitter will be pushing mobile advertisments through their official Android and iOS applications, much like LinkedIn began doing just a month ago. You won't start seeing pop-up ads like we do in something like Angry Birds for example, but rather "promoted tweets" will begin to appear in your main timeline. 

At present, the promoted tweets and trends are only seen when you access the search pages within the app. Twitter have said though that initially only a small number of users will begin to see these tweets appear on their timeline from brands they follow. 

Twitter have tried to pretty it up and make the whole deal sound more user orientated -- but let's face it, it's straight up advertising. Mobile ads are here to stay though, and with 55% of Twitter traffic coming from mobile, it was only a matter of time before we saw something like this emerge.

Source: Twitter 

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4 years ago

Camera ICS+ brings Ice Cream Sandwich camera to non ICS phones

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The stock Ice Cream Sandwich camera application is pretty nice. Clean and simple interface, really easy to use, and of course that built in panorama mode is awesome. A developer by the name of Moblynx has taken the stock app, and tweaked it ever so slightly to add some nice extra features. Up until now the app has only been available for Honeycomb and ICS devices. Today it received an update, that now lets anyone on Froyo and Gingerbread join in. 

There is a free version -- but seriously who wants ads in their camera app? The paid version currently sets you back £0.79/$0.99. For that you get the stock ICS camera application with some added bonuses. You get some built in photo effects like mono and sepia, silent mode, a picture quality setting that goes all the way up to ultra, a silent mode and of course the panorama feature to name but a few.

Running the app on an ICS device also gets you additional video stabilization features and 720p face effects. 

Besides opening up to 2.2 and 2.3 devices, todays update also includes Intel x86 support, configurable volume buttons and a host of bugfixes. Download links to the paid version can be found after the break. 

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4 years ago

DroidDoodle - Beam Me Up, Beam Me Down

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Let's be honest: You won't be using the Samsung Galaxy Beam to watch kids shows.

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4 years ago

Use the Android Central Wallpaper Gallery to help design your next credit card

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Have you ever signed up for a new credit card, gone through the approval process and got stuck on the card design at the end? Often times the designs are never cool enough, they never fit your very own style and finding something awesome isn't always the easiest. Android Central forums member zero neck decided to make use of the stock Ice Cream Sandwich wallpaper on their card, and the results were pretty awesome. But again we realize that isn't for everyone, but there is likely to be something for everyone in our favorite wallpaper gallerty, right?

So why not before ordering your next credit card, hit up the Android Central Wallpaper Gallery, browse around for a few minutes, and grab yourself an extra awesome wallpaper to make great use of?

More discussion in the Android Central Forums

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4 years ago

ViewSonic intros affordable ICS tablets at Mobile World Congress

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Just in case you haven't had enough Android hardware from Mobile Conference 2012, even little ol' ViewSonic had some stuff to show off. Along with demonstrating some of their stuff announced at CES, ViewSonic had a new tablet called the E100. Beyond its 9.1 mm profile and a decent 9.1-inch 1024 x 768 display, there's a single core 1 GHz processor under the hood. So, a bit underwhelming, yeah? Well, the Wi-Fi model will be retailing for $399, so it's got that much going for it. The E100 will be landing around late March, with a 3G version launching shortly thereafter. 

Following that, ViewSonic announced an even cheaper lower-end tablet called the E70. It's aiming for 150 Euros (which undercuts even the Kindle Fire and BlackBerry PlayBook) when it lands in Europe come Q2. The 7-inch device is also running Android 4.0 ICS on a modest single-core 1 GHz processor. ViewSonic implemented some light customizations on top of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but it doesn't look like much more than the SPB shell. It still supports 1080p video output through HDMI, despite the low-end specs. It includes both micro and mini USB slots, which is kind of neat. The mini slot can be used for USB host functions (like popping in a thumb drive if you've got an adapter). 

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4 years ago

Win a free Samsung Galaxy Note from Bell Mobility!

The Samsung Galaxy Note has been out for a couple of weeks now, and it seems people either love it or hate it. With a size fitting in somewhere between a smartphone and a tablet, the 5.3-inch device even comes with a stylus, which we thought went out of style years ago. There are advantages to the size of the Note, and one example of that is Bell's Mobile TV app. The ample screen size makes streaming media convenient, while still being a device portable enough to slide in a pocket or purse.

And what could be more convenient than winning a free Samsung Galaxy Note from Bell Mobility?! Nothing, I say, because winning is awesome. So if you'd like to enter to win a free Samsung Galaxy Nexus from Bell, and you live in Canada, drop your comment in the forums telling us why you want to win a Samsung Galaxy Note. Yes, sorry folks, the contest is open to Canadians only this time. Contest ends Sunday at midnight. Good luck!

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