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4 years ago

Why my dual-core S4 is as good as your quad-core

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My dual-core S4 is as good as your quad-core.  No really, it is.  Qualcomm recently (OK, maybe not that recently) announced the S4 Snapdragon with Krait CPU.  More recently Samsung announced the Exynos 4 Quad (confirmed to power the "next Galaxy"), and we've already seen what the Tegra 3 from NVIDIA can do.  Why, then, is the S4 as good as these quad-cores?  Put simply, you get all the performance of the quad-core (and then some), plus amazing battery life.  We've seen video proof of the performance.  With the S4 Qualcomm has introduced a new architecture, and it's cutting edge.  It's based on the same instruction set as the new ARM A15 processors, which gives it a significant advantage over it's competitors. It will do tasks faster, and more efficiently than the rest of the current generation hardware.

Based on a 28nm (nanometer -- a unit of measurement) production process, the Krait CPU is powerful, and power efficient.  The "pipe" (the electronic path that data flows through) has been widened and lengthened, which allows it to chew through more instructions at any given time.  How many more?  Up to 50% more than the old Scorpion cores we find in phones like the HTC EVO 3D and others from last year. Qualcomm claims up to a 30% improvement on the A9 based core used in the current generation Exynos, OMAPs, and Tegras of the world.  Keep in mind that these are per core numbers, which is why a dual-core can keep up with a quad-core.  When each core can perform 30 to 50 percent better, that means you don't need as many to do the same amount of work.

OK, so performance is awesome, but that's not all. Battery life is also substantially improved. All the power-saving improvements you hear about new quad-core processors are there, and more because of the smaller production die, and you're also running two cores instead of four. I'll leave it to Phil's AT&T One X review to show you just how much improvement there is, but it should be substantial.  And this is with LTE, which is built-in to the S4, giving us very tangible benefits to battery life over every previous LTE enabled phone we've seen.

So performance is just as good overall and battery life should be better.  The moral of the story?  The number of cores isn't the whole story.  How the device performs in your hand is. It's a topic we've been discussing at length in the Android hardware forums, and if you're interested in some serious tech-talk (or just want to learn what all those letters and numbers mean) you really should dive in and join us.

Qualcomm S4 Krait hardware breakdown | Read the AT&T HTC One X review

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4 years ago

How to change the (ridiculous) AT&T e-mail signature

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AT&T has a pretty lame e-mail signature. Maybe you've heard.

We could lambaste these signatures and the reason they're there until the next iPhone is released. They're horrible. They cheapen what otherwise is a pretty excellent e-mail experience. But here's a secret the iPhone folks who chuckle at this sort of thing — those would be the same ones who rocked the "sent from my iPhone" signature like it was a badge of individuality or something — don't bother telling you. It takes all of 30 seconds to swap it out.

Yes. You no longer have to have the "Sent from my HTC One™ X, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone" signature. Gone is the particularly horrific "Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S™ II Skyrocket™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone." (By the way, we're sensing a trend here, in case you didn't notice.")

Got half a minute? We're going to walk you through it after the break.

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4 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus 4.0.4 update unofficially officially confirmed

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Everybody has been trying to confirm or debunk this mornings claims of a slow rollout of the Android 4.0.4 update for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Amidst all the fuss and confusion, Android Forums member Poseign just walked into his local Verizon store and had a peek at the display units. Sure enough, there's one on the shelf running the rumored update.

While we still have no idea about the rollout schedule, or have a file location for the hacker-types to manually update, at least we know it's real. A month and a day after the GSM version, which won't sit too well with some of you folks, but at least it's here. Keep your eyes peeled if you're running a Verizon Nexus, and if you get the update notice and want to help, head into the forums and holler -- they're there waiting for ya!

We've got an e-mail into Verizon and are waiting on more official word. In the meantime, there's another pic after the break that should satisfy your curiosity. 

Source: Android Forums; Verizon Galaxy Nexus update page
Also: Droid-Life.

Thanks, Poseign!

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4 years ago

Motorola: Just waiting on China for the Google acquisition, hoping to close by July

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Motorola Mobility in its first-quarter earnings statement released today gave a brief update on the not-quite-complete acquisition by Google. The $12.5 billion deal has been approved by the U.S. and other nations, with China apparently the lone holdout.

Motorola says it still expects the deal to be finalized in the first half of this year, so it's got two months to go as of now.

Said Motorola:

As previously announced on August 15, 2011, Motorola Mobility and Google Inc. ("Google") (NASDAQ: GOOG) entered into a definitive agreement for Google to acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of approximately $12.5 billion.

Motorola Mobility and Google continue to work closely with the authorities in China for approval on the acquisition. The transaction has been investigated and cleared without conditions in all other jurisdictions with pre-closing clearance requirements. We continue to expect the transaction to close during the first half of 2012.

Source: Motorola

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4 years ago

Motorola ships 5.1 million smartphones in Q1, posts $121 million loss

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Motorola this afternoon posted its Q1 2012 earnings, and things aren't all that rosy on the phone side of the biz. While revenue in its mobile device division was up 3 percent to $2.2 billion, Motorola Mobility still posted a $121 million (GAAP) operating loss for the quarter, some $32 million more than a year ago.

On the plus side, Moto shipped some 8.9 million mobile devices, with 5.1 million of them of the smartphone variety. 

Moto's bullet points for the quarter were the Droid RAZR MAXX and Droid 4, the Motoluxe (which is a bit of a hit outside the U.S.) and the Bubba Watson-branded MOTOACTV Golf Edition.

Source: Motorola Mobility

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4 years ago

Clingo Universal Hands-Free Mount [Accessory Review]

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With its pivoting arm and ball-and-socket joint, the Clingo Universal Hands-Free Mount is a great way to keep your Android phone in place, and easily visible in any vehicle. The sticky pad holds any phone securely while keeping it easy to remove, and most importantly leaves no residue on your expensive Android smartphone. 

 

Built of rugged plastic, the Clingo Mount stays cool in the summer sun but is sturdy enough to stay locked in position. The set up allows for multiple mounting options, to place your phone in just the right position. The suction design makes things easy to mount and remove, or re-position for multiple drivers. 

The Clingo Universal Mount is an excellent way to keep your phone safe, and allows for distraction-free driving. Enjoy this video from Raul, and stay tuned for more from ShopAndroid.

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4 years ago

From the Forums: Beats Audio Review

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HTC's investment in Beats Audio has been one of the more debated moves in the past year or so. To some, it's a marketing maneuver. To others, it truly has made phone audio better. For our part, we certainly notice a difference, and that Beats is available to any application on a Sense 4 phone is a big plus.

Varsityhacker in our forums brings the following:

Beats Audio can best be summoned up as a EQ setting that you can enable when listening to music on the One X. Toggling back and forth listening to music you can tell the difference. Without Beats enabled sound was generic in sound and lower all most muffled. When Beats is enabled the sound became louder and clearer with a heavier emphasis on the low and high ends. Yes you can tell the difference between settings and earbuds on the One X. You won't be listening to music on the One X with beats off unless you like monotone sound. But, how does the IPad compare in sound quality against the One X and Beats?

Very well, the IPad has a more consistent sound across the board with nothing really out doing the other (low end vs. high end). You get the felling that the EQ is set to be equal across the board on the IPad. Where the One X would look different with the EQ cranked on the high and low ends. Personally I liked listening to music on both, but like the One X better overall. The One X felt like I was in a concert and the IPad like I was sitting on my porch with a Scotch in hand playing my tunes. 

His full conclusion? Hit this link to find out.

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4 years ago

comScore's Q1 2012 data shows that Samsung and Android are still sitting pretty

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comScore just took the wraps off its data for the first quarter of 2012, and it confirms what we’ve been seeing over the past few months: in the U.S., Samsung and Android are the manufacturer and mobile OS to beat. Samsung maintains its lead with 26% of the total mobile headset market share, up from 25.3% in Q4 2011. That 0.7 of a percentage point might have been taken directly from LG, who at 19.3% of the market share is down from 20% last year. Rounding out the top five are Apple, Motorola, and HTC at 14%, 12.8%, and 6% respectively, with only Apple seeing a gain from last quarter. This is the first time in a few quarters that HTC appears in the data, as Q1 marks its surpassing RIM in total market share. It should be noted that comScore measures all mobile handsets, including "dumb" phones.

On the OS side, not much has changed in terms of ranking. Android has gained 3.7 percentage points, up to 51% of total smartphone market share. iOS gained too, up to 30.7%, with RIM, Microsoft, and Symbian at 12.3%, 3.9%, and 1.4% respectively. This quarter marks yet another loss for the Blackberry manufacturer, down 3.7 points from Q4 2011.

As for usage, 74.3% of U.S. smartphone owners sent text messages on their devices, while 50% downloaded apps and 49.3% browsed the web. Social networking is used by 36.1% of total users, while games and music are used by 32.6% and 25.3% respectively. A full breakdown of all the data can be found at the source.

Source: comScore

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4 years ago

Sprint Galaxy Nexus getting an update to fix network issues

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Well, would you look at that. The Sprint Galaxy Nexus (see our initial hands-on) is getting a software update to fix some network issues. The carrier says it should get pushed to all devices in the next day or so, at which time you'll have fixes for:

  • Device not connecting to data services after activation
  • Device not displaying correct network time after activation
  • And an update to Google Wallet

And now's a great time to remind folks that this update, which brings the phone to Android 4.0.4, Build FD02, has absolutely nothing to do with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus languishing on Android 4.0.2. (The horror!) That's not going to stop anyone from complaining (nor does it change the fact that Nexus phones are supposed to be updated early and often), but we feel better having said it.

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

This is BlackBerry 10, eh?

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We know it's still pretty early for the life of BlackBerry 10 devices, but we're also not really all that worried about RIM stealing away Android's market share anytime soon. Any of you thinking of jumping ship yet?

Keep up with all of today's BB10 announcements at CrackBerry

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4 years ago

Latest SGS3 leak makes us happy that May 3 is just two days away

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A mere two days away from the huge Galaxy S III announcement, we’re getting yet another sneak peek at what Samsung is hiding up its sleeve. This leak comes courtesy of Sammobile, and appears to show the “next Galaxy” running Android 4.0.4 out of the box. This device looks to be the GT-I9300, the same phone leaked by Gizmodo Brazil and promptly confirmed by The Verge to be nowhere near the final build.  Sammobile's anonymous tipster claims that whatever this pans out to be, it'll have a 12 megapixel camera, a spec all but confirmed for the GS3. 

Does this mean that the GT-I9800 that got its Wifi certification last week will be the actual Galaxy S III, or are these different model numbers perhaps a continuation of Samsung’s tradition of different Galaxies for different carriers? Is the device above ready to ship, or is it just another dummy casing? Who knows, but one thing’s for certain: we can all say adios to renders and prototypes in just 48 hours, when we'll all unravel the GS3 mystery together.

Source: Sammobile

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4 years ago

From the forums: Is the Verizon Galaxy Nexus really a Nexus

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The argument over whether the Verizon (or Sprint, for that matter) Galaxy Nexus is a "true" Nexus continues, and we've got a great thread going on in the forums. Our own Jerry Hildenbrand has weighed in, with a post you've need to read if for no other reason than for some great insight into the update and open-source process and how it's a little different for the CDMA carriers.

It's a great discussion, and it's all going down here.

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4 years ago

Kid-favorite Peppa Pig hits Android

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OK, parents. Here's another Android app that'll make you look that much cooler in the eyes of your child. (I know, it gets harder every day.) P2 Games Limited has brought Peppa Ping - Happy Mrs. Chicken to Android. The app has four interactive games and a bonus sticker book. Plus there's familiar music and sound effects that should make little Timmy think the TV show's in in hands.

The game runs about $3.23, which is a small price to pay for a few minutes of relative peace and quiet.

Download: Peppa Pig - Happy Mrs. Chicken; Also: More Android kids apps

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4 years ago

Second CM9 build for Galaxy Note looks a bit more functional

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Yesterday we reported on the first CyanogenMod 9 build for the (international) Samsung Galaxy Note, noting that it was still early days, and that a couple of major bugs would make it a non-starter for many users. In particular, the lack of working phone calls was a deal-breaker for us. However, the devs at TeamHacksung have followed up with a second build today, fixing most of the serious glitches, including voice calls and video recording.

There are still some issues to be ironed out, including DSP Manager and Movie Studio, but kudos to the developers for moving so quickly to squish bugs. If you're rocking an international (GT-N7000) Galaxy Note and are comfortable with experimental custom ROMs, then hit the links below to get started.

Source: TeamHacksung, XDA; Thanks @android_indian!

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4 years ago

Three UK offers an HTC One X update of its own, promises battery life improvements

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British network Three sends word via the Twitters that it's now pushing out the 1.28.771.9 firmware update for its branded versions of the HTC One X. This is the original OTA for the One X, which started going out to unbranded units a couple of weeks ago, not the newer 1.29 update that emerged last night. So Three-branded One X's are getting 1.28 just as it's been succeeded by a newer firmware version, which we're sure will irk some users. But to be fair to Three, a two-week turnaround on a firmware update is pretty fast for a European network -- in the past customers have had to wait a month or more, especially for minor updates like this.

Writing on its official Twitter account, Three says One X owners can look forward to "improvements [including] increased battery life" -- which matches what we've heard from One X owners running the unbranded version of 1.28.

If you've got a One X on Three, head to Settings > About > Software updates to grab today's OTA.

Source: @ThreeUK

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