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4 years ago

TELUS launches trade-in program with customers, environment in mind


Canadian carrier TELUS announced today that effective immediately, customers will be able to visit any of its nearly 700 retail stores and trade in up to three devices for up to $200 in credit. The trade-in policy applies to smartphones, wifi hotspots, and mobile internet keys, and the credit awarded can be applied to new devices or accessories. The trade-in devices must be new enough for the carrier to refurbish; if they are too old, you'll receive a $3 donation to Tree Canada in your name. The trade-in program is open to both new and existing TELUS customers.

The new policy is in direct response to a survey commissioned by the carrier in collaboration with eRecyclingCorps, which found that 54 percent of Canadians want to trade in their phones but do not know how. Conducted on a sample of 1,011 Canadian adults, the survey also showed that 61 percent of those approached have up to five old devices in their homes, and would gladly trade them in for something in return. Environmentally safe recycling was a concern for 82 percent of those surveyed. TELUS' announcement, along with more information about the survey, can be found after the break.

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4 years ago

Sony announces global launch of the Xperia S


It's been available in some parts of the world since late February, but today Sony Mobile has officially announced global availability of the Xperia S, its current international flagship device. Sony hasn't revealed pricing or carrier availability in specific markets, but in the UK, O2, Three, Orange and T-Mobile offer the black Xperia S, while Phones4U has exclusivity over the white version. SIM-free prices range from £370-400 in the UK, and around €450 in the eurozone.

Unfortunately this "global" release doesn't apply to the U.S., where Sony has no plans to release the Xperia S, or its mid-range siblings the Xperis P and Xperia U. The manufacturer will launch the 4.7-inch, LTE-toting Xperia Ion on AT&T during the second quarter, though.

We recently reviewed the Xperia S, and found it to be a capable handset with some outstanding features, including a great camera and sharp 720p screen. It's running Gingerbread out of the box though, and there's no specific timeframe for that ICS update beyond Q2 2012.

If you're thinking of picking up an Xperia S, or you've already dropped some cash on Sony's latest handset, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: Sony

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4 years ago

Huawei Ascend D Quad reportedly shipping from July


Back at Mobile World Congress we went hands-on with the Huawei Ascend D Quad and at that time, it was mentioned the device could potentially start shipping in June. Recent reports, however, indicate that may have been a little premature, as the device won't even go into mass production until June with shipments now expected to be rolling out in July.

As Huawei's 2012 flagship, the Ascend D Quad isn't short on specs. It comes loaded with Ice Cream Sandwich, with a 4.5 inch IPS HD (1280 x 720) display and an 8MP camera. It's powered by Huawei's own 1.2GHz quad-core processor, which looks every bit as impressive as the more widely-used NVIDIA Tegra 3. However, if the shipment dates are accurate then Huawei will be competing for sales against the like of the HTC One X, as well a rumored high-end device from Samsung.

Source: CNMO; via: Unwired View

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4 years ago

Sony Mobile offers up Xperia S open source archive, provides support for custom ROM devs


If you're an OEM like Sony Mobile, looking to expand your reach, what can you do for Android custom ROM developers to appeal to them? Show them your source and offer them up the same tools you use, of course.

And that's exactly what Sony has done. In an announcement on its blog, the artist formerly known as Sony Ericsson has offered up access to the open source archive for the Xperia S, where folks who know what they are doing can build custom ROMs and kernels for the device.

Over the past year or so, Sony has openly courted the Android the developer community. Whether that stance will help them improve their market share is open to debate, but it's certainly something we'd love to see from more Android manufacturers.

Source: Sony Mobile Blog

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4 years ago

LG Optimus M+ gets detailed, headed to MetroPCS


The LG Optimus M was the first Android device to arrive on MetroPCS way back in 2010, and now it looks like MetroPCS and LG are looking to follow it up with LG Optimus M+. Leaked details suggest a minor spec bump from the original Optimus M -- there's an 3.5 Inch screen, a 800MHz processor and an updated 5MP camera with flash. Bluetooth 3.0 support is included too, for what that's worth. A decent mid-ranger, but nothing to write home about. Leaked renders obtained by PocketNow also indicate a slightly re-vamped chassis.

As might be expected for a budget handset, there's no Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich love had here -- this one will be Gingerbread. There's no set date for release, but we'll keep you posted if any further details emerge.

Source: PocketNow

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4 years ago

Sony to release Xperia Neo L with ICS in China


Sony has announced the Xperia Neo L MT25i today -- a 4-inch, single-core device that will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich to China. The successor to last year's Xperia Neo and Xperia Neo V, it will be the first phone from Sony to ship with Android 4.0 out of the box. A quick look at the disclosed specifications and we can see that this one isn't a huge boost on the hardware front:

  • 4-inch 854x480 display
  • 5MP rear camera (with 720p recording)
  • VGA front facing camera
  • 512MB RAM
  • 1GB on-board storage
  • 1GHz single-core Qualcomm MSM8255 CPU
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 1500mAh battery

It's also not the thinnest and lightest phone in the world, checking in at 131.5 grams and 12.2 mm thick. The real draw to the Neo L will be ICS out of the box.

It's no powerhouse by today's standards. It's fairly thick and heavy. And it may not ever show up anywhere except China. I'm fine with the first two, but Sony, you're killing me with the last. This phone, like every Android phone you've ever made, comes in a version that will work just dandy with AT&T's network in the U.S., and most of the GSM networks in Europe. Why is it so hard to sell the phone unlocked from your website for worldwide delivery? Sony's various business ventures have to have a distribution network that can handle this. They're freaking Sony.

You've kept your best devices away from anyone in the U.S. who doesn't want to spend the time and money to get them imported by not selling them this way. Don't follow the trend other OEM's have set and release specific devices for different parts of the world. Please. I jump back and forth between what may arguably be the best Android devices available -- a Galaxy Nexus and a Galaxy S II. But I would be using a oh-so-sexy Xperia Arc S in "Pure White" if I could have entered my card info at your website and bought one without extra fees and the headache of buying it with no warranty through an importer. I'm shallow like that when it comes to electronics. I'm not the only one. 

The world wants to buy your phones. They are beautifully designed and usually extremely well built. Don't keep them from us.

Via: UnwiredView

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4 years ago

Weather Flow a beautiful (and simple) Android weather app


See that there? That's the Weather Flow app. And that's pretty much all there is to it. Simple, easy-to-read data like date and time, temperature and forecast (daily or hourly).  Don't overthink it. The backgrounds (which pan ever so slowly) are gorgeous. 

There's a typographic theme (available in black or white) that you can switch to in the settings, and there are a couple 4x1 widgets available (we've got screen shots of both after the break), but really what you see above is where the money's at. It's extremely well done, and it's currently going for $1.99. We've got download links after the break.

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4 years ago

UK carriers reveal Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich plans


With unlocked European Samsung Galaxy S II models now being updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, owners of network-locked Galaxy S II in the UK are wondering when they'll be able to get the new software. As ever, this depends on which network your phone is locked to, and how long their internal testing processes take.

Initial bragging rights go to Three customers, as the network says Three-branded Galaxy S II's can now be updated to ICS through Samsung's Kies software. O2 customers have a little longer to wait, as the carrier's official Twitter account says that the update is due to roll out from "the start of April".

Things are a little murkier on the other three main networks, though. Vodafone UK says it's in the process of testing the ICS update, adding that it'll push out the software "as quickly as possible." However no release date is offered. Similarly, T-Mobile UK and Orange both say they have no information to offer on timings for the ICS update.

Of course, if you're willing to root your phone, then you needn't wait for your network to push out the update directly -- that's not for everyone, though. So it looks like it could be a frustrating few weeks for some network-locked Galaxy S II owners in the UK.

Source: Eurodroid, @O2, @OrangeHelpers, @TMobileUKhelp

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4 years ago

Unlocked 16GB GSM Galaxy Nexus going for $459 today


If you've been holding off on buying a GSM Samsung Galaxy Nexus, you're starting to run out of excuses. The unlocked 16GB version is going for just $459 today on Daily Steals. That's still a chunk of change, to be sure, but it's much better than $700 or so some of us paid to import it back in the day.

And if you're worried about using the Daily Steals site, we've ordered from 'em before. Ask Jerry how his GNex is doing. Hit the link below to check out the whole thing.

More: Daily Steals

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4 years ago

International Motorola RAZR update adds new smart actions, battery and camera tweaks


A new software update is available for the Motorola RAZR (that's the international GSM version of the Droid RAZR), according to Moto Europe's Facebook page. The new firmware is currently available in the UK, Italy, France and Spain. It's still based on Android 2.3 Gingerbread rather than ICS (although a leaked ICS build is available for the international model), RAZR users do have a handful of new features to look forward to.

New sample rules for Moto's Smart Actions feature have been added, including Auto Text and VIP Caller Mode. And the manufacturer also claims improved camera performance and increased battery life in this latest software update.

If you're rocking a GSM Motorola RAZR, head to Settings > About Phone > System Updates to grab the latest firmware update.

Source: Motorola Europe on Facebook; Thanks, @mad_caesar

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4 years ago

Samsung Facebook page shows Galaxy Note ICS mock-up


Here's another Samsung render which has sparked off some online speculation, and this time it's come directly from the manufacturer itself. The Samsung Mobile USA Facebook page currently displays the image you see above to promote its "Spin & Win" promotion, which offers fans and their friends the chance to bag a shiny new Galaxy Note. The interesting thing is that the Note in the picture displays an odd combination of Gingerbread and ICS elements. You've got the ICS launcher and icon set, but with Gingerbread-style labels, the old Android 2.x search widget and the TouchWiz notification bar.

We're not sure exactly what, if anything, we should make of this. It's certainly too early to jump to the conclusion, as some have done, that Samsung's ditching TouchWiz in its ICS update for the Note. After all, the current crop of Android 4.0 leaks for the international Note have been TouchWiz'd, just like the recent Galaxy S II update. So we don't know what deal is with this particular mock-up, but we're willing to bet that when ICS eventually hits the Galaxy Note, it'll look more like TouchWiz than what you see above.

Any more ideas or speculation? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Source: Samsung Mobile USA on Facebook

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4 years ago

Cut the Rope sequel Experiments makes its way to Android


Massively popular casual game Cut the Rope now has itself a sequel. The newest release from Zeptolab is titled Cut the Rope: Experiments, and has been available on iOS for a while.Now is our turn and it is available in the Google Play Store right now. 

The loveable Om-Nom returns from the first game, and this time is discovered by a mad scientist. Said scientist is determined to study Om-Nom's love of candy by conducting a series of experiments. 

Essentially what we get here though is more of the same -- cut rope, collect stars, deliver candy. But that's no bad thing. The original is so incredibly addictive that there would be little reason to change it up too much. There are new ways to interact and deliver the candy to our little green friend, which all fit within the experiments moniker the game carries. These include rope guns, suction cups, water and even rockets. After all what's a scientist without rockets? 

We're not short on gameplay either, with 125 new levels to play spread across 5 different categories. Experiments also comes with an element of social integration, with "hidden evidence" to be found for the Professor's photo album to share on Facebook

Cut the Rope: Experiments is available to download now from the Google Play Store and will set you back a very reasonable $0.99/£0.62. We've got the download links and the official trailer for you after the break.

Source: Google Play Store

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4 years ago

No, this is not the Samsung Galaxy S III either


Hey look, it's the Samsung Galaxy S III! Oh wait, no it isn't -- it's yet another obvious fabrication.

Yes, another alleged Galaxy S III render is doing the rounds this morning, claiming to show Samsung's upcoming 2012 flagship. The problem? A little research will reveal that someone's just 'shopped a Galaxy S II press shot onto the Galaxy S Wifi 4.2. Observe --

So no, that's not the Galaxy S III, and we're willing to bet this, this, this and this are equally bogus. Hold tight, folks, we're sure we'll look back on all this and laugh when we finally have the real deal.

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4 years ago

Reddit is Fun pulled from Google Play - here's why it probably happened


The Android phone is for porn, but the Android Market Google Play store is not. Recently, the Reddit is Fun app was pulled from the Play store for inclusion of sexually explicit material, and the developer (rightfully) questioned things publicly. Of course, this started an outcry of epic proportions that in itself would be suitable for Reddit. Following suit, the rumblings of Google being unfair, and that they should pull every browser and other app that allowed access to the Internet began. That's how the Internet works -- it thrives on controversy and only works well when not all the facts are known. 

Turns out the developer talked to the appeals team for the Google Play store, and the Reddit is Fun app did violate some rules that apps like the default browser or a Twitter app did not. The default install of the app included direct recommended links to pornographic material on the main page of Reddit. You see, the filtering agent that decides what is shown on the home screen of the app had all the sub-categories enabled by default. Categories like "ass," "NSFW," "pornvids," "spaceporn," and all other sorts of unsavory material that many folks wouldn't want to see would show up as links. If Grandma picked up your phone, and had no idea the sort of things available on Reddit, all she would know is that it was "Fun" and click them.

Nobody wants Grandma to see MeatSpin. Nobody. (Ed. Note: Phil could have gone the rest of his life without seeing it, too. Seriously, search that NSFW little nugget at your own risk.)

The Reddit is Fun developer is aware how to correct the issue, and we'll likely see the app "back on the shelves" shortly. Of course that part of the story didn't get picked up with the same steam the original pulling of the app did, but that's the Internet for ya.

This time around, we understand why the app was pulled, and can't say we disagree with the act of pulling it. Google could have had a little better communication, but that's another story for another day. There is a big question left, though.

How does Google decide which apps get pulled?

There are several Reddit apps in the Play store, and they all link to the same material. There are apps for 4chan (if you don't know, you don't want to) that link to things far, far worse. Why did these apps not get pulled? We're not sure, but we imagine user reporting has a lot to do with it. We've reached out to Google for a better explanation how this all works, and if we get answers we'll be sure to pass them along. In the meantime, this controversy can be put to rest while we await the next one.

Source: Reddit

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4 years ago

GSM Samsung Galaxy Nexus to launch on regional carrier I Wireless March 21


We've received word (with proof that's going to remain between us girls) from an anonymous ninja that regional U.S. carrier I Wireless will be launching the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on a two-year subsidized agreement come March 21. According to the documents received, the G Nex will sell for $199.99 after a $100 mail in rebate, or $609.99 if bought outright.

I Wireless is an affiliate of T-Mobile, and the phone being offered is identical to the penta-band GSM version many of us have imported here in the states and is for sale everywhere else in the world. They're a regional carrier that covers parts of Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, and most of Iowa using T-Mobile's EDGE/HSPA+ network. Their plans seem competitive with the big four, and this just might be a way to get your hands on a contract-model Galaxy Nexus if you live in their main coverage area. 

This begs the question -- is there something T-Mobile would like to tell us? When your affiliates start carrying highly desirable phones, a lot of people are going to want to know when they are coming or why they're not coming. I've reached out to T-Mobile, and while I don't expect an answer to either question, I'll be certain to follow up should they deliver. In the meantime, congrats Iowans -- one hell of a phone is headed your way.

Thanks, Anon!

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