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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Mega specs

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Full spec listings for the new 5.8- and 6.3-inch smartphones

Samsung has just announced the Galaxy Mega series, two new mid-range Android phones with ridiculously large screens. The Galaxy Megas' hardware isn't exactly high-end, but they're nothing to sniff at either. In particular the 6.3-inch version boasts a HD screen and LTE connectivity, and a sleeker overall design.

We've got the full spec sheet for both Galaxy Mega devices after the break.

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4 years ago

Samsung announces 5.8-inch and 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega smartphones

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Android 4.2 and the latest Samsung software on new, larger-than-life devices

After a couple of weeks of rumors, Samsung has today officially confirmed the Galaxy Mega series -- a line of big-screen smartphones aimed to straddle the space between the traditional phone and tablet markets. The official names, as rumored, are Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3.

Unlike the popular Galaxy Note series there's no Wacom-based 'S Pen' stylus included. But both Galaxy Mega devices include just about all the Samsung software features of newer Samsung phones like the Galaxy S4, due to the fact that they're running the latest version of the company's TouchWiz UI. That means new features like 'S Travel' and 'Story Album' come included out of the box, alongside the latest version of Google's mobile OS, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

A few other differences between the two Megas -- the Galaxy Mega 6.3 boasts LTE connectivity and a 1.7GHz dual-core CPU, while the 5.8-incher runs at 1.4GHz on HSPA+21. The 6.3 also has a higher-resolution screen -- "HD" (presumably 720p) according to today's press release -- as opposed to the 5.8's qHD (960x540). The 5.8-inch model offers a 2600mAh battery, as opposed to the 6.3's 3200mAh juicer. Both devices pack 1.5GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.9-megapixel front-facers.

So it the 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega is definitely the higher-end of the two, and you can see that reflected in its design. With its minimal bezel and redesigned silver trim, it's the spitting image of the Galaxy S4, whereas the Mega 5.8 looks closer to the Galaxy S3.

Today's news comes as Samsung faces increasing competition in the large-form-factor smartphone space, including 5-inch-plus devices from the likes of LG, ZTE and Huawei.

Samsung says the Galaxy Mega series will debut in Europe and Russia starting this May. We've got official images and the full press release after the break.

More: Samsung Galaxy Mega specs

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4 years ago

T-Mobile gives 'best and final offer' for MetroPCS takeover

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Better terms to hopefully lessen MetroPCS shareholder disapproval of the deal

T-Mobile USA's parent company Deutsche Telekom has submitted its "best and final offer" to shareholders, sweetening the deal for the MetroPCS reverse takeover. Amidst the growing sentiment among MetroPCS shareholders that they're getting the bad end of the deal, T-Mobile is reducing the amount of debt transferred to the new company as part of the deal. The current terms are good enough for most, and see MetroPCS shareholders receiving $4 per share and a 26-percent stake in the newly combined company. The new deal will also now see a reduced amount of debt transferred to the new company, now at $3.8 billion -- along with a slightly lower interest rate.

Although there is a vocal minority of shareholders disapproving of the current terms, they're still the minority. With T-Mobile previously stating that it felt its initial terms are fair, it's interesting to see it come back with a better offer to help guarantee the deal is accepted. MetroPCS shareholders are currently sending in their votes to approve or disapprove of the deal ahead of a shareholder meeting, which has been pushed back to April 24th because of the new terms. Pending that shareholder approval, all indications point to the deal going through at some time in 2013.

Source: WSJ

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4 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro 'value pack' features shown in new video

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New camera features and eye recognition shown in official video

Last month we talked about an upcoming software update for the LG Optimus G Pro, dubbed the "value pack". Corny name aside, it promised to deliver a few new features to the popular Korean handset. Tonight LG has pumped out a video showing off some of them.

In the video (after the break) you'll find a nice walkthrough of LG's Smart Video eye recognition, the dual-camera video and still capture, and seamless pause and resume video recording. These features should go over well in LG's home market, where the Optimus G Pro is currently sold.

LG hasn't giving any time frame for the update yet, We've checked our Optimus G Pro for updates, and nothing is here just yet. We'll have a deeper look at the features when it does arrive.

Source: LGMobileHQ

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4 years ago

Motorola Atrix HD debuts in Mexico with Nextel PRIP direct connect feature

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The Atrix HD was one of my favorite phones last year. It was easy to hold and use, had a great screen, and handled everything I threw at it really well. It's now launching on the Nextel network in Mexico, with Jelly Bean and a new push to talk / direct connect service.

Motorola ATRIX HD combines cutting-edge smartradio technology with PRIP Nextel’s new radio service that offers instantaneous high-performance communication using a software based solution integrated with Nextel’s wireless network. Users can enjoy direct connect with anyone, anywhere across the globe by making direct communication calls via Nextel Evolution Network, Wi-Fi or roaming. In addition, the unique PRIP service keeps users connected through Nextel Evolution, the fastest voice and Internet network in the market. 

This new PRIP service is also fully backwards compatible with previous IDEN PTT services from Nextel and Sprint. We don't yet have a date or price, but Nextel Mexico has an expansive information page about PRIP and it's features right here. Hit the break for the full press release.

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4 years ago

Nexus 10 flip cover now available in Google Play

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If you go back to our Nexus 10 review, you'll see where there's a removable strip along the rear that would make a perfect place to attach a cover of some sort. Today, Google finally put such a cover up for sale in Google Play. Available in scarlet or dark gray, the covers will fold over and protect the screen on your Nexus 10, and puts the device to sleep when closed.

The Play store says these will ship and be delivered in three to five days, and they are a bit pricey at $30. But really, the screen on the Nexus 10 would likely cost so much to replace that this is cheap insurance to help prevent scratches and other mishaps. For more information, and to order, click the link below.

Source: Google Play

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4 years ago

Google: Glass Explorer edition to ship within the next month

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Developers (and non-developers) who signed up for the Google Glass Explorer program should have their very own pair right before Google I/O

If you plunked down the $1500.00 to become a Glass Explorer at Google I/O last year, you should have your very own set of Google's next big thing in your hands within a month. This is according to what Google has told the folks over at Tech Crunch during today's "Glass Collective" event with Google Ventures. 

The timing for this just screams Google I/O, and we certainly expect to see Google Glass spend a good bit of time front and center during Google's yearly developer conference. Since the project was first unveiled at Google I/O last year, we've seen quite a bit of push from Mountain View to keep people interested, and get developers on board. We wouldn't be surprised to see things come to a head with special developer sessions for Glass, along with plenty of exposure during the keynotes.

If you're a part of the Glass Explorer group, keep an eye on your inbox for more information.

Source: Tech Crunch

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4 years ago

Sprint HTC One - the Android Central casual review

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Network - not software or hardware - is the big difference in the Sprint HTC One, for better or worse

Finally, we're getting our first look at the U.S. versions of the HTC One, the phone that many believe (right or wrong) will either make or break the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer, which has been struggling financially for a number of quarters.

The HTC One represents a bit of a shift for HTC. As the name implies, it's one line. One brand. For all intents and purposes, we're looking at the same smartphone from Europe to Asia to the U.S., and everywhere in between. There will be a few small changes, of course -- radios and storage space and what not. And he U.S. carrier versions will have slightly different applications packages preloaded. But put, say, the Sprint HTC One beside an unlocked, European phone, and you'll not see a difference in looks, or in function. And maybe most important -- they're the same phone in name, finally giving HTC a proper platform to push its brand. That's something HTC has tried and failed at for a number of years, most notably with the 17 variants (more or less) in the originally attempt at the HTC One.

But no more.

I've had the Sprint HTC One for a week or so now, and I've had a European version for a number of weeks. There's simply no real difference in terms of hardware and functionality. For that, please see Alex Dobie's excellent comprehensive HTC One review.

We're going to do things a little differently here. What follows is not a deep dive into the Sprint HTC One. It's just not that different from what we've already reviewed. Instead, it's my thoughts on the HTC One in general and a breakdown of the specifics for Sprint's version. School's in session.

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4 years ago

Google gives away devices and gift cards in Play Store sweepstakes

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Win a Nexus 4, 7, 10, or $10 in Play Store bucks

If you like free stuff, Google has some great news: it is giving away ten Nexus 10 tablets, seven Nexus 7 tablets, and (you guessed it) four Nexus 4 phones, as well as 100 gift cards worth $10 a pop in the Google Play Favorite Things Sweepstakes. Only U.S. residents 18 and older need apply, and a Twitter account is required to enter.

First, you'll need to follow @Google Play. Next, pick something you're fond of in the Play Store -- it can be any movie, music, book, app, game, magazine, or TV show. Tweet a link of the item with #favoritethings. The example given by Google is "My favorite movie on @GooglePlay is Toy Story https://play.google.com/store/movies/details/Toy_Story?id=c3986gGp3Qs #favoritethings." Finally, complete the official entry form.

Entrants have until 11:59PM PT on April 24, 2013 to complete the above. For a complete list of official rules, follow the link below. Google luck!

Source: Entry PageOfficial Rules

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4 years ago

Live this weekend: Catch Coachella on YouTube

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YouTube on Android makes streaming the annual festival easier than ever

I'm getting old, so hanging out in the desert with 100,000 sweaty music fans isn't quite as much fun as it used to be. But I won't be missing out on Coachella this weekend just because I crave soft beds, warm showers and indoor plumbing. YouTube once again will be streaming three days of music.

Stars and Jake Bugg kick things off at 3:30 p.m. PDT Friday, with Teean and Sara and How to Destroy Angels (that's Trent Reznor & Co's new gig) closing things out in the wee hours. Saturday sees a ridiculous lineup including Baauer (be sure to thank him for all this Harlem Shake nonsense), Dropkick Murphys, Ben Howard, Puscifer, Violent Femmes, the Descendants, Janelle Monae, Phoenix, Moby and New Order. On Sunday there's The Gaslight Anthem, Social Distortion, Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Dinosaur Jr., the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Dead Can Dance closing it all out.

Consider all that for a minute, and consider that because Android has the best mobile YouTube experience, you'll not miss a second of the music. It really is an awesome experience, all from the safety and comfort of your living room. Or the bathroom. We don't judge. Watch on your phone or tablet. Or with Google TV (or, gasp, the Nexus Q). Or in your Chrome browser.

More: Youtube.com/coachella

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4 years ago

Chrome Beta updated with fullscreen mode, better search, tab history

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Chrome's toolbar now hides automatically when scrolling down webpages

A new build is available for Chrome Beta users, moving the beta app's version to 27.0.1453.49. Those that have stuck with the stable version of Chrome might be persuaded to come over to the dark side thanks to the latest awesome feature: fullscreen mode.

Upon scrolling down a webpage, Chrome's toolbar will now completely disappear, giving a boost to the precious screen real estate that web page content can use. If a a web address needs to be typed in or the menu needs to be accessed, scrolling up will quickly restore the toolbar. This feature is currently for phones only.

Tablets get their own exclusive feature as well. Holding the browser back button will reveal a drop down area, with previously viewed tabs displayed in a vertical list. Viewing tab history doesn't get any easier.

All devices also receive a new and improved search function. Now when a search term is entered into the omnibox (address bar), it will stay in the omnibox -- instead of being replaced with a web address upon searching. This not only makes it easier to go back and edit search terms, but it eliminates the need for displaying a search box within the webpage, allowing more search results to be seen on the page.

Client-side certificate support was added to this release as well, allowing access to sites that require the use of a certificate. Users are given the option to select their desired certificate from any that are currently installed.

Expected bugs with this beta build include some lag and page flicker, as well as duplicate history items. If you don't already have Chrome Beta installed, follow the link at the top. Full release notes can be found below.

Source: Chrome Releases Blog

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4 years ago

Microsoft Office now rumored for Android in (wait for it ...) 2014

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An Android release may have to wait until PC, Mac, and Windows Phone updates are finished

An official Microsoft Office app release is one of those things that seems to get further away as time goes on. The last notable rumor pegged Microsoft's suite of apps coming to Android in March of 2013. The newest rumor, an alleged roadmap being reported by ZDNet, lists Office for Android coming in 'Gemini Wave 2.0,' or October 2014. The first two 'Gemini Waves' show Office updates for Windows Blue, Office for Mac, Office RT, and Windows Phone. Once the developers get these out of the way, Android and iOS are supposed to be next in line to receive Office apps.

According to this roadmap, Office just isn't in the stars for Android as a 2013 release. Even if this information is correct, it wouldn't be surprising to see the release pushed back further, and Windows Phone keeping an exclusive on Microsoft Office for the foreseeable future. Luckily Google has been preparing for such a scenario, with its acquisition of Quickoffice to beef up its own apps product suite. The free copies of Quickoffice bundled in Google devices and given to Google Apps for Business users will have to do while the wait for Office for Android continues.

Source: ZDNet

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4 years ago

HTC One just $99 for customers who switch to Sprint

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Current customers stuck with $199 price tag, full price still $549

Sprint is prominently displaying promotions on its HTC One pre-order page indicating that new customers coming to the Now Network will receive $100 off their purchase. Provided you bring your own number to the carrier (presumably to make sure people intend to stick around) and sign a two year contract, the device will ring up at just $99. The HTC One will be finally available on Sprint on April 19th, but pre-ordering before then secures your device, which Sprint says it will attempt to have arrive at your door before it actually goes on sale in stores.

If you're planning on pre-ordering you're unfortunately going to be restricted to just the silver/white model, with the black model still "coming soon". Is $100 enough money to make you consider switching carriers? You can get more info at the source link below.

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

ZTE Geek announced: next-gen Intel CPU plus Android 4.2

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Runs Intel's new CloverTrail+ Z2580 32nm CPU at 2GHz

ZTE sends word of a newly-announced device at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, China. The ZTE Geek (yes, that's actually it's name) packs the latest smartphone chip from Intel -- the CloverTrail+-based Atom Z2580 at 2GHz -- alongside Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The device's other specs are reasonably high-end, if not cutting-edge. It's got 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, a 5-inch 720p display and an 8-megapixel rear camera.

With the latest Intel CPU and the latest version of Android (not to mention its unconventional name and IDF unveiling) it's possible ZTE might be aiming this device at tech enthusiasts rather than average consumers. We'll have to wait and see how the manufacturer markets the Geek in the months ahead.

The new handset follows on from ZTE's previous collaboration with Intel, in the mid-range Grand X IN, released late last year. ZTE reps weren't able to confirm whether the Geek will see release in the UK or anywhere else outside of China, nor was there any information on release timeframes or pricing.

Source: ZTE

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4 years ago

Telus HTC One priced as low as $149, preorders available now

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A quick heads up for our friends in Canada -- Telus has just dropped word that its HTC One is now available for preorder, ahead of its scheduled April 19 availability. The Canadian Standard Contract -- ah, the ol' CSC -- brings the price down to a mere $149, but that's for a ridiculously long three-year contract. Purchased outright, the HTC One will run $659.

More: Telus

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