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4 years ago

Hands-on with the LG Optimus G Pro


LG's flagship Android smartphone gets bigger, faster and ... a bit familiar-looking

You're forgiven for thinking it. We all are. It's impossible to pick up the LG Optimus G Pro -- the oversized, 5.5-inch Android half-phone/half-tablet unveiled this week at Mobile World Congress in Spain -- and not think of another Korean manufacturer's similar product. Go ahead and get that out of your system.

This is the Optimus G Pro. Not the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. But, yeah. There are certain physical similarities. You can't help by notice that. And for sure the folks in the 50 or so countries LG's planning on launching the Optimus G Pro in (beginning in the second quarter) will notice. Maybe that's the idea. Or maybe not.

In a nutshell, it takes all of the hardware and software LG brought in the original, smaller Optimus G in the fall of 2012 and expands it to a larger platform. The display sports a 1920x1080 resolution, for about 400 pixels per inch. The internal specs are beefier, powered by a 1.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, the better to push all those pixels. Sluggish, this device is not.

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4 years ago

Polycom updates RealPresence app for Android tablets


Polycom has updated their RealPresence application for Android, bringing support for even more tablets, and new features like smart pairing technology, content sharing, and SVC (Scalable Video Coding) format support. Before you click the link to install this one, take a few minutes to see exactly what the RealPresence app is.

This isn't regular video chat where you goof off with your friends or talk dirty to each other. RealPresence is an enterprise video conferencing solution, and it requires and it requires the proper infrastructure to run on. It's designed for professionals who need to speak with each other, in real-time, securely. As the video you'll find after the break explains, industries from healthcare to construction have a need to conference remotely, and when video is involved things are more efficient. When things get more efficient, we all benefit.

Android adoption for the enterprise has always paled when compared to the consumer space, or to Apple's iOS. Applications like RealPresence can change that, and expand the choices made when it's time to buy equipment. Jump past the break to see the mentioned video, and read the press release.

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4 years ago

Intel announces dual-core Atom, multiband LTE chip and OEM partnerships


Intel is laying down a whole group of announcements today, covering the launch of dual-core Atom processors, multiband LTE chips and partnerships with OEMs for future quad-core Intel chips. First up is Intel's dual-core Atom (known as Clover Trail+), which is a 32nm (nanometer) processor coming in three SKU's -- Z2580, Z2560, Z2520 -- at 2.0GHz, 1.6GHz and 1.2GHz, respectively. The new Atom will deliver "industry-leading" performance, with Intel's hyper-threading technology, and battery life (which hasn't been Intel's strong suit) to rival current high-end devices.

The new chips also now support up to 1900x1200 display resolution, which will make it a suitable chip for future Android tablets. The Clover Trail+ Atoms support Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and HSPA+ 42 mobile data modems as well. Intel says it has already made partnerships with ASUS, Lenovo and ZTE to integrate Clover Trail+ processors into future tablets and phones.

Intel is also announcing today the availability of its first multimode and multiband LTE chip, the XMM 7160. One of the world's lowest power and smallest chips available, the 7160 supports up to 15 LTE bands simultaneously, and offers full LTE, DC-HSPA+ and EDGE connectivity in one chip SKU. Intel expects the radio to be ready in the first half of this year, with the radio and processor roadmaps soon converging to offer an integrated solution in the future.

Last but not least, Intel is looking forward to its upcoming "Bay Trail" quad-core Atom processors for use in tablets. The new processor will double the performance of its current tablet offerings, with potential designs as small as 8nm going forward. Intel is working with Acer, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, LG Electronics and Samsung to have both Android and Windows 8 tablets in the market by the holiday season of 2013 with Bay Trail quad-core processors.

Things weren't too great for Intel in 2012 when looking at the complete dominance of ARM-based processors in high-end devices, but the company doesn't seem to be holding back on its mobile product developments. Give it a couple more product cycles and Intel could begin to see some market share gain going forward.

Source: Intel (BusinessWire)

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4 years ago

Samsung to hold Galaxy S IV event March 14 in New York


According to a Samsung representative, Samsung will hold a Galaxy S IV inspired event March 14 in New York city. This will be the first Galaxy S event in the U.S. since the first round of Galaxy S phones were announced at CTIA in 2010, and Samsung mobile division chief JK Shin says the venue was moved because they were "bombarded with requests" from US carriers to hold the show in their own country.

Nobody knows exactly what to expect from Samsung's latest, but we are sure it will give us plenty to talk about. Expected with everything stronger, faster, and higher resolution that the current Galaxy S3, the handset is sure to be a hit amongst consumers.

All the details aren't known just yet, but you'll be able to count on Android Central to deliver you all the news about Samsung's next. 

Source: e. daily (Korean); via: Reuters

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean update for Sprint Galaxy Victory 4G leaks out


Frequent firmware leaker Samsung-Updates has just put up a preliminary leak of the Jelly Bean OTA for the Galaxy Victory 4G on Sprint. The device launched back in September of last year, disappointingly so when we saw just Ice Cream Sandwich on board. What we're looking at here though is software version L300VPALJ9, based on Android 4.1.1, which is a complete OTA package. We don't have a proper changelog associated with this update, which weighs in at a hefty 370MB, but that tends to be the case with leaks.

There's no indication as to whether this is what the software will look like when it officially hits, but for now it's all we've got. Sprint and Samsung have yet to publish any support documents confirming the update. If you've got a Galaxy Victory 4G and are interested in giving the latest firmware a shot, hit the source link below.

Source: Samsung-Updates; Via: Android Police

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4 years ago

ZTE launches 4G Cloud Radio networking solutions


ZTE does more than make Android phones that we rarely see in the U.S. They're also a big vendor to the folks who build out cellular networks, and provide all manner of equipment to folks like Verizon and other carriers. Today at Mobile World Congress 2013 they have launched what they are calling a 4G Cloud Radio solution.

It's technical, and a look at the white papers and press release is bound to bring on some serious head scratching for even the most seasoned smartphone veteran. In a nutshell, "cloud radio allows operators to address interference and coordination that affect OAM and arise as a result of the coexistence of multistandard networks. Wireless network performance can be optimized for given bearer resources, and user experience can be significantly improved. Cloud radio also protects investment, increases revenue, and helps operators secure a leading position in the wireless market."

I told you it was complicated. What we, as users, need to take away from this is that this new technology will allow carriers and the industry as a whole to make the transition from legacy 2G networks to 4G LTE smoother, more cost effieient, and cheaper. All of that trickles down to us and is reflected in our monthly bill. The full press release is after the break.

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4 years ago

Barnes & Noble looking to scale back on hardware efforts


Barnes & Noble may be aiming to lower the investment it puts into its Nook hardware efforts, sources of the New York Times report. Following less than stellar results in its Nook division -- which encompasses e-readers, tablets and e-book sales -- B&N executives are looking into the amount of money they spend on devices that aren't directly profitable. The Nook tablets, which are well known for being cheap for their hardware and relatively easy to hack, are simply too low margin for the nation's largest book chain to be focusing on.

“They are not completely getting out of the hardware business, but they are going to lean a lot more on the comprehensive digital catalog of content,” reports the unnamed source.

The hope going forward, it seems, will be for B&N to focus on licensing its software and content to other manufacturers to take advantage of. This is a complete turn-around from last year, when the book giant expressed that Nook was to be the future of its business. It's also interesting to look at in comparison to Amazon, which seems quite content selling hardware at break-even (or even loss) prices to push sales of digital content. Companies can only take initiatives so far before they need to consider the bottom line, though.

Source: New York Times

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4 years ago

LG brings together entire four-tier smartphone lineup at MWC


LG is taking some time at MWC 2013 to lay out its entire portfolio of phones for 2013, which it calls its "four-tier strategy". LG is hoping to cover an entire range of specs, sizes and price points with four lines -- Optimus G Series, Vu: Series, F Series and LII (L2) Series. We've already seen what LG has in store for the G Series, which is the highest end specs possible -- think Optimus G, Optimus G Pro. The Optimus Vu hasn't exactly been the hit LG was hoping for, but they're sticking with it going forward, focusing on pen input and multi-window apps as part of its QSlide software.

The newest additions to the lineup are the F Series and LII Series, filling out the middle and low-end, respectively. We received some details on the first F Series devices -- the F5 and F7 -- which have solid specs and are meant to expand LG's LTE offerings. The LII Series is focused on design rather than raw specs, with 3G-only devices that seem to be a playground for LG to try out new design elements in the low end.

LG is clearly trying to focus its design and product portfolio around the Optimus name in new ways for 2013, falling in line with the likes of Samsung and HTC that are focusing on a single flagship brand name. We'll see if this can help LG push its portfolio ahead in the coming year.

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4 years ago

Mobile Nations at MWC 2013: Day zero podcast


Join Android Central's Phil Nickinson and Alex Dobie as well as WPCentral's Jay Bennett and a mostly silent Daniel Rubino for the first Mobile Nations podcast of Mobile World Congress 2013. With the show about to start, we've already got plenty of Android to talk about.


Show notes

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4 years ago

Snapdragon BatteryGuru (Beta): is better battery life really just an app install away?


Qualcomm has seemingly out of nowhere released Snapdragon BatteryGuru, an app to help users with devices that have Snapdragon processors make the most out of their batteries. The app has some pretty lofty promises, and with support from the same manufacturer as your processor you'd hope that it would be able to help with battery life a notable amount.

So can Snapdragon BatteryGuru solve the battery woes on your new phone? Hit the break and see our results.

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4 years ago

Liquipel announces new turnkey retail solution, partnership with JayBird for moisture-resistant headphones


Earlier we told you how Liquipel was expanding their operations to serve more customers around the world, and now we have some more news from the company. Today they announced a new turn-key station that business can use to coat phones on the spot in any retail space. In addition, they have announced their partnership with JayBird to offer Bluetooth headphones coated with the water resistant technology.

The Liquipel Tower is a bit of machinery that retailers can purchase for their stores. Customers can come in and get their phone (many models are supported) treated with the nano-coating on the spot. Each tower is completely self-contained, and everything needed is in the unit. These Liquipel Towers will be available in the U.S. in Q2 2013.

JayBird already builds and sells premium headphones designed for the active crowd, and the announcement of a partnership with Liquipel allows them to offer a moisture-resistant Bluetooth option on top of their current line. The coating does not compromise the look or the operation of the headphones, and should be a compelling product for folks who need a set of headphones that can stand a bit of water torture. There was no mention of pricing or availability.  

We've got two press releases with all the details after the break,

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4 years ago

A new Jelly Bean release is being tested for the Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX


We've received a few reports that emails are going out to invite Motorola Feedback Network members to try a new release of Jelly Bean for the Droid RAZR and the Droid RAZR MAXX.

Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We are inviting owners of the Droid RAZR or Droid RAZR Maxx on Verizon to participate in an early preview of a new Jelly Bean software release, and provide feedback.  If you are not currently using a Droid RAZR or Droid RAZR Maxx on Verizon, please excuse and ignore this email.

Plenty of folks using these phones are anxious to get Jelly Bean on their devices. Hopefully this soak test is successful, and we see a software update roll out shortly after. Keep your eyes on Android Central, and jump into the forums to discuss!

More: Droid RAZR MAXX forums

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4 years ago

Head to head: NVIDIA's Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i


Chipmaker shows its 2013 wares at Mobile World Congress

For NVIDIA in 2013 (so far at least), the conversation revolves around Tegra 4 and Tegra 4i. The gist is that Tegra 4 is more powerful of the two, with more GPU cores than Tegra 4i (72 versus 60) and boasting the ARM 15 processor as part of NVIDIA's 4+1 quad-core package. It's a little bigger and more expensive than Tegra 4i, which dispenses with a dozen GPU cores and integrates the i500 LTE modem onto the die. Tegra 4i also uses an ARM9-r4, which while not quite as bad-ass as the ARM15 can very much still hold its own thanks to the optimization from ARM and NVIDIA. 

We got an up-close look at the new systems today, on the eve of Mobile World Congress, in a series of relatively controlled scenarios on test hardare, including NVIDIA's own "Phoenix" reference phone. And it's tough not to let NVIDIA's enthusiasm for its new line rub off on you. On paper, anyway, and comparing to the best of what's currently available -- which means Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 and its own Tegra 3 -- the next generation of Tegra devices looks damned promising.

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4 years ago

Alcatel announces the 1080p One Touch Idol X


Alcatel kicks of their presence at Mobile World Congress 2013 with an unexpectedly high-end offering, the 1080p One Touch Idol X. Don't let the Nokia style colored cases fool you, this one is all Android and a refreshing step up from what we've seen from Alcatel in the past.

Running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on a 5-inch LCD, the Idol X has a beautiful edge-to-edge design. Powered by a quad-core MediaTek 6589 CPU with 16GB of internal storage, a 13MP camera (subject to change based on location) and a 2000mAh battery, the One Touch Idol X looks like something we'll want to take a second look at.

No word of pricing or availability dates were supplied. 

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4 years ago

Kyocera Torque hands-on


We're on the ground at Pepcom's MobileFocus Global, where we've just had the chance to get some hands-on time with Sprint and Kycera's latest smartphone, the Torque. Announced in late January and coming to market on Mar. 8, the Torque is the Japanese company's first ruggedized Android phone.

It runs a 1GHz CPU, a WVGA screen and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, pretty run of the mill stuff for a low-priced smartphone. But what's unique about the Torque, aside from its water resistance and toughened shell, is the system it's employing for audio playback.

Instead of using a traditional speaker, the Torque is fitted with skin a ceramic-based solution that vibrates the shell of the handset. That means it can be heard through skin and bone conduction, as well as through hardcore construction ear-protection gear. The effect works pretty well, and it's easy to see how this kind of feature could be useful to anyone working in a noisy environment.

Check out our hands-on video and gallery after the break. The Sprint Kyocera Torque launches on Mar. 8 for $99 on-contract.

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