5 years ago

Hands-on with the HTC Desire X


The HTC Desire brand has a history stretching back to the dark depths of early 2010. The original Desire was the flagship of its time, but since then the name has been re-purposed for HTC's entry-level and mid-range smartphones. The latest phone in this range is the Desire X, which the company's showing at IFA 2012 this week.

The Desire X incorporates a classic HTC design, with rounded corners in a polycarbonate chassis. Around the back there's a large, stylized camera lens alongside branding from HTC and Beats Audio. Incidentally, as a Sense 4.1 device, the Desire X comes with Beats pre-loaded, as well as many features from the company's premium HTC One line of phones. It's packing a 1GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 768MB of RAM and a 4-inch WVGA SuperLCD display, which actually stacks up favorably against the higher-end One S's SuperAMOLED. For image capture, there's a 5MP BSI camera on the rear.

Software-wise, you get Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and HTC Sense 4.1. This means the Desire X benefits from all the performance enhancements introduced in the latest version of HTC's software layer, as well as features like menu button remapping and quick settings in the notification bar.

On the whole, it's a pretty compelling device for mid-range buyers, and a much more attractive proposition than the lower-end One V. Look for the HTC Desire X on European store shelves within the next month.

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5 years ago

Hands on with Moleskine for Android on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2


One o​f the announcements at the Samsung Unpacked event on Tuesday night in Berlin, was of an updated SDK for the Note devices with a view to better third party integration of the S-Pen. One of the apps that will be getting on board with the Galaxy Note 2 is Moleskine, you know, those nice -- and somewhat expensive -- paper notebooks that so many seem to adore. 

Moleskine has recently announced an integration between their paper notebooks and Evernote with the 'Smart Notebook', but this is something entirely different. This is a native note taking application, that will be exclusively available on the Galaxy Note devices for six months after launch. 

So it's a note taking app. Samsung includes a perfectly good note taking app themselves on the Galaxy Note devices already. While Moleskine here at IFA may only be a demo version, there's certainly a lot to like about it. It's really nicely done, and makes full use of the S-Pen and the pressure sensitive technology within the Note 2. 

The main home screen displays all of your various journals on a book shelf, and the actual journals themselves can be customized with different colored paper, lines, grids, you get the picture. There will be a selection of pre-created templates, which in this demo version was for recording information about your dog. At launch there will be many more though. 

As we already mentioned, this version is only a demo, and there will be more features available when it comes to launch such as the pocket that can be found on paper Moleskine notebooks. It's really well done though, and the future success of the Note line will depend on developers bringing quality apps to market that take advantage of the technology within the devices. The emphasis seems to be on creating the same experience of writing in a paper Moleskine notebook though, just in digital form. 

Moleskine will be available through Samsung Apps at launch, but the developers did confirm to us that after the exclusivity period with Samsung has expired, Moleskine will be available through Google Play. 

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5 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Camera - camera app hands-on


You could argue that the real star of the show at Samsung's recent Unpacked event in Berlin was the Galaxy Camera -- an Android 4.1-powered point-and-shoot with one of the largest screens around, backed up by powerful editing and sharing features from Samsung. We gave a general overview of the device in our first hands-on preview, and today we're bringing you a full walkthrough of the features you'll find in the most important application on the device -- the camera app.

The camera app is what you're presented with when you first start up the Samsung Galaxy Camera. From there, you can get to taking pictures, or hit the home button to jump back to the standard TouchWiz launcher. As a dedicated imaging device, the Galaxy Camera offers a wide range of features that go above and beyond the standard smartphone camera. From the main menu, you can choose between Auto, Casual, Smart Pro and Expert. Auto is, as you might expect, a mode that attempts to automatically adjust to whatever you're shooting based on lighting conditions and other factors. Hop into casual mode, and you'll be able to apply a number of nifty real-time effects to the images you're shooting -- and this menu is also where you'll find Panorama mode and similar options.

Next up is the much-touted Smart Pro, which lets you shoot "professional" quality images using a number of "pro" modes. For example, you'll find a dedicated macro mode, blue sky mode, fireworks more and more under this menu, allowing you to quickly switch to a shooting mode that matches what you want to capture. Finally, for those who want to mess about with ISO, exposure levels and apertures, there's expert mode.

Check out our hands-on video after the break. We've also got a handful of images showing off the camera interface in all its glory.

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5 years ago

Eyes on with the new Samsung Galaxy Camera accessories


With every camera comes camera accessories, and Samsung's new Galaxy Camera is no different. On show at the Samsung booth at IFA 2012 in Berlin is a selection of cases and other interesting items for future Galaxy Camera owners. 

Camera cases are to be expected, and there are the usual array of generic looking carrying cases as well as carry cases that look a little more tailored to the device. Additionally, there are a pretty decent choice of protective shells shaped to the Galaxy Camera that look to be available in a whole variety of colors, some more daring than others. 

There is also some pretty interesting stuff on the horizon for the Galaxy Camera, including wireless charging. We're told this isn't something that will be ready at launch, and that what we see on show today is more of a design concept of something they're planning in the future. The other concept accessories shows off some professional looking add-ons, so it goes to show that Samsung is very serious about this device.

As ever, we've got photos. Check them out after the break. 

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5 years ago

Black Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE with Jelly Bean hands-on


What's this we have here? An international Samsung Galaxy S3 with 4G LTE support? In glossy black? With Android 4.1 Jelly Bean? We spotted this desirable device at the Vodafone Germany booth at IFA 2012 in Berlin today, and took it for a quick spin. It's a tad thicker than the standard international Galaxy S3, and a little heavier too. The glossy black chassis makes this S3 a bit less flashy than the other models, though if you prefer the original pebble white design, you'll be able to get the LTE S3 in that color too. And don't forget that Samsung also just announced new colors of brown, red, and gray, along with it.

On the software side, it's running the latest version of Android, 4.1.1 Jelly Bean. Jelly Bean on the S3 works just like it does on the leaked builds we've seen for the 3G/HSPA model. You've got a redesigned notification bar, Google Now and other Jelly Bean features, along with new TouchWiz features like Dormant mode and Easy mode.

We've got more photos, and a full video walkthrough after the break.

More: Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update TouchWiz features

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5 years ago

Hands on with the Samsung Galaxy Camera [now with more colors!]


​Update: The doors to Samsung's impressive booth opened this morning, and laying within were a couple of Galaxy Cameras that we didn't see during Unpacked. On the stand is a rather vivid pair of new colors in red and in orange. So we thought we'd share some pictures with you. There's also the already announced dark blue version thrown in for good measure.

We're live in Berlin at the Samsung Unpacked event where the Samsung Galaxy Camera has just been unveiled. We've had a little hands-on time with the new Galaxy Camera, and the first thing that strikes is that this is a capable, high-quality point-and-shoot. The device feels extremely solid and well built, and the 4.8-inch HD SuperLCD display is of similar quality to the S3's.

We shouldn't forget that this is a camera powered by Android, and not an out and out Android device. Samsung has put their latest version of the Touchwiz Nature UX on there, based on Android 4.1. Yes, that's right, this is a camera running Jelly Bean. The possibilities with a connected camera are pretty exciting, and we're seeing the start of a whole new category of devices. 

Of course, image quality remains to be seen. However, with a 16-megapixel sensor and 20X optical zoom, Samsung looks to have created a compelling alternative to smartphone cameras for those looking to graduate from the world of smartphone photography.

Check out our hands on video with the Galaxy Camera above, and remember to keep it locked to AC throughout the week for more on this and everything else from IFA 2012 in Berlin. 

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5 years ago

Eyes on with the new Samsung Galaxy Note 2 accessories


So, we've seen the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, we've played with it, what's next? How about a look at the accessories that Samsung has shown off in it's giant booth at IFA 2012 in Berlin to go with the device? Sound good? 

As you would expect from Samsung, there are cases. A lot of cases. First up is the protective case, which partners a hard shell rear with a kind of rubberized bumper that will cover the sides and top of the Note 2. These look to be available in the same colors as the device itself, along with a kind of baby pink if you should so desire.

Next we have a selection of pouches which may or may not be leather -- hard to tell from behind glass -- available in a few colors, including brown. 

Then comes the huge selection of flip covers. These look pretty much like the Galaxy S 3 flip covers, and pair a hard shell rear with a front cover that flips over and completely encases the device. Purple. pink, orange, white, green, blue, there's a pretty broad spectrum of color choices available. 

Additionally, there will be a vehicle dock available, additional S-Pen's and desktop docks and battery chargers to cater for every occasion.

They're some pretty nice looking accessories, and of course we have pictures for you which you'll find after the break.

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5 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 gets priced on Vodafone Germany


Poking around the Vodafone booth at IFA 2012 in Berlin, some new information appeared regarding the newly announced Samsung Galaxy Note 2. A price. What we see here is the pricing for the 16GB LTE version, but the non-LTE Note 2 seems to be carrying the same price. 

It's the off contract price that's of particular interest here. That €639.90 price tag translates to £508 or $804 in UK and U.S. pricing respectively. While not necessarily an accurate representation of what the cost may be when the Note 2 makes it to the U.S. it isn't too far off the price we would expect for such a device in the UK. 

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5 years ago

Japanese judge rules Samsung didn't infringe on Apple music/video sync patent


A Japanese judge has ruled that Samsung did not violate an Apple patent on "synchronizing music and video data in devices to servers," Bloomberg reported this morning.

While that victory is sure to be heralded by most (if not all) who are reading this story on this site, it's important to remember that this case is separate from the one Samsung recently split in Korea, as well as the $1.049 billion verdict against it in U.S. federal court a week ago.

This synchronization lawsuit was initiated by Apple in Japan, and claimed that the Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy SII (S2) and Galaxy Tab infringed on its patent, noted above. Apple was seeking 100 million yen ($1,273,400 USD) in the case, which eventually ruled in favor of Samsung, who did not have to pay any damages. The damages seem quite low in comparison to what Apple was just awarded in its U.S. lawsuit victory, but it should be noted that only 5.7 percent of Apple's sales came from Japan last quarter, which is far less than the sales numbers each company posts in the U.S. market. Regardless of the size of the possible damages, it's still a victory for Samsung over a rival's patent holdings.

We hope, but seriously doubt, that this'll be the last we hear about Samsung and Apple fighting in the courts.

Source: Bloomberg

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5 years ago

Former BlackBerry user? Check out the free CrackBerry Forums app for Android!


Greetings citizens of Android Central! The Mobile Nations World Tour continues, and I confess I have been slacking.  My BlackBerry duties pulled me away. I have a couple more quality posts due to hit the blogs here before I move onto my stint with Windows Phone. But I wanted to chime in quick to let you know about a new app that just went live minutes ago in the Google Play Store... the CrackBerry Forums App for Android!

Yes, there is a story behind this one. We wanted to get an interim CrackBerry forums app up and running for the BlackBerry PlayBook quickly while we continue to work on our upcoming native BlackBerry 10 app. We found the easiest and best way to do this was to have our friends at Tapatalk port over their Android client. We launched that version yesterday in BlackBerry App World. As a byproduct of those efforts, we had the .apk in our hands so figured it wouldn't hurt to get it live in the Google Play store as well. Judging from the comments to my previous posts here, I know a bunch of you are former BlackBerry users and CrackBerry members. It's all good. 

The app is of course free. So if you have a soft spot for your old BlackBerry, want to keep in touch with CrackBerry friends or want to keep up to date with all the chatter surrounding the upcoming launch of BlackBerry 10 phones, be sure to give the CrackBerry Forums app a download in Google Play. The app makes it easy to browse the forums from your Android device. Just remember, if you're going to post, don't be a troll about it. Nobody likes trolls. Be like Phil and Jerry who have already downloaded the app and given it a 5 star rating along with some awesome reviews. ;)

The next move is yours Phil. I can't wait for you to come on CrackBerry and announce the launch of the Android Central app in BlackBerry App World.

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5 years ago

Rogers now rolling out Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the Motorola RAZR


Although it's coming later than some of its counterparts, Rogers in Canada has started rolling out Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the Motorola RAZR. Android 4.0.4 is what you'll be getting exactly. If you're not seeing the notification update on your device yet, you can check for updates and it may be waiting. If not, you'll just have to hang on a little longer as it seems like a staggered release.

Thanks, @dbeger14

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5 years ago

Blood and Glory: Legend brings back gladitorial mayhem to Android



Glu has launched their sequel to Blood and Glory on Google Play today, offering a remastered experience of one-on-one tactical combat. Say what you will about this being Infinity Blade in ancient Rome - gladiators are badass, and I really can't wait to get my thumbs on this one. Here's a quick run-down of the features. 

  • Motion comic storyline: Journey through the Empire, leaving blood-thirsty bosses in your wake as the all new animated comic story unfolds!
  • Stunning & award-winning AAA graphics: Perfect your skills and unleash stunning Special Attacks, Super Combos and the all new Glorious Strike!
  • Daily bonus: Come back every day to earn free money and equipment!
  • New arenas and enemies: Battle new towering Giants and seductive Claw Vixens to the death in the new Snake Den, Viking Ship, and Neptune Temple!

Of course, Glu is all about free-to-play, and that means in-app purchases. If you can deal with that and dig the trailer below, you can get Blood & Glory: Legend over here in Google Play.

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5 years ago

Cricket's Huawei Mercury Ice gets redesigned, hitting Radio Shack Sep. 5


Huawei has redesigned, renamed and re-released the Mercury (aka the Huawei Honor), and Cricket is bringing it to Radio Shack on September 5. In addition to the new handle, the phone's face is now offered in a pearl white, and just like we told you yesterday, unlimited MUVE music is part of the package. Fifty dollars a month for unlimited talk, text, data, and music streaming isn't a bad deal at all.

Unfortunately, the software doesn't seem to have been updated and it's still running on Gingerbread under Huawei's tweaks. We've got no information about any pricing, but we expect it to be priced competitively. We just heard back from our tipster, and we now know that the Mercury Ice will check in at $149.99 -- contract free.

Certainly this is no barn burner, but with a fairly decent Ice Cream Sandwich ROM in the wild and a respectable hacking community, it may be worth traveling to your local Radio Shack to have a look. There's a couple more pics after the break

Thanks, Anon!

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5 years ago

Behind the scenes with Sony's designers


We take a look at the design language of Sony's new Arc family

At its IFA press conference, Sony Mobile launched four new Xperia smartphones -- Xperia T, Xperia TX, Xperia J and Xperia V. The announcement came just six months after the Xperia NXT series made its European debut, and saw Sony presenting two distinctly different families of devices within the same year. From the Xperia TX at the high-end to the Xperia J at entry-level, all four devices channel the design of a phone for which we still have something of a soft spot -- the Xperia Arc. And at a meeting at IFA 2012 in Berlin, we had the chance to learn more about this dramatic change in design direction.

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5 years ago

Hands-on with HBO Go on Nexus 7


Oh, happy day! After a bit of a false start this afternoon with the first update on Google Play, HBO Go is finally available on Jelly Bean devices -- and more specifically, on the Nexus 7. That's the 7-inch tablet with thie high-resolution display Google released this summer, and we've been dying to give HBO's on-demand streaming a go.

The app is pretty stunning, visually. You're asked to log in through your cable provider at the outset (though you can browse shows as a guest, too). From there, you're greeted with a moving wall of thumbnails. Movies, series, specials -- everything HBO has to offer through the app is right there. You can browser traditional menus if you want, but that's not nearly as much fun.

Pick a show, and watch. It's that simple. And it's about time.

We've got some quick hands-on video after the break if you prefer.

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