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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Core LTE announced, mid-ranger bound for Europe and Asia


A little under one year ago saw Samsung introduce the Galaxy Core, a mid-range Android with specs from a year prior and a price to match, and today they're following up with the Galaxy Core LTE. Like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy Core LTE isn't exactly an overwhelming device, but it's still one that will be adequate — especially in the low-cost markets at which Samsung is targeting the phone.

The Galaxy Core LTE sports a 1.2GHz dual core processor (just like its predecessor) and a 5MP rear camera (just like its predecessor). The visual language has been updated, where the Galaxy Core looked like a smaller Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Core LTE apes the design language of its more powerful bigger brother Galaxy S4.

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3 years ago

HTC set to unveil Desire 8 in China on Feb. 24


Name and launch event detailed on HTC's Weibo account

Having leaked out last week, today it seems HTC's next Android device is going to be the Desire 8. The other good news is that it seems those pretty hot looking leaked images are in fact the real deal. It all comes about from a post on the HTC Weibo account in China, talking up a Feb 24. launch event in Beijing.

It also teases a "super-super" camera for the Desire 8, though equally that could be a rough translation. In any case, no specs or other firm details about the phone are available at this time. Purported specs line this up as a giant 5.5-inch mid-range handset, with a 13MP and 5MP combination of cameras – which could account for the "super-super" part.

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3 years ago

Huawei launches Ascend Y530 for the UK with new smartphone users in mind


New 'Simple Android Interface' makes things easier for new Android users

Huawei has today introduced its latest entry level offering for the UK, the Ascend Y530. While the specs won't bowl anyone over, Huawei is making a play for the new smartphone user with the inclusion of its new Simple Android Interface. The option to switch to this from the regular Emotion UI is designed to make the phone easier to interact with for those new to Android, or smartphones in general.

Both interfaces are layered on top of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, residing beneath a 4.5-inch 854x480 display. A 1.2GHz dual-core CPU is accompanied by 4GB of onboard storage with microSD card expansion, a 5MP rear camera and a 1700mAh battery.

The biggest issue with the Y530 is its price. At £149.95 it's quite a bit more than you can find a Moto G for these days, and less smartphone for that money. While we'd still recommend Motorola's effort, it is still great to see Huawei offering something attractive to those new to smartphones. It's available to buy now from Argos in black, and will hit Carphone Warehouse in March in black and white. Head on past the break for the full press release.

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3 years ago

Acer teases new Mobile World Congress bound smartphone


Acer's next Liquid smartphone dropping into Spain

We're just 7 days removed from the official start of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and Acer is the latest OEM to tease its new products. Posting this image to its Google+ page, Acer is tagging this as a new smartphone in its Liquid line without giving any further details. Beneath the camera is some kind of sensor, possibly an IR blaster? Something else, perhaps?

Acer's last big release was the Liquid S2 which we saw first hand at IFA 2013 in Berlin. Overall it wasn't a bad device, and was probably one of the nicer Android phones we saw there that sadly few were probably going to buy. Whatever Acer is taking to Spain next week, we'll be on the ground throughout to take a look.

Source: Acer (Google+)

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3 years ago

Latest Xperia Z2 'Sirius' hands-on leak shows hardware and software


New Sony software features revealed

As Mobile World Congress approaches, we're getting to see even more of Sony's next high-end Android phone, the D6503 "Sirius," a device which might come to market as the Xperia Z2. Today yet another hands-on video with prototype Z2 hardware has emerged online, showing the new phone's hardware and Android 4.4-based software. YouTube user Rimas Flyil — the source of another recent leak — has published a twelve-minute hands-on video showing the phone's hardware and software in detailed (if slightly dark) footage.

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3 years ago

LG announces its L Series III refresh ahead of Mobile World Congress


LG, as it tends to do before major trade shows, has just announced a refresh of its mid-range L-series devices. Dubbed the L Series III, this is a trio of new Android smartphones — the L90, L70 and L40. 

Here's how they break down:

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact review


Sony’s downsized Z1 might just be the best small Android phone you can buy

For the past several years, high-end Android phones have followed the mantra of “go big or go home.” Five-plus-inch displays, once considered comically large, are now the standard for top-level Android handsets. And big screens definitely have their advantages, giving us more room to browse the web, play games and view photos and movies. But the transition to large displays has left a gap in the market between the 4-inch iPhone and the bulk of the high-end Android space. And that’s precisely where Sony wants to place its latest handset, the Xperia Z1 Compact.

Sony has packed all the major hardware features of the Z1 into a smaller chassis.

The Z1 Compact is in essence a shrunk-down version of the Xperia Z1, Sony’s current 5-inch, 1080p flagship. We’ve been familiarising ourselves with the Z1 since it launched late last year, and we recently reflected on our time with the phone in a three-month look-back feature. It’s one of the better Android phones out there, excelling in battery life and camera quality. But usually when a high-end handset gets a “mini” version there are compromises to be made — with the processor, camera and storage usually being first for the chop. That’s not the case with the Z1 Compact, and that’s actually the reason it’s a “Compact” and not a “Mini” — Sony tells us the “Mini” monicker has been tainted by cheaper, lower-end handsets. “Compact,” on the other hand, implies it’s the same phone in a smaller space.

Instead of cutting down specs along with the device’s footprint, Sony has packed all the major hardware features of the Z1 into a smaller chassis with a 4.3-inch 720p screen. You’ve got the same Snapdragon 800 CPU, 2GB of RAM and 20.7-megapixel rear camera found on the Z1, in a substantially reduced footprint. For that reason it offers much the same experience as its big brother, along with a few unique quirks of its own.

Join us after the break for a closer look, in our full review of the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact.

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3 years ago

Moto G in India seeing its KitKat update


Local dual-SIM model now updating to Android 4.4.2

A quick heads up for any of our Moto G owning friends over in India that an update should be headed your way. Having recently launched in dual-SIM form in India on Android 4.3, Moto is now updating to Android 4.4.2 KitKat as it has done in many other global markets. 

KitKat brings a few visual changes with it such as the white icons and translucent status bar, and in our experience sharpens up the device a little and makes the camera a little more responsive. There is of course more to KitKat than bells and whistles, so go ahead and load it up and take it for a spin. 

More: Moto G, two months on


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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z2 'Sirius' pictured alongside Z and Z1 in latest leak


Leaked photos show slightly taller Xperia with familiar design

As we approach the announcement of Sony's next major Android phone — expected at Mobile World Congress in just over a week — even more details about the device are starting to leak out. Photos of the upcoming Sony D6503, codenamed "Sirius," have today appeared on Chinese site Digi-wo, where it's been compared to Sony flagships past and present.

The first shot reveals the D6503 in black and white, showing a couple of the hardware features we'd seen from earlier leaks — apparently stereo speakers at the top and bottom of thie display, a familiar button setup including a shutter key, and reduced horizontal bezels. The second image, which lines up the new phone with the Xperia Z and Z1, shows some subtle physical differences — despite the reduced bezels, the "Sirius" is a bit taller than the Xperia Z1, perhaps due to a larger display size. (A 5.2-inch panel is rumored.)

Based on these images and other leaks, it seems pretty clear Sony's next handset will retain the blocky, angular design and hefty vertical bezels of its current lineup. The source of the photos suggests an April release is on the cards for the phone, making it reasonably likely we'll get an announcement out of Sony at MWC in Barcelona later this month.

Source: Digi-wo; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Sony begins Android 4.3 rollout for Xperia T, TX, V and SP


Updated Sony apps along with newer version of Jelly Bean

Sony Mobile has announced the rollout of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for four of its legacy 2012-2013 products, Xperia T, Xperia TX, Xperia V and Xperia SP. The update brings these older handsets up to speed with Sony's latest smartphones, with new Sony goodies in addition to the newer version of Jelly Bean.

Sony's app portfolio has been refreshed, including Messaging, Smart Connect, Small apps, Track ID and Sony Select. The update also brings new versions of Sony's media apps, including Walkman, Album and Movies, with Sony service integration, as well as downloadable themes similar to those now available for the Xperia Z series. And there's an updated Power Management hub, featuring new options for saving battery life.

As always, the rollout of Android 4.3 for these phones will be staged depending on region and carrier, so keep watch over the next couple of weeks if you're not seeing the update already.

Source: Sony Mobile Blog

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3 years ago

Looking back at Samsung Unpacked through the years


As we gear up for what likely is the launch of the Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress, we take a trip down memory lane with Samsung's special brand of phone launch

There usually are a few smartphone launches a year that make everyone (read non-phone nerds included) stand up and take note. The yearly iPhone event, and to much of the same extent, Samsung Unpacked. With the latter, we're into a cycle now where we usually see two events per year; one for the Galaxy S and One for the Galaxy Note. While the Galaxy Note events have thus far run like clockwork every year at IFA in Berlin, with the Galaxy S we usually get to venture to some other corners of the globe. 

With Unpacked 5 just around the corner in Barcelona, what better time to take a trip down memory lane. Much was made of 2013's Galaxy S4 event and its somewhat over-the-top Broadway styling, but each Unpacked has its own distinct flavor. And sometimes, nothing weird happens at all. So, from Las Vegas in 2010 through to today, head on past the break for some memories from Samsung Unpacked. 

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3 years ago

LG G Pro 2 hitting Korea first, US and Europe to follow later


Executive states Korean availability this month, other Asian markets throughout March and western markets after that

LG made the G Pro 2 official at a press event over in its native Korea, but one thing missing from the official release was any talk of release markets and dates. The folks at ZDNet Korea were in attendance at the Seoul event, and were told by LG's Head of Sales for Korea that availability there would happen this month, with other Asian markets to follow in March. 

But what of the U.S. and Europe? The same executive simply said that the G Pro 2 will be released in those markets after Asia. Roughly speaking, that would mean we shouldn't expect to see it before April. Of course, these things are always subject to change, and we'll be keeping an ear open for anything more concrete at Mobile World Congress which is fast approaching. 

Source: ZDNet Korea

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3 years ago

Sony D6503 'Sirius' UI previewed ahead of MWC


Changes to Xperia home and lock screen shown ahead of expected Barcelona debut

We've already seen a fair bit of Sony's next high-end Android phone, the D6503 "Sirius," courtesy of a prototype unit making it out into the wild. And now there's some early video of the device showing some software changes in Sony's Android 4.4-based firmware. The video published on YouTube by one Rimas Flyil shows a slightly revamped Xperia UI with new notification bar icons, a new transparency style in the launcher, new live wallpapers and tweaked lock screen controls for the Walkman music app. The leaker notes that this isn't yet the final software for the device, saying it's still in testing.

We don't see much of the device's physical frame, but the horizontal borders do seem somewhat reduced, as we've seen from earlier leaks. And from those images it would appear that the "Sirius" will closely match the design language of the Xperia Z1.

We've got Mobile World Congress coming up in under two weeks, and given Sony's track record we wouldn't be surprised to see the "Sirius" make its public debut, perhaps under the "Xperia Z2" moniker.

Source: YouTube; via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

LG officially unveils the G Pro 2 in Korea


5.9-inches, Snapdragon 800 and the signature buttons on the back make up LG's newest giant

We knew it was coming, and LG has now made the G Pro 2 official in its native Korea. The follow up to last years Optimus G Pro, the G Pro 2 has a lot going for in the specs department. The display size is up to 5.9-inches, and is a 1080p IPS panel. Inside we're looking at a 2.26 GHz Snapdragon 800, 3GB of RAM, 16 or 32GB of onboard storage with microSD and a 3200 mAh battery. 

Round back, the G Pro 2 houses a 13MP camera, accompanied by a 2.1MP front facer. The rear camera will shoot video in 4K resolution as well as in slow-mo at 120FPS. And yes, it comes with Android 4.4 KitKat.

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3 years ago

LG G Pro 2 specs


LG Mobile has announced the G Pro 2, the successor to 2013's LG Optimus G Pro. 

Official specs include:

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 800 (2.26 GHz Quad-Core)
  • GPU: Qualcomm Technologies Adreno™ 330
  • Display: 5.9-inch Full HD IPS (1920 x 1080), Slim Bezel
  • Memory: 3GB DDR3 RAM / 16GB/32GB eMMC ROM / microSD slot
  • Camera: Rear 13.0MP OIS+ / Front 2.1MP
  • Battery: 3,200mAh (removable)
  • Operating System: Android 4.4 KitKat
  • Size: 157.9 x 81.9 x 8.3mm
  • Weight: 172g
  • Network: LTE / HSPA+
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth Smart Ready (BT 4.0) / USB / WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) / NFC / SlimPort
  • Colors: Titan, White, Red
  • Other: Knock Code™, 1W Hi-Fi Sound, Content Lock

In addition, the G Pro 2 features the new "Knock Code," which follows up on the "Knock On" feature that lets you tap on the screen twice to unlock the phone. Now, using one of thousands of combinations, you'll be able to knock on the display in a certain pattern to unlock the phone.

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