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3 years ago

Manual install method has Samsung Galaxy Gear working with Nexus 5


A little hackery gets most Gear functions working with Google's latest smartphone

One of the major barriers to Galaxy Gear ownership is the watch's lack of support for non-Samsung smartphones. But now it seems it's possible to get most of the Gear's functions working in conjunction with the Nexus 5, possibly opening the door to it working — unofficially, of course — with additional third-party Android devices.

Smartwatch Fans has details of a manual install method first discovered on the XDA forums that gets the Gear Manager app and a slew of other APKs loaded onto the Nexus 5. It's a long-winded process involving pulling files out of the Gear Manager APK and installing them manually — but it eventually gets the Gear up and running with the N5, with everything except S Voice and Weather working properly.

While the process seems to work with the Nexus 5 on Android 4.4.2, we didn't have any luck repeating it on the Moto X or Sony Xperia Z1, so your mileage may vary. And of course there's no guarantee this loophole won't be closed in a future Gear update.

If you're still interested in fooling around with the Galaxy Gear on unsupported devices, hit up the source link to get started.

More: Smartwatch Fans

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3 years ago

Carphone Warehouse matching Google pricing on 16GB Nexus 5


Grab a High Street bought Nexus 5 for just £298

A quick heads up for anyone in the UK thinking about picking up a Nexus 5 any time soon; Carphone Warehouse is currently matching Google pricing. OK, so it's only on the 16GB version, but for £298 – actually a whole £1 less than Google! – you'll be able to get one with free shipping or to collect in your local store. 

There's bound to be some killer new devices headed our way in the next couple of months, but the Nexus 5 not only represents the best way to stay on the bleeding edge of Android software, but also one of the best value-for-money smartphones you can get your hands on right now. If this is the one for you, drop by the source link below for more. 

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia Z1s review


Sony and T-Mobile's Xperia Z1s is a breath of fresh air amid an increasingly stale smartphone market

It was the Xperia Z, released early last summer as a T-Mobile exclusive, that drew my attention to Sony. It was the company’s first high-profile smartphone to hit US shelves, and it was radically different from its competitors — with Sony’s exciting and fresh design language, polished UI, and superb production quality, the Xperia Z (quietly) put the rest of 2013’s Android flagships to shame, and I called its release a watershed moment for Sony here in the states.

With the Xperia Z1s, Sony has followed up in a big way, and it’s now clearer than ever that the US smartphone market has a serious new player.

The Xperia Z1s, first introduced earlier this month at CES, might not be the flashiest smartphone on the market. It may not ship with the longest list of features, or with the most powerful and future-proofed specs. You won’t see a flood of marketing hit the airwaves anytime soon, nor will you see Xperia billboards high above Times Square. But in its own reserved way, Sony and T-Mobile have quietly released one of the best smartphones on the market today. 

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3 years ago

AT&T's LG G Flex preorders start Jan. 24 for $299 on contract


AT&T today announced that its LG G Flex will go up for preorder online and in stores starting Jan. 24. It'll cost $299 with a traditional two-year contract, $26.74 a month with the AT&T Next 18 plan, or $34.75 a month with AT&T Next 12.

No street availability was given. AT&T's official render of the G Flex shows March 17 as the phone's date — but that seems awfully late, and so we wouldn't read too much into that just yet.

For more, read our LG G Flex preview!

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3 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 seeing KitKat update in Eastern Europe


Exynos and Snapdragon-based Note 3s get Android 4.4 in Russia and Poland

While there's been no official announcement from Samsung, the international Galaxy Note 3 has started receiving its Android 4.4 KitKat update, starting in Eastern Europe. SamMobile reports that the Snapdragon 800-based, LTE-capable Note 3 has received KitKat in Poland, while the 3G-only Exynos octa-core variant is getting it in Russia.

The updates bring both models up to Android 4.4.2, build KOT49H, which sees Samsung's UI switching to stock Android-style all white notification icons. There's also a slightly re-tooled lock screen, among other minor UI tweaks. Naturally, all the features you'd expect from KitKat-based firmware — immersive mode, transparent notification bar support and fullscreen album art on the lock screen — should be supported too.

If your Note 3 isn't from either Russia or Poland, and don't fancy forcing the Russian or Polish ROM onto your device, you'll likely have to wait another few weeks as the update trickles out to other regions. Updates are hard, but at least things are slowly improving.

Source: SamMobile

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3 years ago

Moto G finally landing in Australia on January 21


Motorola's budget wonder to start at AU$249 for the 8GB model

Motorola's Moto G has caused some serious waves since its introduction in late 2013, and now it seems finally our friends down under in Australia are set to get their hands on it, too. According to the folks at Ausdroid, the Moto G will go on sale on Tuesday January 21, with an RRP of AU$249 for the 8GB model. The Australian model also appears to be the dual-SIM variant. 

Motorola has been noticeably absent from Australia for some time now, so it's a welcome move to see the brand return there. While the Moto G isn't quite the star the Moto X has proved to be, on sheer value-for-money alone the Moto G is virtually untouchable. Ausdroid is advising that the Australian Moto G will be launching with Android 4.3, but with the update to Android 4.4 KitKat having already hit U.S. and European devices, we don't expect it to be too long before it makes it to Australian devices either. 

If you're still undecided, be sure to check out our full Moto G review to help make your decision. 

Source: Ausdroid

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3 years ago

Further Sony Xperia Z2 'Sirius' details emerge


More hardware and software nuggets from upcoming Sony flagship refresh

So much for Sony's effort to curb the flow of leaks of its future products. Following what might be our first look at the Sony D6503 — codenamed "Sirius" — over the weekend, we're today seeing more information on the device we might eventually come to know as the Xperia Z2. Today's leakage comes from XperiaBlog and the XDA forums and cover both hardware and software details.

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3 years ago

Fresh leak claims to show more of future Samsung phone UI


A glimpse of what Samsung's next home screen might look like

We're rapidly approaching the time of year when a couple of the largest Android manufacturers are preparing to launch new flagship phones. One of those is ever-dominant Samsung, and in an unusual turn of events prolific leaker @evleaks has come up with an image said to contain visual elements of the company's next home screen design. The shot shows a list of Google Now-like cards for workout info, flights, concert details and delivery tracking.

Today's leak follows the emergence of a similar shot a couple of weeks ago, showing a new-style home screen arrangement with the same font — alongside redesigned, flattened, more abstract icons. That image seemed to show an HTC BlinkFeed-style vertical scrolling list of widgets like those in today's leak.

If accurate, it's a significant leak from a company which usually goes to great lengths to keep its secrets safe in the run up to major launches. It could also represent a significant departure from Samsung's old TouchWiz UI as we've come to know it on the Galaxy S3 and later devices. And while at best these images are likely work-in-progress mock-ups, the possible shift to a more contextual, content-based home screen is also interesting in light of Samsung's move to a magazine-style UI for its new "Pro" series tablets.

Source: @evleaks (2)

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3 years ago

Sony leaks start again, show possible refresh to Xperia Z1


A new device bound for Barcelona next month?

Sony's CES press conference came and went without anything truly new introduced to the gathered media. Both devices announced in Las Vegas already exist in some form, but what we're seeing here might be a first look at the first properly new device for 2014. Several images have appeared of a device labelled as D6503, and at first glance looks like a refreshed Xperia Z1

And that's not too far fetched for anything we might expect from Sony heading into Mobile World Congress next month. The Z1 itself was an iteration from the original Xperia Z. There are some clear design differences between this device and the current Z1 though. The side bezels are slimmer – though top and bottom are still ridiculously large – there's a different design to the speakers at the bottom of the phone, and the lanyard strap has moved. The change in bezels could indicate a bump in screen size, but not by much. 

Otherwise, it's a pretty recognizable design. There's no word on the camera resolution since that image is pretty blurry, but we do see the obvious G-Lens logo on the back, so at the very least we'd expect it to match the current Z1's 20.7MP shooter. 

Whatever this may or may not be, or whatever Sony is planning to take to Barcelona in late February, we'll be there to bring it to you. For now, hit up the source link below to check out the rest of the images. 

Source: XDA via Xperia Blog

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3 years ago

AT&T HTC One X+ update to Android 4.2.2 rolling out now


Latest software update also brings Sense 5.0 along for the ride

We knew earlier in the week that AT&T's HTC One X+ was due a software update, and now it seems to be hitting devices. Software version 2.15.502.1 brings with it namely Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and Sense 5.0. Sure, this might be the end of the road for the One X+ in terms of major updates, but it's a solid update to get for a device that's been on sale now for a good 15 months. 

If you're yet to see it, you'll want to be heading into Settings > Software Update > Check for Updates and see if anything is coming your way. If you've already updated, drop us a line in the comments and let us know how you're finding it. 

Source: HTC

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3 years ago

Motorola lowers cost of Moto X wood finishes to $25, new grains hit Jan. 21


Ebony, teak and walnut will soon join bamboo; early adopters getting a $75 credit

Good news for those of you who want to get your wood (or grass) on for the Moto X. Initially the organic custom backs cost $100 over the price of a traditional custom Moto X. Now, that's been lowered to $25.

And Motorola has now listed the other finishes that will soon be available. In addition to Bamboo, which you can get now and looks ridiculously awesome, you'll also be able to order ebony, teak and walnut. The new flavors will be available Jan. 21.

For those of us who ordered Bamboo Moto Xs first thing, Motorola's offering up a $75 credit that can be used on anything other than a Chromecast through midnight Jan. 31 from Motorola directly.

More: Motorola

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3 years ago

AT&T drops the LG G2 and Moto X to free on contract


You've got until January 31 to take advantage of this latest deal

AT&T is offering a great deal right now on a pair of fine Android smartphones. Right now, and until January 31, both the LG G2 and the Moto X can be had for no-money down on a new, two-year contract. And that's about all there is to it. You'll be saving $100 up front on either phone, and honestly you can't go far wrong with both. If you need a little help, check out our full reviews of each, and be sure to check out the AT&T coverage maps if you're thinking of switching. Otherwise, hit the source links below and grab 'em while they're hot! 

More: Moto X Review, AT&T LG G2 Review

Source: AT&T (Moto X), (LG G2)

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3 years ago

Arsenal FC partners with Huawei as official smartphone partner


Will we see Arsene Wenger using an Ascend Mate 2 pitchside during games?

Football isn't perhaps not the first thing you think of when you think of Huawei, but for fans of English Premier League side, Arsenal, that may soon become the case. The English giants and the Chinese vendor have come together in a partnership that sees Huawei become the official smartphone partner of the club. 

Beyond smartphones, for Arsenal the deal is a strategic move to extend its following in Asia. Huawei will be using Arsenal players in official marketing both in the UK and elsewhere around the world. The deal lasts until the end of the 2015/16 Premier League season, and will be officially introduced to Gunners fans before this weekends game at the Emirates Stadium against Fulham. 

The full press release can be found after the break.

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3 years ago

Sprint's LG G Flex available in stores Feb. 7


Sprint's LG G Flex will be available in stores starting Feb. 7. Pre-orders are still aiming to be in customers' hands a week sooner — by Jan. 31, Sprint says.

As you'll recall from our preview of the G Flex, this is a curved — and slightly bendable — 6-inch smartphone. It's big, but the curve helps make it feel just a tad smaller. The display is unremarkable in resolution, just 720p, but, c'mon, it bends!

The G Flex will run $299 with a two-year contract. And anyone who preorders between now and Jan. 31 wil receive a free Quickwindow Folio Case. If you want to buy it outright, it'll cost you $650.

The G Flex also will be coming to AT&T and T-Mobile in the weeks ahead, though neither operator has announced when they'll be available.

More: Pre-order the LG G Flex; Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

Desire 300: This is how HTC attacks the low-end market


Just enough internal hardware to get by, with much nicer external hardware than you expect for the price

HTC announced the Desire 300 alongside the Desire 601 for specific markets back in September 2013. While it isn't a device that many of us will ever see or strive to own — we're more drawn to new colors of the HTC One and One Mini — it's an important phone for HTC to have on offer in places where disposable income for a phone isn't at the $650 level.

The internal specs aren't going to blow you away. We're looking at a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, just 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage (with an SDcard slot). The display, while only 480 x 800, is 4.3-inches and looks great, just as we've come to expect from HTC devices. The internals are enough to push around Android 4.1 with Sense 5 (including BlinkFeed) and a scaled-back set of visual features. It still feels like a full-blown set of HTC software, but you can tell where cuts were made to save performance.

Although it may not have widescale availability it can be picked up with little hassle, thanks to Amazon, for $249 (just don't count on getting 3G here) in the U.S. The Desire 300 is targeting even lower price points where it's being sold directly, however — we saw it go on sale in Australia for just $179 AUD (about $159 USD) at the end of last year. At those prices, people stop being so critical on the internal specs and simply pay attention to how it feels and whether or not it offers a minimum level of performance.

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