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3 years ago

Virgin Mobile rolls out the ZTE Awe for $99

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Virgin Mobile this morning announced that the ZTE Awe (aka the N800 or, apparently, "Shocker") is now available for $99 sans contract. The Awe sports a 4-inch IPS display at an underwhelming 480x800 resolution, a 5-megapixel rear camera (1MP out front) and is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8630 processor at 1.2 GHz. It's running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Virgin's no-contract plans start at $35.

More: Virgin Mobile

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3 years ago

Sony Xperia M now on sale unlocked in the US, yours for $249.99

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A low-end unlocked handset with a bit of Sony flair and four color options

We posted earlier today that Three UK and Sony teamed up to sell the new low-end offering Xperia M, and now we're seeing the phone up for sale directly from Sony's online store in the US as well. $249.99 (with free shipping) direct from Sony will get you an unlocked handset with a 4-inch FWVGA (480x854) display, dual-core 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, 1700mAh battery and a 5MP camera — along with Android 4.1 and Sony's latest software features. The phone is currently on offer in four colors: white, black, yellow (which is particularly nice looking) and purple.

Now the obvious point to make here is that the 16GB Nexus 4 is still on sale directly from the Play Store for the same price with a much better spec sheet. Anyone looking to pinch pennies and get the best bang for their buck is probably better off picking it up instead. That being said, aside from Google we really haven't seen many manufacturers dabble in this $250 unlocked phone space selling directly to the US, so we have to give Sony a bit of a hat tip for making this device available.

Source: Sony; Via: XperiaBlog

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3 years ago

Insider says 4.3 coming for US-based HTC One soon, more info for Europe

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Android 4.3 and Sense 5 expected soon for US models of HTC One

Someone known to have good leads inside HTC has spoken on Twitter about the coming 4.3 update for the HTC One, and he believes we'll see it in a few weeks. This matches up with information we've already heard, but there's some more information here that we think makes it newsworthy.

According to @LlabTooFer, we will see the US versions of the HTC One get the Android 4.3 update with Sense 5 soon. After this happens, International versions should prepare for the Android 4.3 with Sense 5.5 update. After the release of the HTC T6 (the HTC One Max), all HTC Ones, the Butterfly S and the One Mini will see Sense 5.5 with the 4.3 update. Specifically mentioned as not getting the 4.3 update were the HTC One S (all variants) and the HTC EVO LTE on Sprint.

There's not much information about Sense 5.5, just this rumor that we should see it eventually. We're looking forward to finding out more, and you'll be the first ones to know.

Source: @LlabTooFer. Via: Android Central forums; XDA forums

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3 years ago

Best Buy to stock blue HTC One on Sept. 15

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Big-box retailer says AT&T to join Sprint and Verizon with the new color starting Sept. 15

Best Buy today announced that it'll carry the new blue HTC One — check out our hands-on with it — starting Sept. 15. Best Buy also lends the first semi-official confirmation that we'll see the blue HTC One on AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. None of the carriers has confirmed this yet, but we've seen Verizon's in the wild, so there's that.

Writes Best Buy in an e-mailed release:

The award-winning HTC One will be available in a stunning new Metallic Blue exclusively through Best Buy in the United States with the option of 4G LTE service from AT&T, Sprint or Verizon at the more than 1,400 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores as well as on BestBuy.com on Sunday, Sept. 15.

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3 years ago

Three UK offering Sony Xperia M for £149.99 on PAYG plans starting Oct. 11

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A great inexpensive option with some Sony style for off-contract buyers

Three UK announced today that it is adding a new Sony handset, the Xperia M, to its low-end ranks for a great price of £149.99 on its Pay-As-You-Go plans. Announced back in June, the Xperia M brings some of Sony's latest style and design to the lower-end with acceptable specs for those who consider price first.

The Xperia M has a 4-inch FWVGA (480x854) display, a 1GHz dual-core processor, 5MP camera and 4GB of storage (with SDcard support) — all specs that are understandable considering the price — along with Android 4.1 and full NFC functionality with Sony's "One Touch" connectivity platform.

Folks looking for an affordable option when buying off-contract can pick up the Xperia M from Three UK for the aforementioned £149.99 with PAYG plans starting at 3p a minute, 2p a text and 1p a MB or on monthly plans with unlimited data along with 300 any-network minutes and 3,000 texts for just £15 per month.

Source: Three UK

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3 years ago

Samsung shipped 28 million Galaxy Notes in the past year

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Sales of the Galaxy Note series increased 280 percent in a year

Samsung is pleased with the sales of their Galaxy Note series. Speaking with the press at IFA in Berlin, CEO J K Shin said:

Galaxy Note 1 and Galaxy Note 2 were sold for a total of over 38 million. We believe Galaxy Note 3 will outdo its predecessors.

We know that the Note series sold to the tune of 10 million last August, so a little rudimentary math tells us that Samsung has seen 28 million leave their factory in the last 12 months. 

While not such a huge number when taking the over one billion Android activations total into account, multi-millions worth of sales means Samsung was right to take a gamble on an extra-large phone, and plenty of people around the world want one.

The Note 3 has the potential to be the most popular of the series so far, and we expect it to be just as popular once it's released.

Source: ETNews

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3 years ago

Moto X for T-Mobile now available direct from Motorola

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The 16GB version is available in woven black for $599.99

Motorola has announced that the T-Mobile specific Moto X is now available exclusively on Motorola.com. The phone will be initially available in woven black and with 16GB storage capacity, but Motorola says the woven white model is coming soon. The phone lists for $599.99. The T-Mobile variant will also have an unlockable boot loader for those who like to get in there and tinker.

There's no word on any T-Mobile specific software — like the ever-so-handy Wifi-calling, but the AT&T and Verizon models had the requisite carrier apps so we've not given up hope. Scary day when we want carrier-ware installed on our phones, isn't it? 

Currently, the phone is still out of stock on Motorola's page, but the information on their official blog says today is the day. If you've been waiting, you'll want to keep checking the site, which we've linked below.

Source: Motorola; Order page

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3 years ago

Sprint's LG G2 goes up for pre-order on Oct. 11 for $199 on contract

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Sprint this morning announced that its version of the LG G2 will go up for preorder on Oct. 11, for $199 on contract. An actual street date was not disclosed.

In addition to the phone, those who pre-order will receive a free Quick Window case (worth $49).

We've got a pre-production version of the G2 in hand and have been taking a look at a few of the more interesting features, including:

For more, be sure to check out our LG G2 forums!

Source: Sprint

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3 years ago

ASUS Fonepad Note 6 hands-on

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It's been a couple of months since ASUS unveiled the Fonepad Note -- its first standalone handset in a long time -- at Computex 2013. Since then the phone's undergone a bit of an overhaul, and at IFA 2013 we tracked down a slightly upgraded Fonepad Note -- or Fonepad Note 6, as it's now called -- running a faster 2GHz Atom processor and updated software with a little more ASUS customization.

Like the better-known Samsung Galaxy Note, ASUS' Fonepad Note 6 has built-in stylus functionality, and when the stylus is in use a slide-across tab allows you to easily annotate any app or web page. Overall, the device is reasonably snappy, though we did notice a few instances of lag when scrolling through widgets in the app drawer. At the same time, we're a little disappointed to see a plasticky chassis being used that reminds us of older Samsung devices, rather than the premium materials used in ASUS products like the Padfone Infinity.

Check past the break for our full hands-on video and more photos.

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3 years ago

Quick comparison: LG G2 versus the Samsung Galaxy Note 3

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The LG G2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are two of the hottest Android devices around right now. And while neither is available in the U.S. just yet, we recently had the chance to pit these two juggernauts against each other at IFA 2013 in Berlin.

While the two devices' hardware is closely matched -- Snapdragon 800, oodles of RAM, plenty of pixels — they're a world apart in physical size — the 5.7-inch Note 3 dwarfs the G2's mere 5.2 inches. And the choice between these two phones is going to come down to whether you want a traditional smartphone with a large screen or a half phone, half tablet hybrid, as we're looking at two different classes of handset here.

Check out our hands-on comparison above, and be sure to check out our preview of the Galaxy Note 3 and  hands-on redux with the G2.

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3 years ago

A Nexus fan's take on the Moto X

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It all started when Phil sent me the review unit

Motorola will ask for it back soon, but I've had it long enough to know a few things, and get a pretty good feel for this phone. And that's good, because as I've expressed before, I'm not buying one from a carrier and Motorola is taking their sweet time to offer an unlocked version. More on why that was a mistake a little later. Likely, my constant crying concern about the issue is what prompted Phil to send it here. I'm a pain in the ass when I'm whiny and cranky, and like a baby with a pacifier, the review unit shut me up. I'm able to admit this.

Anyway, like I said I've had the Moto X long enough to have a solid feel for the thing, and to make some pretty strong comparisons against what I think was the best Android phone in a long time — the Nexus 4. So let's do that.

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3 years ago

A quick look at receiving a phone call on the LG G Pad 8.3

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One of the more intriguing features of the LG G Pad 8.3 is its ability to pair up with the LG G2 for more than just tethering. In fact, the "Q Pair" feature is supposed to eventually work with phones made by manufacturers other than LG. That's for another day though. Today, we're taking a brief look at what it looks like when a call comes in on a phone and is then shared with the G Pad tablet.

The idea is that the two devices are tethered, with the call coming in to the phone. But as the phone rings, you also get a pop-up on the tablet, allowing you to take the call, decline it outright, or decline it with an automated response. It looks good, it's dead simple to use — and it's really something we've not seen anyone else do before.

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3 years ago

Video: Galaxy Note 3 versus Galaxy Note 2

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 the talk of IFA 2013, but how does it measure up to its predecessor, the Galaxy Note 2? We've taken to the IFA 2013 show floor to compare the new and old Note, and you'll find a full hardware rundown in the video above.

From the front, the Galaxy Note series hasn't changed a whole lot. We're still dealing with an exceptionally large smartphone, though it's clear to see there's more screen to go around on the Note 3, made possible by its smaller bezels. The new Note is also a little more squared-off than its predecessor, likely part of the push to make it resemble a real paper notebook. Nowhere else is that more obvious than on the phone's back panel, which now sports a faux-leather effect, complete with stitching.

And then there are the obvious spec improvements — Snapdragon 800 compared to the year-old Exynos 4 Quad, 3GB up from 2GB and 1080p from 720. Hit the video above for the full lowdown.

And check out our Galaxy Note 3 hands-on feature for more on Samsung's latest handset.

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3 years ago

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Flip Wallet

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Our journey through the labyrinth that is Samsung's hall at the IFA conference in Berlin continues — we're getting there, I promise — with the Flip Wallet case for the Galaxy Note 3. We've already taken a look at the S View case, which sports the transparent window so you can still get information and interact with the phone while the case is closed — now here's a more traditional folio version.

The Flip Wallet is done up in the same sort of leatherette as the Note 3 itself (maybe even a little nicer — the feel of the Note 3 changes a little depending on which color you're handling), with the same stitching as well. There's a slot on the inside to hold business cards or a credit card if you want, and little plus and minus signs on the spine point you to the volume rocker, so you don't have to open the case to turn the music up. (Who turns music down, anyway?)

The Flip Wallet for the Galaxy Note 3 comes in a variety of colors — including, yes, pink. We've got more after the break.

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3 years ago

Hands on with the 6-inch Acer Liquid S2

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6-inch 1080p display, a Snapdragon 800 and 4K video recording all part of Acer's newest high-end offering

Acer recently announced its latest Android smartphone, the Liquid S2, with a monstrous 6-inch display. The device has made the trip to IFA 2013 in Berlin, so we took a quick look at what it's all about.

First that display. Yes, it's 6-inches and therefore it's pretty huge. But at the same time the whole device didn't feel as large in the hand as some other supersized devices. Make no mistake; you won't be one handing this thing properly unless you're a giant. But it's pretty light considering the size, and has a nice matt finish on the rear so its actually pretty good to hold.

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