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3 years ago

Moto G in India seeing its KitKat update

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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

via AndroidOS.in

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3 years ago

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

In pictures: The LG G Pro 2

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If the 5.9-inch screen and Snapdragon 800 didn't grab your eye, maybe back buttons and subtle design will

It seems that LG is pulling out all the stops with the G Pro 2. A big bold display, 3GB of RAM, 4K video, and a speedy Snapdragon 800 round out the hardware specs, but we don't want to miss the design.

Like the G2 and G Flex before it, the GPro 2 sports the unique back button assembly that has many folks endeared — and many unimpressed. The Korean model (pictured) also sports an antenna connector! We like the design of the G Pro 2, and can't wait to get out hands on one.

For now, pictures will have to suffice.

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3 years ago

LG G Pro 2 specs

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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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3 years ago

Moto X — six months on

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Our top Android phone of 2013 (and then some) revisited — and it's held up quite nicely.

It's not often that I use one smartphone for six months straight. I'm not supposed to. We have too many good phones come through here. And inevitably I see something shiny that pulls my attention away.

But I keep coming back to the Moto X.

On paper, there's a lot about this phone that shouldn't last. A 720p display? That's so 2012. Not the latest buzzword-friendly processor? DOA. And Motorola? The company that was (and still is) bleeding money and sat out much of 2013 after being purchased by Google? Who knew what to expect. And now Motorola's been sold off.

But there's still the Moto X.

We've joked that the Moto X was the most overhyped Android phone since the last overhyped Android phone, and that's mostly true. I've been using this phone as my daily driver since August. Let's take a look at what's made it so good, what's good enough, and what didn't live up to our expectations.

The Moto X hardware, six months on

It was hard not to be excited about the Moto X in terms of hardware. Let's start out front.

Never thought I'd say this again — but I'm OK with a 720p display.

A 4.7-inch display — big, but not huge — same as what we'd enjoyed in the Nexus 4 for most of the previous year, but in a slightly smaller body. It's "only" a 720p display. But for being a lower resolution than what you'd expect from a flagship phone in 2013, it was very capable. Maybe not as great as what LG or HTC have done, but very much useable. Having to push fewer pixels means you're going to save on battery, period. Not everyone can get away with that trade-off, but Motorola managed to.

The AMOLED display also brought us one of the cool new software features — Active Display, which we'll talk about in a bit.

The cliche of "feels great in the hand" is very much a subjective measurement. But for me, Moto X has fit my hand better than just about any phone since the fabled Nexus One. A lot of that has to do with the curve on the back of the phone. It's subtle, but noticeable — and it works. The dimpled Motorola logo is a little gaudy, but damned if I didn't find myself quickly placing my index finger there. The curved back also allowed for a new kind of "stepped" battery from LG — allowing for more capacity and less wasted space.

On-screen buttons on the display, and volume and power buttons on the right side of the phone — where they belong. No having to reach up to the top of the phone.

Being able to create a custom phone is a win for the customer, but it should have been available to all at launch.

And you can't talk about the look of the phone without mentioning MotoMaker, Motorola's Moto X customizer. Different colored backs, fronts and accents, with stenciling on the back, and a custom boot message. You can't not like choice like that. And while Moto Maker sadly was an AT&T exclusive for the first few months — a mistake we'd implore the company to not make should it try this again — it finally reached more folks before the end of the year.

And then there's the wood. Actual, organic wood backs. Motorola first showed them off at the launch event in August, but we weren't able to purchase them until December — and even then just bamboo, for another $100. (Yes, bamboo is grass, not wood. Don't get us started.) It's gimmicky — and apparently the woods are more "wood-like" than actual samples — but it's still a really cool option. Thumbs up. Very cool. It is more slick than the soft-touch backs, though.

Not sure if this was because my first Moto X was slightly pre-release, but some of the blue has rubbed off and turned yellow on the corners. Thumbs down. No good.

Either you worry about the Moto X specs on paper, or you don't. Either way, it runs just fine.

The internals have been another surprise. Again, not the best on paper. Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro — no slouch, but a good generation behind — at 1.7 GHz with a dual-core Krait CPU and a quad-core Adreno 320 GPU. Plus, a natural-language processor, and a contextual computing processor. If you're counting along, that's eight cores. And so Motorola gave birth to the X8 Mobile Computing System. That's different than an "octa-core" processor, a fact lost on some.

I've never been one to worry too much about benchmarks or how things look on paper. They either work great or they don't. And in in Motorola's case, I've had no complaints. I do most of my casual gaming on the Nexus 7, so my Moto X is for everything else. And it's performed great. And one of the chief reasons is …

Six months of great battery life

'All-day' battery life means whatever Motorola wants it to. But 14 or so hours is plenty for me.

Battery life is great — especially when you consider that battery the Moto X capacity isn't all that great. Too often folks confuse capacity for performance, that a 2,200 mAh battery shouldn't last a long time simply because it's a smaller number than, say, 3,000. At home and the office — where I'm on Wifi a good 90 percent of the time — I easily get about 15 hours without having to charge, which usually gets me from wake-up to bedtime. On the road — which is about as taxing as it gets, especially at trade shows, yeah, I'd need to charge up at some point. But only once.

Motorola talked a lot about "all-day" battery life. That's not exactly a technical measurement of anything, and, frankly, it sounds like the marketing mumbo jumbo we've come to loathe from manufactures. But the fact remains that, pound for pound, Moto X had excellent battery life. From the time I unplug to the time I go to bed? For me, in my normal, everyday routine, that's "all day." Your mileage will vary, of course.

I do, however, miss having wireless charging. It's not the end of the world by any means. But I have wireless chargers just sitting around now, and I love being able to just wake up and grab the phone without the (gasp) hassle of unplugging.

Another strong point for me — the rear speaker. Motorola's always done well with those, and it continues with Moto X.

Six months with a so-so camera

The Moto X camera was disappointing, but you can still get good shots out of it.

And we'll close out the hardware with the single-most disappointing feature on the Moto X — the camera. Part of that may be from how much Motorola built it up at our launch briefing. It's a 10-megapixel shooter with a "clear" pixel to let in more light. But pretty immediately we could tell it simply wasn't as good as we were told — or even shown. Focusing was odd. Low-light shooting was pretty horrible.

Some of that was addressed in software updates, particularly focus. Keeping HDR turned on all the time helps. I still feel like I'm cheating a bit with that, though. But on the other hand, in this world of Instagram filters and "Auto Awesome" enhancements, what the hell. Airbrush all the things. And a good bit of what bugs me about the camera is that what you see on the screen at the time the shutter fires is different (and often worse) than the end result.

And that's not to say I don't get some pictures that I'm not proud of. I'm not blowing things up to be poster-size. Moto X has a decent camera. Not great, but also not one that makes me want to carry a second phone. I've also ended up using the wrist-flick to launch the camera app far more than I thought I would. I could still be just a tad faster, but I usually can pull the phone from my pocket, twist the wrist and just about be ready to shoot by the time I've lifted the phone into my line of sight.

Six months of subtle software

Like we said from the beginning with the Moto X, what we've got here is a mix of stock simplicity — Motorola did next to nothing to change the default Android experience — and a few subtle but important (and extremely useful) additions, smartly integrated into the overall experience.

A "stock" experience with useful features added on? Sold!

Active Display pops the time and notifications onto your screen without having to hit the power button. Only the pixels being used are lit up, so it's not a drain on the battery. And it's mostly smart enough to not "breathe" when it doesn't need to — say, in your pocket, or when left alone for a period of time. Pull the phone from your pocket, though, and you'll immediately see it fire up. That's smart. Tap a notification to see a preview — say, e-mail or a text message — and determine if it's worth opening now, or if you can ignore it for later. If you do want to open it, all you have to do is slide your finger. It's extremely well done, feels natural and is instantly missed if I grab another phone.

Touchless Control is the next big one. We've all gotten used to being able to bark orders at our phone with Google Now, but Motorola took it one step further. You don't even have to hit the power button first. Just say "OK, Google Now," and it wakes up and awaits your command. I've found it to be great when I'm being lazy — setting a reminder while in bed, for example — and when I'm in the car, a time in which you definitely don't want to be touching your phone any more than you absolutely have to.

My only real complaint is that it's still a little slow to open.

And then there's Motorola Assist, which pared down the old Smart Actions to three sections — Driving, Meeting and Sleeping. I use Driving to read incoming texts and calls to me. And I use Sleeping to silence the phone from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The do-not-disturb mode is a must-have (and really should be baked into Android itself).

Finally, you can't talk about Motorola without talking about keeping its phones updated. Not only did Moto X get updated to Android 4.4 faster than even Google's own Nexus 4, it's already on Android 4.4.2. The question is whether that update pace can continue now that Lenovo owns the company. Was the closer relationship to Google what kept that going? Something else? And how did carrier certification receive approval so quickly? We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

It's also worth mentioning that Motorola has offloaded a number of its on-device apps to Google Play. We can't understate the importance of that. For one, it makes updating easy — you do it just like any other app. It also sidesteps the carriers in that updating, say, the camera doesn't require a complete system update — and therefore doesn't require carrier certification. That's a big deal, and it's made for a better phone.

Six months later? Still my phone of choice

Moto X isn't going to be in my pocket forever. I know that. It knows that. (At least I like to think it knows that. It's nothing personal.) I don't know when that'll happen, but it'll happen. Repeat: In all likelihood, we'll probably see a better phone than the Moto X in 2014. Maybe it'll be from Motorola. Maybe someone else.

But it's going to take a lot to dethrone it, for me. The ergonomics, first and foremost. Huge, flat phones just don't do it for me. The curviness of Moto X goes a long way toward making it the best phone for me. It just fits my hand the way a smartphone should.

That Moto X was available on so many U.S. carriers so quickly was a big deal. But the same goes for it not being available outside the U.S. for so long. As good as the Moto G is, Moto X is better. The rest of the world deserved (and still does) to experience it.

The bottom line? Six months into the Moto X, I'm still loving it. It's not perfect. But it's far more than good enough.

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3 years ago

Grab a UK Nexus 5 for £285 for the next 3 days

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Time to get your Groupon for a £15 saving over Google pricing

If you're a Brit looking to pick up a Nexus 5, acting in the next 3 days could net you one for £15 less than Google's pricing. The deal has appeared on well known deals site, Groupon, and includes free shipping on your new phone. It'll be a 16GB black model you'll be getting, but considering you also get free shipping you're actually saving around £25 over picking one up from the Google Play Store. 

If this sounds like the deal for you, hit the source link below and get it while you can!

Source: Groupon

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3 years ago

LG teases G2 Mini ahead of Mobile World Congress

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Miniature G2 tipped for Feb. 24 launch

Rumors of a miniaturized LG G2 making its debut at Mobile World Congress have been circulating for the past few weeks, and now it looks like the device is a lock for the Barcelona-based tradeshow. LG Mobile has just posted the image above on its Facebook page, inviting fans to "experience the mini" at MWC on Feb. 24. And sure enough, alongside the miniature cupcake, starfish and sneaker there's a shrunken-down G2, which when viewed from the back is the spitting image of the full-sized version.

It's unclear whether the G2 Mini might match its big brother's high-end hardware, as Sony's Xperia Z1 Compact does, or whether the Korean company will opt for the same approach as local rival Samsung, with a cheaper, lower-specced handset like the Galaxy S4 Mini. Whatever happens, we'll be in Barcelona on Feb. 24 to bring you full coverage of LG's new mini.

Source: LG (Facebook)

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3 years ago

HTC 'Desire 8' image leaks out along with purported specs

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Dual-SIM 5.5-incher could be headed to China next month

HTC says mid-level handsets are to be an important part of its action plan for 2014, and one of the first devices to lead this mid-range push might be the "Desire 8," images of which leaked out online this morning. Shots obtained by Engadget and Chinese blog MyDrivers show a large, thin, plastic device with an HTC One-like design, dual front speakers and Sense 5 on-screen. Both outlets report that it'll pack a 5.5-inch display (resolution unknown), along with a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and 13-megapixel rear shooter. It'll reportedly come in white, red, yellow, orange and cyan color options, and offer dual-SIM capabilities.

Curiously, the device doesn't seem to have any frontal buttons at all, raising a couple of possibilities — either it's an incomplete render, or the screenshot is a placeholder and the device is using on-screen buttons. (HTC is widely expected to be switching to on-screen keys for its upcoming "M8" handset, the successor to the HTC One).

The on-screen date suggests a possible Chinese launch on Mar. 18, but with Mobile World Congress coming up in a couple of weeks, we wouldn't rule out the possibility of seeing something in Barcelona too.

Source: Engadget, MyDrivers

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3 years ago

Oppo Find 7 to launch March 19 in Beijing

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In the next month or so we're due new flagship smartphones from some of the major global players, so it makes sense that one of China's major Android OEMs is also preparing to launch new hardware. Per an invite on its Google+ page, Oppo will hold a launch event for its new Find 7 phone on Mar. 19 in Beijing, China. The Find 7 announcement follows the Find 5, which launched in late 2012, and the CyanogenMod-capable Oppo N1, the first handset officially certified with custom firmware.

According to TheNextWeb, purported specs for the Oppo Find 7 include a 5.5-inch QHD (2560x1440-resolution) display, a 13-megapixel camera and a Snapdragon 800 or 805 processor — putting the Find 7 in the same ballpark as upcoming flagships from rivals Samsung and HTC.

Source: Oppo (Google+); via: TNW

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3 years ago

Geeksphone Revolution gives you Android and Firefox OS for €289

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European launch coming on February 20 for interesting looking hybrid

When Firefox OS first started going on devices, Geeksphone was first out of the gate with some of the developer devices. While it hasn't exactly taken off, we're a little further down the line and Geeksphone is back with its latest Firefox OS smartphone. Only this one is a dual-booter with our favorite mobile OS. This hybrid smartphone is coming to market in Europe later this month on Feb. 20 for €289, though early buyers may get a €20 discount. 

Inside the Revolution is a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel CPU, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of on-board storage with a microSD card slot. Out front is a 4.7-inch qHD display, and round back there's an 8MP camera. The 2000mAh battery isn't huge, but then Intel devices have generally done pretty well on battery life in the past. 

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