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3 years ago

Alcatel One Touch Idol X+ announced at CES

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Octa-core processor and 1080p display the highlight features on Alcatel's latest handset

Alcatel One Touch is leaping out of the CES gates early with the announcement of its latest Android handset, the Idol X+. With a design familiar to previous Idol devices, the headline hardware specs for the new Idol X+ are the 2 GHz octa-core processor, and the 5-inch 1080p display. 

Other hardware features of note are a 13.1MP rear camera, a 2MP 1080p front facing camera, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage and a 2500mAh battery. Alcatel also promises that the Idol X+ will pack some good quality, loud audio from the speakers mounted along the bottom edge of the device. 

While there's plenty of decent enough stuff underneath, there's a slight disappointment that the Idol X+ comes to market running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and there's no sign of LTE. No word on specific pricing or availability at this point, though Alcatel did tell us that it will begin shipping in China in January. We've got a hands on look at the new Idol X+ coming your way, and the full press release can be found after the break. 

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3 years ago

Corning announces 3D Gorilla Glass, coming to something bendy soon

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Ready for unique designs without sacrificing strength or adding thickness

Corning has announced their latest innovation, which they're calling 3D-shaped Gorilla Glass. It's not for 3D video on our smart devices (thank goodness) but it describes the manufacturing process that will make Gorilla Glass into unique shapes without adding thickness or losing any of the scratch-resistant properties. Or not so scratch resistant, as the case may be.

This is part of a "one roof" solution where Corning can manufacture the product and go through all the processes without shipping parts or supplies to another location. According to James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Specialty Materials:

We can now take Gorilla Glass all the way from flat sheet to a finished 3D-shaped product in Asia, expediting turnaround times and minimizing logistical complexity. That’s a win for Corning and our customers.

We've seen curved designs from Samsung and LG already, and you can bet that everyone else is at least looking into bringing out curved display phones in the near future. And of course, the future of wearables isn't straight and narrow, so the new formed shapes could come in handy there as well. 

Corning will be at CES, and we'll wander in and have a look at what they're showing off this year. Stay tuned for more on this one.

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3 years ago

LG G Flex renders surface for AT&T and T-Mobile

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Further pricing and availability details yet to be released

It may not be a shock to many, but evidence is building that the LG G Flex will be headed to at least AT&T and T-Mobile in short order. Frequent device leaker @evleaks has just put up the above renders showing the latest bendy device adorned with some simple AT&T and T-Mobile status bar iconography and software branding. Just like previous high-end LG handsets on these two carriers, there doesn't seem to be any carrier branding on the front bezels either.

Now naturally these renders can be easily fudged to look like the device is coming to any carrier. But we tend to give this one a bit of weight considering how likely LG is to be shopping this device around to many carriers. Details on pricing and even rough availability aren't yet being offered, but we will surely hear more about this handset before it hits U.S. store shelves.

Source: @evleaks

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3 years ago

Moto G officially hits Verizon prepaid on Jan. 9 for $99

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U.S. carrier undercuts Motorola's own purchase price by $80

Verizon today officially announced that the Moto G will be available online on Jan. 9. It'll be available in-stores thereafter, but you might already be able to pick one up at Best Buy.

The U.S. carrier is going as far as undercutting Motorola's own purchase price, selling the LTE-less smartphone for a mere $99. Prepaid plans start at $60 a month for unlimited talk and text, with 2 gigabytes of data. Upgrading to 4GB of data costs another $10 a month. 

Be sure to check out our full review of the Moto G.

Source: Verizon

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3 years ago

Moto X price drops to $399 outright

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New off-contract pricing applies to custom designs, too, but bamboo will still set you back another Benjamin

Motorola is starting 2014 out right, dropping the outright price of its flagship Moto X Android smartphone to $399. That's still double the price of its budget Moto G offering, but a third as much (at least) of still less than what most other high-end phones will cost off contract. The new pricing is with 16 gigabytes of storage — 32 GB will set you back another $50.

It's worth noting, however, that you'll still likely be able to get the Moto X even cheaper at some point. Motorola hasn't been shy about putting this guy on sale, and we saw it go for as low as $350 outright in past months.

The new pricing applies to custom-designed phones, as well, but you'll still have to pony up another $100 for the bamboo backs.

Source: Motorola

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3 years ago

Android 4.3 update for EVO 4G LTE aims for mid-February, exec says

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Getting your device on the latest version of Android is not always a quick process, but HTC has confirmed that Android 4.3 will be coming in mid February to the EVO 4G LTE on Sprint. Jason Mackenzie, President of HTC America, has replied on Twitter giving us some new information about the update. HTC will be pushing the code to Sprint for review in mid-January, and they expect to have it rolling out to consumers the following month. 

HTC was unable to meet its initial goal of having the update rolled out by the end of 2013, but the update shows that it is not far off. While we would all love for the device to have Android 4.3 already, and be receiving Android 4.4 soon that just isn't the case unfortunately. Here's to hoping that HTC can meet the new deadline.

Source: @JasonMacHTC

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3 years ago

Buying an Android device over the holidays? Check out our reviews!

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Read Android Central's reviews of top Android devices

With Christmas a slowly fading memory, we're beginning to enter the post-holiday shopping season. And in the days ahead, many outlets will be offering discounts on some of the top Android devices of the moment. So what's worth buying and what should you leave on the shelf?

We've got links to all the information you could possibly need after the break.

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3 years ago

Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition review

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It's big and the hardware is oh-so-sexy, but is it for you?

Just when everyone gave up hope on the rumor that Sony was going to be participating in the Google Play edition program, Google and Sony dropped the Z Ultra GPe right on top of us. Because it was a surprise, the Z Ultra GPe wasn't subject to the weeks (or months) of speculation and dissection that most phones go through before the come to market, but we all have a pretty good idea what to expect based on the Xperia branded Z Ultra and previous Google Play edition devices.

Does the Z Ultra fulfill the dreams and wants of everyone looking for a big Nexus phone? Maybe. It's definitely big, it's just about as Googly stock Android as the Nexus 4 or Nexus 7, and it's absolutely free of extra boot loader security so you can own your phone. That's going to tick all the boxes and satisfy some folks, and they have already made up their minds. 

For the rest of us, read on.

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3 years ago

New Android phone or tablet under the tree? Hit up the Android Central forums!

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Join the Android Central forums and get to know your new device — and the community!

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Android Central! If you're unwrapping a shiny new Android smartphone or tablet today there's probably a lot you want to find out about your new device. The once place you'll find plenty of hints, tips and friendly discussion is the Android Central forums. We've got device-specific forums for all the top phones and tablets, so jump past the break to for links to boards for some of the top Androids around!

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3 years ago

OPPO N1 CyanogenMod Edition now available for $599

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It's a Christmas Eve miracle. The OPPO N1 CyanogenMod Edition — the first phone to ship with CM and with officially sanctioned Google apps — is now available for purchase online. It's a hefty sum at $599 — but that's par for the course for an unlocked device, CM or not. 

As a reminder, this is a large, 5.9-inch smartphone, running Android 4.2 and CM 10.2 out of the box. It's got 16 gigabytes of storage, lacks LTE, sports a 13-megapixel camera that rotates from back to front — and it comes with special CM stickers and a case. Tres cool.

Also important: The source code and factory image for the phone are already available.

And before anyone chimes in that you can get CyanogenMod on a new phone for a few hundred dollars less (or your current phone for free), you need to remember that that's not the point. This is just the start, and it's an important one for Cyanogen Inc.

Buy now: OPPO N1 CyanogenMod Edition
More: CM blog

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3 years ago

Canonical releases dual-boot Ubuntu and Android developer preview

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Files and instructions available to run both operating systems on your Nexus 4

If you're looking to have a little bit of Ubuntu fun on your Nexus 4 during the holiday break, Canonical has something that should interest you. They have released a method to flash your phone so that it can boot into Ubuntu from Android, and boot back to "normal" using what looks and acts like normal applications to the end user.

Looking through the instructions, you'll need to be running Ubuntu on your home computer and know your way around the command line. It's all scripted so there is little room for error, and the only path back is a full wipe and reflash of the factory images. You'll also need to flash an old radio if you want to make phone calls on the Ubuntu side, using a Jelly Bean factory image. 

While this isn't for everybody — and is clearly marked as a developer preview — it is a good way to have a look at how Ubuntu is progressing and still be able to revert back to something more familiar for those times when you need it. Follow the link below, and read everything, if you're interested.

Source: Ubuntu Developer Portal

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3 years ago

Sony rolls out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for four more devices

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Sony today announced that it's pushing out Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for four more devices. They are:

  • Xperia Z
  • Xperia ZL
  • Xperia ZR
  • Xperia Tablet Z

Along with all the base Jelly Bean features, you can also expect Sony's "social camera," new experiences for messaging, smart connect, MyXperia and Walkman, as well as new themes. Plus Sony's thrown in Xperia in Business.

The exact timing and feature set may vary by market, Sony says.

Source: Sony

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3 years ago

Moto X in bamboo: Ridiculously awesome [hands-on]

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Behold, the bamboo Moto X. OK, only the back is bamboo — but this thing looks sweet. We opted for the white face this time around (and it's already collecting pocket lint), along with black buttons.

Maybe you'll love it. Maybe you'll loathe it. Maybe you'll look at the extra $100 you have to pay for it and scoff. Or maybe you're hoping one of the other three wood backs (yes, we know bamboo is a grass) we saw earlier this year will soon become available. To each his own.

Also cool: The setup wallpaper is — you guessed it — bamboo.

For now, just feast upon the glory that is the best Android phone you can buy — in bamboo.

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3 years ago

Verizon's LG G2 OTA now pushing, relax it's not KitKat

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Update fixes some bugs, adds Verizon's Cloud app and issues a Google Security Patch

Verizon and LG are pushing out that LG G2 OTA they spoke of yesterday. The 172MB update brings the software version to VS98012B, and addresses some bugs, forces Verizon's Cloud into your app drawer, and contains a security patch that everyone seems sure will break root. Here's the official changes.

  • Video playback quality has been improved when viewing on websites
  • Dialing *611 will now appear on device screen
  • TalkBack reads each deleted letter when using Messaging Keyboard
  • Backup Assistant Plus resumes syncing after completing a voice call
  • Device lockups have been reduced
  • Viewdini application has been removed
  • Verizon Cloud app is now preloaded
  • Messaging is now supported via QSlide
  • Voice quality has been improved
  • Google Security Patch has been added

Reports of people seeing the update are growing, so there's a good chance it's waiting for you if you jump into the settings and try to fetch it. 

Everyone is discussing — especially the possible root breakage — in the forums. Jump in and have a read!

More: Verizon G2 forums; Verizon (.pdf)

Thanks, Doug!

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3 years ago

Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition passes Google CTS, launching Dec. 24

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The "CyanogenMod Edition" Oppo N1 — the limited edition version with CM 10.2 out of the box — has passed Google's Android Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) and is scheduled to become available from Dec. 24. It's the first time a CyanogenMod-powered phone has passed Google's tests, which are designed to ensure device security and compatibility with apps in the Android ecosystem.

The news was shared on the CM-dev mailing list and on Twitter by manufacturer Oppo, which gave glimpse of the exclusive packaging, stickers and case included with the device. Writing on the CM-dev list, community lead Abhisek Devkota (better known as ciwrl) described it as "a major milestone for everyone in this project," adding "aside from root access, we were not forced to make any compromises in terms of features or functionality."

The CM Edition Oppo N1 isn't listed on the manufacturer's online store just yet, but the vanilla N1 recently launched in the U.S. and Europe for $599 and €449, so it's likely the CM version's price will fall somewhere around this level.

Source: @Oppo; Google Groups via Engadget

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