Headlines

4 years ago

Two-sided YotaPhone goes on sale in a handful of countries

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Initial launch in Russia, Austria, France, Spain and Germany, more to follow in 2014

It seems like an eternity ago that we got our first look at the YotaPhone, a quirky little Android handset with a regular LCD display on the front and e-ink on the back. Our interest was piqued by our time with the device at Mobile World Congress back in February, and now the phone is available to buy in five European countries, with 15 more European, CIS and Middle Eastern territories following in the first quarter of 2014. In addition to the online launch, the YotaPhone will go on sale in retail stores in Russia and Germany this month, according to today's press release, priced at 19,990 RUB and €499.

The YotaPhone features a 4.3-inch 720p LCD display on the front, with swipe gestures being used in place of regular Android buttons. Around the back is a similarly-sized e-ink panel at 360x640 resolution, which can be used to display secondary information, such as the weather and calendar alerts. It's also possible to send images to the rear display with a two-finger gesture.

The device powered by a dual-core 1.7GHz Krait processor with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, with support for the main HSPA and LTE bands used in Europe. There's also a 13-megapixel rear camera, an 1800mAh battery, and on the software side it's Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean running the show.

For more on the YotaPhone, check out our hands-on feature from Mobile World Congress.

More: Hands-on with the YotaPhone at MWC 2013

Also see: YotaPhone official site

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4 years ago

Hands-on with the LG G Flex

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Pick up the LG G Flex for the first time, and it's tough to tell which is the cooler feature. For one thing, this phone is curved. Not just "Oh, the glass is curved against your face." But "Holy crap, the entire phone is curved."

But that's just half the story. Because what good is a curved phone that's rigid? That's just asking for trouble. No, the LG G Flex also bends. From the glass atop the display, to the display itself, to the all-new battery, this phone is meant to withstand up to 88 pounds of pressure in its most sensitive of areas, moving just enough to keep things from breaking while providing what LG believes to be the most ergonomic fit yet.

But you're not supposed to be able to bend your phone, right?

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4 years ago

LG G Flex availability dates announced for Singapore and Hong Kong

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Global rollout coming 'soon' says LG

Though it's been available through importers for a while, The LG G Flex will soon be on store shelves in Singapore and Hong Kong. A preorder date of December 8 has been announced for Singapore, and a general availability date of December 13 means the phone will be for sale at carrier stores and electronic retailers in Hong Kong.

LG says this is just the beginning, and we should soon expect a global rollout of the G Flex. We've no time frame for any western releases, but we assume LG wants to get the flexible, self-healing phone into as many hands it can as fast as it can. When LG has something to tell us, we'll be sure to tell you!

Follow through for the full press release.

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4 years ago

Moto G versus Moto X

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A look at Motorola's low end, and how it matches up against the high end

It's time to compare apples to oranges. One of these things is not like the other. Insert your own dry, not very witty and overused nugget of colloquial wisdom here. But we're going to compare the Moto X against the new Moto G.

The Moto X — even without all the cores and other numbers that send the spec-conscious all in a tizzy — is Motorola's high-end device for the high-end market. It's well-built, fast, loved by just about everyone who has used it — and is our pick as the best smartphone you can buy at the moment. It's everything that the old Motorola wasn't, and a fresh, new offering from the company that invented the cell phone.

The Moto G is the other end of the Android spectrum. It's inexpensive, accessible all over the world and targeted at blossoming smartphone adopters in countries without the high market penetration rates we see in the west. The good news is, unlike the usual budget handsets with fairly shoddy craftsmanship and plain bad performance, the Moto G is a damn good phone. It's solid, dependable and speedy — all for under $200.

Follow along, and we'll see where these two are similar and where they aren't.

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4 years ago

HTC One Mini sales to be blocked in UK following court ruling

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HTC One also at risk of ban

A British judge has ruled that HTC must stop selling its One Mini handset in the UK from this Friday, Dec. 6, after finding that it infringed upon Nokia's patents. A report from Bloomberg states that the HTC One was also found to breach certain Nokia patents, but Judge Richard Arnold delayed any action against that product to give HTC the chance to appeal, as a sales ban of the flagship handset could "considerably" damage the company.

HTC had argued that the offending part was "a very small component" and thus didn't justify a sales ban.

Nokia says that it's also claiming financial compensation in the case, according to a statement given to Bloomberg, and that HTC has agreed not to import any more of the infringing products into the UK pending an appeal.

We've reached out to HTC for comment and we'll update this post with any official statement. In the meantime, UK buyers looking to pick up a One Mini would be advised to do so before Friday.

Update: And here's what HTC has to say:

“HTC is pleased by the decision of the High Court of England and Wales to stay an injunction against certain chipsets, including those in our flagship HTC One, pending the outcome of our appeal against the validity and infringement of Nokia's EP 0 998 024  patent.  Whilst the Court also granted an injunction that affects other third party chipsets, we have filed urgent application to appeal.  In the meantime, we are working with our chip suppliers to explore alternative solutions . As always, HTC's primary focus is on supporting our customers and ensuring minimal disruption to them and our business. Rest assured that our award winning HTC One handset will be available as usual.”

Source: Bloomberg

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4 years ago

LG G2 down to £360 SIM-free from Amazon UK

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£129 off the RRP for LG's high-end handset

Despite being overshadowed (in some circles, at least) by the Nexus 5, LG's flagship G2 remains a great handset in its own right, recently earning a runner-up spot on our list of best Android phones. It's got the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor found in the Nexus 5, with a larger 5.2-inch display, a more capacious 3000mAh battery and a 13-megapixel with optical image stabilization.

The G2 is now available at a sizeable discount on Amazon.co.uk, where it's priced at £359.99 including VAT — a pretty good deal considering most UK outlets still charge somewhere north of £400. The deal comes directly from Amazon, not a third-party seller, so there should be no worries about shipping issues.

For more on the G2, check out our review of the AT&T version, or hit up the link below to see Amazon's deal.

Buy: LG G2 on Amazon UK (£359.99)

Thanks, Paul O'Brien!

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4 years ago

Sprint Galaxy S4 getting minor bug fix update

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MK2 update said to resolve 'sleep mode' issues

Sprint has announced on its community message boards that its Samsung Galaxy S4 has been updated with a minor bug-fixing patch. The update to firmware version "MK2" is said to resolve issues with sleep mode on the phone, but that's the only change pointed out in the carrier's official changelog. It comes a month after Sprint's GS4 got its Android 4.3 update.

Sprint's post flags this update as having been pushed out on Nov. 30, and according to reports from the Android Central forums, the update has been arriving on handsets over the weekend. So if you've not already got it, now's the time to start hitting that "Check for updates" button.

Source: Sprint, Android Central forums

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4 years ago

Moto G versus Nexus 4

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How does last year’s Nexus shape up against this year’s entry-level champion?

Motorola’s latest entry-level handset, the Moto G, has been turning heads thanks to its relatively low price point and compelling specs and feature set. It’s a step below the Nexus 5 — the device it tied with in the “best value” category of our most recent Android phone roundup. But what of the Nexus 4, no longer available on Google Play, but relatively easy to track down from other online vendors.

If you’ve got a Nexus 4, is the Moto G a valid upgrade path? And if you’ve got around $200 to spend on a smartphone, which is worth your money? We’ll take a look at both devices in more detail after the break.

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4 years ago

Reminder: If Motorola's servers ever come up, you can grab a Moto X off-contract for $350

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Motorola's servers appear to be taking quite a beating early this morning. But if you somehow manage to get through, here's your reminder that the Moto X — our current pick for the best Android phone available — is $150 off today, outright. That means $350 total gets you an off-contract, 16GB Moto X. Another $50 bumps you up to 32GB.

Accessories are still 30 percent off today as well.

Buy now: Motomaker.com

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4 years ago

Samsung announces 'merlot red' and 'rose gold' black and white Galaxy Note 3s

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'Rose gold white' Note 3 headed to China this month

A couple of days after it quietly unveiled the new color options in Argentina, Samsung has today officially announced the arrival of the Galaxy Note 3 with "rose gold" accents in black and white, as well as a new "merlot red" model. The two rose gold versions have front and back designs similar to the existing "classic white" and "jet black" Note 3s, but with bronze accents in place of the standard silver edges. The merlot red version with silver accents sports a more traditional paint job.

The new Note 3 colors join the existing classic white and jet black with silver accents, as well as the lesser-spotted blush pink variant. Samsung says the the "rose gold white" Galaxy Note 3 will launch this month in China, with other colors to be launched "according to each market’s preference."

Update: We've got a gallery featuring all the new Galaxy Note 3 colors after the break.

Source: Samsung

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4 years ago

Moto G up for preorder on Amazon today, ships Dec. 4

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The new Moto G is one of the best values you can get in an Android smartphone — and it's now available for preorder on Amazon. Pricing is exactly the same as from Motorola — $199 for the 16GB mode, and $20 less for 8GB. Those prices don't come with those pesky two-year contracts, either.

This one's definitely worth taking a look at, folks. Here's how we put it recently in our full Moto G review:

Depending on your perspective, the Moto G can be seen as a ridiculously cheap phone considering its quality, or a ridiculously good phone for its price. 

The phones start shipping Dec. 6.

Thanks, Marcela!

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4 years ago

Samsung unveils red and 'rose gold' Galaxy Note 3 in Argentina

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Samsung Argentina has revealed two new color options for its oversized Galaxy Note 3 handset today — "rose gold" and red — bringing the total number of color variants up to five. The rose gold Note 3 is white, like the standard "classic white" version, but with bronze accents around its edges, buttons and camera. The red version is — well, red.

There's no official indication as to when, or even if these new colors will spread outside of Argentina, but recent rumors from Samsung fansite SamMobile point to the red version launching internationally in the first week of 2014, followed two weeks later by the rose gold model.

Source: Samsung, SamMobile

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4 years ago

Dutch Galaxy Note 3 buyers get €125 rebate, free SD card on Nov. 30

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Samsung Netherlands offers Galaxy Note 3 customers discount plus 64GB card this Saturday

Samsung is hoping to tempt Dutch consumers towards its Galaxy Note 3 handset this weekend, with a one-day promotion giving buyers €125 off the price of the handset (after a mail-in rebate) and a free 64GB microSD card. The offer is valid at participating stores — Phone House, Vodafone, Bell Company and Media Markt — this Saturday, Nov. 30.

Customers will get their SD cards when they buy the device, and the rebate will be given within 15 days when buyers send in a copy of their receipt, IMEI sticker and a completed registration form. Vodafone NL customers picking up a Note 3 on "Red Essentials" contract get the phone for free and a €45 monthly fee, down from €54. More details, including terms and conditions, are can be found at the source link.

Source: Samsung Netherlands; via: SamMobile

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4 years ago

Verizon Droid Ultra + Droid Mini now available in white

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Following some recent (and not-so-recent) leakage, the Motorola Droid Ultra and Droid Mini have appeared in white on Verizon's online store. Nothing has changed besides the color of the phones' exterior — you're still basically looking at a Moto X-class device in a different form factor with added "Droid" branding from Verizon. The phones' prices are also unchanged — the Ultra is $99.99 on a two-year plan, $449.99 outright or $18.97 on Verizon Edge, while the Mini remains $49.99 on-contract, $399.99 outright or $16.81 on Edge.

Hit the source links below for more details.

Source: Motorola Droid Ultra, Droid Mini; via: Droid-Life

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4 years ago

O2 Speed to Refresh reduces cost of paying off contract if you upgrade

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Carrier offers 25 percent reduction in cost of buying out contract to get subscribers onto 'O2 Refresh' plans

O2 UK has announced a new promotion designed to tempt existing customers onto its O2 Refresh price plans, which decouple the cost of customers' phones from their monthly service payment. Dubbed O2 Speed to Refresh, the new deal gives existing customers 25 percent off the cost of buying out the remainder of their contract if they upgrade to an O2 Refresh plan.

O2 Refresh is part of a growing trend which has seen some operators offering a clear distinction between the price of cellular service and the cost of payments towards the value of handsets. The plans mean customers' monthly bills are reduced after they've finished paying off their phone, and they can pay the full cost of the device up-front in exchange for lower monthly fees.

O2 Speed to Refresh is open to O2 Pay Monthly customers who have been with the carrier for at least three months.

Source: O2; More: O2 FAQs

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