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3 years ago

KitKat for AT&T's HTC One now live

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And that's all four here in the US

While getting out your update on a quiet Sunday morning isn't quite as dramatic as a late night push while everyone in the industry is on a plane to Barcelona, it's still a welcome site. And that's exactly what's happening today for folks on AT&T with the HTC One, which has a shiny new KitKat update ready and waiting.

It's a sizeable download at 620MB, and you'll need to make sure your battery is charged past 50 percent or so to apply it. And there's that pecky little deal where AT&T only allows you to check once per day to contend with, so if you don't see it today don't get too alarmed.

I know plenty of folks have already downloaded and installed, and I'm sure some will share their experiences in these very comments.

Thanks, everyone who sent this in!

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the LG G2 Mini

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LG G2 Mini fits into a weird, but targeted place in the smartphone spectrum

Let's just put this out in the open here. We're a bit perplexed by the prospect of the LG G2 Mini, which we've just taken a look at here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. On paper, it's not exactly a scaled-down version of the LG G2 — more like a scaled down, under-spec'd model, actually. A mere 4.7 inches — but at qHD 960x540 resolution. Whereas the G2 has a Snapdragon 800 processor, the G2 Mini sports either a Qualcomm MSM8926, or an NVIDIA Tegra 4i (not insignificant, but also not exaclty hard-core). A mere 8GB of total on-board storage, 1GB of RAM — but with a 13-megapixel camera, minus some features.

The LG G2 Mini is, simply put, not a smaller version of the high-end G2. What it basically is, however, is a lower-cost device, somewhere in between the even-lower L series (that's not what L stands for, but we can't help but make that distiction now). That's a murky area — but also not all that surprising given that it appears to be targeted for specific regional markets. That's something to keep in mind, we suppose.

But, bottom line? Not the worst "affordable" device we've ever seen. Low-end certainly isn't as low as it used to be.

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3 years ago

Mozilla announces $25 smartphone, additional 12 Firefox OS markets for 2014

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Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom launching 12 combined new markets in the first half of 2014

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today we've been spending a little time with the folks from Mozilla, getting an update on the performance and future of Firefox OS. During the presentation, Mozilla COO Jay Sullivan, announced a partnership with Spreadtrum which will provide chipsets for $25 Firefox OS smartphones. You read that right. Just $25.

Sure, such devices may not meet the requirements many of us look for in a smartphone, but Mozilla isn't targetting us. This new bar in the entry-level smartphone space Mozilla says is to help people get online, to ditch their feature phones once and for all.

Additional news on the future of the fledgling platform sees 12 new markets coming online in the first half of 2014. Telefonica will be launching Firefox OS in Argentina, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Germany, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama, while Deutsche Telekom will take it to Croatia, the Czech Republic, Macedonia, and Montenegro.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with the LG G Pro 2

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LG's largest Android smartphone gets bigger, and smarter

LG already introduced the new G Pro 2 over in Korea, and they're showing it off to the rest of the world here at Mobile World Congress for the first time. If you're thinking it looks a little familar, you'd be right. Gone is the physical home button of its predecessor and in are the rear mounted power and volume controls of the G2. It's actually pretty handsome. And quite large.

A quick specs recap first, then. The G Pro 2 houses a 5.9-inch 1080p IPS display, with a 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800 and 3GB of RAM underneath. You get either 16 or 32GB of onboard storage with a microSD card slot and a 13MP camera round the back with OIS. Software-wise we're looking at Android 4.4.2 KitKat and LG's own brand of customizations.

While LG's manage to keep the overall look and feel of the original G Pro, this one's definitely in the extra-large department. There's just no disguising 5.9 inches, small bezels or not. If you absolutely have to one-hand the G Pro 2, you can fire up Mini View, which shrinks things down into a windowed display. But that doesn't change the fact that you're manhandling a massive phone.

And Knock On — where you tap the screen twice to wake the phone — has gotten even better with Knock Code, which lets you set one of 80,000 some-odd combinations of knocking patterns, so you now have convience as well as security. Love this feature.

But enough words, you want to see it, right? Head on past the break for a hands-on look at the new LG G Pro 2.

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3 years ago

Three UK to offer Samsung Gear 2 Neo, heavy price cut on original Galaxy Gear

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£99 with a Samsung device purchase, £149 without from March 4

The Gear 2 Neo is only just official but we're already hearing the first snippets of UK availability. Three is set to sell the new smartwatch, but as yet hasn't announced firm details on pricing. If you're looking for a deal, Three is also offering heavy price cuts on the first generation Galaxy Gear.

Brendan Arndt is Three's Device and Accessory Portfolio manager, so he's pretty well placed to pass on such information. Three already sells the Galaxy Gear throughout its retail network so you should be able to pop along to your local store and pick one up at the lower price from March 4.

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3 years ago

Poll: Do you care what OS your smartwatch runs?

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The Samsung Gear 2 runs Tizen, not Android — but do you care?

Samsung today announced the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo — two new smartwatches that work with its Android-powered Galaxy smartphones. Unlike the original Galaxy Gear, however, the new watches themselves run the Tizen OS. But with similar software and a matching user experience, does the underlying OS really matter? If you're not planning on hacking the device to run third-party apps, do you care that the wearable connecting to your Android phone doesn't also run Google's OS?

Share your opinion in our poll!

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3 years ago

Why Samsung switching smartwatches from Android to Tizen maybe isn't that big a deal

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Things have changed behind the familiar faces, but does that really matter?

Samsung has announced their new wearables this evening, and one of the bullet points stands out a bit more than the others. Both the Galaxy Gear 2 and Galaxy Gear 2 Neo are running Tizen — an open-source operating system developed in part by Samsung.

This brings up a lot of contreversy from Android faithful — the original Galaxy Gear ran a version of Android — as well as a lot of questions about what Tizen is, and why Samsung decided to go with it. We're not going to jump too deep into the controversy, but we can try to talk about some of the questions and give a few answers.

The short version is that the sky is not falling, and Tizen on Samsung's new smartwatches can be a very good thing. The longer version follows below.

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3 years ago

Samsung Gear 2 specs

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Samsung has announced the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches. Both are compatible with Smasung's Android smartphones, but neither watch actually runs Android instead switching to Samsung's own open-source OS, Tizen.

The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo essentially are the same thing, only the Neo a tad smaller and lighter, has no camera and has different color options.

Here are the Samsung Gear 2 specs:

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3 years ago

Samsung announces Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches, which drop Android for Tizen

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Revamped hardware and a plethora of software highlight the second round of Samsung's smartwatch.

Samsung has announced the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches ahead of Mobile World Congress here in Barcelona, Spain. These are follow-ups to last summer's Samsung Galaxy Gear. 

Unlike the original Galaxy Gear, which has a full build of Android 4.2.2 on board, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo are running the Tizen OS — an open-source OS Samsung played a big hand in developing. (More on that here.) That's good and bad, of course. It's great for those who have been waiting to see Tizen on a mainstream product (insofar as smartwatches are mainstream, we suppose) and bad for the tinkerers. That's also led Samsung to drop "Galaxy" from the product name.

Thew new OS is just part of the changes, though. The hardware's been revamped as well. The ugly wart that is the camera on the Galaxy Gear is gone, moved from the strap to the body of the watch itself. And Samsung's tucked an IR port in there for good measure, turning the watch into a living-room remote — not really much of a surprise given that wearables will make up a good part of Samsung's Smart Home initiative, announced in January.

And that's just for starters.

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3 years ago

Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo image gallery

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Samsung has just announced its latest range of smartwatches, the Tizen-powered Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, ahead of the start of Mobile World Congress 2014. We'll have more coverage of both watches over the course of the show, but until then you can check out the official promo gallery after the break.

More: Samsung Gear 2; Samsung Gear 2 Neo

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3 years ago

Lenovo teases a new tablet, tells us to wait for tomorrow to see the rest

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Lenovo wants you to be excited for tomorrow's news and gives you a little taste

Lenovo has taken to the Twitters to get everyone pumped for their news tomorrow, and they are teasing with a small picture of what is likely a new tablet.

No name, no specs, nothing but the picture you see above. Is it an Android tablet? Is it a Windows tablet? Is it something else? We'll know tomorrow at 1 p.m. EST.

MWC 2014 isn't even started yet, folks. Stay tuned, this year is gonna be a doozy!

Thanks, Oliver!

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3 years ago

What I'm playing this week: Plants vs. Zombies 2

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By the time you read this, I will be in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. That's an hour flight from Pensacola to Atlanta. Another 8 hours or so to Paris. The another couple hours to Spain. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. The journey's no longer a novelty.

That means it's time to sit back, relax, and kill some zombies. 

I don't know what it is about Plants vs. Zombies 2 that's managed to capture my ever-waning attention. There are so many pick up/put down games out there, but I keep coming back to this one. It's not all that challenging anymore — I've beaten every level there is to beat. But the "never-ending" levels keep me coming back to build up my back for the day that the elusive fourth world is rolled out. And it's not like I'm spinning my wheels in those endless levels, either. I play till I get beat — which is the idea, of course. At some point you're going to be overrun. 

And when the zombies do eat my brain (and when they do it's usually because of those damned Gargantuans), I often exit the game in disgust, wondering just where I went so wrong in my life.

And then I pick it back up again, and plant some more seeds. 

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3 years ago

We're in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress 2014!

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The Mobile Nations team has touched down in Spain ahread of what promises to be a busy few days for moble in general, and Android in particular, at Mobile World Congress 2014. We've got six editors on the ground, and we're expecting announcements form Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC and others. So stay tuned to Android Central, CrackBerry, iMore, Windows Phone Central and Smartwatch Fans in the days ahead!

More: Android at Mobile World Congress: What to expect from the show

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3 years ago

Follow Mobile Nations at Mobile World Congress!

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How to keep up with what's happening in Barcelona!

Mobile Nations has landed in Barcelona! We're not just here for cervezas and tapas, of course, but for the annual Mobile World Congress. We've got a lot to look forward to this week – check out our extensive preview if you haven't already – and the team on the ground will be bringing you the very best of it all.

We've a team of six on the ground in Spain, and besides keeping up with everything on the blogs you'll want to be following us on the socials as well. Head on past the break for all the links you need!

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3 years ago

Grab a UK Nexus 5 for just £240!

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Black 16GB in stock now at Carphone Warehouse, other colors on back order

If you've been holding out on picking up a UK Nexus 5, Carphone Warehouse might just have given you the best reason there is to go out and grab one. As of right now, they will sell you one for just £240, the lowest price for a SIM free Nexus 5 we've seen to date in Britain.

The white and red versions are offered at £240, but both are currently out of stock showing a "pre order" button next to them. The white is scheduled to ship on Feb 27 according to the site. If you're happy with a black one, you can buy one right now for home delivery or to collect in your local store. Grab 'em while they're hot!

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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