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

Three UK eliminates U.S. roaming charges

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Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau also joining 'Feel At Home' program

Three has become the first major UK network operator to allow its customers to roam freely in the U.S. by adding the country to its "Feel At Home" program. The operator is also adding Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Macau to the list, bringing the total number of supported territories up to 11. Other Feel At Home countries include the Republic of Ireland, Australia, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, Sweden and Denmark.

Feel At Home debuted in late August, and allows Three UK customers use the local network as if they were still in the UK at no extra cost. Their UK data allowance can be used, and calls and texts to UK numbers are handled in the same way too — though calls and texts to non-UK numbers are charged separately. Similarly, tethering is not allowed through Feel At Home.

The deal is open to all Three Pay As You Go, pay monthly, SIM-only, mobile broadband and business customers with roaming activated on their accounts.

The addition of the U.S. to the list is a significant step, as UK carriers often charge extremely high roaming rates to roam in states. The fact that the offer is open to PAYG customers also goes against the norm, as those on prepaid are often excluded from roaming deals.

Other operators have stepped up with more reasonable travel deals recently, but the prospect of unlimited roaming data in the U.S. is a new development for the UK market, and something that'll be of great interest to transatlantic travelers. More details in the presser after the break.

Source: Three Media Center

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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

Here's how Motorola plans to manage its refreshed holiday sale

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Sale gives you a whole week to order your custom Moto X

Motorola's first attempt at a "Cyber Monday" sale didn't work out so well, but it's coming back strong with what it's calling a "2-day Holiday Sale." Although we were tipped off by Motorola's social media channels yesterday of the new sale, now we know how the whole process will go down.

Motorola plans to open up its new sale at 9am PT / noon ET Wednesday, but you won't have to worry about clicking the "place order" button right away. The new system will let you go to a specific sale page, motorola.com/holiday2daysale, and sign up to receive your $150 Moto Maker discount. Rather than be locked into customizing and ordering right then, you'll receive a promo code for the discount via email within a few hours.

You'll then have a full week to head to Moto Maker and go through your order process at any time, and apply the one-time promo code to receive $150 off your order. (Unfortunately the discount can't be applied to Developer Edition devices.) You can also use the general promo code "THANKS" on your order to receive 30 percent off accessories of any kind.

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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

EE expands LTE footprint to 10 new markets, more to come by end of year

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29 total markets to be lit up from today to Christmas

It has been just over a month since EE's last LTE expansion, and now the U.K. carrier is adding 10 more markets to the network. Going live today are the following markets:

  • Bath
  • Bournemouth
  • Brighton
  • Cambridge
  • Darlington
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme
  • Northampton
  • Poole
  • Portsmouth
  • Redcar

Now this doesn't come as a huge surprise to us, as our own Alex and Richard have been seeing EE LTE in some of the above markets prior to today, but it's always good to know when the expansion is official. EE is claiming that the expansion isn't done this year though, and that 19 more markets will be lit up with the higher-speed data by Christmas. Hit the break for the full list of areas.

Source: Engadget

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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

Field Trip adds new navigation layout, publisher info

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New bottom bar makes switching between views simpler

Google's Field Trip app is receiving a bit of a facelift today with new navigation functions and more information on publisher sources. In the latest version (v1.20), you can now switch between the map, nearby, recent and favorite menus with a new bottom bar that can also be switched with swipes between them. A new hamburger menu in the top left of the app also offers quick settings for notifications and voice controls, along with the deeper app settings menu.

When viewing individual cards, you can continue to scroll when at the bottom of a particular article to move onto the next one in the list. You can also view information on the publisher of that card at the bottom of each, including all cards published by that establishment. From there, you can choose to see more or less content from that publisher.

Field Trip may still be a bit of a niche app for those who travel or are just interested in knowing more about the place they live, but these new changes are certainly improving the experience.

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4 years ago

The RAVPower Qi charger

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A solid charger with a couple odd shortcomings

While it isn't exactly a given just yet, it seems as though more mobile devices than ever are getting on-board with the Qi wireless charging standard. And as the number of devices that are compatible grows, so does the number of charging accessories. Google sells its own Nexus Wireless Charger for $49, but a handful of other manufacturers are coming in under that price with their own offerings.

RAVPower is one of the latest, and its $39 charger is now available on Amazon trying to make a case for its existence among the many other players. Hang with us after the break to take a quick look at this new Qi charger.

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4 years ago

Dead Trigger 2 gets updated, brings game balancing, new environments, and tweaks everywhere

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Enhancements to one of mobile's most ambitious action shooters rolling out from the Play Store

An update for Dead Trigger 2, Madfinger Games latest and possibly greatest thriller-killer-shooter, is live in Google Play today. The update looks to balance game play, making progression more fluid and less tedious — a problem all action-shooters have.

You'll still need to grind (or use the in-app purchase store) for the gear, but now you have new environments to grind through. With more than 50 new gameplay moments, including more air combat from the helicopter as well as new environments in Africa, we'll have a lot of new content to work through.

Gameplay balancing and tweaks, as well as new rewards should also make for a better game all around. Here's the full list of changes:

New Features

  • Over 50 new gameplays
  • More Helicopter & Sniper missions
  • New African Environments
  • Redesigned Warfare Rewards

Balancing

  • Zombie difficulty has been rebalanced
  • Number of fast zombies decreased
  • Several missions have been rebalanced

Other

  • Various tweaks across the whole game
  • Pink textures on Galaxy Grand

Madfinger also gave us a glimpse  at what will be in the .3.0 update, and we can look forward to game environments in China, new melee weapons, chat and special holiday content. We're looking forward to this one, too. 

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4 years ago

ShopAndroid now accepting Bitcoin!

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We've had a lot of demand from users to begin accepting Bitcoin at ShopAndroid, and today I'm happy to announce that support is here! Just in time for the holidays, Bitcoin users can now checkout with the digital currency at ShopAndroid and our other Mobile Nations stores including ShopCrackBerry, the iMore Store and Windows Phone Central Store.

To kick off the Bitcoin support, we've even extended our Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale to run a full week. That means until this Friday, December 6th at midnight PST tonight, you can save 25% on ALL orders using coupon code CYBER13.

Take me to ShopAndroid!

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4 years ago

Three UK's 4G LTE now live for some customers in three cities

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4G live for 'thousands' — but not all — customers in London, Manchester, Birmingham; staged rollout will bring LTE to 1.5 million by end of February

Without any sort of official announcement, British carrier Three's 4G LTE service has gone live for some customers in London, Birmingham and Manchester today. Based on tweets from Three's official Twitter account, "a few thousand" customers in these three cities have been given access to the new LTE service, and the operator has told Android Central that by the end of February 1.5 million customers with 4G devices will be able to use the network. That's the target timeframe for allowing anyone with a capable handset to use Three's 4G, but right now access seems to be determined by the luck of the draw.

The reason for this, Three tell us, is to ensure the smoothest possible rollout for its 4G network, though a side-effect of this staged rollout has been a stream of tweets from disgruntled Three subscribers. The carrier previously committed to a launch in London, Manchester and Birmingham in December, but made no mention of its plans to restrict this to a small number of customers at the get-go.

Three says it plans to clear up some of the confusion in a blog post in the near future. Naturally, we'll keep you posted as well. Meanwhile, if you're on Three in any of the launch cities, hit the comments and let us know if you've managed to get on the 4G network.

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4 years ago

VSCO Cam now available for Android, will take some getting used to

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As promised, VSCO Cam — a longtime favorite of serious iPhone photographers — is now available on Android.

This isn't a camera app for everyone. Depending on your taste, it's either dead simple, or so devoid of any telltale buttons and icons you might not know where to start. But once you get the hang of things, you've got a pretty serious set of tools at your disposal. Filters (with individual settings for each), a whole bunch of editing tools, and a slew of sharing options — including easy access to VSCO's own service.

Best news, of course, is that the app is free. So give it a whirl.

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4 years ago

KitKat seeing a higher early adoption rate than Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean

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We had a look at the first month’s adoption rate for KitKat earlier, with Google’s latest and greatest checking in at a lowly 1.1 percent of all Android devices that visit Google Play. In reality, that 1.1 percent represents a lot more devices that it might seem.

Right now, KitKat is easy to pin down. It’s on the Nexus 5, the Nexus 4, the Nexus 7, the Nexus 10, most Moto X phones, and both the Google Play Galaxy S4 and HTC One. That's obviously more models than run iOS 7 — Apple still rules when it comes to getting updates on devices in a timely manner — and it's a testament to the various hardware partners who got together to make it happen. It’s also a small drop in the bucket of over 4,200 Android devices running Android 2.2 or higher that have Google’s services. With well over 1 billion active Android devices, it’s easy to see how 1.1 percent is both a small number and a big number at the same time.

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4 years ago

Assassin's Creed Pirates sailing to Android this week

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When Assassin’s Creed IV arrived on consoles recently, many gamers liked the game’s sailing and piratical activities even more than the traditional assassination missions. Ubisoft must have known the pirate stuff would go over well, as they’re about to release a nautically-themed mobile spin-off called Assassin’s Creed Pirates.

We recently snuck over to Ubisoft’s San Francisco headquarters, played Assassin’s Creed Pirates, and lived to tell the tale. Check out our hands-on preview after the break!

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