4 years ago

IFA 2013 preview - Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy Gear, Xperia Z1, lens cameras and more!


Our complete guide to what’s coming out of Berlin next week

After a relatively low-key CES and Mobile World Congress earlier this year, it’s time for IFA — or Internationale Funkausstellung, to give it its full name — the annual consumer electronics show held in Berlin at the end of the summer. And this year’s IFA looks to be the the busiest yet for major Android announcements and product unveilings. The show proper begins Friday, Sept. 6, but the big press conferences start from Wednesday, Sept. 4.

IFA has traditionally been a major event for Samsung, and of course the Korean company is sure to have its share of big announcements this year, too. But we’re also expecting phones, tablets, cameras and more from other manufacturers like Sony and LG.

Naturally, we’ll be live from Germany next week to bring you full coverage of IFA 2013. Check past the break to learn about all the awesome Android stuff we’re expecting to see.

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4 years ago

Archos rolls out the rest of its 2013 phone and tablet portfolio ahead of IFA


Several new phones and tablets to be unveiled completely at IFA 2013

Getting out ahead of the IFA 2013 scramble, Archos has just announced its product roadmap for the rest of 2013, including several new tablets and a new phone. First up is the largest of the lineup, the 101xs2 tablet with a quad-core processor, aluminum body and a 2048x1536 IPS display. It also features a magnetic attaching keyboard for when you need to get some work done. Joining it in the "Platinum" lineup is the 97b Platinum HD, which is slightly smaller but still features a high-resolution screen and solid construction.

The next three tablets both hit completely different but necessary markets for Archos. The first are the 101 ChildPad and 80 ChildPad, which as you'd guess are kid-focused tablets with a simple UI, Google Play filtered for children's content and complete parental controls. The next is a gaming-focused GamePad 2, which will be a follow-up to the original gaming tablet and will have more details available soon.

Last but not least, Archos has two new 3G-enabled devices to announce in the 50 Oxygen phone and 80 Xenon tablet. The 50 Oxygen is Archos' latest phone with a 1080x1920 IPS display, quad-core 1.5GHz processor, 16GB of storage, a 13MP rear- and 5MP front-facing camera. The 80 Xenon is just one of three in the "Xenon" range of tablets, with HD screens, dual- or quad-core processors and running Android 4.2 just like the 50 Oxygen.

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4 years ago

Knock Knock: How to turn on the LG G2 without the power button


One of my favorite features in the LG G2 is the ability to wake the phone without using the power button by tapping twice on the screen. Called "Knock Knock" or "Knock On," it's sort of a necessary side effect from the power button being on the back of the phone. You might want to wake the phone to see a notification, but not necessarily pick it up to do so.

Nokia has done this in the past, and you can get the same sort of feature with a custom kernel. But this is the first time we've seen an Android manufacturer build it in.

And, so, we knock. Or tap. A double rap on the dark display wakes the phone. From there, you can double tap again on the lock screen to put it back to sleep.

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4 years ago

Motorola Droid Maxx: The phone for serious battery junkies


Why aren't other manufacturers offering this kind of battery life?

Verizon has been pushing its three-tiered Droid strategy for a couple generations now, and the highest-end phone of the group has always sported a gigantic battery. The case is no different with the latest roundup of Droids — the Droid Mini, Droid Ultra and Droid Maxx — where the $299 on-contract Maxx has a substantially larger battery than the other two.

At 3500mAh it is over 64 percent more capacity than the Droid Ultra and 75 percent more than the Mini, while still fitting into a casing that is only 8.5mm thick. While Motorola claims an already high (but higher than we've experienced) 28 hours of "mixed usage" on the Droid Ultra, it claims an absurd 48 hours on the Maxx variant.

Throughout our time with the Droid Maxx, however, we found you can actually push closer to that 48 hour claim than you may think.

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4 years ago

NVIDIA Shield update moves apps to SD card, improves Miracast, adds dev tools


The NVIDIA Shield handheld Android gaming system — or HAGS, as no one but us apparently has ever called it — just got another software update that adds a couple interesting features to the Tegra 4 platform. Here's what's new:

  • You can now move apps and app files from the internal storage to an SD card. 
  • Miracast streaming is improved with Actiontec ScreenBeam Pro.
  • Better PC streaming, gamepad detection and WIfi
  • Now supports Tegra developer tools

That's Software Update 59 (so simply named — we could get used to that) — and it's available now by going to Settings>About>System updates.

Source: NVIDIA Shield release notes

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4 years ago

Can we end carrier exclusives and bloatware? - Talk Mobile


We will always advocate picking your carrier before picking your phone, but sometimes the allure of a specific phone can be too much to overcome. Millions switched to AT&T to get access to the first four iPhones, BlackBerry faithful jumped to Verizon and Vodafone to get the first BlackBerry Storm, and old Palm fans moved to Sprint to pick up a Palm Pre. They made these moves not out of interest in monthly savings or coverage, but for a specific device - one exclusive to that carrier.

4 years ago

BBM for Android inches closer to release (and/or obscurity) with landing page


We still don't have BBM for Android, but we now have a landing page that talks a little bit about BBM for Android. Let's hope that design isn't quite finished yet either — white text on gray is kinda hard to read, but what it says is "BBM is the best way to connect and share instant messages, pictures and more for free, in real time."

Kinda like every other messaging app available.

Source: BBM for Android; via CrackBerry

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4 years ago

Galaxy Note 3 accessories manufacturer says to expect it Sept. 4

4 years ago

The LG G2 rear buttons: A few quick thoughts


So we've got the LG G2 here for a little one-on-one time. That's the good news. But we also need to make clear that this is a preproduction unit. The hardware is solid, but the software's not quite final. (As we found out already in a new hands-on video.) Not a huge deal, and it gives us time to play around with some of the more unique features of this phone before we get into review mode. 

So let's flip over to the back of this phone, where the volume rocker and power button live. Crazy, we know. But maybe — just maybe — it's our kind of crazy.

A few quick thoughts:

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4 years ago

Huawei Ascend P6 review


Great design, impressive specs and a solid price ... so where does it fall short?

Huawei is one of the dark-horse Android manufacturers, with a larger market share than you would guess (mostly outside the U.S.) and drastically better design and manufacturing chops than you'd expect from what most would call a "no name" manufacturer. The Chinese company has been making phones of all shapes, sizes and price points for many years now, but has just started moving into the higher-end smart phone game as of late where it sees room for growth.

It's latest entry into the market that is hoping turn a few heads is the Huawei Ascend P6, and on paper and in press images it looks like it has it all. A quad-core processor, a high-quality screen, numerous software features and all packed into a metal chassis that measures up at just 6.18mm thick. Add all of that up and you still come home with a device that has an unlocked price of about $450, which is even more impressive.

But can it ever live up to the marketing materials and spec sheets? Read on for our full review of the Huawei Ascend P6.

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4 years ago

Facebook for Android getting some bugfixes


Facebook this morning dropped word that its official Android app is getting an update. Nothing huge in this latest v3.6 update — a few bugfixes, mainly. Here's the deal:

  • Fixed a crash when deleting a photo from a comment
  • Fixed music controller notifications from disappearing
  • Various other crash and bug fixes 

Presumably it also contains the improvements found in last week's beta update. The update is available for the Facebook beta testers now and will roll out to everyone else in the next few days.

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4 years ago

Blue HTC One tipped for Sept. 10 launch on Sprint


We've seen plenty of the blue HTC One of late, thanks to various pre-release leaks of the unannounced color option. And now it seems U.S. carrier Sprint might be getting first dibs on the new, blue version of the phone, if a leaked internal screenshot is to be believed.

PhoneArena has obtained an image of a recent Sprint handset update advisory showing the HTC One in blue listed alongside a Sept. 10 launch date. If accurate, the blue HTC One would join the "glamor red" version on Sprint -- the carrier already has exclusivity over that model in the U.S.

Source: PhoneArena

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4 years ago

O2 UK to offer Nexus 7 LTE from September 13


Pre-orders go live today for £319.99​, carrier also selling 32GB Wifi-only version

O2 has announced that it'll offer the LTE-capable version of the new Nexus 7 on its newly-launched 4G network, with a release scheduled for Sept. 13. The tablet will cost £319.99, and is available for pre-order now on "Pay As You Go" 4G plans, which come with 2GB of data to get you started. Pre-order customers will also get the official premium case, worth £29.99.

"O2 will be the only place to sell the 4G-Ready Nexus 7 at launch," the carrier says, suggesting some kind of timed exclusivity deal is in place. It's unclear whether this means Brits will be unable to get hold of an unlocked 4G Nexus 7 from the Google Play Store on the same day; at the very least it means rivals Vodafone and EE won't be selling the tablet at launch.

O2 is also selling the Wifi-only Nexus 7 with 32GB of storage, priced at £249.99. Elsewhere, there's still no firm date set for the launch of the 4G Nexus 7 in the U.S. or other territories.

More: O2 announcement; Pre-order details

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4 years ago

Vodafone and O2 launch 4G LTE networks in the UK


O2 in London, Leeds and Bradford; Vodafone in London only

As planned, British carriers O2 and Vodafone have today launched their 4G LTE services, bringing to an end EE's effective monopoly over 4G in the UK. From today, O2 4G is available in London, Leeds and Bradford, while Vodafone LTE launch is limited to the British capital.

O2 offers data in 1GB, 3GB and 5GB bundles, starting at £26 per month on a SIM-only deal, and as part of a 4G launch promotion customers signing up for 3GB and 5GB will be upgraded to 5GB and 8GB respectively until Oct 31.

Vodafone, meanwhile, has 2GB, 4GB and 8GB 4G data bundles, with the option to get a temporary boost to unlimited data for three months through its "data test drive" program. 4G contracts with a device attached will start at £34 per month for 2GB and run as high as £57 for 8GB, depending on the device. Both operators are offering unlimited calls and texts on 4G plans.

Anyone jumping on the O2/Vodafone 4G bandwagon today?

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4 years ago

Three UK schedules 4G switch-on for December


No price premium for LTE services, unlimited data to be offered

As British operators O2 and Vodafone enter the 4G fray, Three UK has confirmed that it'll launch its 4G network this December. The smallest major carrier also reaffirmed its commitment not to charge a premium for LTE connectivity when it launches, and said it'll continue to offer "All You Can Eat" unlimited data packages when it lights up 4G. Unless any of Three's rivals drastically change their 4G pricing structure, this would make Three the lowest-cost option for 4G as well as the only operator with unlimited LTE data plans.

Three's 4G network will launch in London, Manchester and Birmingham in December, before arriving in a further fifty markets by the end of 2014 and aiming to achieve 98 percent UK population coverage by the end of 2015. By comparison, EE yesterday announced it'd reached 105 4G markets and hit 60 percent population coverage some ten months after its 4G launch.

Three says all its customers with a 4G-capable device will be upgraded for free, and that only a software update will be required to turn on 4G on these devices, and customers will not require new SIMs.

UK readers, will you be switching networks to take advantage of 4G? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Three

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