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4 years ago

Galaxy Note 2 rumored for European release in next two weeks


When Samsung announced the Galaxy Note 2 back at IFA, an early October launch was hinted at by the company's booth staff, and today the latest round of rumors suggests it could arrive in some parts of Europe even sooner. SamMobile, which has a fairly good track record when it comes to obtaining insider info from the Korean manufacturer, reports that Germany and Italy will get the Note 2 on Sept. 27 and 28 respectively, while most European countries will have to wait until Oct. 1 or 2.

The purported list of release dates is as follows --

  • France - October 1-2
  • Germany - September 27
  • Italy - September 28
  • Netherlands - October 1-2
  • United Kingdom - October 1-2

So, some possible good news for Germans and Italians, and if the rest of the dates are accurate, most of Western Europe will have its hands on the 5.5-inch device within a couple of weeks. As always, remember to take unconfirmed dates like this with a pinch of salt, but we're certainly crossing our fingers for an earier than expected Note 2 release.

Source SamMobile

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean rolling out to some Verizon Galaxy Nexus units as Verizon's support page goes live


Finally, some users are reportedly receiving the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update for their Verizon Galaxy Nexus. As OEMs such as HTC announced their Jelly Bean update schedules, a owners of this key device have been anxiously and impatiently awaiting the update.

Verizon's official support page for the update has also gone live, suggesting that they may be gearing up for a mass rollout. The update will be 146.6MB in size and appears to only be available via Wi-Fi. The build number, JR003O, appears to be official as it is the same one referenced in the support document.

If you have a Galaxy Nexus on Verizon and have seen the same update, we'd love to hear from you in our Verizon Galaxy Nexus Forum! Sing out, send a screenshot, enjoy the Jelly Beans!

Source: VerizonAndroid Central Forums

Thanks Lakers!

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4 years ago

Motorola RAZR i gets carrier priced in the UK


With the announcement earlier this week of the Motorola RAZR i the nice chaps at Motorola have sent us out some pricing for the various carriers here in the UK.

  • VIRGIN MEDIA: Available in all channels (retail, telesales and online) starting at £23.  
  • TESCO: The handset will be available on selected networks and tariffs at and in Tesco Phone Shops nationwide.
  • T-MOBILE:  Free from £31 per month on a 24 month plan. Please see for more information.
  • ORANGE: Free from £31 per month on a 24 month plan. Please see for more information.
  • PHONES 4 U: Please contact the carrier directly for tariff information. Consumers can also pre-register here.

If you missed our hands on video with Motorola's new offering you can catch it here.

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4 years ago

Samsung Flip Covers to come bundled in time for holiday season


Samsung was on hand at Pepcom's Holiday Spectacular tonight in New York with an emphasis on myriad of accessories for its flagship models, the Galaxy S 3 and the Galaxy Note 2. In time for the holidays, Samsung says it will begin offering its singature Flip Cases in a variety of colors for the two devices, including Light and Cobalt Blues, Pink, Mint, Lime Greene, Orange and Yellow, in addition to the standard Titanium Gray and Marble White. Samsung will also begin offering bundled packages of the cases for those who want to swap out and accessorize at will. The bundles will include four cases and will cost $100, a bargain considering one case currently sells for $39.99. Samsung said that the bundles will hit the market sometime this Fall.

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4 years ago

Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 makes its first stateside public appearance


Another sign that the US release of the Galaxy Note 2 is now on the radar: the phablet itself, in the flesh for the first time on American soil here tonight in New York. We stopped by Pepcom where Sprint was onhand with its holiday lineup, including its just-announced iteration of the Note 2, which the carrier says will be on shelves no later than "this Fall." It's nothing you haven't seen in our in-depth hands-on of the international version; in fact, Sprint's demo model was identical, lacking any carrier branding whatsover. Regardless, we'll take it as the obligatory first sign that the Galaxy Note 2 is nearly ready to make its American debut. Hit the break for some hands on shots.

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4 years ago

LG Optimus 4X HD coming to WIND and Videotron in October


The folks at Mobile Syrup have received confirmation that the LG Optimus 4X HD will be coming to Canadian carriers WIND and VIdeotron in October. The Optimus 4X HD is a pretty spectacular device, packing a 1.5GHz Tegra 3 SoC, NFC and an 8MP camera under a beautiful 4.7-inch IPS True HD display. It's one of the best we've seen from LG.

On the software side, the 4X HD runs Ice Cream Sandwich, with a promise of a Jelly Bean update "soon". We don't put much stock on promises of updates from OEMs or carriers, so take this with a grain of salt. Also, interesting news for those of us south of the 54° 40' line -- WIND and Videotron both use the same AWS bands as T-Mobile in the states. Whether or not this means LG is talking to T-Mobile remains to be seen, but we've seen this play out that way before.

There's no word on pricing or an exact date yet, we'll keep an eye out for any news.

Source: Mobile Syrup

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 note taking, Setting ringtones and notifications [From the Forums]


Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

We've got nearly 1 million members helping members and nearly 2 million posts in our Android Forums. Are you one of them? Join today!

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4 years ago

Qualcomm updates Vellamo benchmark suite for Android, we had a nice chat with them about it


The popular Vellamo benchmark suite got a pretty big update today, bringing new features and a really nice UI to the popular software from Qualcomm. We talked with Sy Choudhury, senior director of product management at Qualcomm about it earlier in the week, and while they haven't convinced me that benchmarks are the perfect way to measure the performance of our Android phones and tablets just yet, they did answer a couple questions I've had and have me looking at the issue again. That's no small feat -- I'm pretty stubborn.

First, let's talk about the app itself. A benchmark tool doesn't have to look ugly, and Vellamo really does things up nicely. The main screen of the app lets you chose between HTML 5 based browser benchmarks, "Metal", as in hardware measuring, benchmarks, or a set of extras like tools to measure touch screen response, the Octane benchmark, and "advanced" video benchmarking tools. 

Benchmarking is easy, just tap one of the circular icons and let it run. When finished, you can compare your scores with others, or look a bit deeper to evaluate each test individually. You can also long press on the main benchmark icon and select individual tests. The settings allow you to run multiple tests to get the best average (recommended), email the comprehensive set of results to you when finished, and turn the tutorial on and off. 

Most importantly, a link to a full description of each test is provided right in the About section. It's no use to run these things if you have no clue what it all means, and Qualcomm does a great job explaining each test in both the HTML 5 and the Metal category, as well as the extras. This is what makes Vellamo my recommendation for folks who are fiddling with software and want to test the result on their phone. Sure, Qualcomm can send me a well written pdf file (they did, and I thank them for it) about each test but putting it out there for everyone using the app to read is pretty damn smart. Excellent move, Qualcomm.

As mentioned, Mr. Choudhury from Qualcomm took a few minutes to talk with us about Vellamo. He walked me through each of the tests and tools, but more importantly they shared a little about why they made the app and how they use it. Vellamo started as an internal testing suite for engineers and developers at Qualcomm. Some of their customers (folks like Samsung and HTC) requested the tools for themselves. Qualcomm obliged, and then decided since they had to build a stand alone app anyway that they would release it to the public. While it's not exactly the same app the fellows designing Qualcomm chips is using, it does provide the same exact tools they use to test performance. Learning about the how and why is always cool, and talking with Mr. Choudhury let me know that they take performance of our mobile devices pretty seriously at Qualcomm -- at least as seriously as we do.

Of course, I asked about any weighting or bias towards Qualcomm-powered devices -- a popular theory around the Internet. The tests used in Vellamo are industry standards, and are unmodified. The reason Qualcomm devices often score better on Vellamo is because, as mentioned, it's the tool they are using in-house to improve their chips. The engineers address issues they may see in Vellamo, and that means that the end product will score well in Vellamo. There are no sneaky software edits to make Snapdragons outperform other chips. 

I'm still not convinced that software based benchmark tools are a good way to compare the way one device runs versus another. There are too many variables, and nobody worries about the raw data given and instead uses the big number at the end as an Internet manhood measuring tool. But if you want to see how flashing different ROMs or making other software edits affects the phone or tablet in your hands, Vellamo is a pretty damn good way to do it. It's free in Google Play, grab it from the link above ad check out the product video after the break.

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4 years ago

Heads up: No AC podcast tonight


We're skipping this week folks, Phil is globetrotting, and Rene has his jacket on and is on the lookout for folks from Samsung at the Apple store in Montreal. Next week we'll make sense of it all -- see ya then!

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4 years ago

Verizon CFO: 'Unlimited is just a word, it doesn't really mean anything'


At today's Goldman Sachs investor conference, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo had a bit to say about unlimited data plans, and what he (and presumably Verizon) thought about them. There's a link to the full transcript below, but here's a direct quote.

So what customers are understanding and through our good sales routine is once you explain to a customer their usage on a monthly basis, unlimited is just a word, it doesn't really mean anything and that people don't really -- I think a lot of consumers think they consume a lot more data than they really do. So that whole unlimited thing I think is going by the wayside and they see the benefit of going to the shared.

Shammo is probably right. Most people don't need unlimited data plans. But for those that do need them, it's not very good news to see that there's little chance of them ever returning. Should Sprint get their LTE network in a more usable state, or T-Mobile expand their high-speed HSPA+ beyond highways and metro areas, there could be a shift among power users away from Big Red. Both carriers now have data-friendly full unlimited plans at reasonable pricing.

I've no dog in this fight. I'm one of the lucky few (very few) with good T-Mobile service, and my ancient Android data plan gives me all I can eat. I'm curious to hear from the rest of you guys. Agree with Mr. Shammo? Hit the break and answer the poll, then fill the comments with blind rage your thoughts.

Source: Verizon (pdf transcript); via CNET

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4 years ago

Roku Mobile app now streams content from Android devices


Roku has just updated the remote control app for their TV set-top box so you can also play content from your Android device on the big screen. This includes pictures and videos, as well as the usual access to web-based streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, Crackle, and others. You can also launch into channels over voice with this new update, and name multiple Roku boxes whatever you like. A nice little perk of this update is that the app is now available in Canada, the U.K., and Ireland. 

Roku's mobile app first launched on Android in March, but at that point it was pretty much strictly about controlling your Roku over Wi-Fi with simple stuff like volume and playback control, but this update seems to add a fair bit more functionality. 

Any Roku owners in the house? Digging the experience compared to, say, Google TV? 

Source: Roku

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4 years ago

HTC One X/XL Jelly Bean updates tipped for October release


HTC has made no secret of its plans to launch Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for its leading HTC One phones, but so far it's offered nothing in the way of release dates. It looks like the manufacturer's getting closer to having its updates finalized, though, as veteran mobile site MoDaCo is reporting that the updates are due to being rolling out in October.

According to MoDaCo founder Paul O'Brien, the upcoming EE UK HTC One XL will ship with Jelly Bean, as will the rumored One X+ -- a refreshed version of the Tegra 3 version said to sport higher clock speeds. Around the same time, existing One X and One XL devices will get bumped up to Android 4.1, MoDaCo claims.

The site has no info on when the One S will get Jelly Bean, but given that it's already confirmed for an update, we're hopeful it won't be too far behind. As ever, take this with a pinch of salt until we've got updates rolling out to devices. Nevertheless, we'll be crossing our fingers come October.

Source: MoDaCo

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4 years ago

LG Intuition review


LG has forever been known as that "other Android manufacturer", relegated to fourth place behind Samsung, HTC, and Motorola in consumers' minds. With its recent lineup arriving on US shores, though, the Korean manufacturer is hoping the tides will turn. Not only is it lying in wait with its beastly Optimus G to steal the spotlight from competing flagships, LG is also venturing into niche territory, including the increasingly popular "phablet" market. 

The Intuition is both a phone and a tablet, a wild-looking device unlike anything Android has ever run on. But does it succeed at striking a balance between functionality and versatility? In no uncertain terms, creating a device that succeeds on two different levels is a daunting task. And while LG has made a valiant effort, consumers are going to walk away either smitten with the Intuition's originality or disgusted with its impracticality.

The Intuition has a radical design, and LG makes no apologies for stepping outside of the box with this one. The Intuition's display is impressive, and performance is snappy and powerful. Call quality is as good as we've come to expect on Big Red.

Those who hate the Intuition's design will outnumber those who love it. Unfortunately, this hybrid device fails as a tablet as well as phone-- it's too small and boxy for multimedia viewing, and too big and sharp for messaging and phone calls. Forget using this device with one hand, it's absolutely impossible.

The Intuition is a polarizing device, and you're either going to love it or hate it. If you fall somewhere in the middle, you'll realize it has a great display, fast performance, and a visually-pleasing Ice Cream Sandwich experience. You'll also realize it should be kept in the niche category, as its functionality as a tablet is limited by poor software and stylus, and its phone functionality suffers from impossible one-handed operation.

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4 years ago

Qualcomm puts their Snapdragon from 2010 against new mobile chip from Intel


There's been a lot of talk about Intel's new mobile Atom chip on the Internet, and the people at Qualcomm wanted to remind us about how their offering stacks up against it. Qualcomm innards are found on some of todays most powerful Android phones, like the U.S. versions of the Galaxy S3, or the upcoming LG Optimus G, but that's not what Qualcomm is showing us here.

They're using an Xperia Arc, complete with the 2010 version of the Snapdragon in it and pitting it up against what certainly looks like an Intel-powered Orange San Diego, released this summer.

Yes, I'm sure the scenarios were cherry-picked and there are likely areas where the Atom outperforms the Snapdragon, but it's fun to watch. We'd love to see Intel counter with a video of their own, as the more these companies compete against each other the better the products get and the lower the price -- things we're very much in favor of.

Source: Qualcomm on Youtube

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4 years ago

Facebook Messenger app updated with texting support*


You read that correctly - starting today, Facebook Messenger 2.0 will support sending text messages. However, that asterisk in the title denotes that there's a catch. Initially, only the HTC EVO 3D, HTC One X, LG Optimus Black, LG Optimus Hub, Samsung Galaxy Ace, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S3, and Samsung Galaxy Y will support texting from the app. Facebook promises that more devices will be supported over the next few weeks.

Besides redesigning your messages inbox look like a SMS app, Facebook Messenger lets you swipe your finger to the left anywhere in the app to see who's available, and from there you can send a message. You can also put the friends you message most to the top through Favorites so they’re easily accessible.

Along with the updates coming to Facebook Messenger, the main Facebook app is getting an update today as well. It will receive the same SMS-style look for your messages and there will be an icon in the upper-right of your News Feed that shows who's available to chat. In addition, Facebook says that the new app has been made more secure and they've ironed out some bugs with push notifications and multi-photo uploads.

Source: Facebook

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