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4 years ago

Android 4.3 build leaks for Samsung Galaxy S4


New features, but with very few noticeable UI changes

Right on the heels of the Galaxy Note 3 launching with Android 4.3 on board, a prerelease build of Android 4.3 for the Galaxy S4 has leaked out. The folks over at SamMobile have released a test build of the upcoming firmware for willing users to take a look at, and they claim that it is relatively stable. The biggest updates included here are new software features that we find on the Galaxy Note 3, along with lots of under-the-hood fixes and improvements.

The build is made for the unlocked European model (GT-I9505) of the handset, and the site claims that it is ready to be loaded on your own phone for testing if you are willing to deal with some issues. As with any other prerelease or test firmware there's always a chance that you could run into issues, so be sure to do your research and flash with caution.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 Forums

Source: SamMobile

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4 years ago

Chrome for Android getting updated with new gesture support


The Chrome stable channel for Android has a new update brewing, with a short new feature list. According to Google, the update will enable new gestures.

  • Swipe horizontally across the top toolbar to quickly switch tabs.
  • Drag vertically down from the toolbar to enter into the tab switcher view.
  • Drag down from the menu to open the menu and select the item you want without having to lift your finger.

We saw these gestures hit the beta channel last month and they seem to work well.

Users should expect to see the new update shortly, thanks to Google's new rolling release strategy. 

Source: Google Chrome blog

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4 years ago

LG G2 now available on Three UK


£399.99 on PAYG or £49 and up on contract

Data-friendly UK network Three has announced its launch of the LG G2, the Korean company's latest high-end smartphone with buttons on the back. Three is offering the G2 for £49 up-front on 24-month contracts starting at £29 per month. Alternative if you're after a Three-branded G2 without a monthly commitment, the carrier's selling it for £399.99 on Pay As You Go.

The device is available online and from Three stores today. For more info on the LG G2, check out our reviews of the U.S. versions.

Source: Three

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Gear initial review


Samsung's first smartwatch is expensive and lacking in some areas, but it also has plenty of potential

I'm trying real hard to like the Samsung Galaxy Gear. Having worn the Pebble smartwatch for a couple months now, I'm all for the idea of a smart device on my wrist. And the Galaxy Gear is undeniably better looking, more powerful and more feature-rich than the plastic darling of Kickstarter.

This thing even takes pictures, for Pete's sake.

Then why do I find myself already slipping it back off my wrist and reaching for the Pebble?

We've had the Samsung Galaxy Gear in hand for a few days now. A full review is forthcoming — we want to give the Gear the proper review it deserves — and there's quite a bit to get into, even with it being a pretty simple accessory to operate. For now, though, some initial thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Gear.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition review


A better screen and new S Pen features make the Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition a great premium tablet

it's time for Samsung's yearly refresh of the popular Note series, and this go-around we're going to take a good look at the big boy of the bunch — The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition. Which we're going to call the Note 10.1 for the rest of this review.

We first saw the Note 10.1 back in Berlin at IFA 2013, and we were impressed with the thinness, the responsiveness and above all the beautiful 2560 x 1600 screen. This automatically addressed our biggest complaint about it's predecessor, namely it's 1200 x 800 resolution. Through all the rage on the Internet about LCD versus AMOLED, everyone can agree that Samsung is capable of building wonderful displays. We knew this was going to be one we wanted to look at. We like it when a product puts us all into full-on Android-nerd mode. And now is our chance.

You'll have your chance soon, because the Note 10.1 will be available starting October 10, in two Wifi-only models. You'll pay $550 for the 16GB version, and $600 for the 32GB version. That's a lot of money for anything. Hit the break and decide if it's worth it.

More: Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition forums

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Gear unboxing


Don't call this a Samsung Galaxy Gear unboxing. You know how we feel about unboxings around here. Instead, consider this a video wherein we take a look at the retail box for the Galaxy Gear, open it, remove the contents, and go about our merry way — all on video.

No, instead, consider this a ... fine. It's a Samsung Galaxy Gear unboxing. Enjoy!

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Gear camera — sample shots


The Samsung Galaxy Gear goes a step further than just about every other smartwatch we've seen in that it also has a 1.9-megapixel camera tucked into its band. It's capable of shooting still pictures at 1392-by-1392 or 1280-by-960, and video at 640-by-640 or 1280-by-720.

By no means will this replace your smartphone camera, but it is a little fun. Let's take a look at some example shots.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review (European version)


Samsung’s beastly third-generation Note handset is everything a big-screened Android phone should be

For better or worse, we’re now surrounded by Android smartphones with enormous displays. Most of the major manufacturers have flagship phones with screens measuring around, or slightly above, the five-inch mark. But it wasn’t always this way. Thinking back to our time with the first Galaxy Note some two years ago, what stood out was just how weird it felt to use such a large, unwieldy handset. The original Note was brilliant from a technical standpoint, but also expensive, bulky and the wrong shape for comfortable one-handed use. Not to mention the fact that the Android of 2011 simply wasn’t ready for this kind of device. We weren’t convinced this new category of smartphone-tablet hybrids would take off. How wrong we were.

The Galaxy Note sold tens of millions of units, and so did the Note 2. And today Samsung’s Note series phones can be spotted in public just as frequently as many others. So as another year of the smartphone release cycle draws to a close, it’s time for a third Galaxy Note. This year devices like the Galaxy Mega and Xperia Z Ultra have challenged the boundaries of what can reasonably be called a smartphone, and so you might think that Samsung would drift towards the six-plus-inch mark. However what we saw at IFA 2013 a few weeks ago wasn’t some pocket-stretching behemoth. The Galaxy Note 3 was thinner and lighter than the Galaxy Note 2, with a larger screen in the same physical footprint. It seemed a measured response to a market obsessed with ever-increasing screen sizes.

But other manufacturers have taken notice of Samsung’s success in this area, and there’s more competition than ever for the Galaxy Note this time around. Sony and LG already have devices on the market, and HTC is widely expected to launch a 5.9-inch phone of its own in the weeks ahead. So is the Note still the best device out there for buyers seeking that perfect balance between smartphone and tablet? Find out after the break, in our definitive review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

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4 years ago

Motorola Connect Chrome extension updated with cleaner design, bugfixes


Important improvements to Motorola's first-party software for its new devices

Motorola has just pushed out an update to its Motorola Connect Chrome extension to improve the overall look and fix several bugs. The Motorola Connect extension works in conjunction with software on one of Motorola's latest devices — that'd be the Moto X or a new Droid on Verizon — to display text messages and incoming call information on your computer, saving you from having to pick up the phone as often.

The newly designed extension improves on the initial release with a better design that is easier on the eyes, along with a bunch of unspecified bugfixes. Motorola Connect is still a good leap away from what other third-party apps have done and far from what Google Voice offers, but it's a simple solution to managing calls and texts for folks who just want something that's baked into the phone out of the box.

Source: Chrome Web Store

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4 years ago

Sensorly receives redesign, now shows data speed results on maps


Get a better feel for real-world usage with user-submitted speed tests

Crowd-sourced mobile coverage mapping app Sensorly has received a big update today with a new interface and set of features. First up is a general redesign of the whole app that brings it more into a modern interface. The maps have been updated and show more detail, and functions are now accessed with slide-in drawers from the left and right edges.

These are the same crowd-sourced data sets for all major carriers in the US and beyond, but now end users have access to the vast number of speed test results collected in these locations. Where available, you can choose to view average speed results for the carrier's coverage that you're viewing, giving you a better look at real-world speeds.

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4 years ago

Google Play Music All Access comes to several new countries


19 countries now have access to Google's new subscription music service

Google has just expanded its All Access music streaming service to several new countries, primarily across Europe. Building on the first European expansion that brought the service to nine countries in total, seven more countries now have All Access:

  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Liechtenstein
  • Netherlands
  • Russia
  • Switzerland

That brings the total number of countries with Google Play Music All Access up to 19, and the only country that has access to Google Play Music and not All Access now is Germany. That's not bad considering that All Access only launched this May, and the deals with record labels to distribute music are often tough to secure.

Source: Google Support; Via: Android Police

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4 years ago

Another purported 'Nexus 5' image surfaces, showing off back plate


Yup, that looks like a Nexus; nope, we don't know anything more than we did yesterday

Details on the expected upcoming Nexus phone are sparse, but we now have another look at a picture of the back of a purported "LG Nexus 5." The above image, which came from a poster on MacRumors forums (of all places), is apparently of an upcoming device that looks very similar to previous leaked information from the FCC and a brief hands-on video.

This is another solid and somewhat clear view of the back plate, albeit partially obstructed by another device at the bottom (likely to cover up any identifying information), that shows off the vertical "Nexus" logo and large camera pod in the top left corner. The back seems to be of a similar (or same) material as what we've seen before, but giving the lighting we can't be sure.

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4 years ago

SoftBank's Masayoshi Son warns Sprint turnaround could take longer than expected


Carrier expected to continue losing subscribers in the near future

Japanese carrier SoftBank's strategic investment in Sprint may have closed over two months ago, but CEO of SoftBank Masayoshi Son is tempering the excitement with statements given today. Speaking to reporters in Tokyo, Son drew on his wisdom in previous acquisitions to give a more realistic roadmap of how quickly he expects to get Sprint heading in a positive direction:

"It took around a year after SoftBank bought Vodafone (before) we reached the No. 1 position of net gains in subscribers. It takes time to get devices ready and prepare services and the network .. At the very least you need half a year or a year. And for anything substantial you need one or two years."

It's no secret that Sprint is in need of something closer to the "substantial" end of that spectrum, leading us to think we may be as many as two years away from SoftBank's influence being felt here in the US.

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4 years ago

TracFone clarifies Straight Talk and Net10 data policy, confirms 2.5GB throttle point


A little policy transparency from the most popular MVNO operator

TracFone, which operates (among others) the Straight Talk and Net10 prepaid carrier brands, has clarified its smart phone data policy to explicitly put a 2.5GB throttle point on its offerings. While both Straight Talk and Net10 have been extremely popular as inexpensive choices in the prepaid phone service arena, their policies on throttling or cutting off user's data connections with little warning were somewhat suspect.

According to official statements from TracFone, we now know that both Straight Talk and Net10 will give users of its "unlimited" plans up to 2.5GB of high-speed data access, throttling speeds to 2G (EDGE) after that point. Once your next 30-day renewal begins, you go back to a new 2.5GB data bucket. TracFone specified that this applies to BYOD plans on both carriers with either AT&T or T-Mobile SIMs.

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4 years ago

T-Mobile to stop offering Classic plans at national retail partners starting Nov. 1


Plans set to replace Classic offerings unknown at this point

As part of its transition to only offering service and handsets without a contract, T-Mobile is set to stop offering Classic plans via its retail partners. Back in March when the carrier introduced its new and improved "Simple Choice" plans, it immediately stopped offering its traditional two-year contract "Classic" plans at all of its first-party stores. At the time, third-party retailers such as Costco, Walmart and Best Buy were allowed to continue selling handsets with the old Classic plans and subsidies.

Based on documentation provided to TmoNews, those Classic plans are shutting down for these third-party retailers starting today and completing on November 1st. T-Mobile has requested that retailers begin returning all postpaid phone inventory back to the carrier, and only provide 30 day return support for customers on Classic plans.

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