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4 years ago

Sony announces Xperia SP and Xperia L - new mid-range and entry-level handsets

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Without much in the way of fanfare, Sony Mobile has announced new mid-range and entry-level Android handsets, the Xperia SP and Xperia L. The subjects of many pre-release leaks, these new Xperias were expected to make an appearance at Mobile World Congress, but were no-where to be found on the show floor.

As rumored, the Xperia SP is a 4.6-inch, 720p-screened device with an aluminum trim that incorporates elements of both the Xperia Z and Xperia U. Like the former, it's uses on-screen keys and has big, stylized metal power button; like the latter, it's got a customizable light bar down below that can tie into certain apps like the music player. It's also Sony's first mid-range phone with 4G LTE support. On the inside, the SP is powered by a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip, so there’s plenty of horsepower to go around.

The Xperia L is Sony’s new leading entry-level device for 2013, and the manufacturer’s highlighting its 8-megapixel Exmor RS camera, a component it shares with the Xperia SP. The L is powered by a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus CPU and packs a 4.3-inch FWVGA (854x480) display. Visually, it’s a close match for last year’s Xperia T, with a chunky convex chassis.

Both phones run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box, and are due for release during the second quarter in red, white and black color options. We’ve got spec lists and a couple of videos after the break.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 launch event: A view from the outside

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While Samsung, the press, and a handful of celebrities were busy unveiling the Galaxy S4 at the Unpacked event in Radio City Music Hall, things we're jumping nearby in Times Square. Videographer Martin Reisch (@safesolvent) was there, braving the chilly March New York weather to catch the highlights -- swing dancers and all.

While the over-the-top presentation may not have been everyone's cup of tea, Samsung has reason to be proud, and we expect to see a lot more of the Galaxy S4 advertised on TV and in print. We're looking forward to it!

Samsung Galaxy S4 Forums | Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S4 | Samsung Galaxy S4 Details

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4 years ago

HTC One to release in April for the Middle East region

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The HTC One will release to customers in the Middle East in April, according to Neeraj Seth, senior brand communications manager for HTC Middle East.

While the phone will be available in selected markets in March, it will be officially released in the Middle East in April

The One is currently available on the German O2 network, and other European pre-ordered devices are set to be delivered in March, but it appears that general availability is going to be sometime in April for most everyone. Of course, individual carriers will make their own announcements with their own release schedule.

As Phil reminds us, timing is everything. Pushing back the release date means there will be more great phones to choose from there beside it on the shelf. That's a good thing for us, but HTC doesn't want the latest from Samsung, Sony, or LG there to steal your eyes away.

The good news is that April is only two weeks away. We should soon here solid release dates from carriers world-wide, and we'll let you know as soon as that happens.

Source: tbreak technology; Thanks, Moe!

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4 years ago

Pocket Tanks: classic arcade tank battles

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Games like Pocket Tanks have been around in some form or another for decades, on who knows how many platforms. Pocket Tanks itself has been around since 2001, and is now bringing a little slice of nostalgia to Android. The game certainly looks like it is over 10 years old but plays smoothly like a game that was made today -- and best of all is free to play.

Jump into our time machine after the break and check out Pocket Tanks for Android.

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Timing is everything

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The recurring theme running through my head the past few days is, obviously, the headline for this column. Timing is everything. OK, maybe not everything in the mobile business -- hardware and software still count for something -- but timing is still damned important.

That's particularly true when launching a new smartphone.  Last week's Samsung Galaxy S4 event in New York City offered any number of ways to consider how timing affects a launch, and affects a product as a whole. And not just for Samsung. HTC and LG did their best to nip at Samsung's heels Hell, so did Apple.

Make no mistake -- every other mobile company sees Samsung as the one to stop. There's some serious realpolitik going on these days.

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4 years ago

Feedly sees 500,000 new users since Google Reader closure announced

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The news that Google Reader is to be closed down for good later this year has hit a lot of us really hard. For many it's the go-to way of getting their daily news fix, and for others -- including everyone on staff here -- it's an integral tool to help us get through the working day. There will be alternatives, but we will miss Google Reader. 

One such alternative is Feedly, and the team has announced a huge influx of new users. In the first 48 hours since the announcement by Google, Feedly has seen 500,000 new Google Reader users join their ranks. Not bad numbers, considering the service is supposed to be in decline. Feedly also has clients for iOS, Chrome, Safari and Firefox, so it's got a big chunk of the bases covered. The reason behind the influx is most likely the fact that Feedly is developing their own system to transition Google Reader users over seamlessly when turn off day finally arrives. 

Feedly has also announced how they're coping with the increased user base, including massively increasing their bandwidth and adding new servers. And, if you're all about function and less about fashion, the Feedly team has also written up some sweet tips on how to make it less pretty and more functional. Great stuff. 

Source: Feedly

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4 years ago

iRig Recorder for Android now available from Google Play

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IK Multimedia first announced that their iRig Recorder app would be coming to Android back at CES in early January. Back then, we were told to expect it to land by the end of January. All went quiet, January became a memory, and the app never appeared for download. Better late than never though, iRig Recorder is now available as a free download from the Google Play Store. While the app is free, full functionalities can be unlocked for the one time fee of $4.99.

Besides being a full featured recording and editing app, iRig Recorder is compatible with the existing iRig hardware, previously only supported by iOS devices. Accessory makers have been notoriously slow to adopt Android, but the arrival of the iRig suite of audio equipment and the Recorder app is fantastic news for anyone who needs to make good quality recordings on the go.

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4 years ago

Apple's new web page talks up the iPhone as expected, but in reality it's good news for everyone

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Apple has put up a new web page (and sent out an email blast to spam folders everywhere) praising the iPhone 5 against the competition. Plenty of Android fans are going to debate every single word Apple says until we're all blue in the face, but what I can see is that Apple is finally taking the competition seriously, out in the open, in front of everyone.

When a company wants your attention, they bash the competition. See all of Samsung's ads from last year as an example, or the "I'm a Mac" ads from Apple. Android OEMs are pulling out all the stops and bringing us features we didn't even know could be done in both the hardware side (HTC's new microphones have me excited) and the software side (the way dual-camera video chat looked in the Galaxy S4 Unpacked event has me itching to try it). Apple wants to take your attention away from all this. Ads like the web page they launched today try to do just that.

But getting your attention is easier than keeping it. To do that, Apple will have to ramp up on software changes, and take a few risks that they haven't been taking for a while. That's great news for the face of mobile, regardless of which side of the fence you're on. We all scream "copycat" (and Apple has been quick to call up their lawyers) when one company brings something we've already seen on some level from another. But when one company does something great, the rest do everything they can to deliver something just as "innovative" (I'm starting to hate that word) of their own. Since we're the ones buying, we all benefit.

Make no mistake -- Apple has some of the best people in the business working on what's next. The worry that phones like the HTC One, the LG Optimus G Pro, and the Samsung Galaxy S4 are going to steal a little more thunder than they have in the past is good for us all.

More: iMore

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4 years ago

Xiaomi to trial super cheap Android powered set-top box in three Chinese cities

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Google TV may not yet have really taken off, but that hasn't put Chinese manufacturer, Xiaomi, off the idea of an Android powered set-top box. The Xiaomi Box is set to come to market on March 19, initially in a three city trial -- those being Shanghai, Hangzhou and Changsha. The initial batch of the device will be limited beyond location too, with just 10,000 units initially being made available. 

The release of the Xiaomi Box has come about through a partnership with Chinese broadcaster, iCNTV. The Box itself is priced to move, costing the equivalent of $48. It becomes the latest in the Xiaomi ecosystem of Android based products, that to date include smartphones, and the MiUi software. Streaming from an Android device is possible with the Xiaomi Box, as it is from an iOS device too. In the absence of the Apple TV in China, the Android powered Xiaomi Box could also attract the nations iOS users too.

via The Next Web

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: The Walking Dead, MightyText, Feedly and more!

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Things around here have been pretty busy (if you haven't noticed) because of the Samsung Galaxy S4 announcement, but we still managed to get together some great app picks for you. This week is a little utility-heavy, as we have a great crop of apps that will help you get things done. There's still a couple of fun ones thrown in though, naturally.

Hang around after the break and see how our app picks stack up this week.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 reportedly set for early May launch in India

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There's a lot of folks all around the world that are excited for the Samsung Galaxy S4. Following on from the massively successful Galaxy S3, there's no doubts that this is going to be one of the biggest sellers in mobile this year. Since the official unveiling in New York City, we're gradually beginning to build up a picture of availability, and next up is news for our friends over in India. 

According to AndroidOS.in, Samsung is set to launch the Galaxy S4 in India in the first week of May. They go on to say that a press event is likely in late April to officially launch the device in the country. Considering global availability is slated to begin from the end of April, this is great news for Indians eager to get their hands on one of the hottest devices of the year. 

India's Galaxy S4 will also be carrying the new Exynos 5 Octa inside, and not the Snapdragon 600 of the U.S. version. There are no details of pricing or any word on carrier partners for the Galaxy S4, but considering we're still 6 weeks or so out from launch, there's still plenty of time yet. 

Samsung Galaxy S4 Forums | Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S4 |Samsung Galaxy S4 Details

Source: AndroidOS.in

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4 years ago

Reports suggest Three paid EE absolutely nothing for 1800MHz LTE spectrum

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The latest chapter in the UK's LTE saga is an intriguing one, concerning the spectrum 'sale' from EE to rival carrier Three. Before the recent spectrum auctions even began, EE was instructed to sell off a chunk of its existing 1800MHz spectrum -- used for their 4G LTE service -- by regulators. Three picked this up, but a recent report suggests it may have been the ultimate bargain. 

According to a report in The Guardian, Three paid a grand total of £0 for the chunk of spectrum. Thats right. Nothing, nil, nada. Considering the estimated value lay in the region of £450million, this all seems very, very strange. After all, the other carriers need additional spectrum to launch their own LTE services, so why would EE just give it away?

EE reportedly decided the safest bet for them was to forego offers from Vodafone and O2, and give it away to the UK's smallest network. Despite having probably the best contract deals in the UK, Three's customer base is around 10million, compared to EE's 27million. 

The deal was also supposedly designed to help tip the spectrum auction in EE's favor, leaving them more chance of picking up a good portion of the valuable 800MHz spectrum. As it turned out, both EE and Three emerged with a small piece of 800MHz, and if all this is indeed true, Three has kickstarted its LTE network without spending a whole lot of money. 

Source: The Guardian

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One

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Making a decision between the HTC One and the Galaxy S4 isn't going to be easy for many folks​

The battle lines have quickly been drawn between two of 2013's hottest Android smartphones -- phones that, by the way, not a whole lot of people have actually touched yet -- the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S4. The HTC One is just now going on sale in parts of Europe. We're still waiting on any U.S. carrier to announce availability for either of the phones.

We've been using the HTC One for a week now. (I've been using it as my main device, actually.) And we got to spend some time with the Samsung Galaxy S4 on Thursday in New York City. And we got to put both phones up against each other.

Know what? Folks are going to have a tough decision to make. 

Read on for some initial thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy S4 versus the HTC One.

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean update rolling out for European LG Optimus L9

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The LG Optimus L9 was introduced to European markets in the second half of last year as the then newest member of the Optimus L-Series of devices. We first went hands with the LG back at IFA 2012 in Berlin, we found a surprisingly nice mid-range device. Since launch, the L9 has been running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, but now it seems that European owners are getting a Jelly Bean flavored treat on their devices. 

According to reports, the update to Android 4.1 is rolling out in the Baltics region, Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania and for the European Open devices. It can be downloaded via the LG Update Tool as well as OTA, but it's a pretty weighty one coming in at 575MB. What's more is the relative speed at which this update has appeared. LG traditionally isn't too good with software updates, but the L9 has received Jelly Bean now within six months of the device's launch. Still not amazingly fast, but given LG's record it's still pretty impressive. 

Source: XDA via GSM Arena

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4 years ago

Save 15% on ALL Android Accessories in our St. Patrick's Day Sale!

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Saint Patrick's Day falls on a Sunday this year, so we're going to celebrate all weekend long here at Android Central with a ShopAndroid sale!! Until Sunday, Midnight PST, you can save 15% on ALL Android accessories by using coupon code shamrocks at checkout.

Take me to ShopAndroid.com!

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