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4 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro mini review

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Better than the Galaxy Note 2? Is that even possible? Yes, it is. And it is. (But for how long?)

The LG Optimus G Pro is, shall we say, inspired by the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Let's just get that part over with. There's absolutely no way not to see it, nor has LG really done anything to make us want to think otherwise. One begat the other. End of story.

And I don't care. 

I've never been a huge fan of the larger Android smartphones. That's not to say there's not a place for them (there is), and that's not to say they haven't sold well (in Samsung's case, they've sold very well). But they've always been just too wide for me. And the display resolution never did it for me, given the size of the screen itself. (We'll save the whole pen input thing for another time.) But after getting an intimate, sit-down look at the Optimus G Pro in a restaurant in Barcelona, Spain, well away from the bustle of the show floor, it started to grow on me. Maybe it was the wine (I don't think so). Maybe it was meat (possible). Maybe it was the flashing neon ringing the home button. (OBEY.)

More: The Optimus G Pro at Mobile World Congress

But, no. There's something about the Optimus G Pro that didn't make me want to put it down like other oversized phones of similar design. 

What follows is a sort of mini review of the Optimus G Pro. We've got a Korean version here. That means we can't really test real-world battery use. Or data speeds and network connectivity. (Suffice to say, if you're in Korea, it'll be fast.) One of those things directly affects the other, of course. The other thing is that we have absolutely no idea if and when the Optimus G Pro will ever come to the United States. The official line is yes, sometime in the second quarter. Until we hear it from a mobile operator's lips, however ...

But I'd love to see it here.

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4 years ago

HTC Facebook phone specs appear once again, now sporting 'Myst' codename

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Rumors of a second HTC-built Facebook phone have been circulating since the middle of last year, and now there's further evidence to support reports of the new Facephone's eventual appearance. The usually-accurate @Evleaks writes on UnwiredView that the Facebook phone -- codenamed "Myst" -- is now set to carry a dual-core Qualcomm MSM8960 CPU, an upgrade from the previously-reported MSM8930 SoC reported for the earlier "Opera UL" model.

Other specs are said to include a 4.3-inch 720p display, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of non-expandable storage, a 5MP rear camera and 1.6MP front-facer, as well as LTE and HSPA connectivity options. On the software side, it's Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean running the show, likely with some heavy skinning going on. Naturally, Facebook and Instagram are said to be pre-loaded too.

These details would seem to confirm info revealed in tweet form by insider @LlabTooFeR back in January.

There's still no news on when the device will eventually make its appearance, but earlier rumors have suggested a mid-2013 launch is on the cards. HTC's previous Facebook-centric efforts, the Salsa and ChaCha (Status) failed to inspire smartphone buyers, so it'll be interesting to see how HTC and Facebook's tactics might chance this time around. Anyone out there think deep Facebook integration could become a credible selling point? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: UnwiredView

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4 years ago

What's that weird new symbol on the AT&T HTC One X?

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A few folks have written in, asking about that weird symbol that's in the status bar of their AT&T HTC One X following the recent update to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The answer is a simple as it is useless: It's the NFC logo. And it doesn't do a damned thing.

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4 years ago

EE offering chance to win Champions League final tickets with HTC One pre-order

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HTC's affiliation with the UEFA Champions League should be well-known to anyone who follows European football (all right, soccer, if you insist) and now British operator EE is offering a unique prize for HTC One pre-order customers. Those who pre-order HTC's new handset before 11:59pm on Mar. 14 will be entered into a draw to win a pair of tickets to the Champions League final at Wembley on May 25.

We're not going to lie here -- EE's HTC One plans are expectedly pricey, starting off at £31 per month for a mere 500MB data bucket, with a £240 up-front fee, all the way up to an eye-watering £76 per month for the 20GB plan. But if you're already committed to picking up HTC's latest on the UK's only 4G LTE network, there's an added bonus in the Champions League prize draw.

The HTC One is expected to become available in the UK late next week, though EE isn't confirming any specific delivery date for the handset just yet.

Source: EE, Facebook

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4 years ago

Ask AC: Do I need to do anything about Daylight Saving Time?

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We've hit that point on the calendar again which marks the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. The point in which we "spring forward" and set our clocks ahead 60 minutes in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

So what will you have to do with your phone? The answer probably is this: Nothing. Nothing at all.

So long as you don't have an iPhone, which is notorious for issues with Daylight Saving Time, your phone should automatically adjust, assuming your using network-provided time. That's where your phone periodically checks in with whatever operator you're using to see what time it is. (It's also how your phone knows when you've changed time zones while traveling.)

Wake up Sunday morning, and you should see a little message about how it's adjusted for Daylight Saving Time. The bad news is you probably just lost an hour of sleep.

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4 years ago

From the forums: Top Samsung Galaxy S4 discussions

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In just six days Samsung will take the wraps off its next major smartphone, the Galaxy S4. We've heard numerous rumors in recent days, but there remains a lot we don't know about this new Samsung flagship. That means there's plenty to discuss and plenty of speculation going on over in the Android Central Galaxy S4 forum. Here's a sampling of some of the top threads at the moment --

Don't forget to join us next Thursday for full coverage of Samsung's Galaxy S4 announcement in New York City.

More: Samsung Galaxy S4 forum

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4 years ago

Motorola Mobility to cut more than 10 percent of workforce

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Google-owned Motorola Mobility is to lay off 1,200 employees -- more than 10 percent of its workforce -- in its latest round of restructuring. According to reports from the Wall Street Journal, the job losses will affect workers in the U.S., China and India as the company seeks to become profitable.

These latest layoffs come on top of a 20 percent cut in jobs which occurred last August, and saw Moto close up shop at a third of its offices. At the time the manufacturer indicated that it wanted to transition out of "unprofitable" markets and focus on high-end handsets.

In an internal email obtained by the WSJ, Moto says, "while we're very optimistic about the new products in our pipeline, we still face challenges," adding "our costs are too high, we're operating in markets where we're not competitive and we're losing money."

A Moto spokesperson is quoted in the journal as saying "These cuts are a continuation of the reductions we announced last summer. It's obviously very hard for the employees concerned, and we are committed to helping them through this difficult transition."

Despite the launch of the high-profile RAZR i in partnership with Intel, Moto remains a marginal player in the European smartphone market. And in the U.S. it's struggled to compete against the dominant force of Samsung. High-end hopes are now being pinned on the rumored "X Phone," said to be due for release later this year.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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4 years ago

Carphone Warehouse offering reductions on Amazon Kindle Fire range

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A quick heads up to anyone in the UK that might have toyed with picking up an Amazon Kindle Fire -- there's some savings to be had from the Carphone Warehouse. Previously, the RRP on the Kindle Fire has been £129 with the Kindle Fire HD beginning at £159 for the 16GB version. 

At Carphone Warehouse the price on the entry-level Kindle Fire has been slashed to just £89, and the 16GB Kindle Fire HD has been reduced down to £139. Despite not offering a traditional Android tablet experience, the Kindle Fire is still a great casual tablet and media consumption device. And, at these prices, there's even more to be said for giving them a look. 

Source: Carphone Warehouse

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4 years ago

Nexus 7 now available from the Play Store in Korea

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Google is expanding Play Store availability of its devices today by bringing the Nexus 7 to Korea directly. Sure the Nexus 7 has been out for some time now, but that doesn't mean its not still one of the best options when it comes to the 7-inch form factor. And any time that you can buy Google's products directly from them rather than a third party retailer is a bonus. Korea will have access to both 16 and 32GB versions, but there's no indication (although we're not great at reading Korean) that there's a mobile data version right at this moment.

Let's hope that Google continues this trend of bringing the Play Store -- and Nexus devices as a whole -- to more countries.

Source: @GoogleNexus (Twitter)

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4 years ago

Sprint Optimus G Jelly Bean update rolling out now

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LG Optimus G users on Sprint have something to cheer about today, as the Jelly Bean OTA update has just started its rollout. As newer versions of the Optimus G have started to come out of the box with Jelly Bean on board, it's good to see Sprint keeping up with the update on the original devices that came first. Users will get the whole suite of Jelly Bean updates like Google Now, Project Butter and resizable widgets with this update. The stock ICS browser is being replaced by Google Chrome as well.

The new software is based on Android 4.1.2 -- version LS970ZVA LS970ZVB -- and will be rolling out in phases starting today. Seeing the update on your device yet? Head to the Sprint Optimus G forums and let other members know what your experience has been with the update.

Source: Sprint; More: Sprint Optimus G Forums

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4 years ago

Scope update brings new UI, host of new feeds, advertising and Android Central

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The last time we heard from Scope, the all-in-one social aggregator, they were opening up a VIP program for interested beta testers. We've been part of the VIP program since it began, and some interesting features have been introduced which are now ready for the prime time and pushing out through Google Play. With this update, Scope is taking a big step forward into becoming a personalized news service more than a social media aggregator. 

Scope has gone from operating with just a handful of social networking services, to now containing over 20 different services -- including your favorite Android resource. That's right, one of the new news services contained within Scope is an "Android News" feed, provided by Android Central. 

The UI has also been updated, with a slide out menu that replaces the previous swiping between feeds. It's pretty slick, and brings a little more order to things than endlessly swiping between your feeds. 

One change which may disappoint some users though is the introduction of in-app advertising. This isn't a decision that the developers took lightly by any means: 

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4 years ago

Path update hits Android with messaging, stickers and 'The Shop'

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Path has just been updated to add private messaging, stickers and "The Shop" to fall in line with the update that hit iOS yesterday. If you're not familiar, Path is a social network that is limited to a set number of friends, which is meant to enhance the relationships you build with the smaller group. This latest update is hoping to help with that by offering private messaging between users, as well as "stickers" that can be sent back and forth. Some of the stickers are free, but others are paid -- in the range of $0.99 to $1.99. If you want to make a sticker purchase, you'll have to head to The Shop, where you can also buy filters for photos you post (a la Instagram) at $0.99 a piece.

The update certainly adds a useful feature in the form of private messages, but still leaves us scratching our heads over paid stickers and photo filters. If you haven't checked out Path in a while, maybe the new update is worth it for you to give another look. You can grab a download from the Play Store link above.

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4 years ago

LG Optimus G Pro updated for messaging, camera improvements

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A quick heads up for those of you in Korea with the U+ version of the LG Optimus G Pro -- there's a small update waiting for you that apparently improves messaging and camera functionality. And that's all we've got. The update (actually, we had two updates) took just a few minutes, and the end result was software version F240L10L.

If you've got one of these underrated, oversized phones, head into the system settings to give it a go.

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4 years ago

Motorola makes the Droid RAZR/MAXX Jelly Bean OTA official

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We had some pretty interesting information regarding a Jelly Bean soak test for the original Motorola Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX, and now Motorola has made the update official. The support page has just gone up indicating that the update will be rolling out in phases, as is usually the case. There's no specific note about the removal of the Motorola apps and being replaced by stock Google apps, but this looks to be the same update that we were seeing before.

Seeing the update on your own device yet? Shout out in the forums to let other members know what your experience is.

Source: Motorola
More: Droid RAZR forums; Droid RAZR MAXX forums

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4 years ago

Gogo: Airborne Android use up 400% in two years

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If you're using in-flight Wifi on a plane over the United States, you're using Gogo's ground-to-air Internet service. And today the provider dropped a few statistical tidbits our way.

The broad strokes are that 26 percent of smartphones connecting to Gogo's service are Android, with the rest running iOS. (BlackBerry and Windows Phone total just 0.016 percent.) That might not seem like a lot, but Gogo is showing a 400 percent increase in total Android use from 2011 to 2013. That's assuming the devices are correctly reporting what they're running of course, so if anything those numbers are probably low.

Check out the full infographic at the link below.

Source: Gogo

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