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4 years ago

Samsung reportedly considering OIS, optical zoom for Galaxy Note 3 camera

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Korean press says range of technologies being considered for upcoming Note successor

Cameras are one area of phone hardware in which there's always room for improvement. Recent flagships like the Galaxy S4 and HTC One have introduced high megapixel counts and optical image stabilization in an effort to produce better smartphone snaps. Looking ahead, rumored devices including the Sony "Honami" and "Galaxy S4 Zoom" could take things even further, with 20-megapixel sensors and optical zoom capabilities.

So it's interesting to hear reports today that Samsung's considering all manner of exotic imaging technologies for its upcoming Galaxy Note 2 successor. Quoting unnamed Samsung officials, Korea's ETNews reports that a 13-megapixel sensor is on the cards, along with optical image stabilization and optical zoom capabilities. The former allows the camera assembly itself to move in order to prevent motion blur, while the latter would vastly improve upon the digital zoom offered by most cameraphones. (As we mentioned, Samsung is already rumored to be experimenting with optical zoom on the "Galaxy S4 Zoom".)

We're not expecting the Galaxy Note 3 to make its debut before this year's IFA trade show in Berlin, scheduled for early September. As such, ETNews says the camera specs remain up in the air at this point. Nevertheless, if Samsung can cram an optical zoom into an (albeit large) smartphone, it could very well be a headline feature for the next Note.

Source: ETNews; via: Engadget

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4 years ago

LG VP comments on Nexus 5 'misinterpreted'

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Manufacturer says it's not currently working on Nexus 5, but wouldn't turn down the opportunity

An interview with European LG Mobile VP Won Kim sparked a bit of excitement this morning, as selected quotes appeared to show that the manufacturer wasn't interested in collaborating with Google on a future Nexus smartphone. In an article in Dutch publication AllAboutPhones, Kim is quoted as saying "The Nexus 4 was a great success despite the production problems for us and Google. However we do not need such a marketing success again."

Kim also appeared to distance himself from any possibility of "Google Edition" version of top LG handsets (as Samsung is doing with the Galaxy S4), saying LG has "no plans" to offer such a phone.

However LG quickly released a statement to clarify matters, saying that Kim's comments had been misinterpreted. The official message passed to The Next Web states that “What Mr. Won Kim said is that we are not currently working on a Nexus 5, which is true. But that doesn’t mean we would turn down the opportunity.”

The news comes amid rumors from the Korean press in recent weeks stating that LG is indeed the chosen partner for the next Nexus smartphone. Regardless, we're still a good five or six months out from the usual launch window for new Nexus devices, so we'll just have to wait and see how things pan out.

Source: The Next Web, AllAboutPhones

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4 years ago

LG officially announces white Nexus 4, on sale from May 29

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On sale beginning in Hong Kong, to follow in Asia, Europe, Middle East and North America in coming weeks

The Unicorn that suddenly thrust itself into public view in recent weeks is now officially official. LG has announced that the white variant of the Nexus 4 will be released to the world on May 29 in Hong Kong. After this, in the "coming weeks" we shall see it roll out globally, though no specific dates are available for other regions at this point. 

And that's about all she wrote. The white Nexus 4 still comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, and there's no mention of any new storage options or even where we'll be able to buy it. Since this announcement has come from LG and not Google, there's a possibility -- at least to begin with -- that this isn't Play Store bound. If it doesn't get into the Play Store, we're not likely to see this version hit the same price point as the black one, so we'll keep our collective fingers crossed on that one. 

Source: LG

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4 years ago

Droid RAZR M, RAZR HD get blue paint job

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Mid-range and high-end RAZRs now available in new color option

Verizon Wireless has debuted a new color option for its Motorola Droid RAZR M and RAZR HD today. Both devices get an extra splash of color, with a new blue variant going on sale alongside the existing back and white models. You'll have to look closely to spot the changes to the RAZR HD, however, as only the power button and metallic trim have been colored.

Unfortunately it looks like there's no blue RAZR MAXX HD -- that phone is still only available in black.

The Droid RAZR M is currently free with a two-year plan, or $549.99 to buy on its own, while the RAZR HD is $99 on-contract or $599.99 outright. Check 'em out at the link below.

Source: Verizon Wireless (RAZR M, RAZR HD); via: AndroidPolice

More: Droid RAZR M review; Droid RAZR HD review

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4 years ago

Samsung teases 'Premiere 2013' London event for June 20

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New Galaxy and Ativ devices promised

The teaser image above has just hit the Samsung Mobile press site, bringing news of new Galaxy (Android) and Ativ (Windows) devices. "Samsung Premiere 2013" will take place on Thursday, June 20 at London's Earls Court Exhibition Center -- that's the same venue that hosted the Galaxy S3 reveal last year. The action's set to begin around 7pm local time, and Samsung will be livestreaming everything on YouTube.

The first of the three teaser images accompanying the news looks an awful lot like the Galaxy S4 Active we've seen leak in recent days. The other two are a bit less conspicuous -- there's what looks like the lid of a laptop, and some kind of glowing ring. It's possible (however unlikely) we could see more Windows Phone hardware from Samsung at the event. Our money's on new Ativ-branded Windows 8 tablets or laptops, though. On the Android side, we might see the extensively-leaked Galaxy S4 Mini debut alongside the Active.

What are you hoping to see from Samsung in London  next month? Hit the comments and let us know!

Source: Samsung Mobile Press

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4 years ago

Oppo Find 5 now available in Europe

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Prices start at €399 from the Oppo Europe store

Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo has opened its European online store today, and with it the Oppo Find 5 sees its European debut. Oppo's high-specced flagship smartphone sells at €399 with 16GB of storage or €429 with 32GB, and is available in white and 'midnight" color options. There's also a range of accessories on offer, including a protective cover, NFC tags, screen protectors and spare EU chargers.

The Oppo Find 5 packs a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 1080p display, a 13-megapixel camera and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, making it pretty good value for the asking price. In our review we praised the Find 5's specs and build quality, but found it somewhat uncomfortable to hold and use with just one hand.

The Oppo Style store seems to be buckling a little under the launch day pressure, but if you want to take a closer look at the Find 5, you can always check out our full review.

Source: Oppo Style

More: Oppo Find 5 review

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4 years ago

Tapatalk 4 beta released, we go hands-on!

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A fresh UI, new features and a way to manage all your​ forum accounts in the new Tapatalk 4 beta

Tapatalk should be a familiar name to anyone who spends time browsing forums on their Android phone. It’s designed to rework the often tedious process of navigating pages, forums and threads on a small screen, providing a cleaner, phone-friendly layout and some unique features to boot.

Today the Tapatalk team has released the first beta build of an all-new version of their app, Tapatalk 4. We’ve had the chance to preview the new Tapatalk for several days, and get to grips with all the new features. So let's take a look at what’s new in Tapatalk 4 beta. We've got video and more after the break.

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Leaving the desert

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What do you do if you're covering the final spring CTIA event in Las Vegas, at which not a single major mobile manufacturer has a booth, the only real hardware releases came from Kyocera (which is very much trying to get a foothold in the smartphone space, and good on them for doing it), and the only major operator news came from ... Jennifer Lopez?

Yeah, that was our week in Vegas. It'd be easy to bitch and moan about it being a "slow" show. But then again it'd be easier (and far, far cheaper) to not have come in the first place. So we did what we do -- we cover what we can see, and search for things we can't. In fact, it almost becomes a bit of a game among the press. With no pressure to be "first," it's a test to see who can dig up something to write. 

We had three of us here, which probably was two too many. The An(n)drews, as I've taken to calling them -- Anndrew Vacca and Andrew Martonik -- did fine work while I mostly tended to some #TM13 duties. But then came Verizon's announcement, which pretty much was the only thing we knew we had to be at. We had no idea what it was going to be, but it was the only real press invite of the week. So, we went. And what did we get? The one and only Jennifer Lopez standing about 20 feet away, awkwardly squinting into a large teleprompter, launching Viva Movil, which promises a better mobile shop shopping experience aimed at Latinos. A fine proposition, I think, and I've got nothing against marketing to certain demographics. (For those decrying the move as racist, every marketing campaign is racist. And sexist. And takes age and prosperity into consideration. Welcome to the real world.)

The next morning, after a good portion of the attendees had cleared out (to say nothing of most of the press), Ashton Kutcher had a little fireside chat with CNBC's Julia Boorstin. It was interesting, if a bit rambling, but on the whole not the worst way to spend an hour.

Readers' reactions were interesting, though. It's nice that folks worry about us wasting our time -- and it happens, sure -- but this is our job, after all. There was so much more gnashing of teeth over the Verizon/Jennifer Lopez announcement (which really had less to do with Verizon, since it's a silent player in all this) and less talk of Ashton Kutcher's 60 minutes on stage, which was filled with great quotes and (surprise, surprise) even a few insights. It's easier to get upset than parse, I guess.

Me? I was just stoked to have taken some of the best liveblog pictures in my career. Maybe I'm finally getting more comfortable with it. Or maybe it helped having them closer and well-lit.

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4 years ago

OPPO launching the Find 5 in Europe from Monday May 27

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11am CEST sees the Find 5 officially arrive in Europe with the launch of the new OPPO Style Europe store

The OPPO Find 5 is an intriguing device, and as we found out in our full review, much better than some may give it credit for. One major sticking point since the device first launched has been availability, particularly in Europe. If you really wanted one, getting one into Europe hasn't been a very cost effective exercise. 

That all changes as of Monday May 27, as at 11am CEST/10am BST the OPPO Style Europe store launches, and the Find 5 becomes available to purchase. Pricing will start at €399/£341 with free shipping promised anywhere within Europe. Not a bad price point to hit given some of the hardware specs, though the software may not be to everyone's tastes. In any case, if you've been gazing at the Find 5 from afar, hit up OPPO Style Europe to bag yourselves one.

Source: OPPO Style Europe

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4 years ago

Sky TV apps hacked, all now removed from the Play Store

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Hack allegedly carried out by Syrian Electronic Army, Sky advises users to uninstall apps from devices

Sky TV has advised that their Android applications have been hacked, and as such all have been removed from the Google Play Store. The image seen here coincided with the latest 'update' to the Sky Go app, and appears to show the culprits behind the hacking. On their official Twitter feed, the Sky Help Team had this to say to their customers: 

UPDATE: All Sky's Android apps were hacked and replaced... please uninstall it, And we will let you know when it will be available

If you've downloaded a Sky TV app in the last 24 hours, the advice is clear. Remove it from your device, and Sky will update when they have resolved the situation. As it stands, all apps have now been removed from the Google Play Store. 

via Android Police

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4 years ago

Apps of the Week: Wag.com, SphereShare.net, Blip Blup and more!

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A couple tools, a game and a few odds and ends to keep you busy this weekend

We all love to discover new apps, but no matter how much the Play Store tries to highlight the quality ones, with hundreds of thousands to choose from it can be a daunting challenge. The best app recommendations we often get are from friends and family about an app "you just have to try". We try to help out with this app discovery problem every week by showing off one app from each of the Android Central writers -- the ones that we're using on a regular basis.

Hang around with us after the break on this Saturday afternoon and find a few new apps to install on your devices for the long weekend.

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4 years ago

In honor of memorial day, get FREE SHIPPING all weekend from ShopAndroid.com!

In honor of the Memorial Day Weekend, if you're in the United States you will receive FREE SHIPPING on your ShopAndroid.com order. This special offer is valid all weekend long until Monday night (midnight PT).

We have tons of cases, batteries, chargers, Bluetooth accessories and more for popular Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, so be sure to browse around and take advantage of the savings on shipping.

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4 years ago

Google Play no longer able to pay Argentine Android devs

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Google to stop accepting payments for Argentine developers from June 27, apps to be pulled from July 27.

Android developers based in Argentina have received notice from Google that it'll no longer be able to accept payments for them from June 27. A letter from Google to devs, obtained by South American phone site Celularis, indicates that the changes apply to both paid apps and in-app purchases. The Verge points out that the change is likely due to tough new restrictions on currency exchanges recently imposed by the Argentine government. But Celularis notes that despite the changes to Google Play, Google AdSense for mobile continues to operate in the country.

The letter from Google states that it'll stop accepting payments on behalf of Argentine developers from June 27. Paid apps and in-app items from these devs will be pulled a month later, starting July 27, following final payments on July 22. One solution for Argentina-based app developers is to move their account to another country where they're able to legally do business, an option Google itself suggests in its email to developers.

Google states that it hopes to restore payouts to developers based in Argentina in the future, but that "no specific plans are in place at the moment."

Source: Celularis; via: The Verge

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4 years ago

EE makes up for network outage with free data

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Customers' data counters reset for holiday weekend

Good news for EE customers in the UK this weekend -- the operator has announced that by way of apology for network issues earlier this week, all customers will have their data counters reset to zero. That means however much of your monthly data allowance you'd used, it'll reset to zero this weekend, allowing you to use an extra portion of data before your monthly billing date.

We've confirmed that our own account's meter was reset to zero as of this morning, and it looks like the changes apply to data-only contracts as well as regular phone customers. In fact, the reset seems to apply to all EE customers, regardless of whether you were affected by the recent outage.

Source: EE

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4 years ago

How to turn on data compression in Chrome 28 Beta

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Help save that valuable mobile data with just a few taps in Chrome Beta

One of the lesser talked-about features rolled out at Google I/O last week was a new option for Chrome on mobile devices to cut down on the bandwidth used while browsing. Well the feature has been rolled out in an experimental capacity as part of the latest Chrome Beta update on Android, and it's a quick way to help save on data usage while browsing. Like most systems that work to preserve data while browsing, Google routes your browsing traffic through one of its own proxy servers, compressing it along the way as data is sent back and forth to your phone. Correctly, Google has chosen to only route HTTP connections through the proxy, and HTTPS request will always be sent directly. Google claims data savings can be as much as 50-percent, which is nothing to sneeze at.

To enable this new feature, you'll have to be running the latest Chrome Beta update (version 28, technically) on your phone or tablet. You will likely be greeted by a splash page the first time you open Chrome Beta after the update, but if you're not, head to the browser settings, scroll down to "Bandwidth management" and then tap "Reduce data usage" and hit the button at the top right to enable it. (If you don't see the option, try heading to "chrome://flags" in the navigation bar and enabling it manually.) You'll be able to come back after you do some browsing and see how much data you saved by enabling this new feature.

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