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4 years ago

Hands-on with the HP Slate 7

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How can a tablet that feels so good be so ... not good

What do you do if you've long since past being a laughingstock in the mobile business? You failed at Windows Mobile. You bought Palm and put webOS out to pasture. And now, if you're HP, your first real foray into Android is a tablet that's nice from afar, but far from nice.

Such is the HP Slate 7.

Let's be perfectly clear about one thing: Pick up the Slate 7, and you're holding a tablet that feels like it could easily go toe to toe with the Nexus 7 or any of Samsung's 7-inch-ish tablets. It's nicely built. It's less than half a millimeter thicker than the Nexus 7. Priced at $169, it could sell. Hell, it probably will sell. Stick it in every brick-and-mortar store next to a Nexus 7, and chances are most normal consumers won't notice a difference, save for the price tag.

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4 years ago

Lenovo outs new Android tablet lineup, new 7 and 10-inch offerings

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Lenovo has outed their latest lineup of Android tablets over in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress. None have particularly inspiring names, but launched today are the 7-inch A1000 and A3000, and the 10-inch S6000.  

The A1000 is the entry level offering of the bunch. Packing a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 16GB of on-board storage which is expandable to 32GB by way of microSD card, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It's 7-inch sibling, the A3000 is carrying a little more in the spec department by way of a 1.2GHz quad-core MTK processor and upto 64GB total storage including microSD cards. The A3000 too runs Jelly Bean, although the display is a slightly disappointing 1024x600 resolution IPS panel, but there will be a HSPA+ version of the A3000. 

The 10-inch S6000 completes the Jelly Bean toting lineup, and is also powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz MTK processor. Like the A3000 there will be a cellular, HSPA+ variant, and carries a 1280x800 resolution IPS display which promises a 178 degree viewing angle. 

One interesting addition though is the included Lenovo Mobile Access. On the cellular enabled tablets, Lenovo will be indicated as the service provider upon first powering up the tablet allowing new users to start browsing the web immediately. Once this runs out, you then have to go back to a regular data plan. No word on how much is included, but it's a nice touch nevertheless

No word at this stage on price or availability of any of these three new tablets beyond worldwide release in Q2 of this year. You can find the full press release after the break. 

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4 years ago

Huawei Ascend P2 hands-on

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Huawei has just unveiled its latest Android handset, the Ascend P2, at an event held in Barcelona, Spain, and we've had the chance to get our hands on the device.

Succeeding last year's Ascend P1, the P2 brings some substantial changes in both hardware and software. Internally, the P2 now packs a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, and other specs have received customary upgrades too. The phone includes a 4.7-inch, 720p LCD on its front, and a 13-megapixel BSI camera around the back.

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4 years ago

HP announces $169 Slate 7

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HP has announced a super-affordable tablet called the Slate 7 at Mobile World Congress today. It's 7 inches, runs Android 4.1, and will cost a scant $169 when it hits shelves in the U.S. in April. Here's a link to their landing page, where you can sign up for availability notifications. 

The display clocks in at 1024 x 600, a 1.6 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage plus a microSD slot. There's a 3 megapixel camera on the back, VGA camera on the front, Beats Audio, and weighs a scant 13 oz. Hit the jump for the full press release!

What do you guys think? Anyone remotely surprised to see HP getting out of the webOS game? Does this baby stand a chance of swinging with the Nexus 7 in the world of affordable Android tablets? Leave a comment to pay your consolations to our beloved Derek Kessler

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4 years ago

Live from Mobile World Congress with Huawei

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We're live from Barcelona, Spain with Huawei, which is holding its big press conference today ahead of MWC. Possible Android developments include the Ascend P2, a quad-core successor to last year's Ascend P1. The action starts at 3pm Barcelona time (9am ET), so stick around for all the day's announcements!

You'll find our liveblog after the break.

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4 years ago

Report suggests LG to use own chips in Optimus G2, launch headed for IFA

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A report emerging this weekend from the Korea Times, suggests that LG is to develop their first in-house mobile processor for use in the Optimus G2. It's perhaps not all that surprising that LG is considering heading down this path, and taking the fight on another front to fellow Korean OEM, Samsung. 

The information comes from an un-named LG official during a telephone conversation with Korea Times, along with an alleged schedule for the launch of the Optimus G2: 

LG Electronics is going to mass-produce the Odin processors by using finer 28-nanometer level processing, applying high-k metal gate (HKMG) technology. The processors will be used in LG’s next flagship Optimus smartphone ― the Optimus GII ― which will probably be unveiled in this fall’s IFA trade fair

IFA doesn't take place until September in Berlin, and by that time will be about a full year since the Optimus G was first announced. LG was noticably quiet during the IFA 2012 show, instead opting for their own event in Korea to showcase the device. But, given the timeline, it stands a decent chance of being credible information.

LG's processors meanwhile are allegedly following a similar octa-core design to Samsung's recently announced Exynos 5 Octa. Known as 'Odin,' four A15 cores will kick in should the power be required, such as high intensity gaming, where four A7 cores will better serve for lighter intensity work. Like the Exynos 5 then, LG's efforts will be based on ARM's big.LITTLE processing.

Source: Korea Times

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4 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Welcome to Barcelona

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We're back, once again, for Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. This is my fourth year here. And like previous years, this one appears poised to present its own challenges as well as opportunities to showcase new tech.

On one had it's easy to look at the schedule, what we know is coming -- and what we think we know is coming -- and shrug it off. HTC, usually the highlight (or at least one of them) at MWC, has already announced its flagship for 2013 in the HTC One. Samsung's not expected to do the Galaxy S4 for a few more weeks, though it did already drop the Galaxy Note 8.0 on us. (And it did so on a day usually reserved for travel and/or accidentally leaking devices on the sides of buildings.)

So what's left to look forward to? LG's going to roll out a slew of new devices. ASUS always brings something interesting. And I'm curious to see where things stand with Mozilla and its Firefox OS, which we've played with before. Ubuntu may get the nerd credit, but it's Mozilla that's set to have the first dedicated hardware. It's not Android, specifically, but it's set to take on Android in emerging markets. So my interest is piqued.

Plus, Mobile World Congress moved to a new venue this year. I'll sorely miss the view of the Fira de Barcelona, with the towers at the entrance and the castle looking down from the hill. But the Gran Fira (just a train change and another stop down the road) promises better logistics, we're told, and is a much newer, more modern venue. So we'll see if that makes up for whatever majesty is lost.

And the food. Oh, the food and wine in Barcelona. If you can ever get the chance to come here and gorge on tapas for a few nights, I highly recommend it.

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4 years ago

Samsung announces Android-powered HomeSync with 1TB HDTV box

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Up to 8 devices can sync to Jelly Bean-enabled set

The Galaxy Note 8.0 isn't the only new fare Samsung's dropping at Mobile World Congress. Samsung today also unleashed its HomeSync media box. It's a 1-terabyte drive that allows up to eight devices to sync files for playback over an HDTV. It's encrypted and sports user-specific IDs and passwords, so Mom and Dad can keep their mom-and-dad stuff separate from Timmy and Jenny's.

And as this is a full-on Jelly Bean device (powered by a dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM), you'll get a bit of a traditional Android experience with it as well, including games and apps, Samsung says.

HomeSync will be available in April in select countries, with a global rollout to follow.

Full presser is after the break.

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4 years ago

Liquipel announces new licensees, will offer their water resistant coating worldwide

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Liquipel kicks off their presence at Mobile World Congress 2013 with the announcement that they have expanded things, and with new licensees they will be able to offer their water-resistance services around the world. New license holders in Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Namibia and South Africa will expand the use of the Liquipel in 2013.

Liquipel is one of those cool things that just hasn't caught on in a big way yet. It's a hydrophobic nano-coating that is applied to your phone or tablet that makes water less cohesive. As you see in the video, this means your stuff can stand a bit of liquid thrown at it, or possibly even a bit of a dunk. It's billed as water resistant, and comes in several tiers. The basic protection would cost about $60 US for a Galaxy Nexus, and that protects against splashes and accidental spills. You box up your phone, send it to Liquipel, and they return it coated with the technology. 

As you can tell, that's why it is important to have as many licensees as possible to perform the coating. If you're interested in what Liquipel has to offer, visit their website at www.liquipel.com for more information. The full press release is after the break.

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4 years ago

Mobile Nations podcasting update: What's new for 2013!

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Hey everyone! It's time for a mighty Mobile Nations podcast network update, and a peak at some really cool stuff we have planned for 2013! First of all, we have all-new album art for the shows. The original concept was created by superstar designer Marc Edwards of Bjango to be crisp, clean, and modern. It's tough to make a whole catalog of shows consistent yet retain all their individual personalities. With Marc's help, I think we've nailed it. And by popular demand, we've even added a small TV logo to the bottom of all the video podcast album art so you can distinguish them from their audio counterparts at a glance. We absolutely love them, and we hope you do too. (And yes, we'll be making all of them available as HiDPI/Retina wallpaper for your phones and tablets later this week!)

If you haven't recently, please make sure you leave a review and rating for your favorite Mobile Nations shows, where ever and when ever you can. It encourages services (like iTunes) to feature us, that helps us get more great listeners and viewers like you, and we appreciate it a lot!

Now on with the shows!

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 hands-on

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It's day minus-one of Mobile World Congress 2013, and we already have the first major device announcement from Samsung. Variously leaked and rumored over the past couple of months, the Galaxy Note 8.0 is official today, and we've had the chance to go hands-on with the mid-sized, stylus-toting tablet in Barcelona.

At first glance, the Note 8.0 is a surreal device to behold, looking a lot like a supersized Galaxy Note 2. The basic Samsung design language holds over from the company's 2012 smartphones, meaning we're dealing with a curvy, shiny, plasticky device. A first for a Samsung tablet, the Note 8.0 includes physical buttons as opposed to the more common on-screen kind, and from a branding perspective. Samsung clearly wants consumers to identify the Note 8.0 as a companion device to the S3 and Note 2. So you should know what to expect if you've handled either of those products -- the Note 8.0 is unashamedly light and shiny, and something of a fingerprint magnet. That said, it's not at all creaky, nor does it feel fragile.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 specs

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Samsung, on the eve of Mobile World Congress, has announced the Galaxy Note 8.0. It's a mid-size phone/tablet hybrid. The international (read: Non-U.S.) version will be able to make phone calls. (Though Samsung -- and we as well -- recommend doing so with a headset and not by holding it up to your head.)

The Galaxy Note 8.0 specs are nothing to sneeze at. It's powered by a quad-core Exynos processor running at 1.6 GHz, has a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3MP shooter out front.  It's running Samsung's TouchWiz customizations on top of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.

Also: See our Galaxy Note 8.0 hands-on

Most important, however, is the inclusion of (and improvements to) the S Pen stylus, which brings about a world of functionality not found in any other tablets at this point.

Also new is the inclusion of an "IR blaster," which is a sexy name for an infrared port on the side of the Note 8.0 that, thanks to the Peel application, lets you control your TV and other IR-enabled devices from the comfort and safety of your couch.

We've got the full Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 specs after the break.

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4 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 now official

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Samsung has stepped forward and officially announced the Galaxy Note 8.0. We've sen and heard enough leaks and rumors to know that we would be seeing an 8-inch version of the popular Note series, but tonights' news clears up al the speculation and replaces it with information direct from Seoul. 

The Note 8.0 takes everything you love about the Note series, adds some great new features, and packages it all into a solid tablet form factor. The Note 8.0 will still be able to make phone calls in some countries, but the 8-inch screen puts this one squarely into the portable tablet genre. And that's a good thing. Users who didn't want a full-sized 10-inch tablet, but still wanted access to the great S Pen technology now have that option.

We've spent some time with the Note 8.0 on the eve of Mobile World Congress 2013, and have the answers to all your questions covered. The Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 will be available world wide (Europe, Korea, North America, S.E. Asia, S. W. Africa, the Middle East, China, Taiwan, and Latin America) in Q2. Keep an eye on Android Central for exact dates and pricing. The full press release, press photos, and a Chat-On video featuring the Note 8.0 are after the break.

Galaxy Note 8.0 hands-on | Galaxy Note 8.0 specs | Galaxy Note 8.0 forums

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4 years ago

Another big-time Twitter app hits big wall: Falcon Pro can take no new users

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Twitter's 100,000 user cap strikes again, which should surprise no one

Falcon Pro, one of the most popular third-party Android Twitter clients, has hit the infamous 100,000-user token limit. This means that unless you've already used and authorized Falcon Pro, you're not going to be able to log into Twitter from the app.

That, in a word, sucks. But neither should it surprise anyone.

Before you go and start leaving one-star reviews and whining on Google Play, you need to understand what happened, and who is at fault. Last August, Twitter announced it would be updating its API. Two major changes from that update come into play here. The first is that every call back to Twitter requires authentication, and that the number of tokens used to authenticate would be capped at 100,000 for new applications. If an existing application already has more than 100,000 users, its cap is set at double its existing user base. It sounds complicated, but what it means is that if someone were to build a Twitter client (like let's say, Falcon Pro) only 100,000 users could log into Twitter using it. Twitter can grant an exception, but they haven't yet as far as anyone is aware.

That's the why, now a look at who to blame for it. It's not the application developer's fault. Twitter makes them jump through hoops, and the folks building Twitter apps like Falcon Pro do a good job working inside Twitter's strict parameters. But the 100,000 token (read: user) limit can't be worked around. Twitter puts it there so no one third-party client can become dominant, or more popular than their own lackluster app. The cause of this one all lies at Twitter's feet.

What can we do, you ask? Well the first thing you'll want to do is release any tokens you're not using. This makes them available to someone else, and every little bit helps. After that, there's not much we can do about it. There's a petition going around about Falcon Pro hitting the limit, but Twitter isn't going to change policy over a petition. You've got two choices: find a different Twitter app, or stop using the service and vote with your feet. 

I'm doing the latter.

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4 years ago

Slingshot Racing brings one-touch steampunk bobsledding to Android

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An absolutely fantastic racing game called Slingshot Racing hit Android today, and I couldn't wait until our next Apps of the Week to tell you guys about it. Players are thrust into steampunk-style world where, for some reason or another, bobsled racing is a big thing. Instead of manually steering as one usually does in racing games, players have to instead tap, hold, and release the screen to deploy grappling hooks to the nearest spinning pivot point and slingshot around the bend. Timing is critical, and with competitors muscling for rank, it can get pretty intense. The best part about the control scheme is that it enables four people to play locally on the same device, which is a ton of fun. 

All sorts of game modes are available, including the standard time trial, another where you have to collect cogs, and one where you have to flee for as long as possible from a nasty chomper. The graphics in Slingshot Racing are full of character, and there's no shortage of replayability. Pick this one up for a mere $0.99 - trust me. 

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