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4 years ago

The best Android phone you can buy, as of December 2012 (International edition)


A lot has changed since we published our last round-up of the best Android phones available, and awarded the top prize to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. At the time, the Gnex outshone the competition thanks to the blistering performance and innovative features delivered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

But that was five long months ago. Since then, screen sizes, resolutions and core counts have continued to rise. There’s a new Nexus, and Android OEMs have had the chance to get their own Jelly Bean-based devices out into the wild. And this time around, it makes more sense to split things up and cover the U.S market separately (look for our U.S. round-up in the days ahead). In this article we’re going to focus on the best international Android phones, and recommend one unlocked world phone for Europe, Asia and beyond.

Join us after the break to find out more about our top four devices, and learn which gets our recommendation for international buyers.

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4 years ago

The Nexus 4 Yellow Box of Death


That's what the kids are calling it, anyway. Looks like a new set of shipping notices has been sent out. But the wait continues. We're hashing it all out in our Nexus 4 forums

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4 years ago

Samsung opens their first 'Mobile Store' in Paris, France


Samsung has continued their seemingly endless quest for Global domination with this, the opening of their first "Samsung Mobile Store" in Paris, France. The concept of a brand store isn't totally new to Samsung, London has one for example, but unlike the British store this one is concentrated solely on Samsung's mobile products. That doesn't just mean Android either, lest we forget the ATIV range of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices. 

The store itself looks like a pretty nice place to shop. It doesn't look much like an Apple Store -- thankfully -- but similar service can be expected. Samsung will have a number of 'consultants' on hand to guide consumers through everything Samsung Mobile. 

It's not all just about the adults though. The store has a dedicated childrens area where the young ones get to experience their own hands on with Samsung's mobile devices, but in a less boring, more kid friendly kind of way with drawing and writing games to keep them amused. 

The store has already opened to the public, and can be found at 5 Boulevard Malesherbes in Paris. If you happen to stop by whilst in the neighborhood be sure to hit us up in the comments and tell us how you found it. Visit the source link below for more images of the store. 

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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4 years ago

Droid DNA down to $149.99 on Amazon Wireless


A quick heads-up -- Amazon Wireless is now offering HTC's Droid DNA for $149.99 with a two-year service plan. That's a $50 saving compared to Verizon's own list price of $199.99 -- not a heap of cash, but every little helps with a major purchase like a new smartphone.

The Droid DNA is the first "full HD" smartphone to hit the U.S. market, with a whopping 5-inch screen packing in 1920x1080 pixels. It's powered by a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, with 2GB of RAM, and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and HTC's Sense 4+ UI.

For more on the DNA, be sure to check out our full review.

More: Droid DNA on Amazon Wireless

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4 years ago

Eric Schmidt talks Apple, Android, patents and Google Play


Google executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt recently sat down with the Wall Street Journal to discuss all manner of things relating to to Google, its competition, its products and its future.

Topics of discussion included Apple, Android, the ongoing patent wars and other legal troubles, Google Play and Google Fiber.

Rather than paraphrase the entire interview, we've got a few half-dozen quick hits on some key areas after the break.

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4 years ago

XKCD is Enlightened [#Ingress]


Always figured them for more of the Resistance crowd. Go figure. (And be sure to check out our Ingress forums!)

Source: XKCD

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4 years ago

TomTom navigation updated, now supports 200+ devices


When TomTom for Android first appeared a couple of months back, support was limited to a few devices with WVGA displays, a move which excluded many of the most popular handsets. Today the app has been updated to version 1.1, bringing with it support for more devices, including those with higher-resolution screens.

The new version also includes the ability to save map data to the SD card rather than the app storage partition, and a redesigned driving view, which TomTom says is designed to make key information clearer and easier to read.

As devices go, we can confirm the latest version supports the Nexus 4, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S3 LTE, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy Nexus, HTC One X+, RAZR i, Xperia T, RAZR/RAZR MAXX, Optimus 4X HD, HTC One X and One S, among others. TomTom says that more than 200 devices are now compatible with the app. Tablet support still seems to be a non-starter in this version, however, as the app refused to install on our Nexus 7 or various flavors of Galaxy Tab.

The update is live now on Google Play. Prices vary depending on where you live and which region you're buying, but typically each pack will set you back around £30 or $50.

Source: Google Play, Engadget

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4 years ago

8GB Nexus 4 once again sold out on Google Play in UK + Germany


Less than a day after the second wave of Nexus 4 stock landed on Google Play in the UK and Germany, the 8GB model is once again officially sold out in both countries. Yesterday evening the delivery window for the 8GB model slowly increased, from 4-5 weeks to 5-6 weeks, before being marked as "sold out" (or "ausverkauft," if you prefer) this morning.

The 16GB model is still available to order, though with a waiting period of 5-6 weeks in both countries, it'll likely be early January before orders placed today arrive.

If you tried to place a Nexus 4 order yesterday, let us know how you got on in the comments.

Source: Google Play

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4 years ago

Sony announces Xperia E - budget phone for Europe with dual-SIM option


Sony Mobile's not depleted the alphabet just yet, so here's another mid-to-low-end Xperia phone, the Xperia E. A 3.5-incher aimed at the budget-conscious, the Xperia E packs a 3.5-inch HVGA screen, a 1GHz Qualcomm CPU and a 3.2MP rear camera, so it's a no frills Android experience on offer.

The regular version of the Xperia E will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean -- perhaps the first Sony phone to do so -- while a dual-SIM variant will be offered running ICS out of the box, but with an upgrade promised. Other notables include a 1500mAh battery, fairly sizeable for a device of this kind, and HD Voice support for improved call quality on supporting networks.

The Xperia E will launch in single and dual-SIM flavors Europe in Q1 2013. The single-SIM version will be available in black, white and pink, while the dual-SIM model will come in black and gold.

More info in the presser after the break.

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4 years ago

Android 4.1.2 update hitting global Galaxy S3, multi-view and other features included


International S3 gets full-screen multi-tasking and a slew of other features in latest firmware; Poland first in line for update

It's early December, and as rumored, the Android 4.1.2 update has started rolling out on international Galaxy S3 phones (HSPA+ version, GT-i9300), starting with devices in Poland. But there's more to this update than the minor change in OS version would indicate. As was also rumored, the new update adds the "multi-view" multitasking feature previously seen on the Galaxy Note 2 and Note 10.1. Multi-view allows you to hold down the back key to bring up a multi-tasking menu, then partition your screen in two in order to run two apps on-screen at the same time.

Also new is "page buddy," which adds additional context-sensitive home screen pages that activate when you've got headphones connected, or if you're roaming overseas. There's also a redesigned gallery app -- again, from the Note 2 -- and a customizable notification panel. The Paper Artist app from the Galaxy Note 2 is included too, in addition to Group Cast for media sharing.

Smart rotation from the Galaxy Note 2 has also made it across, and the Samsung keyboard has been upgraded too. We can't yet confirm whether it's the same SwiftKey-based keyboard that's found on the Note 2, but given that just about every other Note 2 feature is present and accounted for, it's pretty likely that's exactly what it is.

So there's a lot of new stuff for Galaxy S3 owners to get stuck into. Kudos to Samsung for porting these new features back to the S3. SamMobile has a direct download for the Polish version of this update already; other territories should start to get this update over-the-air and through Kies in the coming days and weeks.

If you're curious about multi-view, we've embedded our quick video walkthrough on the Note 2 after the break.

Source: SamMobile

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4 years ago

Amazon introduces Kindle FreeTime Unlimited


Amazon is rolling out a new service for all Kindle Fire devices that offers an all-you-can-eat buffet of books, games, apps, movies and TV shows geared to kids ages 3-8. For one monthly payment of $2.99 per child or $6.99 for the whole family with an Amazon Prime membership ($4.99 and $9.99 for users without a Prime account) the little ones can download and interact with as much content as they wish.

This sounds like a really convenient way to provide the kids with content they will love, and makes the Kindle Fire much more interesting for families. FreeTime Unlimited will be part of an OTA update for Kindle Fire devices in the coming weeks. We'll be on the lookout for that one. Hit the break for the full press release.

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4 years ago

Me In My Place web app update brings the sexy back to Android [#NSFW]


When we last left Me in My Place, the photography series had just launched a web app that ... was a bit lacking on our Android devices. Great for iOS. Bad for us. No longer. The web app has undergone quite the overhaul, and we're happy to report it's working beautifully on Chrome.

What's the big deal? It's tough to read through Esquire magazine without seeing shots from the series' semi-mysterious mastermind, Michael Edwards, and MIMP (as it's known on the street) has come to have quite the following over the past couple years.

MIMP is a fun and flirty series, with the occasional celebrity mixed in among the less famous (but no less gorgeous) women from throughout the U.S. -- and more recently from around the world. The photography is casual, but still extremely professional. The MIMP website (based on Tumblr) believe it or not is the tame version. The web app is where things get a little more NSFW, but still with the same amount of class and respect you've come to expect.

Why shell out $15 a year (or $4.99 a month if you're not into saving money) for access to the MIMP web app? For one, I like supporting semi-indy projects like this. For another, this is a really good web app update, showing what can be done outside of a native application. A slideshow mechanism has been added, along with forward and back controls, and the ability to share individual pictures on Twitter. Plus, you can view hundreds of exclusive pictures on your Android phone and tablet. So there's that. 

Check it out at app.meinmyplace.com.

More: Me in My Place

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4 years ago

Hey, Microsoft - you really wanna see 'DroidRage'?


I can't imagine how this could possibly go wrong. If anyone feels like replying to old 'Softie, here's the tweet from which to do it.

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4 years ago

Qualcomm expands Snapdragon S4 family with China-specific features


Call it the S4, Snapdragon, or Krait -- it makes no difference. The latest and greatest from Qualcomm is a proven performer and in high demand because of it. Today they have announced the expansion of the S4 line with a pair of new quad-core Snapdragons destined for mainland China.

With built-in support for various dual SIM network designs, this will give Qualcomm a leg up when manufacturers are looking for materials to build modern smartphones for Chinese telecoms, and give the consumers buying them the performance they want from them. With support for 1080p video capture and display, the Adreno 305 GPU, and up to 13MP cameras, these chips help deliver everything you could want from a high-end smartphone. Android (or Android-based derivatives) will surely be a big part of these new devices. It's a win-win situation, and nobody should be surprised to see it happening.

The Chinese market is huge -- even bigger than you think. Qualcomm just made it easier to break into it with the MSM8226 and MSM8626.

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