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5 years ago

New Sony Xperia phones get tentative eurozone pricing


The first European pricing information for Sony's new Xperia T, Xperia V and Xperia J smartphones has come to light, as several German retailers have put the devices up for pre-order. According to online stores Idealo and notebooksbilliger, the high-end Xperia T is listed with a €549 price tag, while the LTE-enabled Xperia V will set you back €580. Meanwhile, the budget-focused Xperia J will apparently sell for €265. These prices roughly equate to £450 for the T and £210 for the J for British consumers (with no LTE networks in the UK, it's unlikely we'll get the Xperia V at all). These are also SIM-free prices, so as ever, if you pick one of these up with a contract, you can expect to pay considerably less.

We've already seen one UK retailer report SIM-free pricing for the Xperia J, and with a SIM-free pre-order price of £190, Clove's pricing closely matches what we're seeing from these German retailers.

Pre-order prices are always subject to change, but with so many retailers reporting the same RRP, it's likely the final pricing won't stray too far from that mark. Sony's new Xperia phones are expected to appear from tomorrow, Sept. 5, starting at UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse.

Source: XperiaBlog

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5 years ago

Sony Xperia T appears in promo shot with AT&T branding


Last week we learned all about Sony's new flagship smartphones at IFA 2012, however there was nothing offered in the way of U.S. release information. Today that may have changed, as the Sony's new international flagship, the Xperia T, has appeared in a promotional photo bearing AT&T's globe logo.

The image comes from UK retailer Phones4U, which has published it alongside a number of shots of the European Xperia T. That phone has Sony's Xperia branding under the screen, while the final promotional image swaps it out for the U.S. carrier's logo. Also of note is the back of this AT&T Xperia T, which is split up into three segments. On the international version, which we saw at IFA last week, the phone's back panel is smooth, with no dividers at the top or bottom. One possible reason for this design change might be to enable 4G LTE connectivity.

In any case, we've reached out to AT&T for comment, and we'll update this post with any info they provide.

Source: Phones4U; Thanks, Paolo!

​More: Hands-on with Sony's latest at IFA

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5 years ago

HTC Desire X gets SIM-free pricing in the UK


The first pricing information for HTC's new Desire X has become available over at an online UK-based retailer. Clove Technology is now listing the Desire X for pre-order with a SIM-free price of £228 inc. VAT (£190 exc. VAT). The phone, which is offered in "stealth black" and "neutral white," is expected to begin shipping in Europe later this month.

As we discovered during our hands-on time with the HTC Desire X, it's a nicely balanced mid-range smartphone, with a few outstanding features, including a 5MP BSI rear camera a sharp SuperLCD display and a dual-core Snapdragon S4 CPU. Around the £200 mark, you'll be hard pushed to find a similarly-spec'd device, and HTC's Sense 4 remains one of our favorite Android UIs.

More pre-order info can be found at the source link. If you're still on the fence about the Desire X, be sure to check out our hands-on coverage of the phone from IFA 2012.

Source: Clove

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5 years ago

TVCatchup app leaves beta, joins Google Play Store


After a fairly lengthy beta test period, UK TV streaming service TVCatchup has graduated its Android app from beta, and launched it on the Google Play Store. The app, like the TVCatchup website, allows license fee-paying Brits to watch live online streams of many of the country's free-to-air TV channels -- currently over 50, the app claims. We've been using the app throughout its beta test phase, and we've found it to be just as reliable as the website.

Note that you'll need to be in the UK to download this app, and that it won't work if you're not on a UK ISP or mobile network. Also, if you want to stay on the right side of the law, you'll need to hold a TV license to view live broadcasts.

With that out of the way, Brits can head to the Google Play link above to download TVCatchup for Android. It's free and ad-supported, and you'll need a phone or tablet running at least Android 2.2.

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5 years ago

Sony releases binaries to support JBQ AOSP project


Last month Google’s Android Open Source Project lead Jean-Baptiste Queru (JBQ) announced the launch of an “experimental” project to bring the latest open-source Android to the Sony Xperia S (LT26). Sony quickly confirmed its support of the project, and today it’s followed through with the release of closed-source binaries to allow the project to continue. These are blobs of compiled code (e.g. graphics firmware) that cannot be open-sourced, but which must be built in advance in order for any AOSP build to work on Xperia S hardware.

In addition, Sony has reaffirmed its commitment to open-source Android “and the innovation it brings.” The company says that with the help of the proprietary files that have been provided, it expects the AOSP build should be capable of booting up and reaching the home screen.

The binaries are available to download from Sony’s developer world site at the source link. While the binaries won’t be of any use to custom ROM enthusiasts, they just might result in the quicker arrival of more stable AOSP builds for the Xperia S. There’s a long way left to go before Xperia S owners will be able to download and build open-source Android for their devices, but this is an important step along the way. We’ll be watching with interest in the months ahead.

Source: Sony Developer World

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5 years ago

Rovio teases next installment in Angry Birds saga, something PIG is coming


Rovio Mobile has released a teaser trailer for what will be the next installment in the Birds v Pigs saga. Only this time, it looks like the boot is on the other foot. Something PIG is coming. 

Otherwise, we don't get to see much. There's no hints on potential gameplay, release date, anything at all. After such a long old time though, it looks like it's time for the little green pigs to fight back.

Source: Badpiggies via iMore

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5 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Laboring away on Labor Day


So today's the Labor Day holiday here in the states, which I'm told celebrates people who work by giving them a day off. It's also the unofficial end of summer (though here in Florida, that usually doesn't happen until sometime in October), and the signal that school's about to start for many. So with that, a few Labor Day thoughts:

  • Back to that school thing for a second. Kids are going to be walking to the bus stop. They're not paying attention to you. You're in a hurry, possibly with your own kids in the back seat. Leave your damn phone alone. If you still can't help yourself, there are a number of apps to treat you like a grade-schooler to lock it out while your car's moving. Sprint and AT&T have been champions of that for a while now. But above all, put down the phone.
  • Fun fact: There's an HTC One XC and One XT, Chinese variants, both. I didn't know that.
  • Alex and Richard killed it at the IFA conference in Berlin last week. (And I'm still a little jealous that I didn't go.) My highlights? No surprise, really -- the Samsung Galaxy Camera and Galaxy Note 2. Can't wait to play with them. Catch up on all the IFA news here.
  • It's smartphone hell week this week. Or tech heaven, depending on how you look at it. We've got the Motorola-Verizon event in New York, the Amazon event in California, a Sony event in London, some other stuff going on, plus our pals at WP Central have a Nokia-Microsoft thing laid on. This is going to be a good (long) week.
  • Oh, and I'm in New York City this week on HTC's dime for the second Frequencies event, for some more candid conversation with some of the top names in tech journalism. (Seriously, it's humbling to be in this group). If you've got anything you want me to pass on, leave a note in the comments. (But, no, I won't be asking them about ICS for the Thunderbolt. HTC knows it's late.)
  • And believe it or not, this is just the start of an unusually busy fall season. We've got the fall CTIA event coming up in a little more than month. It's been renamed "MobileCon" (from "Apps & Enterprise"). Not sure if that'll make it any more worth the trip (last year was pretty slow), but, hey, it's the job. I also can already taste the tacos in San Diego. Nom.

That's enough for now. It's a holiday, after all. See y'all on the flip side.

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5 years ago

First signs of SIM free pricing emerge for Sony Xperia J


We've already had the first wave of information on when the new Sony devices announced at IFA will be available, but any information on price is still somewhat lacking. At least one British retailer has tagged a price on the entry-level Xperia J, despite not being able to offer it themselves until October. 

Clove Technology has come out and priced the Xperia J at £190, but will not have stock available until late October. This is a little after the September 5 release date previously supplied by other retailers, but it's the first indication we've received of a UK RRP for the new device. 

Clove also intends to stock the full range of colors for the Xperia J, but notes that the first units will only be available in black or white. 

Source: Clove Blog

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5 years ago

Why the Samsung Galaxy Camera makes perfect sense


While much of the buzz leading up to last Wednesday’s Samsung Mobile Unpacked event focused on the Galaxy Note 2, it could be argued that the real star of the show was the Galaxy Camera, Sammy’s new Android-powered point-and-shoot. Sure, the Note 2 is an impressive piece of kit, but it is essentially an incremental upgrade of a device we already know. The Galaxy Camera, on the other hand, could represent the future of point-and-shoots, or an entirely new class of product altogether.

There’s been much talk of Samsung the copycat over the past month or so, but the Galaxy Camera is an example of the Korean manufacturer using its experience in multiple product categories to introduce something really new. Like the original Galaxy Note, it’s a new spin on an existing category of device that’s just crazy enough to succeed. And if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Read on to find out why.

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5 years ago

Eyes on the new Hisense Pulse Google TV set-top box


Officially unveiled prior to the annual IFA 2012 show in Berlin, Hisense were on hand at the show in to demonstrate their first Google TV box for the first time. The Pulse as it goes by name, is the latest product of a Google TV partnership, and packs a potentially killer feature. Its price. Like the low priced competitor, Vizio Co-Star, the Pulse is priced to move at just $99. But, even at such a low price point, it still needs to deliver the goods. Whilst on the ground in Berlin, we tracked down the Pulse and took a first look at this latest entrant into the Google TV arena. 

In terms of hardware, the Pulse is a rather un-assuming black box to look at. It's relatively small though, and should fade into a front room set up with very little effort. It won't stand out, but it won't look out of place either. It's all glossy plastic, which doesn't give off the impression of a high quality product, but at $99 we wouldn't really expect that much more. The expected ports are all present, a solitary USB port on one side of the box, with the HDMI, ethernet and power sockets all on the rear. Also to be found on the rear is a connector for an IR blaster.

The Remote too doesn't exactly strike the same impression as that of a high end TV, but importantly it offers full functionality. On one side is a full QWERTY keyboard packed with rubber keys. Typing isn't too difficult, the keys feel just like a regular old TV remote. There seems to be ample space between keys so as to avoid hitting the wrong ones. 

Flipping round to the main side of the remote, we're treated to a bevy of controls and a touch sensitive trackpad. The trackpad is quite small though, and we had some definite troubles using it to zoom in whilst using Google Chrome. This could have been -- and likely was -- an issue with Chrome though, as it seemed relatively responsive when being used to direct the on screen cursor. 

The remainder of the keys are pretty much standard Google TV fare, although the Pulse Remote does have dedicated buttons for YouTube and for Netflix. 

A quick look at the performance of the device highlights similar issues reported from early purchasers of the Vizio Co-Star. It isn't massively smooth in some areas, and when navigating around the menus there was some noticeable lag. In particular, Google Chrome seemed pretty slow to respond. However,  we shouldn't forget that this is a trade show with pre-release hardware and software the norm. 

All in all though the Pulse isn't a bad little box. It will be launching in the U.S. sometime during the fall, but Hisense did confirm to us that they have every intention of bringing the Pulse to Europe in 2013. As Google TV is still in its infancy on European shores, a set-top box in this price category could be what's needed to give it a little kick start. 

Be sure to check out our photo gallery of the Hisense Pulse after the break.

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5 years ago

'Nexus 7 3G' rumored for launch within weeks


Google and ASUS' Nexus 7 tablet has been met with considerable success over the past couple of months, but so far it's only been available with Wifi connectivity, with no cellular data option offered to consumers. But that may be about to change if the latest round of rumors from veteran mobile blog MoDaCo​ are to be believed. 

According to ​MoDaCo's​ Paul O'Brien, a "very well-placed source" is saying that a "Nexus 7 3G" is indeed in the works, with a launch due in around six weeks time. Interestingly, such a launch timeframe could put the device up against Apple's 7-inch iPad (or 'iPad mini'), which is expected to be announced  on Sept. 12 and released in mid-October.

MoDaCo's source says there are "no other hardware changes," besides the addition of a cellular radio, and that territories for launch, as well as the exact release date, have ye to be confirmed. Pricing, too, remains unknown at this time, but Nexus 7 buyers can probably expect to pay a small premium over the Wifi-only version.

Would you be willing to fork out a little more for 3G connectivity on your Nexus 7? Let us know down in the comments!

Source: MoDaCo

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5 years ago

O2 UK blocking ICS updates for Xperia Arc, Ray and Neo


While Sony may have created some excitement in the last seven days with all their IFA announcements, for owners of some of the 2011 Xperia devices on O2 UK there is less cause for celebration. 

The British carrier has decided to block the update to Ice Cream Sandwich for three Xperia devices, the Arc, Ray and Neo. Despite Sony themselves having already released the updates for unlocked versions of all three devices, O2 claims that performance issues have caused them to block the update for their customers. 

They claim that Android 4.0 affected the devices' speed and performance, and since it didn't meet their requirements, O2 customers with one of these devices will remain on Gingerbread. 

Source: O2 Blog

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5 years ago

Here are the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE full training materials and specs



We've been looking at bits and pieces of info about the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE over the weekend, and now thanks to an insider we've got the full set of training materials available -- including the full technical specs. The Victory looks to be one very solid phone, and should appeal to folks who want or need something a little smaller than the Galaxy S3 (Galaxy S III) but still expect decent performance. Here's the obligatory bullet point list:

  • CDMA, LTE, 850/900/1800/1900mHz, UMTS dual-band, 1700/2100 mHz
  • 1.2 GHz Dual Core Qualcomm/MSM8960 Lite
  • Dimensions 4.8 x 2.5 x 0.5 (inches)
  • 4.0” WVGA TFT screen at 800 x 480
  • 4GB ROM
  • Up to 1 GB external MicroSD (we assume this is a typo and the phone will support 32GB cards)
  • MicroUSB
  • 3.5mm Headphone jack
  • 3.8v, lithium ion, 2100mAh battery (up to 7 hours talk time; 9 days standby time)
  • Android 4.0.4  Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz
  • Audio codecs: AAC, AMR, AWB, M4A, MID, MP3 OGG, QCP, WAV, WMA
  • Video codecs: DivX, H.263, H.264, MPEG4, RV, WMV
  • 5.0MP camera with 4x zoom and video recording
  • 1.3MP front facing camera
  • Wifi
  • Bluetooth
  • Media Hub
  • Social Hub
  • Accelerometer
  • Spanish language support
  • Hearing aid compatible M4

The materials show this one headed for Sprint as rumored, but also show quad-band GSM support so we expect to see something similar on other networks Of course all the TouchWiz and Ice Cream Sandwich features are on board, like Media Hub and Android Beam. It's safe to say that a scant six months ago these specs would have been at the top of the Android heap, so the Victory should be a great little performer.

Still no exact word on when we'll see this one on Sprint's shelves, but as we saw yesterday reps are training for a September release. Hit the break for the full set of 26 training slides.

Thanks, anon!

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5 years ago

US Cellular getting the LG Splendor (US730), as outed by product page


Behold, the LG Splendor for US Cellular. This unannounced phone has been outed by a now--pulled LG product page and still-alive product brochure, as spotted by an eagle-eyed SmartPhenom. It looks to be a decent device, with a 4.3-inch display at 800x480 resolution, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a 5-megapixel rear camera. It's all powered by a Qualcomm MSM8655 processor running at 1 GHz. Battery's listed at 1700 mAh. There's 2 GB of on-board storage, and the Splendor will take a microSD card as well. Top of the line? Nah. But it should be a decent addition to USCC's lineup if and when it's announced.

Source: LG Splendor brochure (pdf); via SmartPhenom

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