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5 years ago

Barnes & Noble bringing Nook products to the UK


In a move it's hoping will shake up the e-rader market outside of the U.S., Barnes & Noble has announced that it's bringing some of its E Ink-based e-readers to the United Kingdom later this year, marking the company's first international expansion. The only products mentioned by name are the Android-powered Nook Simple Touch and Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, however the new Nook.co.uk shows the Nook Color and Nook Tablet too, so we wouldn't be surprised to see those devices hitting UK store shelves sooner rather than later.

The new Nook products are due to arrive on British shores this October along with the Nook Store content library, including "2.5 million digital titles," and leading UK books, magazines and newspapers. As Barnes and Noble has no retail presence in the UK, they'll team up with "leading retailers to be announced shortly," and sell through both online and brick-and-mortar stores. If we had to guess, we'd say leading UK bookseller Waterstones would be an ideal candidate for a possible B&N team-up.

Barnes & Noble will be hoping to recreate its U.S. success in the British market, which is dominated by Amazon's Kindle in the e-reader space, as well as Apple's iPad. We'll be watching with interest to see whether they can pull it off.

Source: Barnes & Noble

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5 years ago

Samsung announces Europe launch for dual-SIM Galaxy S Duos


It leaked around a month ago, but today it looks like the Samsung Galaxy S Duos is officially official. The phone is a 4-inch dual-SIM entry-level dealie, powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 CPU, backed up by 512MB of RAM and running Android 4.0 with Sammy's TouchWix Nature UX. There's also 4GB of on-board storage -- expandable via microSD card slot -- as well as a 1500mAh battery and 5MP rear camera. And unlike some dual-SIM phones, the S Duos allows both SIMs to be active at the same time, so you can take a call on one while receiving on the other.

Normally dual-SIM phones are limited to developing markets, where phone users often have two or more SIMs because individual network coverage is spotty. What's unique about the Galaxy S Duos is that it's aimed at the European market. We imagine this type of phone might be useful to frequent European travelers, who might be interested in keeping two SIMs from different countries in the same device.

There's no release date given for this device just yet, but we imagine we'll learn more about the Galaxy S Duos at the IFA show in Berlin next week.

Source: Samsung Tomorrow

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5 years ago

Carphone Warehouse launches Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1


A little after it made its worldwide debut in New York City, UK retailer the Carphone Warehouse has announced that it's now selling the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 online and in stores across the country. Prices start at £399.99 for the Wifi-only version, going up to £499.99 for the Wifi and 3G model.

That's no small amount of money, but if you want the best stylus experience you can get on a tablet, with Samsung's Wacom-powered S Pen, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is the only place you'll be able to get it. For more on the Note 10.1, be sure to check out our full preview of the device from last week's launch event in New York City.

Carphone also sends word that until this Thursday, Aug. 24, it's offering the original Galaxy Note smartphone for free on £21 per month contracts with T-Mobile UK. No prizes for guessing why the retailer might want to burn through the last of its original Galaxy Note stock before next week...

Source: Carphone Warehouse

More: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 hands-on

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5 years ago

OnLive restructuring to cost HTC $40 million


When it comes to financials, it seems HTC can't catch a break lately. The Taiwanese manufacturer says it'll book a loss of $40 million from its investment in troubled cloud gaming provider OnLive. OnLive, as you may remember, last week underwent restructuring and was sold to a newly-formed company in order to avoid bankruptcy.

HTC invested in OnLive in February 2011, at the height of its success in the smartphone market. Since then, however, OnLive has been absent from all of the company's noteworthy devices, and it's continued to struggle financially due to the high operating costs associated with cloud gaming. This isn't the first time an HTC investment has gone sour. The manufacturer's investment in Beats Audio is another recent example -- that company's founders recently bought back half of HTC's investment in Beats, after Beats Audio integration failed to differentiate HTC's high-end smartphones.

Elsewhere, HTC's profits and market share continue to be squeezed, with July revenues down 45 percent from 2011 to 2012. The company will be hoping an expected fall refresh of some devices will help it deal with increasingly fierce competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung.

Source: PC World

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5 years ago

Sony announces next-gen Exmor RS image sensors for mobile devices


Sony has announced its next generation of smartphone and tablet image sensors, dubbed 'Exmor RS.' Succeeding the company's current line-up of Exmor R sensors, Exmor RS will utilize a stacked CMOS sensor with a standard RGB coding, compared to earlier models which required additional detectors for white light in addition to red, green and blue.

Expected to make its debut in October, Exmor RS will come in three flavors -- two 8MP units, and a higher-end 13MP unit. In addition, Sony says it's developed new f/2.2 lenses to go with its new image sensors, opening the door to higher-quality HDR (high dynamic range) video recording on mobile devices.

Given the timing of this announcement, we don't expect to see Exmor RS used in any of the Sony phones to be announced at next week's IFA press conference on Aug. 29. instead, we'll be looking for the tech in the next generation of Sony phones in early 2013. But this isn't just big news for Sony fans -- remember that other brands like Samsung and Apple also use Sony camera tech in their leading products.

Source: Sony (Japanese), via: Engadget

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5 years ago

Samsung teases Galaxy Note 2 in IFA preview video


It's just over a week until we're expecting to see the next Samsung Galaxy Note unveiled in Berlin, Germany. As such, Samsung's ramping up the hype surrounding the upcoming tablet/phone hybrid, today releasing a new teaser video that gives us our first fleeting glimpses of the device, along with a guest appearance from 'Wings of Desire' director Wim Wenders. Not much is being given away, but the new Note is described as "a thin and light thing, which might suggest that the expected increase in screen size hasn't resulted in any extra bulk in other areas.

Check out the full 37-second preview video above. We'll be live from Berlin next Wednesday to bring you full coverage of Samsung's Mobile Unpacked event.

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5 years ago

Droid RAZR HD video tutorials leaked (update - and now they're gone)



Update: Well, looks like the YouTube account that uploaded the videos has been closed. That's the way it goes with leaks sometimes. 

A few video tutorials have leaked out, very similar to ones we've seen before for other Motorola devices, showing basic functions of using what we presume is the Droid RAZR HD. Although the device isn't actually properly called out as such, it's a pretty safe bet at this point given the design, Verizon branding and timing. Leaks like this line up with what we're assuming will be the launch of the device at a Verizon and Motorola event on September 5th.

The videos are pretty run of the mill, showing off basic functions of the latest Motorola UI over Ice Cream Sandwich -- which looks extremely similar to what we've seen on the Atrix HD. Unfortunately they don't give away much in the way of specs or a look at the rest of the device, but we'll know soon enough. Take a gander after the break at the rest of the videos.

Source: Droid Life

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5 years ago

LG Optimus Vu making its global debut in September with Tegra 3


LG has announced that its newest flagship phone, the Optimus Vu (see our review), will be available globally in September. It has been available in only Japan and Korea thus far and will see a release next month in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Latin America and then the U.S. sometime this quarter. This news comes on the heels of LG's announcement that they have sold more than 500,000 worldwide already, which is quite impressive. That number will likely see a big increase once it hits more markets this fall.

The Optimus Vu sports a beautiful 5-inch screen, Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), 8MP rear-camera, a 1.3MP front-facing camera and 32GB of memory. Also notable is the fact that the international Optimus Vu will run a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU, rather than the dual-core Snapdragon S3 found in the Korean and Japanese variants. It's also likely the international Vu will lose some of its quirkier features, like the slide-out antenna for watching digital TV broadcasts.

If you've been anxiously awaiting the newest phone from LG, this announcement is great news as you'll be able to buy one very soon. Full press release after the break. Will you be first in line? Tell us in the LG Optimus Vu Forum!

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5 years ago

OnLive releases statement about Friday's ownership change (sky not falling)


The folks at OnLive have reached out this evening, in an attempt to put an end to all the rumors and speculation since Friday's change of ownership. If you weren't paying attention (or were smart enough to ignore rumors), the Internet was filled with accusations, images, and all sorts of general nonsense about OnLive's purchase. That sort of thing isn't good for business, so were glad to see OnLive step forward over the weekend to address some concerns.

The full press release is after the break, but as Android fans there's one very important bullet point -- 

The OnLive Service has been in operation 24/7 without interruption since its launch over two years ago, and is expected to continue to operate smoothly under the new company. All games, products and services remain available, and the company has new product and partnership announcements on the way.

That's good news for the folks at Ouya (full disclosure -- we're a backer) and for the new Visio Co-Star, as well as all of us looking forward to using the service on our devices in the future. Of course, there will be more questions -- there's always more questions -- and the folks at OnLive say they will be addressing those as they arise. Read the press release and Q&A after the break.

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5 years ago

Here are your five lucky Android neon light winners


Remember when we were giving away five of those killer neon desk lamps shaped like bugdroid last week? Today's the day we announce the winners of what's probably the coolest thing you'll have in your house. After much deliberation the king of the Sea-Monkeys I keep in a Mason jar on the window sill has given me our winners, and here they are. Not really, we use a random number generator, but how cool would it be to have a talking Sea-Monkey king like the one on the box? Anyways, here's your winners.

Congrats ladies and/or gents, keep an eye on the inbox of the e-mail account you used to register for Android Central, because Michelle will be contacting you shortly about redeeming your prize. Let's all congratulate these fine folks, and get ready for the next contest from your pals at AC.

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5 years ago

From the Editor's Desk: Discussions with devs; CM10 nightlies; Kate Upton, where were you?


No rest for the weary, so here are a few quick hits to start the week:

  • Developers rock: A late-night quip on Google+ about how there are some good Android apps with horrible scrolling has turned into a pretty awesome discussion about how things work. My point is that scrolling is one of those basic things that most of us (at least those of us who don't code for fun or money) take for granted, but it's also more difficult to do well than you'd think. The developers of Carbon and Tweet Lanes weigh in. (And you get some insight into what's taking Carbon so long to be release, if you're curious.) Check out the whole thread here.
  • CM10 nightlies: Remember me? The guy too busy to put anything custom on his Galaxy Nexus, a process that takes all of 10 minutes? Well, I just slapped the first CyanogenMod 10 onto the Verizon Galaxy S3. Only took three flashes back to stock (thanks, Odin!). Guess I'm a little out of practice. I've used the New TouchWiz for a month or so now. It's been a while since I've run a CM ROM. The biggest thing I'm missing thus far is a good camera app. Samsung's just has far more features. (So do all the manufacturers' camera apps, actually.) It's only been a day, but overall, I"m liking what I'm seeing.
  • Google Play gift cards: Finally! This is a big deal, folks. Because the music labels and movie and television studios presumably are involved, this couldn't have been simple as ginning up some redeemable codes and putting them in stores. Let's just hope things don't go sour after someone thought it was a good idea to share how to redeem codes that you're not supposed to yet have in the first place. Unzipping a Google Play apk to see what's what is one thing. Telling folks how to purchase things with money they're not yet supposed to have access to to is another thing entirely and crosses a line.
  • The other Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 event: Apparently our invitation to the second GNote 10.1 event was lost in the mail. Don't get us wrong, it was a fine press event. I just think Samsung missed a golden opportunity to have some bloggers teach those models and celebrities a thing or two. That and Kate Upton kept texting, asking us where we were.
  • The NFL returns: Preseason sucks, but, man, I can taste it.

TTFN. It's back to work I go.

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5 years ago

Sony Xperia SL gets official - 1.7GHz Snapdragon S3, coming in four colours


After numerous leaks, Sony's Xperia SL (LT26ii) -- a refreshed version of the Xperia S -- is now listed as "coming soon" on the company's website. The site listing confirms earlier rumors that the phone's Snapdragon S3 CPU has been clocked to 1.7GHz (up from 1.5GHz), and that two new colors, grey and pink, will be available in addition to the Xperia S's black and white. On the software side, the Xperia SL comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, so you won't need to worry about applying any updates when you first start the phone up.

We imagine the Xperia SL will be joined by a wide range of other Sony Xperia phones at the company's IFA press conference on Aug. 29. Naturally, we'll be live in Berlin to bring you full coverage.

Source: Sony, via: Engadget

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5 years ago

Huawei P1 to be 'enhanced' as it arrives on UK shores


We have only just got first UK availability of the Huawei Ascend P1 -- read our full review here -- but according to the fellas at Coolsmartphone it might just be about to get some improvements.

By the time it gets into UK Android fan hands, the P1 will definitely qualify as a mid-range handset. A dual-core device living in a quad-core world, but it doesn't mean it isn't a perfectly capable smartphone. Apparently the UK version is to be given a more "premium" feel -- whatever that entails -- and the battery will actually be an 1800mAh powerplant. Not the 1670mAh we saw in our review unit and in the one listed for sale at Clove Technology. Considering we already spoke pretty highly of battery life on the P1, an additional bit of juice can be no bad thing. 

Source: Coolsmartphone

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5 years ago

Sprint Motorola Photon Q available today for $199


Just a quick heads up that the Sprint Motorola Photon Q is available today for $199 with a two-year contract. If you've yet to do so (slacker), be sure to check out our hands-on with the Photon Q (we'll have a more thorough review this week), but already it's shaping up to be a solid slider from Moto, with Ice Cream Sandwich and a new UI.

It's also important to remember that this is a world phone, so you business types who have been longing for something with a keyboard that'll work outside the states have something new to consider. And it's also worth noting that the Photon Q is the first to take advantage of Motorola's new bootloader unlocking tool -- a tool of which we've already availed ourselves -- so you hacker types can have your way with it, too.

So ... who's buying?

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