Sunday, March 25, 2012

HTC One X for AT&T gets benchmarked, looks impressive

When the AT&T flavored HTC One X flagship got announced during MWC, quite a few people were left wondering whether its Snapdragon S4 chipset with two CPU cores will match the performance of the quad-core Tegra 3 of the international version.

Well, it looks like there is no need to worry over the performance of the U.S. bound handset. A couple of leaked benchmarks from the device, leaked by an alleged AT&T device tester, point at a seriously capable piece of hardware coming our way.

As you can see above, the two Krait cores, featured in the chipset have a serious knack for benchmarks. The tester has also mentioned that the battery life of the device is rather impressive as well.

The rumored time frame for the launch of the AT&T branded HTC One X is mid-May. Naturally, we will keep you posted as soon as we find out more.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Samsung I9300 live photo surface, might be a disappointing S III

Another day, another Samsung Galaxy S III leak. Today we've got a live photo that's allegedly depicting the Samsung I9300 Android smartphone. The model number has previously been associated with the next Samsung flagship, though there's no confirmation that this is in fact the Galaxy S III.

With the Samsung Galaxy S lineup carrying I90xx model numbers, the S II series getting I91xx model numbers and the Galaxy Nexus leading the I92xx smartphones, it would make a lot of sense for the international Galaxy S III to get I9300. However, the pictured device looks nothing like those renders we saw over the previous few days.

The screen bezel seems quite wide, so if the pictured smartphone really does have a 4.7" screen it will be quite large and hard to handle. Plus, the alleged I9300 obviously lacks the design sophistication that would befit a successor of the very successful Galaxy S II.

One possible scenario is that earlier rumors had it right and the Galaxy S III will come with a model number I9500, while this one here is going to be its sidekick. We can also be looking at a prototype unit, which has a different design to the final version.

So, while we see no obvious reason to doubt the authenticity of the photo, we suspect it might not be the Galaxy S III that stars in it. Either that, or there will be plenty of disappointed Samsung fans, come the next Unpacked event.

Galaxy Note Android 4.0 update to include special content

Earlier this year, Samsung had promised a Q1, 2012 time period for the roll out of the Android 4.0 update for the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Note. But while its younger brother has started receiving the update, the Galaxy Note users are still munching on Gingerbread that is well past its expiry date.

Samsung recently announced that the Android 4.0 update for the Galaxy Note has been pushed to Q2, 2012. This means it could be coming as soon as April or as late as June.

But to make sure that the wait is worth the while, Samsung has announced that the update will come with some extra goodies exclusive to the Galaxy Note. This includes a Premium Suite of applications and extra multimedia features.

The Premium Suite includes the S-Pen application, which allows you to scribble with the provided capacitive stylus, as well as draw tables and grids that are automatically digitized, along with solving hand-drawn numeric formulas. The Premium Suite also includes My Story app, which lets you create personalized digital cards for friends and family.

Along with this, you will also get a special version of Angry Birds Space. This version will include 30 extra Danger Zone levels, not found on any other platform.

And then of course, it's Android 4.0 itself, which will bring new features like Face Unlock, redesigned multitasking view, GPU accelerated UI, etc.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sony Xperia S granted access to the PlayStation store

The Sony Xperia S is a fully PlayStation certified device, though at launch it lacked access to the PlayStation Store - not any more though. Sony just opened the doors and let the Xperia S and Xperia Acro HD (the Japanese version of the S), but the others of the NXT lineup will have to wait.

There should be a placeholder app called "Let's start PS Store" available on your phone, which will download the needed apps. Before you launch it, make sure to enable installation from unknown sources.

The placeholder app will download two new apps to your Xperia S (or Acro HD) - PlayStation Store, where you get games, and the PS Pocket, which serves as a launcher for games.

After that's done, head over to the Store and check out the 14 PS1 titles available. Note that they'll run you £3.99.

The rest of the NXT line, including the Sony Xperia ion, will get the same access as the Xperia S later on this year.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S II ICS update to hit UK next week

Some lucky fellas have been enjoying the official Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update on their Galaxy S II units since this morning, but those based in the UK will have to wait another week.

Poland, Hungary, Sweden and Korea are the markets in the first wave of the update roll-out, with UK (among others) to follow shortly. The exact quote that managed to get from Samsung is that the update will start seeding in Britain in the week commencing March 19, which is exactly 6 days from now.

And with the Galaxy S II update already rolling out, the Samsung R&D center is already shifting its attention towards the Galaxy Note, Galaxy S II LTE and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 duo. Those should be the next devices in the company's lineup to get official Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich updates.

Finally, Samsung confirmed that it will be delivering Android 2.3 Gingerbread Value Pack updates for the original Galaxy S, the Galaxy Tab 7", the Galaxy S Plus, the Galaxy W and the Galaxy from the end of March. The update will be bringing Face Unlock and other ICS features to the smart devices that won't be getting to taste Android ICS officially.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Android 4.0 ICS update is now seeding for Samsung Galaxy S II

yes, yes - we know you've heard this a few times too many in the past couple of weeks, but this time it is for real, folks. Samsung Mobile's official Facebook page broke the news that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has officially made its way to Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II.

As you can notice in the screenshot above, the update is currently seeding to devices in Europe, as well as Korea. The rest of the world will follow in the nearest future.

Samsung Galaxy Note, Galaxy S II LTE, and Galaxy Tab Tab 8.9 and 10.1 are noted as next in line for the major update. The older members of the Galaxy family on the other hand, will receive updates to their Gingerbread firmware, which will bring some ICS functionality to it.

In case you have already updated your I9100, drop us a line with your impressions of the new firmware in the comments section below. We will be sure to tell you about our own shortly.

Deluxe Limited Edition HTC One X comes with Beats headphones

HTC has made up a special offer for their domestic market in Taiwan bundling their newest quad-core One X smartphone with Beats Solo headphones.

Unfortunately, HTC is mum on any probability of releasing the special bundle globally or in other markets besides the Taiwanese one. The package's pre-order price is a shy below 25,000 TWD or $840. This works out as a great deal considering a standard HTC One X costs around $780 and Beats sell their Solo headphones for $180.

Pre-orders for the Deluxe Limited Edition start on March 20, so you still have some time to break the piggy bank and check your pockets for some change.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

ASUS confirms 'Jelly Bean' as codename for Android 5.0

Among the many Android manufacturer's out there, ASUS has a good reputation for offering quick software updates for its devices, with the recent Transformer Prime being one of the first to get the Ice Cream Sandwich update. According to ASUS' Corporate Vice President Benson Lin, this is due to the good relationship between his company and Google.

But while he was boasting about his relationship with Google, Lin also let go of a tiny bit of information regarding the next version of Android, which as the rumors often told us, will be named Jelly Bean.

Speaking to TechRadar, Lin said:

"Asus is very close to Google, so once they have Android 5.0 I think there will be a high possibility that we will be the first wave to offer the Jelly Bean update."

This, along with the bowl of jelly beans at Google's booth at MWC makes it clear that the next version of Android will in fact be called Jelly Bean.

Apple App Store crosses the 25 billion downloads mark

If you've been to Apple's homepage in the past couple of weeks you may have seen the counter for the App Store downloads, which was rapidly approaching the 25 billion downloads mark.

Well today, on March 3, 2012, the counter finally crossed that mark, creating a new milestone for the company. But while Apple must surely celebrating this event, it has made sure that it won't be the only one celebrating. That's because as part of their traditional contest, which is held every time such a milestone is about to be crossed, the person who downloaded the 25 billionth app will be getting store credit worth $10,000 to spend on any of Apple's online stores. That's a lot of money to spend only on the store, which means whoever won this prize will probably never have to shell out a single dime from his or her pocket to purchase anything from Apple's store ever again.

The winner of this contest hasn't been announced yet but will be displayed shortly on Apple's website. And of course, if you're the winner, you will be contacted directly by someone from Apple.