Friday, November 30, 2012

Motorola DROID RAZR HD will get Android 4.1 next week

Motorola's DROID RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD Android Jelly Bean update is right around the corner. True to their word from the devices' launch event, Motorola and Verizon brought the news that the OS update will hit the smartphone duo next week.

The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for the DROID RAZR HD and RAZR MAXX HD will include all the usual goodies such as Google Now and Project Butter, dressed in Motorola's light UI. Some Verizon preloaded applications are set to disappear, while ISIS mobile wallet compatibility will land in the smartphone's launcher.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note II for Verizon goes on sale tomorrow

Verizon raised a few eyebrows when it put its logo on the Home button of the Samsung Galaxy Note II, but if you can live with that, you should know that the phablet goes on sale tomorrow, November 29.
The price is the same as it was during pre-orders - $300 if you sign a 2-year contract, or $700 if you prefer to go off-contract. The Note II for Verizon is available in Marble White and Titanium Gray.

By the way, if you've already pre-ordered Samsung's fast-selling phablet, you should have a shipping confirmation email in your inbox.
Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Note II is the same 5.5" Super AMOLED-packing, Jelly Bean-running, Exynos-powered device as the international version, but also gets support for Verizon's CDMA and 4G LTE networks.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lenovo P770 droid phone packs a 3,500mAh battery

So far Motorola has been the only one that can provide huge batteries in smartphones, but Lenovo is about to challenge it with the P770. It's an Android 4.1 Jelly Bean droid with a massive 3,500mAh battery (200mAh more than the RAZR MAXX HD).

The Lenovo P770 measures 133 x 67 x 11.9mm and weighs 161g (not quite as slender as Motorola DROID MAXX HD's 131.9 x 67.9 x 9.3mm, 157g). It has a 4.5" qHD IPS screen and is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor with 1GB of RAM.

The P770 is rated at just over 29 hours of continuous talk time and nearly a month of standby. The phone features three power-saving modes: long standby, normal and custom. It also automatically calibrates battery readings to display accurate battery percentages.
It's not quite clear from Lenovo's site if the battery is user-replaceable or not (the Motorola RAZR HD MAXX has a non-replaceable battery).

Anyway, the Lenovo P770 also features a 5MP camera with LED flash, VGA front-facing camera, two microphones for noise reduction and a customized Android 4.1.
These specs don't sound too exciting, but the P770 is priced CNY 1,699 ($273, €210) in China (it's available now) and you get an 8GB microSD card in the box. For now the phone is available only in China and Lenovo hasn’t announced plans to make it available worldwide

Sunday, November 25, 2012

HTC Deluxe DLX not actually coming to Europe?

When we caught a glimpse of the first official photos of the HTC Deluxe DLX a couple of days back , we were all but certain that it is only a matter of time before the quad-core beast with 1080p display makes its way to Europe. Therefore, the news from HTC Germany that the device won't make it to the Old Continent came as nothing short of a surprise.

As you can see in the translated message above, the 5" relative of the HTC J butterfly and the Verizon exclusive DROID DNA will not make it to Europe according to the message posted by HTC Germany's official Facebook account. There were no specific reasons given by HTC for the unfortunate occurrence.
Of course, the message might simply mean that the top shelf smartphone will make it under a different name and design to Europe. For HTC market share's sake, we hope it does.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

LG Optimus 7 won't get WP7.8 update says LG Poland

We got a lot of good news about the Windows Phone 7.8 update lately, but every streak comes to an end as we now have a particularly unpleasant piece of information to share with you. The LG Optimus 7, which was one of the first Windows Phone handsets and is currently running version 7.5 of the OS, will not be getting updated to version 7.8.
This info comes from LG’s branch in Poland and may not apply to all regions, but LG has not officially announced anything else regarding the Optimus G.
This move shouldn’t come as a big surprise as LG decided to step away from Windows Phone to focus on Android (the company won’t be releasing Windows Phone 8 handsets).

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Gartner: Lenovo will overtake Samsung in China next year

Samsung managed to snag the top smartphone maker spot in China, but Gartner is predicting it will soon lose it to Lenovo. As of Q3, Samsung held 16.7% of the market while Lenovo was close behind with 14.8% (Canalys reports slightly different numbers – 14% for Samsung and 13% for Lenovo).
Lenovo’s growth hasn’t been slow – during the same period last year they held only 1.7% of the market. “The brand is positioned at the mid-to-lower end which will drive much of its future growth, and this is where global brands are less competitive,” says Gartner.
The analyst company believes that the established PC maker is the only brand that can capable of competing with global brands in the local Chinese market (though according to Canalys, the other three companies in the Top 5 smartphone maker list are Chinese). Apple had a 6.9% share in Q3.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Clearer Meizu MX2 pictures leak, show its thin profile

The Meizu MX2 has appeared in a fresh batch of leaked images. This time the pictures are clearer than before and we can get a good look at the front.
The device looks sleeker than its predecessor and appears very thin. The front is entirely covered in glass with what looks like a front facing camera at the bottom (or possibly a LED or home button).

We already know for a fact that the Meizu MX2 will be unveiled on November 27. We hear it will boast a 4.4" screen possibly having a 1280 x 768 resolution. There should be an 8 MP camera on the back. The MX2 should be running on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean from the box with the custom Flyme 2.0 UI on top.

A newly released detail is the price - previously the MX2 was rumored to cost 2.999 yuan (about $481/€375) but now it looks like it could launch for 2.499 yuan (around $402/€313). This is yet to be confirmed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Samsung to show an 8-core big.LITTLE chipset next year

Samsung is rumored to put a quad Cortex-A15 CPU inside the Galaxy S IV with the Exynos 5450 chipset, but EETimes is reporting that the Korean company has a more interesting chipset in the works - the first one to use ARM's big.LITTLE technology.
This tech pairs a number of powerful Cortex-A15 cores with the same number of low-power Cortex-A7 cores (similar to NVIDIA's fifth core in Tegra 3). The chipset seamlessly switches between the high and low power cores depending on the load (but it can't run all at the same time).
The chipset in particular will pack four A15s clocked at 1.8GHz and four A7s clocked at 1.2GHz. The A7s will reportedly match a quad-core Cortex-A8 CPU (not that such exist), while the four A15s should offer a big increase over the already powerful A15 duo that powers the Nexus 10. The chip will be built on a 28nm process and pack 2MB of cache.
We're sure that there will be plenty of rumors that this will be the chipset in the Galaxy S IV, but it's more likely to see it in a tablet first.

La Fleur Galaxy S III, S Duos, Ace 2 and Ace Duos on the way

The La Fleur brand is no news for Samsung. It’s been doing those editions since the end of 2009. The limited-edition phones are not quite widespread or famous, but they've usually enjoyed good reception from the ladies out there.
So here come the new La Fleur phones, all of them running on Android OS – the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S Duos, Galaxy Ace Duos and Galaxy Ace 2.

All of them will come in the usual colors – white or pink with some additional flower decoration on both sides of the phone.
In case you are eyeing one of those, you’ll be happy to learn they’ll be released by the end of January just in time for the Valentine's day shopping decisions.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 go on sale, immediately run out of stock

It looks like people know a deal when they see one, as the new Google flagship smartphone, the Nexus 4, has sold out in less than an hour after appearing on the Play Store in the UK and Australia. The same applies to the 10 inch Nexus tablet - both 32 and 16 GB variants.
We're still waiting for the imminent launch of the devices on Google Play for the US, where we expect to see a similar picture. The Google Nexus 4 is expected to drastically impact the smartphone market with its impressive specs sheet and super aggressive pricing.
The Nexus 4 features a 4.7 inch True HD IPS Plus display of 768 x 1280 pixels resolution, a quad-core 1.5 Ghz Krait processor, 8/16 GB of storage, 2 GB of RAM, an 8MP shooter capable of 1080p video, powered by a 2100 mAh battery – all of this priced at $299/$349 without contract.

You might find yourself doing some frantic refreshes of the Play Store in the coming weeks to see when it will be up for sale (again) in your area, and frankly, we don't blame you.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Apple could get $6 to $8 for every smartphone HTC sells

A new 10 year patent licensing deal came in effect two days ago between Apple and HTC. However details on what the benefits for either side might be weren't given at the time.
Shaw Wu, analyst at Sterne Agee, reckons Apple could be generating between $6 and $8 per sold HTC smartphone, which when put together with the shipment estimate of 30 to 35 million HTC devices in 2013 could mean anywhere between $180 and $280 million going Apple's way.

An unnamed Wall Street Journal source has collaborated that HTC will indeed be paying Apple undisclosed licensing fees, making the $6 to $8 per device estimate all the more believable.
Shaw Wu hypothesizes that Apple could use the HTC deal as a template, with which to approach other companies it has active patent litigation wars with, such as Samsung and Motorola.
Of course, analysts are often off-target and this could all turn out incorrect or false altogether, so take it with a pinch of salt.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

HTC DROID DNA gets revealed before its announcement

In a manner, which has shaped up to be quite fashionable lately, the previously leaked HTC DROID DNA for Verizon Wireless got revealed only a couple of days before its official announcement is scheduled to take place. The DROID DNA name has been confirmed on Verizon’s own DROID DOES webpage, while press renders of the photo have made an appearance in Twitter.

The leaked press photos reveal yet again that the upcoming Verizon DROID looks similar to the Japan exclusive HTC J butterfly, save for the Verizon livery on its black body with red accents . The same goes for the specs which will include a 5” full HD display, quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, and 2GB of RAM.

HTC’s Android powerhouse with 1080p display for Verizon is scheduled to be announced this coming Tuesday, on November 13, at an event in New York City. We will be covering the unveiling live, so be sure to stick around for the full scoop on the device, including hands-on photos and initial impressions.

HTC and Apple end their patent feud with a “global settlement”

n a rather surprising fashion, Apple and HTC have settled their patent disputes. The two companies have reached a “global settlement” with confidential terms, which dismisses all their current lawsuits. The agreement includes all current and future patents held by the two giants and will extend over the next ten years.

Naturally, both companies’ CEOs issued a statement on the matter. Here’s what Peter Chou from HTC had to say:
“HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation.”
And here goes the statement of Apple’s CEO Tim Cook:
“We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC,” and “we will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation.”
A settlement between players of such magnitude is nothing short of great news for both the companies and their followers. Here’s hoping that more such events will follow.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean makes it to Motorola DROID RAZR M

Motorola’s frameless screen sporting DROID RAZR M for Verizon Wireless has begun receiving Android 4.1 Jelly Bean over-the-air. The update has hit the baby RAZR right in line with Motorola’s promise at its launch for a timeline before the end of the year.

The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update brings a number of software improvements to the DROID RAZR M. They include Google Now, Android Beam and NFC, and improved notifications to go with the buttery smooth menu transitions. Unsurprisingly, the new OS is dressed in Motorola’s custom UI, which adds only a few extra touches to the Pure Google Experience.

Samsung Galaxy Camera and Galaxy S III mini hit UK

Various retailers in the UK already have already received the first stocks of the Samsung’s Galaxy S III mini and the Galaxy Camera.
You can buy the Galaxy S III mini for about £300 free of contract. It’s available in both black and white colors.
The Galaxy S III mini is also available for free with a 2-year contract on all major UK carriers with tariffs starting as low as £20.5 per month.

The Jelly Bean-running Galaxy Camera was announced in August and arrives this month just as promised. Clove UK already got its first shipment and is selling it for £400. Other retailers are also listing the Galaxy Camera on similar prices but require you to wait 10 more days to get your unit.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nokia Lumia 920T has Adreno 320 GPU instead of Adreno 225

The Lumia 920, Nokia's flagship Windows Phone 8 handset, is coming to China Mobile (model number 920T). As it turns out the Lumia 920T has a Snapdragon MSM8960T S4 Pro chipset, unlike its international version, which has an MSM8960 S4 Plus chipset. The news comes from the carrier's Sina Weibo page.
The difference is that the MSM8960T chipset features the Adreno 320 GPU and not the Adreno 225 like in the international and US Lumia 920 units. It still has two Krait CPU cores though, this isn't the S4 Pro chipset that's used in the Google Nexus 4.

Still, getting an upgrade on the GPU is great even if you don't get double the CPU cores. The only problem is that most devs will be targeting Adreno 225 as that's what most WP8 phones out there have (Windows Phone handsets don't really have much of a variation in chipsets). It might have a lower power consumption as it won't be as burdened as the 225 using the same graphics.
Could this Nokia Lumia 920T deal mean we'll start seeing Windows Phone 8 handsets with Adreno 320 or is it a one-off? If we do, WP8 will be able to put up a fight in the graphics department against the Android flagships and the iPhone.

Samsung Galaxy Express to hit shelves November 16

The Samsung Galaxy Express midrange LTE-powered droid exclusive to AT&T is expected to become available for $99.99 with a two year contract starting Nov. 16.
The Samsung Galaxy Express will feature a 4.5 inch Super AMOLED Plus screen of 480 x 800 pixel resolution, dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, 5MP camera all powered by a 2000 mAh battery. It will ship with Android 4.0 ICS out of box.

If you'd like a closer look at the Samsung Galaxy Express, check out our hands-on from last month's release event in New York.
No word yet on when its (also AT&T exclusive) LTE sibling, the Galaxy Rugby Pro, will hit shelves, but we expect it to be sooner rather than later.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sony takes over the Xperia S AOSP project, previews it

Sony announced that it has taken the lead on the Android Open Source Project for its popular Xperia S smartphone. The exercise began back in August when Jean Baptiste Queru, Google’s Technical Lead of the AOSP announced it. The current progress on the Sony Xperia S has been demonstrated in a video, which appeared in the Sony developer’s blog.
Sony has taken the lead because from Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on, the Xperia S will not remain as the target handset of the main AOSP branch. However, the current progress on the Xperia S will not go to naught – Sony will maintain the AOSP for the device at GitHub, where developers are encouraged to step in and help.
Stock Android 4.1 Jelly Bean has worked out quite well for the Sony Xperia S with most of the hardware functioning properly, including the SD card, Wi-Fi, and all sensors. The audio and modem are also working, but Sony won’t release its binaries right now for proprietary reasons. The next planned step is to bring Android 4.2 to the smartphone.

Jelly Bean update for Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 rolling out now

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet launched with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (unlike its smaller Note II sibling), but its Jelly Bean update has now started its rollout. It's the 4.1 version of Jelly Bean and not 4.2, but the differences between the two aren't major anyway.
The rollout is rather limited as of now - just in Germany as an OTA update that weighs in at 300MB.

The guys from, who have already installed the update, report that it improves performance, adds the same S Pen functionality as the Note II has (e.g. the new Quick commands), adds Pop Up Play and new Mini Apps. Paper Artist is also pre-installed.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 gets Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update in Germany
If you don't live in Germany and you just can’t wait to try out Jelly Bean on your Galaxy Note 10.1, you can grab the ROM from SamFirmware. The update brings the S Pen-enabled tablet to Android version 4.1.1 (PDA N8000XXBLJ9, CSC N8000OXABLJ9).
Keep in mind that flashing the ROM manually will void your warranty and you might brick your tablet, so proceed at your own risk.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Black HTC One S finally lands on T-Mobile US’s shelves

HTC One S has been on sale on T-Mobile for months now, but (unfortunately) the black colored version hasn't been available across the Atlantic until today. Potential users will finally be able to pick up the device in black with red accents.
In order to please the overly patient, the Big Magenta currently offers the black version of the HTC One S for free after a mail-in rebate. In case you order it today, the carrier will also throw in a free case for you.
The HTC One S is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chipset, so it is quite snappy by today’s standards. With the device currently being offered for free, we do believe it makes for quite a sweet an upgrade for both first-time and experienced users.

AT&T to sell off-contract Nokia Lumia 920 for $450, 820 for $400

Yesterday, AT&T announced the on-contract pricing of three of its incoming Windows Phone 8 handsets, including the Nokia Lumia 920 (they have exclusivity on this one in the US) and the Lumia 820.

Today they put those two up for pre-order and revealed the off-contract prices of these phones. The Lumia 920 will set you back $450 (or $100 with a 2-year contract), while the Nokia Lumia 820 is a bit cheaper at $400 ($50 with a 2-year contract).
The HTC Windows Phone 8X is not available for pre-order for now, so we don't know its off-contract pricing just yet.
Here's a quick comparison table of other AT&T prices:
Phone with 2-year contract Off contract
Google Nexus 4 (16GB) - $350
Nokia Lumia 900 (16GB) $1 $400
Nokia Lumia 820 (8GB, microSD) $50 $400
Nokia Lumia 920 (32GB) $100 $450
Sony Xperia TL (16GB, microSD) $100 $450
HTC One X (32GB) $100 $500
HTC WP 8X (16GB) $200 TBA
LG Optimus G (32GB) $200 $550
Samsung Galaxy S III (16GB, microSD) $200 $550
Apple iPhone 5 (16GB) $200 $650

If you pre-order now, the Nokia Lumia duo can be at your doorstep in two days' time.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

HTC will hold an event in New York City on November 13

HTC has sent out invitations for an event in New York City, which will take place next Tuesday, November 13. The Taiwanese manufacturer will show off its “latest collaboration” with Verizon Wireless.

Given the recent string of leaks, we can all but confirm that the device scheduled to break cover is the HTC DROID DNA. The upcoming smartphone appears to be a close relative of the Japan exclusive HTC J butterfly. It is bound to pack an eye-catching 5” Super LCD3 display with 1080p resolution and pixel density of 440ppi. Quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro silicon, 16GB of built-in memory, microSD card, and Sense-d Android 4.1 Jelly Bean are also part of the device’s projected specs.
We are going to be live from the HTC event next week, so we’ll tell you all about the company’s latest creation.