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26 Dec 12 Samsung Galaxy S III with LTE rumored for T-Mobile

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S III smartphone has been available for some time now, but it’s still one of the best Android devices out there, and carriers are still promoting it as one of their elite devices to choose from. Case in point, it’s rumored that T-Mobile will be outing an LTE version of the Galaxy S III sometime next year.


A Samsung GSM phone that goes by the model name SGH-T999L has just been certified by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, and it’s presumably a version of the Samsung Galaxy S III that’s tailored for sale with T-Mobile in the US, since the current T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S III goes by the model name SGH-T999.

The “L” that’s tacked onto the end of the rumored device is allegedly short for “LTE”, meaning there could be an LTE variant of the Galaxy S III making its way to T-Mobile sometime soon. While this doesn’t do the carrier any good now, T-Mobile is expected to launch its own LTE network at some point in 2013, so it makes sense that they’re readying LTE phones for when they launch their LTE network.

Then again, the T-Mobile Galaxy Note II has LTE on board, which will eventually be enabled when the carrier launches LTE, so this new Galaxy S III with LTE might release a little earlier than T-Mobile’s own LTE. However, take it with a grain of salt because it could end up that the SGH-T999L might be something completely different, but we’ll keep our ears to the ground.

[via Android Community]

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17 Dec 12 Nexus 7 Updates: New Dock Set for Global Release, UK’s EE Pick Up the …


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Possible price tag for the dock is about, $US40, which reports said should be reasonable enough despite the absence of HDMI connectivity.

The Google tablet has been gaining considerable attention as more telcos around the world started picking up the slate, further pushing down its already affordable price, which the internet giant paired with top-notch hardware specs and a stock version of JellyBean.

Last week, UK’s first 4G network EE added the 7-inch tablet to its growing stable of gadgets. Thanks to this Orange and T-Mobile consortium, the powerful device can be had for a one-off payment of between £30 and £50 plus monthly charges that will be determined by monthly data allowance.

Note that the Nexus 7, along with the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10, are not LTE-capable but thanks to EE’s LTE dongle, the device will be able to access super fast internet connection via Wi-Fi connectivity.

As proof to global consumers’ growing interest with the tablet, BGR News reported last week that Nexus 7′s shipment is expected to exceed three million units by the end of December 2012, citing data from DigiTimes.

By the end of the current month alone, Asus would have shifted over one million of the tablet, easily surpassing its November total shipment of around 900,000.

Judging from tech experts’ generally positive assessment so far and the sales numbers it has been generating since it was launched by Google, the Nexus 7 continues to reinforce its reputation as the most popular Android tablet, at least in the 7x-inch class.

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14 Dec 12 You Can Now Buy a 4G Nexus 7, Sort of

EE’s just announced that you can finally buy yourself some 4G-packing Android tablets, including the Nexus 7, well, kind of. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 LTE is a genuine LTE-equipped tablet you can call your own, but to make the Nexus 7 go 4G, EE’s bundling an LTE portable hotspot with it. Not a bad solution, I guess.

The tablets come with steep price plans, though, so it’s not exactly a cheap option. The Note 10.1 LTE will cost you from £100 up-front, with the 8GB-a-month plan costing £36 a month. Meanwhile, the Nexus 7-4G hotspot combo will set you back from £30, and, again, £36 a month for 8GB of data.

4G speeds on your phone is awesome, there’s no doubt, but on a tablet? HD video streaming really comes alive; it’s just a shame 8GB really won’t get you that far.

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13 Dec 12 Cheaper Samsung Galaxy Note 2 with latest Jelly Bean Update to Appear in …


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The original Samsung Galaxy Note 2 also sported a 1.6GHz quad-core CPU accompanied by 2GB of RAM, which we may not see or will be replaced if these rumors of a cheaper variant proved to be accurate.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2′s 8-megapixel rear camera has been around for some time now. There is a chance it could remain intact for any new budget device. A 5-megapixel replacement is another possibility.

This is not the first time that Samsung will make a cheaper version of its popular device. The tech giant released the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, which is the downgraded version of the best-selling Samsung Galaxy S3. The Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini also comes with the latest Jelly Bean.

Samsung’s phablet made quite a buzz as it boasts some amazing features such as incredibly fast processor, massive screen display, S-Pen and 4G/LTE connectivity. Below are the comparison of the specs and features of the two devices.

The unlocked version of the Galaxy Note 2 costs $899. However, Australian carriers offer affordable plans for the device. At the launch event, Samsung demonstrated some special perks of the device for Aussies. The smartphone will offer a split-screen mode on the smartphone-tablet hybrid, which allows users to open two apps at a time.

Early this week, Samsung Galaxy Note 2 received the official OTA update of the 4.1.2 version of the Jelly Bean OS has started to roll out for the international or unlocked version of the device.

According to SamMobile, the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy Note 2 is now rolling out in Poland and the Galaxy Note 2 LTE Android 4.1.2 update is rolling out in Sweden. The international Galaxy Note 2 possesses a model number of GT-N7100 while the Galaxy Note 2 LTE features GT-N7105. Both updates are currently limited to these areas though we suspect that more regions will see the update in the near future.

The update brings slight changes and additions to the device as the Notifications in that the panel is now customizable allowing owners to tailor it to their liking.

It also now offers a way to toggle some features on and off through the menu including the device’s powerful Multi Window View feature. Users can also disable the brightness slider from within the Notification Menu as well.

The status bar is now black as opposed to gray, the browser is now improved over the last version of the app and Samsung has added Swype-like functionality to the keyboard on the Galaxy Note 2. There also is a new ink effect that is on the lock screen.

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16 Jun 12 Android this week: Razr beats iPhone; Acer outs HD tablet; Intel …

This is the first week I can remember where a single Android phone is reportedly outselling Apple’s iPhone at one carrier. According to a research note from William Blair, that’s exactly what’s happening at Verizon stores. A check of inventory and sales indicated Motorola’s Droid Razr is topping the iPhone 4S, which is good news for Motorola and its new owner, Google.

It’s possible that Verizon’s LTE network is part of this surge for the Android-powered Razr: Without an LTE iPhone on any carrier, the Razr — and other Android phones — can deliver mobile broadband speeds topping 20 Mbps or more; as fast as wired broadband at home. The iPhone 4S holds its own against LTE on HSPA+ networks, but falls far shorter on Verizon and Sprint, where speeds generally average 1.5 Mbps with occasional 3 Mbps bursts. Razr sales could see their own burst as CNet noted this week that Android 4.0 was coming soon to the smartphone.

Android 4.0 is already included with Acer’s new slate: The company this week introduced its A700 tablet with the latest Google software. Pre-sales have begin in the U.S. and Canada at $449 for this 10.1-inch tablet boasting a 1900 x 1200 display with 178-degree viewing angles. I haven’t had the opportunity to try the A700 yet, but it looks good on paper.

Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 powers the A700 which also has one gigabyte of memory and 32 GB of storage, which can be expanded with the microSD card slot. The slate is Wi-Fi only — no 3G/4G radio — but includes Bluetooth, an e-compass and GPS. Acer added Dolby Mobile 3 and 5.1-channel surround sound support and a battery life claim of 8 hours for web surfing or 10.5 hours of video watching; not bad if accurate.

This week I enjoyed reading a review of the Orange San Diego handset. Why? This device, available in Europe, is based on Intel’s smartphone reference design for Android. We’ve waited a long time for Intel to truly get in the smartphone game and the San Diego shows promise for Intel’s Medfield solution.

The Verge wrote the detailed review finding that Intel may not have surpassed ARM-based chips, but in many ways, has at least caught up. I’m not too surprised because the Medfield chip demos on Android devices I saw in January impressed me enough to say that Intel’s time may have arrived.

The San Diego shines in most performance scenarios and has good stand-by time, but software is the current downfall here; particularly in the camera application. Still, the San Diego is still worth a look as it provides a glimpse into future Android smartphones carrying the “Intel Inside” sticker.

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10 Jun 12 Android this week: Toshiba’s small slate; Galaxy S III details; patent wars worsen

Here in the U.S., Android was front and center early in the week as five carriers announced they would be selling Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Verizon, Sprint, ATT, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular are all prepping pre-orders or hyping their launch dates for Samsung’s flagship phone. Some may start selling this month, while others will deliver the goods in July. Either way, this launch differs greatly from last year’s Galaxy S model, which first launched overseas in May but didn’t arrive in the U.S. until 4 to 6 months later, depending the carrier.

Perhaps more interesting is Samsung’s “one phone for all” approach. Instead of multiple Galaxy S III models with slight carrier tweaks, Samsung has taking an Apple-like approach and created one singular design for the phone.

That means, for example, that the U.S. models will have the same hardware button on the front as the international versions. The only differences for the U.S. are the chip that powers the phone and the amount of memory. Since Samsung’s quad-core Exynos processor doesn’t yet have LTE integration, the company is using Qualcomm’s dual-core Snapdragon S4 for all U.S. Galaxy S III handsets and boosting the RAM from 1 GB to 2 GB. I haven’t yet used a U.S. version of the Galaxy S III, but I expect this combo to be similar in performance to the international version.

Samsung has been in Apple’s sights in the courts lately — Cupertino is already trying to stop the Galaxy S III from being sold in the U.S. — but the bigger target seems to be HTC and its Android phones. Last month, Apple’s legal efforts were enough to hold up shipments of various HTC One models in the U.S., which forced HTC to make a change to its software. That change was enough to get shipments flowing again, but this week, Apple said that’s still not enough to solve the problem. This entire situation is worth watching because the alleged patent infringement — as I read it, that is — could apply to any Android hardware maker. In some sense, Apple is indirectly fighting with Google by aiming at the smaller targets: The handset makers themselves.

Just as the week came to a close, I received a review unit of Toshiba’s Excite 7.7 tablet; one of the few that ships with Android 4.0. The device is a Wi-Fi-only model, which may disappoint some, but the positive is that there’s no monthly bill for mobile broadband. The Excite 7.7 is physically very similar to the Galaxy Tab 7.7 I purchased earlier this year and has the same 1280 x 800 resolution using what Toshiba calls a “Pixel Pure AMOLED Display”. I see little difference between the two screens.

Where I can see variance is in the overall experience and performance. Toshiba opted for Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip, which keeps apps, games and video moving quickly. Plus, I find the tablet experience to be improved with Android 4.0; my Galaxy Tab 7.7 is still stuck on Android 3.2. Toshiba didn’t hide Android with a skin either; it’s generally a pure experience; the only exception being some apps grouped in folders on the home screen. I’ll have a full review soon, but the key data point that stands out is the price: $499 which may be too much for a small slate. Here’s my first look so you can start to decide for yourself on the value.

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03 Jun 12 Samsung Galaxy S III: Possibly the Most Anticipated Android Phone Yet

A new Samsung Galaxy S Android smartphone

Samsung’s highly anticipated flagship Android smartphone, the Galaxy S III, debuts in 28 European countries this week. As such, reviews began pouring in across the Internet from those lucky enough to get their hands on the top Android smartphone. Meanwhile, technophiles and Fandroids in the United States only hope the saying “Good things come to those who wait” applies.

To refresh your memory, the Samsung Galaxy S III runs a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, 8-megapixel camera, 2100 mAh battery, and a Near-Field Communications (NFC) chip for mobile payments. Running Android 4.0.4 “Ice Cream Sandwich,” the Galaxy S III has a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display and records 1080p video.

Market Reaction and Thoughts

Reviewers note the Galaxy S III is balanced, at least more so than the awkwardly large 5.3-inch Galaxy Note. While the 4.8-inch screen isn’t petite, the overall consensus is it doesn’t feel small, but isn’t outlandishly hefty.

Overall, reviewers claim the S III is an improvement over other Superphones, but rather cumbersome to hold in one hand. The screen is definitively “supersized” if you’re coming from an iPhone, which maintains the “tiny” 3.5-inch Retina display.

Interestingly, Vlad Savov of The Verge notes the Galaxy S III has one of the best cameras he has ever used on an Android device. Interesting, because iFixIt recently revealed the Galaxy S III uses the same rear-camera sensor as the iPhone 4S.

In terms of the user interface, for better or worse, Samsung adds their TouchWiz UI on top of Android. Sharif Sakr of Engadget notes the competitive HTC One X has “a much better user interface that sticks more closely to the guiding ethos of Android 4.0.”

Sakr wasn’t the only one to criticize Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. Chris Hall of Pocket-Lint notes certain facets of the interface feel “cartoony.” That is, if you can see the display. Hall noted the screen could have been brighter, which was due to Samsung’s battery-saving feature. Overall, though, Hall praises the smartphone for its incredible power and expandability via the removable battery and microSD card slot.

Unfortunately, reviewers overwhelmingly dislike the plastic shell on the Samsung Galaxy S III. Unlike the HTC One X, which has a metallic finish, the S III doesn’t posses the same design standards. Critics went as far as to jokingly claim, Samsung’s lawyers designed the phone.

U.S. Differences and Availability

There are several key differences in the final U.S. Galaxy S III, which is expected to release later this summer. Mainly, the phone will run a dual-core processor with an integrated LTE chip. Luckily, most analysts say a quad-core chip in a cell phone is borderline overkill, so most users won’t notice the difference. Especially given Android isn’t engineered to leverage multiple cores.

The Galaxy S III is expected to cost $199 with a new two-year contract, but carrier information or pricing hasn’t been released. Like it’s predecessor, the Galaxy S II, it will be released on the major carriers, including Verizon and ATT.

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29 May 12 Motorola Android 4.0 ICS software demoed

It appears that Motorola is just about ready to bring on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for their Google mobile OS-toting line of smartphones starting with the DROID RAZR. This is evidenced by a set of videos showing off the software running on a faux display from the device with several upgrades that’ll make your old software look like a child in comparison. Each of these videos can be viewed below while the actual update will not be released until a later date.

This update has been long awaited by those DROID-loving folks who have been seeing this newest Android version popping up on the rest of the top-tier devices for some time now. What you’ll see here is Motorola’s version of Android 4.0, complete with their own set of icons, screen transitions, and applications, but with many of the Ice Cream Sandwich perks you know and love. This will be the basic build for Android 4.0 ICS that all Motorola devices will have (if they’re compatible) in the near future.

NOTE: Check out our Motorola DROID RAZR review if you don’t already own this hardcore piece of metal, plastic, and LTE.

Have a peek at three videos – the above being the main Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich interface walk-through, and below being the camera application.

Above again is the camera application demonstration while below will show you the brand new lock-screen, amongst the most interesting lockscreens yet produced in the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich environment.

This update will be coming to your device soon. Meanwhile have a peek at our recent history with the RAZR to see what else has been going on with your Motorola hero smartphone – stay thin!

[via Motorola]

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26 May 12 HTC’s elite Android

HTC One X Android phone by HTC Corp.
$199.99 at

Because Google Inc. gives away its Android software for smartphones, there are a lot of mediocre Android smartphones. It seems like everybody with a soldering iron has slapped something together, often with unimpressive results.

But when a company like Taiwan’s HTC Corp. sets its mind to the task, it can come up with something exceptional, like this gorgeous new One X, available only through ATT Inc. It’s got to be the loveliest Android phone ever built, thinner and lighter than Apple Inc.’s iPhone, and with a bigger screen capable of excellent high-definition video.

The One X is compatible with ATT’s 4G LTE data service, much faster than the iPhone 4S, which lacks LTE. And the HTC phone has an exceptionally good camera, perhaps the best ever built into a phone. It’s especially strong in low-light situations, taking brilliantly sharp pictures even in dimly-lit rooms.

There are plenty of adequate Androids to choose from, but for a little more money, the One X delivers excellence.

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06 May 12 Samsung’s Galaxy S III: 4 Things to Know

Samsung executives claim that their new Galaxy S III was “enhanced with nature and human emotion.” While we can’t exactly verify that claim, we can take a look at some of the specifications and features on Samsung’s latest smartphone. (See also “Samsung Galaxy S III: A Visual Tour.”)

GOOGLE REED-ER: Samsung Galaxy S III launch sets new standards for bombast and pomposity

ANALYSIS: Android 4.0: A rundown of key features

In no particular order, here are four things you should know about the Samsung Galaxy S III:

It has killer hardware. As expected, the Galaxy S III comes complete with a 1.4GHz quad-core processor that is top-of-the-line for smartphone hardware. Other key hardware features include an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 1.9MP front-facing camera, a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display screen with a resolution of 1,280×720 pixels, and a 2,100mAh battery. And for good measure, the phone’s design is both light and thin, as it weighs 133 grams and is just 8.6 millimeters thick. In all, the new Galaxy’s hardware is about as cutting-edge as you can get right now.

It comes with software that “knows you.” One of the more innovative features of the new Galaxy phone is its ability to actually watch, listen and respond to you through its camera and voice software. For instance, the device’s camera can see when you’re looking at it and will respond by keeping the screen lit up so you don’t have to periodically touch it to keep it from blacking out. Similarly, the new Galaxy’s “S Voice” voice recognition software is a Siri-like feature that lets you give your phone commands without touching it. In other words, if your phone alarm goes off, you can just shout out “snooze” to get it to shut its yap rather than fumbling around trying to press the “off” button. Similarly, you can use S Voice to write emails, check the weather, take pictures, etc.

It will not initially support LTE. Quad-core processors are pretty fast, but they’re also pretty large and Samsung apparently couldn’t fit an LTE chipset in with its super-speedy CPU. So when the device hits the shelves in Europe this month and in the U.S. next month, it will have HSPA+ connectivity and standard Wi-Fi options, but no LTE. For U.S. consumers this means that the initial version of the device will likely be available on ATT and T-Mobile, both of whom have nationwide HSPA+ networks, but not on Verizon and Sprint, which both rely on the CDMA-based EV-DO Rev. A for their 3G technology.

Samsung has said it will release an LTE-capable version of the device sometime this summer so you might want to hold off on buying it if you absolutely must have the fastest mobile broadband technology available.

Yes, it runs on the latest version of Android. Like all the new Android devices hitting the market, the Galaxy S III runs on Android 4.0 (“Ice Cream Sandwich”) that has been designed to deliver the same user experience across different smartphones and tablets. Among other things, the newest version of Android features a home screen that can unlock using facial recognition software; Android Beam, technology that lets users send contact information, directions, Web pages and more via near-field communications by tapping their phones together; and integration with the Google+ social network that lets users host online video chats among their circles of friends.

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