Thursday, 26 April 2012

Android Community

Android Community


Max Payne for Android delayed – coming next week

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 10:42 AM PDT

The hit series Max Payne by Rockstar Games is coming to Android in case you haven’t heard. The original Max Payne game in all its glory was slated to be released on Android April 26th (today) like we previously reported, but recently Rockstar has confirmed the game has suffered a slight delay and will be available as soon as possible.

According to @RockstarGames Twitter the Android version has been delayed as they continue to work out a few outstanding issues and they expect the game to launch fully sometime “in the next week or so.” Then a later tweet confirmed a couple of last minute tests and changes were made to make the game become available on as many Android devices as possible.

RockStar Games has already released the amazingly fun Grand Theft Auto III for Android, and later updated it with full Tegra 3 support. Hopefully when the awesome shooter Max Payne lands for Android next week (or so) it will have full support for a variety of phones, including powerful Tegra 3 devices like the Transformer Prime or the HTC One X.

Hopefully the wait won’t be long and it will be here next Thursday instead of today, we’ll update as soon as we hear more details.


Latest HTC DROID Incredible 4G leak shows NFC

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 10:16 AM PDT

The HTC Droid Incredible 4G is pretty much a done deal at this point; all we really want to know is when Verizon will release it and for how much. But there’s at least one surprise left for the mid-range LTE phone, and Reddit user Krimit04 found it when talking to a surreptitious Verizon rep. When he popped off the battery cover, he spotted the unmistakable electrical ribbons coming out of an NFC chip. Just don’t expect Google Wallet to come pre-loaded on the Verizon device.

He then tested out Ice Cream Sandwich’s Android Beam feature, and found that it works without a hitch. Other details noted by the Verizon representative were a QHD screen and an available extended battery, which will launch with the DROID Incredible 4G. The HTC MediaLink was also on display, with a rough release date of “May” – that could mean we’ll see the latest Incredible next month.

The DROID Incredible 4G is shaping up to be a modified version of the HTC One S, with (from what we can tell) a similar Snapdragon S4 processor, 4.0-inch screen, and Ice Cream Sandwich with Sense 4.0. Some of the changes include a plastic body with a removable battery, a smaller 8GB capacity plus an empty SD card slot, and of course access to Verizon’s LTE network. These changes have made the design considerably chunkier than the One S at 11.6 millimeters.

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[via Phandroid]


Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch ICS update leaked

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 09:47 AM PDT

Ah, there hasn’t been enough news lately about the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch lately – my fingers were just starting to recover. An enterprising XDA user named “sfhub” has posted what seems to be an official Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Now Network phone, compatible only with the specific version of the device. The leak comes after various international versions of the Galaxy S II have been updated, not to mention leaks for AT&T’s Galaxy S II and Galaxy S II Skyrocket.

The update comes in the form of a one-click Odin desktop install, so you’ll need a PC in order to apply it. The XDA poster has kindle pre-modded the software to grant root (which pretty much anyone who installs a leak will want anyway) and offers it in a “clean” version that wipes your current ROM or an upgrade version that keeps your user data intact. The latter may cause problems with some apps, so for a worry free experience I’d recommend a clean flash.

Early user reports are positive; the software seems nearly complete. No major issues with the core Android and TouchWiz experience have been noted by flashers, though the update process is confusing if you’ve never used Odin before. If you’ve already rooted, remember to make a Nandroid backup. There’s still no word on when the OTA update will arrive.

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Epic 4G Touch
    Manufactuer : Samsung
    Carrier : Unknown
    Announced Date : August 31, 2011
    Release Date : TBA
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 4.5 Inch
  • Resolution : 480x800
  • Screen Type : Super AMOLED Plus
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 5.1 Inch
  • Width : 2.70 Inch
  • Depth : 0.38 Inch
  • Weight : 129 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Ion
  • Battery Capacity : 1800 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 2.3.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : Exynos
    CPU Clock Speed : 1200 Mhz
    Core : 2
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 32 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
  • 720p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
  • Proximity
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • CDMA
    CDMA Band:
  • 800
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1700
  • 1900
  • 2100
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11a
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via TalkAndroid]


Galaxy S III may have dual-core Snapdragon in the US

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 09:09 AM PDT

We’ve seen this before: a highly-anticipated flagship phone that gets slightly different internals for the US market. LAst time it was the HTC One X, which gets a dual-core Snapdragon S4 on AT&T instead of the NVIDIA Tegra 3 found on the international version. Now a Samsung source has indicated a similar situation for the Galaxy S III. The Korea Times reports that an unnamed Samsung executive claimed that while the European version of the Galaxy S III will get the Exynos 4 Quad, US versions of the phone will go with a Qualcomm processor instead.

The reasoning is the same one given for the HTC One X and LTE models of ASUS’ latter Transformer tablets: the high-performance quad-core chips aren’t yet compatible with LTE networks. Samsung didn’t say what the problem was, but presumably it’s the same issue keeping the Tegra 3 from working with LTE radios. With three out of the four major US carriers already operating LTE networks or planning to do so within the year, it makes sense that the American version would go for a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4.

Not that that’s a major issue: the dual-core 1.5Ghz S4 in the HTC One S has been putting up some great numbers, even beating the quad-core One X in some benchmarks. But the LTE limitation begs the question, what will happen to the T-Mobile version? T-Mobile released customized variants of both the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II, so they’d seem to be a shoe-in for the Galaxy S III. Since T-Mobile is still a long way from implementing LTE, will Magenta get an Exynos version of the next Galaxy? Keep an eye on Android Community during Samsung’s May 3rd announcement to find out.

[via SlashGear]


Android Community’s Dark Meadow Tegra 3 Game Pack Giveaway

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 09:01 AM PDT

Okay folks, who’s ready for another giveaway? That’s right, we here at Android Community have another awesome one for all of our loyal readers today. We’re calling this the Tegra 3 Game Pack Giveaway because that’s exactly what it is. You’ll be getting the ASUS Transformer Prime quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 tablet (and keyboard dock), A tablet messenger carry bag with a built-in battery, and a $25 AMEX gift card so you can buy some Tegra 3 games to go nicely with your shiny new Amethyst Grey 32GB Transformer Prime. Read on below for full details and instructions.

Yup, this is a lot more than just a tablet giveaway. You’ll be getting all the tools you need for hours and hours of mobile THD gaming, not to mention a Powerbag messenger tablet case with a built-in 6,000 mAh that will give you an additional 8-9 hours of up-time. It’ll even charge your phone should you need to. Thanks to the fine folks at NVIDIA and Phospor Games, the makers behind the impressive new first person horror game Dark Meadows: The Pact being released today, we proudly present this giveaway for you in celebration of their new game. Creating the ultimate mobile gaming experience on the Transformer Prime thanks to the NVIDIA Tegra 3, and Phospor Games awesome new first person horror game available at the NVIDIA Tegra Zone.

If you win or already have a Tegra 3 device you’ll want to try the new game right now, so head to the Google Play Store or the Tegra Zone and download it today completely free.

The rules are incredibly simple. Just follow the few guidelines outlined, and check out the full instructions below for how to win, and you could be the lucky winner of this complete tablet "game pack" for the ultimate Android tablet experience. Pretty good deal right? Here's how to enter:

Circle us on Google+ at: +Android Community
- Leave a comment in [this G+ thread] telling us why you think you should win, or what favorite game of yours you’d love to see brought to Android.
- Winner will be selected like so: we'll pick a set of our favorites and put them in a hat to pick at random on April 30th!

As usual you may only submit ONE entry and only ONE comment will be chosen (if it's awesome enough to be chosen!) Below lies the technical bit of our giveaway, note the requirements for where you'll be eligible in this tiny world of ours especially.

Giveaway begins April 26th, 9:00AM PST, and ends April 30th, 12:01AM PST barring any complications finding the winners. Winner will be announced here in the main news feed and at our official Facebook/Google+ pages.

Competition is open to residents of the US only, over the age of 18. One entry per person. Family members of NVIDIA and Android Community/SlashGear are not permitted to enter. Entries are only accepted via the specified Android Community G+ page; entries left in the comments section of this or any other post will not be recognized.

The winner will be contacted by an Android Community/SlashGear staff member upon being selected and will be expected to respond to that staff member; they will be expected to respond within 24 hours else their prize may be forfeit and another winner selected. Editors decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Winners agree that their name and details of their entry may be used for promotional purposes by, but not limited to Android Community, SlashGear, Phospor Games, and NVIDIA.

Prize consists of a pack including one ASUS Transformer Prime tablet, one Transformer Prime mobile dock, one AMEX $25 Gift Card, and one Powerbag Messenger bag. There is no other alternative for prize winner unless this prize should become unavailable, in which case Android Community reserves the right to substitute another prize of equal or greater value. Any questions can be directed to giveaway[AT]slashgear.com.

Giveaway provided by Android Community/SlashGear. Prizing provided by NVIDIA and Phospor Games. Any questions regarding this contest should be directed to giveaway[AT]slashgear.com.


Dark Meadow: The Pact THD Game Review

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 09:00 AM PDT

Who’s ready for some horror? If you’ve been waiting for a top-notch quality game for Android to be released that isn’t flinging cute birds into things, we have exactly what you might be looking for. It’s called Dark Meadow: The Pact and this Tegra 3 optimized game is full of scary moments, horror, and topped with extremely impressive graphics you won’t wanna miss. Oh and this game is free too so check out our hands-on below.

Developed by Phosphor Games Studio based in Chicago, on top of the Unreal Engine 3, and optimized for NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 this game truly comes to life. Available on iOS and Android starting today for free we’ve given it a hands-on look and have plenty of scary screenshots below. The THD Tegra 3 optimized version has all those extra effects, textures, and shadowing that takes advantage of the 4-PLUS-1 cores in the T3 and offers an unrivaled console-quality gaming experience that the iOS version can’t match.

The game is actually quite stunning for a mobile device like our favorite, the Transformer Prime or the HTC One X. To explain things Dark Meadow is a first-person, horror/action/adventure game where players fight to escape a dark fairytale world filled with fantastical creatures bent on destroying them. You never know when a giant creature is going to jump out and ruin your day, or what lays ahead down the dark gloomy spiderweb-filled halls.

This is a first person game with almost a Silent Hill or PC’s F.E.A.R type gameplay and environments. You must collect coins or gather gems to increase shields, buy stronger and larger swords, and get powerful crossbows to handle any enemy the darkness presents. Phosphor Games has added power-ups, level-ups, and you can even purchase more coins if you’re not the type that wants to journey down every hallway and enter rooms in search of gold. They do have some in-game ads which I’m not a fan of, but those ads get you coins and gems for further upgrading your arsenal of weapons. Not to mention is a part of the free-to-play strategy. Having this level of graphics, being enhanced for Tegra devices, and being free-to-play makes this a must-see game.

I won’t say how long, but after a few casual minutes of gameplay I was greeted with a huge monster and I almost dropped my tablet, so play on with caution and be prepared to fight at all times. The screenshots really don’t do this game justice and you’ll have to try it for yourself. The power of the Tegra 3 allows the foliage and plants to come to life and sway in the wind, water leaks and drops from the ceilings, and scenes come alive unlike most games available for mobile.

Gameplay is awesome and extremely immersive as you wait for the next moment to happen. The on-screen controls are smooth and fluid and nothing impairs the view on the screen, you just slide your finger to move. As mentioned above the graphics are stellar. The amount of textures and special effects floating around is impressive to say the least. Look at the screenshots of the flowers and wall textures below for an idea of what I mean. I’ve played about an hour so far and am loving it. I have a feeling this might be one of those mobile games with a truly epic ending (haha Mass Effect 3 fans). If you want a thrilling game for Android, this is it! After installation be prepared to wait about 15 minutes to download the additional content and unpack the game files, and expect Dark Meadows to take almost an entire GB of storage from your device. A WiFi connection is strongly recommended.

Without further ado I’ll let you check out the rest of the pictures and screenshots from the gallery below. Then head to the two links provided below to enjoy Dark Meadow: The Pact yourself. Currently only available on Tegra 3 Android devices the developers will release a standard version for the rest of Android in the coming weeks. As a reminder free-to-play means you can fully enjoy and complete the game for free, but they’ve added in game purchases should the user choose to take that route.

Dark Meadow Google Play Link
Dark Meadow Tegra Zone

Screen Shot 2012-04-25 at 3.35.48 PM Screenshot_2012-04-25-08-49-19 Screenshot_2012-04-25-09-46-23 Screenshot_2012-04-25-09-47-49 Screenshot_2012-04-25-09-46-10 Screenshot_2012-04-25-14-10-29 Screenshot_2012-04-25-14-10-00 Screenshot_2012-04-25-14-08-59 Screenshot_2012-04-25-14-06-43 Screenshot_2012-04-25-14-33-52 Screenshot_2012-04-25-14-29-30 Screenshot_2012-04-25-14-11-04 Screenshot_2012-04-25-14-30-07 Screenshot_2012-04-25-14-12-51 Screenshot_2012-04-25-14-35-20


Xiaomi MI-One sells 150,000 units in 13 minutes

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 08:28 AM PDT

Wow, people are really, really excited for the MI-One, the Chinese smartphone from manufacturer Xiaomi that eschews standard Android or manufacturer skins in favor of a community-created Android ROM. The manufacturer sells the phone in batches as they’re made, and apparently demand for the MI-One has reached a fever pitch since it started shipping in August of last year. The last batch of 150,000 phones sold out just under 13 minutes after the company posted them online.

The MI-One is unique among retail Android devices in that it uses an aftermarket ROM, the popular MIUI Android variant. This heavily customized ROM focuses on visual flair, combining UI elements from Android, iOS, WebOS and a few completely unique visual pieces and apps. The ROM is in active development, and the Ice Cream Sandwich version is in the early stages of testing. The hardware on the MI-One isn’t quite cutting edge, but it’s perfectly serviceable: a 4.0-inch 854×480 display, dual-core Snapdragon 1.5Ghz processor, 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage with a MicroSD card slot. Cameras are 8 megapixels and 2 megapixels on the rear and front.

Unfortunately Xiaomi’s practice of batch releasing means that new units won’t be available to Chinese customers for several weeks at least. The combination of high demand and unpredictable release cycles is making the MI-One a hot commodity indeed. Of course, do-it-yourself Android modders can always download the latest MIUI ROM and give it a try themselves on another rooted smartphone.

[via UnwiredView]


Rumor: Verizon roadmap shows Galaxy S III, HTC phablet and new RAZRs

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 07:52 AM PDT

One of the biggest questions for those of us in the US following the torrent of Galaxy S III rumors has been which stateside carriers will get the upcoming Samsung superphone. According to BGR, Verizon’s leaked roadmap shows the Galaxy S III among many other high-end devices, some of which we’ve seen before and some we haven’t. Notably a new large-screen device from HTC and new versions of the Motorola DROID RAZR are set for a late summer or fall release.

The Galaxy S III doesn’t have a firm date, though it should arrive sometime in May, June or July unless other US carriers get an exclusivity period. The RAZRs will definitively include the DROID RAZR HD, an upcoming phone that’s already been leaked with a larger 720p screen and a DROID RAZR MAXX-style battery. But the most interesting phone mentioned here is a hitherto unknown competitor to the Galaxy Note coming from HTC. This 5.0-inch smartphone is said to have a 1080p display (which is admittedly hard to believe), a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Krait quad-core processor, HTC Sense 5 (yes, 5) and a smaller version of the Scribe pen from the HTC Flyer.

BGR has presented no photographic evidence for the roadmap, and while we’re not ones to shout “pics or it didn’t happen”, the sky-high specs of the HTC phone in particular beg for some kind of confirmation. Also notably absent is the Samsung Galaxy Note itself (which was previously rumored to come to Verizon as the Galaxy Journal) and the HTC DROID Incredible 4G, which we know is heading for Verizon in the near future. We’ll see how this roadmap plays out over the coming weeks and months.


LG Optimus True HD LTE confirmed for Germany

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 07:17 AM PDT

Though the Optimus 4X HD is LG’s current flagship, they aren’t done rolling out the Optimus LTE to all of its destined markets yet. Germany will get the Optimus True HD LTE (so called to differentiate it from AMOLED phones with 720p Pentile screens) sometime in the near future. LG kept the details close to the vest, and didn’t say when we’d see the Optimus True HD LTE, on which carriers, or for how much money.

US smartphone enthusiasts will recognize this hardware as the LG Nitro HD on AT&T and the LG Spectrum on Verizon. In both cases the major draws are a 4.5-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1280×720 and a newfangled LTE radio. Other charms include a 1.5Ghz dual-core processor, a full gigabyte of RAM, and an 8 megapixel camera. The relatively small 4GB of on-board storage can be expanded with a MicroSD card, though we don’t know if the German model of the Optimus True HD LTE will have a freebie or not. Unfortunately the phone is running Android 2.3 with LG’s customized interface, but it should get Ice Cream Sandwich eventually.

Carrier choices will probably be limited to O2, the German arm of T-Mobile and Vodafone, which are the only ones offering limited LTE service at the moment. As for wider European availability, that largely depends on LTE rollout. The next-generation wireless standard is still in its infancy across the pond, and launching the Optimus True HD LTE on a standard 3G network wouldn’t make much sense.

[via SlashGear]


Motorola RAZR MAXX hits the UK in mid May

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 06:50 AM PDT

We’re big fans of the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX around these parts, due in no small part to its amazing performance in our three-day business trip test. The only thing we’re not fond of is Verizon’s insistence on a locked bootloader – something that users of the upcoming international model, the RAZR MAXX, won’t have to worry about. The ones in the UK won’t have to wait too long, either: Moto says that the slim phone with the massive battery will cross over the white cliffs of Dover sometime in the middle of May.

The RAZR MAXX’s biggest draw is its massive 3300mAh battery, the largest we’ve ever seen on any stock smartphone. This extra battery doesn’t add a lot of extra bulk – the MAXX is just 8.9mm thick, which is only slightly thicker than the RAZR it’s based on. In all other respects, the two phones share hardware and software specifications, from the 4.3-inch QHD AMOLED display to the Motorola-customized version of Android 2.3 to the 8MP 1080p camera. The ROMs for the RAZR and RAZR MAXX are even interchangeable.

The RAZR MAXX doesn’t get a removable battery, but it’s one of the few phones for which that shouldn’t be an issue, even for advanced users. Its 16GB of on-board storage can be augmented with a MicroSD card, though currently we don’t know if the international model will get the free 16GB card that’s bundled with the DROID RAZR MAXX on Verizon. UK Android fanatics and US importers will be glad to know that Motorola will likely offer a bootloader unlocker shortly after the phone is released, at a retail price of £359.00 before value-added tax.

[via KnowYourMobile]


Galaxy S III service manual shows conflicting specs [UPDATE]

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 06:30 AM PDT

We’re sorry about the overabundance of Samsung Galaxy S III news on the site lately. Wait, no we’re not – we’re just as excited as you are. The latest tidbit comes from SamMobile, who got their hands on what appears to be a scan of a portion of the Galaxy S III’s service manual (using the previously reported GT-I9300 model number). While the black-and-white diagram of the phone looks pretty close to what we’ve seen before, the specifications clash with both Samsung’s official Exynos 4 Quad announcement and results spotted in the AnTuTu benchmark database.

How do they differ? Let me count the ways. First, a quad-core processor is mentioned, but at a slightly higher 1.5Ghz clock speed than the Exynos 4 Quad. The screen is 4.8 inches, again, just slightly larger than we’d heard before (4.6 and 4.7 inches). A 8 megapixel camera is a disappointing step down from the 12MP sensor noted in AnTuTu.  Other mentioned specifications stand up to reason and rumor, like an unspecified version of Ice Cream Sandwich and an HSPA+ mobile connection.

It must be said that this sort of thing could be faked easily, and the Galaxy S III seems to be particularly prone to less than honest tipsters. It could also be from an earlier build of the service manual, before the final phone specifications were finalized – the clock speed of the processor would be particularly easy to change, for example. We won’t have to wait too much longer to find out: Samsung announces “the next Galaxy” on May 3rd at the Mobile Unpacked event in London, and Android Community will be there live to cover it.

Update: SamMobile has added a sketch of what looks like the back battery cover. Feast your eyes:


Android 4.0 update lands for Sony Tablet S

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 05:27 AM PDT

Back in March, we mentioned that the Sony Tablet S would be getting the update to Android 4.0 ICS. Today is the day with the update now available for users to download. A video has turned up on YouTube showing the new features the tablet gets with the update. It’s worth noting that it’s unclear right now if the update is available to all Tablet S owners, or if it’s rolling out in some sort of staggered method.

The Sony video shows some of the interesting new features the update brings. One of those updates is an enhanced lock screen that allows direct access to notifications and the ability to swipe and dismiss them. The user can also unlock directly to the camera, and the camera gets a new panoramic mode. The gallery media viewer has been enhanced with direct access to SD card files and photo editing tools.

Users can now also run “small apps,” which opens some apps in a smaller window for multitasking. There are also several new home screen actions such as the ability to drag icons for apps together to create a folder and the ability to rename the folder as you see fit. The browser has been enhanced as well and there is a native screenshot function along with the ability to save web pages for off-line viewing. Check out the video to see all the new features for yourself.


Panasonic Eluga hits Europe in unlocked flavor for £369

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 03:34 AM PDT

We’ve talked about the Panasonic Eluga smartphone in the past, if you enjoyed what you saw and thought you might like to have one for yourself, the smartphone is available now in Europe. You can buy the device unlocked via Expansys for £369 in black or silver colors. Shipping is free and you can have the device in a few days.

This is a larger smartphone with a 4.3-inch screen sporting a resolution of 960 x 540. Even though the phone is physically larger to fit the screen, it’s still thin at 7.8 mm. The phone is also curved to comfortably fit the palm of user. It uses a 1 GHz dual core processor.

The rear camera is an eight megapixel unit that can record HD video, and the phone has integrated NFC technology. Our sister site SlashGear went hands-on with the phone and dunked the device underwater to show its water resistance. The phone will come out of the box running Android Gingerbread and will be upgraded to Android 4.0 sometime this summer.

[via Engadget]


Google wanted subsidized Android data at $9.99 monthly

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 03:03 AM PDT

Some interesting facts have been coming out of the Google versus Oracle case centering on Android and patent infringement. We learned previously what the original planned Google phone would’ve looked like, lacking the touchscreen we’re all familiar with today. Another factoid that has surfaced is that Google originally wanted to subsidize the costs of data plans to promote the adoption of its operating system.

According to details, Google intended to subsidize data costs with T-Mobile for Android smartphone users to the tune of $9.99 per month. The plan was for Google to sell phones directly through its own store and T-Mobile would provide the data plans. Google would’ve taken no money from T-Mobile or the sell of the device and would have used that money to offset the cost of the data plan for users.

That sounds like a solid plan, and something that many people might welcome today. The deal fell through when T-Mobile never offered data plans at that price range. Google also found that directly selling smartphones didn’t work well. I’d still like to see cheaper data plans, and I bet most of you would too.

[via SlashGear]


UK Android fans to get Samsung Galaxy S Advance April 30

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 02:16 AM PDT

If you’re in need of a new Android smartphone and Samsung is your brand, fans in the UK will be able to get their hands on the new Galaxy S Advance starting on April 30. Sure, we will have another new high-end device in the Galaxy S III before you know it with the official announcement coming in about a week. Some folks aren’t in the market for high-end device or need a smartphone before that.

The Galaxy S Advance has respectable hardware with a four-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 800 x 480. The device also has a 1 GHz dual core processor, 768 MB of memory, either 8 GB or 16 GB of storage, and five-megapixel rear camera. The rear camera has an LED flash and can record 720p HD video.

Power for the smartphone comes from a 1500 mAh battery and the smartphone has a microSD card slot. The phone supports HSPA connectivity and is 9.69 mm thick. The biggest downside to this device is it’s running Gingerbread rather than Android 4.0 out-of-the-box. Clove has the smartphone in stock right now for £322.80, which is the equivalent of $522.75. Presumably, that April 30 launch date is on carriers such as Vodafone.

[via SlashGear]


Samsung announces Exynos 4 Quad for the Galaxy S III

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 09:57 PM PDT

With just over a week to go until Samsung’s “next Galaxy” event, more and more information is coming to light about the Galaxy S III – if that’s even what it’s going to be called. The latest tidbit comes from Samsung itself: they’ve announced that the upcoming phone will feature the Exynos 4 Quad, as previously rumored. This clashes with benchmarks for a phone labelled the Galaxy S III posted to the AnTuTu database earlier today, claiming that the phone used a dual-core Exynos architecture.

Samsung went on to describe the nest-generation quad-core chip as using a 32 nanometer High-k Metal Gate construction, allowing for considerably better performance than conventional mobile processors. The chip will run at 1.4Ghz on all four cores (at least in the upcoming Galaxy phone) and has a claimed efficiency boost of 20% over similar 45nm chips. Each core can be dynamically turned on and off as extra power is needed or not needed.

Samsung’s Senior Vice President of Product Strategy Team Hankil Yoon had this to say:

The application processor is a crucial element in providing our customers with PC-like experience on mobile devices. Samsung's next Galaxy device, which will be officially announced soon, offers uncompromised performance and ground breaking multi-tasking features, thanks to Exynos 4 Quad's powerful performance and efficient energy management technology.

Samsung didn’t give specifics for devices beyond their next Galaxy phone, which the company did not name. But presumably this is the same quad-core Exynos chip destined for the upgraded Galaxy Note 10.1, and perhaps the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 as well. It’s also likely that the Exynos 4 Quad is the chip powering the Meizu MX Quad-core, announced last week for a May release. Be sure to keep an eye on Android Community next Thursday, May 3rd, when we’ll be reporting live from Samsung’s Mobile Unpacked event in London.

[via Phonescoop]


ASUS Transformer Prime GPS dongles shipping now

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 06:35 PM PDT

Last week ASUS opened up a registration page for owners of the Eee Pad Transformer Pad who were dissatisfied with the all-metal tablet’s GPS reception, promising to send them an external GPS dongle to fix the issue. The first of those dongles (or as ASUS calls them, the “TF201 GPS Extension Kit”) are now reaching owners’ homes. If you havent’s ordered one, you can register your Transformer Prime and apply for a free dongle at the ASUS support site.

While we’re sure that the GPS dongle works, it’s certainly not an ideal solution. The plastic device plugs into the main docking port (blocking both charging and the keyboard dock) and affecting the Prime’s svelte profile in a less than aesthetically pleasing way. The problems with GPS reception, and WiFi to a lesser extent, come from the all-aluminum chassis of the Prime, something that ASUS rectified with the new Transformer Pad 300 model.

If you haven’t ordered your free dongle yet, you might want to hurry – presumably there’s a limited supply of them, and ASUS will stop receiving applications on July 31st. Based on initial user feedback, the free shipping takes about a week. Even if you don’t use the Transformer Prime’s GPS function, you might want it anyway. And as unsightly as the plastic extension is, it’s better than hearing “you’re holding it wrong.”

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Transformer Prime
    Manufactuer : Asus
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : November 09, 2011
    Release Date : December 19, 2011
    Also Known As : Transformer 2
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.10 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : IPS+
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.35 Inch
  • Width : 7.12 Inch
  • Depth : .33 Inch
  • Weight : 586 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : 6579 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 3
    CPU Clock Speed : 1400 Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 64 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

[via Droid-Life]


Archos Arnova G3 tablets detailed

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 06:01 PM PDT

Most of Archos’ tablets have a definite media focus, with a ton of customized software and options for large hard drives. Their Arnova line is meant to fulfill a more basic need with a generally lower price. Like their more expensive stablemates, the Arnova line is getting an Ice Cream Sandwich update with some revised hardware. ArcTablet spotted Archos’ updated website detailing the new tablets.

The larger of the two is the 10b G3, with a 10.1-inch 1024×600 LCD panel. Though the processor is a little pokey at 1GHz and single-core, a full gigabyte of RAM should be more than enough for Ice Cream Sandwich. Archos still manages to enable 8GB of local storage and full HD playback (via HDMI-out) for the $200 tablet. Adorama is already selling the new tablet.

The Arnova 9b G3 gets the same processor and RAM, but a smaller 4GB storage capacity and a 9.7-inch, 4:3 screen using an IPS panel. Archos hasn’t said what the price for the 9b G3 will be, but it should be slightly more expensive that the 10b G3 due to a denser and higher-quality screen. For a look at Archos’ take on Google-sanctioned Ice Cream Sandwich, check out our review of the 101 G9 Tuirbo.

[via Liliputing]


Google Maps updated with elevation data and scale bar

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 05:21 PM PDT

If you’re a Google Maps user and a hiker, mountain climber or just a data junkie, you’ll want to update the app in the Google Play Store now. Two features previously restricted to Labs have graduated to the full app, and another has been added. The most interesting stuff is still happening in the Labs section, with the newly revised Measure feature allowing you to see elevation data. The new functions work with all current Android devices.

The scale bar has been available in Labs for a while, and mimics the same function on Google Maps’ desktop site. You can’t adjust the scale bar in the lower left corner, but it shifts dynamically based on what level of zoom you’re looking at. Speaking of zoom, the plus and minus buttons are now permanent features, zooming in and out by a factor of two (give or take) with each tap. Both can be enables or disabled in the “Display” section of the menu.

The new Labs feature allows you to tap between two points on the map and get an instant distance between them. You can also see the elevation of both points, and the difference between them: for example, going between Colorado Springs and Woodland Park is 16 miles as the crow flies, but it’s about half a mile of vertical change. You can also select multiple points for a more accurate route.


ASUS Transformer Prime vs Transformer Pad TF300: benchmark battle

Posted: 25 Apr 2012 04:38 PM PDT

The Eee Pad Transformer Prime reigns supreme at the top of ASUS’ tablet portfolio, but the newcommmer Transformer Pad TF300 has a lot to prove. This cheaper alternative to the flagship also has an NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, a gigabyte of RAM and it’s running Ice Cream Sandwich. The Transformer Prime is the better of the two tablets (unless you want GPS signals without a dongle) but is it $120 better? If you’re a performance junkie, you’re about to find out. Note that all tests were made on a Transformer Prime and Transformer Pad TF300 running unmodified Android 4.0.3.

Quadrant

Quadrant has become the go-to benchmark app for Android, though to be honest it’s no more or less valid than any other benchmark available. In Quadrant’s tests, which measure CPU, RAM, write speed, and 2D and 3D graphics capabilities, the Transformer Prime scored 4338, while the Transformer Pad TF300 got 3993. The Transformer Prime wins by a factor of 8.64%. (See full-sized screenshot in the Gallery.)

AnTuTu

AnTuTu is becoming a more popular benchmark alternative, due in no small part to its comparative database… which the Transformer Prime ruled, until the Samsung Galaxy S III came along. AnTuTu measures the CPU integer and float-point calculations, RAM, 2D and 3D graphics, database access, and SD card read and write speed. For AnTuTu the Transformer Prime scored 10,863, while the TF300 scored 9,421. Again, the advantage goes to the Transformer Prime, by a factor of 15.3%.

CF-Bench

Lastly we have CF-Bench, an app that isn’t used nearly as often as the other two, but which  tests many more parameters, including MIPS performance and Java rendering for both read and write values. In CF-Bench, the Transformer Prime got an overall score of 12,640, while the Transformer Pad TF 300 scored 10,554. The Prime wins by a dramatic factor of 19.7%.

Conclusions

The old adage that you get what you pay for would seem to apply here: the Transformer Prime beats out the Transformer Pad TF300 by anywhere from just below 10% to almost 20% when it comes to pure tests of capability. But that shouldn’t deter potential Transformer Pad TF300 buyers – after all, the cheaper tablet costs 25% less than the Prime for the $379 16GB model, and the difference in storage can easily be overcome by a cheap MicroSD card.

At the end of the day, both the ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime and the Transformer Pad TF300 are great choices, but the TF300 is an especially great choice if you’re looking to save money and still want an excellent 10-inch tablet experience. Those looking for more utility should consider that for the just a little more than the price of a 32GB Transformer Prime, you could get  16GB TF 300 and a dock as well. But if you want the absolute best in Android tablet performance, the Transformer Prime is still the way to go.

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Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Transformer Pad 300
    Manufactuer : Asus
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : February 27, 2012
    Release Date : April 22, 2012
    Also Known As :
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.1 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : IPS LCD
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.35 Inch
  • Width : 7.12 Inch
  • Depth : 0.39 Inch
  • Weight : 635 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MID
  • MP3
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
    Messaging:
  • SMS
  • MMS
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 3
    CPU Clock Speed : 1400 Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 16 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
    Network Technology:
  • GSM
    GSM Band:
  • 850
  • 900
  • 1800
  • 1900
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • GPS
  • Cellular location
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :

Device Specifications and Information
Device Info
    Device Name : Transformer Prime
    Manufactuer : Asus
    Carrier : NA
    Announced Date : November 09, 2011
    Release Date : December 19, 2011
    Also Known As : Transformer 2
Display
  • Screen Size : 10.10 Inch
  • Resolution : 1280x800
  • Screen Type : IPS+
Dimension & Weight
  • Height : 10.35 Inch
  • Width : 7.12 Inch
  • Depth : .33 Inch
  • Weight : 586 Grams
Battery & Power
    Battery Type:
  • Lithium Polymer
  • Battery Capacity : 6579 mAh
  • Talk Time : NA
  • Stand By Time : NA
Software
    Android OS:
  • 4.0.x
    Audio Playback:
  • AAC
  • AAC+
  • MP3
  • WMA
    Video Playback:
  • h.263
  • h.264 / AVC
  • MPEG-4 (MP4)
Hardware
    CPU : Tegra 3
    CPU Clock Speed : 1400 Mhz
    Core : 4
    Ram : 1024 MB
    Internal Storage : 64 GB
    Front Facing Camera :
    Camera Resolution : 8 MP
    External Storage:
  • MicroSD
  • MicroSDHC
    Camera Features:
  • Auto focus
  • Flash
  • 1080p Video Recording
    Sensors:
  • Accelerometer
  • Ambient light
    QWERTY :
Cellular Network
Device Connectivity
    Wi-Fi:
  • 802.11b
  • 802.11g
  • 802.11n
    Bluetooth:
  • Bluetooth 3.0
    Location Features:
  • Compass
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi location
    FM Radio :
    NFC :


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