Samsung Galaxy S5 Active gets official, is now available at AT&T
May30

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active gets official, is now available at AT&T

The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active has been leaked many times so far, so clearly we were expecting it to be announced any day. Yet Samsung has decided against a big launch event, or even a dedicated press release, for this handset. Instead, it’s already available to purchase from AT&T. Just like that. The Galaxy S5 Active is exclusive to AT&T, at least for now, and there’s been absolutely no mention of whether it will ever be sold in other countries. That said, we assume we’ll be seeing the S5 Active elsewhere too in a few weeks or so. The Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is basically a ‘vanilla’ Galaxy S5 with a much tougher outer shell and sans fingerprint scanner. Those are the only differences between the two. The S5 Active is water and dust resistant, but it adheres to the same IP67 standard as the ‘normal’ S5. So, despite what we speculated not long ago, it’s not any more water or dust resistant than its less tougher-looking sibling. On the other hand, thanks to its rather unique construction, the Galaxy S5 Active is sure to take accidental drops a lot better than the Galaxy S5. In fact, it adheres to US Mil-STD 810G for withstanding shock, temperature, humidity, rain and altitude. The Galaxy S5 Active comes with a 5.1-inch 1080p Super AMOLED touchscreen, a 16 MP rear camera with LED flash and 4K UHD video recording, a 2.1 MP front camera, a 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, microSD card support, 150 Mbps 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, NFC, a heart rate monitor, and a 2,800 mAh battery. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat. It’s being offered in camo green (pictured above), ruby red, and titanium gray. It can be yours for $199.99 with a new two-year contract, or $714.99 sans long-term agreement. If you choose to get it with AT&T’s Next plans, you’ll pay either 12 monthly installments of $35.75 or 18 monthly installments of $27.50, and nothing...

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Now getting KitKat: Samsung Galaxy Note II (Sprint), Galaxy S III (US Cellular), Galaxy Mega 6.3
May29

Now getting KitKat: Samsung Galaxy Note II (Sprint), Galaxy S III (US Cellular), Galaxy Mega 6.3

Another day, another batch of updates to Android 4.4 KitKat going out. This time we’re talking about no less than three Samsung devices, two sold in the US and one internationally. Let’s take them one by one. First up we have Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy Note II. The international variation of this handset started receiving the tasty new bits about a month ago, and now it looks like it’s time for US carrier versions to get it too. This update will come over-the-air, though it may take a few days for that to happen as the rollout is staggered. After updating, you’ll be on software version L900VPUCNE2. Next up, the Samsung Galaxy S III for US Cellular. Despite the fact that the internationally sold Galaxy S III will never be updated to what is now the latest version of Android, US carrier versions of it are in a different situation – they’ll all get it. US Cellular has posted the update’s details on its website, which means an over-the-air rollout is imminent (if it hasn’t started already). If your phone hasn’t notified you about the update yet and you’re impatient, you can get it via a computer – just follow these instructions. After updating, you’ll be on software version R530UVXCND4. Finally, the international Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 is also receiving the goodness of KitKat. For now, the update (I9200XXUDNE4) is only available in Russia, and only via Kies, Samsung’s desktop PC software. But it’s sure to make its way to other countries as well after a short while. Via Sprint, US Cellular,...

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HTC One E8 (M8 Ace) gets officially confirmed in China
May29

HTC One E8 (M8 Ace) gets officially confirmed in China

The images that leaked yesterday showing the upcoming plastic-clad HTC M8 Ace were actually from HTC’s official website for China. Or rather, from a special page on that website – a page which has ‘gone live’ today. That’s right – despite it having a June 3 unveiling date, the new plastic flagship from HTC is actually already listed on the company’s Chinese website. What an odd launch. Because of this development, we can now see the device in better looking pictures, though they’re essentially the same we’ve seen yesterday. There’s still some controversy over what the handset’s actual name will be, since Google Translate isn’t of much use in these cases. The M8 Ace codename could either turn into HTC One E8 or HTC One Vogue Edition or something combining those monikers in some manner. The model number does appear to be E8, so maybe that will stick. Perhaps we’ll get 100% sure on June 3. Until then, let’s recap the smartphone’s specs. It should have a 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, a 13 MP rear camera with a single LED flash, a 5 MP front camera, BoomSound front-facing stereo speakers, and it will obviously run Android. Past rumors also talked about a 5-inch 1080p Full HD...

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Upcoming ZTE device could be the first to sport LTE-capable MediaTek CPU, leak shows
May29

Upcoming ZTE device could be the first to sport LTE-capable MediaTek CPU, leak shows

According to leaked information coming out of China, the very first smartphone to feature MediaTek’s first LTE-capable processor will be made by ZTE. MediaTek unveiled the MT6595 true octa-core chipset with 4G LTE support back in December, and it was supposed to be out in shipping devices at the beginning of this year. That still hasn’t happened, though, but it’s apparently going to – and pretty soon. What you see below is an upcoming ZTE smartphone which may be the first in the world to use MediaTek’s 4G capable chip. It doesn’t have a name yet (or it simply hasn’t been leaked), but it could be part of the Chinese company’s RedBull-branded lineup, comprising of cheap yet decently specced offerings (a la Xiaomi’s wares or Huawei’s Honor sub-brand). The handset comes with a 5-inch 720p HD touchscreen, the aforementioned processor, 2 GB of RAM, an 8 MP rear camera, a 5 MP front camera, 16 GB of internal storage, and a 2,300 mAh battery. If it will in fact be part of the RedBull line, then we should probably expect it to be priced somewhere between 799 and 999 yuan (that’s around $128 to $160 at the current exchange rates). And unfortunately that means we aren’t likely to see it being officially sold anywhere but in China. Via...

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Nokia Lumia 530 possibly pictured for the first time
May29

Nokia Lumia 530 possibly pictured for the first time

Right now the Lumia 630 is Nokia’s lowest-end smartphone running Windows Phone 8.1, but that’s set to change pretty soon. The Finnish company now owned by Microsoft is apparently working on a successor to the best selling Lumia 520 from last year. This will unsurprisingly be called Lumia 530, and what you see below may actually be the first ever picture showing it, however pixelated. Like the Lumia 630, it appears to come with on-screen software-rendered buttons, and, also like the Lumia 630, it won’t have a front-facing camera. The Lumia 530 may come with a 4.3-inch touchscreen. This is based on the fact that its display is a little bit smaller than the Lumia 635’s in the image above (and that sports a 4.5-inch panel). This would be a small improvement compared to the Lumia 520, which only featured a 4-inch display. The new Nokia Lumia 530 is due to be released by T-Mobile at some point, and that carrier’s variant is codenamed Rise (and who knows, that may end up being its actual commercial name too). That, unfortunately, is all we know about the Lumia 530 at the moment. Stay tuned for more though. Via Geek on...

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HTC One M8 Plus and One M8 Advance high-end beasts rumored for the fall
May29

HTC One M8 Plus and One M8 Advance high-end beasts rumored for the fall

Remember the HTC M8 Prime? This has been rumored to arrive in a few weeks or months to take on the also-rumored Samsung Galaxy S5 Prime as well as the just introduced LG G3. But according to the latest leaked information, HTC may in fact be working on not one, but two super high-end smartphones for the near future. Neither of these is codenamed M8 Prime, though, which makes us wonder whether the Prime is a third device, or just one of these two. First up, we have the One M8 Plus. This looks to be the Prime by another name, save for one important detail – a purported leaked image of the Prime showed a Duo Camera setup on the back a la the One M8, but the latest info speaks about a normal 13 MP camera with optical image stabilization taking the place of the UltraPixel unit. The HTC M8 Plus will also have a metal shell, a 2,560×1,440 touchscreen (which may be smaller than the 5.5-inch panel in the LG G3), a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, and 3 GB of RAM. The handset will be water-resistant, though for now it’s unclear what exact spec it will adhere to from this point of view. The HTC M8 Advance will basically have the exact same specs as the Plus, but it will be made out of plastic and will be aimed at Asian markets. This sounds like the exact same scenario that HTC is readying for the upcoming One M8 Ace – which will complement the One M8 in the company’s portfolio. Both the M8 Plus and the M8 Advance should apparently be released either in August or in September, before Apple’s next iPhone debuts. The M8 Plus could be sold under the name One+ or One Plus, but nothing’s certain just yet. Via...

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HTC One Mini 2 already available in the UK
May28

HTC One Mini 2 already available in the UK

Last week the HTC One Mini 2 went up for pre-order in the UK, but it had a very distant shipping date attached to it – June 30. Thankfully, though, you don’t have to wait more than a month if you want to get a One Mini 2 in your hands. That’s because one third party mobile device retailer already has it in stock, in all of its physical stores. We’re talking about Phones 4u, the well known high street retailer. It’s announced that the HTC One Mini 2 is now up for purchase in all of its more than 700 stores. If you want to order the device online, it may only arrive next week – so if you simply can’t wait, just head to your nearest Phones 4u store to pick one up (do call in advance though, to make sure it’s still in stock). The HTC One Mini 2 is being offered for £359.95 SIM-free, £349.95 on Pay as you go, as well as on Pay monthly plans. If you go with a 4G option that costs at least £29.99 per month, you’ll get it for free. In the case of 3G-only contracts, the minimum you’ll need to shell out each month is £25. The 3G plan is at Vodafone and brings you 300 minutes, unlimited texts, and 250 MB of data every 30 days. The 4G option comes from EE, and contains 1,000 minutes, unlimited texts, and 1 GB of data each month. In both cases, you’ll need to sign a 24-month contract. Via Telecompaper and Android...

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AT&T finally starts taking pre-orders for the Asus PadFone X on June 6
May28

AT&T finally starts taking pre-orders for the Asus PadFone X on June 6

AT&T and Asus first announced the PadFone X in January. Yes, January. And the device still isn’t available to this day. In fact, the carrier only made the PadFone X’s specs public at the end of March. And here we are, exactly two months later, and we finally get a release date. Sort of. It’s June 6, but AT&T’s press release says that’s when pre-orders will start. An actual shipping date isn’t mentioned, so maybe we’ll find that out on a different occasion. Or perhaps the carrier misspoke and June 6 is actually when you’ll be able to pick up a PadFone X. It’s all a bit unclear at the moment, but regardless – the good news is that the PadFone X can’t be more than a few weeks away at this point. So if you’ve been patiently waiting for this device for months, then your time has almost come. AT&T has priced the Asus PadFone X at $199.99 with a two-year contract, or $22.92 per month with AT&T Next 18, or $29.80 with AT&T Next 12. If you go with the Next options, you won’t pay anything upfront. The tablet dock is included in the price, by the way. The Asus PadFone X has a 5-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen, a 13 MP rear camera, a 2 MP front camera, a 2.3 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and a 2,300 mAh battery. It runs Android 4.4 KitKat. The dock features a 9-inch 1,920×1,200 touchscreen, a 1 MP front camera, and a 4,990 mAh...

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Oppo N1 Mini pictured ahead of May 30 announcement
May28

Oppo N1 Mini pictured ahead of May 30 announcement

The Oppo N1 Mini is due to be officially unveiled in just a couple of days, as has been made clear yesterday by the Chinese company itself. We already know most of this handset’s specs, and a while back we even saw a few bad quality pictures showing it, courtesy of it getting certified by the FCC. Now though, as we get closer to the actual launch, we get to see the Oppo N1 Mini star in quite a few leaked images, that look more like official press renders than anything else. Here they are for your viewing pleasure: As you can see, the N1 Mini keeps the design language of its bigger sibling intact, complete with unique swiveling camera. The one odd thing about this smartphone is that it’s hardly ‘Mini’ in any way, what with its 5-inch screen and all. That said, compared to the 6-inch N1, perhaps that moniker is somewhat warranted. Oppo has gone with some very interesting colors for the N1 Mini, which aren’t traditional in any way. That may help the company reach some prospective buyers who are sick of having to choose between just black and white for their phones. Previously leaked specs for the N1 Mini talked about it sporting a 720p HD touchscreen, a 13 MP camera with LED flash, 4G LTE support, and a 2,140 mAh battery. Via C Tech Via Android...

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LG G Flex 2 and Vu 4 coming this year
May28

LG G Flex 2 and Vu 4 coming this year

Now that LG has made the G3 official, you may be thinking that 2014 is over for the Korean company – at least when it comes to big releases. Not so. During the press conference announcing the G3 in Korea, LG officials have admitted that they’re working both on a G Flex 2 as well as on a Vu 4. Both of these devices will get launched sometime during the second half of this year. The G Flex 2 will obviously be the follow-up to the G Flex from last year, one of the world’s first smartphones with a curved screen. It’s unclear whether LG plans to keep the display as it was in the original, or if the G Flex 2 will wow us with some other form factor. Given the name, though, it’s a must for it to have a flexible or bent touchscreen. The Vu line has somehow survived over the years despite it being unashamedly niche. And to think that at one time LG thought this would comprise of its competitors to the Samsung Galaxy Note series… Thankfully, the company has made the G Pro handsets in the meantime. But there is going to be a Vu 4, even if it may only be released in South Korea. We don’t have other details right now, but we’ll keep you posted. Via...

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