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AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 receiving Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update

Jun 27th 2013, 15:45

AT&T Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 SGH-I497

After launching in late 2012 with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in tow, AT&T’s version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is now receiving an update to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. AT&T announced the good news on its official Consumer Blog, saying that the update will begin rolling out to users today, June 27. The update is available through Samsung’s Kies computer software. Once installed, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 owners can expect the following improvements:

  • Customizable widgets
  • Improved text input and spell-checking
  • New dictionaries for better error correction and word suggestion
  • Enhanced web browsing and personalization capability
  • Improved email management
  • New technology for better security options
  • Google Now with enhanced voice activation

Samsung does note that the update will reset the Tab 2 10.1’s home screen setup as well as its application menu sorting, so that’s something to keep in mind. Still, moving from Android 4.0 to Android 4.1.2 is a pretty big step that brings with it quite a few improvements and new features, and so having to reorganize the Tab 2 10.1’s home screen and apps list shouldn’t prevent any users from installing this new update. Full instructions on how to download and install the update can be found right here.

Via AT&T Consumer Blog, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 update

Apple’s request to add Galaxy S 4 to Samsung lawsuit denied by judge

Jun 27th 2013, 15:20

Samsung Galaxy S 4

Last month, it was revealed that Apple wanted to add the Galaxy S 4 to its patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung, much to the surprise of no one. It looks like Apple won’t get the opportunity to do so, though, as Judge Paul S. Grewal has denied Apple’s request to add Samsung’s new flagship to its complaint.

In a recent court filing, Judge Grewal explained his decision by pointing to Judge Lucy Koh’s instructions about the management of this case. Judge Koh previously told Apple that it needed to reduce the number of Samsung products that it’s targeting, which is currently sitting at 22. Apple had intended to replace one of those devices with the Galaxy S 4, but apparently that wasn’t acceptable.

The judge went on to say that adding another product to this suit would be a “tax on the court’s resources” and that every time Apple and Samsung meet in court, “they consume considerable amounts of the court’s time and energy, which takes time way from other parties who also require and are entitled to the court’s attention.” Finally, Grewal noted that Apple is likely to file a new case against Samsung so that it can reassert some products that it had to drop from this case, so it will have a chance to target the Galaxy S 4 anyway.

We’ll just have to wait and see whether or not Apple does end up filing a new complaint against Samsung, but given the history between these two firms, it certainly isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Until then, Apple will have to settle for targeting devices like the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II in this ongoing case, which is scheduled to go to trial in spring 2014.

Via Bloomberg, FOSS Patents

Verizon’s 4G LTE network now available in 500 markets

Jun 27th 2013, 14:10

Verizon 4G LTE

Nine months after lighting up its 400th LTE market, Verizon is celebrating another 4G milestone today. The big red carrier has announced that its LTE network is now available in 500 markets in 49 states, with an official launch in Alaska slated for July. The 500th market to be covered by Verizon’s LTE service is Parkersburg, W.Va., and Verizon says that its LTE rollout is “substantially complete.” Verizon went on to share some data about its LTE network, saying that that the service is available to over 99 percent of its 3G footprint and more than 95 percent of the U.S. population, adding that 57 percent of its total network traffic goes over its LTE network.

Verizon originally flipped the switch on its 4G LTE network back in December 2010, activating the service in 38 markets and 60 airports. Since then, the operator has steadily been expanding that footprint, and today Verizon has the largest LTE network of any U.S. carrier. The news that Verizon’s LTE service is now available in 500 markets is pretty great to hear if you’re already one of its customers, and the fact that Verizon has spread LTE coverage to 500 markets in around two and a half years is a stat that it can be proud of.

Looking forward, Verizon CTO Nicola Palmer told The Verge that her carrier plans to begin deploying Voice over LTE (VoLTE) service in 2014, which is at the latter half of a previous estimate that the carrier had given. The good news is that, once the rollout begins, Verizon says that it’ll go quickly. Palmer also said that although Verizon’s LTE network is mostly complete, the operator doesn’t plan on offering LTE-only handsets until the end of 2014. Verizon then plans to begin refarming its 3G network and utilizing the spectrum for its LTE network sometime in 2015.

Via Verizon Wireless (1), (2), The Verge

G’zOne Commando 4G LTE to Verizon Wireless

Jun 27th 2013, 13:10

Made official two days ago, Casio’s G’zOne Commando 4G LTE is now available at Verizon Wireless.

Released – Thursday June 27, 2013
Carrier: Verizon Wireless
Regular Price: $479.99
Phone Price: $99.99 New 2YR activation required
Hot Features: Ruggedized, 8MP camera, 1.3MP front-facing camera, WiFi, 4G LTE capable

Glamor Red HTC One makes its official debut

Jun 27th 2013, 12:35

Glamor Red HTC One official

Remember that red HTC One that briefly appeared on HTC’s websites after the company first revealed its new flagship? It’s back again today, and this time it’s official. HTC this morning announced a “Glamor Red” version of the HTC One, which is the similar to the existing Glacial Silver and Stealth Black models but with a brighter, more attention-grabbing outfit. This red HTC One will be available at U.K. retailer Phones4u starting in mid-July.

This is the second new HTC One model that we’ve seen in as many days, coming hot on the heels of the launch of the Google Play edition HTC One. Unfortunately for U.S. consumers that would rather have a bright red One over a vanilla Android-powered One, HTC hasn’t said when or if this Glamor Red will be making its way across the Atlantic. Stay tuned and I’ll update if you if that changes. Until then, you can find me over in that corner, researching U.K. to U.S. shipping rates.

THE HTC ONE® LAUNCHES IN GLAMOUR RED

LONDON, June 27, 2013 — HTC, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, today announces that the award-winning HTC One will be available in a distinctive, new colour. Available exclusively to customers of Phones 4u from mid-July, the new HTC One in Glamour Red packs the blistering performance and premium features that have garnered global acclaim since its launch earlier this year, into a body that makes a striking yet sophisticated statement.

Philip Blair, President of EMEA, HTC, commented, “We have always been committed to offering consumers the flexibility to share their personalities through their choice of mobile phone, whether through colour, customisation or features. The new HTC One in Glamour Red showcases the power of our flagship model in a colour that demands attention, whilst maintaining the high standards set for sophisticated design and build quality.”

Sitting at the top of HTC’s portfolio, the HTC One combines the latest in mobile innovation and design to offer the company’s most powerful experience to date. BlinkFeed aggregates multiple feeds from selected news sources, social networks and other in-phone features like the calendar or HTC Sense TV to create a customisable, real-time stream of relevant information direct to the home screen. HTC revolutionised photography with the introduction of the UltraPixel camera, for superior images in low light, and HTC Zoe, allowing you to capture the moment, not just a split-second snapshot. BoomSound brings your music to life with front-facing speakers and Beats Audio™ optimisation, placing you at the heart of the action, whether listening to music, playing a game or watching a movie on the stunning, 4.7”, Full HD screen.

Since its launch, the HTC One has attracted a host of editorial and industry awards which recognise its superior performance and benchmark design. Highlights include the GSMA’s Global Mobile Award for Best New Mobile Device or Tablet at Mobile World Congress 2013 and Computex Taipei’s Gold Medal in Design and Innovation.

Via Android Central

Would you buy a BlackBerry flavored phablet?

Jun 26th 2013, 16:50

It has been suggested that blackberries are at their best when they’re plump, juicy, and ripe. If you pick a blackberry before they’re ripe and try to eat it, it will still be a blackberry, but you might not like it as much as the fully ripened blackberries you’ll find later in the year. It’s much the same as if you picked a BlackBerry earlier this year, it’s still a BlackBerry, but you might not find it to be as sweet as the larger BlackBerry device that’s rumored to arrive later on during Q4 this year: the BlackBerry A10. That is, if you’re into larger devices.

Although nothing has been confirmed, rumors are ramping up about the mysterious phablet that’s supposed to be the successor to BlackBerry’s flagship BlackBerry 10 device, the Z10. The device is expected to have a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm processor and a 5″ super AMOLED display. Sources say that the purpose of the A10 is to compete with other popular phablets like the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One, but in my opinion the A10 has a lot of odds to overcome when it comes to being in direct competition with either of those devices.

The first road block that comes to mind when it comes to the A10’s potential success is timing: the Sony Xperia Z Ultra is supposed to debut sometime in late summer, the next generation iPhone is likely to launch at the very end of Q3, and the next Galaxy Note device is expected to follow shortly after at the start of Q4 if the last two years have held any indication. And, since we’re already talking about rumors, we might as well throw in the HTC “T6”, “One Max”, whatever you want to call it – the big(ger) HTC flagship device. With other popular phablet choices likely to appear in the market, can the BlackBerry A10 really stand a chance?

Even if you take specifications out of the equation, the BlackBerry App World still has much to be desired. Fortunately, you have the ability to sideload Android applications if you want to. Further still, the future release of BlackBerry 10.2 will also bring support for Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) applications, as oppose to the 2.3 (Gingerbread) applications it supports now. This update may encourage more developers to convert their Android applications to BlackBerry OS, which could be a huge bonus if released around the same time as this rumored phablet.

I can’t really compare specifications too much given that we only have the processor and the size of the screen at this point, and even those are subject to change. Since we’re on the subject of screen sizes, however, we might as well talk about it. I have to hand it to BlackBerry for trying to cater to all markets. Even though 5″ is the smallest a device can be in order to fit the Wikipedia definition of a “phablet”, it’s still a phablet nonetheless. The Z10 was a surprise from the company that specialized in phones with QWERTY keyboards, but the Q10 was a great way to keep the people who stuck around BlackBerry simply because of the physical keyboard. The BlackBerry Q5, which was announced shortly after the announcement of the Q10, is a great cheap alternative to other BlackBerry 10 devices for anyone not living in North America. So really, the only category of people they hadn’t catered to was the phablet phans… I mean fans. They might not be the most popular brand in town, but gosh darn it if they aren’t just the sweetest country peaches for wanting to make everybody happy when it comes to device design!

When it all boils down to the main question, I don’t think that the A10 will be saving grace for BlackBerry. I think we can all agree that in order for BlackBerry to truly catch up to the popularity of the likes of the Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One, BlackBerry is going to need more tricks up their sleeve than that. That being said, I think adding a phablet to their lineup can only help them in this day and age when phablets seem to be taking over.

Readers, what do you think? Have you been waiting for a phablet-sized BlackBerry, or is something else holding you back? Tell me your opinions in the comments below!

Images via MobileSyrup, Crackberry

T-Mobile roadmap leak tips July 17 launch for both Nokia Lumia 925 and Sony Xperia Z

Jun 26th 2013, 11:50

T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 925, Sony Xperia Z roadmap leak

With both the Nokia Lumia 925 and Sony Xperia Z officially headed for T-Mobile, customers of the big magenta carrier will soon have two new high-profile devices to choose from. The only problem is that we don’t know exactly how soon that’ll be, because T-Mobile hasn’t announced the launch date of either handset. Thankfully, our pals at TmoNews have saved the day by leaking a T-Mobile roadmap that contains possible availability information for both products.

According to the leaked roadmap, both the Lumia 925 and Xperia Z are due out on Wednesday, July 17. Today’s report also mentions that the Lumia 925 may be priced at $99.99 down, with 24 monthly payments of $20 each and a full retail price of $579. There’s also a mention of a “T-Mobile 768” that’s slated to launch on July 17 alongside the Lumia 925 and Xperia Z, and while it’s not yet clear exactly what the 768 is, it’s said that the mysterious product could be a prepaid device from Huawei or ZTE.

In addition to the Lumia 925 and Xperia Z release dates, this leaked roadmap mentions that a “major EIT release” is set for Sunday, July 14. It’s unclear just what this is, but TmoNews speculates that it could be the launch of T-Mobile’s new Simple Choice plan that requires no credit check.

Since the information contained within this leak hasn’t been confirmed by T-Mobile, any of you Magenta customers that are excited for the Lumia 925 or Xperia Z will probably want to use a pencil to circle July 17 on your calendar. However, it wouldn’t be a shock to see both handsets arrive so soon; the Lumia 925 is already making its way across Europe, and T-Mobile recently said that the Xperia Z is due sometime “in the coming weeks,” suggesting that its launch will go down sooner rather than later. I’ll give you a shout once we hear more. To help pass the time until then, you can check out Aaron’s hands-on with the T-Mobile-flavored Lumia 925, which is embedded below.

{Widget type=”youtube” id=”k7e3wlYglZI”}

Via TmoNews

Black HTC One Video Review and Gallery

Jun 26th 2013, 10:15

While it was announced at the same time as the silver model, supply constraints kept the black HTC One off of store shelves until recently.  Shown off at Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona and available on AT&T and Sprint, the black HTC One is beautiful and brings a different look to a very popular Android smartphone.  The spine is now a dark grey color, and the two-toned nature is toned down (no pun intended).

As a recap, the HTC One packs a 1.7 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 CPU, 4.7-inch 1080p HD display, 4-ultrapixel camera with 1080p HD recording, 2 GB of RAM, 2,300 mAh battery, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5.  It’s available at AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, with upcoming availability on Verizon Wireless.

In addition to the video, take a look at the full gallery below!

View video here

Dish Network officially withdraws its Clearwire offer

Jun 26th 2013, 09:35

Dish Network logo

And just like that, it appears that the Sprint-Clearwire-Dish Network drama may have finally come to an end. Dish has announced that it has withdrawn its offer to acquire Clearwire for $4.40 per share, a bid that it made in late May. The company doesn’t offer much more detail than that, saying only that Clearwire’s recent decision to back Sprint’s $5.00 per share bid was one of the reasons behind its decision.

Dish originally entered this fray way back in January, surprising many in the wireless industry by making a bid to acquire Clearwire shortly after the company had already entered into an agreement to be bought by Sprint. Dish have been involved in a bidding war for Clearwire ever since, but it appears that Sprint’s offer of $5.00 per share and Clearwire’s decision to back that bid has finally convinced Dish to bow out. Sprint is currently involved in a deal that’ll see Japanese carrier SoftBank acquire a large stake in it, and this Clearwire deal plays a large role in Sprint’s SoftBank deal.

Dish has been working to find a way to enter the mobile space ever since it gained approval from the FCC to use its satellite spectrum for a wireless network. The company seemed determined to snap up either Sprint or Clearwire, putting in multiple bids for the two companies, but now Dish is out of the running for both. Dish hasn’t said what its future plans are, but previous rumors claimed that the company spoke with Deutsche Telekom about possibly merging with T-Mobile US, so Dish may not be done with wireless quite yet.

Via Dish Network

Is a ‘Pure Google’ experience worth the extra money to you?

Jun 26th 2013, 09:25

Reviews are in, and most folks think the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Editions are pretty sweet. Most reviewers have reiterated the way they feel about the hardware, which is the biggest differences with these Google devices, and tend to lean toward the HTC One. That was expected since that’s what they all said in their reviews, including me. Moreover, many reviewers feel like the Google Editions of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One are liberating, namely because they were free of those pesky custom UIs. But here’s my question: Is being free from custom interfaces and getting early access to Android updates worth the extra cash?

The Samsung Galaxy S4 will cost you $649, and the HTC One $599. They’ll be unlocked, free of TouchWiz UI and Sense 5, and will get updates as soon as Google makes them available to its Nexus and Google Edition devices. But is it really worth that much to you? For the freedoms you gain, you’ll be paying more than double for the hardware itself. And as much as I dislike custom UIs sometimes, you’ll also be losing out on a number of features.

I’m not the biggest fan of TouchWiz, but some people might love its widgets and the camera features in the Galaxy S4. DramaShot and Dual Shot and other Samsung gimmicks are actually selling points for some people. For the HTC One, you may love BlinkFeed or HTC’s own camera tricks and overall UI design. So if you’re thinking of ponying up the cash to buy the Google Edition of either of these Android devices, consider the trade-offs.

For many of you, it’s going to be a no-brainer. You love the hardware, but you hate the software. You love the Google experience. Perhaps you’ve already forked over the money and are just waiting on the devices to come in. If that describes you perfectly, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments and why you decided to spend the extra cash just to have the device free from the shackles of carriers and manufacturers. Many of you have been pining for the Galaxy S4 or the HTC One in a Nexus-style version, and your wishes have been answered.

Just the other day, I wrote about why the HTC One kept me from going back to the iPhone 5. I actually like Sense 5, though I think it needs some work, and the camera software and features are excellent. On the other hand, I loved the Nexus 4 when I had it for review, except the battery life, and I wouldn’t mind having a “pure” Google Android experience on the HTC One. The hardware is beautiful, and that makes up for half the overall experience of owning the device. But again, I can’t imagine paying $600 for the phone just to be off contract and not have to look at BlinkFeed every now and then. I’m not so antsy for infrequent Android updates that I feel like I’ve been left in the dust when Nexus devices get a small handful of new features.

I also feel like the phones themselves have a kind of soul. I mean, they’re lifeless slabs of metal and glass and plastic (or mostly plastic, in Samsung’s case), but they do have a bit of personality to them. Part of that personality is defined by TouchWiz or Sense. Stripping the Galaxy S4 or the HTC One of those things is like stripping away a part of its soul. With stock or pure Android, or whatever you want to call and argue it, would it still be a Galaxy S4 or HTC One? Is it the hardware or the software that gives a device its identity? If you were to load iOS onto an HTC One, is it still an HTC One?

Let me know what you think, and how you feel about the cost/benefit relationship with these Google Edition devices.

LG Optimus G Pro Challenge, Day 1: LG is back

Jun 26th 2013, 09:20

When it comes to Android, Samsung and HTC dominate the headlines – and when it comes to the overall smartphone space, Apple and Samsung tend to receive most of the news.  While LG is a huge corporation on the scale of Samsung, the praise tends to end around their Android smartphones, as they haven’t had a huge presence in the US to date.

LG’s Optimus G Pro is the best LG handset I’ve used to date and is a top competitor to the HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S 4, and Samsung Galaxy Note II.  I’m eager to see how the LG Optimus G Pro performs in day to day use.  The software is much-improved, and the specs under the hood are impressive to say the least.  That said, it’s lacking the S Pen for content creation – a feature that helped propel the Galaxy Note II to where it is now.  LG is back, but I’m curious to see whether they can get traction in today’s crowded smartphone space.

What features do YOU want to see covered during the 30 day challenge?  Let me know on Twitter @PhoneDog_Aaron!

View video here

NVIDIA SHIELD shipments delayed until July due to ‘mechanical issue’

Jun 26th 2013, 08:20

NVIDIA SHIELD open Android 4.2 home screen

Last week we got the good news that NVIDIA’s SHIELD gaming handheld was receiving a price cut to $299 and was slated to launch on June 27, but today we’ve gotten a bit of bad news to balance that out. NVIDIA just announced that shipments of the SHIELD have been delayed into July so that the company can address a “mechanical issue” that was discovered during the final testing of the device. The Tegra-maker hasn’t provided much information about exactly what the problem is, but it does say that it relates to a third-party component and that it’s working with that supplier to get that part improved.

As for a new ship date, NVIDIA has only said that the SHIELD is now expected to ship out in July, but it promises to share a precise date next month. The news is definitely a bummer for anyone that’s been eagerly awaiting the arrival of their Android 4.2-powered SHIELD, especially because it comes less than a week after the handheld’s price cut and just a day before the SHIELD’s former launch date. It’s not clear exactly how far into July this delay will take the SHIELD’s launch, but with July just a few days away at this point, at least the delay shouldn’t take more than a month. Have any of you pre-ordered an NVIDIA SHIELD?

Via NVIDIA

Why I decided to roll back to iOS 6

Jun 26th 2013, 08:00

It’s been a little over two weeks since Apple’s WWDC kicked off. Here we heard about the much rumored iOS 7, and shortly thereafter several of us here at PhoneDog decided to toy with the beta release of the updated software. My initial impressions of iOS 7 were mostly positive, with a follow-up article of things I would have changed. After two weeks of using iOS 7, I’ve actually decided to roll back to iOS 6.

My phone was really bad at handling iOS 7. I’m 112% positive it has something to do with it being in beta, and those things were expected. However, after consulting with a couple of sources who were also testing iOS 7 using the iPhone 5, I found that none of them were having as much trouble as I was with force closes, battery issues, and random reboots.

I mentioned in one of my articles before that I think iOS 7 is the software that will start to really show the iPhone 4S’s age. iOS 7 will likely be aimed for optimal performance on the next generation iPhone, which we expect to see in the fall, and with the 4S being two generations behind the new phone I can only assume it will follow in the footsteps of the iPhone 3GS (e.g., “Going, going, gone”). The phone will be able to support the update, but the main focus will be on making the most out of the iPhone 5, and more importantly, the iPhone that comes after that. On a side note, I can say that through my experience with phones that Apple has done the best job of keeping the iPhone afloat for the longest amount of time between upgrades. Although I still think manufacturers should keep phones relevant for longer, I have found that Apple’s few and far in between releases is what help keep the devices relevant for longer than most other devices.

But more importantly, aside from the bugginess, I think I realized that the changes in iOS 7 weren’t that captivating. A lot of people have grown tired of the design on the “old” iOS, but personally (and especially after experiencing iOS 7 personally) I prefer the old design. I find it to be more alluring. I agree that there were some design aesthetics that were due for a change (for example, I absolutely despise the denim background for the notification center) but I find the entire redesign of iOS 7 to be a little too minimalist in some areas. The text seems a little harder to read, and I’ve also noticed that even though the stock icons have changed to be more simplified, you still have most of the 800,000+ apps in the app store that need to redesign their app icons to fit that minimalistic theme since most of them have created their icons to have a more complex design. The way the two designs clash on screen is pretty noticeable to me.

There are some really cool features about iOS 7 that I enjoyed. I mean, animated wallpapers have been around since flip phones were big, so it shouldn’t be anything to ooh or ahh about – didn’t stop me from getting excited about it anyway. I thought the parallax effect was pretty neat, because even the “still” wallpapers still seemed to be lively with phone movement. Also, since going back to iOS 6 I find that I still try to swipe up for control center settings. I especially miss my included flashlight. It was also easy to adjust to some of the new gesture-based features of the redesign, which was nice.

I’ve mentioned that it looked like iOS 7 took a step backwards in time when it comes to design, and I still feel this way. If I hadn’t seen either version of iOS and you placed two phones in front of me, one running on iOS 7 and the other running on iOS 6, I would have probably guessed that iOS 7 was some sort of pre-release design and iOS 6 was a final version (strictly speaking design-wise). The subtle shadows underneath the icons and text, and the slight glare that most applications used on their icons just make it look more advanced compared to iOS 7.

There was a lot that I enjoyed about the changes in iOS 7, and I suspect I would have enjoyed it more if I had a device that handled it better. I also realize that I was late to the iOS party – the first iOS device was released in 2007, but with me being primarily a Sprint customer (and for a short while, T-Mobile) my first real hands-on experience with an iPhone was fairly recent, in 2011. Since not even two years has passed since I was first introduced to the device, I think that I’m still not quite as tired of the design as people who have been using the design for about 6 years by this point. I get bored with it because I’ve had the phone for so long, but I also realize that this happens with just about every phone I have. And, as Marc pointed out recently, there are ways to renew interest in your phone once you grow bored of it.

I don’t think iOS 7 is a bad design; in fact, I think a lot of people are surprised by how much they enjoy it. I was even surprised by how much I didn’t despise it. Regardless, I still don’t really like it. The euphoria of having it on my device has worn off, and with each passing day I began missing iOS 6 even more. So, in the end, I’ve decided to roll back to iOS 6 – at least for now. I am still interested in seeing the changes that iOS 7 makes through its various beta stages until its launch; it will be interesting to see what the final product will be like.

Readers, what have your thoughts on iOS 7 been since its official announcement? Do you prefer the design of iOS 6 or 7 more? Whatever the case may be, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below!

Features user review Samsung Galaxy Note II 6-26-13

Jun 26th 2013, 06:51

HUMP DAY!  (Sorry, but that giraffe is funny!)   Today we feature a user review for the Samsung Galaxy Note II.  A device that has maintained a top three status for months now!

“Its a beast!”  By AKILESH YAMSANI on June 19, 2013

Used the phone for couple of months and I am completely impressed with it, the screen is a beast and I just love watching videos on the HD screen. Battery life is about a day. There are a couple of things you should be careful of, one, its huge size, second, its fragile screen, I broke my front glass with a 4 ft drop.

Display 5/5
Battery Life 4/5
Apps & Media Support 5/5
Reception & Call Quality 5/5
Design/Form Factor 4/5

Overall 4.6

Official Smartphone Rankings™, vote now then leave a review.

Did you pick up the Samsung Galaxy Note II?  Tell us about it here.

HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S 4 Google Play editions now available

Jun 26th 2013, 06:10

HTC One Google Play edition official

The day that many Android fans have been waiting for is finally here. Google is now accepting pre-orders for the “Google Pay edition” versions of both the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 through its online Play Store, with pricing set at $599 and $649, respectively. Orders of both devices are expected to ship “by July 9.” The two phones come preloaded with vanilla Android Jelly Bean, meaning that they don’t feature the custom HTC and Samsung overlays that their regular counterparts do. While they’re not officially branded as “Nexus” phones, the phones will offer a Nexus user experience that includes timely Android software updates.

Besides the lack of custom manufacturer software, these Google Play editions HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S 4 are fairly similar to the models that have been on sale for months now. The HTC One comes with 32GB of built-in storage, while the Galaxy S 4 features 16GB of included memory along with a microSD card slot for additional space. Both devices work with AT&T and T-Mobile’s LTE networks and are also SIM-unlocked and bootloader-unlockable.

To date, Google has offered four Nexus phones with stock Android and speedy updates, but many consumers still want the option of buying other high-end Android phones that run the plain version of Android. Now HTC, Samsung and Google are teaming up to offer just that. They may not be cheap, but it’s good to see that the folks that’ve been clamoring for vanilla Android versions of the One and Galaxy S 4 can finally buy exactly that. Now we just have to wait for the two devices to begin shipping to consumers so that we can see how they perform without their custom Sense and TouchWiz overlays. Are you buying a Google Play edition HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S 4?

Via Google Play: HTC One Google Play edition, Samsung Galaxy S 4 Google Play edition

Samsung Galaxy S 4 Google Play edition

Winner of the Splash into Summer Giveaway

Jun 25th 2013, 11:25

A. Tandiama Congratulations to R. McCallum of AL on being our Splash into Summer Giveaway winner!   His vote in last week’s Official Smartphone Rankings got him entered into the giveaway and a spot into the drawing held live Tuesday June 25, 2013 for a brand new HTC One (AT&T) courtesy of Best Buy Mobile.  ” Keep it up Sony/Apple/HTC/Samsung/LG/Moto… the more ya’ll fight, the better it is for us, the consumers!  The HTC One is amazing. I can’t wait to get mine! Thank You Phonedog team.!”

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