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Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 805; 2.5 Ghz Clock Speed, Adreno 400 GPU and “Ultra HD” Playback
The Snapdragon 800 arrived in device’s this Fall and we were all take aback at just how fast the latest chip was. Of course, the dizzying clock speeds of 2.2 and 2.3 Ghz were impressive enough but, in both benchmarks and in real world tests, the Snapdragon 800 is a scorcher. We’ve seen it do brilliant things in the Nexus 5 and the Galaxy Note 3, for instance. Unsurprisingly though, Qualcomm have an even quicker chip up their sleeve. We knew that there was a 2.5 Ghz chip coming as manufacturers in China haven’t been exactly coy about such a thing but, now it’s finally an official product. The Snapdragon 805 is a bump to the Snapdragon 800 and if the extra 200 Mhz were the only difference then this would be just another Snapdragon 800 but, there’s more to it than that.
The Snapdragon 805 includes a new GPU, the Adreno 420, as oppose to the Adreno 330 in the 800. This, Qualcomm says, will deliver up to 40% better performance and the CPU cores themselves have changed from the Krait 400 cores, to the Krait 450 running at 2.5 Ghz with memory speeds of 25.6 GB/s, which is quite frankly, insane. All of this is just numbers to most people but, what this new chip will enable new devices to do is to playback Ultra HD or 4K video on your devices as well as capture it. Of course, the playback of such high-resolution content properly only applies to Smart TVs as we can’t imagine watching 4K content on smartphones much of a priority. As well as, camera recording performance should be vastly improved as there’s now support for gigapixel throughput.
Jolla smartphone to launch in Finland on November 27
Smartphone users in Finland will soon have a new device to choose from once Jolla, a company born from Nokia‘s abandoned projects and employees, releases its first smartphone in two weeks’ time. While the device runs its own mobile platform, called Sailfish OS, it might be interesting even to Android users on both a hardware and software perspective.
The Jolla phone is somewhat based on the Nokia N9 but adds, almost literally, a new layer. While the phone itself comes in a plain black color, it features what Jolla calls the “Other Half”, an interchangeable backplate almost the same thickness as the phone. What makes this particularly curious is that the backplate can be used to transfer data or control the device via NFC. Different backplates can be configured to automatically change the phone’s color theme and wallpaper upon attaching, making it possible, for example, for studios or artists to sell backplates that contain their music as well as album art and color schemes. As far as the other specs go, the Jolla smartphone is, unfortunately, rather mediocre.
On the software side, Sailfish OS can run Android apps directly via a compatibility layer. Just yesterday, Jolla announced a partnership with Russian Internet giant Yandex to provide thousands of Android apps via the Yandex.Store. Jolla is definitely not unique in doing this. Even BlackBerry has some amount of support for running Android apps on its BlackBerry 10 OS. It even teased yesterday the upcoming improvements to its Android Runtime once BlackBerry OS 10.2.1 rolls out. With the enormous amount of Android apps already in existence compared with native BlackBerry 10 apps, let alone Sailfish OS apps, it is quite possible that Android apps might overtake or even make obsolete the native apps on these platforms.
The Jolla smartphone will be available from the Finnnish carrier DNA for a price of 399 euros, roughly $540, so it’s not exactly cheap. Fans outside of Finland might have to wait a while though, as Jolla has not indicated whether it plans to make the smartphone directly available in international markets.
Black Friday 2013 Deals
We re rounding up the very best deals for Black Friday 2013 in tablets, smartphones, speakers and headphones, mobile accessories, and other cool electronic stuff! Check it all out here for the greatest deals that America s retailers have to offer on the day after Thanksgiving. Prices will, of course, mostly only be applicable on Black Friday (that s November 29), and in some instances on Thanksgiving Day (November 28), and may only be available in limited quantities and only in stores.
Specs: Motorola Moto G
Motorola today announced their latest smartphone, the Moto G and coming in at just $179 unlocked, you’re probably thinking just what sort of performance and specs the Moto G can have. Motorola have really managed to pack some impressive specs inside of the Moto G for that price point but, their software engineers have gone through with what they call “obsessive attention to detail” to make sure the software is up to speed, too. Making a device that is not only available for very little unlocked but, one that you want have to worry about delivery a sub-par user experience.
Let’s take a look at the specs shall we:
Motorola Moto G official: specs, features, price and availability
The Moto G wasn’t a well-guarded secret (though it wasn’t as leaky as the Moto X either), but we’ve still looked forward to finding out what this affordable little device is all about.
Now the Motorola made the Moto G official and we have the rundown on specs and features, as well as the all-important price information, is the Moto G worth more praise than its spec sheet suggests? Let’s find out.
Motorola Moto G specifications
Motorola called the HD display of the Moto G its hero feature, and highlighted its excellent pixel density, which is better than that of the iPhone 5s. Indeed, for a device that starts from just $179, the 4.5-inch 326 ppi screen is nothing short of excellent.
Powering all those pixels is a Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2GHz, coupled with 1GB of RAM. This is a good mid-range configuration that should get most users through a majority of tasks.
The Moto G will run slightly modified stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean out of the box, but Motorola “guaranteed” a KitKat upgrade by January 2014.
Kyocera Hydro XTRM arrives with MetroPCS
Kyocera has handsets that aren’t waterproof, however it seems most of what we have been seeing lately are models that can handle being submerged in water. We have reviewed a few here, and we got a first look at the Hydro EDGE and Hydro XTRM way back in May. At the time Kyocera was showing the handset and while they shared details on the specs, there wasn’t much in the way of specific release dates. Well, it looks like MetroPCS has launched Hydro XTRM.
The carrier has added the handset to the available lineup beginning today. They have it priced at $169. That is a contract-free price and the handset will be available with the MetroPCS nationwide plans that begin at $40 per month. These plans offer unlimited talk, text and data. The price difference for the plans comes with how much high-speed data you get. The $40 per month plan offers 500MB.
The Hydro XTRM is not only waterproof but also sporting a rugged exterior. In fact, Kyocera touts the Hydro XTRM as being the “most rugged of the Kyocera Hydro Series.” The handset has an IP57 certification which means it is dust proof and waterproof and can handle being in up to 3.28 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. The Hydro XTRM also has a Military Standard 810G rating against shock.
Motorola Moto X Developer Edition also gets a price cut
The past few days have truly been good to fans, owners, and would-be owners of Motorola‘s Moto X flagship. The device has just seen a price cut that has now extended even to the unlockable Developer Edition being sold directly from Motorola’s website.
Late last month, Motorola slashed the prices of the Moto X by half, reducing the amount from $199 to $99, but still with a two-year contract from some carriers. Then just yesterday, Verizon, who was still carrying the original price tag, finally implemented the cut and also offered the Moto X for a full retail price of $499.99. If the luck of Verizon’s customers hold, they will also soon be seeing the MotoMaker customization tool on the carrier by Monday.
Now the Moto X Developer Edition is following suit, though it is still a bit pricier than carrier options. The unlockable version of the smartphone is now priced at $549.99, whereas it previously sold for $649.99. This applies to both the GSM-LTE model that is compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile networks as well as to the Verizon variant. As before, the Developer Editions are only available in black or white color options, though the 32 GB storage capacity unavailable on carrier models might make up for the lack of customization options.
The Moto X, both developer and carrier editions, are also scheduled to receive Android 4.4 updates, though that schedule is still unknown. Hopefully considering Motorola’s ties to Google, it wouldn’t take too long.
Motorola DROID Ultra, Mini, and Maxx receiving OTA update with camera improvements
The Moto X recently received a software update that drastically improved the camera quality and experience on the device, and now the same update is rolling out to the trio of Motorola and Verizon’s newest DROID lineup – the DROID Ultra, Mini, and Maxx.
The update has been under testing by members of Motorola’s soak test program since the last few days, and now Punit Soni, VP of Product Management at the company has announced its general availability. Post update, you’ll see a noticeable improvement in the camera, with faster focusing, consistent exposure, and improved white balance and HDR. Photos should come out sharper and have more detail as well. Also included in the update is 50GB of free Dropbox storage, though as always this will be valid only for a period of two years.
Soni also teased future updates, and while one of them should be the upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat at some point, you’ll have to make do with those camera improvements for now. The update should reach all users in the next few days, but while you wait, you can do a manual check from the Settings – About phone – System updates menu on your phone. Remember, the update will unroot your device and likely patch existing root exploits, so if root access matters to you, it would be best to wait for a newer exploit to come along before hitting that update button.
RockMyMoto roots the Moto X after recent camera-improving update
We all love software updates, but when an update takes away the possibility to root a device, that’s when that love turns into hate and makes us wish we had never hit that update button in the first place. That’s exactly what happened with a recent Moto X update – it improved the camera quality like a boss, but it also made the only known root method for the device stop working.
But XDA developer jcase, creator of the original root method, is back with a vengeance with RockMyMoto, which allows for rooting the Moto X after the aforementioned update. However, the new method is a bit more complicated than the original, with requirements such as having ADB and Cydia Impactor installed, basic knowledge of command line usage, and having both devices connected to the same network, but it should still be a walk in the park if you go through the instructions carefully.
Hit up the source link to head to the RockMyMoto thread on XDA for more details. As always, take necessary backups before attempting anything, and keep in mind that your device’s warranty will be void after rooting (though a flash back to the official software should take care of that if needed.)
Are ads on their way to the KitKat dialer?
Android has dramatically evolved over the years in many ways, though one area that hasn’t seen a lot of love has been the dialer app. With Android 4.4 KitKat, this all changes. The new KitKat phone dialer brings us plenty of new features, including a card-based UI, in-app business search, smart contacts, smart caller and so much more.
While the new dialer has plenty of positives heading our way, Google might also be sneaking in something a bit more sinister. According to Android Police, hiding within the dialer’s code is a set of strings that obviously refer to advertisements:
It’s currently unclear what form these ads might take, we could be talking about full image ads, or even just simple text ads. We also can’t say for sure that Google intends to roll these out, they may have just been experimenting with the possibility.
Even if ads do surface in the dialer, the presence of the “Advertisements_disable” string seems to suggest that there might be a way to turn them off.
Nexus 5 Availability: 16GB Models Sold Out and 32GB Models 2-3 Weeks
Yesterday was THE day, the big Nexus 5 announcement that we all were waiting for – and the day certainly did not disappoint, unless you were one of the many that tried to order their new pure Android 4.4 KitKat Nexus 5 and were told they were out of stock! Today, if you go to the Google Play Store, and try to order the 16GB or 32GB white or black model, you will be told that for both 16GB models, “We are out of inventory. Please check back soon.” If you want either of the 32GB models, it will tell you that it, “Leaves warehouse in 2-3 weeks.” Sad news indeed, but Google never seems to have enough devices when they do a major launch, so waiting was inevitable, and sometimes necessary.
Will your wait be worth it…we think so and so does Google. With the Nexus 5 you get the best that Google’s Android operating system can give – pure, unadulterated, Android 4.4 KitKat, the newest and best Android OS to date; no TouchWiz, Optimus UI, or Sense overlays or “skins” to deal with. When you purchase the Nexus 5 you are always the FIRST to get the latest updates from Google, while the rest of us wait along the sidelines for both our manufacturer and our carrier to design it and then approve it before they will release it to our devices.
Firefox Beta gets new Home design on Android
Firefox Beta for Android has received yet another update. This latest update has recently landed in the Play Store and it brings an updated startup screen. This is being called “Home” and it is described as being a place where users can get “quick and easy access to their browsing data.”
That data will include everything from the top sites to history, bookmarks and your Reading List. The Home design will offer thumbnails for Top Sites and also allow the user to pin tabs. Users will see Home when they launch the app and from here they can open a new tab, surf to a site by entering an address in the URL bar or by tapping something from the Top Sites or History sections.
This update also brought some search related changes. In this case that means the addition of Bing and Yahoo! as search options. While the Firefox Beta app is available globally, these additional search options are only going to apply for those in the US, Canada and France. The default search engine can be switched by navigating to Menu -> Search Settings.
The password manager now also supports script-generated password fields. And aside from the items already mentioned, this update also improved performance for “some” NVIDIA devices and the CSP implantation now supports multiple policies. Lastly, there were also a few developer specific items.
Google sued by Microsoft/Blackberry owned Rockstar
The seemingly endless litigation tech companies engage in just took a very serious tone. While suing over iPhone designs or WiFi radios is important, even interesting, it’s not necessarily crucial to the way a company does business. A new lawsuit filed against Google threatens the absolute core of what Google does, and it could get ugly.
Rockstar — a company owned by heavy hitters like Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony — has filed suit against Google. The lawsuit, filed in Texas federal court, claims Google infringed on several patents that have to do with search results and advertising. More to the point, the lawsuit claims Google is infringing on patents by using search results to return targeted advertising.
We see the action daily, even if we choose not to pay it any mind. You search for something like pocket knives, then you visit some random website. Lo and behold, there’s an ad for pocket knives — even if the site has nothing to do with knives, or camping, or anything that could possibly be related to your search. That’s the most glaring example of how your search results are targeted to advertising, and it’s a massive part of Google’s revenue stream.
These patents are all from a company named Nortel, which Google tried to purchase when the company went bankrupt in 2011. Google’s initial offer for $900 million found it’s way to $4.4 billion through a bidding war with — you guessed it — Rockstar. Rockstar ended up with Nortel’s patents, and Google ended up purchasing Motorola shortly thereafter, in what many felt was a patent grab. Now, Rockstar is aiming their patent cannons at Google, and this one will be war.
Nexus 5 officially available in the Google Play Store; $350 for 16GB, $399 for 32GB
The Nexus 5 has officially appeared in the Google Play Store! The device is sitting there live, in the flesh, in 16GB and 32GB variants (for $350 and $400, respectively). Just as we’ve learned in the numerous leaks since, well, the beginning of time, the Nexus 5 is a beast of a device.
Nexus 5 Specs
Just take heed to the following specs:
You have a couple of different options if you aren’t down with buying it unlocked. So far, we know Sprint and T-Mobile are both billed as official carriers for the device. The Now Network is launching it November 8th, with the 16GB version being let go for $150 and the 32GB version for $200. T-Mobile’s being more hush on the details, though they said it should be here in time for the holidays.
Android 4.4 KITKAT official details posted — here’s what’s new
While the Nexus 5 announcement may have many of you scrambling for your piggy banks to order one, there’s still one big piece of info we need to cover — Android 4.4 KitKat, and everything that it’s supposed to bring to the table. We’ve got all the details right here.
Everything users need to know
So what’s new? Here’s a quick list of everything KitKat is bringing us:
Nexus 4 vs Nexus 5 — what’s new?
As expected, Google officially unveiled the Nexus 5 today, bringing us an extremely powerful new Android flagship at a reasonably budget-friendly starting price of just $349.
Now that the Nexus 5 is here, you might be wondering what’s all new when compared to last year’s Nexus. The Nexus 4 was an excellent handset when first debuted, but the Nexus 5 is bigger and better in just about every way imaginable.
Let’s jump in and take a look at what’s new with the Nexus 5, shall we?Design and build quality
When the Nexus 4 touched down last year it brought with it a unique design with a glass back. This led to a design that was quite stunning, though arguably not the most durable. In contrast, the Nexus 5 favors a plastic back and a design that is very similar to the Nexus 7, albeit in smaller form.
When it comes down to size, the Nexus 5 is a bit larger but actually weighs a little less and is even thinner! The Nexus 5 comes in at 137.84 x 69.17 x 8.59 mm with a weight of 130 grams. In contrast, the Nexus 4 is 133.9 x 68.7 x 9.1mm and is 9 grams heavier.
Overall, the Nexus 5 is a stunning device though it’s visual design is considerably different from the Nexus 4. As a plus, it’s plastic body should make for a much more durable device.Display
Probably one of the most noticeable changes for the Nexus 5 is it’s 4.96-inch Full HD display. At 445ppi, the Nexus 5′s viewing experience will likely be nothing short of amazing.
The Nexus 4′s 4.7-inch 768 x 1280 resolution display wasn’t bad at the time, but we are now in an age where 1080p is the norm.Camera and Battery
One of the biggest weaknesses for the Nexus 4 was it’s less-than-great camera and weak battery. Are things any better this time around with the Nexus 5? Yes and no.
While the camera is still just an 8MP shooter, it’s important to remember that there is more to a good picture taking experience than just the megapixels. With the inclusion of optical image stabilization, the Nexus 5′s camera will likely prove to be an improvement over the original, though it’s hard to say by how much.
As for the battery, the Nexus 5′s battery is bigger at 2300 mAh versus 2100 mAh, but the handset also has a faster processor and more demanding display. That means battery life is still clearly a weakness for the Nexus line.
On the brightside, Google’s independent testing claims battery life isn’t that bad. Supposedly you should be able to get around 17 hours of talk time, 300 hours standby, and Internet use on Wifi at 8.5 hours, or 7 hours on LTE.
Motorola begins teasing KitKat: “More to share soon”
The LG Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat are now official! For now the only device that supports KitKat is the new Nexus 5, but Google has promised this will change in the next few weeks with the update coming to the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and the Galaxy S4 GPe and HTC ONe GPe.
How about non-Nexus or Google Play edition devices – when will they see some KitKat love? While we can’t say for sure, Motorola has already begun teasing us in a new Google+ message.
The message tells us very little, but it could be an indication that Motorola is preparing to the bring the update to some of there devices. The Moto X is the most obvious candidate, though this teaser could also be a hint of their future plans for devices like the Moto G.
We can’t say for sure what Motorola is planning, but considering they are a Google company, it doesn’t seem to shocking to think that they’d be one of the first manufacturers to rollout KitKat.
Nexus 4, 7, 10 Android 4.4 KitKat release date set for the “coming weeks;” Galaxy Nexus not included
Google has officially introduced the new Nexus 5 smartphone and Android 4.4 KitKat earlier today, just as some recent rumors have suggested, but when will it be available?
While you may have though that KitKat will be rolled out rather quickly after becoming official, that’s not exactly the case.
On the company’s official blog, Google said that KitKat will come to various Nexus and Google Play edition devices in the “coming weeks” without actually specifying an actual release date.
As expected, the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Galaxy S4 Google Play edition and HTC One Google Play edition will all be updated to KitKat, but the company did not say anything about the Galaxy Nexus.
With KitKat, Google wants to update even older devices to a fresh OS, something it hasn’t done before. In fact, in the documentation it provided so far, Google revealed that KitKat has been optimized to run on devices that have at least 512MB of RAM.
Considering that the Galaxy Nexus has 1GB of RAM, we would assume that Galaxy Nexus would be also included in the list of devices to be updated. Maybe it’s just an oversight from Google for now, but we’re certainly going to be back with more details for you.
Motorola updates us on which of their devices will receive Android 4.4 KitKat
Not too many people know, but Motorola awhile back Motorola put together a handy web portal for eager Android users to visit and see which Motorola devices will receive the latest Android updates. Today they’ve officially updated their listings with the latest Android version — Android 4.4 KitKat.
In case you were wondering which devices Motorola currently plans on updating to Android 4.4, it looks like only the Moto X and current line of Droids — Motorola DROID Ultra, Motorola DROID Maxx, and Motorola DROID Mini — will taste KiKat’s sweet chocolatey wafers. We’ll have to wait and see if they update with more devices, but at the time of this writing, that’s all she wrote.
Sony hits a milestone: 10 million Xperia devices sold last quarter
We’re fans of Sony’s devices here at Android Authority and we root for the storied Japanese company to show that it can make it big in the mobile industry. The good news today is that Sony seems to be on the right path, with another quarter of growing device sales and revenue. However, in absolute terms, the growth is not that impressive.
Sony released its earnings results for Q2 of fiscal year 2013, which is the three months period ending on September 30. At a global level, the company had to cut its profit estimation for the year, from roughly $500 million to the equivalent of $300. Units like cameras and TVs, once Sony’s bread and butter, continued to decline, but the losses were offset by the sensor business and the mobile unit.
Sony managed to sell 10 million Xperia devices in the July-September period, compared to 9.6 million in the previous quarter, and 8.8 million in the same quarter of 2012. That’s a steady growth, though not a spectacular one. Despite the relatively small jump, Sony racked in almost 40 percent more in sales than in Q2 2012, thanks to the favorable exchange course and an increase in the average sale price of its devices.