On October 10th of 2012 the Nexus 4 showed up on Carphone Warehouse’s database, hinting that the (then) latest Nexus was about to be unveiled. A little over a year later, a newly leaked screenshot from Carphone Warehouse reveals that the retailer has 1,500 white Nexus 5 units in stock and ready to go in time for the handset’s launch.
The leak first arrived by way of Android Police, who received both the screenshot below and a claim that there were an additional 1,500 black units also in stock.
Looking at the image, this certainly looks like the Carphone Warehouse system as we’ve seen it in the past, though that doesn’t prove anything. This certainly wouldn’t be impossible to fake, so speculation is advised.
If the leak is true, that means that Carphone Warehouse has 3,000 units, and this could be an indication that Google is making sure that its retail partners don’t run into any immediate stock issues (unlike the Nexus 4 launch).
So what else do we know about the Nexus 5? Nothing officially besides what it looks like, but all the rumors point to a device that’s powered by a Snapdragon 800 CPU with 2GB of RAM. We also believe the handset has a 4.95-inch HD IPS display, 16/32GB storage, 8MP camera with OIS, a 1.3MP front cam, 2,300mAh battery and (of course) Android 4.4 KitKat.
If all the past rumors prove true, there doesn’t seem to be a ton of mystery left with the Nexus 5 — except for when it’s actually coming.
The latest rumors indicate we now won’t see the Nexus 5 until sometime in November, and considering we’ve yet to receive any official press event, we’d say that’s a safe bet. As for the exact day, only Google knows for sure.
The brand new LG G2 smartphone sure is impressive. We loved nearly everything about the 5.2-inch quad-core flagship smartphone in our full G2 Review. However, one area that always seemed to bother us was the screen brightness, and thanks to several comments and XDA threads, we know we’re not alone. Thankfully there’s many custom apps in the Play Store to fix this, so we figured we’d mention one.
It’s called Lux Auto Brightness, and they’re one of the original screen brightness and automatically controlled apps for Android. It’s still my favorite to date, and is used on any device with a big screen. The LG G2 screen is gorgeous, absolutely, but getting screen brightness perfect was a bit tough. Especially if you use the auto-brightness option.
I usually stick to 30% on screen brightness, but going outside I’m constantly having to crank it up to achieve a better viewing experience. While many phones have a auto option that varies in success, LG’s seems to be just downright awful. Sorry, but it’s true. It’s constantly changing with even the most minor lighting situation, and we found it quite bothersome.
Lux Auto Brightness is the perfect solution. At least for myself so far. For those that haven’t used it, you’ll get the best brightness options available. Their auto option is very subtle as it changes, and isn’t nearly as drastic or noticeable as stock Android, or the LG G2. Which constantly changes and is quite irritating. Not only that, but Lux also changes the temperature based on the surroundings as well.
We tried a few different apps on the G2, but this seems to be the best, still. Then for those who don’t like where Lux takes the brightness or colors on its own, you can customize them. So it still has a brightness you selected, but will change automatically when you are indoors or outdoors. It’s rather neat, and while this is great for almost any device, the G2′s crazy auto setting made this an instant buy for me. Give the paid or free version a try below.
If you were a small South Korea-based smartphone maker who has to take on the likes of industry giants Samsung and LG, what do you think you should do in order to thrive? Some people might be inclined to say wage pointless patent wars, but we think a little bit of good old innovation would also work just fine. That’s exactly what Pantech has tirelessly been trying to do, and now the latest fruit of its efforts comes to us in the form of the VEGA LTE-A.
The Pantech VEGA LTE-A looks pretty much just like any other Android smartphone on the market right now: it has a 5.6-inch Full HD screen, runs on a quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, and it runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean right out of the box. But it also supports the newly-minted LTE-Advanced networks over in South Korea, so that’s a plus. It also has fingerprint recognition on its back.
We’re not quite sure how much a single Pantech VEGA LTE-A will set you back, but it will be made available for sale in mid-August through Korean carrier SK Telecom. We’ll have to leave you to your own devices now, as the lady in the photo has apparently been telling us to shup up this entire time.
HTC is said to release two smartphones in the near future. The first, named Zara, is rumored to be a plastic shell device headed for Sprint. As @evleaks puts it, the Zara “is supposedly a mashup of the One and Desire families”. Interesting take, but oddly accurate. While no specs are available, @evleaks is reporting it will indeed go to Softbank’s new US company. Since Sprint will also have an HTC Windows Phone device launching in the same timeframe, it’s reasonable to assume the Zara will be Android-based.
If this all pans out, it looks like HTC is building on the foundation the laid with the One.
The One Max is a bit different, and perhaps a bit misleading in name. When we hear a name like Max, we assume the Droid Maxx, which slaps a big battery behind a familiar device. The One Max is more like a Note 3 competitor, only it keeps the same gorgeous build as the original One. Same aluminum chassis, but this one is alleged to be wrapped around a 5.9-inch 1080p screen. HTC Source is also reporting a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, a 3,300mAh battery, and the familiar BoomSound speakers with Ultrapixel camera backing it up.
The One Max is said to make a stop at AT&T, but not as an exclusive. Set to be unveiled in the later part of Q3, the One Max could end up being a contender in the Note 3/Xperia Z Ultra showdown. Nobody minds HTC being late to the party, so long as they bring something good to the mix.
If this all pans out, it looks like HTC is building on the foundation the laid with the One. While they don’t seem to be messing with the success there, other than making a mini and Max device to round out the lineup, they will be offering the decidedly throttled-down Zara. We’ve never had a problem with HTC’s plastic devices, and the Zara will probably be a good device for Sprint, so long as the hardware behind the plastic is worthy of the new HTC brand.
The Google Play Music app has been recently updated, adding a series of useful tweaks to the user experience.
While it may not look like a huge update, what’s been improved can be very helpful in your everyday use of the app (and I’m sure you’ve started to use it even more if Google Play Music All Access is available in your country).
First of all, the app now has the option to delete tracks, so you can get rid of the songs you’re not listening to straight from the app, freeing some space on your device in the process. Another useful thing is that you now have the ability to add a song to a playlist straight from the Now Playing screen, useful especially if you’re into creating playlists for various occasions.
You can now also share a song from that same Now Playing screen, allowing you to show your friends on Google+ what you’re listening to, providing them with a preview of the track, as well as a link that allows them to buy it in an instant, as you can see in the screenshot below.
Finally, you can also remove items from your Library.
Are you a Google Play Music user? Do you find the new update useful?
The Sony Xperia A recently paid a visit to the FCC, with the documents giving us a bit of an idea about what we should expect from it, and some pictures too.
The interesting part is that some of the documents, including the user manual and some pictures, have disappeared since from the FCC site. You can see the smartphone, which seems to continue the design line of the Xperia Z, in the image below.
According to the documents, the LTE smartphone should come with a 5-inch display with 1080p resolution, and the user manual mentioned a 13-megapixel camera, as well as 16GB of storage space.
Another interesting thing is that the device features a removable battery, which is a 2300mAH one. You can see the battery slot in the image below.
Although the battery is removable, the user manual also mentioned water and dust resistance (IPX5/7), like the Xperia Z has.
The user manual comes with Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo’s logo on it, calling the device the SO-04E. Since the Japanese carrier is planning to announce its summer phone lineup on May 15, the Xperia A will almost certainly be part of the announcement, so we should know a lot more details then.
For all that we do know about Google Glass, we’ve not seen a lot of app development yet. It hasn’t been long since the mirror API was released for Glass, so we’re not surprised at the lack of forthcoming info. Glass is also a long way from retail, so again… no rush.
Leave it to developers to come up with the right stuff to add, though. For Mike DiGiovanni, the most glaring omission from Glass was a lock screen. Interestingly enough, Glass doesn’t have one. Perhaps this was an oversight by Google, or perhaps they just didn’t see a need to have one on device that is being sent to a limited audience of dedicated developers and early adopters.
Even with a limited user base, there is still a need for security. Not that those who have or will be getting them plan on taking them off, maybe ever, but that doesn’t stop a thief or curious friend. Glass may be an accompaniment to your Android device, but your info is still there. Contacts, videos, pics… that’s all private, and should be protected.
The video below shows a very basic lock screen function for Glass. It seems to be reliant on the touchpad, not gesture based. Maybe this can be manipulated to encompass both touch and gesture at some point, we’re not sure. What we are sure of is that you shouldn’t wear Glass to a baseball game… someone may try to steal third.
Samsung is getting closer to commercializing the first devices featuring a plastic-based (flexible) display. According to a report from the OLED Association, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will be on show at the IFA 2013 Berlin show in September, and its plastic screen could be one of the phone’s most talked features.
According to OLEDA’s research, the screen of the Galaxy Note 3 will be made out of a thin plastic material that is not only shatterproof, but also lighter and thinner than current glass substrates.
The screen of the Note 3 is supposedly going to be similar to the Youm displays showed off at CES back in January. However, that doesn’t mean that the Note 3 will necessarily feature a curved screen like the prototypes we’ve seen so far. The screen is more likely to maintain a flat shape.
Whilst the screen of the Note 3 is said to be around half an inch larger than the Note 2, a plastic substrate would make it much thinner and lighter than its predecessor. According to a diagram by the OLEDA, a plastic-based screen would be half the weight of a glass-based OLED panel and an amazing less than a third the weight of a similarly sized conventional LCD display. Needless to say, moving to plastic would enable massive weight reductions, potentially enabling manufacturers to pack heavier batteries without making phones cumbersome to hold.
However, there’s a warning in the report that makes us wary. OLED A doubts that Samsung will be able to deliver full HD RGB resolution on plastic, and, even if it is, low yields are likely to limit the number of units that Samsung is going to be able to sell. The Note 3, while not as popular as the Galaxy S4, is likely to sell tens of million of units, making it crucial for Samsung to ensure a steady supply of displays. Therefore, it’s possible, says the report, that Samsung will only sell the plastic-based display version of the Note 3 in certain markets, offering versions with a conventional, glass-based display in most markets.
When it comes to device protection we basically have two sides, those who go all out and those who prefer to stick with the bare phone and hope for the best. Speaking personally, I have been on both sides, but I have also been on the side of scratching my display and since then — I come to realize that spending a few bucks to protect a few hundred dollar smartphone sounds like a good idea.
That being the case, we recently spent some hands-on time checking out the Spigen SGP Ultra Crystal Steinheil screen protector for the HTC One. With this, those few bucks are actually .99 and the good news is this protector is available for sale at this very moment. Simply put, those picking up an HTC One now have an option to consider from day one.
This one is touted as being an “enhanced optical hard coated film.” More to the point here, what you will be getting is a single sheet of hard coated 4H that protects your display. The application process is simple and to the point and nicely, without the need of a special spray. Just peel and stick and you are protected.