We don't normally make a fuss over budget phones, and we definitely don't readily recommend that people buy them (even when they're free). For the Pantech Marauder on Verizon Wireless, however, we'll make an exception. Its Snapdragon S4 processor, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and 4G LTE connectivity make this a budget device that stands out from the pack.
For the unfamiliar, the Marauder is a new offering from Verizon, packing some very respectable hardware (for the most part, anyway):
Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
Display: 3.8" 480x800
OS: Android 4.0
Dimensions: 5.07" (H) x 2.57" (W) x 0.46" (D)
Camera: 5MP rear, VGA front
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n, WiFi Direct
The clear downside of the Marauder is its smaller-ish 3.8" display, but if you loved the OG Droid and no other phone has been able to fill that void since, the Marauder is your best choice.
It was only a couple days ago that we heard the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Motorola Xyboard Wi-Fi models would be rolling out. Now, Verizon has announced that the same update for the LTE version of the tablet is about to rollout to customers via an OTA upgrade. The package will be about 336.4 MB, so hope you're on Wi-Fi.
Here are some of the changes you'll see with the upgrade:
Direct Access Lock Screen - The direct access lock screen takes you directly to Camera, Browser, Gallery or Unlock. Create Folders - Easily create folders by dropping one app on top of another. You can also add a name to specify the folder contents.
Several weeks ago, avast! released a beta version of its mobile security and anti-theft apps (the latter of which used to be Theft Aware) that brought with it a slew of new features, as well as an all-new web portal. Those new features have now left the beta stages and the final release of version 2 is available in the Play Store.
This is a pretty major overhaul for what I believe was already among the best anti-theft/anti-virus solutions for Android. I've been using the beta over the last several weeks and the web portal is comparable to the best that I've ever used, which includes most paid services.
Okay, so maybe David's not looking forward to a point-and-shoot running Gingerbread, but someone probably is! Well, Ashton Q. Someone, here are some photos that should whet your appetite. Nikon Rumors is reporting the first alleged leaked images of the Coolpix S800c, an Android-powered camera.
Oddly, the center image above does not match the other two. It's unclear if this means there will be a whole line of Android cameras (unlikely), if a single image of a different camera got mixed in (probably), or if the whole thing is fake (possible). Though, the one fact that lends the most credibility to these images is that the camera appears to be running Gingerbread.
While companies like Motorola and HTC promised to release fewer phones in 2012, Samsung is sticking with its "the more, the better" mantra. Its newest announcement is for the Galaxy S Duos, a dual-SIM handset for those who are tired of carrying around two phones.
At first blush, the Duos looks very similar to the Galaxy S III - it's innards, however, are not even remotely comparable:
4" 480x800 display
1GHz processor (assume it's single-core)
4GB internal storage, microSD card slot
dual-SIM always on
1,500 mAh battery
Android 4.0 with Touchwiz
The unique feature of the Duos is, of course, its dual-SIM card slots.
When CyanogenMod 9.0 stable was released a couple of weeks ago, the list of supported devices was dominated by Samsung and Sony Ericsson phones. Fortunately, the team has been hard at work since then to bring the popular firmware to as many devices as possible, and HTC EVO 3D owners will be glad to know that they can download a nightly build of CM 9 right now.
The build is currently available only for GSM models of the device, with CDMA remaining unsupported at the moment. Hopefully, as development progresses a little more, it will become available for both varieties of the phone.
The existence of the successor to Samsung's surprise hit Galaxy Note is hardly a secret. And if they're going to display it anywhere, it'll be at the IFA in Berlin, where the original was first shown off last year. It looks like Sammy is done with subtle insinuations (not to mention tablet adaptations) and is ready to formally tease us: they've posted the first video for their Unpacked event at the show later this month. What makes us think that the fleeting glances in the video are the Galaxy Note 2? Take a look for yourself.
Aside from the fact that it will once again have a stylus S-Pen and is apparently favored by obscure German art film directors, we're still very much in the dark on what the Galaxy Note 2 (or whatever it might be called) will look like.
After an exclusive stint in South Korea and Japan, LG's Optimus Vu is about to take various other parts of the world by storm. Select countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America will be seeing the Vu hit store shelves in September, and I imagine it's going to be pretty hard to miss. It's big. That's the joke.
LG's press release says the Vu "blurs the line" between phones and tablets for a "truly unique experience." I'll certainly buy that. Having used it in early prototype form myself back at MWC, I was baffled at how LG could go about justifying a smartphone like this, and I don't mean one with a 5" screen, but one that has a 4:3 display aspect ratio to go with it.
Look around the web and it seems like whenever anyone has a "how can I make my <Android device> do ______," the answer is invariably "root it." And to anyone involved in the Android community, you get the impression that most Android users are rooted. Unfortunately, what people tend to forget is that while a few million Android users may be rooted, there are hundreds of millions of active Android devices out there - meaning rooted users represent a small minority of owners.