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Black Friday / Cyber Monday Android Buyer's Guide: Here's What You Need To Know, And The Deals We Like

It's coming. Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), an event so important to retailers in the US that the physical trampling retail employees to death hasn't stopped it. People go nuts for this stuff. And, when you see the "$100/$75/50%/3-hour-only sale" sign plastered onto something, bleary-eyed and over-caffeinated at midnight, or frantically deciding what to put in your digital cart on Monday morning before heading to work, making a bad decision can be all too easy. It's something that we've all probably done with a product of some kind at some point - it's too good to pass up.

And that's how good, honest people end up with ancient Toshiba Thrives, or some off-brand Chinese tablet no one's ever heard of.

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Samsung To Unveil 8-Core ARM Chip In February

Eight cores, in a mobile processor? Balderdash! But according to EETimes, that's just what Samsung's planning on unveiling in February at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (that sounds so exciting).

Now before you get too excited, this isn't - technically speaking - an eight-core processor. It's a dual quad-core, which is to say, a two-processor chip. The design is based on a reference architecture thought up by ARM themselves, dubbed "big.little," and is designed to combine the light-load battery life of a high-efficiency quad-core 28nm ARM A7 chip with a super-hi-po A15 processor for heavy lifting. The exact specifications, for our nerdier readers, are: 1 quad-core ARM A7 chip clocked at 1.2GHz for everyday tasks, and 1 quad-core ARM A15 chip clocked at 1.8GHz w/ 2MB L2 cache for processor-intensive tasks like video games.

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[The Android Police Week In Review] The Biggest Android Stories Of The Week (11/11/12 - 11/18/12)

Welcome to the Android Police Week In Review - your source for the biggest Android stories of the week. Don't forget, you can catch a lot of these stories (and more) on our weekly podcast.

Features

Product Reviews

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Teardown Of Nexus 4 Finds World Band 4G LTE Chip That You Probably Can't Use

It was a little surprising to see Google announce a new Nexus device this year without LTE support. While LTE deployment is still lagging behind in many regions, the good old USA is fast becoming blanketed with speedy 4G. Now that the Nexus 4 is in the wild, iFixit has taken it apart, and you'll never guess what they found. Yes, a 7-band 4G LTE radio chip. The plot thickens...

nexus4

The chip in question, the Qualcomm WTR1605L (highlighted in green above), supports all currently operating LTE networks around the world. This chip is probably a holdover from the LG Optimus G design, which the Nexus 4 is based on.

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DROID DNA Battery Life Impressions: It's Not Nearly As Bad As You Think (With Stats, Methodology)

Since its announcement, many internet comments (and tech bloggers, frankly) have lambasted the 2020mAh battery inside the DROID DNA as obviously being too small. A 5", 1080p display, quad-core processor, and LTE - with a 2020mAh battery? HTC must be nuts. Well, it turns out, they actually aren't nuts and actually do know how to make a phone that doesn't die after half a day off the charging cable teat. Surprising, I know. And despite what you may be hearing elsewhere (I won't name names), my experience with the DNA's longevity has been quite positive. I got a lot of requests for an in-depth look at battery life on the DNA when I posted my initial impressions, so here's what I came up with.

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Android 4.2 Feature Highlight: So, What Is This Miracast Thing And How Does It Work, Anyway?

Android 4.2 is out now and it brings a bunch of new goodies. Multiple users on a tablet, photospheres, and gesture typing are all pretty neat. What about this Miracast thing, though? If you're part of the majority of Android users out there, you know that it involves screen sharing and something vaguely to do with WiFi. Well, here. Let's clear some of that up for you.

So, Uh... What Is Miracast?

At its most basic level, Miracast is a video streaming specification created by the Wi-Fi Alliance. It allows a user to share whatever is displayed on their device's screen with another compatible product.

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Samsung Mobile Chief's Refusal To Negotiate With Apple Is Posturing, And It's Probably Not Even True

I can't say I'm the biggest student of Gandhi, but that whole "an eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind" bit sure came to mind this morning when I read that Samsung's head of mobile, Shin Jong-kyun, said the company "[does not] intend to (negotiate) at all" with Apple. This came on news of HTC's settlement with Apple on Saturday, which I contend is objectively good for the industry and consumers, no matter how you spin it.

First, let's look at the backstory. Apple and Samsung are involved in probably over a dozen various legal entanglements across the world.

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[Updated] Final CyanogenMod 10 Stable Builds Being Released

After numerous nightly and monthly builds, CyanogenMod 10 is finally ready for its stable release. The custom ROM is already available to download for the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE, LG Optimus Black, and the Samsung Galaxy S III (both Verizon and Sprint models).

The latest version of CyanogenMod includes a number of new features, such as an 'expandable desktop' mode, and a built-in, root-enabled file manager, as well as support for new devices.

Screen Shot 2012-11-13 at 11.20.24

If you can't see a stable build of CyanogenMod 10 for your device just yet, hang tight, as some builds have been failing. Hopefully, the issue will be addressed soon, but we aren't sure how long this might take.

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Editorial: HTC And Apple Have Settled, And This Is Basically Good For Everyone

On Saturday evening, HTC and Apple issued a joint press release indicating the two companies had settled their ongoing legal slapfight. Under a confidential 10-year licensing arrangement, they have agreed to what essentially amounts to a rigid patent ceasefire. Even future patents are covered under the deal (there obviously will be exceptions to any deal, but that's the gist).

Immediately, most people assumed HTC was getting hosed. Then, HTC rep Jeff Gordon issued a slightly cryptic but factually vital statement, saying HTC "does not expect this license agreement to have any adverse material impact on the financials of the company."

Now, whether that means the cost of the license and the savings of not keeping 300 attorneys on retainer will cancel out, or if the settlement basically cost HTC nothing, is not clear.

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[The Android Police Week In Review] The Biggest Android Stories Of The Week (11/4/12 - 11/11/12)

Welcome to the Android Police Week In Review - your source for the biggest Android stories of the week. Don't forget, you can catch a lot of these stories (and more) on our weekly podcast.

Features

Product Reviews

Read More
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