After having a chance to play with the ZTE Grand Memo yesterday, I was a bit perplexed. It was kind of slow. Actually, it was really slow - I haven't seen UI lag like that on a top-tier smartphone in over a year. It was terrible switching between tasks, and while ZTE's hilariously overwrought UI is likely slowing it down a fair bit, something just didn't feel right for a phone allegedly running on the very latest Snapdragon chip.
While I was a bit too preoccupied at ASUS's press conference to really pay attention to the details of its products (you can find said details here), later in the day, I headed over to the ASUS booth on the MWC show floor to check out the Padfone Infinity and the Fonepad.
The Padfone Infinity was first on my list. After a few minutes with the phone portion, I wasn't particularly impressed, but I wasn't appalled, either.
Update: It looks like Telstra has had carrier billing for a couple of months, and Google is just now getting around to updating the support page. Thanks to Adam Ricket (@onlineadr) for the heads-up.
Good news, Aussies: your mega-carrier Telstra is now in Google's good graces when it comes to billing for apps and other purchases on the Play Store. Just select carrier billing during the checkout process, and the purchase price will be added to your next phone bill instead of your credit or debit card.
More than a few Twitter power users were upset when Falcon Pro, the popular Android Twitter client, hit its 100,000 user token limit and became nigh useless for new or returning users. Developer Joaquim Vergès has resorted to an unconventional approach to get the word out about Twitter's draconian API policies: he's raised the price of the formerly $1 app to an eye-popping $132.13 (€100), ostensibly to discourage people from actually downloading it.
Ah, fantasy sports: the Dungeons and Dragons of the jock world. There are more than a few options for you to spend your fantasy money on, but ESPN's seems to be the first that's ready for the 2013 baseball season. So if you've just got to get your lineup ready for the big office matchup weeks in advance of opening day, feel free to download ESPN Fantasy Baseball.
The app has all the new players, trades, and updated stats that fantasy sports depend on.
Yeah, high-resolution textures, 3D shaders, dynamic lighting, and all sorts of other stuff are standard in mobile games these days. Infinite is a little bit different, though. This title invites you to journey through a geometric galaxy and build solar systems with dead-simple controls.
Infinite is an arcade-style game with a little dash of physics and a smidgen of style. You have to pick up bits of matter floating around the various stars in your galaxy to build up enough mass to drop a planet.
If you're colorblind, then I'm afraid you might have to sit this one out, but the rest of you might want to try out Color Sheep. The game is fairly straightforward: you're a sheep. Of course. A pack of hungry, multi-colored wolves are descending upon you. In order to avoid being consumed, you have to target them with your mouth lasers. You didn't know sheep have mouth lasers? Well, they do.
It's been a week or so since Samsung decided to release some source code, so I guess it's time for a fix. The company just dropped the Jelly Bean source for the international variant of the original Galaxy Note, which received the 4.1.2 update back in mid-February.
You know the drill: download, tinker, enjoy. Hit the link to grab it.
So you want more than Google Play can deliver, and the Amazon Appstore leaves you cold. Russian Google competitor Yandex is here to help: they've just launched their own branded app store, creatively titled Yandex.Store. The APK is a freely-available download for any Android device, and after a standard account setup process, you've got access to an impressive selection of mainstream apps. Big titles like Angry Birds, ES File Explorer, SoundHound, Twitter and Opera Mobile are all sitting on the front page.
Say hello to the newest entrant into the bigger-than-a-phone-but-not-quite-a-tablet arena: ZTE's Grand Memo. It's a massive 5.7" device with a resolution of 1280x720, Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB built-in storage, and a 13MP camera, running Android 4.1. While a 1080p display would've been a nice addition, there's no denying that the Grand Memo is quite a powerful device.