LG officially announces the 5.5-inch ‘LG G Pro Lite’ w/ Dual SIM & stylus

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Some details about a new mid-level smartphone from LG have been leaking in recent weeks, and today the company has officially announced the new “LG G Pro Lite”. Based off the company’s last generation flagship, the LG Optimus G, the company is including similar specs in the LG G Pro Lite including a large 5.5-inch display and 3,140mAh battery, but is also scaling back on some specs presumably to offer the device for much less than its flagships. It also offers Dual SIM functionality with a dedicated hotkey and a stylus:

In addition to its large IPS display, LG G Pro Lite features an equally large 3,140mAh battery, embedded Stylus Pen, stereo speakers and Dual SIM with a dedicated Hot Key. The phone is also designed with an ultra-narrow bezel for an incredible edge-to-edge viewing experience, slim design for optimal one-hand grip and convenient UX features shared with LG’s other premium G Series smartphones.

Specs for the device include a 1.0 GHz Dual Core processor, a 5.5-inch 960 x 540 display, 1GB of RAM, 3G, an 8 megapixel main camera and 1.2 megapixel front-facing cam, Bluetooth 3.0, and Android 4.1.2.

LG is also bundling all the software features that became available with its new flagship LG G2 including KnockON for waking the display with a double tap, Quick Memo, QTranslator and more: Read more

Acer ups the ante with Haswell-powered Chromebook for $249 – but only pre-order for now

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Just a day after Google announced a new HP-made ARM-powered Chromebook for $279, Acer has upped the ante with a Haswell-powered one for $249.

The Acer C720 offers the same 1366×768 resolution screen as the HP. The Acer screen is anti-glare, which offers easier viewing when used outside at the expense of slightly poorer contrast. The machine has 4GB RAM against the 2GB of the HP, and the Haswell processor gives it a claimed 8.5 hours battery life, against 6 hours for the HP …  Read more

Archos officially announces GamePad 2, coming to the US in Q4 for $200

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Archos has just announced the successor to its GamePad portable gaming device, originally released last Winter. The GamePad 2 improves on original in about every way possible and is better suited to handle modern games. The device features a 7-inch, 1280 x 800 IPS display and a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor paired with 2GB of RAM. Archos also touts that it has improved the control sensitivity in the GamePad 2, as well as the battery life.

The GamePad 2 will come pre-loaded with both Asphalt 8: Airborne and Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour.  The device will be available in two storage capacities: 8GB and 16GB, and will have a microSD card slot that supports up to 64GB of more storage, as well as apps2SD to allow you to save games to the card.

“Following the success of the GamePad 1, we knew that we could take the gaming-tablet concept further. With our GamePad 2 we have included an HD  screen, better controls, a larger battery and a faster processor,” said Loic Poirier ARCHOS CEO, “We’re excited to be working with a leading games company like Gameloft to pre-install two visually stunning titles for an amazing gaming experience.”

The GamePad 2 will be available in Europe by the end of October for €180 and will come to the United States for $200 sometime in Q4. Check out our hands-on with the original GamePad after the break: Read more

Sense 5.5 screenshots leak, show new camera modes, toggle to turn off BlinkFeed

image_1-2One of the biggest changes HTC introduced with its Sense 5.0 software was BlinkFeed, which the company touted as a “personal live stream right on the home screen.” The feature was either loved or hated by many customers and reviewers, and it looks like HTC will be accommodating those who hate it with the upcoming Sense 5.5 update. Android Revolution HD has gotten ahold of several supposed screenshots of HTC’s Sense 5.5 update and if they are to be believed, there will now be a toggle on the homescreen to turn BlinkFeed on or off.

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Also believed to be coming in Sense 5.5 are some new camera features. The leaked screenshots show two new shooting modes: Panorama+ and Dual Capture. It’s not entirely clear what these two modes will offer, but I imagine that Dual Capture will allow you to take pictures with the front and rear facing shooters at the same time, similar to what Samsung already offers.

Aside from those changes, Sense 5.5 doesn’t appear to be all that different from 5.0, with the task switcher showing bigger preview windows and some new emojis being available.

HTC is expected to release the HTC One Max next week, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sense 5.5 come along with it.  Read more

T-Mobile unveils global data coverage in 100 countries at no extra charge

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T-Mobile unveiled a new offering that will provide global data coverage allowing users to access their data plan in over 100 countries at no extra charge (via Engadget). CEO John Legere has been hinting at the announcement on his Twitter account in recent days: “Today is the day! The day we change the way the world uses their phones!”

This new plan will allow Simple Choice customers to get unlimited 2G data and texting in supported Simple Global countries. Voice calls on the plan cost $.20 per minute for in-country calls. There are no extra fees for this service, as it is included in all Simple Choice plans automatically.

The “un-carrier” also announced a few other changes to its plans, including a new international talk and text option from the US to all other Simple Global countries. That will cost an additional $10/month and include $.20/minute voice calls and unlimited texting. Adding this option to your plan will also enable unlimited calling to landlines in over 70 Simple Global countries for free.

Finally, T-Mobile announced that its 4G LTE network is available nationwide and reaches over 200 million potential customers.

Google Maps adds directions for multiple destinations, upcoming events, & flight, hotel & restaurant reservations

Google announced today on its Google Maps blog that it’s rolling out a few new features for the new Google Maps preview based on feedback from users. Perhaps the most notable of the new features is the ability to get directions for routes with multiple destinations:

Whether you’re running weekend errands or planning a cross-country tour, you can plot multiple destinations for your trip with ease – now available for driving, walking and biking directions. Once you’ve chosen a starting point, click ‘+’ and add stops to your route by typing in the search box or clicking on the map… When you’re exploring a new city, find the best way to museums, historic squares, and other attractions by dragging and dropping your destinations in the order that works for you. And if you’re curious before you go, the Views carousel, located in the bottom right corner, is a great way to preview Street View, Photo Tours, and other imagery.

The update also brings flight, hotel and restaurant reservation data right into search within Maps much the same way that Google Search displays similar results from Gmail, Google Calendar and elsewhere. In addition, Maps will now being showing upcoming events: Read more

Samsung announces the Galaxy Round, the first curved smartphone in the world

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Samsung has just officially announced the world’s first curved-display smartphone, dubbed the Galaxy Round. We first saw photos of the Round earlier today from smartphone leaker @evleaks. The phone will only be available in Korea and will only come in one color, “Luxury Brown”—at least for now. If and when the phone will make its way to the United States and other markets is still unknown, though we expect that it will eventually make the transition.

The Round sports an impressive array of hardware features, including a massive 5.7″ Full HD Super Flexible AMOLED display; 3 GB of RAM; 2,800mAh battery; 13 MP camera; all of the latest LTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi connectivity; and a 2.3 GHz processor.

The full hardware specs can be found below the break, along with additional photos of the device.

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First image of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy phone with curved display leaks out

Update: Evleaks has posted another image of the device, which appears to be similar to the new Galaxy Note III as previously rumored (above).

Prominent leaker @evleaks has published the first photo of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy phone with a curved screen. Recent rumors have pegged an announcement of this new phone to occur in the coming days, or perhaps as soon as later this week. The new display, which will likely be made from plastic instead of glass, will offer enhanced durability. It is typically more difficult to crack a curved display than a flat glass panel found on most modern handsets. For its part, Samsung competitor LG also has a curved phone in the pipeline.

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Google releases official Nexus 7 flip case in four colors, run $49.99 each

Two months after the initial launch of the device, Google has just released its official flip cases for the 2013 Nexus 7. The cases are available in four colors: red, white, black, and blue. Google touts that this is the first case “designed by Google specifically for the Nexus 7″ and is made to fit the “exact specifications” of your device.

The flip cases feature a built in stand with positions for typing, as well as watching a video/participating in a Hangout. Finally, on the edge of the case is a tiny Google-colored flag to remind you that the case fits perfectly.

The cases run $49.99, which is certainly steep, but they appear to be rather high quality.  Keep in mind, however, that there are plenty of cases on Amazon for under $10 that may be just as sturdyRead more

Report claims Nexus 5 will land for $299/$399 with larger battery in 32GB model

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There have been tons of rumors and leaks about Google’s upcoming Nexus 5 smartphone in recent weeks, and today we get claims of official details on pricing and new battery size options for the device. According to a report from Phonearena citing a tipster, the next-gen Nexus will come in 16GB and 32GB models for $299 and $399.

That compares to the $299 and $349 that the two models of the Nexus 4 debuted for, but Phonearena also claims that this time around Google will include a larger battery in the 32GB model: Read more

Samsung fails to obtain Presidential veto from Obama for Apple/ITC import ban case

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With a U.S. import ban previously issued by the ITC set to lock out certain Samsung devices at midnight last night, Bloomberg reports that the company has failed to obtain a veto from President Barack Obama:

The Korean company had argued that the ban should be overturned on public policy grounds, especially since a similar order it won against Apple was vetoed by the administration in August. Samsung can now seek a delay in the ban from a U.S. appeals court that will consider the entire case on legal grounds.

“After carefully weighing policy considerations, including the impact on consumers and competition, advice from agencies, and information from interested parties, I have decided to allow” the import ban to proceed, Obama’s designee, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, said in a statement today.

In August, the US International Trade Commission ruled in favor of Apple and issued a sales ban on certain infringing Samsung devices in a long-running case that stemmed from a countersuit originally filed by Apple back in 2011. The news came shortly after the Obama administration’s decision to veto an ITC import ban on certain iPhone and iPad models that Samsung won in a separate case. Like Apple, Samsung was going to attempt to get a veto on the decision by the US President, the only person with the power to overturn ITC import bans.  Read more

Google announces new 11-inch HP Chromebook starting at $269

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Google has just made things official on its blog for a new Chromebook model from HP that will be hitting stores later today both online and in brick-and-mortar retail stores in select locations. The HP Chromebook 11 will sell for $279 (although it’s listed for $269 through HP), which puts it somewhere between Samsung’s 11-inch $249 Chromebook and HP’s recently announced Chromebook 14. It doesn’t, however, sport a touchscreen like the Pixel or incoming Chromebooks from Acer.

As for the design, HP says it worked with Google to come with a design inspired by the Chromebook Pixel but at a more affordable price point. It’s including a variety of colors as pictured above, but its specs are similar to other Chromebooks including a Samsung Exynos 5250 ARM processor.

The new HP Chromebook 11 focuses on a super light and portable design, according to Google. It comes in at just over two pounds, making it one of the lightest laptops available, and also powers up using a micro-USB charger opposed to your traditional power cable. That makes it even more ideal for people that are on the go or traveling. The Chromebook includes an Samsung Exynos 5250 ARM processor, full-sized keyboard and trackpad, optional LTE connectivity, two USB ports, and features an 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 resolution IPS display. You’ll also get 16GB of onboard storage (+100GB Drive storage) and 2GB of RAM. HP ran down some of the specs on its website: Read more