Specs for HTC’s upcoming “Hima” flagship leak out as phone begins carrier testing

HTC One M8 GPE

HTC released its One (M8) flagship in March of this year, so we’re probably only a few months away from the Taiwanese company showing what it has up its sleeve for the next generation (being called the “M9″ by some). Today, thanks to consistent leaker @upleaks, we’re being given an idea of what kind of power the smartphone is going to pack. And according to upleaks at least, the “M9″ doesn’t exist; this particular phone is being codenamed “Hima.”

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Live stream: Watch Samsung unveil the Galaxy S5 at ‘Unpacked5’ MWC event

Samsung is about to officially unveil its new flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone at Mobile World Congress and a live stream of the entire event will be available through the YouTube channel above.

On top of the S5, it’s likely Samsung will have some other product announcements and give us a look at the new Gear smartwatch. There have been plenty of rumors about what might be included in the Galaxy S5, but we’ll know for sure in less than an hour.

The live stream of the press conference is embedded above and kicks off at at 2 p.m. ET/8 p.m. Barcelona time.  Read more

Samsung Galaxy S5 said to have fingerprint unlock, with website logins also supported

The fingerprint sensor is said to be embedded in the home button

The fingerprint sensor is said to be embedded in the home button

SamMobile is reporting that the Samsung Galaxy S5 will have a fingerprint sensor which will both unlock the phone and allow automated website logins. We’re expecting to see the S5 officially announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 24th February, though it may not go on sale until March or April.

It had earlier been rumored that the S5 would have iris recognition, but a KGI Research document pointed instead to a fingerprint sensor, which SamMobile claims to be able to confirm via sources inside Samsung.

We are finally confirming that Samsung’s upcoming flagship device, the Galaxy S5, will be equipped with a fingerprint sensor […]

Samsung hasn’t opted for on-screen buttons and is still using physical buttons, like it has been using in the past on all of its flagship devices. The sensor itself works in a swipe manner, which means that you would need to swipe the entire pad of your finger, from base to tip, across the home key to register your fingerprint properly …  Read more

Samsung S5 “Prime” & “Standard” models on the way, Sprint getting lower-spec’d one?

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Samsung looks set to launch at least two different versions of the Galaxy S5, its replacement for the current range-topping S4, code-named Prime and Standard – and it appears possible that Sprint will be getting the lower-spec version.

The two versions first showed up in benchmarks by AnTuTu, showing a Prime model labelled US Cellular and a lower-spec Standard model labelled Europe …  Read more

Samsung teases new-look TouchWiz, hints at possible first look at Galaxy S5 this month

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Samsung has updated its blog with what appear to be nine new-look icons, each with a superscript 5 hinting at the possibility of an earlier-than-expected first look at the Galaxy S5 at the company’s Unpacked event at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 24th February. Samsung had previously suggested that the S5 would be launched “by April.”

It’s possible that Samsung could officially announce the Galaxy S5 on the 24th but not make it available for sale until April …  Read more

The amazing SlimPort will be on the next generation of LG phones too

Analogix, the company behind the SlimPort accessory that allows the Nexus 4 to output HD audio and video via its micro-USB port, today announced the next device to include support for the technology: the LG Optimus G Pro. We noticed SlimPort in the specs when LG just recently announced the quad-core, 5.5-inch, 1080p smartphone, but today Analogix confirmed in a press release it would indeed be a SlimPort-enabled device. The SlimPort technology, demoed by Analogix in the video above, allows users to output 1080p video and audio to any HDMI, DisplayPort, VGA or DVI-enabled TVs, projectors and monitors via its SlimPort accessories. We had a chance to try the technology on a Nexus 4 at CES this year and were very impressed with demos of graphic intensive 3D games running smoothly on the big screen while simultaneously charging the device.

“With SlimPort, LG is able to deliver unprecedented functionality at a lower cost, because of its streamlined design and standard USB connector,” said Dr. Ramchan Woo, division leader/smart phone platform division of LG Mobile Communications Company. “SlimPort unleashes content from the Optimus G Pro smartphone, making it a snap to share and enjoy videos, games, photos and more on any screen.”

The full press release from Analogix is below: Read more

More alleged HTC M7 images & renders leak, show off Sense 5.0

HTC’s rumored upcoming flagship device, the 4.7-inch ‘M7′, was looking quite iPhone-like in the last set of alleged leaked renders. Today, we get images of the device from a couple of other sources that show HTC might be experimenting with various designs ahead of the product’s launch.

The first set of images, above, come from AndroidPolice, and they show off Sense 5.0 with rearranged home and multitasking buttons. We also get a look at the backside of the device that oddly shows a different Beats audio logo and flash position than the rendered images (below) posted by HTCSource yesterday. It’s of course possible that we’re looking at a prototype of the device in the photos above, and perhaps the renders are closer to what the finished device will look like. Hopefully we actually get eyes on the device next month a Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Read more

LG’s 5-inch, 1080p ‘Optimus G Pro’ leaks, as LG announces 1M sales of Optimus G

LG-OptimusG-ProThe image above comes courtesy of Engadget and shows what appears to be some official promo material for the LG’s next Optimus G device, the LG Optimus G Pro. While we don’t get a lot of specs from the image itself, the report passed along rumored specs from BlogofMobile. It claimed the device will sport a 5-inch, 1,920-by-1,080 display, a 3,000-mAh battery, LTE, 32GB of memory, 2GB of RAM, and a 1.7Ghz Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064. Other specs mentioned in the report include a 13-megapixel main camera, 2.4-megapixel front-facing camera, and dimensions of 139-by-70-by-10.1mm. It’s a possibility we’ll hear more about the device at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next month.

In related news, Korean news agency Yonhap reported today (via TNW) that the LG Optimus G sold over 1 million units since its launch in September. We’re guessing that doesn’t include the estimated 375,000 units it sold of the Nexus 4, which is essentially the same device. Read more

HTC One V now available from Virgin Mobile for $199 contract-free

We heard rumors in March that the HTC One V, which unveiled at MWC in Barcelona, would land in the United States on Virgin Mobile in “late spring” for $200. As noted by Engadget, the company has since announced plans to bring the device to a number of carriers this summer. The One V was spotted today on Virgin Mobile for $199, contract-free. We did not get word of an announcement from Virgin, so we are nor sure exactly when the device went up for sale, but it is definitely an enticing option at $200 for Android 4.0 device packing Beats Audio, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 3.7-inch WVGA display.

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HTC One V coming to Virgin Mobile for $200?

According to a report from PocketNow, HTC’s 3.7-inch One V that unveiled at MWC in Barcelona last month will launch on Virgin Mobile for $200 in “late Spring.” We already knew the device would more than likely come in under the $200 price tag, because it is the more budget friendly option in the line of three new devices displayed by HTC at MWC. The One V packs a 1GHz processor, Android 4.0 (with Sense 4.0), a 3.7-inch WVGA display, 512GMB of RAM, and 4 GB of onboard storage. It will also come with Beats Audio and a 5-megapixel camera when it launches later this year.
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Google Maps for Android is MWC’s Best Consumer Mobile Service

The Android team announced today in a post over at Google+ that Google’s mapping service on Android won the Best Consumer Mobile Service Award at the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona, Spain. For mobile users, the Google Maps mobile app, including Google’s other location and mapping offerings, is a reason alone to get an Android handset as many would not be able to get around without it. Though Apple also has a native iOS Maps app that taps into the Google Maps backend, and Google itself provides a surprisingly capable web app, Google Maps for mobile looks and works best on Android smartphones. Perhaps not surprisingly, the latest and greatest Maps features début on Android first. For example: Advanced (and free) turn-by-turn GPS navigation for driving, and walking and public transit directions with 3D views that integrate nicely with Google’s other location-based services like Latitude and Places.

In case you were wondering, the Device Manufacturer of the Year award went to Samsung, which also got the Best Smartphone award for the Galaxy S II. New features in Google’s location-based products are now introducing regularly. The latest update to the Google Maps for Android app brought improved transit navigation and more accurate positioning and indoor maps. Google has a nice interactive overview of Google Maps for newbies here.
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