Want to get Android updates quickly? These are the brands & carriers to buy and avoid …

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arsTechnica has put together a handy look at which manufacturers & carriers are quickest and slowest to roll out an Android update on their older devices. Using the KitKat launch date of 31st October 2013, arsTechnica measured how long it took for the earliest available OTA update for devices originally sold with an earlier version of Android, starting with the previous-generation flagship devices.

The winner for update times is, of course, the Nexus line. Stock software and a head start from being Google got KitKat out the door in just 14 days.

As for everyone else, how quickly they update seems to depend on how complicated their skin is and how much they take advantage of the update mechanisms Google has created …

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Samsung announces four new low-end Galaxy devices running Android 4.4

Samsung this afternoon announced a quartet of new budget-focused Galaxy smartphones, that in reality, are pretty forgettable. Firstly, the South Korean company unveiled the Galaxy Core II, which features a 4.5-inch WVGA display. The device is powered by a 1.2GHz processor paired with a 2,000mAh battery. Next up, Samsung announced the Galaxy Ace 4, which is slightly less powerful with a dual-cire 1.2GHz processor. It features a 1,800mAh battery coupled with LTE connectivity. A slightly less powerful 3G model is available with a 1GHz processor and a 1,500mAh battery.

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Samsung announces its first Tizen phone, the Samsung Z – a hint of the future?

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About a year later than first expected, Samsung has finally announced its first smartphone running Tizen instead of Android, the Samsung Z.

While this particular handset is only launching in Russia initially (sometime in Q3), it’s notable in a couple of ways. First, the spec – while not cutting edge – is pretty decent. Powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core processor and 2GB RAM, it has a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display (though only in 1280×720 resolution) and the fingerprint sensor that has so far been exclusive to the S5. It’s not the low-end spec many had expected from Tizen …  Read more

The benefits of stock Android: Moto E vs Galaxy S5 performance test (video)

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When it comes to smartphones people often go gaga for specs and while beefy processors and gigabytes of RAM always sound good, quality software can be a real game changer. For example, Samsung’s new Galaxy S5 ships with a 2.5GHz quad-core processor pushed by 2GB of RAM. On paper this handset should breeze through everyday tasks and crush a bargain bin device like Motorola’s Moto E in any performance-based challenge.

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