Category Archives: Mobile News

All the latest Mobile News and updates. Mobile Buzz is the Mobile blog where we post news about the latest cellphone, firmware updates, mobile news, leaked mobile screenshots and more.

First Beta of Opera browser for Android with Webkit Impresses

Lately, Opera Software has been in the news a lot, but, most of it hasn’t been about new product launches. It kicked off a firestorm of debate on the interwebs with its decision to ditch its own rendering engine in favor of Chromium flavored Webkit, it raised eyebrows by acquiring Skyfire, and it continued to focus on new sources of revenue by promoting innovative initiatives like the Opera Web Pass. Today, however, it has something new for its fans.

The Norwegian browser developer has released the first beta of Opera browser for Android, which it touts as the “result of a passion for design combined with 17 years’ worth of know-how and innovation”. As you might have noticed, Opera has dropped the word ‘Mobile’ from its name. With the new name, Opera Software is following in the footsteps of Google and Mozilla, and is indicating that the mobile browser is no less competent than its desktop counterpart. It also signifies the new beginning of Opera’s efforts in the mobile landscape.

Opera browser for Android looks and feels like an entirely different beast. It bares little resemblance to Opera Mini or Mobile, having taken oodles of design cues from both iOS and Android’s Holo design conventions. The new tab page now consists of three distinct sections – History, Speed Dials, and Discover. As always, the speed dial feature shows visual bookmarks of your favorite and most accessed websites; but, now, it is also supports folders and custom titles. The discover feature showcases popular and interesting content from your selected region and topics.

Opera-Android-Webkit-Off-Road-Mode
Opera for Android: Off-Road Mode

Many of the existing features, including the neat download manager, find-in-page, private browsing, and user-agent changer are still present. Opera Turbo also made it through. However, it is now being called the Off-Road mode. Once you enter this mode, your webpages are routed through Opera’s servers where they are compressed to save bandwidth and also speed up surfing on slower networks. The new user interface prominently highlights the data savings that you have achieved through the Off-road mode. Another handy feature is ‘Save for Later’, which can save entire webpages so that you can continue reading long articles on flights without Wi-Fi. The biggest missing feature is Opera Link. Currently, the only way to access your saved speed dials, bookmarks, and notes is through the web interface.

Opera-Android-Webkit-New-Design
Opera for Android: Redesigned Interface

I haven’t benchmarked the new browser, but it feels fast and snappy (not that Opera ever felt slow). Cold start times have noticeably improved, but Opera still seems to be taking a second or so more than Chrome. Panning and zooming is still fast and fluid, but the engine change seems to have nuked Opera’s ability to reflow text.

Opera for Android supports Gingerbread (Android 2.3) and above. As Opera Software points out, this is important as 45% of Android users are still on Gingerbread. Needless to say, this is an early build, and might be unstable or might not work at all. But, as far as first impressions go, I am impressed.

[ Download Opera for Android Beta ]

Verizon Galaxy Nexus Android 4.2.2 Update Leaks

Over the weekend, Verizon started the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean soak update for the Galaxy Nexus. As the norm is, it was just a matter of time before the download link of the update made its way on XDA. The OTA update package is now available for all advanced Verizon Galaxy Nexus users to flash on their phone.

Before you jump over and start flashing the OTA file on your phone, make sure that you are running 100% stock Android 4.1.1 on your Galaxy Nexus. This is an OTA update package, and not a full ROM, so you need to be on stock. If you are on stock but with root access, you can simply flash the OTA update package using CWM or TWRP recovery.

Apart from the usual Android 4.2.2 improvements including lock screen widgets, quick settings, and a new gesture keyboard, Samsung and Google have also included a new radio. Early reports on XDA suggest that the new radio has helped in increasing the 4G LTE signal for quite a few folks out there.

Verizon should roll out the Android 4.2.2 update officially for the Galaxy Nexus within a couple of weeks, so if you are not too keen on installing the update manually, just sit back and relax for sometime.

The download link along with the relevant instructions can be found here.

Samsung Posts First Teaser Video Of Galaxy S4

Samsung has released the first trailer of the Galaxy S4, before it officially unveils the handset on March 14th in New York. The trailer does not provide any glimpse or actual information about the handset, and instead is about a young Jeremy Maxwell, who is guarding the box that contains the Galaxy S4.

Rumors suggest that the Galaxy S4 will be packing in an Octa-core Exynos SoC that will be using ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture to provide the best of battery life and performance. On the GPU side, Samsung is expected to use PowerVR’s SGX544MP4 running at quite high speeds. Other rumored specs include a 13MP camera, a 4.99-inch 1080p (Full HD) Super-AMOLED display and 32/64GB of internal storage.

Eldar Murtazin, a popular mobile phone analyst, recently also tweeted that the Galaxy S4 will be made of plastic, killing hopes of Samsung using premium materials on the next-generation Galaxy S handset once again.

ASUS Transformer Pad Android 4.2 Update Seeding Now

ASUS has started rolling out the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update for the Transformer Pad TF300 in the United States. This makes ASUS among the first company to roll out the Android 4.2 update for a non-Nexus device. ZTE has the honors of rolling out the Android 4.2 update first to a non-Nexus device, which is surprisingly a mid-range phone only available in China.

Android 4.2 will bring with it a lot of goodies to the Transformer Pad including multi-user support, lock screen widget, quick settings and enhanced performance and stability. ASUS is also making use of this opportunity to update some of its pre-installed apps including the keyboard and App locker.

ASUS also mentioned in its press release that it will be rolling out the Android 4.2 update for the Transformer Pad Infinity and the MeMo Pad Smart sometime in the second quarter of this year. The company did not mention anything about the Transformer Prime, which may suggest that the tablet has reached its end-of-life.

 

BlackBerry Rolls Out First OTA Update For BB10/Z10; Promises Better Battery Life And More

The BlackBerry team has rolled out the first OTA update for their recently released BB10 OS and the Z10 that brings a number of enhancements and optimizations.

The major improvement introduced by the update is improved 3rd party application performance. This means that all your 3rd party apps should perform considerably smoother and faster, post the update. The Camera has also been optimized to take better photos in low-light situations, and actually make the images usable.

There are more than 60 under the hood battery life optimizations in this update that should help in improving the battery life of the Z10. The Browser, Media, Phone, Calendar and Contacts app have also seen improvements in terms of bug-squashed, improved video playback handling, better conversation handling and other improvements to BlackBerry Hub. Head over the BlackBerry blog for the full change-log and other details.

The 150MB OTA update is already being rolled out by BlackBerry, and should be available to all Z10 owners soon. While the update notification will pop-up automatically on your handset, you can try to pull the update manually as well by going to Settings -> Software Updates -> Check for Updates. Carrier branded Z10s will be getting the update over the “coming weeks”.

AT&T Xperia TL Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Update Now Available

Sony and AT&T have started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Xperia TL. The Xperia TL is the AT&T variant of the Xperia T with only some exterior differences distinguishing them.

The Android 4.1.2 update for the TL will bring with it quite a lot of new features including an updated suite of Media applications from Sony, an enhanced Camera application with HDR functionality, UI improvements, and all the Google related Jelly Bean enhancements like an Google Now, an enhanced notification bar, improved voice-to-text and Project Butter.

Xperia T owners who are already enjoying Jelly Bean update on their handset report an increase in battery life and camera picture quality. Xperia TL owners should also see similar results post the Android 4.1.2 update.

Sony and AT&T are rolling out the update via OTA, so it can take up to a couple of weeks for the update to hit your phone.

Via – XDA

Sprint Announces Sprint Force, A $49.99 LTE Handset

Sprint has just announced a new budget 4G LTE smartphone. The phone goes under the name Sprint Force and will be available for $49.99 on a two-year contract. However, to get this price, you have to mail-in a $50 mail-in-rebate. As far as specs go, the device rocks a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, a 4″ 480×800 display and a 5-megapixel camera. The phone is powered by Android 4.0 and there is no word of a Jelly Bean update as of now.

Sprint has also included Sprint ID with the Sprint Force. Sprint ID is a new service which allows users to deeply customize their Android devices without any sort of hacking. The service includes tons of wallpapers, apps, widgets and other gizmos. Sprint has said that “ID packs deliver a complete mobile experience – based on consumers’, students’ or businesses’ interests or favorite brands.”

Overall, the Sprint Force looks like a good device for anyone looking for a cheap yet functional smartphone on Sprint. The device will be good for non-techies or people on a limited budget. Kids will also like the phone as it doesn’t have a huge screen and connects to Sprint ID. For $49.99, this phone seems like an overall good deal.

Source: Android Guys

Verizon May Be Pushing Android 4.2 To Galaxy Nexus Users Soon

Galaxy Nexus Update

Verizon Wireless is reportedly readying an update for Galaxy Nexus devices on its network. Last night, the company’s Twitter support handle sent a tweet to a concerned Galaxy Nexus user as response to a question regarding the possibility of a software update. While the company didn’t tweet an actual release date, it did say that the update is coming “soon” and that it will be pushed to users from Samsung over-the-air. We’ve embedded the tweet below.

Even though Verizon support didn’t say exactly what was down the pipeline, we’re pretty sure that the company was referring to an Android 4.2 update for the LTE Galaxy Nexus in its tweet. Galaxy Nexus users on Verizon have been awaiting this update for quite sometime.

The LTE Galaxy Nexus and the unlocked Galaxy Nexus devices have been weird when it comes to software updates. While the unlocked, GSM Galaxy Nexus has been updated to new software as its released, the LTE model has been lagging behind. The LTE Galaxy Nexus hasn’t been updated to Android 4.2 even though the update has been available for other Nexus devices since November of 2012.

Source: Phandroid

Image Source: [email protected]

LG launches Optimus G in India

LG Electronics has finally launched LG Optimus G smartphone in India. Running on Android v4.1.2 Jelly bean, LG has extended the OS with its own Optimus 3.0 UI for an optimum mobile experience.LG Optimus G

The phone, that LG claims to be designed to a flagship standard, boasts of a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus Display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5 GHz Quad-core processor. Optimus G has an aspect ratio of 15:9 with a 320ppi high pixel density and is equipped with Zerogap Touch display technology that brings visuals closer to the surface of the screen and gives a more immersive experience. The phone has a unique glass-made back graced with a crystal pattern. This patented Crystal Reflection is glossy and displays different patterns and colors depending on the angle and lighting.

“We provide our users with enhanced experience by advanced and thoughtful engineering behind every feature. The smartphone encourages users to explore a world of boundless creativity and power and also, helps them balance between business and entertainment.”

–       Soon Kwon, President South West Asia Region & MD, LG India

Optimus G’s 13MP rear-end camera and 1.3MP front facing camera come with a number of apps like SmartShutter senses movement and automatically adjusts shutter speed to capture crisp, blur-free images and CheeseShutter that has voice recognition capabilities and automatically clicks a picture when one says ‘Cheese’.

Optimus G also has a lot of unique applications to add to the Android feature set. Its QSlide feature allows consumers to simultaneously run two apps and multitask their way through work and play. Its QuickTranslator easily translates any international language into English and vice-versa, while its QuickMemo app allows users to jot down important notes on any phone screenshot, even while on active call. When videos are played in the player, the Zoom In function enables consumers to zoom in/ out of a live video. Plus it offers a unique concept of Dual Screen-Dual Play, where by users can run any of phone content to a connected TV and simultaneously work on phone on another application.

LG’s Optimus G is priced at INR 34,500 but is available for INR 31,000 at most online and physical stores already.

 

 

Mugen Extended Battery For The LG Nitro HD Review

I have been using a LG Nitro HD since quite sometime now. While the phone does not run the latest version of Android or has any stellar feature, it gets the job done for me. However, the biggest issue with the Nitro HD for me has been the extremely poor battery life. The phone absolutely struggles to last even 8 hours on a single charge with a couple of email accounts syncing in the background.

I had nearly given up hope on the Nitro HD, when our in-house Android guru, Rajesh, told me about Mugen Power Batteries. I had read some of his previous Mugen battery reviews but did not pay much heed to them. I was wrong, very wrong. I have been using an extended Mugen battery for the LG Nitro HD since the last 1.5 months, and the increase in battery life has been staggering. Out of the box, the Nitro HD comes with a puny 1830mAh battery that empties itself in less than 8 hours with LTE enabled and medium usage.
The extended Mugen battery has a whopping 4000mAh capacity, which should theoretically more than double the Nitro’s HD battery life. As I said earlier, before using the Mugen battery, my Nitro HD was averaging around 8-9 hours on a single charge with LTE enabled and a couple of Gmail account syncing in the background. After I started using Mugen, the average battery life of my Nitro HD has jumped to a phenomenal 22 hours. This is 22 hours of heavy use — a couple of hours of Spotify over Wi-Fi, an hour of voice calls and gaming each, and around 2-3 hours of random usage including internet browsing over LTE. On an average day, I can easily squeeze out more than 1 day of battery life with the right mix of 3G and Wi-Fi.
Mugen ships their extended battery with an extended back door as well, since the 4000mAh battery is too thick. Mugen has added a kickstand at the back of the battery door, which is definitely a welcome addition. The back door is made up of shiny but grippy plastic. It does not speak of quality but definitely gets the job done.
While on my flight from India to U.S.A, I was able to watch one full movie on the Nitro HD with still 75% battery left. The kick stand was also more than useful and inclined the Nitro HD at just the perfect angle.
A couple of downsides of the Mugen battery is the additional thickness that it adds, and the  long charging times. The additional thickness from the Mugen battery is definitely noticeable. In fact, I got a few stares from passer-bys when I was standing at the subway station and using my Nitro HD. The increase in charging time is a direct effect of the increased battery charger. I started using a Galaxy Note 2 charger later on, which reduced the overall charging times by nearly 20 minutes.
Below are battery life screenshots of the Nitro HD with the Mugen battery. Keep in mind that I am running CM10.1 based on Android 4.2.2 on my handset -:
If you are tired of the poor battery life of your device, I would highly recommend you to check out Mugen Power Batteries. If you don’t like the extra thickness, you can have a look at their extended batteries that don’t require an extended back cover. These batteries are more or less of the same size as the OEM battery but bring about a noticeable (100-300mAh) increase in the battery capacity.

Sony Xperia Z Goes On Sale In The UK

Sony Xperia Z is the company’s flagship device. This stunning handset was announced last month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013 in Las Vegas. Apart from its powerful specs, the Xperia Z is also a water and dust resistant smartphone with a durable glass display.

The Sony Xperia Z was expected to launch on March 1, 2013 in the UK. However, the device went on sale one day earlier at major retailers and wireless carriers. You can get the carrier locked Xperia Z on contract from Three, O2 and Orange. On the other hand, the unlocked Xperia Z can be purchased from Phones 4U, Expansys, Clove and Unlocked Mobiles. The complete specs of this handset is posted below.

Sylvia Chind, Head of Devices at Three, said,
“We’re extremely pleased to offer the Xperia Z coupled with our highly competitive price plans and no surprise out of bundle data charges. This premium smartphone brings you the ultimate internet experience all on our Ultrafast network”.

sony xperia z

Sony Xperia Z features a 5 inch full HD TFT Reality display, sporting a resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels, 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) Operating System, 13 megapixel Fast Capture camera with Exmor RS for mobile, HDR video, Superior Auto and Noise Reduction, Full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and so on.

Other features include a 3.5 mm audio jack, FM radio with RDS, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity, 16 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, 2 GB RAM, Google Play Store, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA Certified, HDMI support, Micro USB, NFC (Near Field Communication), Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality and a 2330 mAh battery.

Phones 4U is selling this handset for £489.95 while other retailers are selling this device for around £520. If you are not willing to pay that much upfront, you can easily get the Xperia Z from Three UK for £34 a month with an upfront cost of £69 on the Ultimate Internet 500 plan. It is also available for £36 a month with an upfront cost of £69 on The One Plan.

Sony Xperia E Gets An Experimental Firefox OS ROM

In a surprising move and showing its support for the Firefox OS, Sony has released an experimental Firefox OS build for one of its budget-oriented Jelly Bean running handset – the Xperia E. Firefox OS is based on the fully open web standards, and was seen running on a number of low to mid-range devices announced at MWC. The Xperia E specifications matches closely to all those Firefox OS running handset, which made it a clear candidate for the experimental ROM.

Sony clearly states that the ROM is experimental in nature and only for developers and advanced users. The company has turned off the mobile radio, which means that it is not possible to make calls, use mobile data or even use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Other deal breakers include an unstable SD card functionality, and an uncalibrated touch screen. If you are interested in flashing Firefox OS on your Xperia E, you will need to unlock its bootloader first, which will void your handset’s warranty.

If all the above issues are not a deal breaker for you, head over to Sony’s official announcement post for the download link and instructions.

LG Optimus Vu II Gets The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Update

Last year, LG launched the Optimus Vu II in South Korea. As the name suggests, this device is the successor of the company’s first phablet, the LG Optimus Vu. It comes with a 5 inch display, 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, 8 megapixel camera and much more. Sadly, this device was shipped with the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) Operating System.

Nearly 6 months after its official launch, LG has finally started rolling out the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update for the LG Optimus Vu II. This update is currently available only for SK Telecom and KT subscribers in South Korea. LG U+ users will get this update starting from next month.

lg optimus vu 2

The Android 4.1 update for Optimus Vu II bring the usual Jelly Bean goodies such as Google Now, offline text-to-speech, better performance in camera, Project Butter, improved voice and data connectivity, new Gallery app, improved power management and advanced notifications.

The latest update can be easily downloaded via Over-The-Air (OTA). You will be automatically notified once the update is available for your device. If you have not yet received the update, then just go to Settings > About Device > System updates and check for the update.

PowerAMP And Pocket Casts Receive Updates On Play Store

PowerAMP, one of the most popular music player on the Play Store, has received a major update to build 524. The new update brings a number of improvements and bug-fixes including support for paid themes in Android 4.2 running devices.

The update also adds support for MusicFX API and Huawei Dolby Mobile support wherever available, along with support for Android 4.2+ lock screen widget. The developer has also added support for multi-window allowing Galaxy S3 and Note 2 owners to simultaneously run PowerAMP with any other app side-by-side. The direct volume control bug that has been plaguing Android 4.2 users has also been fixed.

The full change-log is below – :

– fixed issue with 3rd party skins flashing
– updated localizations. Huge thanks to all crowdin.net translators!
– Route Media action bar button (JB 4.1.2+)
– JB 4.2+ lockscreen widget
– MusicFX API support (Settings-Audio-Advanced Tweaks)
– Huawei Dolby Mobile support (where available)
– full support for skins on JB+
– experimental multiwindow support for Samsungs
– Poweramp lockscreen rotation (large screens)
– fix for playlist/library being reset sometimes
– few other issues fixed

If you have not already, head over to the Play Store and try out PowerAMP now. It is feature rich, has a decent UI and is backed by an excellent developer.

Pocket Casts, a Podcasting app from Shifty Jelly, also got a major update to v4 today. The new version brings with it an absolutely stunning UI, a new tablet optimized UI, the ability to backup and restore the apps settings and much more. It also brings a bump in price to $4 (previously $3).

The update definitely makes Pocket Casts the best podcasting app out there, even though it still lacks Google Reader integration.

HTC Sense 5 Will Be Coming To One X, One X+, One S And The Butterfly

HTC has confirmed on its Facebook page that it will be bringing its latest version of Sense to quite a few of its existing handsets. Sense 5 from HTC is a radically different than the previous versions of Sense with a new Blink UI for Homescreen, and system apps that follow the Holo guidelines. HTC has even done away with its iconic Weather/Clock widget, and given the whole UI a very flat feel.

HTC states that over the next few months global variants of HTC One X, One X+, One S and the Butterfly will be getting the Sense 5 update. However, software features that are available on the HTC One due to its specific hardware will not be available on these devices. It has also been confirmed that HTC will be bringing Sense 5 to the DROID DNA.

Whether the carrier variants of the above handsets like the AT&T One XL or the EVO 4G LTE will get the Sense 5 update or not, depends on their carrier’s approval.

Before you get too excited, keep in mind that HTC may reconsider its decisions down the line and may not bring Sense 5 to one or any of the devices mentioned above.