HTC One M9 gets Android 5.1 Lollipop and Stagefright fix

If you own an HTC One M9 purchased from Verizon, you’ll be happy to hear that an update is finally headed your way. We’re talking about the one incorporating Android 5.1 Lollipop – and this is something that’s already been rolled out in many parts of the world, as well as to One M9 units sold by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

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And now it’s Verizon’s turn to release it. There are a couple of added goodies in there too, perhaps to try and make up for the delay in some way.

Mo Versy Say: HTC One (M9) Verizon customers! Received approval for L5.1 which will OTA out tomorrow. Includes Stagefright fix,Band 3 & 7 enabled -roaming

According to Mo Versi, HTC’s VP of Product Management, the ugly Stagefright vulnerability has been fixed in the new software. Furthermore, you’ll also get support for LTE bands 3 and 7 (1800 MHz and 2600 MHz) when roaming, so your phone will be able to connect to even more high-speed networks abroad.

The update will start rolling out over-the-air today, but as usual do expect it to take a while for it to reach all the devices out there. If you’re impatient you can keep checking for its availability by going to the appropriate section of your Settings menu.

Via


Huawei announces Honor 7i in China

Huawei has announced the new Honor 7i. The biggest feature of this phone is the rotating camera module that can be plucked out and pointed forward to take self portraits.

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Using the main camera for self portraits will result in much higher quality images, and the rotating camera also allows taking photos from different perspectives by simply pointing the camera module instead of turning the entire phone. The module is supposedly rugged and Huawei claims will last for two years even if you open it 132 times a day, which is quite a lot. Powering the camera is a Sony 13 megapixel BSI sensor with 28mm f2.0 lens.

The Honor 7i is also the first phone to have a fingerprint sensor on the side of the phone. The sensor is on the left of the phone and Huawei claims it is the smallest sensor on any phone. The sensor can be used to unlock the phone and take pictures by touching with your thumb.

The phone has an aluminum frame on the side with glass on the back and covering the 5.2-inch 1080p display on the front. Inside is the new Snapdragon 616 with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage although there is also a version with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage. Both variants have a microSD slot. Powering it is EMUI 3.1 and a 3000mAh battery.

OnePlus 2 gets its first OTA update

OnePlus is rolling out the first ever OTA update for the OnePlus 2. The Oxygen OS 2.0 on the phone is getting updated to v2.0.1, which brings with it several key improvements.

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The official update log includes:

Added a patch for the Stagefright security exploit
Improves battery performance
Improves user interface logic and coherence
Fixed an issue with pinch-to-zoom in Google Photos
Fixed an issue where Dark Mode would cause instability in certain apps
Fixed an issue related to import/export of contacts stored on SIM card
Additional support for global carrier APNs
Other improvements and bug fixes

The update is already available in India and weighs in at 1.1GB, with the servers being slow right now so it’s going to take a while to finish downloading. Not that it should be a problem as most people still don’t have an invite.

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge plus is now in stores

In the US the S6 edge+ is available on AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular. Samsung’s website is a centralized place to check pricing on the 32GB and 64GB models (no plans for a 128GB model for now despite contradicting indications).

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Canadians can pick Rogers, Bell, Telus, SaskTel or Wind as their Galaxy S6+ carrier. You can check those carrier’s sites or Best Buy.

In Hong Kong the new flagship is on the four major carriers – CSL, CMHK, Three and SmarTone.

In its home country, the Samsung Galaxy S6 has landed on SK Telecom, LG U+ and KT.

The other phablet flagship, the Galaxy Note5, already launched in some countries and is hitting the US today.

Xiaomi Mi 4c With Snapdragon 808 On Board In The Making

The Xiaomi Mi 4i was released earlier this month as an affordable device priced at $200, rocking a very decent set of hardware specifications. Indeed, despite its low price, the Xiaomi Mi 4i is actually quite impressive, boasting a full HD 5-inch IPS LCD display which outputs 441 pixels per inch, an octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, and 2 GB of RAM.

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Interestingly enough, Xiaomi doesn’t seem to have stopped at the aforementioned configuration, and recent rumors hinted that a so-called “Xiaomi Mi 4c” with a more powerful processor might be in the works for the Chinese market. Today, this rumor was somewhat reconfirmed by AnTuTu listing showing off Xiaomi Mi 4c’s hardware specifications, which happen to include a Snapdragon 808. Full story below.

The image you see above has been initially shared on the official AnTuTu page on the Weibo network, but oddly enough the screenshot was pulled in the meantime for unspecified reasons. With this small disclaimer out of the way (you can draw any conclusion you want regarding the validity of the image), let’s get back to the Xiaomi Mi 4c and see what it has to offer based on the new data.

Needless to say, the Mi 4c rocks a Snapdragon 808 SoC, which houses a quad-core Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 1.4 GHz, and another dual-core Cortex-A57 unit running at frequencies of up to 1.8 GHz. It basically is the same chipset powering the LG G4.

Additionally, this SoC makes use of a slightly beefier graphics chip, namely the Adreno 418 as opposed to the Adreno 405, but the rest of the hardware components seem to be unaltered. This means the Mi 4c still rocks a 5-inch FHD display, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, and a 13 MP main camera complemented by a 5 MP front-facing unit.

We’re unaware of the reasons why AnTuTu decided to pull the image from Weibo, but hopefully this doesn’t mean that the phone isn’t on its way. Whatever the case may be, the chances are that the Mi 4c will not be officially released outside of China, so don’t get your hopes up if you happen to live outside the company’s homeland.

Moto X Play might be headed to Verizon as the Droid Maxx 2

A lot of people were understandably upset when Motorola announced that the Moto X Play would not be sold in the US. However, it turns out that the Lenovo-owned company may not have meant what everyone thought it meant. Namely, it could just be that the Moto X Play won’t be offered in the US under that name.

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Instead, it might be rebranded for Verizon and transformed into the carrier’s Droid Maxx 2. With its huge battery the Maxx title is certainly warranted, and there have been no hints so far that Big Red is going to drop the Droid line this year.

Alongside the Droid Maxx 2 (which will actually be the Moto X Play under another name), Verizon is also expected to launch the Droid Turbo 2 before the end of 2015. Whether this will turn out to be just a rebranded Moto X Style remains to be seen though.

This information comes from a Hong Kong-based leaker of all things Motorola-related, who has gotten certain things right in the past. Thus, while you should take all of it with a grain of salt, there is a chance, however small, for this to be real.

So you may just be able to purchase a Moto X Play in the US soon. That’s the good news. The bad news is that if this is accurate, Verizon will be getting it exclusively.

Huawei Mate 8 leak is it Mate 7S or Mate S

The Huawei Mate 8 has been in the rumorland for quite a while. It was touted for an August 20 release, but we got the Honor 7i today instead. Then it was reportedly coming in Berlin’s IFA next month, while some latest rumors postponed its launch for early next year.

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We thought we were sure Huawei will be outing the rumored Mate 7S or just Mate S at IFA, but now we are not so confident. The last couple of days the supposed Mate 7S leaked via the Chinese TENAA and it looks slightly different from what we are seeing today. Particularly the placement of the front camera is wrong. So we are either looking at two different devices, or just one with a massive name confusion created by all the leaks.

Anyway, the Mate 8 showed its face through some nice renders and its IFA announcement seems imminent after Huawei itself began teasing its next flagship.

Today we can finally see the Huawei Mate 8, or Mate S, or Mate 7S, or whatever it’s called in live photos, and while those are low-res, they seem like the real deal. Check it out.

The Mate 8 is expected to come with a bezel-less 6″ IPS Quad HD display and to run on the powerful Kirin 950 chipset with 3GB or 4GB RAM. The Kirin 950 chip is expected to pack an octa-core processor with 4x Cortex-A72 at 2.4GHz and 4x Cortex-A57. The GPU in charge of graphics will be a Mali-T880.

The Mate 8 is also rumored to offer a 20.7MP main camera and an 8MP selfie shooter, a fingerprint sensor, LTE Cat.6 connectivity, a massive 4,500 mAh battery, and a brand new Emotion 4.0 UI on top of Android Lollipop.

September 2 is very close, so everything will become clear very soon, including the name of this device.

Google Now Launcher for Android 6.0 Marshmallow Made Available for Download

Google, earlier this week revealed the Android 6.0 ‘Marshmallow’ name and released the Android M Developer Preview 3 images for Nexus devices. Until now, Nexus users were the only ones who could experience the new Google Now launcher that ships with latest preview of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Now, non-Nexus users can now also experience the new Google Now launcher on their devices as its apk file has reached the Web.

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The new Google Now launcher, which has been extracted from the Google’s latest Android M Developer Preview 3, however, does not come with all its features just yet, and to make the most of the launcher, users would need to run the complete preview ROM on their devices. The Google Now launcher for Android 6.0 Marshmallow comes with nine wallpapers meant for Android 6.0, featuring landscapes and vector graphics.

To install the Google Now launcher for Android 6.0 Marshmallow launcher apk, users would have to navigate to their handset’s Settings page and tap on ‘Unknown Sources’ under the Security option to be able to sideload the installation file. It weighs 14.5MB and is compatible with devices running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and later OS versions. The file can be downloaded from APK Mirror.

It is worth mentioning that the search giant had released the first developer preview of Android M at its developer conference Google I/O in May, and second developer preview in July. The Android M Developer Preview 3 is very close to the final version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google had said, adding the update offers an updated permissions UI and API, a new boot screen, and the fingerprint API. The builds can be flashed on the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and the Nexus Player. Do also read our guide on how to install the developer preview on Nexus devices.

New Moto 360 possibly shown by Motorola

Following the Moto 360’s seemingly permanent price cut back in July, lots of folks have been wondering when the new Moto 360 will make its debut. Well, we’re still waiting, but Motorola may have teased a new model today.

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In a brief video (that’s since been deleted) highlighting the Moto 360’s “Okay Moto” voice feature, Motorola shows a round smartwatch that’s round and has the same “flat tire” as the Moto 360 we all know, but there are a couple of differences. For one, the button is close to the top on this mystery watch, whereas the 360’s button is in the middle. The mystery watch also appears to have exposed lugs to connect to the watch band, something else that the original 360 lacks.

The watch shown in today’s video actually looks similar to the device shown in a photo from Lenovo’s CEO that appeared back in March.

So is this the new Moto 360? It’s possible that Motorola may have slipped up, especially after the company recently posted the Moto X Pure Edition’s release date and then pulled it, suggesting that the announcement wasn’t supposed to happen then. However, it’s also possible that this is just a quick mock-up device that was thrown together for this video.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is bigger but is it better

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is, apart from being a right pain to write, one thing: a big Galaxy S6 Edge. There’s not a lot to choose between the two devices beyond the size.

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The obvious change is to the screen, with a 5.7-inch choice rather than the 5.1-inch option on the smaller S6 Edge. However, internally it’s almost identical, with 4GB of RAM the only real difference.

That means there’s sadly no microSD slot again, the Exynos octa-core chipset lives on and there are only 32GB or 64GB options to choose from.

What’s interesting too is that this phone is a replacement for the Note range in the UK and other key markets – almost like an admission from Samsung that having the S Pen and its associated fancy extra bits doesn’t go down well in some territories.

The price hasn’t been announced, but I’m pretty sure it will be over £600 (around $930 / AU$1275) as per usual when Samsung’s high-end phablet range comes out – however as the S6 Edge+ doesn’t have the stylus it can’t be classed as a Note.

But just because it’s a bigger version of another phone, that’s no bad thing. The S6 Edge was (and is) a brilliant device and making it larger actually helps make it more attractive in many ways.

The screen is still QHD (2560 x 1440) but doesn’t feel low res at all (despite being lower in the pixels per inch stakes compared to the original due to being stretched out to fill a bigger display).

New Edges

The other big change on offer is the edges are being used more effectively. When I heard rumour of this phone, I assumed it was going to be the Galaxy Note Edge from 2014 rebooted to have two edges that could be stroked and manipulated… and therefore made more useful.

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But that’s not the case here, with the same effect of the screen softly sliding away on either side of the phone.

The people tab, available by swiping in from the side, is still there, and now has new powers to let you poke or tap or do other odd things to other Edge owners. That’s right, other Edge owners only – you’re going to be sorely limited in being able to use these weird new features to play with your pals.

Swipe again though and you get a list of the most-used apps within easy reach. Samsung should just do away with the unused people list and go straight for the apps, or have one on each side of the screen, though.

But there’s no such luck here, so we’re going to have to wait for more functionality to come to the sides of the Galaxy S6 Edge+ screen… and Samsung promises something is coming.

Another big change with the S6 Edge+ is the heralding of Samsung Pay, letting you buy stuff with your phone. A simple swipe up from the bottom of the screen (even with the display off) will bring up your cards, and then you can tap your device onto the reader.

It’s a very slick system, and being able to actually pay for things using contactless payments even without an NFC terminal (using the magnetic card reader) is a brilliant way of doing things.

Camera

The camera on the S6 Edge+ isn’t anything to get that excited about, as it’s largely the same as that on the S6 Edge. Actually, that’s pretty harsh, as the camera on that and its S6 brother is brilliant -it’s just there’s not a lot extra to play with.

There’s nothing to suggest the S6 Edge+’s snapper will be any different, with a speedy opening of the app with the double tap of the home button and all the practice snaps looking clear and in focus.

There are SOME extra elements on here, but nothing massive: RAW support is included for pro mode, and live streaming over YouTube is enabled too. The latter is a little long to set up, with sharing taking place via a text message – but once that missive is sent, the user can simply follow your footage through a private video channel.

I’m quizzing Samsung on whether these features are coming to the older S6 phones – I’m sure they will, but there seems to be a question of whether they’ve got enough RAM to achieve streaming.

Given Sony’s managed to stream YouTube video fine with the Xperia Z3, and Nokia baked RAW support into its phones ages ago, I can’t see why it would be an issue.

Battery

The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is going to – hopefully – be a lot better than that seen on the original S6 Edge, for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, this is a much bigger battery pack, at 3000mAh, and while it’s got a larger screen to power, there are the same amount of pixels, so fingers crossed that will result in improved power management.

Google is also doling out an update to Android that should help fix some of the battery woes afflicting many of the top-end phones at the moment, and while the S6 Edge+ is on Android 5.1.1, that should be upgraded pretty soon.

The battery life is still a worry though – for a phablet, that’s a small battery pack. Like I said, it’ll probably be fine, but with a phablet to play with it seems a shame to waste the opportunity to push in more mAh.

Is the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ the phone I expected to see? Not at all. Not only is it unlike Samsung to take its top end phone and just make it larger (although if it’s good enough for Apple, eh…?) it’s especially atypical to use that phone to replace the Note range.

The Galaxy Note 5 is still being released, and seems like it might make it to the UK at some point if the rumours are to be believed, but it won’t be at launch sadly.

And there’s no way the S6 Edge+ can use the S Pen as the screen isn’t set up in the same way to use the inductive technology, so anyone in the UK that was looking forward to getting their hands on the raw power upgrade the Note 5 would bring is sadly out of luck,

Still, this is a lovely phone to hold and use, has oodles of power and a beautiful screen, and if you’re simply after a bigger-screen experience, it ticks the boxes nicely.