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Monday, 7 January 2013

Samsung Galaxy S II JB update detailed, coming very soon

Samsung has kept its promise from last year and has now revealed details regarding the Galaxy S II Jelly Bean update.
In addition to the enhanced performance that Project Butter in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will provide, the update will also bring features from the Galaxy S III such as Smart Stay, Pop-up Play and Pause while recording video.
Some new applications will also come preinstalled such as Google+, Talk, Play Book and Play Movie (for the markets that support them). Easy mode for new users and Block mode for ignoring phone calls are also included.
The Galaxy S II Jelly Bean update will reduce the phone's internal memory from 12GB to 11GB, using the missing space for system partition. Once released into the wild, the update will be carried out through Samsung's KIES only, as it'll re-partition the memory system and will take around one hour or even more in some cases.
With such details available we can only expect the update to get its release in the coming week or so. Naturally, we'll let you know once it starts seeding.

The upcoming BlackBerry Z10 gets its internals revealed

Tags: RIMBlackBerryTouch UI
RIM's upcoming BlackBerry Z10 flagship smartphone has leaked yet again. This time, though, it's not just posing for the camera, but also having its internals exposed, revealing some interesting details.
For starters, BusinessInsiders has acquired two photos of the BlackBerry Z10 being compared to the iPhone 4S. According to their source, the build quality is really solid with the back cover sporting a nice rubbery grip.
Additionally, the 4.3" screen looks really good. The person familiar with the matter also shares that the newly redesigned AppWorld looks a lot like Google's Play Store.
The leaks continue with smartphone parts company ETrade Supply, who also got hold of some components of the BlackBerry Z10 and in their usual fashion decided to showcase them.
Their investigation reveals a microSD card slot and an HDMI port. Rather peculiarly, the SIM card slot's position varies on the different prototypes, suggesting they are from different stages of the smartphone's design cycle. The smartphone will reportedly be about 10mm thick, which isn't too bad, but far from record-breaking either.
RIM will announce the BlackBerry Z10 alongside its redesigned BB10 OS on January 30 at a special event, so stay tuned.

Xperia Z leaks again, shows off its slick design

Tags: SonyAndroidTouch UIRumors
The Sony Xperia Z, which was known as the Yuga until a few days ago, has leaked once again, this time in a series of images extracted from what is likely a promo video.
The new images tell us that the smartphone will feature a water resistant chassis on a "skeleton frame structure", and a 13MP Exmor RS camera accompanied by HDR photo and video capability.
The images also confirm what we already know about the device, including the 5 inch FullHD Reality display, and quad-core APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 chipset. The Z is set to ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of box.
Sony Xperia Z Sony Xperia Z Sony Xperia Z Sony Xperia Z Sony Xperia Z Sony Xperia Z Sony Xperia Z Sony Xperia Z
Our earlier leak hinted at an MSRP of roughly $655 when the Z hits retail, although we expect to have full details on the Xperia Z and all other Sony devices from CES 2013 in just a few short days, so be sure to check back with us.
Source | Via

HTC CEO blames poor marketing for 2012 results

Tags: HTCMisc
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal HTC CEO Peter Chou has shared his thoughts on the company's poor performance in 2012.
HTC's leader has put his finger on the insufficient marketing the company has done in the last year to promote its products. Here's what he added regarding the competition.
Our competitors were too strong and very resourceful, pouring in lots of money into marketing. We haven't done enough on the marketing front.
On the upside, Chou reckons that "the worst for HTC has probably passed," and that "2013 will not be too bad". Additionally, HTC's CEO said that he'll place his bet on innovation for this year, and not so much on marketing, hoping that consumers will appreciate the great products.
Hopefully, HTC will be able to get out of the financial downward spiral it's been in the last few quarters and get back on the right track in 2013.
Source | Via

Samsung releases fix for Galaxy S III kernel exploit in the UK

Samsung didn’t let the holidays get in the way of patching security holes - it is already rolling out an fix for the kernel vulnerability for Exynos devices, at least for the highly popular Galaxy S III phone.
The updated software is I9300XXELLA and is available only in the UK for now. We suspect the updates for other regions are just around the corner, but Galaxy S III owners in the UK should update as soon as possible - the update is available both as OTA and via Kies.

The update also comes with a new bootloader - the first bootloader update for the Galaxy S III since its launch. SamMobile speculates that this bootloader fixes the sudden death issue, though there's no official confirmation from Samsung about that.
Source | Via

comScore: Samsung and Android continue to dominate US

Tags: SamsungAndroidiOSRumors
The most recent comScore figures confirm a trend we've become used to in 2012: Samsung and Google on top, with Apple steadily gaining ground.
In what is steadily turning into a two horse race, Android and iOS now combine to hold a whopping 88.7% of the smartphone market. RIM's BlackBerry OS continues to nosedive, down one point over the previous trimester to 7.3%, while Microsoft's Windows Phone OS has dropped to 3%.

In terms of total mobile devices (which includes feature phones as well as smartphones), Apple has passed LG and to become the second largest mobile OEM in the US. Its 1.4 percent point growth from August to September of 2012 was also the highest of any of the other top brands.

Keep in mind that both these charts reflect figures taken prior to the holiday season, so it'll be interesting to see how these numbers change when the next comScore figures roll around in February.
Finally, in terms of mobile content usage, almost everything you can do with your mobile phone has seen an increase in activity. Just under 76% use their phone for text messaging, while downloading apps and social networking have seen the largest increases over the past trimester, coming in at 54.2% and 39.2%, respectively.

Source | Via

Samsung Galaxy S IV to launch in May, says Samsung Lebanon

Samsung's Galaxy S line of flagships traditionally launches in Q2 - the original launched in June, the sequel in April and the Galaxy S III in May. What about the S IV? A post on Samsung Lebanon's Facebook account points to May for the Samsung Galaxy S IV launch date.
While we know better than to take anything coming from a Facebook page for granted, we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Galaxy S IV has a May launch (it's when the S III launched after all).
Earlier, Reuters reported that the S IV will be launching in April, which doesn’t seems slightly less likely, given the enormous popularity the Galaxy S III and Note II are still enjoying.
That's for the launch date, when the new phone might be announced is a completely different matter. The first two of the line were announced a few months before launch, while the Galaxy S III was announced and launched in May. We expect the forth Galaxy S flagship to follow the footsteps of its predecessor, though, and only go official a couple of weeks before it hits the shelves.
Now if everyone could please stop with the CES/MWC announcement rumors - it's simply not happening. What we might see at CES though, is tech that will go into the Galaxy S IV like the rumored 5" 1080p Super AMOLED or a Cortex-A15 based chipset, which are also going around the rumor mill.
Note: Samsung Galaxy S IV concept render by Rozetked.
Thanks to Moussa for sending this in!

Jelly Bean distribution increases, doubles over past month

Tags: GoogleAndroidTouch UI
The latest Android distribution have been released and things seem to be moving in the right direction. For starters, the Jelly Bean figures have nearly doubled since same time last month, from 6.7 percent to 10.1 percent this month. Unfortunately, it still remains a fairly small number.

Meanwhile, the now outdated Ice Cream Sandwich grew from 27.5 percent to 29.1 percent whereas the now thoroughly outdated Gingerbread dropped from 50.8 percent to 47.6 percent, which is still a massive number whichever way you look at it.
Hopefully, with more and more devices getting the latest update and new devices coming this year, we would see a greater drop in the pre-ICS versions of Android.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Nokia outs performance update for the 808 PureView via PC Suite

Tags: NokiaSymbianTouch UI
It's been a while since Nokia last updated its 41MP 808 PureView, but today the Finns are making the cameraphone owners happy with a new firmware release.
Pushing the phone's software to version 113.010.1508, the update is 420MB in size and is available through PC Suite.
Despite its size, the update is described to only bring "improved performance and features". Some people might be disappointed, but the update still counts, as it would reportedly make the phone handle better in day to day use.
To check if your 808 PureView has the update waiting for it, hook it up to your PC, start PC Suite and check for updates.
Source | Via

Samsung acknowledges Galaxy S III sudden death, fix is on the way

Throughout the last two months we've received numerous reports of Galaxy S III smartphones dying unexpectedly, usually overnight. Luckily those users who have experienced this trouble got their Galaxy S III quickly repaired (with replaced motherboards) or replaced altogether by Samsung.
Samsung has now officially acknowledged the issue, confirming to the guys over at Tweekers that a fix is in the works and will be arriving soon.
As it turns out the "sudden death" issue is affecting very small number of Galaxy S III phones with 16GB storage and appears about half a year after the initial activation. The device usually dies overnight while charging or when on long stand-by, or after a reboot.
There is no official information on when exactly Samsung will be ready with the fix, but we guess it will be shortly after the rollout of the 4.1.2 update completes.
Source (in Dutch) | Via

Ubuntu for phones announced, arrives in early 2014

Canonical has unveiled the mobile version of their Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. Ubuntu for phones uses the same basic kernel and drivers as Android but has a brand new UI and navigation.

For starters, Ubuntu makes heavy use of gestures for navigating around. Each of the four corners of the screen can be used to perform a gesture. A short swipe from the left shows your favorite apps, a long swipe takes you to all your apps. A swipe from the right takes you to your last used app. Swipe from the bottom shows you the menu controls for the app you're in and a swipe down from the top shows you your notifications and messages.
Ubuntu places heavy emphasis on HTML5 web apps and gives them high priority, wherein they can show you notifications just like native apps. If you want an even better experience, you can also use the native apps written specifically for Ubuntu. Although it is based on the Android kernel, Ubuntu does not use the Dalvik Virtual Machine that Android does so apps are incompatible between the two. On the plus side, the lack of virtual machine and ability to run apps natively means the performance is likely going to be even better compared to Android.

As with the desktop version of Ubuntu, search has been given high priority. You can search by swiping down from the top of the screen and as you type the relevant content appears on the screen, which could be content stored on the device or even available online from various sources, such as Wikipedia, for example.
Canonical has also reinvented the lockscreen on Ubuntu for phones. They like to call it the welcome screen instead because all your side gestures are available from here, so there is no intermediate unlock gesture that you have to perform. The welcome screen also shows a beautiful circular pattern that displays important information from your installed apps.
Lastly, Ubuntu on phones will allow you to dock your phone and then connect it to a keyboard and mouse for a desktop-PC like experience, not dissimilar from what Motorola promised with the Webtop docks.
Canonical will soon be providing downloadable images of the operating system, which at present, only work on the Galaxy Nexus. As for devices shipping with Ubuntu pre-installed, that is expected to begin early next year.

GSMArena's top 10 most popular news and reviews in 2012

Tags: GSMArena
2012 was a busy year for the smartphone industry, which worked pretty hard to produce some pretty good products we’ve ever seen. As expert reviewers we also had our hands full, trying to cover as many of the phones as we could get our hands on to make picking your next smartphone as easy as possible.
Naturally, you enjoyed some articles more than others, giving us a hint what type of articles we should focus more on doing in 2013. Now, let’s dig right in and take a walk down memory lane and see the top 10 most read news and reviews of last year.

Top 10 reviews

Two of the rockstars of the Android scene were undoubtedly the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X. We did review them separately, but the article to generate the most interest was their direct battle.
The Samsung Galaxy S III was selling like hot cake last year and so did our review of the Korean flagship. With more than 3,6 million views, we sure got most of your questions answered and helped you get more familiar with the smartphone.
Not surprisingly, our Apple iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S III was the third most read article for last year. It would probably have been on top if the new Apple flagship had come out earlier. In fact, the Galaxy S III is so popular that it's involved in 5 of the 10 most popular review articles this year.
Here’s the full list of the most read articles on GSMArena for 2012.
1.Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III vs. HTC One X: Alien vs. Predator3,936,598
2.Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III review: S to the third3,618,932
3.Apple iPhone 5 vs. Samsung Galaxy S III: All rise2,746,015
4.Quad-core shootout: Four of a kind2,638,259
5.Samsung Galaxy S III vs. Galaxy S II: Intergalactic2,564,979
6.Sony Xperia S vs. Samsung Galaxy S II: S-hootout2,345,009
7.HTC One X review: eXtra special2,221,434
8.Sony Xperia S review: NXT of kin2,056,649
9.Sony Xperia U review: Fun united1,728,299
10.Samsung Galaxy S II ICS review: Sugar coated1,692,688

Top 10 news

It was a busy year for both Apple and Samsung and naturally, they occupied our top 10 news list.
The most important piece of news for 2012, according to your, our readers, was the official announcement of the iPhone 5. Rather unexpectedly, amidst all the flagship smartphone craze, the launch of the Galaxy S Duos and Galaxy Y Duos Lite sneaks up as second most read piece of news for last year.
The third place is taken by the Samsung's announcement of the Galaxy S III flagship, which isn't surprising considering its success in our review and versus-kind of articles.
Notable additions to the list are the announcements of the Nokia's 41 MP camera-rocking PureView 808 and the first ever smartphone with a full HD, the HTC J Butterfly, taking 6th and 9th place, respectively.
Interested about the rest of the rankings? Check out the table below.
1.Apple iPhone 5 goes official with an A6 chipset and 4-inch screen465,131
2.Samsung launches Galaxy S Duos and Galaxy Y Duos Lite366,479
3.The beast released: Samsung Galaxy S III is official340,357
4.Apple iPhone 5 aluminum shell plagued by chipping issues302,477
5.Apple's iPhone 5 event live coverage285,530
6.Nokia announces PureView 808 with a 41 MP sensor282,586
7.Samsung Galaxy S3 will launch in Blue and White253,258
8.More images of the Apple iPhone 5 surface243,338
9.HTC J butterfly announced in Japan with 5-inch, 1080p display236,735
10.Samsung Galaxy S III alleged official photo and specs leak235,034

We are hoping 2013 will be even more action packed with exciting smartphones generating even more fierce competition for the consumer's attention.
Now let's pass the ball to you. Feel free to tell us which was your favorite GSMArena article (review or news) for the past year.

Here are the 10 most popular phones in our database for 2012

Tags: GSMArena
Here at GSMArena we not only try to cover all the latest news and bring you detailed reviews with all sorts of tests, but we also maintain a large database of phones specifications.
We pride ourselves on having a huge audience - large enough to accurately reflect the trends in the smartphone world. That's why we believe being among the most popular handsets in our database is a strong indication that a device has become successful. So here are the top 10 most popular phones in our database that have been released in 2012.
First place goes to the Samsung Galaxy S III - the most popular phone among you, the GSMArena readers, this year. Sure it had more time than most, being launched in May, but its 20.1 million hits still make the margin of its victory quite impressive. These were also enough to make it the fourth most popular smartphone of all times in our database - it will likely be on top by the time its successor comes.
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
Second place is reserved for the Sony Xperia S - Sony's first international dual-core smartphone scored some 10.1 million hits.
Sony Xperia S
Sony Xperia S
The HTC One X wasn't the best-selling phone of the year and it didn't manage to pull the Taiwanese-based manufacturer out of financial trouble but it was undoubtedly among the most high-quality and powerful smartphones to come out of 2012. It snatches third spot with 8.3 million views.
Nokia was highly acclaimed for producing the best cameraphone around. The 41 MP 808 PureView's only weakness is the fact that it served its amazing photo prowess alongside a bitter-tasting dish of Symbian OS, which clearly didn't do the smartphone justice. The 808 PureView scored 7.8 million views.
Nokia 808 PureView
Nokia 808 PureView
Apple's iPhone has always been popular with our readers and here the iPhone 5 sits in, wait for it, fifth place - how bout' them apples. Apple's pride and joy got 7.4 million views in our database, despite only being announced in September.
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5
The Galaxy Note II has made the list despite making it slightly late to the party (much like the iPhone). Its 7 million views secure it the sixth spot.
Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100
Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100
The heavyweights aren't the sole residents of the mountain, though, Samsung's dual-SIM Galaxy Y Duos comes in at number seven with 6.5 million hits. Maybe it was the mix of dual-SIM functionality, smartphone capabilities and attractive price tag.
Samsung Galaxy Y Duos S6102
Samsung Galaxy Y Duos S6102
The Sony Xperia U is still among the cheapest(and coolest) dual-core smartphones out there. And it's obviously enjoying great popularity among the GSMArena readers with 6.4 million hits and eight spot.
Sony Xperia U
Sony Xperia U
The only feature phone in the top 10 list is the Nokia Asha 311. A 3" capacitive touchscreen at the front, 1 GHz processor, 3.15 MP snapper and a very wallet-friendly price earn it the 9th spot - 5.1 million views.
Nokia Asha 311
Nokia Asha 311