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  • Engadget's smartphone buyer's guide: summer 2012 edition

    by 
    Zachary Lutz
    Zachary Lutz
    07.26.2012

    Despite the sweltering heat waves, our spirits are high at Engadget, and for good reason: it's time for our summer edition of the smartphone buyer's guide. Here, you'll find our top recommendations for the best smartphones across several US carriers, along with the best QWERTY and budget alternatives. In many ways, it's now easier than ever to find a world-class smartphone, but unless you've developed a strong brand preference, choosing one is likely more difficult than ever before. It's no secret that the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S III have firmly cemented themselves as the premier smartphones of the day, but if you're torn between the two, we'll reveal our preference in this latest installment. Summertime also brought a bit of a shock, as Microsoft revealed that Windows Phone 8 apps won't be compatible with the current generation of Windows Phone hardware. For this reason, we've excluded all Windows Phone handsets from consideration in the latest buyer's guide. While the future of Microsoft's mobile platform looks incredibly bright, a purchase now would guarantee obsolescence in the short-term. Instead, all prospective Windows Phone purchasers must wait for the next generation of handsets to become available -- you'll regret it otherwise. Naturally, there is no shortage of rumors surrounding the next Apple iPhone, and given the handset's current lack of LTE connectivity, the iPhone 4S is certainly showing its age. While cautious purchasers may choose to bide their time, the iPhone remains top-notch in many other respects, and its arrival at a number of prepaid carriers brought a breath of fresh air to an otherwise stagnant environment. If you're curious to see how it all unfolded -- and we know you are -- join us after the break, where we round up the very best smartphones of the season.

  • Refresh Roundup: week of July 16th, 2012

    by 
    Zachary Lutz
    Zachary Lutz
    07.22.2012

    Your smartphone and / or tablet is just begging for an update. From time to time, these mobile devices are blessed with maintenance refreshes, bug fixes, custom ROMs and anything in between, and so many of them are floating around that it's easy for a sizable chunk to get lost in the mix. To make sure they don't escape without notice, we've gathered every possible update, hack, and other miscellaneous tomfoolery we could find during the last week and crammed them into one convenient roundup. If you find something available for your device, please give us a shout at tips at engadget dawt com and let us know. Enjoy!

  • Beats increases its share ownership to 75%, lets HTC keep 'commercial exclusivity in mobile'

    by 
    Joe Pollicino
    Joe Pollicino
    07.21.2012

    Although HTC and Beats are just shy of the one-year anniversary of their 300 million dollar partnership, it looks like the two are again growing apart. In a letter to shareholders today, it's been announced that the original owners of Beats plan to buy back 25 percent of its own shares, for a total ownership stake of 75 percent. That said, HTC will still retain nearly 25 percent of the remaining shares for itself, ensuring that it remains the largest external shareholder. As the release puts it, this new setup "provides Beats with more flexibility for global expansion while maintaining HTC's major stake and commercial exclusivity in mobile." All in all, it seems like this is more about shifting priorities given recent news like Beats' MOG acquisition, but it wouldn't make eventual breakup all the more unsurprising given the partnership's mixed results.

  • HTC confirms Android 4.1 Jelly Bean for One X, One XL and One S, includes AT&T, T-Mobile and Rogers models

    by 
    Myriam Joire
    Myriam Joire
    07.20.2012

    Remember yesterday's rumor from down under about Jelly Bean coming to select HTC One handsets? Well it's now fact. HTC has just confirmed that the One X, One XL and One S will be getting upgraded to Android 4.1 at some point in the (hopefully near) future. Here's the company's statement: "We know HTC fans are excited to get their hands on Google's latest version of Android. At this point in time, we can confirm that we have plans to upgrade our HTC One X, HTC One XL and HTC One S to Jelly Bean. Please stay tuned for more updates regarding device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Jelly Bean." We've also learned that in addition to the aforementioned global models, carrier versions of the One X and One S for AT&T, T-Mobile and Rogers will also be receiving Jelly Bean. No word yet on timing, or whether the One V, EVO 4G LTE and Droid Incredible 4G LTE are included in those update plans.

  • HTC 'preparing' Jelly Bean update for One XL and One S, no date yet

    by 
    Sharif Sakr
    Sharif Sakr
    07.19.2012

    HTC has a long history of both raising and dashing hopes of Android upgrades on its devices. Moreover, the Australian network Telstra has often led that emotional rollercoaster, which means the detail on its software update page above is probably best approached with an air of detached calm. It tells us that both the HTC One XL (the global version of the American One X) and the One S have official Jelly Bean updates being "prepared" by HTC -- which is slightly more specific than what we last heard on this subject, when the manufacturer said it was "excited" about Google's latest OS version and planned to support it "across a variety" of handsets. If you happen to own a non-LTE, Tegra 3-based One X, then the absence of that handset on the list doesn't mean much -- that model simply isn't part of the carrier's line-up. [Thanks, Will]

  • Mobile Miscellany: week of July 9th, 2012

    by 
    Zachary Lutz
    Zachary Lutz
    07.14.2012

    Not all mobile news is destined for the front page, but if you're like us and really want to know what's going on, then you've come to the right place. This past week, Motorola debuted the RAZR V in Canada and the Sony Xperia Ion was spotted at Rogers -- curiously, the phone has yet to be formally announced for the carrier. These stories and more await after the break. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore the "best of the rest" for this week of July 9th, 2012.

  • HTC Vertex pops up in benchmarks, might bring a slice of One X muscle to tablets

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    07.12.2012

    HTC has been stoking the fires of anticipation for its return to tablets, and that small flame is quickly turning into a full conflagration. A slab nicknamed the Vertex has surfaced in benchmarks with a 1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 and a 1,280 x 752 usable resolution that's noticeably wider than the similarly Tegra 3-equipped One X's 720p display. Other than Android 4.0 (and a probably Sense 4.0), however, there's scant else to go on. The last murmurs of a Vertex from the fall had it carrying a rear 2-megapixel camera and a front 1.3-megapixel shooter, but it's been long enough now that we wouldn't count on that still being true -- or that the new benchmarks necessarily reflect what we might get. Let's just hope that the resulting device is more competitive than the pricey Jetstream.

  • Sprint confirms HTC EVO 4G LTE in white, battle of carrier-specific phone colors rages on

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    07.12.2012

    Not to be outdone by that red Galaxy S III over at AT&T, Sprint has confirmed that its inadvertent ad posting wasn't just a fluke: it's bringing out a white version of the EVO 4G LTE. Strictly speaking, it's more of a aluminum-with-white-accents trim, but we'll let that slide given that the back and kickstand are now decidedly less smudge-prone. The white EVO will cost as much as that Galaxy S III variant (and the black EVO) at $200 on a contract. Sprint will start selling the white hue on July 15th -- and unlike AT&T, it should have phones on shelves rather than leave customers to online window shopping.

  • Rogers details 28-city LTE upgrade for rest of 2012, RIM's hometown included

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    07.09.2012

    Rogers' LTE network is old enough to mark its first birthday. Unless you happened to live in one of the seven largest cities in Canada during that time, however, you've largely been left out -- that status indicator on the Rogers version of the One X may as well have been a subtle form of mockery. To the delight of our friends up North, the carrier has detailed a much more aggressive LTE rollout for the rest of the year: a total of 28 more cities will get that sweet 4G nectar in the next few months. Most of these expansions will blanket the southern half of Ontario, but major cities in the Prairies, Quebec and the Maritimes will all get their fair share. Arguably, the most important upgrade is coming to RIM's home base of Waterloo; when the company is virtually betting its future on likely LTE-ready BlackBerry 10 devices, having widescale LTE to test against is a slightly important prerequisite. The full city list is available after the break.

  • Engadget Giveaway: win a Beats-enabled HTC One X, courtesy of AT&T!

    by 
    Brad Molen
    Brad Molen
    07.02.2012

    What's the best way to celebrate Beats Electronics' acquisition of MOG? How about giving away a phone that offers both? AT&T sent us a brand new HTC One X for the sole purpose of handing it out to one of you, our beloved readers. This is currently one of our favorite phones money can buy, so revel in the fact that you have an opportunity to get it without digging that card out of your wallet. As always, just leave your comments below to enter to win. Note: since this is an AT&T-branded phone, this giveaway will be for US only.

  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean preview download is live, probably won't work on your Galaxy Nexus -- yet (Update)

    by 
    Richard Lawler
    Richard Lawler
    06.27.2012

    Google has opted to deliver Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as an OTA update to the ICS already on the Nexus phones and tablets it just handed everyone at I/O 2012, and there's a manual download link available too. As Android Police notes, only GSM phones running the IMM330D firmware will take the update (which you probably don't have, although a fresh phone from the initial Google Play run might work.) With this release already in the wild it's surely only a matter of time before various third parties open it up to a wider variety of hardware. As always with early and somewhat untested software YMMV, keep an eye on those XDA Developers threads for the latest updates. Update: Just that quickly, an SDK port has already popped up for the HTC One X. Of course, it's described as unstable and the author has no plans to try to fix the numerous problems but if you're desperate to see Jelly Bean you can, you just probably shouldn't. Update 2: And almost as quickly, a rooted version for ClockWorkMod Recovery and ROM Manager has appeared. Check the latest thread for all the details.

  • HTC Connect certifies AV gear for your One series phone, Pioneer lines up

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    06.26.2012

    HTC is going on something of a certification tangent: it's following its PlayStation Suite approval with its own program, HTC Connect. Home AV equipment with the label promises to lift the standards for streaming media to or from one of HTC's devices. The rubber stamp will be limited at first to DLNA audio and video, but it should eventually include just about anything that doesn't involve a wire, such as Bluetooth, in-car media, NFC and wireless speakers. There isn't an immediate deluge of partners. HTC has scored a rather big ally, however: Pioneer's DLNA-ready receivers and wireless speakers this year, and beyond, will flaunt the HTC Connect badge. Don't brag about the media credentials of your One X just yet. Although the Connect seal of approval won't be needed for media streaming anytime soon, it will only be coming to the One series through an upgrade in the months ahead.

  • White Sprint Evo 4G LTE rumors given weight by blurrycam snap

    by 
    Daniel Cooper
    Daniel Cooper
    06.25.2012

    A white version of Sprint's Evo 4G LTE was teased late last week when some advertising materials were inadvertently outed on its website -- which were subsequently changed to show the black version. However, one of our secret army of tipsters has sent in a picture that claims to show an internal document that reveals the handset will come in both ends of the gray scale. Of course, there's no official word yet, but those rumors are sounding more convincing with each passing day. After the break we've got a cropped and zoomed version of the image, with the telling claim on the third bullet point if you fancy judging for yourself. [Thanks, Anonymous tipster]

  • HTC confirms it's closing offices in Brazil, halting direct sales as well (update: Durham, too)

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    06.22.2012

    We don't have great news to share with Brazilian Android fans as the week winds to a close. After AndroidPit's initial word, we've since received extra confirmation from a spokesperson that HTC is closing its office in Brazil "after careful analysis of [its] business." The company wouldn't get any closer than that for reasoning, although the country's high tariffs on technology imports may play a part: they were high enough for Foxconn to open a Brazilian plant just so Apple could keep selling iPads and iPhones at comfortable prices, and HTC hasn't been making phones in Brazil for some time. There's also the matter of fighting to stay profitable in a market where Apple and Samsung are the only real money makers. HTC is vowing to keep up post-sale support, which we appreciate, but it's also stopping all direct sales in the process. As such, the only way you'll get a One S in Sao Paulo from now on is to go through an importer and take the added hit to the pocketbook. Update: Sadly, it looks like the company's Durham, North Carolina research location is also folding, with around 50 employees being impacted. "Some" may be offered relocation options, but the details remain unclear. For those keeping count, the facility is only around 1.5 years old.

  • HTC Acknowledges One X WiFi bug on Tegra 3 models

    by 
    Terrence O'Brien
    Terrence O'Brien
    06.18.2012

    There's always some snag with these big flagship devices it seems. The iPhone 4 had antennagate, Verizon's Galaxy Nexus couldn't seem to stay connected and now the One X is joining the parade with some serious WiFi issues. Some users have complained of weak WiFi reception and, alarmingly, a rather odd fix. Simply squeezing the device in the right place could drastically improve signal strength indicating the issue may be hardware based. HTC has confirmed the issue and identified a fix that involves strengthening the connecting points on the phone's WiFi antenna. Interestingly, the issue has only been reported in Tegra 3 models so far, but we'd stop shy of saying it only affects those units. If you're experiencing problems with the WiFi on your One X you can call HTC's customer support to confirm the issue and send it in for repair.

  • Editorial: The Galaxy S III in the US is giving Samsung a backbone

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    06.08.2012

    Samsung caught more than a few off guard with its US launch plans for the Galaxy S III, but primarily for what it didn't do. Whether it was a variant for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon, the American versions had no arbitrary screen size bumps. No keyboards. Not even the customary navigation key changes that Samsung has implemented in US-spec Galaxy phones to avoid uncomfortable comparisons. Instead, the Korean electronics giant was dictating almost the entire device launch strategy to the carriers, which sounds a little familiar. While some would be cynical about it, it's really the sign of a rethink at Samsung that's giving the company the courage it needs to keep ahead -- and which could trigger a wider change not just at carriers, but within the Android ecosystem as a whole.

  • Apple hits HTC with third ITC dispute, One series goes under the gun

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    06.06.2012

    Apple chief Tim Cook might have said that he doesn't like lawsuits, but he must have left a loophole open for International Trade Commission disputes. His company quietly filed a third challenge against HTC on June 4th (just now coming to light) that -- surprise -- claims HTC is still violating patents that it supposedly worked hard to avoid. If successful, Apple would slap down 29 devices that include a much more modern set of hardware than the first two disputes, including the One X (and EVO 4G LTE), One S and One V. Apple had success in December with the final results of its first ITC complaint and may simply be rolling the dice to try for more. Whatever throw Apple lands, there's no doubt that HTC and its fans are exasperated at the thought of more launch delays, or worse.

  • AT&T's HTC One X available once again: now up for sale online, coming to retail on June 10th

    by 
    Edgar Alvarez
    Edgar Alvarez
    06.05.2012

    Now that the ITC conundrum is partially over, it's time for the HTC One X to get back on track and make its way onto AT&T shelves yet again. For starters, the Rethink Possible outfit has the Sense 4-loaded handset up for grabs now via its online store, while brick and mortar shops are said to be expecting it as soon as June 10th. Other than that, pricing remains the same, which means you'll still have to shell out those $200 (with a two-year deal, naturally), or $550 without a commitment -- and, if you're feeling like spending some additional cash, you could grab that Media Link HD wireless dongle on your way out for an extra $90. Sound good? The source links below will take you there.

  • HTC officially a maker of PlayStation certified handsets, PlayStation Suite is now PlayStation Mobile

    by 
    Michael Gorman
    Michael Gorman
    06.04.2012

    Thought Sony's E3 2012 presser would be about a next-gen console? Well, sorry to disappoint you, but that doesn't mean there's no news on the PlayStation front, as Sony's just informed the world that the PlayStation Suite has been renamed PlayStation Mobile. Not only that, but it's opening PS Mobile to third-party Android manufacturers, and as was rumored, HTC is the first handset maker not named Sony to get certified -- meaning that you'll soon be able to get your PlayStation on using the Taiwanese outfit's hardware. Unfortunately, we don't know when HTC will debut its first such handset, nor when other Android makers will get in on the action, but it's nice to see Sony finally start to share the gaming love.%Gallery-156968%

  • Refresh Roundup: week of May 28th, 2012

    by 
    Zachary Lutz
    Zachary Lutz
    06.03.2012

    Your smartphone and / or tablet is just begging for an update. From time to time, these mobile devices are blessed with maintenance refreshes, bug fixes, custom ROMs and anything in between, and so many of them are floating around that it's easy for a sizable chunk to get lost in the mix. To make sure they don't escape without notice, we've gathered every possible update, hack, and other miscellaneous tomfoolery we could find during the last week and crammed them into one convenient roundup. If you find something available for your device, please give us a shout at tips at engadget dawt com and let us know. Enjoy!