Samsung announces the Galaxy Grand; Essentially a 5″ Galaxy S II in a slightly smaller Note 2 body

In the wee hours of the morning (EST), Samsung has announced their next Galaxy device, the Galaxy Grand. With the looks of a Galaxy Note 2 and the internals of a Galaxy S II, the device will most likely be dubbed as a ‘mid-ranger.’ At 5″, I thought at first that this would be an awesome device that hits that ‘sweet spot’ when it comes to screen sizes. As I read on, I was disappointed to see the resolution at 800×480, especially for a display that huge. Here’s a list of it’s specs:

  • 1.2GHz dual-core processor
  • 5″ 800×480 TFT LCD display
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB storage (expandable to 64GB via microSD
  • 2,100 mAh battery
  • HSPA+
  • Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean
  • Single- or dual-SIM models

Basically a re-hashed S II in a slightly smaller Note 2 body right? No word yet on the availability or if it’ll ever make its way to US shores. More info and Samsung’s press release after the break!


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The great Stephen Colbert and Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt share an hour long discussion ranging from tech to politics [Video]

Stephen Colbert, one of the most charismatic figures on television today, shared an hour long discussion with Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt. The interview itself isn’t new, but the uncut and whole conversation was just posted on YouTube for all of us to see. Topics ranged from talks about Google Play all the way down to politics.

The highlight of the video, at least for us Android enthusiasts, comes about 8 minutes in where both talk about the Google Play Store and Schmidt’s book. Colbert also has some very nice things to say about Google and it’s endless possibilities at around 29:48 minutes in, so definitely check that part out. You can check out the whole interview below after the break!


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Official Tumblr App Now Supports Tablets

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Your meme, fanfiction and #Caturday needs can now be met on a tablet with the official Tumblr app. Almost a year and a half after hitting Android, the app was finally updated to include tablet support. Besides tablets, the rest of the update is relatively minor: a new Following screen and subtle design updates. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to support horizontal viewing, which might be a drawback on 10-inch tabs. I’m sure you guys were wondering so I went ahead and tested it for you. Yes, Ja’mie King GIFs work great on the only Nexus device currently not sold out on the Google Play Store, the Nexus 7.

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Cyanogenmod 10.1 nightlies roll out to a select few devices

Cyanogenmod is the most popular after-market software for Android devices. It usually doesn’t take long after the latest iteration of Android hits AOSP that CyanogenMod starts to roll out nightlies of their custom software to a few devices, and CM 10.1 is no exception. A handful of devices have officially received the first run of nightlies and will continue to receive CM 10.1 support. Of course, many other devices will join them in due time. The list of supported devices and the download link to the first wave of nightlies is below.
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More details leak for HTC’s mysterious M7: 4.7-inch 1080p display, 13 megapixel camera and more

Last week we reported about a mysterious HTC super phone dubbed the M7, but at the time little was known about the device. Well, today we have some gloriously good details trickling in. For one, the M7 is said to be the successor to HTC’s wildly popular One X. The phone will boast an optically laminated 4.7-inch 1080p display with a whopping pixel density of 468ppi (40% more than the iPhone 5). The optically laminated panel is said to offer improved viewing angles, more accurate color reproduction and a better outdoor viewing experience.

Under the hood you will find a quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage powered by a healthy sized 2,300 mAh battery. HTC has always been known to skimp on battery capacity, so it’s nice to see them outdo many of the current flagship phones this time around. As for shooters, you’ll find a 13 megapixel camera around back, and a 2 megapixel front facing camera to capture your handsome mug. The rear facing camera is said to come with some enhanced features, like super slow-motion video recording and HDR video mode. On top of that, the camera is said to use a Cinesensor imaging chip to improve overall image quality. As for software you’ll find Android Jelly Bean topped with HTC’s ever-improving Sense skin; this time Sense 5.


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Samsung reworks S-Beam commercial with Mr. and Mrs. Claus

Samsung has certainly stepped up its advertising budget in the past few years and is ramping things up for the holidays as we’ve already seen. To add to their holiday repertoire, Samsung has redone their humorous, yet slightly suggestive, S-Beam commercial with a cheery Christmas theme. Instead of being sent off by wife and children, Santa Claus S-Beams some videos from his hard-working elves and Mrs. Claus. Mrs. Claus has the traditional Galaxy S III, but Santa is rocking the brand new Galaxy Note II. Of course, the video he gets from Mrs. Claus comes with a dirty look and the warning “Don’t watch it on the sleigh.” Thanks for tainting my childhood memories of Christmas, Samsung. Hit the break below for the video.
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Nova Launcher 2.0 Beta Doubles Down On Customization

You don’t have to be Xzibit to appreciate what Nova Launcher has done with its latest beta. No, the beta launcher won’t help you install an x-box to the trunk of your Toyota Celica but it does go a long way in helping you pimp your home screen. Nova is one of several capable third-party launchers but with the addition of a handful ton of customization options it’s doubling down on a more user-defined look and feel to Android.

Like with the version available on the Play Store, ver. 1.3.4, Nova Launcher 2.0 beta requires Android 4.0.1 or higher. And while both versions offer an increased level of control over its stock counterpart, 2.0 takes it to a different level. We’re talking transparency settings, resizing folders, gestures galore and some nice wallpaper tweaks. The 2.0beta3 release addresses some early beta bugs, with fixes to expanded notifications on Android 4.2, dock as overlay, dock infinite scroll, disabled wallpaper scrolling and force close issues.

Hit the break for a complete list of Nova Launcher 2.0 features and the all important download link.


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Google Play Elves Kick Off The Surprise Calendar Countdown

Google began its Play Store Surprise Calendar Countdown today with a free $35 hotel credit for the Hotel Tonight app. If the hotel credit is not your cup of tea, check back tomorrow. Google promises a daily giveaway or discount on its Android flavored advent calendar. This appears to be similar to an Android-centric version of Google Offers but then again, Google Offers doesn’t include “giveaways” so we’ll have to wait and see how it differentiates itself. Either way, we’ll be sure to let you know if there are any can’t miss deals. Load up your Play Store app or hit the source link below to see the deals. The promotion lasts until January 1, 2013.

Source: Google Play Store

Vantec Helps You Live On The Cloud With NexStar WiFi Hard Drive Dock And Android App

It’s getting easier and easier to move everything into the cloud. If you’re not satisfied with some of the cloud storage options like DropBox, Box or Google Drive, or you’re just looking for more space, Vantec might have you covered. Their soon-to-be released NexStar WiFi hard drive dock will let you take an existing SATA 2.5 or 3.5-inch internal drive and create a wireless network drive. Best of all the free Android (and iOS) app will make accessing data from your mobile device a relatively easy task. It will also stream media to UPnP compatible devices. Price and official release date are not yet available but we expect those details to emerge in the next couple weeks.

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Full Press Release and app download link after the break


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New Android-controlled toilet gives you another reason to bring your smartphone to the bathroom

Android started with phones, then went to tablets, TV’s, and even appliances. Why not toilets? A new toilet made by Tokyo-based Lixil will hit the market this February. Apparently you can get the app for Android called My Satis, which lets you flush, raise the toilet seat, and activate a bidet jet stream. If you like to listen to tunes while doing your business, you can even choose what songs to play through the toilet’s speakers. Finally, for those of you that like to control everything, the app will keep track of your history so the next time you’re at a dinner party, you can tell Aunt Agnus when the last time you, well you know. Don’t expect these toilets to be cheap as they will be priced at ¥199,500 to ¥389,550m which translates to roughly $2,385 to $4,657. I wonder if they would send me a review unit?

Hit the source link to check out a quick video as well.


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