No matter what the platform may be, hardcore gamers are always seeking ways to tweak and improve the performance of their systems. To define that performance, a benchmarking tool is needed and one of the most popular over the years has been 3DMark. Android device owners can now access this popular application with today’s release of 3DMark for Android.
Verizon has a new mid-range device coming soon and will offer the LG Lucid 2 for free on a new two-year contract. We reported the news yesterday and instead of the Lucid 2 being available in retail stores starting April 4, customers will only be able to order online with the phone making its way to physical stores in the coming weeks. The LG Lucid 2 is actually the Optimus F5 and for an entry-level smartphone, offers very reasonable specs.
- 4.3-inch IPS display at 960 x 540 (256 ppi)
- 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor
- 1GB RAM
- 8GB internal storage with microSD card support up to 64GB
- 5 megapixel rear-facing camera
- 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera
- Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
- 2,460 mAh battery
Well, if Facebook was trying to hide their phone before the April 4th announcement, they’ve officially failed. We’re getting our first look at the fabled device that’s going to run Facebook’s unique software courtesy of @evleaks on Twitter, and it’s apparently going to be called the HTC First. It is neither HTC’s first phone, nor Facebook’s first attempt at a phone, so I don’t completely understand the naming scheme, but I’m no marketing expert, so maybe I’m just missing something here.
Weird names aside, the First looks like a pretty slick, although generic, device. We can see a volume rocker on the side, a power button on the top, and three buttons along the bottom bezel, presumably a back, home, and menu button, in that order. The rumors say the phone will sport a 4.3 inch screen, and from this render, I’d say that looks pretty accurate. Either way, we only have a few days left before the official announcement. Anyone excited to see this phone in person?
We recently reviewed SayIt Voice Launcher from Rn Software, and they just came out with another very cool app called Fynch for Twitter. Although it integrates with the official Twitter app, it’s not a full-fledged Twitter client. It’s a tool for enhancing your experience. Twitter timelines can be very overwhelming, which could result in you missing a lot of stuff. For example, everyone you follow might not tweet 100 times per day. Some of them only tweet once every few days, but that doesn’t mean those tweets aren’t important to you. Fynch will notify you of any activity from those less active users. Fynch will also tell you when someone starts tweeting a lot more than usual, which is perfect for breaking news stories or events. Last but not least, Fynch will also let you know when someone you follow mentions a trending topic.
HeroCraft is at is again with yet another game to add to their incredible repertoire in the Play Store. This one is called Strategy & Tactics: World War II, and it’s a lot like RISK or other similar strategy games. You won’t find explosions or special effects, it’s simply pure strategy. The game takes place during World War II, and in the first part of the game you will command the Axis to conquer Europe. Later, you will command the armies of the USSR and Allies to retake it. The game offers three play modes: play against the computer AI, 2-player (hotseat), and 2-player over WiFi.
Gameplay is pretty simple, but accomplishing the task isn’t necessarily the case. Early on in the game, you will start with just soldiers, but eventually you will be able to utilize vehicles and planes. You job is to take over certain regions depending on the mission, of which there are 18 in all. You simply move your armies into nearby regions with the hopes of surrounding the enemy and taking it over. There are two ways to figure out if you will win an attack. For example, you are given a certain amount of soldiers. If you have 10 soldiers in region A and your opponent has 5 soldiers in region B, there’s a good chance you will win. The other factor is the meter below your soldiers icon, which tells you how weak they are. You can split up your soldiers as in divide and conquer or keep them together. You can also attack from multiple locations at the same time to increase your chances. If you find that you don’t have enough forces, and you will, you can “buy” more soldiers, vehicles, and planes depending on how much currency you have earned while playing the game. Just like any other game like this, you can cut to the chase, and use your own hard earned cash as well.
We’ve already seen AT&T announce that they’ll start taking preorders for the Galaxy S 4 on April 16th, but if you’re just a really, really skeptical person, we officially have some information about AT&T’s version of the device from an FCC filing. A Samsung device with the exact same dimensions as the S 4 and AT&T’s LTE bands has gotten approval, so unless AT&T and Samsung have another 5-inch device lined up to show us, it’s a pretty safe bet that this is the S 4.
Are any of you picking up an S 4 on AT&T this month?
With mobile phones and tablets getting more advanced every single day, so does the hardware that goes inside them. Mobile chip designer ARM and TSMC have managed to create the first 64-bit Cortex-A57 processor. Even more impressive, they did it utilizing 16nm technology developed by TSMC. According to an official press release, the process took six months and is ARM’s most powerful processor ever. Cortex-A57 processors are the predecessor to the Cortex-A15 and deliver significantly more performance (pictured above). ARM doesn’t say when this next generation processor will be released and you can read the official press release below.
After a slight dip in popularity, WWE star Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, seems bent on making a comeback in the cultural psyche. Starring in the new G.I. Joe: Retaliation movie and the upcoming reality/contest TV series The Hero on TNT will help, but there was still one thing needed to make the effort complete – a video game. That last box can now be checked with the release of WWE Presents: Rockpocalypse in the Google Play Store.
Just a short while ago we reported on AT&T’s announcement that they will start selling the HTC One on April 19th. Sprint is hot their heels as they too have announced the availability of the HTC One on the 19th for the same $199.99 price for a 32GB version with a two-year contract. Sprint also indicated they will start accepting pre-orders online this Friday, April 5th, at www.sprint.com/htcone. Hit the break to read the full press release.
Considering the Optimus G Pro has warranted a ton of praise from both the press as well as customers out there, it should come as no surprise that LG has officially hit a milestone with the device. The Korean manufacturer announced it has sold 10,000 on its initial February 21st launch. Oh and for good measure, LG confirmed that Optimus G Pro sales topped over the coveted 500,000 unit mark during the first month of the release. It looks like customers out in Korea really took a liking to the beefed up specs including the 5.5-inch display, quad-core Snapdragon chip, 2 gigs of RAM and full LTE capabilities.
Now all we need is an American variant to officially hit the States and we’ll be in business.
As part of its initiative to introduce some topnotch voice call capabilities, AT&T has confirmed it will roll out some improved network capabilities for its customers. First off the bat is the Ma Bell offering full HD Voice service for its customers later this year. AT&T senior VP Kris Rinne asserts that “HD Voice is part of our voice over LTE strategy“. The reasoning, you ask? AT&T certainly lacks the call quality and clarity that its competition has, so it is in the wireless carrier’s best interests to ensure that its call quality is topnotch.
Additionally, AT&T will showcase even more features for its customers. Rinne confirmed that AT&T is currently working on “advanced LTE”, which does things to reduce interference and bond together traffic from various frequencies which you guessed it— will presumably help to improved things like its upcoming HD Voice service.
Look for both the “advanced LTE” and HD Voice to arrive sometime later this year.
Sure we have been begging for a concrete release date, pricing details and potential exclusive goodies regarding AT&T’s upcoming HTC One smartphone, but fortunately— AT&T has finally delivered. The nation’s second largest carrier has confirmed that it will make the flagship device available for purchase on April 19th for an on-contract price of $199.99 for the 32GB version and $299.99 for the 64GB version. Not a bad deal, right folks?
Additionally, AT&T will offer a special gift for those of you that chose to pre-order the device before the masses. Ma Bell confirmed it will offer a special Media Link HD streaming bundle for those of you that pre-order prior to April 19th. In case you’re not familiar, the Media Link HD unit allows customers to wirelessly stream quality content from the smartphone to the television— all using an HDMI cable from the Media Link HD unit to the TV. Best thing of all— the Media Link HD unit will be bundled for the smooth price of free—- for limited time of course.
And let the HTC One pandemonium officially begin. Hit the break for the full presser from AT&T.
Over the weekend, we told you that the HTC One X would get the Sense 5 update along with Android 4.2.2, but that can’t be the only device can it? Although this information isn’t confirmed by HTC, it comes from @LlabTooFeR, who has a very good track record when it comes to updates. If you own any of the following phones, you can expect to see Sense 5 with Android 4.2.2. Unfortunately we really don’t know when the updates will take place, but all things point to the summer. Just like any other update, expect further delays for the carrier-branded ones, but this is good news for a lot of consumers still in contract. Hit the break for the complete list.
Ever since Sundar Pichai took over the Android team, rumors started to swirl that Chrome and Android would merge since Sundar is also in charge of Google Chrome at Google. Shortly after, Eric Schmidt put a kibosh to that by saying they will remain separate, but to expect more overlap. As you know, Chrome is primarily in notebook computers, and the closest thing we have seen of Android on a notebook would be the ASUS Transformer series. The DigiTimes is reporting that Androidbooks, as in Android notebooks, are coming this fall.
It wasn’t mentioned in the report, but if the Androidbook were to have a detacheable display, I’m not sure what more it would offer over the Transformer line. Of course, it they were to be similar to the Chromebooks, where the display is permanently attached, it would be inferior. If there really is an Androidbook in the works, what makes the most sense is for it to not only have a detachable display, but it should also have both Chrome and Android with the ability to boot into either OS. I’m very interested to see what this rumor develops into.
When we first heard about the Samsung Fonblet, it was rumored to have a 5.8-inch display. Then last week, a 6.3-inch version showed up in Samsung’s Global Download Center. Word is they aren’t going with the “Fonblet” name, and instead going with “Galaxy Mega.” It also appears that there will indeed be two devices. The smaller 5.8-inch version has a model number of GT-i9152, and the larger 6.3-inch version will be GT-i9200. Expect the 5.8-inch version to only be offered in white and to be available by the end of May. The 6.3-inch should be available by the middle of June and will be offered in both white and black.