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Android Phone Fans

Samsung Galaxy Mega 7.0 leaks with faux leather backing, huge 7-inch display

Posted: 30 May 2014 06:12 PM PDT

Samsung Galaxy Mega 7.0 leak

If you thought last year’s Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3 were blurring the lines between phone and tablet, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Mega 7.0 is looking to sh*t all over that. Leaked online for China Mobile thanks to a 3rd party case manufacturer, this Samsung Galaxy Mega followup (SM-T2558 and SM-T2556) is said to feature a whopping 7-inch 720p display, one that is sure to push the limits of your new skinny jeans.

Keep in mind the Mega has never been a power house. It’s merely a way for Samsung to tackle the affordable phablet market, one that is currently left wide open by smartphone OEMs. Other specs for the Mega 7.0 include a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1.5GB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage. You can see from the leaked image above that Samsung will once again follow the “faux leather” design language made popular by their Note line.

No word on US availability or pricing, but knowing Samsung — they’ll have a Mega for every market. We’ll keep an eye out.

[Ortud | via GSMArena]

Samsung Galaxy Gear update strips away Android in favor of Tizen

Posted: 30 May 2014 04:32 PM PDT

Samsung Galaxy Gear Tizen update

There’s no question Samsung was treading new ground with the launch of their first smartwatch, the Samsung Galaxy Gear. Shoehorning Android to fit the small screen wasn’t easy, but Samsung felt like they were up to the task. It would later bite them in the butt as the smartwatch had some glaring issues (like battery life), causing Samsung to abandon their product only a few short months later for a new and improved model, the Tizen-powered Samsung Gear.

If there’s one thing we love about Samsung, they typically offer good support for legacy devices and the Galaxy Gear is no different. In a major software update rolling out today, Samsung is giving the Galaxy Gear new life. But as an Android fan — you might not like it. Software version 2.2.0 completely replaces the old clunky Android OS with Tizen, although on the surface, many wont be able to tell the difference.

Behind the scenes, the Galaxy Gear (or is it just Gear now?) will have improved battery life, a stand-alone music player, voice commands for the camera, and other software features that debuted on the Samsung Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo.

The update is only rolling out via Samsung’s Kies software (for now), so you’ll have to plug-in to grab it, or download manually from Samsung. Keep in mind that the update will completely delete everything from the watch — part of the whole switching OS thing — and many of the apps that worked previously may not after the transition (no duh).


LG G3 gets stripped down to its bare parts in new teardown

Posted: 30 May 2014 02:25 PM PDT

LG G3 teardown 1

Some guys like red-heads, others have a thing for curves. This guy? Well, I like to watch high-end smartphones strip down in front of the camera. I know, it’s an rare fetish, but luckily one the folks at uBreakiFix were happy to accommodate.

These fellas, who specialize in smartphone repairs, were able to get their hands on the Korean version of LG G3 and after probing it with all their specialty tools, stripped it down to just its bare parts for all to see. When all was said and done, they lit up a cig and gave the LG G3 an impressive 8/10 repair-ability rating. They were even nice enough to list off some of the hardware found on the LG G3′s motherboard.

LG G3 motherboard teardown

  • (Purple) Broadcom BCM4339 5G WiFi combo chip
  • (Teal) Avago ACPM-7700 power amplifier module
  • (Red) Qualcomm WTR1625L RF transceiver
  • (Green) Qualcomm WFR1620 receive-only companion chip
  • (Orange) SK Hynix 2GB/3GB LPDDR3 RAM layered on the 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor.
  • (Yellow) ANX7812 USB SlimPort Tx IC
  • (Blue) Texas Instruments BQ24296 battery charge management and system power path management chip.

Because LG went with several “contact-style” connectors in the G3 instead of traditional flexes, this should help make the phone easy on repairmen to fix whatever problems may arise (like a broken LCD/digitizer). Make sure to check out the full gallery over on their site, linked below.


Report: Google to unveil Android TV at Google I/O, new details revealed

Posted: 30 May 2014 01:03 PM PDT

Android TV Movies

It’s been a fair amount of time since we last heard talk of “Android TV.” Back in early April we saw things pick up steam after receiving a few leaked screenshots from the upcoming OS, another effort by Google to bring Android to the living room. There weren’t very many details, but today the folks at GigaOM have obtained new information on Google’s Android TV project, giving us a better idea of what to expect when it’s finally unveiled at this year’s Google I/O 2014.

Once again, Google is banking on creating a platform for television manufacturers to bake into their wares, just like Google’s first effort with Google TV. But aside from pay-TV services and applications, Android TV’s killer feature will be gaming — something the Chromecast simply isn’t equipped for.

Google is calling the user interface “Pano,” and it allows users to scroll horizontally through movies and shows which are linked to apps and services. This means instead of opening an app like Netflix for something to watch, the content from all these apps is already displayed as soon as you turn on the TV. A recently leaked changelog for Android 4.4.3 revealed a ton of references to Pano, so it’s entirely possible we’ll see the new firmware update launch during I/O as well.

There’s a lot of questions that pop up with Android TV and one is why Google is even bothering creating another platform, one that in some ways competes with Chromecast. Apparently, Google wants to cover all their bases, and by offering a more robust platform — one that also includes video gaming — television manufacturers will have a product they can rally behind. But it might be a tough sell considering all those that were burned by Google’s initial Google TV offering.

In the end, exactly who is willing to give Google another chance will likely be revealed at Google I/O, and we’re excited to see Pichai and the Android team put a little heat on Amazon and their newly launched Fire TV.


xda:devcon 2014 announced, get your early bird registration now

Posted: 30 May 2014 10:36 AM PDT

If you’re familiar with rooting and flashing ROMs on your Android phone or tablet, chances are you’re familiar with XDA-Developers. The XDA community consists of some of the most popular Android enthusiasts, hackers, and developers from around the globe. XDA-Developers recently announced their second annual developers conference and are now accepting early bird registration for attendees and taking bids for conference speakers.

As XDA puts it, xda:devcon is a conference by developers for developers. The general idea of the XDA conference is to take what normally happens throughout the XDA community, but bring the community together to learn, have a great time, and collaborate with like minded folk in person.

Since XDA-Developers is a global community, this year they’ve opted to host their developer conference across the pond in the UK. xda:devcon 2014 takes place in Manchester, UK at the Radisson Park Inn, on September, 26th – 28th.

Tickets are on sale now for the 3 day event starting at £75 (about $125 USD). For the entire conference schedule and other available packages, you’ll want to check out the official xda:devcon site for more details.

As an added bonus for our Phandroid readers, the first 20 people to sign up using this link get 25% off all packages.

To sum up this entire post in XDA speak:

[CONFERENCE][xda:devcon][UK Release][Sept 26-28][£75][No Bugs]

Best Android games from May 2014

Posted: 30 May 2014 10:29 AM PDT

games may

Previous months: March, April

The weather is warming up, and so are the new game releases. May brought us many awesome new games to play. The only problem is you may have missed some of them while you were enjoying the nice weather. We’ve got a big list of great games that launched this month for your reading pleasure. Check it out and download a few of these for a rainy day. Enjoy!

Aliens Drive Me Crazy


In Aliens Drive Me Crazy you use a car to blast your way through the city to reach the alien base. Get it? Aliens Drive me Crazy. While you are driving you can defeat invaders and terrifying bosses to get access to powerful weapons, cars and power-ups. If you like destruction and aliens you can download this game for free.

Castlestorm: Free to Seige


CastleStorm: Free to Siege is a genre mash-up of 2D physics destruction and tower defense brawler. Think of it like your typical tower defense game with the vantage point of Angry Birds. You get tons of different weapons, spells, and characters, plus console-quality graphics. All of this is completely free to download.

Dark Lands

dark lands

Dark Lands is an epic battlerunner action game. Develop your hero to survive this infinity battle and run as long as possible. This game is an addictive mix of an infinity runner fantasy horror game with a dynamic combat system. This epic and addictive game has great art design and is available for free.

Dragon Coins

dragon coins

Our very own Chris Chavez has the best description for this game: “Dragon Coins is a new one from Sega and for whatever reason, I can’t stop playing it. It’s an RPG, mixed with card games, mixed with Pokemon, mixed with that dozer coin game at Chuck-E-Cheese. Sounds weird and I don’t normally like games like these, but it’s WILDLY addictive.”

Half Life 2

half-life 2 shield

Half-Life 2 is a bit long in the tooth by today's standards, but it was one of those genre-defining games when it launched nearly a decade ago. The best thing about Half-Life 2 is its advanced physics and interesting weapons. This great game is now available for Android users via the NVIDIA Shield. You can download it for $9.99.

Heroes: A Grail Quest

heroes grail

Heroes : A Grail Quest is a turn-based strategy game in a fantasy world. The player leads the hero and his army across the world to find the lost artifact and to save the king and his kingdom. You will go on an exciting journey with lots of battles, powerful atrifacts, magic and dungeons. Pick this game up for $1.00 in the Play Store.

Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage


A coldwind has swept the Vikings away, leaving them stranded in a dangerous and icy land. It's up to you to save them. To do this you need to use your icebreaking skills to solve puzzles and cut your way through ice, rope, cannons, explosives, slime and more to get the Viking back to their ship. Download this game for $2.51.



JoyJoy is a new fantastically satisfying twin-stick shooter from the creators of Inferno+, Ballistic SE, Super Crossfire, and more. In this game you need to blast your way through 24 unique waves and 6 intense challenges. It’s psychedelic and chaotic fun for hours, and it costs $1.99.

MacGyver Deadly Descent


MacGyver is back in a new puzzle game. This time he is tapped as the last hope when a computer virus rips through the top-secret D.A.W.N Laboratories. It’s a race against time before the lab runs out of air. If you  love MacGyver and puzzles this is an easy $2.99 to spend.

Metal Slug Defense

metal slug

SNK’s Metal Slug series is well-known for its Contra-esque gameplay. This new game, however, is a tower defense game. In Metal Slug Defense, you recruit soldiers and build structures in a real-time. You get a one-lane defense layout through which you send the soldiers into the enemy base with no real control.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley for Android screenshots

The best way to describe Monument Valley is to call it a playable work of art. It’s a puzzle game that might be just as fun to look at as it is to play. The puzzles are optical illusions that require you to look at things differently in order to complete the level. The game costs $4.99 to play, but it is worth every penny. This game is pretty and pretty fun game.



HEROCORP is calling you to command heroes, build towers, discover strange and exotic worlds and blow them all to bits. This awesome game is a combination of top-down and real-time strategy games. The art design is beautiful, and the action is epic. Command your squad of heroes today for $2.99.


portal shield

By this point you’ve probably heard of Portal. This ultra-popular game has been around for a while now, but this month it came to Android on the NVIDIA SHIELD. Portal is an insanely fun puzzle game that uses a portal gun to transport you from one place to another. If you have a SHIELD you can get it for $9.99.

Tiny Dice Dungeon


Tiny Dice Dungeon is an epic RPG full of danger, warriors, wizards and loot. Adventure with tiny heroes through dark dungeons full of giant monsters and ultimate treasure. Tame evil creatures to fight at your side as you build a powerful army to take over this fantasy universe. If you love this style of game you can get it for free in the Play Store.

Trials Frontier


Explore a vast world on your motorcycle. Compete against your friends on Global Leaderboards. Master physics-based tracks to challenge the world’s top riders for the best times. Race your motorcycle through a world of adventure, crazy characters, and unfairly addictive tracks. All of this will cost you absolutely nothing.

Word Monsters


Word Monsters is a super social word search game. It requires you to sign in with Google+ or Facebook to use. Look for words on the screen and swipe them away to get points. Performing that action will cause them to disappear, sometimes removing letters needed for future words and making the game more difficult. Grab it for free in the Store.


There were many other games that launched this month that didn’t make the list. What were some of your favorites? Have you been playing any of these games?

Previous months: MarchApril

Oppo officially announces the Oppo N1 Mini

Posted: 30 May 2014 10:28 AM PDT

oppo n1 mini

Oppo has finally announced the Mini version of last year’s oversized wonder, otherwise known as the Oppo N1 Mini. This device brings the interesting form factor to 5 inches down from 6 inches. It still maintains that 13 megapixel swivel camera that was so awesome on the original, and takes many other design cues from its big brother.

The display has 720p, and it should be running a fairly modern version of Android (we’re hoping KitKat) with Oppo’s ColorOS 1.4 sitting on top. Aside from its weight — it weighs about 150 grams — Oppo didn’t give us many other details to go on, though a more formal event taking place on June 10th should reveal far more details.

[Oppo via GforGames]

Motorola is shutting down their Texas factory

Posted: 30 May 2014 09:59 AM PDT

Motorola a Lenovo Company

It’s only been operational for barely a year now, but it seems Motorola is finally ready to call it quits on their assembling factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Really it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Once churning out 100,00 Moto Xs a week and home to a workforce of about 2,500 workers, that number has since dwindled down to about 700.

The Texas factory was originally built to help get customized Motorola Moto X handsets into the hands of customers faster than if shipped from overseas. Unfortunately, dwindling sales of custom Moto Xs simply couldn’t offset the costs that went into paying for US wages. Motorola President Rick Osterloh went on the record saying that the North American market was proved exceptionally tough to break into and with new parent company Lenovo taking the helm, we’re sure there was little Motorola could do.

So, what does this mean for Motomaker? Well, it’s possible the entire thing will come crashing down, but that doesn’t mean prospective Motorola Moto X+1 buyers should worry. If the Moto G and Moto E taught us anything, it’s that you don’t need someone else to glue down a battery cover when you can simply order your favorite color and do it yourself.

For those feeling nostalgic, you can take one last look in Motorola’s factory via Google Maps Street View, back when it was still operating at capacity. Our condolences to those losing their jobs as a result of this decision, and we wish them the best of luck.

View Larger Map

[The Wall Street Journal]

Samsung Galaxy Wear trademark hints at naming for Samsung’s Android Wear watch

Posted: 30 May 2014 09:13 AM PDT


With Samsung switching all their current smartwatches over to Tizen you’d think they would have bowed out of the Android Wear welcome wagon by now. That hasn’t been the case, though, as they are still billed as one of the handful of manufacturers bringing an Android Wear smartwatch this year.

They might have just given us a clue as to what they’ll name it, too — Samsung Galaxy Wear. Not surprising at all, and the “Galaxy” bit at least solidifies its status as an Android-based device (which we assume will be the lone product that isn’t converted over to Tizen).

We still don’t know anything else about Samsung’s offering as they have yet to unveil any designs, nor have we had any juicy leaks to sink our teeth into. But with Google set to take out a good chunk of time for Android Wear at Google IO next month we suspect it won’t be long before Samsung takes the wraps off for the world to see.

[Korean Trademark via SamMobile]

Mobile Roar Podcast 47: Let’s talk about the LG G3

Posted: 30 May 2014 08:04 AM PDT

With Joe away on his honeymoon, Chris and Kevin discuss the launch of the LG G3 and its QuadHD display, Google’s self-driving car and its peculiar smiling face, and Apple’s upcoming WWDC 2014 keynote and more on the Beats Audio acquisition.

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This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Is this the front panel of the Moto X+1?

Posted: 30 May 2014 07:51 AM PDT

moto x plus 1 leak

We’re supposed to be seeing Motorola’s flagship for 2014 at some point this summer, but aside from a name we haven’t had much to go on. We may have just gotten our first peek of what to expect, though, as the device’s front panel has leaked online.

The leak naturally tells us very little about the phone except for the fact that it’ll have a display, light and proximity sensors, a speaker, a microphone and a front-facing camera. And while this photo alone can’t possibly give us a hint at its size, it looks like it could clock in at a slightly bigger size than the 4.7-inch Moto X.

The casing in the photo seems to have some golden hue cast on it, though we can’t be too sure if that’s a stock color option Motorola is going with or if that’s just the product of shoddy camera work. Regardless, it doesn’t really matter much because we’re sure they’re going to give us all the options we need to craft the exact phone we want through Moto Maker.

[via Google+]

Rumor: HTC One M8 Prime development suspended indefinitely

Posted: 30 May 2014 06:34 AM PDT

HTC One M8 Prime 360 degree view evleaks

After weeks of hearing about an “ HTC One M8 Prime” that would one-up the original HTC One M8 in the specs department, murmurings suggest that it’s time to put those rumors to rest. Twitter leakster @evleaks has reportedly heard that the HTC One M8 Prime’s development has been suspended indefinitely. There’s no reason or rhyme — it’s just done.

We hadn’t seen or heard much regarding the Prime, except one revealing press render did show off a tweaked backplate design compared to the original. We also learned that it would look to use a new composite material made out of liquid silicon and aluminum for its chassis. Finally, the specs that were initially leaked had our mouths watering quite profusely: 5.5-inch 2560 x 1440 display, Snapdragon 805 chipset, 18 megapixel camera — you know, the phone we wish the HTC One M8 would have launched as.

Part of me doesn’t know whether to feel relieved or maddened. I’d feel relieved because it would make any future purchase decision that much less hard, but at the same time I’d be pretty peeved if I were waiting to see what was on the horizon only to be told that the horizon doesn’t exist.

Then again, if anyone’s purchasing decisions hinge on the strength of loose rumors I suppose it’s their own fault. Were you holding out to see what the HTC One M8 Prime had to bring to the table? If so, which phone would you go with now? Let us know in the comments section straight ahead!

Rugged Samsung Galaxy S5 Active for AT&T now available [VIDEO]

Posted: 30 May 2014 05:45 AM PDT

Samsung and AT&T have once again come together to launch the rugged version of the manufacturer’s annual flagship. It’s the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active, and it can be yours as early as today $200 on a new two-year contract. You’re also free to go the AT&T Next route, which will get you the device for $0 down payment for $27.50 per month (26 monthly installments with an option to upgrade after 18 months) or $35.75 per month (20 monthly installments with an option to upgrade after 12 months).

Where as Samsung tried to keep a sleek and slim profile for the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active and make it as stylish as any phone could look, they went all out with the rugged look and feel for this one. A nice, protector bumper around the edges protects the device from drops, and its tight design gives IP67 and military-spec 810G ratings for dustproof, waterproof and shock resistant qualities.

galaxy s5 active

Samsung’s even gone full-on camo with the backplate, with screws in each of the four corners of the device to top off that “I’m a badass phone that will be hard to break” look. Specs and software wise, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active is nearly identical to the original.

It still has the same 5.1-inch 1080p display, Snapdragon 801 processor, 16 megapixel camera, and even the original’s heart rate monitor. What it doesn’t seem to have is a fingerprint scanner, so if you care about that particular feature you may want to steer clear. The device ships as soon as you order it so head to AT&T’s site if you’ve been waiting on this, and take a look at their mobile minute video above to get yourself a closer looks.

[via AT&T]