New HTC One M8 — 5-inch display and Snapdragon 801 processor

HTC’s much-leaked 2014 flagship model has been announced today, with HTC confirming that the new HTC One will be known as just the HTC One again, with the M8 tag used afterwards so enthusiasts like us lot know the difference between it and last year’s option.

There are three key changes within the new HTC One M8 — an upgrade to the Snapdragon 801 chipset internally, the addition of a secondary image sensor around the back for adding “DSLR” style focus shift effects to photographs, and an upgrade of HTC’s own software skin to version 6.0 of HTC Sense.

Oh, and full software buttons for the first time in an HTC flagship. That’s nice. Android 4.4.2 is the underlying Google code. Here it is:

htc-one-m8

htc-one-m8-official

Externally, the updated HTC One M8 is a little larger and heavier than the old model, with the display enlarged to five inches and running at the same 1080p resolution as last year’s model. We’d have one. HTC says launch starts TODAY with grey, silver and gold models available in some countries.

HTC’s press release also says its BlinkFeed interface will be appearing on Google Play for other phone users to try some time soon, plus the US gets a Google Play edition HTC One M8 in a few weeks. But not us. Again.

Chromecast launches in the UK — £33 direct from Google

Google’s Chromecast dongle has now arrived in the UK, with Google selling the HDMI media streamer direct via Google Play right now. The price is £30 or £33 once the surprisingly reasonable  for a change £3 shipping is added on, which isn’t too bad — although several men will be along shortly to leave comments saying they bought the US version for less two months ago.

image

And there’s proof. Exciting if it fits your media consumption patterns, plus a custom iPlayer app is on there just for us.

Samsung Galaxy S5 UK release date set for April 11

Samsung has delivered a launch date for its forthcoming Galaxy S5, telling expectant fans that its newest Android model will arrive through all the usual networks and shops on April 11th. There’s also an official pre-order date too for some reason, with Samsung suggesting pre-orders open for business on March 28th.

Seeing as we didn’t mention it when it was announced, the Galaxy S5 features a 5.1-inch display running at 1920 x 1080 resolution, backed by a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801. And a 16MP camera. And it’s waterproof. If it wasn’t for TouchWiz we’d be quite excited.

samsung-galaxy-s5

Pretty standard Samsung lump. It really needs to start mixing the design up a little bit, else people might find themselves a new favourite kind of telephone. Here’s proof:

SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 AVAILABLE TO PREORDER IN THE UK FROM 28 MARCH

Fifth generation Galaxy device available from selected retailers, Samsung e-store and Stratford Westfield Experience Store 

12 March, 2014, London, UK – Samsung Electronics has today announced that customers in the UK can pre-order the new Galaxy S5 from selected retailers, Samsung’s e-store and the Stratford Westfield Experience Store from Friday 28th March. Read the full article »

BBC goes “freemium” with Top Gear: Race the Stig

This is rather odd. New game Top Gear: Race the Stig has popped up on Google Play from BBC Worldwide, offering a kiddy-looking race game complete with power-ups, recreations of vehicles from the TV show and the option of in-app purchases.

You apparently race The Stig, but it’s not exactly Gran Turismo…

top-gear-race-stig-android-1 top-gear-race-stig-android-2

Really needs a comedy Big Head Mode Jeremy Clarkson. It’s on Google Play here.

HTC Desire 310 – “Entry level” with quad-core processor and 4.5-inch display

HTC has today announced a new bottom-of-the-line model in the form of the Desire 310, an affordable option that arrives powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core chipset with a 4.5-inch display as your window into the portable world of fun. It all looks pretty good. If this is the new super-budget phone, we’re in. No word on price just yet, though.

The Desire 310 will arrive in orange, “sophisticated navy blue” and this white option:

HTC-Desire-310-White

HTC says the Desire 310 launches at the end of April, with O2, Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse the initial launch partners. Here’s a thing:

HTC unveils the HTC Desire 310 for maximum value

HTC packs HTC BlinkFeed, Video Highlights and super-fast processing power into its latest entry-level smartphone

London, England 6 March 2014, HTC, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, has unveiled the new HTC Desire 310, bringing seamless multi-tasking, smooth browsing and effortless video creation to the entry-level market. Fusing a sophisticated navy blue design with a powerful quad-core processor, HTC BlinkFeed, and Video Highlights, the latest addition to the HTC Desire family, makes some of the celebrated HTC One series’ most popular features available to those who want a more affordable handset without compromising on performance.

Read the full article »

BEST DEALS: Nexus 5 down to £240 unlocked

We weren’t totally blown away by the Nexus 5, for reasons to do with the camera app being a bit temperamental, a higher asking price than the Nexus 4 and a general feeling that the hardware wasn’t *quite* as solid and impressive as it could’ve been. BUT for £240 we’d like it a whole lot more, and that’s the price Carphone Warehouse is currently selling unlocked Nexus 5 phones for. Get in there with your Bitcoins.

The black one’s in stock and ready to ship out now — if you want the white or new red models instead they’ll dispatch next week.

nexus 5 240

Amazing discount. Free delivery too. We wonder if this heralds an official price cut across all “channels” next week? Check it out over at Carphone.

Link via CSP.

Acer Liquid E3 — 4.7-inch display and quad-core chipset for €199

Acer’s announced a pair of new phones ahead of next week’s Mobile World Congress event, with the most interesting being the Acer liquid E3. This is a budget-ish model with an RRP of €199 (approx £163), for which you get a 4.7-inch display powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor alongside 1GB of RAM, plus a mere 4GB of onboard storage.

The price premium over current budget Android king the Moto G is justified by the imaging system, with the E3 featuring a 2MP front camera and generous 13MP main camera. If it can out-snap the G-Unit we may consider a sidegrade. Here it is:

acer-liquid-e3

Sounds great. The only downside is the “New Liquid UI” bullet point. Wish they’d stop doing that. The Liquid E3 should launch here in April.

Acer also announced the Liquid Z4, a proper budget model with a 4-inch display, 1.3GHz dual-core chipset and €99 price tag. That’s not particularly exciting so here’s the thing about the more promising E3:

Make Life A Touch Brighter with the Sleek and Powerful Liquid E3 Smartphone

- 4.7 inch HD IPS screen encased in a sleek 8.9mm unibody design
- Unique 2MP front camera with front LED flash for amazing selfies
- “f1.8″ 13MP rear camera with ultra-fast focus, “Bright Magic” and AcerRAPID™
- Capture presentations with Acer SnapNote
- New Liquid UI
- AcerFLOAT™ apps for real time advanced multitasking

Barcelona, February 20th 2014 – Following the success of its smartphone range, Acer today unveiled the Liquid E3, a compact 4.7-inch smartphone designed for photo enthusiasts looking to take great quality images to share with friends and family through social media.

Read the full article »

R-Type II now on Android

Another classic from yesteryear has popped up on Google Play, with our favourite retro porters DotEmu sticking up R-Type II yesterday. The difficulty settings have been tweaked because people today are WEAK and PATHETIC (and playing using on-screen buttons), there’s a variety of control systems to choose from, plus auto-fire and aspect ratio tools.

Plus Android R-Type II supports Google Play Games for adding achievements and leaderboards to some play modes. Here it is:

android-r-type-2

android-r-type-2-2

Quite exciting. Yours for £1.49 or your local equivalent here.

LG G Pro 2 – 4K HD recording and a 5.9-inch display

LG has just announced its latest flagship model, in the extremely large form of the LG G Pro 2. It’s powered by the ubiquitous Snapdragon 800 chipset clocked at 2.26GHz and backed by 3GB of RAM, with its 5.9-inch IPS display outputting at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Large inside and out.

It’s all about the additional stuff this time, with LG claiming the onboard speaker reaches the magical 1W noise output level, the 13megapixel camera has a burst mode and can record at 4K resolution and at 120fps for slow-mos, plus there’s post-shot focus processing of your photos, akin to the feature Nokia’s been sticking into some of its higher end Windows Phone models. Here it is:

lg-g-pro-2

A 3,200mAh battery’s inside it, with Android 4.4 as the launch OS. LG’s only “announced” the G Pro 2 for a launch in Korea and hasn’t given it a release date for anywhere else, but we’re bound to get it. Eventually. Here’s the thing with all the stuff:

Successor to “Best Smartphone of MWC 2013” to Make Global Debut at MWC 2014

SEOUL, Feb. 13, 2014 ? Today LG Electronics (LG) introduced the LG G Pro 2, its follow-up to the award-winning G Pro, to the Korean public. Much like last year’s G Pro, which was recognized as the Best Smartphone of MWC 2013, the G Pro 2 comes equipped with a state-of-the-art display and new UX features to take user convenience to the next level.

Read the full article »

Samsung shows off Black Edition Galaxy S4 and S4 Mini

Samsung’s cracked out the black leather effect materials for two special editions of its Galaxy S4 series, with the standard S4 and S4 Mini set to arrive in Black Edition options that feature a “high-quality leather-like textured black back cover and bezel.” Get that cheap eBay case look without buying a cheap case off eBay.

It also comes pre-loaded with special black wallpaper and some ringtones. We can barely contain our excitement about this thrilling forthcoming retail experience. Here it is:

Galaxy-S4 Black edition 1

Galaxy-S4 Black edition 2

There’s no scheduled release date for the UK yet, but the announcement came to us via Samsung UK so the Black Edition models are bound to appear here at some point.

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