Phandroid » Rumors Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Thu, 18 Sep 2014 20:11:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Buzz builds for mid-October Nexus 9 launch Thu, 18 Sep 2014 17:37:10 +0000 google nexus devices

How long have been hearing rumors of Google next Nexus Tablet? It’s been over a year since the company launched a retooled Nexus 7, and mounting rumors have seemingly arrived at a singular consensus: HTC will be the manufacturer responsible for producing what likely will launch as the Nexus 9. Court documents suggest it. A leaked keyboard case confirms it. But when will the slate get its official coming out party?

MoDaCo’s Paul O’Brien has his sources, and if we are to believe the information he has gathered we should have some sort of answer by October 16th. O’Brien first said his source had revealed that the Nexus 9 would launch on that date, but he soon corrected that statement by saying we can expect an announcement only, instead (implying retail availability will come later).

There was some speculation that HTC would have the tablet on hand at an upcoming press event scheduled for October 8th. The general belief, though, is that we will instead see a standalone HTC camera and perhaps an Android handset with a focus on photography based on the event’s “Double Exposure” theme. Still, it might not be out of the question for HTC to reveal or at least tease their upcoming Google-powered tablet.

It is assumed that the launch of the Nexus 9 will be timed with the official release of Android L (the Nexus 9 is expected to be the first device to ship with the OS update). Rumored specs include an 8.9-inch display display with at least a 1080p resolution and an NVIDIA K1 processor, though reports conflict on some of the more specific details.


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Android silver is probably dead, long live the Nexus Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:50:15 +0000 Android Silver

Back in April we first heard rumors of a new program at Google called “Android Silver.” The idea behind Silver was for premium devices with Google branding, stock software, and a much bigger presence on carriers. A more mature Nexus program, if you will. Initial rumors claimed Android Silver would replace the Nexus program completely, but now we’re hearing the opposite.

Sources at The Information are saying Android Silver is probably dead. The project was being pushed by former Googler Nikesh Arora, but now that he is gone the project has been scrapped. The Information goes on to explain that the project was never fully embraced by Google, and carriers and OEMs were very skeptical. Now that Arora is gone there is no one pushing the idea.

It’s now clear that the Nexus program is the future for stock Android devices. Motorola and Google are reportedly working on a large Nexus device that should be coming with the launch of Android L. We were never really sure what Android Silver would bring, but it could have been cool if Google managed to get a bigger presence with carriers. Long live the Nexus.

Thanks everyone!

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Is HTC creating a GoPro-like camera accessory for their smartphones? Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:07:29 +0000 htc-double-exposure-event

It wasn’t but a few short days ago that HTC started sending tech media invites to a “double exposure” event. This theme had us thinking that the device would focus on a camera of some sort, though we weren’t sure if that meant a new phone with an improved camera or some sort of new feature they came up with that was too big not to make a lot of noise over.

We may have a bit of an early answer. According to Bloomberg, HTC is looking to introduce a rugged camera that would join the likes of GoPro — that is, a camera that can be used to record some element-heavy action such as off-roading or snorkeling. The device is said to have an ultra-wide 16 megapixel sensor, and has connectivity options of WiFi and Bluetooth.

Immediately coming to mind is a scenario where you go on a biking trip and record every bit of it with the camera. It then automatically spits video and images back to a phone such as, say, that HTC One M8 so you can create an awesome highlight in, say, Zoe.

It’s not the most off the wall prediction considering external camera attachments have been done before. Sony’s QX lineup is one such example. They use external DSLR-quality lenses that can attach to your smartphone and be used as if you had an actual mirror-less camera.

.Of course, this is all speculation based on a very early rumor so we can’t let our imagination get the best of us just yet. It shouldn’t be long before HTC clears everything up for themselves as the event is slated to take place October 8th. Let us know if you’d dig something like that should it come to pass.

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Report: Microsoft is looking to buy Minecraft studio for $2 billion Tue, 09 Sep 2014 23:02:53 +0000 minecraft pocket edition

A new report from The Wall Street Journal suggests Microsoft could be looking to buy indie game studio Mojang, creators of the cult smash hit Minecraft. It’s a deal said to be worth $2 billion and while not directly Android related, Minecraft was ported to Android devices a few years back where it has since garnered between 5 – 10 million downloads.

The deal could close as early as this week and leaves us wondering about the fate of Minecraft on Android if it suddenly becomes a Microsoft property. Mojang has yet to confirm anything with press, although we imagine it wont be long before we hear something one way or the other. Mojang founder Markkus Persson has been very vocal in the past about taking money from big corporations like Microsoft, choosing instead to invest their sizable profits ($100 million last year alone) in oddball indie titles instead.

Minecraft is a first person, open world video game that features 3D almost 16-bit mapped graphics. The game made its PC debut back in 2009 before it eventually made its way to Android, first as an Sony Ericsson Xperia Play exclusive, then later launching in the Android Market in October of 2011.

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Bootloader unlocked Moto X coming to Moto Maker, will get Android updates the quickest Fri, 05 Sep 2014 11:39:14 +0000 If you don’t know what an unlocked bootloader means, you need to spend more times on Android Forums. If you want to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, just ask Motorola. But for those who already fiend unlocked bootloaders, you’ll be happy to hear that not only will you soon be able to buy a new Moto X 2014 with an unlocked bootloader, but it will be available through Moto Maker.


This means, we presume, that these bootloader unlocked Moto X devices will have access to all the customization options enjoyed by their fellow Moto Maker brethren.

While it was previously possible to purchase a “Developer Edition Moto X” through the Motorola website, it was separate from Moto Maker and available only one black and white design. Albeit a very nice looking and special woven version of the Moto X, but it somewhat took away from the Moto X’s deeply anchored spirit of customization.

Another benefit of buying the bootloader unlocked version of the new Moto X? It’ll get all the Android updates first… and fast! These are details we heard directly from the Motorola team at their HQ, so unless something was lost in translation or the communicationetz got tangled, you can be sure it’s legit. We’re still eagerly awaiting further details and will report back with anything more of interest as soon as we find out.

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Sony Xperia Z3 stripped down to its core ahead of official IFA announcement Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:51:37 +0000 Xperia-Z3-Leak_1-640x480

Sometimes we have trouble getting information about phones well up to their launch date. Others? Well, we tend to see a bit too much. The Sony Xperia Z3 has been leaked time and time again, but that train isn’t slowing down — now we get a look at the device’s guts. There doesn’t appear to be anything out of the ordinary under the hood, though we can at least rest easy knowing Sony’s hardware expertise still shines through with a very clean, modular setup.

The photo does reveal the exact battery capacity we can expect to see — 3,100mAh, if its label is accurate. We’re not sure what an outlet like iFixIt might rate this thing in the area of repairability, but it seems modular enough that repairs won’t be a massive headache.


If rumors hold up we should be seeing this thing launch at Sony’s press conference next week at IFA Berlin. We’ll be bringing you all the details as they spill out so be sure to circle back and stay tuned!

[via XperiaBlog]

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What’s this about the Moto X+1 to coming equipped with 3D recognition and optical zoom? Tue, 26 Aug 2014 01:45:08 +0000 Moto X1 evleaks

To say we’re hyped over September 4th’s Motorola event would be an understatement. Where we already have a good idea of what is going to be announced in Chicago, when it comes to the Motorola Moto X+1, there’s still a few small details seemingly left uncovered.

Today, the folks at HelloMotoHK happened upon a few new details regarding the upcoming smartphone as it relates to the display and camera capabilities of the device. According to the leaked screenshot shown below listing off a few of the phone’s upcoming features, the phone could come equipped with some kind of 3D recognition. While not much else was said, memories of the Amazon Fire Phone immediately come to mind. We’ve actually seen Motorola toy around with 3D recognition in the past with their Windy Day app. Whether this is merely more of that, or 4 cameras on the face of the phone is too early to say, but we’re intrigued.

Moto X Plus 1 placeholder banner specs

Also mentioned in the spec sheet is something about a “super camera” featuring an “optical zoom.” Although leaked images of the phone didn’t show anything particularly special about the Moto X+1′s camera, it did have an interested flash setup, with 2 LEDs outfitted on each side of the camera lens. But we wouldn’t get your hopes up too much about this alleged “super camera.” According to early reports from a user who’s played with the phone, the camera still leaves a lot to be desired.

Of course, we’ll reserve judgement until we get our hands on the phone come Thursday of next week.

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4′s new fingerprint scanning features detailed Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:41:42 +0000 samsung galaxy note 4 1

Earlier today, we saw Samsung throwing more coal into the Galaxy Note 4 hype train with a new teaser video highlighting the innovation that was the original S Pen. And while we were expecting the usual bump in hardware specs (display resolution, RAM, battery), it seems Samsung could have another trick up its sleeve: a new and improved fingerprint scanning software.

According to SamMobile, while the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 uses the same Synaptics Natural ID fingerprint technology as the Galaxy S5, the button will take advantage of new software features unique to the phablet (but will likely arrive on the S5 in a future update). Apparently, the home button will come with the added benefit of launching specific apps according to the finger being swiped to unlock the device. This means you users will set the phone app to launch with the index finger, messaging app with middle finger, or the Phandroid app with the thumb.

Samsung is also taking the Note 4′s fingerprint scanning abilities to the next level by remembering credentials from the websites you visit online. Whether IGN, Android Forums, or anything in between — after visiting a website for the first time and logging in manually, the Note 4 will remember your info, entering in your credentials with the swipe of a finger.

As useful as the fingerprint scanner sounded on paper, we were disappointed to find that not many apps supported the function, with the exception being the PayPal app. Hopefully this is only a sign of things to come and when Samsung officially unveils the Galaxy Note 4 come this September 3rd, we’ll hear about additional app support as well.

Of course, Phandroid will be reporting live from the event bringing you the latest, so stay tuned.

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Droid RAZR M to be rebranded as ‘Motorola Luge’ for Verizon prepaid 4G LTE Mon, 25 Aug 2014 21:51:33 +0000 Moto-Luge-Verizon

Last night, TKTechNews reportedly got wind of a few leaked specs from a mysterious device calling itself the “Motorola Luge.” Said the be headed to Verizon Wireless under their prepaid service plans, the phone reportedly showed some specs that seemed all too similar to 2012′s Motorola DROID RAZR M. In fact, the leaked images accompanying the specs showed just that — a Droid Razr M with a few updated icons.

Of course, this raised more than a few eyebrows from skeptics but today, a freshly leaked image seems to confirm TK’s previous information. Brought to us by the boys at PhoneArena, it appears the upcoming Motorola Luge could, in fact, be nothing more than a rebranded Droid M headed to Verizon prepaid. Showcasing support for Verizon’s 4G LTE network, other specs include:

Motorola Luge

  • 4.3-inch qHD display (with Gorilla Glass)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8960 1.5GHz dual-core
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB internal / micro SD expansion
  • 8MP camera
  • 2,000mAh battery
  • NFC
  • Android 4.4 KitKat

Off-contract pricing for the Motorola Luge is said to be $150 via a special online promo kicking off Thursday, August 28th. We expect will learn more about the device then along with the possibility of more rebranded devices to come. It’s interesting to see Motorola pitting the device against the already inexpensive Motorola Moto G, which in some cases bests the Motorola Luge (at least on paper). Which would you choose?

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Rumor: Samsung working on a circular smart watch Mon, 25 Aug 2014 19:23:51 +0000 samsung-logo

After the overwhelmingly positive response Motorola received to the circular Moto 360 it seems competitors want to try their hand at it. This past weekend LG began teasing a circular wrist dweller of their own, and now another big name is rumored to be getting in on the fun.

According to SamMobile, Samsung is working on a circular smart watch of their own. We’re almost certain it wouldn’t be ready in time for IFA Berlin, though with the Gear Live having just launched and the Gear Solo (a SIM-enabled Gear) rumored to be coming next week we’re not sure we’d fancy another option so soon.

That’s all we know so far. There’s no indication on which OS Samsung will look to use (Tizen or Android Wear), though we’re personally keeping fingers and toes crossed for the latter. With the feint exception of the Samsung Gear Live, Samsung’s devices haven’t exactly been the prettiest on the market.

We’re hoping a circular smart watch design would help inspire Samsung to come up with something fresh, sleek and slim just as they’ve started to do on the phones side of things. Let us know if you’d consider buying a circular Samsung smart watch in the comments below!

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HTC Desire 820 could come with a 64-bit octa-core Snapdragon 615 Mon, 25 Aug 2014 17:00:15 +0000 weibo htc desire 820

It looks like HTC could be the first Android OEM to get serious about 64-bit circuitry. The Taiwanese company has started teasing what seems to be the Desire 820 on their Weibo social account. The post is littered with mentions of it being the first 64-bit Android phone to make it to market, an honor that not even Samsung’s silicon team hasn’t been able to claim yet.

We don’t know much about the device pictured above just yet, though it looks like it could come with a two-tone design. It also most certainly sports a front-facing camera, though that isn’t particularly surprising or exciting. Your guess is as good as ours when it comes to which exact chipset they’re going with, but we imagine they’ll look to continue their longstanding relationship with Qualcomm for this upcoming release.

Qualcomm’s current roster of 64-bit chipsets include the Snapdragon 410 and the Snapdragon 615. The former is a Quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 configuration that hits up to 1.3GHz and sports Adreno 306 graphics, while the latter is actually an octa-core setup: 1.7GHz ARM Cortex A53 + a quad-core 1.0GHz A53 paired with an Adreno 4o5 GPU. Our bet is that HTC is looking to use the Snapdragon 615 as the 410 is meant for entry level handsets.

We’re not yet sure what sort of performance we can expect out of that or if HTC’s handset would take proper advantage of the 64-bit architecture (Android isn’t currently built to handle 64-bit systems just yet), but we imagine HTC will answer those questions for us as we head into the latter portions of the year. The announcement is said to be coming at some point during IFA next week.

[via GSMArena]

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Sony accidentally leaks possible compact tablet and new smart watch Mon, 25 Aug 2014 12:51:09 +0000 sony smartwatch tablet compact leaked

We’re not sure if Sony has some of the world’s most untrained interns or if they decided some of the best marketing they can do is to leak their own products, but yet another announcement may have been spoiled ahead of their IFA conference next week. In a “Street Smart Summer School” promotion they’re hosting on Facebook to educate folks on on the SmartBand, the company accidentally posted an image of what appears to be a small tablet, as well as a smart watch that may or may not be the rumored SmartWatch 3. The image has since been removed.

The former device has been leaked in recent weeks as the Xperia Tablet Z3 Compact, with rumors telling us to expect a small form factor that was popularized by tablets such as the Nexus 7 and the LG G Pad 8.0. Highlights of its specs are said to be a Snapdragon 801 chipset, 3GB of RAM and an 8 megapixel Exmor R camera sensor. We’re not yet sure what else to expect from the device, though we imagine it’ll come in within that typical 7-8 inch range and sport HD resolution.

On the side of the smart watch? We’re just as clueless, though we know it likely won’t be an Android Wear smart watch as Sony has said time and time again that they instead wish to focus on their own platform (which should still be based on Android at the very least). It won’t be long before we’re doused with all the goodness we’re waiting for, so circle back around August 3rd next week when all of this information is scheduled to spill out.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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The HTC Flounder (aka Volantis, Nexus tablet) receives its WiFi certification as we inch closer to a release Sat, 23 Aug 2014 02:52:37 +0000 HTC Flounder WiFi Certification

We’ve been hearing a lot of chatter around the internets in recent months about an HTC Volantis, otherwise known as the HTC Flounder. The tablet, which is rumored to be HTC’s entry for the Nexus 9, recently made a pit stop at the WiFi Alliance.

The tablet’s certification clearly lists HTC Corporation under the company name, along with the tablet’s codename appearing in the firmware as “flounder” and the operating system as “Android version L.” Doesn’t get more obvious than that. Also interesting are the 3 separate model numbers for the HTC tablet: 0P8210000, 0P8220000, and 0P8230000. Now the obvious assumption is that it could be referencing different color options, or possible the usual WiFi/LTE equipped models — but then what about the 3rd? We suppose that’s still anyone’s guess at the moment.

It was back in May we first references to an HTC-made “Flounder” tab appear in AOSP and in June, some of the device’s specs were tipped off. While WiFi Certification doesn’t really tell us too much, it is a clear indication of the device’s existence and that — ever so gently — we’re getting closer to an official release.

[WiFi Alliance: PDF Download]

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Brazilian retailer lists leather option for Moto X+1, outs Moto G2 specs too Fri, 22 Aug 2014 20:19:55 +0000 Lavaria Logos Bookstore Moto X Plus 1 G2 listings

While a Brazilian retailer may not sound like the most reliable source to grab information from, previous “leaks” have for the most part proven true. Today, the Livaria Logos Bookstore — the same retailers that “leaked” the Motorola Moto E a few days early– is back again, showing off new listings for a few upcoming Motorola devices: the Moto X+1 and a new device, the “Moto Titan.”

Outside of some bare bones placeholders allowing customers to pre-order the devices, there’s really not much here. What’s interesting is the retailers has separate listings for the Moto X+1 (model number XT1097) in black, bamboo and even leather — a new option we’ve seen in previous leaks. There’s also a listing for a Motorola Titan (model number XT1069), a codename we’ve seen in reference to the Motorola Moto G2. Here’s what is listed for each device’s specs:

Motorola Moto X+1 (XT1097)

  • Screen: 5.2-inches HD
  • Android: 4.4.4
  • Processor: 2.2 GHz Quad-Core
  • Camera: 13 MP
  • Internal Memory: 16 GB
  • RAM: 2 GB

Motorola Moto G2 (XT1069)

  • Screen: 5-inches HD
  • Android: 4.4.4
  • Processor: 1.2 GHz Quad-Core
  • Camera: 8 MP
  • Internal Memory: 16 GB
  • RAM: 1 GB

Again, nothing too surprising here and for the most part lines up with the handful of leaks we’ve seen in month’s past. I guess the real question is if the world is ready for a leather bound smartphone — are you?

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Rumor: DROID Turbo for Verizon loaded with Snapdragon 805, 3GB of RAM, 2560 x 1440 and more Fri, 22 Aug 2014 14:01:49 +0000 Droid Eye

Verizon’s DROID lineup of phones have a long history, and maintain the honor of being one of the first highly marketed devices that helped accelerate Android to new heights. There’s no secret that the line fell by the wayside at one point, but Motorola introduced a stellar lineup last year to help revive it. It looks like things could get even better.

According to information received by Android Authority, this would be called the Motorola DROID Turbo and could be loaded with the following specs:

  • 2.65GHz Snapdragon 805
  • 3GB RAM
  • 32GB of storage
  • 1440 x 2560 resolution (640 DPI, which would be around 4.6 inches)
  • Android 4.4.4
  • 20 megapixel rear camera, 2 megapixel front camera

The device, with the model number XT1254, was spotted in the Bluetooth SIG database not too long ago. Even with that shred of evidence that it may be real we’d suggest taking the rumor with a grain of salt. Motorola wasn’t all that interested in trying to push the specs race with last year’s models, however there’s nothing stopping them from changing course and deciding to drop an absolute beast of a phone that even Samsung would be proud of.

Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be any information in regards to the device’s release date, but considering we’re coming close to a year since last year’s DROID lineup launched we’d say it might not be long until we see Verizon looking to push the sequel. All we can do is hope for more information as we head straight into the fall.

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