Phandroid » Tablets Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sun, 01 Mar 2015 00:36:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 In-the-wild image of Sony Xperia Z4 tablet leak along with mid-range handset Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:01:35 +0000 Xperia-Z4-Tablet1-640x480

Sony might be in the midst of spinning off its mobile business, but that doesn’t mean the company is pressing pause on bringing us new gear in 2015. After a quiet showing at CES, the company looks to have at least a couple of devices in tap for MWC, including what might be considered the official followup to the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet.

While last year brought us the Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet, the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet is the company’s first full-sized offering since the Z2. It looks to feature the same sleek Sony design we have come to expect, and this includes an ultra-thin profile. We see it in-the-wild for the first time thanks to a leak presented by XperiaBlog.

Sony-Xperia-M4-Aqua2-640x320Not a flagship smartphone but still intriguing is the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua, another device leaked ahead of Mobile World Congress and likely on tap for the show floor. Rumored specs include a 5.2-inch 720p display, 13MP camera, Snapdragon 610 SoC, and Android 5.0 Lollipop. As the Aqua name implies, Sony’s penchant for waterproofing their devices will carry over to this mid-range smartphone.

We’ll definitely be seeing a lot more of these devices come next week. Stay tuned for hands-on coverage and more.

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Sony Xperia Z4 tablet leaked ahead of Mobile World Congress with 2K display, ‘ultra fast processor’ Wed, 25 Feb 2015 00:23:56 +0000 Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet LEAK

It was around this same time last year we got our hands on the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet, Sony’s full-sized 10-inch tablet for 2014. Later on in the year, they formally introduced the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, a smaller sized offering with top-notch specs. For this year’s Mobile World Congress, you can expect Sony to show off the next iteration of their larger 10-inch offering with the Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet. The tab was leaked via Sony’s own Xperia Lounge application that comes preloaded on their device line, but was quickly pulled.

Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet leak Xperia Lounge app

The listing doesn’t reveal much in terms of hardware, only a 2K display, “the latest ultra fast processor,” and “industry leading battery performance.” Pretty much standard. It does provide a March 3rd, 2015 date. This all but guarantees we’ll be getting a closer look at this during Mobile World Congress next week. It also makes us wonder if Sony doesn’t have any other Z4 mobile devices up their sleeves (we wouldn’t mind seeing a Sony Xperia Z4 Compact with 1080p display). We can always daydream.

[Xperia Blog]

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CyanogenMod 12 nightlies head to the Nexus 9 with a box full of Lollipops Mon, 09 Feb 2015 13:57:06 +0000 cyanogenmod logo 5

CyanogenMod fans with the Nexus 9 have been deprived of their Lollipop goodness to this point, but no longer — the Nexus 9 is the latest device to receive CyanogenMod 12 nightlies. In case you don’t know, a nightly is a daily snapshot ROM of the latest changes.

It’s to be considered an alpha ROM as it often contains bleeding edge features, fixes and changes that might not stable. That said it’s a good way to get a taste of what’s to come if you absolutely can’t wait for the release candidates or stable releases to reach your device.

You flash it like you would any other ROM (here’s a handy collection of resource links if you’re not sure where to begin), of course, and you do so knowing that you’re responsible for anything that happens as a result. Take heed to that, and should you decide to go through with it the the download links will be waiting right here.

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Best Android tablets rankings see slight shift as we await first major releases of 2015 Mon, 02 Feb 2015 18:07:37 +0000 best-tablets-april-2014

What is the best Android tablet? We’ve once again put the Phandroid staff to a vote to determine the answer to that very question, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the rankings have changed only slightly. There has been little to get us truly excited in terms of tablets since the Nexus 9 launched during last year’s holiday season, but as our list demonstrates there are no shortage of great options already on the market.

See the full Best Android Tablet rankings now!

We also rundown a few upcoming and rumored devices that might be worth the wait. What does Samsung have up their sleeve? Will a newcomer be behind the next big Android slate? We anticipate Mobile World Congress will bring a few revelations that could inform our opinions in the coming months, but if you absolutely are looking to buy now, you won’t want to do so without consulting our list first.

Want to find out where your favorite tablet ranked? Well, you are just going to have to click through to our dedicated Best Tablets page to find out. Feel free to disagree in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out our similarly helpful Best Phones page.

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Project Tango officially graduates out of Google ATAP and to an official Google project Sat, 31 Jan 2015 01:45:32 +0000 Project Tango Google featured large

After learning that Google Glass had officially moved out of Google X labs (and, as we later learned, being reboot), another experimental project at Google is moving on up. This time, graduating out of Google’s Advanced Technologies and Project group (a more mobile focused counterpart to Google X) is Project Tango, Google’s 3D mapping project we saw introduced last year and more recently, via the the Project Tango tablet.

project tango tablet

The boys at Google ATAP announced the news on their Google+ page where they mention the project has officially made its way out of ATAP and into a new home within Google. The ATAP team — which strives for innovation by setting up temporary project teams with ambitious goals and short 2 year deadlines — wasn’t revealing exactly where Project Tango will go from here, or how we’ll see it implemented in future devices, but it’s clear this isn’t the last we’ve seen out of the technology.

As a refresher, Project Tango looks to give mobile devices (and possibly robots?) a “human-scale understanding” of space and motion using a combination of cameras and sensors and was one of 11 projects the Google ATAP team was working on (the Project Ara modular smartphone being another). We’re extremely excited and hopeful at what Google has in store for 2015. Should be a real interesting year.


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Android 5.0.2 factory images now available for the Nexus 7 LTE (2012 and 2013) Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:39:48 +0000 Nexus 7 2013

It’s been a long time coming, but those of you with the cellular equipped Nexus 7 (both models) can expect Android 5.0.2 Lollipop to soon hit your devices. Earlier today, Google posted the system images and binaries for both the original Nexus 7 LTE , and the Nexus 7 2013 LTE as shown in the screen shot down below.

Nexus 7 2013 LTE Android 5.0.2 image

The Android 5.0.2 update (build LRX22G) is the same build number that already rolled out to the Nexus 10 and WiFi equipped Nexus 7 models. We’re not sure what took Google so long, but hopefully it gave them enough time to patch up all those bugs we’ve been hearing about. From here, you can either manually apply the update yourself (providing you have an unlocked bootloader and knowledge of ADB), or wait for the official rollout to commence.

Still no word on when Google plans on pushing out this update over-the-air, but it shouldn’t be much longer now. Those of you with the 4G LTE equipped Nexus 7 or Nexus 2013 can rest assured the update is, in fact, coming.

[Google Developers]

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Android 5.0.2 Lollipop OTA links for Nexus 7 2012 and 2013 go live (and here’s how to flash them) Tue, 20 Jan 2015 16:40:07 +0000 New Nexus 7 wm

Late last week we saw Google upload a couple of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop factory images for the Nexus 7 2013 and the Nexus 10, and now it seems they’re readying the big rollout for at least one of those devices. OTA links to downloads for the Nexus 7 2012 and 2013 have been uncovered, which means Google is essentially ready to flip a switch, turn on the green light and sent it out to everyone’s devices.

The only issue is we’re still not exactly sure what’s going to be new, though the list of stuff we’ll see on the surface is sure to be very short. Small updates like these tend to do more under the hood in terms of bug fixes and performance improvements so we won’t be expecting anything very exciting.

That said, if you still want the upgrade just to be on the latest and greatest then you can find the files at the links below. You can use ADB to flash the files onto your device. Not familiar? This handy AndroidForums thread will do you some good, so be sure to take a look at it for a complete rundown on how to manually flash OTA update files on your Nexus device.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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You can now buy the Nexus 9 in Sand color option on Google Play Tue, 13 Jan 2015 15:34:01 +0000 nexus 9 sand

When Google first announced the Nexus 9, they revealed a Sand color option alongside the current Lunar White and Indigo Black SKUs available now. The problem is that the Sand color option wasn’t immediately available, and we’ve gone a couple of months thus far without hearing anything about its arrival.

But in typical Google fashion it’s just popped up on Google Play without a word this morning. It’s the same Nexus 9 we’ve come to know and love, but now it looks like something that could blend into a pile of desert sand.

There is one catch — you can only get it if you opt for the 32GB WiFi configuration, though it’s possible Google will offer up more variants in the moments, days or weeks to come. If you don’t mind that and you’ve been holding out for this option then head to Google Play to get your order in (Google says it leaves warehouses in 1-2 business days).

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

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Archos 50 Diamond smartphone and 80b Helium tablet revealed at CES 2015 Mon, 05 Jan 2015 17:37:41 +0000 Discuss the Archos 50 Diamond at!


Archos has a couple of new products with them at CES 2015, both of which probably won’t get nearly as much attention as stuff from the likes of LG or HTC. Regardless, they’re here — a smartphone by the name of Archos Diamond 50, and the Archos 80b Helium tablet.

The former is a 5-inch smartphone boasting 1080p resolution and a Snapdragon 615 octa-core chipset, silicon that features a set of 4 1.7GHz cores and a set of 4 1GHz cores in ARM’s big.LITTLE configuration.

archos_50diamond-slide_02 archos_50diamond-slide_08 archos_50diamond-slide_06 archos_50diamond-slide_05

It’ll also come with 2GB of RAM, a 16 megapixel rear camera, a whopping 8 megapixels on the front and 16GB of internal storage with support for expanding it via microSD by 128GB. The device will have 4G LTE and launch with Android 4.4 KitKat, and is powered with a 2,700mAh battery. The best part, if we know anything about Archos, is that this should all be relatively affordable for anyone who seeks a high-end smartphone experience without a high-end wallet.


Archos also had a new tablet to introduce, a 4G LTE-equipped 80b Helium line that features size options of 7-inches, 8-inches and 10.1-inches, all with 1280 x 800 resolution. They’ll look to use MediaTek’s 1.7GHz quad-core chipset and 1GB of RAM to get the job done processing wise, as well as 8GB of internal storage, a 3,600mAh battery and Android 4.4 KitKat.

archos_80bhelium-slide_06 archos_80bhelium-slide_05 archos_80bhelium-slide_03 archos_80bhelium-slide_02

Not the most impressive sounding of the lot of tablets available right now, though considering they’re expected to be ultra affordable we’re not sure there’s ample room to complain. Stay tuned as we look to bring you a closer look at both at CES 2015 this week.

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Lollipop’s memory leak bug confirmed, will finally be fixed in future Android release Tue, 30 Dec 2014 01:13:51 +0000 Android 5.0 Lollipop THUMB DSC07204

Although it can be exciting living on the bleeding edge of tech, sometimes being first to a software update can prove to be more harmful than good. Just ask Nexus (or even iPhone) owners who’ve, over the years, learned the hard way that initial updates — especially when it comes to major Android versions — can often times be riddled with bugs and other general weirdness. It’s this very reason it appears there was such a long delay in the rollout of Android 5.0 Lollipop for the Nexus 5.

Now, with the recent update to Android 5.0.1 and Nexus owners being some of the first to get the update, a good handful of users are now reporting a memory leak bug responsible for killing open apps and constant home screen reloads on their devices.

The thread on Google’s Android Issue Tracker shows a range of Nexus devices afflicted, everything from Nexus 7 2013, to Nexus 4, and Nexus 5 showing Android system eating upwards of 1.2GB+ of RAM (normal usage is around 500MB).

While tough to pinpoint the exact cause (thanks to the complete sh*t show the thread has turned into with users only complaining about the bug), it seems one of the thread’s members may have found the cause relating to a memory leak in “system_server” when screen is turned on/off (frameworks/base/services/core/java/com/android/server/display/

With a fix now in place, the thread has no officially been marked as “FutureRelease,” meaning you can expect the fix to hit your Nexus device in a future update. Of course, no word on exactly when we can expect a rollout or even what the specific version number will be (Android 5.0.3?), so you’ll just have to sit tight for now. Anyone noticed this bug on any of their devices?

[AOSP Issue Tracker]

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Get brand new Nexus 7 (2013) for $135 on Groupon using this discount code Mon, 29 Dec 2014 22:52:40 +0000 Groupon Nexus 7 2013 deal

If you hurry, you can pick up a brand new (non-refurbished) Nexus 7 2013 for only $135 on Groupon. The deal, which gets you the 16GB model for $150, isn’t bad in and of itself, but has a coupon code — SALE10 — that when applied, brings down the price an additional 10% ($15).

All together, this makes the Nexus 7 2013 on Groupon significantly cheaper than the $197 pricing from retailers like Amazon, but you better hurry, supplies are limited.

Free shipping is also included, but keep in mind the deal is only valid in the continental US, leaving out Android fans in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Canada.


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Readers’ Choice Awards: Best Tablet of 2014 Sun, 28 Dec 2014 17:45:36 +0000 readers choice results

We are halfway through our unveiling of your selections for the winners of our 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards. Today we are announcing the Best Tablet of 2014 as voted on by over 1700 of our readers. This category, as the name implies, goes to the best Android tablet released during the calendar year 2014.

To see the full results of your voting in all categories announced so far, click here.

Honorable Mention: Samsung Galaxy Tab S


Samsung released numerous Galaxy Tabs this year, but the one that stood out was the Galaxy Tab S. We enjoyed Samsung’s iPad competitor as much as the 8% of you who voted for the slight. With a slim and light design, powerful hardware, and hi-res Super AMOLED display, Samsung really stepped it up with the Tab S series.

Read our full Galaxy Tab S review

Runner-up: NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet

nvidia shield tablet lollipop tease

The NVIDIA Shield Tablet seemingly came out of nowhere to quickly become one of the most favored Android tablets available. Designed with NVIDIA’s powerful Tegra K1 processing suite, the slate is perfect for gamers and casual users alike. NVIDIA’s dedication to fast and frequent Android OS updates have kept the tablet relevant months after its release.

And the winner is: Nexus 9

Nexus 9 DSC07280

It’s not really surprising that the only Nexus Tablet released in 2014 also took home the prize for best tablet. 38% of readers participating in our poll voted the HTC-made Nexus 9 as their favorite of the year. The first device to officially ship with Android 5.0, the N9 sets the benchmark for all Lollipop tablets to come.

Here is the break down of voting for Best Tablet:


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Android 5.0.1 Lollipop now available for the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet Fri, 26 Dec 2014 14:45:24 +0000 nvidia shield tablet lollipop tease

NVIDIA is staying on top of software updates for their SHIELD Tablet, releasing the minor (but much appreciated) upgrade to Android 5.0.1 only a month after the tablet received its first iteration of Lollipop. While the new Android version brings mostly minor bug fixes and system enhancements, some additional goodness has been added into the mix to support the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet.

Users will notice improvements in app and UI responsiveness along with a new Live Effects HD camera mode. These HDFX will take advantage of the SHIELD’s Tegra K1’s GPU with live previews so you will know exactly how your photos will turn out. NVIDIA also returns the Power Control Menu, improves memory optimization, adds support for OpenGL 4.5, and more. The full log can be found at NVIDIA’s site.


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LG G Pad X trademark suggests LG is working on a hot new Android tablet Mon, 22 Dec 2014 20:18:47 +0000 lg g pad x trademark

LG has crept into the USPTO with another trademark, but this time it doesn’t tell of some weird accessory or a new app. They’ve coined the name “G Pad X,” which is listed under portable communication apparatuses such as tablets, smartphones, audio devices and other miscellaneous things that fit that classification.

As with any trademark there isn’t anything that tells us what to expect from a product that should launch donning this name, but the X could tell us a couple of different things:

  1. The X could refer to its size. Sure, there’s already an LG G Pad 10.1, but this just sounds cooler.
  2. X could be a tag noting that this device is in a class of its own or “extremely” powerful.
  3. It could be a combination of both…
  4. … or something entirely different.

Either way, we think a high-end tablet from LG is long overdue, and we hope this recent trademark filing is indication that they’re close to unveiling just that. It’s not that the current G Pad offerings are bad, but they don’t quite jump out at you like, say, Samsung’s options tend to.

We’ll have just a couple of weeks to see if CES stands to be their launchpad for the thing. Otherwise, it might be one of the big announcements we expect out of the South Korean company’s Mobile World Congress showing a few months from now.

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Amazon GoldBox deal of the day takes 30% off the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inch Mon, 22 Dec 2014 17:32:20 +0000 kindle fire hdx 2014

If you haven’t gotten an Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 for Christmas by now, here’s one of your last chances to get one on the cheap. Amazon has taken 30% off the cost of all models of the device, including WiFi-only, 4G LTE and GSM versions in storage capacities between 32GB and 64GB.

Furthermore, it applies to all models whether you choose to accept Amazon’s special offers or not. With special offers, Amazon will suggest movies, music and books for you to buy on the device’s lock screen. In exchange, the upfront cost of the device is a bit cheaper.

The savings range from $130 to $180 depending on which model you get, which is no small discount for a device that already costs hundreds. The cheapest model is going for $299.99 after savings, so if the more affordable Kindle Fire HD tablets didn’t provide enough oomph but these models were always a bit too rich for your blood, now’s your chance.

As this is a Gold Box deal you won’t have but until the end of the day to take advantage, so don’t take long to put your order in. Head to Amazon right here if you’re interested.

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