Phandroid Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:26:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Nexus 5 is now back in stock on Google Play (all colors, 32GB only for now) Fri, 24 Oct 2014 08:19:03 +0000 Nexus 5 Google Play listing

As we approach the 1-year anniversary of the Nexus 5 officially launching in the Play Store, a few days ago the phone — all colors, all storage configs — was suddenly no longer available for purchase on Google Play. This was puzzling, especially after we thought the phone would stick around as a much smaller, much cheaper unlocked option for those of us that couldn’t stomach the Nexus 6.

Some point this evening, the 32GB model — all colors — has once again become available for purchase in the Play Store, showing shipping times of about 1-2 days before leaving the warehouse. Although we’re not seeing the 16GB model, we’ve heard reports that others have seen it, so we’ll keep an eye out. In the meantime if you were thinking about pulling the trigger on a Nexus 5 (it’s still a damn good Android phone), now’s your chance.

Nexus 5 on Google Play

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LG G3 Screen is official: 5.9-inch phablet with NUCLUN, LG’s in-house 8-core mobile processor Fri, 24 Oct 2014 07:54:00 +0000 LG G3 Screen NUCLUN 2

Rumors of an LG-made processor have been floating around the net for years now. Straight out of left field, LG is now finally putting those rumors to rest by officially announcing their first ever processor for mobile devices: NUCLUN (pronounced “Noo-klun”).

The eight core SoC employs the power of ARM’s big.LITTLE technology to not only offer more power, but handle it more efficiently by taking advantage of four 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A15 cores, and four 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A7 cores . The A15s will handle the heavy loads, while the A7s will tackle less CPU intensive processing. It’s a feature we’ve seen for while now in rival Samsung’s Exynos SoC. LG’s processors also offer the added benefit of LTE-A Cat 6 for maximum download speeds of up to 225Mbs (and are still fully backward compatible with existing LTE networks).

LG G3 Screen NUCLUN 1

The new NUCLUN processor will officially make its debut inside an all new LG phablet dubbed the LG G3 Screen. The new phablet — made specifically for the Korean market — will come equipped with a 5.9-inch 1080p IPS display, 32GB internal storage (with micro SD card slot), 2GB RAM, 13MP OIS / 2.1MP cameras, 3,100mAh battery, and 1W speaker (like we saw on the LG G3). The G3 Screen will be available in both black and white when it launches at a later date, although LG wasn’t talking specifics just yet.

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New internet trend sees people using live rabbits as smartphone cases [Awww] Fri, 24 Oct 2014 01:29:24 +0000 Live rabbit cases

Whether it was the Harlem Shake or Ice Bucket Challenge, the internet is often the source for all sorts of strange, cute, noble, or hilarious new viral trends. Still in its infancy, the latest internet trend sweeping across the globe is something a lot higher on the “adorable” scale. People are using live rabbits as smartphone cases. Before we go any further, let’s just all get it out of our system right now: Awwwwwwww!

It all started with the above tweet, then seems to have quickly spreading across Asian countries where their love for the cute and odd is commonplace. While the vast majority seem to be iPhone owners, you’ll find the occasional Xiaomi Mi Phone or Samsung device scattered throughout. Take it all in, folks. This is Pulitzer Prize winning journalism right here.

Seriously, though. Man up the f*ck up and tell us which bunny is your favorite (the Samsung rabbit doesn’t have eyes!). I’m gonna grab a beer. Goodnight.


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Check your email: first wave of Inbox by Gmail invites are going out now Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:39:44 +0000 Inbox by Gmail promo hero

Yesterday we told you guys about Inbox by Gmail, Google’s new app that looks to make sense out of electronic mail by infusing it with Google Now-like functionality. More of a productivity app, it wasn’t available to the public, requiring would-be users send an email in order to receive an invite.

Inbox invite email

Well, for anyone who sent one off, Google is now notifying early adopters that that they can now sign into the app using their standard Gmail account login. Pretty much everyone who we’ve talked to that requested an invite yesterday has received theirs, so it’s looking like a pretty big first batch of invites are being sent out.

Anyone who emailed Inbox yesterday not receive their invite yet?

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Amazon takes a $170 million hit thanks to unsold Fire Phones Thu, 23 Oct 2014 23:14:18 +0000 amazon-fire-phone-books

If you needed any further proof that the Amazon Fire Phone was an absolute flub, the online retailer announced during their Q3 2014 earnings call that they’ll be taking a $170 million charge for unsold Fire Phones (and other costs relating to inventory valuation and supplier commitments). Despite net sales up 20% at $20.58 billion for the quarter, their operating losses — a whopping $544 million — is the largest ever in Amazon’s history. That’s gotta hurt.

After years of rumors, the Amazon Fire Phone finally launched earlier this year exclusively on AT&T for $200 on contact. The Fire Phone also came equipped with gimmicky new features like their Firefly camera software which could identify Amazon products in the real world (as well as do a bunch of other stuff your regular Android device could do right now). After Amazon’s first smartphone was met with relatively lukewarm reviews, it saw a quick $100 price drop.

Still, Amazon is optimistic, especially with the busy holiday shopping season fast approaching. Along with curated product lists and shopping guides, Amazon will push their new lineup of products like the Kindle Voyage and Fire HD Kids Edition tablets.


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The Nexus 6 will have tap-to-wake so you wont have to stretch for the power button Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:20:20 +0000 nexus 6 portrait lollipop

Earlier this week we watched as a few major news outlets got some quick hands-on time with both the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. Because Google didn’t preemptively issue any review units prior to their official announcement, new info on these devices has continually been trickling in. A few days ago, we saw a screenshot taken from a leaked Android 5.0 Lollipop ROM and a setting called Ambient display which allows the Nexus 6 display to wake up whenever the phone was picked up, or when notifications arrive.

This option — while not present in the Android 5.0 Developer Preview — is just a regular ‘ol Lollipop software feature and not exclusive to the Nexus 6, as detailed by Google’s official Android Lollipop page. What was interesting was the under the feature section of the page, it not only mentions the ambient display mode, but tap-to-wake as well.

For those unaware, tap-to-wake is a feature found in many flagship Android devices and allows the user to double tap the display to wake it up instead of using the physical power button. While it may not sound like it, for larger devices it’s incredibly useful and will forever change the way you interact with your smartphone (and yet another helpful feature the iPhone 6 doesn’t offer).

Although never mentioned in any official capacity (or the hands-ons we’ve seen online), it seems this feature is fully present on the Nexus 6, as brought to light Wired’s Mat Honan. In his hands on, Honan specifically calls out the feature, although some were still left wondering if it could have been a misprint (the Nexus 9 also has tap-to-wake). We reached out to the author where he was able to confirm that yes, this is, in fact, a feature found in the Nexus 6 and was most certainly not posted in error. Boom.

This should finally lay the issue to rest and for tap-to-wake lovers who were afraid of losing out on this functionality for the Nexus 6 — fear not. Still up in the air is which non-Nexus Android devices will support the feature once Lollipop begins rolling out over the next few months.

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T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z3 pre-orders now shipping, some already arriving on doorsteps Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:08:38 +0000 T-Mobile Sony Xperia Z3 shipped 1

By now it’s no secret that one of the benefits of pre-ordering a smartphone online is the possibility of receiving said device a few days early of it’s official launch date. T-Mobile knows this and it’s one of the reasons they even mentioned it when pre-orders for the Sony Xperia Z3 first went live last week. Sure enough, the phone is now reportedly landing on doorsteps, that’s a full 5 days early of its official October 29th release date for those keeping count. Not. Bad.

Aside from getting a shiny new smartphone before anyone else, pre-orderers also get a free copy of DRIVECLUB for the PS4 (a $60 value). Don’t worry, if you didn’t pre-order yet and still want a free PS4 game, you have until October 28th to git-er-done. Here’s how you do it:

  • Purchase the new Xperia Z3 during the pre-sale period from October 14 to October 28, 2014.
  • When you receive your Xperia Z3, redeem your offer by entering your information and uploading images of your sales receipt and the IMEI number from your Xperia
  • Z3 box. You must redeem your offer by November 14, 2014.
  • Once your information is verified, you’ll be emailed a promo code to claim your digital copy of DRIVECLUBTM no later than November 21, 2014.

If the whole getting a PS4 game isn’t making much sense to you remember — the Sony Xperia Z3 will soon have the ability to stream PS4 games from the console to the smartphone. When paired with Sony’s controller dock, you never have to worry about bathroom breaks interrupting your game time. It’s a beautiful time to be alive. Unfortunately unlike the international model, the T-Mobile variant doesn’t come with headphones. You can pre-order the Sony Xperia Z3 from T-Mobile right here.

Thanks, Jin!


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The spookiest Halloween apps & games Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:34:57 +0000 gingerbread-zombie-painting

Android and Halloween go hand-in-hand, from its candy-themed operating systems fit for trick-or-treating to a great selection of apps and games filled with gore-y good fun. Whether you are looking for a last-minute costume idea, carving your pumpkin, or looking for a few scares, here are our top ticks.

Creep out your costume


If you’re still searching for the perfect Halloween costume, we have the app for you. Digital Dudz is a free app offering animations that can transform a boring costume into the talk of the party. Designed to match up with a set of pre-fab costumes, shirts, and masks available for sale through the app as well as the Digital Dudz site, the free animations can also be creatively paired with your existing Halloween getup. If you are feeling really crafty, you can DIY a custom shirt or mask for any number of shifty eyes, beating hearts, or oozing wounds available via the app for a true fright.

Bonus: Digital Dudz extends its usefulness through the winter holidays with animations perfect for that tacky sweater-themed Christmas party.


If dressing up isn’t your thing, you can still spook your friends and families by going full zombie…with the aid of your smartphone, of course. The Dead Yourself app uses your smartphone’s camera to transform you into the living dead, no zombie bites necessary. With gore and guts inspired by the hit TV show The Walking Dead the zombie apocalypse is coming to a social media feed near you.


For a more subtle take on Halloween flair, accessorize any costume or outfit with your Android Wear-powered smartwatch and the glowing Jack-o-Lantern Watch Face. The orange glow of this eerie pumpkin face really brings out the spirit of the season.

Carve the perfect pumpkin (or avoid the mess entirely)


Come Halloween time we often take pumpkin carving for granted, overlooking the ghastly reality that the process involves gutting the gourd, scraping out its insides, and slicing into its face with a knife fit for Michael Myers. Respect this autumnal sacrifice by putting a bit of time and effort into creating a pumpkin masterpiece. With the Pumpkin Carving Ideas loaded on your smartphone inspiration is only a few taps away, including a wide selection of pre-made patterns and stencils.


You’ve finished carving your great pumpkin, but can’t find a candle. Here’s a trick for getting that spooky glow: download Jack-o-Lantern Flashlight, a flashlight app that doubles as a safe, flame-free method of illuminating your creative carvings. As a bonus, this one makes a great seasonal flashlight app to guide the way while trick-or-treating with the little ones.

pumpkin-maker If you prefer to avoid the mess or if you would like to practice your ideas before committing to pumpkin, check out Halloween Pumpkin Carver. For an option providing a bit more room for creativity (it’s been a while since we have seen a blue pumpkin) you might consider Pumpkin Maker.

Lose sleep with these scary games


Halloween is as much about the costumes, decorations, candy, and parties as it as about giving you a reason to leave the lights on a bit longer or check twice under the bed. Give yourself a scare with Murder Room, the Android game that places you in the middle of a Saw-like scenario where you must escape the grasp of a serial killer by solving the puzzles put in front of you. The simple presentation makes the frightening ambiance of Murder Room all the more intense.

The Walking Dead game Android

If you like your scares with a bit more story, you might not want to walk away from the addictive gameplay of The Walking Dead: Season 2. This adventure title presents a whole new chapter in The Walking Dead story and confronts the player with plenty of life or death decisions along the way. Did we mention there are zombies? Newcomers might want to start with Season One, also available on Android.

To really get your adrenaline pumping visit The Abandoned School. This psychological survival horror game is in the style of the Japanese originals like Silent Hill and Resident Evil and is sure form the basis of your future nightmares.

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SwiftKey gets Material-inspired keyboard themes Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:55:42 +0000 swiftkey material design

We can’t say we’re fans of all of SwiftKey’s keyboard themes, but the latest two additions to the SwiftKey store have our mouths watering. Two new themes will match the look and feel of Material Design. It doesn’t totally fit — for starters, the presence of borders around each key is a sharp contrast to the lack of lines in the default Android 5.0 Lollipop keyboard — but it’s very clean, very neat and looks very pleasing to the eye.

I mean, almost anything is better than some of the other stuff they’ve been putting out lately. Themes cost $1 each, not a bad price to pay to give a new coat of paint to the one app you know you’ll use every single day. You’ll be able to find them within the SwiftKey Store inside the SwiftKey app.

[via SwiftKey]

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Android Wear update brings support for offline GPS and Music; Verizon begins Sony SmartWatch 3 pre-sales Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:56:40 +0000 sony smartwatch 3 2

Android Wear just got a whole lot better today for those who don’t fancy having their smart watches hooked up to their phones 24/7. First up is support for internal GPS radios. Unfortunately all currently available Android Wear watches don’t have GPS radios inside them, though the newly-announced Sony SmartWatch 3 will. Speaking of which, Verizon is now taking pre-orders for the smart watch $250. It should ship beginning October 30th, while it’s expected to find its way into the Google Play Store sometime shortly after its Verizon launch.

Also staying true to the “offline” theme for this update is support for storing tracks directly on your smart watch through Google Play Music. This will allow you to break out the Bluetooth headphones and listen to tracks from your watch without even having your phone near you. Of course, limited storage for smart watches means you won’t be able to haul a huge library of tunes on your wrist but it’s nice for those short workout playlists you may want to enjoy on a morning jog or two.

The update is headed to Android Wear smart watches over the course of the next few days, including the LG G Watch, the Motorola Moto 360 and the Samsung Gear Live. The new music features require a simple upgrade to your Google Play Music app, while the new GPS goods can be tried out on the forthcoming SmartWatch 3 with apps like MyTracks and Golfshots.

[via Google]

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Google planning to sell Project Ara modules in new online store Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:31:36 +0000 Project

There’s been a lot of speculation regarding Project Ara and how Google would look to handle distribution of modules. Project Ara, if you don’t know, is a work-in-progress experiment by Google to create a smartphone platform that allows users to choose the features and parts they want.

This is done through the use of modules, which are Lego-like pieces you slot into a smartphone frame however you wish. Such a product would let users choose between different display sizes and resolutions, camera sensors and storage, connectivity modules and more. Don’t need a camera on your smartphone? You don’t need to buy one. And all these modules will be made by not only Google, but anyone who has enough skill to make one to the specifications laid forth by Google.

So how are all these modules expected to be sold? Early rumors suggested vending machines and kiosks, though logistics for that sort of thing are tough to figure out when you anticipate modules being manufactured by many different sources. Instead, Google has decided to go the tried and true route of selling them via an online marketplace.

Google revealed that much to PC World in a recent interview. The modules will be sold through their own site akin to Google Play. Third-party merchants will be able to list their modules here, too, and — much like Google Play — users can rate and review modules to make it easier for everyone to find the best of the best.

Google also touched on what they hope and expect to see from module manufacturers once Project Ara hits. Aside from typical smartphone-necessary components such as displays, processors, storage and cameras, Google expects to see all sorts of interesting sensors for the health field, components for video gaming and more crop up.

The possibilities for what you can do with Project Ara should be nearly endless, though the company isn’t shy about admitting that it’ll take some time before the dream is fully realized. They’re not expecting to be able to run their first consumer trials until some point in 2015, and a wide-scale consumer launch won’t happen until Google feels confident they’ve knocked out all the kinks and figures out what does and doesn’t work well.

It’s an ambitious project so it’s not surprising that they want to take extra care and make sure they get it right. Now it’s up to the users to find out if their patience is as strong as Google needs it to be as we wait its arrival.

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Verizon’s Sony Xperia Z3v now available for $200 on-contract Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:54:33 +0000 Sony Xperia Z3v Verizon Wireless

Verizon finally has themselves a good Sony phone worth owning. It’s the Sony Xperia Z3v, a slightly different take on Sony’s flagship smartphone, and it’s now available for purchase at Big Red. Verizon’s version goes with a slightly different look — one akin to that of the Xperia Z2 — and also adds a couple neat bells and whistles that the original Xperia Z3 doesn’t have. Those bells and whistles would be wireless charging, as well as bigger battery capacity.

You’ll find identical specs otherwise, though, including a 5.2-inch 1080p display, a 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 chipset, a 20.7 megapixel camera, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage (expandable via microSD) and more. $200 will get you the phone if you’re down to sign a two-year contract, though Verizon Edge is certainly a viable route to take at $25 per month for 24 months. That figures to be about $600 if you decide to just buy the thing outright. Verizon’s site has the goods right here if you’re looking to purchase one today.

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[Update: global launch details] LG G Watch R sales begin in the UK as early as tomorrow Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:55:29 +0000 lg-g-watch-r-2

Popular UK retailer Clove has given our first indication of launch plans for the LG G Watch R outside of South Korea. The company has updated their G Watch R listing to note that first stock is expected to land as early as tomorrow, with orders beginning to ship Monday, October 27th. Folks should expect to see the watch arrive on their doorsteps early that week, and we imagine most of the initial orders will be fulfilled by Halloween.

The G Watch R is the first circular smart watch to launch since Motorola’s Moto 360, and while it may not be getting the same level of hype that particular unit received it’s still anticipated by many. Its sporty look adds to its appeal for many, though that same look is what moved many others to go with the Moto 360 or hold off for something else down the line.

LG’s experience with Android Wear began with the LG G Watch and it wasn’t a bad first attempt at all. That should give everyone confidence that they’ll follow up with a device worthy of your attention and money once it finally lands outside of South Korean borders. Let us know if you’ll be giving LG’s latest wrist dweller a shot once it arrives.

[Update]: LG has announced official global launch plans for the LG G Watch R. Alongside the UK, they’ve confirmed France, Italy and Spain as some of the first European countries slated to get the smart watch. Those rollouts will happen throughout early November.

LG says North America, the rest of Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States will get it “soon after,” and we also get confirmation that the smart watch would be made available via Google Play in select markets (though we didn’t expect anything less considering every Android Wear smart watch to date has launched there). We’ll be on the lookout for exact release date details for more regions and will certainly deliver them to you as they become available.

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Humbile “Mo-boo-ile” Bundle brings 6 spooky games for cheap Thu, 23 Oct 2014 13:38:35 +0000 humble moboooible bundle

New Humble Bundle is roaring in for folks looking for great new games on the cheap. It’s the special Mo-boo-ile bundle — yes, it sounds very cheesy. But it’ll bring you 6 games that should help you get into the spooky spirit of Halloween that’s coming up in a week’s time. You can pay anything you want for the following three games:

  • Rebuild — a post-apocalyptic turn-based strategy game
  • Oscura: Second Shadow — platformer
  • Containment: The Zombie Puzzler — a pretty dark puzzle game

Reach the current average mark of $2.99 and you’ll be awarded the rest:

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s — sentient fuzzy robots want to kill you
  • Dead Effect — your typical zombie shooter
  • The Walking Dead: Assault — top-down real-time strategy game

The value of the whole bundle if you’d buy them individually is about $25 so you’re getting a pretty good opportunity to save serious coin on entertainment. As always, more games are expected to be added within a week or two so don’t forget to check back to see what they are. Be sure to give the whole bundle a look-see over at their website and let us know if you’ll be taking advantage.

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Sprint HTC One M8 and E8 now receiving international WiFi calling update Thu, 23 Oct 2014 01:51:49 +0000 HTC One M8 DSC06660

Yesterday, the HTC One M8 on T-Mobile received an update to Android 4.4.4 with the all new EYE Experience camera app and as promised, earlier today the Verizon model followed suit. Still trailing behind is the Sprint HTC One M8 and HTC One E8, 2 models that are seeing an update today — but not to the EYE Experience + Android 4.4.4.

Instead, these 2 devices — which differ only in build materials and camera hardware — are getting an update to enable Sprint’s international WiFi calling (a previous update introduced WiFi calling for the states) which enables free calling when connected to WiFi to, from, and between the US, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The One M8 gets software build 3.30.651.2, while the One E8 gets 1.22.651.1. Here’s the full list of goodies from the changelog:

  • Google Security Patch
  • GPS Enhancements
  • International Wi-Fi Calling
  • ItsOn Integration
  • Accessibility Improvements
  • Sprint Zone Updates (HTC One E8)

You should find the update hitting your Ones starting today and rolling out over the next few days. For those that don’t feel like waiting, you can pull the update by jumping into your Settings > About phone > Software updates. Although HTC hasn’t said as much, we expect Android 4.4.4 with the EYE Experience will arrive soon after. Sit tight.

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