King Cheapo Nexus 4 receives substantial price cut to just £159 unlocked

Nexus 4

The Nexus 4 may be getting slightly long in the tooth now as it approaches its first birthday, but it’s still pretty powerful and boasting the very latest version of Android with continued prompt updates from Google. Our own Neil Thomas loved it when he reviewed it earlier this year, and now the phone – which was already mindblowingly cheap at launch – has received a price cut on Google’s Play Store, presumably in preparation for the impending release of its successor. The 8GB model, previously £239, is now just £159, and the 16GB variant, formerly £279, is now just £199. While neither variant sports LTE connectivity, there is absolutely no question that the best mid-market Android phone you could buy is now the best cheap Android phone the world has ever seen. Providing you’re willing to accept that there’s a new one pretty much right around the corner (and let’s face it, if that’s beyond you then you should avoid technology at all costs) then, like me, you’ll be sorely tempted.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some money to find.

Source Google Play

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Delayed Samsung Ativ Odyssey Windows Phone will hit Verizon shelves on January 24th

Samsung Ativ Odyssey Verizon Windows Phone

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 launch event was headlined by the appearance of Jessica Alba, but otherwise very little unknown information surfaced about the operating system or the devices it would appear upon. One smidgen of news that did emerge, however, was that a Samsung device, depicted by a lonely silhouette and named the Ativ Odyssey, was in the pipeline for a December release on Verizon in the US. Of course December came and went without a release, but CES gave Samsung the opportunity to show the 4″ Windows Phone 8 device to the world. Now, a press release has stated that the phone will be available sooner rather than later, with stores set to receive the Ativ Odyssey and Valentine’s Day editions of the Nokia Lumia 822 and Motorola Droid Razr M tomorrow (January 24th).

The Odyssey joins the Lumia 822 and HTC 8X in Verizon’s lineup of LTE Windows Phones, and its microSD slot and 2100mAh battery should win it some fans, although the 800 x 480 screen resolution and 5MP camera show that it is pitched towards the lower end of the market. As with almost all other Windows Phone 8 devices, the package comes powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip accompanied by 1GB of RAM, and it will be available for $49.99 with a new 2 year contract, while whispers of a European launch remain unconfirmed but not impossible.

Via Engadget
Source Verizon Wireless

Sony announces Xperia Tablet Z as the world’s thinnest and lightest tablet

Sony-Launches-Xperia-Tablet-Z-Tablet-with-Android-4-1-Jelly-Bean-5 Today Sony announced the successor to their Xperia Tablet Z, a 10.1 inch machine running Android 4.1 and boasting some impressive specs. Design-wise Sony seem to have finally conceded defeat with the rolled-over magazine look that plagued their last couple of tablets being mercifully killed off. While it wasn’t as pronounced on the Xperia Tablet S as on its predecessor the Tablet S, which won our award for worst design back in 2011, we still feel that it drew away from the whole design. This time round Sony have given their new tablet a similar look to its upcoming smartphone sibling, the Xperia Z, and have come up with a classy, minimalist design which has been met with approval throughout the Digixav office.*

At a staggering 6.9mm thick, the Xperia Tablet Z is thinner than the iPad mini, and is the lightest 10-inch tablet in the world, weighing in at just under half a kilo. Like the Xperia Z, Sony says that the Xperia Tablet Z is waterproof for half an hour, up to a depth of one metre, and dustproof too. We only hope that these claims don’t prove to be as unfounded as those of the Xperia Tablet S.

xperia-tablet-z-1358733859Software is where this tablet really excels. The screen is 1920 x 1200, significantly better than the 1280 x 800 of the last Xperia tablet incarnation, and should rival the stunning display on the Apple’s 4th generation iPad. It packs Qualcomm’s 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, and comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. It’s quite likely that, as with the Xperia Tablet S, we will see Xperia Tablet Z SKUs with varying amounts of onboard storage at varying prices although, unlike the Nexus 10, there is a microSD slot for those who want a little extra storage. The tablet comes with a solid 8.1 megapixel camera on the back, but no details have been released for the front-facing camera yet. The 6000mAh battery isn’t anything to get too excited about, but it will suffice. It also has LTE and NFC support.

No details to do with price have been released, but with those figures we’re looking at £400+. We have no idea how they managed to fit all of those specs into a 6.9mm 495g slab. It’s interesting that the Xperia Tablet Z wasn’t announced along with its smartphone cousin at CES, but we’re sure that Sony have their reasons. No release date has been announced either, but we can presume that it will come out around the same time as the Xperia Z, sometime this first quarter. We’d have also thought that Sony might have wanted to wait for the imminent release of Android Key Lime Pie to release the Xperia Z family, what with the state of Android updates. All in all though, this will surely be the best 10 inch Android tablet on the market when it comes out, and will be the tablet to beat for Sony’s rivals.

*Only joking. We can’t afford an office at Digixav.

Via Engadget
Source Sony

TIM opens 4G LTE network in 4 Italian cities

Yet another carrier can be added to the list of those bearing LTE compatibility as the Italian carrier TIM has flipped the switch on its new “Ultra Internet 4G/LTE” network. It debuts in Milan, Rome, Turin and Naples and is set to reach a further 20 cities by the end of the year, with half the Italian population in LTE areas by the end of 2014.

Currently the network is limited to LTE modems and tablets, and €35 gets you a very respectable 20GB per month in both tariff and contract form. Available at €349 upfront is also an LTE modem (Onda MT8205) with 12 months worth of the 20GB data plan. Tablet offers include a €35 plan if you already have a compatible 4G LTE tablet or €45 a month for the deal with a free Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 LTE. The Italian arms of 3 and Vodafone are also set to launch LTE services by the end of the year, so 4G seems set for a speedy rollout through Italy.

Source TIM

EE’s ‘How Bacon Rolls’ advertising campaign launches 4G to UK consumers

Following the launch of their LTE network in 11 UK cities on Tuesday, EE has premiered their first TV commercial featuring Hollywood star Kevin Bacon. Entitled ‘How Bacon Rolls‘, the spot features Bacon speaking about his industry connections and how the use of EE’s services can help customers become as well-connected as Bacon himself. Further commercials featuring the actor reprising some of his most famous roles are set to follow, but for now you can see the 2 minute spot below. See if you can spot the HTC One S – a phone that EE is not offering with 4G LTE connectivity – being used by an EE customer in the advert.

Source @EE

EE confirms 4G pricing as LTE network launch looms

In preparation for the launch of their 4G LTE service on October 30th, EE today confirmed the pricing of devices and services on their network. All deals will include unlimited calls and texts, while deals above and including the £41 tier will get an additional media service from a choice of Deezer, 2 Gameloft games per month or live mobile TV from up to 20 channels. A £10 surcharge is applicable to any plan to reduce its length from 24 to 12 months, and existing Orange and T-Mobile customers who have signed deals in the last 6 months may make the switch to an LTE-enabled device for £99 plus any applicable change in monthly cost.

The reception to the tariffs has been hostile from many consumers, with some accusing EE of abusing their temporary monopoly on LTE in the UK and others pointing out that the late timing of this announcement allows for the costs to be buried while many customers sleep. As more networks introduce LTE services over the next year prices will undoubtedly be cut down, but until that point EE’s stranglehold on the market will ensure that the price you have to pay for the fastest data connection in the UK is not a cheap one.

Contract pricing with devices
All plans include unlimited calls and texts.

Monthly cost Plan length Data
£36 24 months 500MB
£41 24 months 1GB
£46 24 months 3GB
£51 24 months 5GB
£56 24 months 8GB
£46 12 months 500MB
£51 12 months 1GB
£56 12 months 3GB
£61 12 months 5GB
£66 12 months 8GB

Subsidised device pricing (plus 24 month contract)

Device £36 (500MB) £41 (1GB) £46 (3GB) £51 (5GB) £56 (8GB)
Samsung Galaxy Note II LTE £179.99 £139.99 £89.99 £39.99 £29.99
Apple iPhone 5 16GB £179.99 £109.99 £49.99 £29.99 £19.99
Samsung Galaxy S III LTE £149.99 £49.99 £29.99 £29.99 £29.99
HTC One XL £149.99 £49.99 £29.99 £29.99 £29.99
Huawei Ascend P1 LTE £19.99 Free Free Free Free

Via The Verge / Coolsmartphone