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SMS celebrates its 20 year anniversary today

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SMS messages turn 20 years old today and while the cell network technologies have changed, the usefulness of those 160 character texts hasn’t diminished. If anything it has increased – there are 8 trillion (yes, with a t) texts being sent each year.

Twenty years ago on this date, the first SMS message was sent – the message read ‘Merry Christmas’, typed on a computer by Neil Papworth and sent over the Vodafone network to one of its employees, Richard Jarvis, who received it on an Orbitel 901 phone. Read more »

Voice-over-LTE tests show it uses double the power of regular 2G CDMA voice calls

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Everyone is talking about how fast the 4G LTE data speeds are but most people seem to have forgotten that 4G was supposed to bring a new VoIP-based calling to replace the old circuit-switched 2G and 3G systems. So, why isn’t Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) here yet? The answer seems to be battery life.

In the US, one carrier does support VoLTE and Spirent-Metrico ran tests comparing it to good ol’ CDMA. Read more »

CyanogenMod 10.1 nightly builds now available for the Nexus 4

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The CyanogenMod team has been teasing version 10.1 (that’s based on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean) for various devices with just screenshots, but Nexus 4 users can now actually grab a nightly release of the ROM and take it for a spin.

The Nexus 10 tablet will be getting CM10.1 soon as well, but the team doesn’t give any hard deadlines. Read more »

Jolla’s CEO answers user questions about Sailfish, demos it on video

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Sailfish OS is the big hope of MeeGo fans everywhere. Jolla, the people behind Sailfish, showed off their creative new UI about a week ago and how it takes MeeGo’s heavily swipe-based interface even further. But the short video was not enough for all the MeeGo enthusiasts out there, so Jolla’s CEO, Marc Dillon, took the time to answer some user questions.

Mr. Dillon demos the things that are working on a Sailfish-running phone, including how many apps the UI can handle at one, landscape mode, going between app and homescreen, and more. Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S III mini battery life test finishes, the results are inside

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The Samsung Galaxy S III mini is a scaled down version of its big namesake – that means a smaller 4″ screen, two CPU cores instead of four and a smaller battery too, with 1,500mAh capacity.

Did the battery life scale accordingly, is it still the same, or even better? That’s what we’re here to find out. Read more »

Nokia Lumia 920 taken on rough ride through the desert for the ultimate optical stabilization test

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The Nokia Lumia 920 features optical image stabilization (OIS) for its 8MP camera and while Nokia dropped the ball when it was discovered its promo video was not shot with the 920 at all, fans took it on themselves to reshoot the sample. But riding a bike is too mellow, driving a four by four through the desert puts lot more stress on the OIS and is much cooler too.

UK Mobile Review has a series of posts on how its team did the test, culminating in a 8 minute long video of them driving across sand dunes in the desert near Dubai. Read more »

Record Kindle sales in the UK (tripled the previous record), price of Kindle Fire in US slashed to $129

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Amazon has slashed the prices of its updated Kindle Fire tablets both in the UK and now in the US to celebrate Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While Black Friday is mostly an American thing, UK customers got to buy the revamped 7″ tablet for just £99 (with ads), which led to a record number of units sold.

US customers shouldn’t feel left out – they can get the Fire tablet at just $129 ($30 off, again with ads). Read more »

Samsung Galaxy S III mini comes back, hasn’t grown up

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The Samsung Galaxy S III mini stops by our office for a second time – the first time we did a preview and we’ll do a full review now. Before we start, we put it in front of our camera and give you a quick reminder of what the S III mini offers.

In a “Honey, I shrunk the kids” moment, Samsung took the Galaxy S III and created a mini version of it, dropping the screen size from the pocket-busting 4.8” to the much more manageable 4”. Read more »

Nokia Lumia 820 completes our battery life tests, here are the results

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The Nokia Lumia 820 is our first brush with the Finnish company’s next generation of Windows Phone handsets. It has a relatively small battery (1650mAh), smaller than even HTC’s Windows Phone 8X juice pack. And that one certainly didn’t impress us much with its battery life.

The Lumia 820 has a dual-core Krait processor running at 1.5GHz inside (like most other WP8 phones) so we don’t expect this to make any difference, but that 4.3” AMOLED screen probably will. Read more »

Nokia updates Transport app for WP8, releases WP7 and Symbian versions for beta testing

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Nokia has updated its Nokia Transport (known as Transit in North America) for Windows Phone 8 with a revamped interface. The company is also working on apps for Windows Phone 7 and even Symbian, but those are in beta right now.

One of the changes is that the route is segmented and you can look at each segment more closely with a single tap or swipe. Read more »

Bootloader for LG Optimus G (AT&T, Sprint and Verizon versions) gets unlocked

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The LG Optimus G is a good phone as it is, but being the first Snapdragon S4 Pro-powered phone to hit the market, it draws the attention of a lot of power users and those guys are used to customizing their phones. The locked bootloader poses a problem, but one that has now been solved by Project FreeGee.

FreeGee is a tool that will unlock the bootloader of your Optimus G and it comes courtesy of XDA-Developers member thecubed. Read more »

HTC Droid DNA battery life tested, here’s how the smartphone beast scored

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The HTC Droid DNA leads the charge of phones with super-sharp screens into the west – it has 5″ 1080p display with an amazing pixel density of 440ppi (the screen looked great when we handled the phone).

The demanding resolution is taken care by the powerful Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset with a quad-core Krait processor and the new Adreno 320, which is the best an Android phone can get at the moment. But is the 2,020mAh battery too small? Read more »

Opera adds resumable downloads for J2ME and BlackBerry phones with Opera Mini 7.1

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The Opera team has a long history of trying to improve the experience on less capable phones and its latest target was the poor file downloading experience on J2ME and BlackBerry phones.

The developers updated Opera Mini to version 7.1, which has a brand new download manager. Read more »

New paint jobs for Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III mini might be coming soon

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The Samsung Galaxy S III launched with only two color options but Samsung added new colors over time. Rumor has it that it’s now turn for the Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III mini to get new paintjobs.

The Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S III mini will get three new color options each and they’re somewhat different (in name at least) from the colors that the Galaxy S III is available in. Read more »

Nexus 10 goes on pre-order at Staples, taken apart elsewhere

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The Nexus 10 stock at the Play Store was depleted pretty quickly when it launched, so it’s good to see the 10-inch Google tablet moving to other stores. Staples have it on pre-order right now, but unfortunately won’t start deliveries until two-to-three weeks.

Meanwhile, the tablet has been torn down, revealing what makes it tick (spoiler: plenty of Samsung-made parts). Read more »