After one too many false alarms, misunderstandings and unsubstantiated rumors, it appears LG Optimus G users are at last closing in on KitKat resolution. Joyful resolution, that is, as they definitely won’t be left behind.
Instead, they’ll get with the times this month, according to claims from SFR France. Granted, the Western European operator isn’t the most reliable around, jumping the gun on Android 4.4 bumps several times in the recent past.
But for once, SFR backs one of its optimistic forecasts with concrete, chocolaty proof – a picture of an LG Optimus G (model number E975) running Android 4.4.2. The bad news? The photo stars a device loaded with an experimental KK port, and testing is still in full speed.
The good news? Once it’s ready to replace Jelly Bean on French shores, Android 4.4 should gradually make its way all across the old continent and, presumably, in North America too. So worst case scenario, you’ll need to wait until, say, late July. That’s not so bad, is it?
Think about it, as much as we all loved the G back in the day, particularly LG, which built quite the impressive high-end roster on its heels, we have to remember its time has passed. You wouldn’t tell by looking at the specs, but the 4.7 incher is nearly two years old.
As far as specifics tweaks and improvements are concerned, SFR is bizarrely intent on keeping everything under wraps, emphasizing “we are not able to inform you yet about the precise improvements of this upgrade”.
But XDA forum members speculate Knock On and Knock Code aren’t headed for the Optimus G. Not yet, at least, as a subsequent over-the-air boost may take care of business and add the neat LG-specific functions in the mix, just like on the G2.
Obviously, generalized Project Svelte performance enhancements are guarantees nevertheless, as is a subtle but noticeable UI revamp, expanded notification functionality, improved security, Wi-Fi, battery life, camera capabilities and so on and so forth.
Oh, and be sure to appreciate the KitKat update at its real value whenever it finally goes live, as I personally deem Optimus G’s odds to score the unannounced Android 5.0 as microscopic. It’s sad, but every gadget has an expiration date.
Customers of US Cellular who own the Galaxy SIII should be pleased to know that the KitKat update for their device is now rolling out. The OTA update bumps the device to Android 4.4.2 with baseband version R530UVXCND4. This latest update brings several new features to the device such as a more user friendly interface, faster multitasking, new messaging experience, and wireless printing capabilities.
The Android 4.4.2 KitKat update includes the following key features
Phone Dialer: The new phone app automatically prioritizes your contacts based on the people you talk to the most. You can also search for nearby places and businesses, your contacts, or people in your Google Apps domain.
Camera: Enhanced the “touch to focus” option with a new circular, on screen control that can be dragged by your finger around the viewfinder to adjust a photo’s focus and exposure.
Hangouts: With the new Hangouts app, all of your SMS and MMS messages are together in the same app, alongside your other conversations and video calls.
Emoji everywhere: Sometimes words can’t express how you feel. For that, there’s Emoji, the colorful Japanese characters, now available on Google Keyboard.
There are two ways of upgrading the US Cellular Galaxy SIII. Customers can either choose an OTA upgrade or they can connect their smartphone to a computer.
OTA Upgrade Procedure
The following requirements must be met before the device can be upgraded using his procedure
The device must have a registered Google account
The device must be connected to a Wi-Fi network to download the update
Go to settings & select About Device
From About Device select Software Update
Select OK and follow the on screen prompts
PC Upgrade Procedure
These requirements must be met before the upgrade can be accomplished
Desktop/Laptop computer running either Microsoft Windows 7, Vista, or XP
All firewall & anti-virus programs should be disabled
Administrative privileges required to download & install software including drivers
An available USB port on the PC that supports 2.0 USB
Fully charged battery on the SIII
This upgrade procedure leaves most of the user data intact such as photos, music, contacts, documents, and others. There are instances though that data may be deleted so it is important to back up everything first before continuing with this procedure.
Click on the Samsung Simple Upgrade Tool icon on your Desktop.
Remove the battery from your device, then replace the battery in the device.
Plug your USB data cable into your PC. Press and hold the Volume down key on your device. While holding the Volume down key, plug the USB data cable into your device. Hold the Volume down key until the following screen appears. Select Next.
Press the Volume up key. The downloading screen will appear. Select Next.
Device drivers will be installed. Do not unplug the USB data cable from the device. Once drivers are installed select Next.
Press Start Software Download button to start the upgrade process which usually takes around 15 minutes.
A popup message will show that the software upgrade is complete. Select OK, then select Exit to exit the Simple Upgrade Tool.
First promised in January, KitKat was ultimately rolled out over-the-air to Huawei’s Ascend P6 back in March, but exclusively for domestic users. Of course, Huawei pledged to spread the love “internationally” as soon as possible, which unfortunately is yet to happen.
A number of timelines were rumored, a June ETA was even made official, but as it turns out, the P6 makers won’t be able to meet the self-imposed deadline. Instead, they’ve simply set a new one – early July.
That’s what the Beta Tester section of the OEM’s German website points to, thought naturally, I’m reluctant to put my trust in Huawei’s word after so many unfulfilled promises. Besides, doesn’t it feel like an Android 4.4 update in July would be too little, too late?
Sure, software makeovers are (almost) always welcomed, but the P6 is growing old. That 4.7-inch 720p display is passé, the homebrewed quad-core K3V2 chip was never particularly hot, plus a highly improved Ascend P7, with a 5-inch Full HD screen, has recently seen daylight. And it’s in a good position to challenge the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S5 or HTC’s One M8.
The only thing the OG P6 still has going for it is that crazy thin profile. Granted, 6.2 mm is no longer the world record, but it’s pretty darn close to it.
Oh, well, a couple of owners might want to cling onto the supermodel for a few extra months, so with them in mind, let’s hope the early July due date pans out. Also, fingers crossed it’s not limited to Germany, but instead valid for all international variants, available all across Europe and even in North America, thanks to importers and unlocked phone retailers. Do not disappoint us again, okay, Huawei?
Namely, the OG Optimus L9 II and massive but mediocre G Pro Lite. The info comes straight from the horse’s mouth, or rather one of the horse’s regional mouths – LG’s official Italian Facebook page. According to the local social team, the L9 II shall score KitKat “in the coming weeks”, and the G Pro Lite towards the end of Q2.
That’s late June, so technically in the next few weeks as well. Also on the list, the long tormented Optimus G, which is still not very close to resolution. Its Android 4.4 update is now slated for Q3, so at some point between July and September.
As far as the other two are concerned, it’s sure surprising to see the L9 II get the royal treatment so soon. Clearly, the 4.7 incher is no pushover, with its 720p display and 1 GB RAM, but it’s fairly old and not that popular as far as we can tell.
Unveiled in August 2013 and rolled out in October, the mid-ranger was never picked up by a single US carrier, unlike its predecessor, available on T-Mobile and MetroPCS. Of course, just because one particular European market is about to see KitKat go live on the device, it doesn’t mean the rest of the world will follow suit immediately.
Besides, we know full well how easily confused Facebook page administrators can be. But let’s be optimistic, and hope the Italian timeline pans out for the G Pro Lite too.
Launched last November, the gigantic 5.5 incher never landed stateside either, and hardware-wise, it’s even more lackluster than the L9 II. The display boasts sub-par 960 x 540 pixels resolution, and under the hood a dual-core 1 GHz Mediatek chip takes care of raw speed business.
Sounds pretty underwhelming, though at $230 unlocked and with Android 4.4.2, you can’t deny its awfully solid bang for buck factor. You go, LG!
They’ve also began rolling out KitKat for their OG Optimus G Pro and bendy G Flex. Plus, fresh reports add the G Pad 8.3 tablet and Vu 3 phablet to the happy, avant-garde list. The former, said to score 4.4 worldwide sometime in Q2, is reportedly treated to the chocolaty makeover early in Korea both over-the-air and via LG’s Mobile Support Tool.
Technically, international G Pad users can themselves take things to the next level early, thanks to an unofficial port available on XDA Forum. However, unless you’re skilled in matters of hacking and tinkering and willing to say goodbye to your precious warranty, patience is advised.
Those based in Korea should expect to see a prompt message asking them to upgrade before long, and an install duration of no more than half an hour. Regardless, make sure the battery is above the 50 percent capacity mark, and free up about 500 MB of storage space.
Aside from the customary subtle UI tweaks, the firmware carries a heap of performance optimizations and speed improvements, plus a few bug fixes and LG-specific bloatware.
Turning our attention to the Vu 3, a handheld available exclusively in Korea, we’d like to mention the Android 4.4 KitKat port in this case can be found, downloaded and installed straight from the local LG Mobile support website here.
All three carrier-locked versions, on SKT, KT and LG U+, can be bumped up to KitKat, and the changelog is basically identical to the list of adjustments expected on the G Pad, G2 or Optimus G Pro: refreshed interface, wireless printing capability, security enhancements, better compatibility for ART runtime, improved browser speed, battery life and camera performance.
As for what’s on the horizon, things are looking mighty encouraging. At least in LG’s homeland. According to an unofficial but seemingly legit list posted on the Korean blogosphere, six devices up for grabs around those parts will jump on the KitKat bandwagon sooner or later.
That’s six in addition to the five already updated, mind you, bringing the grand total to an impressive near dozen. Too bad the Optimus LTE 2 (F160), Vu 2 (F200), GK (F220) and GX (F310) can’t be found anywhere outside the “Land of the Morning Calm”.
The Optimus G can, of course, but its global move to 4.4 has been rumored and greatly debated. Bottom line, I’m afraid I have no fresh good news for Western LG fans aside from an impending software bump on the G Pad 8.3.
Then again, the Optimus F7 is essentially Optimus LTE 2’s bigger battery-packing counterpart, so odds are the former will get to taste some sweet KitKat one of these days too. Sure, it features half the RAM and built-in storage, but still.
LG G2 owners in Canada can now update their flagship phone to the latest version of Android via an over-the-air software update that is rolling out in the country. The Android 4.4 update is sized at around 635 MB and recently started making its way to the international variant of the G2. It will add numerous improvements to the device, including faster performance and better battery life. (more…)
LG is this close to wrapping up G2’s global Android 4.4 KitKat rollout, as international models have started receiving the update earlier this week, and AT&T and T-Mobile variants stateside a little earlier. That still leaves Sprint and Verizon versions in the dark, but the timing’s up to the carriers there, so LG is ready to move on.
The Optimus G Pro is naturally next in line, despite recently turning one, with rumors of an impending KitKat bumpfloating around since early February. And what do you know, it appears the Q2 deadline will not only be met, but preceded.
Users of the Korean-only F240S and F240L models are reporting the upgrade is already live, rolling out OTA (over-the-air) starting mere hours ago. Of course, it’s essentially tradition for LG to get these things underway domestically, then slowly spread them overseas, so just because a few Optimus G Pro owners can taste KitKat, it doesn’t mean you will too in time for the cherry blossoms.
But hey, worst case scenario, you’ll have to wait until, say, May. That’s not so bad, is it? Well, it is, yet once again, the G Pro isn’t exactly a young buck anymore. Or tremendously popular on the Western hemisphere.
No official changelog has made its way online so far, or details regarding the firmware’s size and specific tweaks. If you’re curious, keep an eye on this XDA forum thread, where we expect junior member NeCoritol to soon provide screenshots and maybe even the actual port for the delight of amateur tinkerers.
Ironically, the Android 4.4 update might well bolster Optimus G Pro’s reputation and popularity at unprecedented heights, as the AT&T-locked variant currently goes for $0.01 with two-year contracts. SIM-free, the big guy is $399, which is pretty awesome for a 5.5-inch slab of silicon with Full HD screen resolution, quad-core Snapdragon 600 oomph, 32 GB (!!!) built-in storage, microSD support, 13 MP rear-facing camera, 3,140 mAh battery and, soon enough, on-board KitKat.
Well, today’s an important day folks, as it marks the completion of the rollout of the Android 4.4 KitKat update to the Moto X on all major U.S. carriers. AT&T has announced that it is finally beginning to update the Moto X to KitKat, following Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. The update should be available for some users today, and should reach everyone before the week is over. (more…)
For us, the proud owners of one of the greatest smartphones the Samsung Galaxy S3, something big is coming. Samsung may start rolling out the Android 4.4 KitKat update for the SGS3 starting next week but it is unclear when or which models will be getting the update. This information was extracted from a reply by Samsung Mobile Arabia on Facebook to someone who wanted to know when, if ever, the S3 was getting the 4.4 KitKat update in the Emirates.
While the international version and other rooted models of the S3 started getting custom built Android 4.4 KitKat from CyanogenMod and other developers in the last quarter of last year, the official update is just getting readied and it may be ready, if this source is anything to go by. Rumors that originated from ‘Just About Phones‘ back in November last year indicated that the Samsung GS3 would be receiving the Android 4.4 KitKat update sometime around April or May alongside the Note 2.
It appears that earlier indications that the S3 would receive the KitKat after the Galaxy S4’s which was said to get the update in the first quarter of 2014 were true, but we cannot tell why. One thing that is comforting though is that the device will be getting the update, very, very, late, though. If you don’t know, the Android 4.4 KitKat update is a worthy update as it brings great features and enhancements including integrated location menu, Google hangouts, better Google Apps, integrated messages and from April 14th, if you use Google’s tap-to-pay feature, you will continue to enjoy the service when Google discontinues it for pre-KitKat devices (read it here).
If the Samsung Arabia will be rolling out the update at the end of this month (next week perhaps), then the international version of the Galaxy S3s around the world could be getting it around the same time.
Samsung is extending the rollout of the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update to the T-Mobile variant of the Galaxy S4 starting today (or rather, T-Mobile is beginning to push out the update after doing the necessary carrier certification stuff). Available both the over the air and through Samsung’s Kies program, the update will install on your device only if it’s on software version M919UVUEMK2, which was the final Android 4.3 build released by T-Mobile. (more…)
Bottom line, not only does the fresh Galaxy S5 look incapable of pleasing us all, it may well not please the majority. Heck, instead of alluring new proselytes to the Galaxy S doctrine, it might drive old, loyal, faithful aficionados away. A lot of them.
But let’s hold off on handing down gloomy verdicts just yet. After all, a flop by someone as successful as Samsung is only a flop if there’s anyone around to reap the benefits and cash in on a potential stronger challenger to the throne.
Enter Sony, whose boldness, almost recklessness you got to admire. They knew full well the Galaxy S5 would debut at this year’s Mobile World Congress, and yet they still scheduled their Xperia Z2 intro for the same event. Even bolder, the same day.
Meanwhile, LG came out with the G Pro 2 early, and HTC postponed its “All New One” announcement to get out of Sammy’s way. Did Sony’s gamble pay off? We’re about to find out, as this is the ultimate Galaxy S5 vs Xperia Z2 specs smackdown:
As usual, this is the most subjective and personal battle, and as usual, I like to be as neutral and unbiased as possible. That said, how anyone could ever pick the Galaxy S5 over the Xperia Z2 simply judging on aesthetics is beyond me.
Granted, neither phone is really an architectural marvel. And they’re both trumped by the HTC One and LG G2 in terms of sturdiness, uniqueness, elegance and display to body ratio. Yet if you zone out everyone else and just focus on the two, you can’t not prefer Sony’s big guy.
It rocks an aluminum frame, has that premium glass feel all over, as well as a certain prime vibe to the entire ensemble. It’s also a lot more robust than the GS5, but not in a bulky kind of way. The S5? Don’t let the soft-touch textured back fool you, it’s still chintzy plastic.
And by the by, don’t you find the dot pattern kind of distracting? I’ll be frank, in my book, it’s downright fugly. One last thing: dimensions. It’s a tie all in all there, as the Xperia Z1 is slightly taller and wider (146.8 x 73.3 vs 142 x 72.5 mm) while packing an extra 0.1 inch of usable screen real estate. In thickness, the two are nearly identical, measuring roughly 8 mm.
Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Sony Xperia Z2 – display face-off
We all rolled our eyes when LG unveiled the G Pro 2 with a Full HD panel, we gasped in disbelief when the Z2 followed suit, but in the end so did the Galaxy S5. Where’s our promised Quad HD, aka 2K resolution? Probably a little ways down the road.
Drama? Tragedy? Scandal? Barely, as S5 and Z2’s screens look outstanding as they are. The former is a Super AMOLED 5.1 incher with 432 ppi pixel density, the latter a 5.2-incher Triluminos IPS LCD with 424 ppi, and overall, they’re just equally as mind-blowingly crisp, vibrant and colorful. On paper, as in-depth reviews may soon bring to light subtle but notable differences.
Processing speed, RAM and cameras
Ties galore, as there’s little to choose between the GS5 and Z2 in processing speed. Reportedly, they’re both powered by quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 CPUs (the S5 also has an Exynos variant, but it’ll likely get a fairly limited run).
True, S5’s SoC is clocked higher, at 2.5 GHz (vs 2.3), but surprise, surprise, the Z2 packs an extra 1 gig of RAM (3 vs 2), so in the long run it should be smoother and zippier. Certainly better in multitasking.
As far as imaging goes, Samsung was the one that actually did some work and upgraded S4’s cameras. Too little work though, and so the Z2 prevails, thanks to a far superior (again on paper) 20.7 MP rear-facing shooter with G Lens, 4K video recording, SteadyShot stabilization, autofocus and LED flash.
S5’s main snapper is capable of shooting 4K videos too, plus it utilizes ISOCELL technology. But at the end of the day, the megapixel count means something, and I doubt 16 MP is enough to overtake Sony’s 20.
Front cams? They’re not as important, and in theory look pretty equal, with 2 MP sensors.
Software and battery life
TouchWiz comes at Galaxy S5’s rescue at the most desperate of times, helping the 5.1-incher essentially score its first win against the Xperia Z2. Don’t get me wrong, Sony’s UI and its approach to skinning and customizing Android 4.4 KitKat is sleek and decent enough.
But it’s no match for the deluge of nifty pre-loaded apps and unique features found on the S5. S-Voice, Smart stay, Smart pause, gesture-operated functions and especially S Health, they’ve all come a long way from their clunky starts, appearing useful enough for a change.
Battery life? Ultra Power Saving Mode or no Ultra Power Saving Mode, I’m afraid S5’s juicer is considerably tinier than Z2’s (2,800 vs 3,200 mAh), which should make quite the difference in real-life autonomy. Emphasis on “should”, as Samsung has always been extremely gifted at battery life boosts through software optimizations.
Connectivity, ports and others
Can the Galaxy S5 survive solely through silky smooth, charming software? No, it cannot. What if we add Touch ID, pardon, “Finger Scanner” in the mix? And the unique heart rate sensor? LTE Cat. 4 speeds? USB 3.0? Gimmicks, sure, but gimmicks that are absent on Sony’s Xperia Z2, and which some may find beneficial. Worst case scenario, cool to have.
There’s also the question of the water and dust protection. Both have it, and kudos for that, but Sony and Samsung’s approaches are slightly different. The GS5 is IP67 certified for total dust ingress protection and immersion in water between 15 cm and 1 m depth for up to 30 minutes, while the Z2 is IP55 and IP58 certified for limited dust ingress protection and long term immersion in water over 1 meter.
In a nutshell, S5’s dust shield is technically more potent. In contrast,the Xperia Z2 can handle longer, deeper swims.
As for our overall war, I think there are only two possible outcomes here. Either you declare Sony’s Xperia Z2 the winner for its sleeker design, extra RAM, battery juice and better camera, or you call the duel a draw on account of the GS5 being more “gimmicky”. What will it be?
HTC’s dedication towards updating its latest devices to the newest version of Android as quickly as possible continues today with the rollout of the Android 4.4.2 KitKat update for the HTC One max, One mini, and the dual SIM HTC One. HTC India has confirmed that the update is streaming to devices in the country, and reports suggest that other Asian countries are also first in line for the update, though a rollout for other markets shouldn’t be too far behind.
Available for a while with Verizon and Boost Mobile and recently released on US Cellular and Aio Wireless, Motorola’s crazy cheap, crazy solid Moto G smartphone may soon add another name to an already pretty impressive roster of US network partners.
As its GoPhone prepaid lineup continues to suffer in terms of media visibility and all-around mainstream popularity, AT&T probably sees the Moto G as the ideal solution for a sudden acclaim boost. So there you have it, a win-win situation, for both the carrier and handheld.
Maybe also for prospective Moto G buyers so far holding off on a purchase due to the 4.5-incher being, well, connectivity challenged. You know, since it’s got 3G support only. Which is fine for its price range, don’t get us wrong, but a little diversity never hurt anyone. Ergo, a slightly pricier G with 4G LTE might go a long way for MotorolaLenovorola.
Long story short, an LTE-enabled G would be positively dreamy, and, though the evidence is slim, we believe such a model may have been tested in GFX Bench. The benchmark authority’s database shows an enigmatic Motorola XT1045 packing a quad-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 chip, which just happens to be the same CPU found inside the G.
This XT1045, codenamed “Peregrine”, also sports a 1,280 x 720 pixels resolution display (another coincidence?), plus runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat. So it’s definitely a Moto G. But why do we think it’s an AT&T-destined G?
Simple, the Android OS Build Product string reads “peregrine_att”. Now, the LTE part I’ll admit it’s a bit of a stretch, as GFX Bench never lists these details, yet remember the scoop from last Friday. Coincidence again? I think not.
Still, a grain of salt nearby is always recommended with rumors, let alone speculations and assumptions. Besides, Aio Wireless is a subsidiary of AT&T, so maybe we’re getting worked up over nothing, and actually dealing with a non-LTE Moto G version already out and about. Everything’s possible, right? Including Moto working on a high-speed G set to cost, say, sub-$200 with AT&T’s GoPhone prepaid plans.
There’s no bigger disappointment for Android users than finding out that their smartphone might not be getting an update to the next version of Android. But while everyone wants upgrades, the reality of the situation is that manufacturers simply cannot focus resources on a device forever, mainly because of lack of manpower and because they want consumers to buy newer devices. For Sony’s Xperia SP, an upgrade to Android 4.4 KitKat was said to be on its way once it received Android 4.3, but it looks like the chocolate-flavored version of the OS might not make it to the mid-range handset after all. (more…)