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Android News U.K. 07/06/13 – Lots of Xperia News, EE Wireless, ZTE Grand S Flex and More

June 6, 2013 - Written By Briley Kenney

Three is Now Offering the Xperia SP

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Three just launched Sony’s latest mid-level handset the Xperia SP. I’m not going to cover all of the specs, but the most important ones are a dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 1GB of installed RAM, a 4.6-inch HD Reality 720p display and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Of course, the Xperia SP is also equipped with an 8MP Sony Exmor Camera sensor on the rear of the device.

You don’t have to worry about connectivity with this guy, because it includes support for Three’s “Ultrafast” network (42Mbps HSDPA), and also 4G LTE for when that rolls out.

The best part is that if you sign a 24 month contract, you can get the Xperia SP for free. Three’s plans start at £26 per month for unlimited data, 500 minutes and 5,000 texts. If you want, you purchase the device outright for £349.99 with a Pay As You Go plan.

O2 Customers Will Lose Access to BT Wi-Fi Hotspots Starting July 1st

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Unfortunately, O2 has just announced that customers will be losing access to BT’s UK-based network of Wi-Fi hotspots, and this will go down in less than a month’s time. The carrier will now transition support over to its own network of Wi-Fi hotspots starting July 1st. This is happening because the four-year partnership between O2 and BT Openzone has drawn to a close.

BT’s hotspots are more prevalent so it is shame. Luckily, O2’s network isn’t too shabby since it’s comprised of nearly 8,000 wireless access points that are spread across the country.

If you want to continue using BT hotspots even though you’re an O2 customer, you’ll have to pay for access to the network or you can log-in using a partner account through EE or BT Broadband.

It goes without saying, if you have the Wi-Fi hotspots stored in your device’s memory you’ll want to remove them completely before July.

EE Announces Twelve New Markets, Now Serves 50% of the UK Population

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EE, which happens to be the UK’s only LTE provider currently, just announced that their network went live in twelve new markets. That brings EE’s total number of markets up to 74, which serves what the company claims to be 50% of the UK population. Those are some pretty impressive numbers, indeed.

The new markets include the following:

  • Ashton-under-Lyne
  • Chatham
  • Gillingham
  • High Wycombe
  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Oldham
  • Oxford
  • Rochester
  • Runcorn
  • Sale
  • Stafford
  • Wigan

The ZTE Grand S Flex and Blade G Will be Available Later This Year

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The ZTE Grand S was announced back in February, and it included a non-removable 1,780 mAh battery which is not very big at all. ZTE is correcting that mistake by re-releasing the quad-core full-HD handset as the Grand S Flex, which includes a 2,300mAh capacity battery this time around. Because of the larger battery, the device has lost the “world’s thinnest” moniker, but that’s okay since practicality matters a little more.

Judging by some early screenshots of the Grand S Flex, it’s changed a bit in terms of exterior design too. Expect it to hit retail shelves in France, starting in September.

Also coming later this summer is the ZTE Blade G. If you can’t already tell by the name it’s a proper successor to the Blade series. It features a 4.5-inch display (854 x 480 pixel resolution), a dual-core 1.2GHz qualcomm processor, 512MB of installed RAM, and a 2,000mAh capacity battery.

A 4G Capable Xperia Tablet Z Will Soon Be Available Through Vodafone UK

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Just as the title implies, a 4G ready Xperia Tablet Z is coming to Vodafone in the UK. You can pick up the device in black or white for £199 on a £28 per month plan, or for £99 on a £32 per month plan. Those plans will net you either 1GB or 2GB of data to use with the tablet respectively.

Vodafone does not have an active 4G network yet hence the ‘4g ready’ label, but at least the Tablet Z will work with the new LTE network once it’s finally available.

Sony Xperia M Gets a Rumored Price in Europe

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Instead of droning on about how terrible Sony is at choosing names for their devices I’ll just say that the upcoming Xperia M (a low-end handset) is rumored to be priced at â‚¬239 in the Netherlands. The device is expected to launch sometime in Q3, which is between July and December.

Rumor: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active Set to Launch on July 1st

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Samsung  recently announced the Galaxy S4 in an official capacity, but they made no mention of the actual release date for the device. Sam Mobile is quoting sources for a rumor that says Samsung will be launching the device on July 1st in the UK. Samsung will likely announce more information at their Premiere 2013 event on June 20th in London.

Huawei Ascend Y300 Now Available Through PAYG

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The Huawei Ascend Y300 is a viable competitor for the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini, and it will be available through Carphone Warehouse for some pretty reasonable prices. It will be £69.95 on a pay-as-you-go plan with a £10 top-up, or £59.95 if you’re upgrading an existing account.

EE Reaches 500,000 Subscribers, New Plans on the Way for Summer

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EE hit the 500,000 subscriber mark, which is great news. Even better news is the fact that they’re launching a new pay-as-you-go mobile broadband service and shared 4G plans later this summer. EE also recently announced they’re doubling the speed of their 4G network, and pushing it out to new markets. It’s just a great time to be an EE subscriber all around, isn’t it?