Android News U.K. Roundup 07/12/13 - Huawei Ascend P6, Ascend Mate, Vodafone Call Charges and More!

Huawei Ascend P6 Now Available in the UK

The thin machine from Huawei is now available to purchase in the UK. The Ascend P6 is a device that comes with some impressive specs packed into a very thin frame indeed, and it's not going to cost silly money either. O2 will sell you the device for £299 on PAYG but, you'll have to phone them for that. Elsewhere, it'll be going for £349 at the likes of Expansys and on contract from £20 a month pretty much everywhere.

Sony's Xperia M Now Up for Grabs Sony's latest budget-offering is now hitting shelves in the UK. Right now it's available from Clove for £200 inc VAT and should be available from networks shortly. It's not a great device from Sony, if we're honest with you, but for the price there is worse out there. The 4-inch display size might be perfect for those looking at smaller smartphones as well. Specs aren't going to blow you out of the water but, at least it comes with Android 4.1.

HTC One Gets Android 4.2 in the UK

Launching a new device without the most recent version of Android is a strange move but, taking this long to update it is just as strange. The HTC One is finally getting the update to Android 4.2 in the UK, there are no changes to Sense 5, aside from the accommodation of lockscreen widgets and hardware toggles. The update comes in at a hefty 417MB, so best to download this over WiFi. If you haven't received the update yet, try this: Settings > About > Software updates > Check now.

Galaxy S4 Active Now Available Unlocked in the UK The ruggedized version of the Galaxy S4 is now available in the UK unlocked. Although, as is often the case with Samsung, it won't come cheap. The S4 Active is available at £494 unlocked, now this is from "Unlocked-Mobiles" and so there might be better deals coming soon but, the S4 Active is very similar to the Galaxy S4. It's got the same resolution of 1920 x 1080, the same Snapdragon 600 at 1.9 Ghz, it's just water-resistant and more "life-proof" than a "life companion".

Sony's Latest Smartwatch Not Coming to the UK 'Till September Last week, we bought you the news that Clove were expecting stock of the Sony Smartwatch 2 come July 15th. That's not true though, as the device is now not coming to the UK until September. Clove are saying that Sony jumped the gun but, we're willing to bet this was an error on Clove's part. Here's their statement:

UPDATE 9/7 - The release date of the Sony SmartWatch 2 has been put back to September and will not be launching week commencing 15th July as previously stated. The revised arrival date is week commencing 9th September. At all times we provide the most accurate information we can based on data we are supplied. It has transpired that the date of the 15th July given by Sony's distribution arm was incorrect.

Vodafone Change Pay as You Go Talk Charges Last week, Three changed their pricing for the better and now Vodafone are playing copy-cat, sort of. Instead of charging by the second, like they do now, from August 1st Vodafone will charge by the minute. Which means that a phone call that's one minute and one second long will in fact be charged as 2 minutes. It's annoying but, Vodafone are claiming this will make it clearer for customer. Here's the statement:

Calls on Pay as you go are getting simpler from 1 August 2013. No more complicated pricing by the second - just clear, straightforward per minute charges. So if your call is a minute and 37 seconds long, it'll be charged as two minutes. That way, you'll always know exactly how many minutes you have left.

Huawei's Ascend Mate Coming to the Vodafone This Month

The massive Ascend Mate from Huawei is making its way to Vodafone this month, and will be available on different contract plans throughout the country. There's no word on pricing just yet but, we can't imagine this costing too much, despite its dimensions. There's a 720p display in this monster, and other modest specs, so there's nothing earth-shattering here. If you've got massive pockets, and you're in the mood for a new phone, swing by your local Vodafone store this month.

Galaxy S4 Zoom Goes on Sale at Clove When thinking about the Galaxy S4 Zoom, what you need to think of is the Galaxy S4 Mini and a point-and-shoot camera coming together. The S4 Zoom features 10x Optical Zoom and a 16-megapixel sensor. It's still pocketable but, it'll hardly be stealthy. It's available from Clove for £442 inc VAT, which certainly isn't cheap but, you do get a camera that's serviceable, just don't enter any prizes with your shots.

O2 To Offer Underground WiFi Too

With O2 partnering with Virgin Media - like EE and Vodafone - they're the latest network to offer free WiFi on the Underground. Across 120 tube stations, O2 users will now be able to get free WiFI. Of course, with everyone going through the same network, we doubt it's going to stay very speedy for very long. This now just leaves Three without WiFi on the Tube.

Archos TV Connect Now Available for £130   You're probably thinking - what the hell is that?! Well, it's sort of like a Google TV box but, it's an Android TV box. As in it's the same Android you'd see on a tablet but...in your TV. Archos are bringing this to market with a "multi-core" CPU and the giant controller you see in the picture above. It's not all fun and games though, as Archos have included some real media apps of theirs which have always been quite good. It's going on sale for around £130 and is a great alternative to a Google TV Box, with full access to the Play Store, including games and apps. Why not give it a go? Head here for more info.

Bank of England Shows Off Gold Reserves in Smartphone App

Have you always dreamed of taking a closer look at the Bank of England's gold reserves? Because if you have, then this latest app is the thing for you. In a shameless display, the Bank of England now have an app that will give you a virtual tour of gold, just lots and lots of gold. Of course, most of it is owned by other banks anyway but, that's a hell of a lot of gold right there. You can take a look by downloading the app from the Play Store.

 

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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.
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