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Sony Xperia SP (C5303 LTE)

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Sony has released this mid-range device in April 2013 in three variants (C5302 supporting GSM/3G only,while C5306 (US) and C5303 both supporting LTE) and equipped it with 4.6″ display with HD (1280×720) resolution, Snapdragon processor and its design is similar to “bigger brother” , the Xperia Z (like Samsung does with its Galaxy models).

The Xperia SP is a better equipped model of the  Xperia L. These two models are very similar.

The Xperia SP comes with  bigger display (4.6-inch vs 4.3-inch) and has also higher resolution (1280×720 vs 854×480), and  aluminum case.

The Xperia L is an entry-level device so it can’t be compared with the Xperia SP as it belongs to mid-high level.

Sony used dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960T prosessor in this model, with a clock rate of 1.7 GHz coupled with Qualcomm’s Adreno 320 graphic chip, 1 GB RAM, and (only!) 8 GB internal memory. In addition, the smartphone features a 8 MP main camera and runs the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box,(which can now be updated to 4.3 either vis PC or OTA) operating system. Sony  offers the Xperia SP with black, red and white colour variants, featuring an aluminum frame and high build quality .

One thing become usual for Xperia smartphones –  a silver power button, in the middle of the right side,.

The rear cover is rubberized plastic and can be detached to allow acces to SIM and memory card slots.

The light bar at the bottom  glows in different colors, depending on app or event settings. The light effects can be specified in the Settings.
Display  is protected by scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass  integrated into the case. The front camera above the display  features a VGA (0.3 MP), while the main camera‘s resolution of 8 MP (3264×2448 pixels).

There is a NFC sensor as well.

The size of 130.6 x 67.1 x 10 mm  and the weight of 155 g  are typical for midrange smartphones.

As mentioned before, the phone comes with (only!) 8 GB internal memory, from which the OS and pre-installed apps take about 2.5 GB , so after initial boot only 5.5 GB are available.

The storage capacity should be ok if you install  apps only! For your music,pictures or videos you can expand the memory capacity by a further 32 GB using the micro SD slot.

The Xperia SP supports nearly all radio networks  (3G and GSM bands) so you can use it everywhere in the world. Thanks to HSPA+ the download rate can be up to 42 MB/s in 3G networks (if supported by operator).

Two models (C5306 (US) and C5303 ) supports LTE, which allows a maximum transfer rate of 150 MB/s, and there’s also  Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth (4.0) along with GPS sensor, and at last the  NFC, which is good for contactless transmission within very short distance (usefull as digital wallet).
Sony Xperia SP comes with warranty period of  24 months.  As usual, the accessories and built-in battery have a warranty of 12 months.

 

User manual, latest Android 4.3 (generic ROM) and tutorial here  https://mega.co.nz/#F!URUXEByJ  .

 

My personal note :

A bit disappointed with this phone. Had Moto G before and can say that it easily outdoes the SP in almost everything.

My only reasons for change were :

  • the memory card slot
  • LTE,
  • price drop ( got mine for £199).

But now, after a couple days of use, I am not sure if it was a wise choice…

Just updated to latest Android 4.3 and the phone is very laggy with some restarts…

Before you buy  Sony SP, consider your mobile needs…

If LTE,NFC and memory card isn’t very important, strongly consider the insanelly cheap (and reliable) Motorola G.

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Well, have the phone for a week now and just figure out how to add shortcut to lockscreen.
When lockscreen active press the power button and either very left or right side of the screen press and slide and it show new “tab” with + and there you can add widget. However, it shows actual data (SMS, Email) so any one can check it ( so much about privacy!!!).
Why the hell Moto couldn’t add simply notification???

The camera shortcut (far right) can not be changed/deleted.
You can ad up to 7 widgets ONLY (no apps!).
To delete/change shortcut, briefly press Power button slide to desired tab and press and hold until you see X Remove on the top. Just pull up the page toward it and it will be removed and you can add another widget.

So you got your new Sony SP smartphone and don’t like customisation made by your network operator?

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Then bellow is the list (credit to wakoko79) of firmware numbers and operator specific ROMs (Generic means no bloatware or any mods. Its the pure stock ROM provided by Sony Mobile):

Australia Generic AU 1271-7710
Australia Vodafone AU 1271-1062
Australia Optus AU 1272-4532
Austria Tele.ring AT 1272-4707
Austria T-Mobile AT 1272-4705
Austria Orange AT 1272-7151
Baltics Generic BAL 1272-3338
Belgium Proximus (Vfe) BE 1272-9699
Belgium Mobistar (Orange) BE 1272-7153
Belgium Generic BE 1272-4879
Bosnia and Herzegovina BH Telecom BH 1275-1880
Brazil Generic BR 1271-6480
Brazil Claro BR 1271-6474
Bulgaria MobilTel EAD BG 1272-9701
Bulgaria GloBul BG 1272-3348
Canada Generic CA 1272-4529
Czech republic Swisscom CZ 1273-0083
Czech republic Telefonica O2 CZ 1272-1876
Czech republic Sunrise CZ 1272-6057
Czech republic Generic CZ 1272-5763
Denmark 3 DK 1272-5235
Europe Central European 1 CE1 1272-3352
Europe Central European 3 CE3 1272-3354
Europe Central European 4 CE4 1272-3350
Europe Central European 5 CE5 1273-8833
France NRJ FR 1272-5255
France Bouygues Telecom FR 1272-5219
France SFR FR 1272-9707
France Free FR 1272-5253
France Generic FR 1272-4898
France Orange FR 1272-7091
Germany Telekom.de DE 1272-4703
Germany O2 DE 1271-7715
Germany Generic DE 1272-3334
Germany Vodafone DE 1272-9710
Greece Vodafone GR 1273-0079
Greece Cosmote GR 1272-4721
Greece Generic GR 1272-4887
Hong-Kong Generic HK 1271-7847
Hungary Telenor HU 1272-6055
Hungary T-Mobile HU 1272-4713
Hungary Vodafone HU 1273-0084
India Generic IN 1272-1094
Ireland O2 IE 1272-5239
Ireland Vodafone IE 1273-0060
Ireland Meteor IE 1272-3333
Italy Vodafone IT 1272-9705
Italy Generic IT 1272-4885
Italy TIM IT 1272-7596
Malaysia Generic MEA 1272-4904
Netherlands KPN Mobile NL 1273-0224
Netherlands Vodafone NL 1273-0062
Netherlands T-Mobile NL 1272-4709
Netherlands Generic NL 1272-4902
New Zealand Vodafone NZ 1273-0068
Nordic Combined Generic NCB 1272-3336
Phillipines Generic PH 1272-4876
Poland PLAY PL 1273-3957
Poland T-Mobile PL 1272-4717
Poland Polkomtel PLUS PL 1272-5259
Poland Orange PL 1272-7161
Portugal TMN PT 1272-6037
Portugal Vodafone PT 1273-0073
Portugal Generic PT 1272-4883
Romania Vodafone RO 1273-0075
Russia Generic RU 1272-4891
Saudi Arabia Generic SA 1272-4906
Singapore Singtel SG 1272-5761
Singapore Generic SG 1272-4881
Slovak Republic Orange SK 1272-7170
Slovak Republic T-Mobile SK 1272-8794
Slovenia MOBITEL SI 1274-1829
Spain Jazztel ES 1276-9694
Spain Vodafone ES 1272-9711
Spain Movistar ES 1272-1878
Spain Generic ES 1272-4896
Spain Orange ES 1272-7157
Spain Yoigo ES 1272-5257
Sweden Telenor SE 1272-3340
Thailand Generic TH 1276-6282
Turkey Generic TR 1272-5237
Ukraine Generic UA 1272-4894
United Kingdom Generic UK 1272-4687
United Kingdom 3 UK 1271-5366
United Kingdom Vodafone UK 1272-9713
United Kingdom T-mobile UK 1272-7168
United Kingdom O2 UK 1272-1874

To install the newest Android ROM for Sony XPERIA SP C5303

a) first of all, check your firmware version (if you already have the newest one, you do not need this tutorial)
b) download and install latest Flashtool

c) download also 
latest Android 4.3 for Sony XPERIA SP C5303 ***
d) paste the ftf file downloaded in step c) to folder „Firmware“ included in the XPERIA Flashtool
e) open the XPERIA Flashtool, click on flash and choose downloaded firmware, than click ok. Important – if you do not want to delete any data of your phone, just uncheck flashing userdata.sin file. All data will remain in your phone, but sometimes it can cause additional troubles. So it is better (and I recommend that) to do the backup of your personal data, than proceed with clean instalation and then restore your personal data.
f) turn off your phone and when Flashtool shows pop up window, connect phone to PC with holding volume down button
g) after few minutes all is done and your phone gets the new firmware

*** Will provide link to my MegaCloud as soon as files are uploaded.

Moto G – an serious Nexus competitor

Ok, first a bit of tech details :

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  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE; quad-band UMTS/HSPA support
  • 4.5″ 16M-color 720p IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 326ppi pixel density; Gorilla Glass 3
  • Android OS v4.3 Jelly Bean with Android 4.4 update reportedly coming as soon as January 2014
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset with quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 CPU; Adreno 305 GPU
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash
  • 720p video recording @ 30fps with HDR, continuous autofocus and stereo sound
  • 1.3 MP front-facing camera
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n; Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • GPS with A-GPS; GLONASS
  • 8/16GB of built-in storage; 1GB of RAM
  • microUSB port with USB host
  • Bluetooth v4.0 LE
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Ambient light; accelerometer; proximity sensors
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • 50GB of free Google Drive storage
  • 2,070 mAh battery.

So, reading the specs you think this device will cost you a lot of money…Surprise! The phone can be yours for £130 contract free or £109 if upgrading your PAYGO (and live in the UK). And it comes SIM free so can be used with any SIM card (micro version).

Now its time to cool down and get the disadvantages.

Personally I find only 2 :

  • Limited non-expandable storage (either 8GB or 16 GB)
  • Non user-removable battery

Latest Qualcomm chipset, Snapdragon 400 MSM8226 (although base-level) works perfect with a 720p screen (4.5″ having pixel density of 326ppi). Viewing angles are very wide with everything remaining perfectly visible.

As the phone comes with vanilla Android (no customisation or branding) you’ll have to some features  using third party apps.

The box is the modest package I ever encountered. It contains the phone and microUSB cable! No headphones, wall charger!

This is the result of Motorola’s effort to save on production and shipping costs and keep the price as low as possible (well done Moto).

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However, Moto still managed a little extra – it comes with (free) white colored back panel.

Moto  G comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 over the screen for scratch resistance, so no need to spend money for screen protector.

Sizewise ( 129.9 x 65.9 x 11.6 mm and 143 g) nothing special. There’s front-facing camera, ambient light and proximity sensors on the front. On the back you’ll find 5MP camera, loudspeaker on left side and the LED flash below it along with Motorola logo.

Battery has 2,070 mAh capacity,which isn’t too big, but given the efficient chipset used it will serve you well.

(can confirm , that my Moto G runs 3 days, being switched Off btwn 23:00 – 7:00).

The Moto G sporting Android 4.3 out of the box, but getting the Android 4.4 KitKat sometimes in January 2014.

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Lockscreen widgets are present as full-screen, re-sizable tiles. Google Now can be accessed straight from the lockscreen as well. The camera is now a stand-alone widget, and is accessible by left swipe from the lockscreen.

The quick settings menu can be accessed by a two-finger swipe down from the top of the screen, once you’ve unlocked your phone. It has several options, such as slide, pattern, pin or password, and face unlock.

The homescreen consists of five panes, no more, no less.

The app drawer of the Moto G consists of four rows of icons and has two tabs – Apps and Widgets, which are ordered alphabetically without other sorting option.

Motorola added own version of a Do Not Disturb feature (Samsung smartphones) called Assist app.

Google Now is Google’s version of a personal assistant. Its purpose is to give users same functionality as Apple’s Siri on iPhones.

In my opinion, Now is more advanced, as it learns constantly from your daily routines using information from the Google searches you do on your PC and smartphone. You can also use it to voice command your phone.

However, Moto G can only access it by swiping up from the virtual Home key or through the dedicated Google Search app, as it has older A7 chipset, compared to A8 chipset used in Moto X, where it is  always listening for the OK Google keyword to start Google Now, which can handle stuff like sending messages (SMS or email), voice call, asking for directions or opening a site, also launch apps, check and manage your calendar. Big advantage of Google Now is that the voice typing functionality doesn’t require an internet connection to work, as long as you have downloaded the needed language pack.

Now some detailed spec infos :

  • Snapdragon 400 chipset  (four Krait 200, Cortex-A7) clocked at 1.2 GHz, delivers performance close to the Cortex-A9 chips, having lower power consumption.
  • Adreno 305 GPU
  • 1 GB of RAM coupled either with 8GB or 16GB ROM.
  • Some markets (Brazilia) has the dual-SIM version of device as well.

As for connectivity, Moto G comes with quad-band (GSM/GPRS/EDGE/3G) international, or  CDMA  for the North American model. On board is Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi (b/g/n) accompanied with FM radio and GPS.

Unfortunatelly there’s no support for NFC, and IR-port and LTE.

I’m enjoying my Moto G and my recommendation is : go get one and you won’t regret it.

Motorola G (XT1032) User Guide.

For those who are not yet decided to get this fantastic device, here’s a user manual, where you can read through what the phone can do and then make up your mind ( and run to your nearest store) to get one…

MotoG_UG_EN-GB_Tech Data_68017585029A

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When lockscreen active press the power button and either very left or right side of the screen press and slide and it show new “tab” with + and there you can add widget.

However, it shows actual data (SMS, Email) so any one can check it ( so much about privacy!!!).
Why the hell Moto couldn’t add simply notification???
The camera shortcut (far right) can not be changed/deleted. You can ad up to 7 widgets ONLY (no apps!).
To delete/change shortcut, briefly press Power button slide to desired tab and press and hold until you see X Remove on the top. Just pull up the page toward it and it will be removed and you can add another widget.

Nexus 5 vs Samsung S4

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OK, so here are my favorite devices, face 2 face.

I won’t go into deep details, just simple spec comparment, which might be helpful for those thinking about buying a new device from Android “heaven”…

So… Let’s get started.

The Google Nexus 5 has 138x69x8.6mm and Samsung  S4  137x70x7.9mm. It’s a matter of mm’s, so I think it won’t be the most important point. Both phones will put 130g of weight in your pocket.

Screen

Google Nexus 5 has  4.95″ screen with full HD 1920×1080 IPS 445ppi display, on contrary to Samsung S4 with its 5″ full HD 1920×1080 Super AMOLED 441ppi display.

CPU
Google Nexus 5 comes with the latest Quad-core 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, while
Samsung  S4 comes with “older” Quad-core 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor. (there’s also 8core version for some markets).

So, on paper the Google Nexus 5 beats the Samsung Galaxy S4 in processing power, and probably will offer an even smoother experience.

Battery
A bit of disappointment here, as the Google Nexus 5 comes with 2,300mAh battery, while the Samsung S4 is fitted with 2,600mAh unit, which is swapable, unlike built-in on Nexus 5.

As for claims (on paper for now), even with smaller battery, the Google Nexus 5 matches the Samsung Galaxy S4 in battery life. For real results we will have to wait for some tests to be done…

Software
As typival with all new Nexus devices, the Google Nexus 5 comes with the freshly released Android 4.4 Kitkat operating system, while Samsung S4 is “on the road” with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system, with 4.3 rolling out now for most markets and versions (GT-I9500 &GT-I-9505).

Google Nexus 5 comes with completely vanilla user interface, in contrary to Samsung’s own Touchwiz user interface.

Cameras
For the photo “maniacs” it might be a bit of disappointment, that Google Nexus 5 has “only” 8MP rear camera, mated with 1.3MP front camera, while Samsung S4 comes with 13MP rear camera, 2MP front camera, however, the Nexus 5 has optical image stabilisation, which might help make sharper images.

Storage
The latest Google Nexus 5 comes in two versions, 16GB or 32GB of ROM coupled with 2GB of RAM. On the other side, the S4 comes wit three versions; 16GB, 32GB or 64GB of ROM,but has microSD card slot, which can cooperate with microSD cards up to 64GB. It has 2GB of RAM as well.

So, it looks like tough quest (at least for me), as both devices have their own advantages…

 

UPDATE : Samsung has released Galaxy S4 GT-I9506 with the new Quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with LTE-A support.

Google’s flagship, the  Nexus 5 became available on Thursday. Its high-end specifications and mid-range price will make a run for money for the current topdogs, especially  the Samsung Galaxy S4. Google Nexus 5 will be the first device to run its Android 4.4 Kitkat (vanilla Android) out of the box.

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Now some tech specs. So the newcomers size is 138x69x8.6mm, 130g and that makes it almost identical with Samsung S4. Google Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 Kitkat press shot

LG equipped the  Nexus 5 with 4.95″ full HD 1920×1080 IPS 445ppi  screen rather than Super AMOLED screen technology used on the S4.

Another strong point, or advantage of the Google Nexus 5 is its processor. Meet the latest Quad-core 2.26GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800.

Its powered with 2,300mAh battery, which doesn’t sound good, but we will see how it performs.

On the software side, as mentioned earlier, Google Nexus 5 runs Android 4.4 Kitkat OS, features a completely vanilla user interface.

Camera on Nexus 5 is quite standard, with 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, however, the Nexus 5 camera comes with optical image stabilisation.

Google Nexus 5 with Android 4.4

As for storage, the Google Nexus 5 comes in two sizes : 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, coupled with 2GB of RAM. There’s no microSD card slot for expansion.

The best of it is , that Google Nexus 5 is about  £200 less expensive than the Galaxy S4,with almost identical specification…

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

Well… Had enough of “big boys” like S4, Sony Xperia Z and was looking for smaller device without loosing the high end experience.

After long “hunting” a narrowed my options to two devices : HTC One mini and Samsung Galaxy S4 mini. The winner is the latter, as it has more advantages. Both are trimmed down version of their bigger brothers, but in different ways.

Enough words, let’s get some facts about my favorite.

Dimensions124.6 x 61.3 x 8.94mm (4.91 x 2.41 x 0.35 inches)

Weight3.77 oz. (107g)

Screen size4.3 inches Screen resolution960 x 540 (256 ppi) Screen typeSuper AMOLED

Battery1,900mAh Li-Polymer (removable)

Internal storage 8GB  External storage MicroSD / MicroSDXC

Rear camera 8MP Front-facing cam 1.9MP Video capture1080p, 30 fps (back) 720p (front)

NFC Yes Radios Depends on market Bluetooth v4.0

SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8930AB) CPU 1.7GHz dual-core GPU Adreno 305

RAM 1.5GB EntertainmentMHL, DLNA, IR sensor WiFi Dual-band, 802.11a/b/g/n, WiFi Direct

Wireless Charging No Operating system Android 4.2.2, TouchWiz UI

There are 3 version of this phone, all destined for different markets. The GT- I9195, which is the LTE version, followed with  dual-SIM GT-I9192 and 3G-only variant GT-I9190.

LTE version sports bands 3, 7 and 20 (800 / 1800 / 2600), which are primarily used in Europe and other countries around the world. It’s also the only version to get quad-band HSPA+ (850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100) with speeds up to 42 Mbps. GSM / EDGE (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900).

The two remaining versions get HSDPA with speeds up to 21 Mbps.

The screen comes with S-AMOLED version, but with qHD (960 x 540) resolution, meaning pixel density of 256 pixels per inch.

This is a bit of disappointment as the HTC One mini managed to get S-LCD3 display with HD (720p) resolution, with same screen size – 4.3″.

Now, what’s missing compare to S4?

well, quite a lot – Air View, Air Gestures, most Smart features (such as Smart Scroll, Smart Pause and Smart Rotation) and several camera modes.

S4 Mini comes packed with an 8MP rear camera as well as a 1.9MP front-facing unit. You can manage white balance, ISO, exposure, HDR . Camera is set for highest resolution at 4:3, however a 16:9 option is available using 6MP option.

The UI will be familiar to anyone who’s played with a GS4 or other recent Samsung devices.

On the bright side, Group Play, S Translator, S Health, S Travel, S Voice, Smart Stay, S Memo, WatchOn, Samsung Link and the Samsung Hub are all there, so after all is not that bad…

The Galaxy S4 Mini uses 28nm Krait 300 chipset used in the biggest Galaxy called MEGA and comes with Adreno 305 GPU and 1.5GB RAM.

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Samsung S4 – yes or no to upgrade?

Well, the new flagship is out. Most of S3 (and other) users have a dilema : should I upgrade or keep my old gadget (S3) ?

Some basics about S4 (main novelties are bold) :

The “goodies”

  • Quad-band 3G with HSPA; LTE – on both versions
  • 5″ 16M-color 1080p Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 3
  • Android OS v4.2.2 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz UI
  1. Quad-core 1.9 GHz Krait 300 CPU, Adreno 320 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 600
  2. Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 & quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7, PowerVR SGX 544MP3 GPU; Exynos 5410
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 13 MP autofocus camera with LED flash,1080p video recording @ 30fps, continuous autofocus and stereo sound
  • 2 MP front-facing camera, 1080p video recording
  • Dual shot and dual video recording, Drama shot, Shot and sound
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 16GB/32/64GB of built-in storage *( see bellow for more info)
  • microSD card slot
  • microUSB port with USB host and MHL 2.0
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • NFC
  • IR port for remote control functionality
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Barometer, thermometer, hygroscope
  • IR gesture sensor for Air gestures
  • Smart gestures: Smart stay, Smart pause, Smart scroll
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • 2600 mAh battery with great endurance
  • 7.9mm thickness
  • Smart volume and Adapt Sound features for the music player

And some “negatives”

  • Design is nowhere near to innovation
  • Hyperglaze finish again nowhere near to competitors (HTC One or Xperia Z)
  • No FM radio
  • After 1st boot all the Samsungs “extras” (Air View, Air Gestures, Smart Stay, Smart Rotate, Smart Scroll, Smart Pause, S Voice) will eat up almost half of promised storage (ex. 16GB version will have around 8.5GB available space)

Now some more detailed data. The S4 came in two main versions; GT-I9500 (Exynos 5 Octa) and GT-I9505 (Snapdragon 600) and also 3rd version GT-I9502, which has dual SIM support.

Samsung claims that both main version are LTE-enabled.

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