Phandroid » Events Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:28:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Google making design a big focus at IO 2014 with latest series of videos Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:29:22 +0000 Project Hera, the unofficial name for Google’s vast design revamping of Android apps we’ve been hearing about lately, is in the works, but without official word it’s hard to be sure Google’s working on anything. Perhaps their latest blog post is enough to instill even more confidence in upcoming plans, as Google is now touting design as one of the biggest focuses at this year’s Google I/O developers’ conference.

Google says they’ll have many sessions and workshops where developers can discuss design, exchange ideas, and learn how good design — whether that be the user-facing interface or the design of the back-end components — can lead to satisfied users.

With that, Google is kicking off a new series of videos called Google Design Minutes, where their engineers talk about how they approached design to make sure they were making an experience that any user would find enjoyable. From Google Search and Maps to the Google Glass units we’re hoping to see launched sometime in the near future, these engineers take us on a brief tour of how Google thinks about design in everything they do.

The videos are all on YouTube, and it sounds like there’ll be more to come in the weeks leading up to the big day in San Francisco. Be sure to give them a quick gander above and below.

[via Google]

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Google I/O registration opens at 4PM Pacific today — here’s everything you need to know Tue, 15 Apr 2014 18:30:36 +0000 Google_IO_Registration_2014

In case you haven’t already circled your calendar three times over, here’s a reminder: Google I/O registration begins today. It starts at 4PM Pacific, to be exact, so you have a bit of time to get your ducks in a row. Here’s everything you’ll need to know before the floodgates open:

  • It’s not a rat race. Registration is open for four days, after which Google will randomly select attendees until they run out of tickets. Register, cross your fingers and wish for luck, because that’s the only thing you can do for a chance at a spot.
  • Tickets will be $900 for general admittance, but students get in for a mere $300.
  • You will need to sign in and register using your Google+ account, so be sure to make one if you haven’t already (and make sure your profile information is accurate).
  • Also be sure to get your Google Wallet account hooked up with accurate payment information, because that’s what you’ll be using to pay for your ticket if you’re lucky enough to be chosen. Google will be doing a pre-authorization now to confirm your account, but won’t be charging you the full cost of the ticket until after the registration window closes (and only if you are eventually selected to attend).
  • Your ticket can’t be transferred to anyone else once you get it, so don’t use extra accounts with fake names, and don’t expect a buddy to be able to get you a ticket if you’re unlucky.
  • Tickets can be refunded in full until June 1st.
  • Don’t forget your photo ID at the venue — you’ll need it for your event badge.

And that’s that. These rules are in place to make sure everyone gets a fair shot to go, and to make sure people are only signing up if they are prepared to actually go. If you have the money, the time, and the will then you’ll want to be sure to check the I/O site starting at 4PM Pacific. Registration goes on until this Friday, April 18th, so you’ll have a few days to decide if you can make the trip or not.

[via Google]

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Samsung wants to “Kapture the Moment” with event on April 29th; Galaxy S5 Zoom? Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:39:52 +0000 We might be right into the thick of the Samsung Galaxy S5 launch, but that doesn’t mean the South Korean company doesn’t have other goodies in the pipeline. It looks like Samsung might be looking to formally introduce the Samsung Galaxy S5 Zoom by the end of this month, with invitations for an April 29th press invites for a Singapore event going out.

kapture the moment samsung galaxy k invite

The event asks folks to “Kapture the Moment,” which is almost a dead giveaway as to what they’ll be wanting to discuss. Unfortunately for Samsung we already have a pretty decent idea about the makeup of their second camera phone. Here are some of the early specs that were outed in a benchmark listing early on:

  • 4.8-inch 720p SAMOLED display
  • Exynos “hexa-core” SoC
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 20 megapixel camera with 10x zoom and Xenon flash
  • 16GB internal storage
  • NFC
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

Not too shabby. Oh, and as for that whole “K” thing in the invitation? Rumors are suggesting this will be known as the Samsung Galaxy K once it’s revealed (because “Zoom” just isn’t doing it for them, for whatever reason).


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Coachella is being live streamed on YouTube, watch Weekend 1 on your Chromecast [VIDEO] Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:11:54 +0000 Coachella-2013-Live-Stream-Channel-1

Upset you couldn’t (or didn’t want to) make the trek out to Indio, CA for this year’s Coachella music festival? YouTube has a little surprise for you. As goes the tradition, the entire event will be live streamed on the Coachella YouTube channel — no sunblock required. Weekend — which features live performances from artists like Group Love, AFI, Chromeo, Zedd, and more — officially kicks off in t-minus 1 hour and 20 minutes.

The best part is if you start a Hangout with your friends, you’ll have the opportunity to chat it up with your favorite bands, who will be dropping from time to time. You can learn more about show times, as well as the artist meet-and-greets by visiting the Coachella YouTube channel linked just after the video below. Cheers!

[Coachella YouTube channel and live stream]

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Google I/O 2014 registration window pushed to April 15th-18th Tue, 08 Apr 2014 12:05:05 +0000 Google-IO-featured-LARGE

Were you thinking of waking up early this morning to get your registration in for Google I/O? Well, you can hit that snooze button and get yourself a few more Zs, as that wont be happening for another week or so. Google has announced that Google I/O registration has been pushed back a week — it’s now April 15th through the 18th.

The reasoning was that they simply wanted to take more time to make sure the registration process is easier for you. Hopefully some of that time is dedicated to making sure the servers stand up to the test of tons of eager developers wanting to get their names into the hat.

Selection for attendance will still be completely random, so there will be no rush to the finish line. Simply get your registration in during the stated window, and wait to see if you’re eventually selected.

If you are, you’ll receive an email with further ticket purchase instructions. If you aren’t, well, better luck next year (because if the past couple of years tell us anything, it’s that you won’t be able to find someone offloading their ticket for outrageous amounts on eBay). Set your calendars and go back to sleep, folks.

[via Google+]

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Reminder: Google I/O registration opens tomorrow Tue, 08 Apr 2014 01:11:58 +0000 Google IO 2014 registration

Aye-o, Phandroids. This is just your friendly reminder that Google I/O 2014 opens bright and early tomorrow at 5AM PST. Set your alarm clock (or don’t), just know that you have all the way up until 5PM on April 10th to register.

Traditionally, Google has gone with a first-come-first-serve policy when it comes to registration, sending prospective applicants into a F5 frenzy at the chance to visit the Chocolate Factory Moscone Center. This year’s a bit different, with Google choosing registrants at random, creating an even more exciting lottery for those looking to attend.

There’s free catering, vending and ice cream machines, and sessions to make sure you’re head is overflowing with ample Android knowledge (and sugar). Sure, Google gives out free gadgets to develop with, but you’re essentially paying for those with the cost of admission. Full price tickets are $900, with academia getting in for as little as $300.

What you can’t place a value on is the Google I/O experience which allows you to try out the latest tech, schmooze with fellow Android devs and enthusiasts, even rub elbows with Google’s elite.

This year’s Google I/O a bit shorter than previous years, spanning across only 2 days: June 25th and 26th. Should you find yourself one of the randomly selected registrations, you’ll have until June 1st to get a refund, (in case something comes up, and you can’t attend). Hit up the source link for more info.

For a quick recap of everything that was announced/went down during last year’s Google I/O, check out our wrap up here.

[Google I/O 2014]


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Sprint hosting April 29th event, possibly to talk about HD Voice Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:34:57 +0000 sprint-april29-event

Looks like Sprint’s putting on a little shindig April 29th, and they’ve dropped an obvious clue as to what the event may entail. The invitation invites attendees to “hear it for yourself,” suggesting this has something to do with audio.

This likely drills down to announcements about HD Voice, which — while already available in select markets — has yet to make as strong of a push as 4G LTE’s footprint. We’re not sure how much of a fuss Sprint would have to put up about HD Voice to put on an entire event about it, but it has to be something pretty significant for Dan Hesse to want to come out and talk about it.

We’ll be circling back around the end of this month to see what all of this is about, so be sure to stay tuned to Phandroid if you want to make sure you’re in-the-know about whatever Sprint is cooking up for the future.

[via Engadget]

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Amazon schedules press event for April 2nd; could introduce Chromecast-like video dongle Thu, 27 Mar 2014 20:02:29 +0000 Heads up, folks — Amazon has an interest press event set for April 2nd. The company sent invites to members of the press, and the nature of the announcement was teased in a rather obvious way. It consisted of a photo of a couch that had some dropped popcorn littered about, which immediately has us thinking about Amazon Instant Video.

amazon event

So what could be so big that they’re planning a whole media event for? Recent rumors suggest the company is looking to introduce their own media streaming dongle, one that could resemble Chromecast. It could also be some sort of set-top box. Either way, it’s no doubt something you’ll be hooking up to your TV to watch all your favorite movies and TV shows on.

Some are suggesting Amazon will invite other partners in to play, providing a one-stop shop for video apps of all sorts. At the same time, Amazon will likely look to highlight their own growing library of original content above all else.

We could also see some gaming goodness if this turns out to be a set-top box. Amazon has been rumored to be bringing a gaming unit of some sort, and their purchase of Killer Instinct developer Double Helix certainly doesn’t help them crush those rumors. That said, the fact that the invite specifically mentions “video business” has us cautious to think this announcement will include information about anything other than video streaming.

Peter Larsen, the company’s vice president of Kindle business, will probably be playing some April Fools’ jokes on the day before the event, but they certainly won’t be joking around about their bid to take video to the next level. You can bet we’ll be all ears and eyes next week Tuesday. Now, excuse me while I run to avoid the barrage of comments wondering where the freaking Instant Video for Android app is.

[via TechCrunch]

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HTC officially unveils the all new HTC One M8 Tue, 25 Mar 2014 15:16:21 +0000 Talk about the all new HTC One M8 at!

htc one m8 press pic

It’s finally official, folks. The all new HTC One M8 — also known as the HTC M8 and HTC One 2014 — has been officially announced by the Taiwanese manufacturer. The surprise factor has been crushed by tons of leaks leading up to today’s happenings, but the details are finally official and this is the phone you can look forward to as early as today.

It’s an all-metal, zero-gap unibody chassis with a whole lot of goodness packed inside. HTC took special care to mention that their antenna is built into the rear of the device’s body, so the metal shouldn’t interfere with day-to-day usage. Let’s hop right into what makes its gears turn!

HTC One M8 Specs

htc one m8 specs (1)

Standard affair for a high-end 2014 device, here. The all new HTC One doesn’t take many chances, but it’s still sitting at the height of the mobile totem pole. Here’s what’s going to be packed inside its unibody zero-gap frame:

  • 5-inch 1080p HD display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 32GB of internal storage w/ microSD slot up to 128GB
  • HTC UltraPixel Duo Camera
  • 5.0MP front camera
  • 2,600mAh battery (21 hours talk time, 40% longer than original HTC One)
  • Stereo BoomSound speakers with 25% louder sound
  • GPS, WiFi ac, NFC, IR Blaster
  • 146.3 x 70.6 x 9.35mm, 160g
  • Android 4.4.2 with HTC Sense 6.0

About what we expected, but it’s nice to see it all confirmed anyway. We did learn a lot more about the hardware, though, including the fact that the BoomSound speakers are now 25% louder, and you’ll be able to send the music playing through those speakers to any Bluetooth speaker with the swipe of three fingers.

The battery also delivers 40% longer battery life than the original HTC One despite only being just a smidgen larger in capacity.

HTC Sense 6.0 on the HTC One M8

HTC Sense on the all new HTC One will be upgraded to version 6.0, bringing some cool upgrades that should make for a thrilling experience. HTC hasn’t reinvented the wheel here, but the additions add to an already robust suite of features and services that we’ve come to know and love.

htc one m8 lifestyle

HTC has implemented a new “extreme battery saver” mode that will allow your phone to stay alive for up to two weeks in standby mode on a full charge. They haven’t gone into great detail about how it does this, but we imagine they tone the processor down a ton and turn off a ton of battery-draining radios. HTC says you can enter this mode manually, or have your phone do it automatically whenever battery capacity reaches 5%, 10% or 15%.

Motion Launch is another new piece of equipment baked in, giving you some easy-to-use gestures for unlocking your smartphone straight to BlinkFeed, the camera or your favorite app. For instance, to unlock to your last activity you simply hold the device in an upright portrait-oriented position and double tap the display. Do the same in landscape mode and you’ll go to the camera instead.

HTC One M8 UltraPixel Duo Camera

Of noteworthy interest are the new camera features thanks to the aforementioned Duo Camera — consisting of HTC’s 4.1 UltraPixel camera and an accompanying 2.0 megapixel sensor — bringing the ability to refocus shots after the photo has already been taken, as well as applying 3D effects to your images.

htc one m8 camera

The depth information saved in each photo (thanks to the dual camera sensors) also allows the HTC One M8 to dynamically and easily remove a photo’s background so you can put your subjects in a new setting.

Zoe also brings us a more refined set of tools to put together video and photo highlights of our lives’ most memorable moments. More specifically, Zoe now has a beat-mapping feature that can put your highlights together to the sound of whatever soundtrack you selected. HTC has also enabled automatic cloud backups for all these clips.

Other improvements to the camera include 50% faster focus speed over the original HTC One, a brand new gallery app, quick access to modes such as selfies and slow motion video, and more.

HTC One M8 Dot View Case

HTC took a quick second to show off their Dot View case that gives you an interesting “smart view” of your world’s happenings without having to fully power the display on. You’re able to check  time, weather, new texts, emails and incoming / missed calls, and using the aforementioned Motion Launch feature you’ll be able to immediately answer a phone call simply by bringing it up to your ear.

HTC One M8 Availability

HTC has announced that the M8 is headed to more than 230 carriers in more than 100 carriers, many of which will go down before the end of April.

A lot of folks won’t have to wait that long, though, with HTC announcing that you’ll be able to go to Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, Rogers, Bell and Telus websites starting at 1PM this afternoon, with phones arriving as early as tomorrow! Those on Verizon will also be able to head into their local store today and finagle one themselves starting at 1PM.

As for the rest of the pack, HTC says most launches will happen before April 10th, so it’s only a short couple of weeks before a vast majority of the mobile-loving world gets their hands on one of these.

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We’re live in New York at the all new HTC One unveiling (and how to follow along!) Tue, 25 Mar 2014 13:55:50 +0000 htc one 2014 event line (1)

Just a quick reminder that today is the day that the all new HTC One — otherwise known as the HTC M8 — will be unveiled! We’re on the ground in New York City ready to bring you all the live coverage that you can handle.

All of the leaks leading up to today’s events haven’t left much room for imagination, but there’s still a chance to be a few secrets HTC has kept tucked away so you won’t want to miss all the awesomeness to come.

Want to follow along live? Don’t forget you can head to HTC’s website to see everything go down live. The live streamer doesn’t seem to be up just yet, but we’ll update this post whenever that changes.

Once you’re finished with that you’ll want to circle back to for live hands-on coverage from the event. It all begins at 11AM eastern (that’s 3PM over in the UK) so buckle up and get ready!

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Watch the Moto 360 Hangout with Jim Wicks! Wed, 19 Mar 2014 17:54:33 +0000 The buzz is already starting to pick up on Android Forums where we’ve created a section for Android Wearables and opened up the Moto 360 Forums and LG G Watch Forums. Prepare for an avalanche as you watch the LIVE Hangout below:

You can watch the Hangout here.

Then circle back to the Moto 360 Forums to continue the conversation!

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Ellen live tweeting Oscars with Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Mon, 03 Mar 2014 02:00:45 +0000 Right now most of America is watching The Oscars, AKA the 86th Academy Awards, hosted this year by Ellen Degeneres. She took a moment to acknowledge she would be live tweeting while hosting and she wasn’t kidding, uploading her selfie almost instantly using nothing other than the fabled Samsung Galaxy Note 3:


It was a clear product placement sponsorship with Samsung bringing us into the commercial break with Samsung Galaxy commercial featuring the Galaxy S4, Galaxy Gear, and Tab/Note Pro among other devices.


Now until further notice… Oscars discussion below!

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Hands-on: Huawei MediaPad X1 [VIDEO] Sun, 02 Mar 2014 23:30:27 +0000 huawei-mediapad-x1-2

If you were not convinced by the MediaPad M1, you might want to check out the Huawei MediaPad X1. This is the manufacturer’s new higher-end tablet. It is still not a beast, but we were actually quite impressed by it when we checked it out at Mobile World Congress!

Huawei MediaPad X1 specs

  • Android 4.2.2
  • 7-inch 1920x1200p IPS display
  • 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of internal storage
  • 13 MP / 5 MP cameras
  • 5000 mAh battery

The tablet is pretty well-built, made mostly of aluminum. It feels much more solid than any other Huawei device I have ever felt. It also performs better than the MediaPad M1 for some reason, even though it seems to have the same processor.

huawei-mediapad-x1-4 huawei-mediapad-x1-3 huawei-mediapad-x1-2 huawei-mediapad-x1-1

What’s interesting is that this is not just a tablet. It actually doubles as a smartphone… one big smartphone! This is why it’s the first device to be compatible with the Huawei TalkBand B1. The fitness watch doubles as a bluetooth headset, allowing users to leave the tablet in the pocket or bag. No need to put that big tablet up to your face!

Check out our hands on video and let us know what you think of this tablet! I actually kinda like it!

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Hands-on: Huawei MediaPad M1 [VIDEO] Sun, 02 Mar 2014 22:58:10 +0000 huawei-mediapad-m1-1

MWC was full of unique smartphones and tablets, but the Huawei MediaPad M1 looked very familiar to us. This tablet impressed us, and we are not sure if it’s for good reasons. It looks just like a bigger HTC One!

This makes it a good-looking tablet from the get-go, but the specs and quality still don’t match HTC’s. After all, this does happen to be a mid range tablet that will come with a good price.

Huawei MediaPad M1 specs

  • Android 4.2.2
  • 8-inch 1280x800p IPS display
  • 1.6 GHz quad-core processor
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 8 GB of internal storage
  • 5 MP / 1 MP cameras
  • 4800 mAh battery

The device does feel good. The back seems like aluminum and there are no loose or jiggly parts. The device is not too fast, though. Animations and performance were a bit sluggish. The screen does look good in terms of colors and brightness, but the 1280×800 resolution makes things a bit fuzzy.

huawei-mediapad-m1-4 huawei-mediapad-m1-3 huawei-mediapad-m1-2 huawei-mediapad-m1-1

Huawei MediaPad M1 price and availability

Given its specs and performance, you probably know the Huawei MediaPad M1 will not be an expensive tablet. It is set to be released at 299 Euros when it’s released before the Spring.

That’s not expensive at all, but there happen to be great options for tablets at that price range. The Nexus 7 is the obvious example of a tablet that would cost less and give you more bang for your buck.

Those who like the look of it might enjoy it, though.

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8 biggest announcements of Mobile World Congress 2014 Fri, 28 Feb 2014 19:55:58 +0000 229829-mobile-world-congress-2012

#MWC2014 has come and gone, leaving behind it a trail of highly anticipated mobile releases. With big announcements from Samsung, LG, Sony, and more, we’re running down our favorites. If you missed any of our coverage throughout the week, these are the smartphones (and smartwatches) you need to know about.

1. Samsung Gear Fit


Samsung’s smallest new offering perhaps made the biggest splash. Winning “Best Mobile Device” honors at the show’s close, the Gear Fit takes Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatch platform and couples it with fitness tracking sensors to measure heart rate, add up daily activity, and track sleeping habits. Particularly impressive is the Fit’s build, which features a curved Super AMOLED display as part of a compact watch design. [HANDS ON]

2. Nokia X


The Android phone that everyone wished Nokia would make turned out to be anything but. Still, despite the device’s mediocre spec sheet, the Nokia X should not be dismissed entirely. The announcement of the phone, along with the concurrently announced X+ and XL, is a bold move by the company. Their primary focus, however, remains Windows Phone with Android relegated to budget models. [HANDS ON]

3. New YotaPhone


Our surprise favorite of Mobile World Congress 2013 got a sequel this year, and the result was no less impressive. The second-generation YotaPhone takes the dual-screen concept introduced by the original and ratchets it up a notch. While its specs won’t blow anybody away, an improved design supporting the YotaPhones signature eInk secondary display make the device another strong contender for best of MWC 2014. [HANDS ON]

4. Samsung Galaxy S5


The Samsung Galaxy S5 might not have been the phone many wanted and expected, but it was one of Mobile World Congress’ most major announcements. A little under a year since Samsung unveiled the successful Galaxy S4, an upgraded model debuted in Barcelona with a bigger display, faster processor, and “glam” design. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Samsung even included a fingerprint sensor in the new device. Actually unexpected: a heart rate sensor with readings only a fingertip away. [HANDS ON]

5. LG G Pro 2


While we await LG’s followup to their G2 announced last year, a device introduced at last year’s Mobile World Congress saw a refresh. The LG G Pr0 2 enters as the company’s primary contender in the phablet category. A massive 6-inch display is paired with some of the most powerful hardware you will find in a smartphone. While the sheer size might be a turnoff for some, the device lays the groundwork for a truly impressive LG G3 unveiling later this year. [HANDS ON]

6. Samsung Gear 2 & Gear 2 Neo


Samsung manages to get a third spot on our list with the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. These updates to the company’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch seek to improve upon Samsung’s first attempt at wearable tech while further refining the experience. This includes a switch to Tizen, an operating system developed in part by Samsung, dropping the Galaxy brand in the process. The original Galaxy Gear wasn’t a great performer for Samsung but the company would appear dedicated to turning those fortunes around. [HANDS ON]

7. Sony Xperia Z2 & Xperia Z2 Tablet


Sony had some updates to their Xperia Z line of flagship devices on hand, including the Xperia Z2 and Xperia Z2 Tablet. The Xperia Z2 smartphone is particularly impressive with a list of specs that would please any power user and a sleek design featuring waterproof construction. Sony wasn’t shy about showing the handset’s ability to take a swim and suffer no major damage, as has been a running theme for the company’s smartphone lineup. Sony has yet to make a real splash with consumers (pun intended). Perhaps the Z2 could change this. [HANDS ON (Xperia Z2), HANDS ON (Xperia Z2 Tablet)]

8. HTC Desire 816


HTC makes our list more as an honorable mention. The Desire 816 isn’t the followup to the HTC One that fans have been craving, but it’s yet another example of HTC’s commitment to quality design. The new Desire 816 (as well as 610) won’t do much to challenge devices like the Samsung Galaxy S5 and LG G Pro 2, but the announcement should tide us over until HTC is ready to roll out the big guns. [HANDS ON]

Disagree with our list? Think we left something off? Let us know your favorite finds of Mobile World Congress 2014 and sound off in the poll below.

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