Phandroid » Featured http://phandroid.com Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Thu, 28 Aug 2014 03:49:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Official LG G Watch R pictures emerge http://phandroid.com/2014/08/27/lg-g-watch-r-pictures/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/27/lg-g-watch-r-pictures/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 02:33:52 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147761 LG G Watch R Specs officially announced!

We’ve just learned what’s inside LG’s latest smartwatch as the LG G Watch R Specs have been officially announced. Now we learn about the outside as LG has just issued a number of stunning pictures of the LG G Watch R:

lg-g-watch-r-7 lg-g-watch-r-1 lg-g-watch-r-6 lg-g-watch-r-4 lg-g-watch-r-2

There’s a whole lot we could say… but we’ll let you be the judge in the comments!

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HTC One Remix Review: when “mini” is a good thing http://phandroid.com/2014/08/27/htc-one-remix-review/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/27/htc-one-remix-review/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:58:24 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147476 one remix

The size of phones is getting a little out of control. Every new flagship Android phone these days has a screen around the 5-inch mark. It wasn’t long ago that we were freaking out about the “giant” 4.3-inch display on the original HTC EVO. This recent trend of extra-large Android phones has created opportunities in the “mini” phone category. HTC is one of several manufacturers to try to cash in on consumers who prefer a more pocketable device.

The HTC One Remix is Verizon’s version of the HTC One Mini 2. The funny thing about the Remix is it’s not actually all that “mini.” In fact, while it is significantly smaller than the HTC One M8, it’s almost the same exact size as the original HTC One. Do you have to sacrifice great features in order to get a device that’s slightly easier to put in your pocket? Let’s find out!

For an in-depth review of HTC software and build-quality, which the Remix shares, check out our in-depth HTC One M8 review.

Hardware

HTC One Remix 2

HTC’s build quality has been traditionally exceptional, and the Remix does not disappoint in that regard. If you’ve ever held the HTC One M8 you know exactly how the Remix feels. Everything about this device screams “premium.” The aluminum casing has a far superior feel to any other mid-range device we’ve held. It’s heavy enough to feel solid without weighing down your pocket. The only gripe we have with the overall design and build quality is how slippery it is. You will drop this device a few times. Luckily it’s also very durable.

Size

HTC One sizes

Since this is a “mini” device we obviously have to talk about the size. As we mentioned above, the Remix isn’t exactly what most people would consider “mini.” That can be blamed on the excessive bezel that HTC seems to love. The dimension that makes the Remix feel like a mini device is its width. At nearly a quarter of an inch narrower than the One M8 it’s so much easier to hold and operate with one hand.

Speakers

HTC One Remix 4

Not all of the extra bezel around the display is pointless. Most of it is for the dual front-facing BOOMSOUND speakers. As someone who hasn’t used a device with these speakers I was skeptical about the praise they have received. But let me tell you, once you have a device with BOOMSOUND speakers you will never want to go back. It’s like being able to really hear for the first time. YouTube videos, music, podcasts, and everything just sound amazing. The speakers are easily one of the best features on the HTC One Remix.

Display

HTC One Remix 3

The Remix is a scaled down version of the One M8 in more ways than just size. The display has of course been slimmed down from 5-inches to 4.5-inches, but also the resolution from 1080p to 720p. The good news is HTC still put the same great display tech in the Remix. After looking at the display on the Remix for several days other devices seem to have a yellow tint. That’s because the LCD display on the Remix is much better at color reproduction.

Camera

HTC One Remix 6

HTC put a standard 13MP camera in the Remix as opposed to the 4 “ultrapixel” camera on the M8. My experience with the camera was a mixed bag. On the plus side it takes photos very quickly, but that made it hard for me to get clear focus in photos. When I did get it to focus correctly the photos looked very nice. I’m sure it’s one of those things that takes some time to get used to.

As with most smartphone cameras, the HTC One Remix works best outdoors in sunlight. Under those perfect conditions you can get clear detailed photos, especially if you utilize the “daylight” option in the white balance settings. Speaking of settings, the camera software is easy to use and has easy settings for even the photogenically impaired.

Screenshot_2014-08-27-11-24-41

One camera feature that stood out was the “Selfie” mode. This mode utilizes the 5MP front-facing camera (same one that comes with the One M8). Photos taken with the front-facing camera on the Remix look awesome. You can get more people in a shot than you can with other devices because of the wider angle lens. For Selife aficionados this is a must-have feature.

All in all the experience and photo quality is good for something considered mid-range. Compared to other smartphone cameras in the same price range there is no contest. Take a look at some photo samples below. Note the slightly out of focus shots.

20140825_115514_Android 20140825_115132_Android 20140825_100223_Android 20140824_143020_Android 20140824_133542_Android 20140823_203548_Android

Software

HTC One Remix 8

I won’t go too deep into the software on the HTC One Remix. It’s running the same version of Sense that we tested on the One M8. As far as Android skins go it’s easily one of the best. HTC doesn’t only use their great design sense for hardware. Sense is a very polished and refined Android skin. Small details and added functionality can be found throughout the OS. Even something as simple as a widget that turns from white to black at night.

Blinkfeed is one Sense feature that you might love or hate. If you use the default launcher you can access Blinkfeed by swiping to the left from the main screen. You can add social networks and websites to see a single stream of content. It’s a handy feature, but I found myself forgetting it was even there. To remove Blinkfeed just use your fingers to zoom out on the homescreen. Drag the Blinkfeed screen to the trash icon.

Most of the time I try to erase all evidence of an Android skin, but with HTC Sense I don’t feel the need. That says a lot.

Performance & Battery

remix battery chart

The Remix is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. It has nearly half the horsepower of the One M8, but yet it feels just as smooth and fast. HTC does a great job of optimizing their software for the hardware. We had no trouble downloading apps quickly, playing games, multitasking, and doing all the things you demand from a phone. As a mid-range device the Remix easily has enough power.

The one area that really impressed us about the Remix was battery life. As I’m writing this review the phone has been on battery power for nearly 24 hours. This is compared to my Nexus 5 that needs to be charged every day before I go to bed. In fact, while testing the Remix and using it as my main device it was still lasting longer than my idle Nexus 5. Verizon has inexplicably disabled the Power Saver modes on the HTC One Remix. Battery life is already great, but with those battery saving modes it could be even better. Shame on you, Big Red.

The Bottom Line

HTC One Remix 5

“Remixing” usually means to create something completely different from an original source. Most “mini” phones on the market have been “remixed.” They may share a name with the original flagship, but so many features have been scarified it’s hardly the same device. The HTC One Remix is a “mini” phone that doesn’t require the user to give up on flagship features. You get the great HTC build quality and design, amazing BOOMSOUND speakers, excellent performance and battery life, a snappy Android skin, and a capable camera. The best thing we can say about the HTC One Remix is that it’s worth of the “HTC One” name.

The Good

  • Premium build quality
  • Amazing BOOMSOUND speakers
  • Excellent battery life
  • Sense 6 is a joy to use

The Bad

  • Photos are inconsistent
  • Hard to focus with fast shutter
  • Not all that “mini”

Score: 4 out of 5

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Bog Racer disappears from Google Play after dev claims Swing Copters blatantly copied their title http://phandroid.com/2014/08/26/swing-copters-copied-bog-racer-claims-indie-dev/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/26/swing-copters-copied-bog-racer-claims-indie-dev/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 22:11:26 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147613 Bog Racer banner

It’s a story you’ve heard before. A game is published into X mobile app store, becomes popular, and without fail — dozens of copy-cat games begin flooding said market. Sometimes they’re blatant rip-offs, other times they’re a bit more subtle, copying core gameplay elements but changing up the style with different visuals and/or improved graphics.

A few days ago we saw Dong Nguyen’s latest masterpiece, Swing Copters, hit the Google Play Store and sure enough, a flood of copy-cat games followed suit. So many, in fact, it didn’t take Google long to pull out the ban hammer, removing copy-cats as quickly as they went up. But what if, in some crazy alternate reality, it was actually Swing Copters that was the copycat all along?

We know what you’re thinking: “Easy there, Keanu.” But this is exactly what landed on our desk after an email from indie game studio Open Name. The email claimed that Swing Copters stole their idea from a title, Bog Racer. The evidence? Other than launching first (back in July) — not much. And without picking sides, we will admit there are some definite similarities between the 2 titles.

bog-racer-gameplay

In Bog Racer, the player taps on the screen to change the direction of their race car as it auto advances down a track — eerily similar to Dong’s Swing Copters. But given that the gameplay is so simple to begin with, it also possible this could merely be a coincidence (and we’re sure there are other titles pre-dating Bog Racer that feature similar gameplay). Check out the Bog Racer trailer down below to for yourself what we’re talking about.

So, exactly what is Open Name looking to accomplish from all this? Well, more than just bragging rights, that’s for sure. They’re so positive that Swing Copters stole their game idea they’re looking to take Swing Copters down completely, having it removed from all app stores for infringing their original IP. Here’s the statement we received from Open Name:

“We will use all of our modest means to restore justice, and we intend to apply a request that Swing Copters be removed from the app stores. We are well aware that our chances are very slim, which is why we ask for the support of everyone who is partial to our cause.”

If that sounds harsh, we should note that in the light of Google removing Swing Copters copycats from the Play Store, Bog Racer is now nowhere to be found. While we wait for an official statement, it’s entirely possible Bog Racer was seen as just another Swing Copters copycat title and is ironically enough, what could have gotten them removed from Google Play. Ouch.

As for final judgement, we’ll leave that in your hands. What do you guys think? Given the swift removal of Swing Copters “clones” from app stores, should Swing Copters itself be removed for copying Bog Racer? You can vote in our poll down below.

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Best Android apps for writers http://phandroid.com/2014/08/26/best-android-apps-for-writers/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/26/best-android-apps-for-writers/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:44:37 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147312 Whether you’re writing your next college essay or the next Great American Novel, a work memo or a graduate thesis, you won’t have to look much farther than your Android smartphone or tablet for help. From inspiration to reference materials, apps for composing a draft and more, we’ve got you covered. You’ll never want to write again without these great Android apps at hand.

Apps to Inspire

Goodreads

goodreads

Every writer starts as a reader, and every reader needs a few good books to keep them on their toes at all times. Goodreads makes it easy to find your next read, crowdsourcing a social network of fellow book lovers to offer recommendations, reviews, and more. Rate your favorite books and share your own sources of inspiration as you discover authors and stories for the first (or second) time.

Writing Prompts

writing-prompts

Even the best writers can suffer from the occasional bout of writer’s block. Writing Prompts helps get things kickstarted by offering up a wide range of prompts providing interesting situations from which a story could be born. This straightforward application, which is geared toward fiction writers, can help get the juices flowing with fun writing exercises that could develop into much more.

Story Plot Generator

story-plot-generator

Where Writing Prompts provides a basic premise from which to start your next great work of art, Story Plot Generator takes things a step further. This app lets you choose the genre, situation, and other details pertaining to plot structure to provide a guiding hand while crafting a new story. Think of it as a writing prompt on steroids packaged in an easy-to-use application.

Apps to Capture Your Great Ideas

Evernote

evernote

Evernote is the notepad for the everyman, providing all the tools a writer might need to quickly jot down an inspired line or paragraph, plot out story structure, save research notes and more. Sync features allow your notes and thoughts to be accessed from any connected device, meaning you can take your ideas to a desktop or tablet to turn mobile musing to finished product.

JotterPad

jotterpad

If you don’t need flashy features in your text editors JotterPad is probably for you. This plain text editor allows writers to draft and revise their work on the go, saving in the portable .txt document format, which can be opened in just about any word processing software. With a clean, approachable interface, built-in dictionary, and word and character count, this app cuts back on distractions and puts the focus on the written word itself.

Draft

draft

Another plain text editor, but one that provides a slightly more robust feature set including homescreen widgets and more. You can quickly write, organize, and share all of your greatest bits of writing, but Draft is equally at home for gathering notes and research with its built-in search and folders. Dropbox integration puts your work in the cloud where it is easily accessible from anywhere or any device.

Apps to Proofread, Edit, and Revise

Hemingway

hemingway

Not an Android app per se, this web resource might just be the most useful on our list. Using HTML5 and an interface geared toward mobile devices, Hemingway, which takes its name from the author renown for his simple yet masterful deployment of the English language, helps writers revise their work for readability. The app points out when a sentence is overly complicated and helps reduce reliance on adverbs and the passive voice.

Oxford Grammar & Punctuation

oxford

When it comes time to proofread, you need a handy resource on the rules of grammar and punctuation. Why not go with one of the oldest and most trusted names in the study of the English language? Oxford’s free Grammar & Punctuation app provides a searchable reference as well as learning tool for those looking to hone a rough draft into the finished product.

Webster’s Dictionary & Thesaurus 

webster

When you can’t find the right word or if your language sounds a bit dry and repetitive, the instinct is to reach for a dictionary or thesaurus. Now you can toss out the heavy text and go straight to mobile with Webster’s Dictionary & Thesaurus. Another free reference material, it puts an essential database of words and definitions right in your pocket.

Just for Fun

7 Little Words

7-words

There’s no denying that writers love word games. When you need a break from the work, 7 Little Words provides a great escape. Use the clues to determine the seven words in this crossword/word find/anagram mashup. As a bonus, you might stumble upon a word or two that could come in handy in your writing down the road.

4 Pics 1 Word

4-pics

Can you figure out the word based on the four pictures provided? That about sums up 4 Pics 1 Word, but don’t let the simple premise fool you. This one can be quite addicting as it tests your knowledge of words and their meanings.


These apps cover the basics for writers across all genres. For those writing as part of their studies, we also suggest you check out our best apps for college students. Professional writers working on the web will also want to scope our best apps for bloggers. Have a favorite app for writing that we neglected to mentions? Share it in the comments below.

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Moto 360 to have circular competition: LG G Watch R coming next week http://phandroid.com/2014/08/24/circular-lg-g-watch-r-round/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/24/circular-lg-g-watch-r-round/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 20:28:14 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147463 It’s no secret that tech fans have been pining for the Moto 360 Android Wear Smartwatch. Despite the huge interest in Android Wear, many early adopters have been passing up the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch in anticipation of the Moto 360, and there’s one primary reason: the circular watch face.

Motorola was poised to solitarily steal the Android Wear show by launching the Moto 360 after their September 4th event in Chicago (along with some other devices), but LG has officially cramped Moto’s style by sliding in at the last second with a circular watch of their own. And this is no rumor, ladies and gentlemen, the promo video comes directly from the Official LG Mobile Global Youtube Channel.

LG is definitely playing a chess game with Motorola, allowing them to build hype and anticipation for months without saying a peep of their own competing Android Wear beauty. Product timelines for OEMs are typically 2 years, so this isn’t something LG slapped together at the last minute. It’s more likely they used the LG G Watch as their “pilot” test while preparing the circular LG G Watch R for perfection. That “R” standing for “Round” of course.

That being said, there are a fair share of folks who prefer rectangular watch faces over circular watch faces, and still others that like to mix it up with a variety of shapes and sizes in their repertoire.

So now the question begs: has your lust for the Moto 360 changed?

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Android Wallpaper: Resolutionary http://phandroid.com/2014/08/23/2k-4k-ultra-hd-wallpaper/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/23/2k-4k-ultra-hd-wallpaper/#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 16:00:05 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147419 4K walls

See past editions of Android Wallpaper

My first smartphone had a whopping 3.2-inch display with a gorgeous 320 x 480 resolution. Five years later there is a smartphone on the market with a 5.5-inch display and 1440 x 2560 resolution. For reference, these are what those two resolutions look like next to each other. So what’s the point of this trip down memory lane? BIG WALLPAPERS!

It was only a matter of time before 1080p displays on smartphones were not good enough. The LG G3 was the first device to venture into the 1080p+ territory, and you can guarantee other phone makers will quickly follow suite. To prepare for the onslaught of pixels we have compiled six ultra HD wallpapers for your devices. We’ve provided a mix of 2K and 4K sizes for your viewing pleasure.

To get one of these wallpapers on your phone, tablet, or even PC, simply tap or click the download link underneath each image. Let us know which one is your favorite, and be sure to share a screenshot if you use one of these wallpapers!

Push new Android Wallpaper to your Android device with this IFTTT recipe.

Mountain Starscape

Mountain Stars

Download (2880 x 2560)

Sparkle

Sparkle

Download (2880 x 2560)

The Grid

The Grid

Download (5000 x 3000)

Blue Green Bath

Blue Green Bubbles

Download (5120 x 2880)

Teal Texture

Teal Texture

Download (3888 x 2592)

Filtered Grass

Grass

Download (2880 x 2560)

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The Bezeled Truth: are edge-to-edge screens practical for real-world use? [POLL] http://phandroid.com/2014/08/22/bezels-edge-to-edge-display-poll/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/22/bezels-edge-to-edge-display-poll/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 18:42:49 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147345 no bezels

Earlier this week we got our hands on the Sharp Aquos Crystal and its amazing “edge-to-edge” display. The specs of the phone are no more than a simple mid-range device, but the display alone has drawn a lot of attention. The “bezel-less” phone has been a dream for tech geeks for a long time. We’ve seen these devices on Star Trek and other sci-fi media, but they have eluded the real world.

The appeal of a device with no bezels is clear. As displays get bigger and bigger so do devices. If you could eliminate all the area around the display it would be much easier to hold. The Aquos Crystal is one of the closest devices we’ve seen to the bezel-less dream, despite having a big “chin” bezel. I’m still not sold on the idea. Are phones without bezels practical to use in the real world?

sharp-aquos-crystal-10

The big problem with a device that has no bezels is where your hand goes. If there is no bezel around the display you have to hold the device awkwardly in order to not accidentally trigger a touch. Some devices have deliberately been made with larger bezels in order to accommodate the way people will hold it. Those bezels are serving an important purpose. Imagine trying to play a game in landscape mode with nowhere to put your thumbs. This is a problem that some companies are already addressing.

Some phones with minimal bezel have a display that can detect when your hand is accidentally touching the display. When this happens it will ignore those touches so you can still interact with the device normally. This is great, but it doesn’t completely solve the problem. Your hand may not be triggering incorrect touches, but it’s still blocking something from your view. What good is a big bezel-less device if your hand and fingers are constantly blocking part of the screen?

I’m not ready to jump into the world of no bezels, but I know many of you are. Right now I think bezels serve a very important purpose. Some devices do come with a ridiculous amount of bezel (ahem, HTC One M8), but most devices do a good job of trimming it down. Do you have any of the same concerns that I do? Are you dying to buy a phone with no bezel? Let us know in the poll and comments below!

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Phan Favs: The best podcast app for Android [RESULTS] http://phandroid.com/2014/08/21/best-podcast-app-for-android/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/21/best-podcast-app-for-android/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:09:29 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147257 Phavs Pocketcasts

Phan Favs is a recurring feature that turns the tables and asks you, the readers, about the best apps and games. It’s your turn to drop some knowledge on us! Read more.

Don’t call it a comeback, but podcasts are popular again. Everyone from Joe Rogan to Rachel Maddow has their own podcast, and many popular media outlets do as well (including our very own Mobile Roar Podcast). There are plenty of places where audio-only entertainment comes in handy. You can listen while going for a run, taking a shower, or doing the dishes. We love podcasts, and we know you do too, so what app is the best for listening to them?

Last week we asked you to tell us what app you use for listening to podcasts. We got over 300 votes, but one app was the clear winner. Here are the top 5 podcast apps according to you. Enjoy!

1. Pocketcasts

pocketcasts

With over half of the total votes, Pocketcasts was the clear winner. This beautifully designed app simply has it all. You can have certain podcasts auto-download for offline listening, sync subscription and playback progress across devices, send audio to Chromecast to hear it through the TV, set a sleep timer, control playback speed, and so much more. Pocketcasts costs $3.99, but many of you have already gladly paid for it. It’s worth every penny.

2. BeyondPod

beyondpod

BeyondPod has been around on Android for a long time, but it’s still alive and well. You can do most everything you would expect. Play content via streaming or offline, adjust playback speed, Chromecast support, and it integrates with Feedly so you can even read your RSS feeds. The design is pretty standard #HOLOYOLO, but it gets the job done without getting in the way. BeyondPod is available for phones and tablets.

3. DoggCatcher

doggcatcher

Like most of the apps on this list, DoggCatcher can do a bevy of things you would expect. You can set certain podcasts to automatically download for offline listening, plus it automatically deletes old episodes to keep your device clean. DoggCatcher is highly configurable so it can behave exactly how you want. The built-in search feature allows you to find feeds from any podcast you can imagine. There is also support for Chromecast for when you want some louder speakers. Doggcatcher is free and $2.99.

4. Podcast Addict

podcast addict

Addicted to listening to podcasts? This is the app for you. The aptly named Podcast Addict app is for hardcore listeners of podcasts. Not only can you manage audio episodes, but also video podcasts, and even YouTube channels, and news feeds. Podcast Addict has a clean Jelly Bean-style design, Chromecast support, and you can even import subscriptions from iTunes. The best part is it’s free

5. Stitcher

Stitcher

Last, but not least, on our list is Stitcher Radio. This podcast service is different from the other ones on this list. Artists have to apply to get their shows on the Stitcher network. Almost any popular podcast that you can think of is available on Stitcher (including ours), but not all. You might ask “why should I even use this app then?” Stitcher has a great design, sync across the web and devices, custom stations, breaking news, and more. Plus it’s free.

***

Those are your picks! Thanks for sharing your favorite apps with us. Do you agree with your fellow readers? If you think your favorite app should have been on the list make your case for it in the comments. Check out the chart below to see how the voting was spread out among all the apps. We’ll be back again soon with another edition of Phan Favs!

image

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Moto X+1: Specs & expectations for Motorola’s next flagship http://phandroid.com/2014/08/20/moto-x1-specs-features-expectations/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/20/moto-x1-specs-features-expectations/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 16:19:13 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147033 Moto X+1

Join the conversation in our Moto X+1 forums!

The Moto X launched nearly a year ago to mild success. It was not a hit like the latest Samsung Galaxy device, but it was very popular among certain crowds. To this day it is still praised for having a very lightweight, nearly stock version of Android, fast updates, compact size, and great build quality. Now it is time for Motorola to try to follow the success of the Moto X with a new flagship device.

We first heard of the Motorola Moto X+1 back in May under the codename “Victara.” Since then there have been many leaks and rumors about this device. Motorola is getting very close to officially announcing this device, likely at their September 4th event alongside a new Moto G,the Moto 360, and some sort of headset. It’s the perfect time to take a look back at everything we know and what we expect to see when it comes to the Moto X+1. In a nutshell, here’s what to expect:

  • Bigger, crisper screen
  • Better battery life
  • Snappier processing
  • Better photos and videos
  • Upgrades all around

Sound like something you would like? Keep reading.

Moto X+1 Specs

Motorola Moto X charging battery DSC00734

The Moto X+1 is shaping up to be a device that we know almost everything about before it launches. There have been numerous leaks and rumors about the specs for this device. Simply put, this will be a big upgrade over the current Moto X.

Display

It all starts with the display. The X+1 display will be 5.2-inches of 1080p glory, which is an improvement from the 4.7-inch 720p display on the original Moto X. This will improve the pixel density from 316 ppi to 424 ppi. More pixels per inch means sharper text and less blur.

Battery Life

Battery life should see an improvement as the battery gets beefed up to 2900 mAh from the previous 2200 mAh. We never heard many complaints about battery life in the original Moto X, which is pretty impressive considering the always listening touchless controls. With a bigger battery we can expect to get even longer life out of the Moto X+1.

Bigger, Faster, Stronger

Motorola has included similar upgrades in almost all areas of the device. The processor has been bumped up to a Snapdragon 801. The camera will get a few extra megapixels on the front and back. We should also see new water resistance features to make the X+1 more durable than the X. All in all this is a completely upgraded version of the Moto X. To recap, here is how the rumored specs of the X+1 compare to the Moto X.

Moto X 1 chart

What We Expect

Moto X gaming performance DSC00728

Now that we’ve talked about the rumors it’s time to share our own expectations. The Moto X was a great device for many reasons, but one of our favorites was the size. Despite having a generous 4.7-inch display it felt much smaller than that in the hand. With the Moto X+1 they are scaling the display up slightly to 5.2-inches, but leaked images show the actual device is not much bigger. We expect Motorola to use this as a selling point once again.

Moto 360 Bundle

Motorola has basically said they will be showing off the Moto 360 smartwatch alongside the new Moto X+1 at their Spetember 4th event. Since both of these devices will be sharing an event we expect to see some sort of connection between them. Our theory is that Motorola, or certain carriers, will offer a Moto 360 + Moto X+1 package deal. For example, if the 360 is $250 and the X+1 is $200 on contract, they could offer both of them for $400. AT&T did something similar with the LG G3 and G Watch.

More Touchless Interaction

One of the main points of interest in the original Moto X was the touchless control and active notifications. On most phones nowadays you can say “OK Google” from any screen and perform a voice command, but the Moto X is still the only device that allows you to do it when the screen is off. The active notifications allow you to see what’s happening without turning on the display. Both of these features are truly great, and we expect to see even more functionality in the Moto X+1.

Surprises

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Android L

Like we mentioned above, we know almost everything about the Moto X+1. That doesn’t mean we won’t see any surprises. A leak from July showed the Moto X+1 running Android L. Obviously it’s very possible that this device was just running the developer preview, or that it was completely fake altogether. It’s still not out of the question that the Moto X+1 could be the first device with Android L.

Google doesn’t own Motorola anymore, but they still have a good relationship. Recent rumors have pointed to the next Nexus being made by Motorola, and the Moto 360 was a headlining device for the Android Wear announcement. And since Motorola devices run nearly a stock version of Android we could see Google giving them first dibs. Don’t count on this happening, but it could be an interesting surprise.

More Moto Maker Materials

Moto Maker will also be a big topic of discussion at the September 4th event. Motorola launched this awesome tool for customizing devices with the Moto X, and we should see more of it with the Moto X+1. This could also be the place where Motorola allows customers to choose what bands and case materials they want for the Moto 360. For the Moto X+1, however, we want to see some new materials. Currently you can get woven and wooden backs, but Motorola could surprise us all by adding Kevlar and metal backs to the mix.

What do you want?Motorola Moto X Boot animation DSC00738

We’ve talked about the rumors, shared some expectations, and even talked about a big surprise. Now it’s your turn. The original Moto X did okay, but it was nowhere near the hit of something like a Galaxy S, or even got the name recognition of a HTC One. Is Motorola even capable of reaching such heights? What would they have to do with the Moto X+1 to get your attention?

Motorola will not have an easy road to travel. Most Android users have already bought the new Galaxy or HTC One M8. Announcing a new flagship this late in the year makes it hard to push devices. Motorola does have one trick up its sleeve: the Moto 360. If bundled attractively with the Moto 360 the X+1 could be a popular device simply by association. Would you be more likely to buy the X+1 if it meant a good deal on the Moto 360? September 4th should be a very exciting day. Join the conversation in our Moto X+1 forums!

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Hands-on: Sharp Aquos Crystal for Sprint [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2014/08/19/sprint-sharp-aquos-crystal-hands-on-video/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/19/sprint-sharp-aquos-crystal-hands-on-video/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:48:30 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147172 sharp-aquos-crystal-10

We already learned pretty much everything there was to know about the Sharp Aquos Crystal, when the phone was officially announced for Sprint earlier today. But tonight, or own Kevin Krause is reporting live from a Sprint event where he was able to get up close and personal with the phone everyone is talking about.

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Touted as having virtually no bezel (despite its unsightly large chin), the Sharp Aquos Crystal is a departure from the standard cookie-cutter smartphone design we’re all used to. Because the top portion of the phone is solid LCD display, there’s not even room for an earpiece. Instead, the entire display acts as an earpiece, allowing users to place their ear anywhere they like for crystal clear calls. Here’s a quick rundown of the specs before we get to our hands-on:

Sharp Aquos Crystal hardware specs

  • 5-inch edge-to-edge HD display
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • Sprint Spark LTE
  • 8MP rear-facing and 1.2MP front-facing cameras
  • HD Voice
  • Embedded 2,040mAh battery (3-day battery life)
  • 1.2GHz quad-core processor
  • 1.5GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage
  • Harman’s Clari-Fi audio technology

The Sharp Aquos Crystal will be available later this year in either black or white varieties from Sprint for $240 straight up, or $10 a month with Sprint Easy Pay. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile will also get their versions of the phone, with the black model headed to Virgin and white to Boost — both for only $150+tax. Not bad.

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Android Deals: Save 50% on Samsung tablets, 92% off Android Hacker Bundle, and more! http://phandroid.com/2014/08/19/android-deals-august-19/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/19/android-deals-august-19/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 21:04:42 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147111 deals

We’re back with more awesome deals for your Android device! This week we have a bunch of accessories on sale, some huge discounts on app packs, and some hilarious movies on the cheap. There is no better feeling than saving money on things you love. We’ve compiled a bunch of great deals from across the web so you can enjoy that feeling all day long.

Hardware & Accessories

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Save 36% on the Limefuel Lite USB Battery Pack
With a whopping 1500 mAh battery, this compact battery pack has the power to charge two devices at once. Normally priced at $55, you can get this sweet little gadget for $34.99 from AndroidArea.com.

Save 46% on the WiQiQi Galaxy S5 Charger
Wireless charging is one of the most convenient features of the Samsung Galaxy S5, as long as you have a wireless charging pad to go with it. The WiQiQi pad for the Galaxy S5 usually costs $75, but you can get it for just $39.99 from AndroidArea.com.

Save 13% on the ChargeKey, a key-sized charging cable
Sometimes your phone is dying and all you need is a cord. The ChargeKey is a simple charging cable that is small enough to go on any keychain. All you need is a USB outlet and you can charge your phone with ChargeKey. Get it now for just $24.99 from AndroidArea.com.

Save big on Samsung MicroSD cards from Amazon
A great thing about Samsung devices is they usually include MicroSD card slots. This has become a rarity in modern smartphones. If you’re looking for more storage check out the huge sale Samsung is having on MicroSD cards from 16-64GB at Amazon.com.

Save 39% on a factory unlocked LG Nexus 5 16G
The Nexus 5 is still one of the top Android devices available today. It has a great display, nice minimal design, powerful processor, and of course stock Android straight from Google. Normally the unlocked version of the Nexus 5 is $599, but for a limited time you can get it for just $364 from eBay.com.

Save 50% on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3
If you’re looking for a great Android tablet you should look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Tab line. These device have great displays, and they work similarly to the Samsung Galaxy S phones. You will feel right at home with this tablet. For a limited time you can get the Tab 3 for $150 off the original price for $149.99 from Newegg.com.

Save 33% on a Samsung  55-Inch 4K Ultra HD 3D Smart LED TV
Okay, enough with the small stuff. Let’s talk big. 4K is all the rage these days, but getting a 4K TV in your home can be expensive. Amazon has a massive 55-inch Samsung 4K TV on sale for $1000 off the original price. It will still cost you a pretty penny, but it’s considerably cheaper than many 4K TVs. Snag this TV for $1997 from Amazon.com.

Apps & Games

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Save a whopping 92% on the The Elite Android Hacker Bundle. If you’re looking to learn Android development from the ground up, this is the deal for you. This course contains 74 lectures with over 10 hours of content which cover all of the advanced skills necessary for developing applications for Android. You can get all of this for $39 from AndroidArea.com.

Save 90% on The Amazing Android App Kit. Get your Android app idea off the ground without the expensive and time-consuming design and development phase. These templates are the perfect place to start. With a functional native Java code base, eye-catching artwork, and excellent UX, it’s everything you need to make your app shine in the Play Store. Get it now for $49 from AndroidArea.com.

Apps

Games

Music & Video

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Sometimes the best thing to do with your Android device is to chill out and enjoy some music, a TV show, or movie. The Play Store and Amazon are constantly putting movies, TV shows, and music up for sale. We’ve compiled some of the best deals to pop up this week. Enjoy!

Music

Movies

TV Shows

If you know of any awesome deals that popped up this week tell us about them! Did you take advantage of any of these deals? Let us know in the comments below! Happy saving!

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Best LG G3 Accessories http://phandroid.com/2014/08/18/best-lg-g3-accessories/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/18/best-lg-g3-accessories/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 18:52:40 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=146918 On its own, the LG G3 is just about as good as it gets when it comes to Android smartphones. But if you are looking to step up your G3 game, you can start by checking out some of the great accessories available for the handset. From cases to car docks, memory cards to wireless charging, there are options aplenty for the discerning G3 owner.

Check out our LG G3 Review

Best Cases for the LG G3

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LG Quick Circle Case

The LG Quick Circle case is unique for its seamless fit and direct integration with the LG G3. Unlike cases from third-party vendors, this LG-made unit features an innovative circular window that allows users to access notifications, deploy the camera, interact with the handset’s music player, and more, all without opening the folio or unlocking the device. When it comes to offering protection there may be better options, but none other brings the ability to transform the G3 experience. A wireless charging-compatible version is also available. [LG G3 Quick Circle Case ($49.99)]

Other options:

Best Memory Cards for the LG G3

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64GB SanDisk MicroSDXC Class 10 Memory Card

If you’re looking to expand the internal storage capacity of your LG G3, you can’t go wrong with the name that started it all. SanDisk offers their MicroSDXC cards in a variety of storage capacities, but 64GB hits the sweet spot. Plenty of storage space at a reasonable price. The kit also comes with a standard SD adapter to easily transfer files between your phone and PC. [64GB SanDisk MicroSDXC Memory Card with Adapter ($39.95)]

Other options:

Best Portable Battery Pack for the LG G3

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Incipio offGRID 8000mAh Portable Backup Battery

The LG G3’s capacious 3000mAh battery offers solid performance, but there is bound to come a time where it just won’t cut it. Don’t be left without a quick charge on hand, even if a power outlet is nowhere to be found with Incipio’s offGRID portable battery pack. Rated at 8000mAh, the rugged offGRID battery can juice up the G3 two times over (and then some). [Incipio offGRIB 800mAh Portable Battery ($89.99)]

Other options:

Best Wireless Charging Pad for the LG G3

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LG Qi Wireless Charging Pad (WCP-700)

The LG G3 is one of the few smartphones that comes with wireless charging capabilities as a standard option. To take advantage you will need to get your hands on a wireless charging pad. We recommend a Qi-compatible unit (though LG offers accessories to make the device Powermat-compatible),  namely LG’s WCP-700. With it, charging is as easy as dropping your G3 on the pad and letting it do its magic. [LG Qi Wireless Charging Pad WCP-700 ($69.99)]

Other options:

Best Smartwatch to pair with the LG G3

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LG G Watch

A high-ticket accessory but a useful one nonetheless, the LG G Watch is an Android Wear-powered unit that easily integrates with your smartphone to offer at-a-glance notifications, a selection of apps, and more. The G Watch is a no-brainer for G3 owners looking to take their Android game to the next level. [LG G Watch ($229.00)]

Other options:

Best Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

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Braven BRV-X

Whether enjoying some tunes or looking for the perfect audio companion for the G3’s brilliant Quad HD display when streaming video, the Braven BRV-X is a portable wireless speaker that touts excellent performance in a durable package. Designed to provide great sound both indoors and out, the BRV-X easily pairs via Bluetooth and adds a whole new dimension to the G3. [Braven BRV-X ($199.99)

Other options:

Best Headphones for the LG G3

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Audio Technica AX5iS SonicFuel over-ear headphones

While in-ear headphones seem to be the go-to option for smartphone users, the comfort and added sound quality of a nice set of over-ears can’t be argued with. Audio Technica updates the form factor for the smartphone age by including in-line controls and a microphone as part of their SonicFuel offering. The real draw here, however, is Audio Technica’s legacy in the pro-audio industry, delivering on the promise of great sound. [Audio Technica AX5iS SonicFuel Over-Ear Headphones ($89.95)]

Other options:

Best Vehicle Dock for the LG G3

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Air Dock with wireless charging

The Air Dock kills two birds with one stone (sorry, avian conservationists). It’s not only a clamp-free vehicle dock utilizing a micro-suction foam face and magnets, but it features an embedded Qi charging pad that tops off your battery while you go. It doesn’t get much better than that when it comes to car mounts. [Air Dock (68.99)]

Other options:


Want to get even more out of your LG G3? Check out our list of must-have apps and games for LG’s latest and greatest. Have an accessory suggestion of your own? Head over to Android Forums to join the discussion or sound off in the comments below!

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Android Wallpaper: Shark Attack http://phandroid.com/2014/08/16/shark-week-wallpaper/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/16/shark-week-wallpaper/#comments Sat, 16 Aug 2014 16:30:41 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=146957 android wallpaper sharks

See past editions of Android Wallpaper

Shark Week may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean we have to forget about these awesome creatures of the sea. Earlier this week we showed you some cool Shark-themed apps and games. Today we are taking a look at some Shark-themed wallpapers for your Android device. Some sharks are vicious, some are cute, but all of them look great on your phone or tablet.

Below you will find six HD wallpapers that should look great on any device. We’ve chosen a few different styles, from real photos to cute cartoons. Hopefully one of these strikes your fancy. To get one of them on your phone, tablet, or even PC, simply tap or click the download link underneath each image. Let us know which one is your favorite, and be sure to share a screenshot if you use one of these wallpapers! Are you a fan of Shark Week?

Push new Android Wallpaper to your Android device with this IFTTT recipe.

Under Shark

Shark From Below

Download (2560 x 1600)

Cute Shark

Cute Shark

Download (2560 x 1600)

Shark Jump

Shark Jump

Download (2560 x 1600)

Minimal Fin

Minimal Fin

Download (1920 x 1080)

Shark Wave

Shark Wave

Download (2560 x 1600)

Shark Yawn

Shark Yawn

Download (2560 x 1600)

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Watch Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Tim Cook, and other tech execs get drenched in the #IceBucketChallenge [GIFS] http://phandroid.com/2014/08/15/tech-leaders-ice-bucket-challenge/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/15/tech-leaders-ice-bucket-challenge/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 16:27:05 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=146919 If you haven’t heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge we’ll explain below, but first, enjoy some of the tech industries top leaders getting drenched.

Larry Page & Sergey Brin, Google co-founders

Larry Sergey

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

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Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

Satya Nadella

John Legere, T-Mobile CEO

John Legere

Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO

Reed Hastings

Dick Costello, Twitter CEO

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Tim Cook, Apple CEO

Tim Cook

Bill Gates, Microsoft Advisor

Bill Gates

The Ice Bucket Challenge has only been around for a couple of weeks, but the tech world is already wet and cold.  The challenge was created at the end of July by Pete Frates in attempt to raise money and awareness for ALS. It’s a very simple idea that has taken the world by storm. First, someone will be challenged to dump a bucket of ice water on themselves within 24 hours, or donate $100 to the ALS Association. Once they complete the challenge they can then nominate other people to do it, and the cycle continues.

Everyone from Martha Stewart to Aaron Rodgers has participated in the challenge, including a growing amount of tech leaders. So far the ALS Association has raised over $4 million in just a couple short weeks. We love a good cause, especially when it results in some of our favorite tech leaders getting soaking wet. What do you think about the Ice Bucket Challenge? Have you or anyone you know been challenged yet? Share your favorites with us below!

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Phan Favs: What is the best podcast app for Android? [VOTE] http://phandroid.com/2014/08/14/what-is-the-best-podcast-app/ http://phandroid.com/2014/08/14/what-is-the-best-podcast-app/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:53:56 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=146846 PhanFavs podcast

Phan Favs is a recurring feature that turns the tables and asks you, the readers, about the best apps and games. It’s your turn to drop some knowledge on us! Read more.

It’s been a while, but we’re back with another edition of Phan Favs! This time we’re asking you, our wise readers, about podcast apps. Podcasting has really picked up in popularity over the last few years. It seems everyone and their mother has their own podcast nowadays. That’s great because it means there are tons of unique shows to listen to, including our very own Mobile Roar Podcast.

Finding a great app to listen to podcasts can be tricky. Does it have the podcasts you like? Does it have offline listening? Can your progress be synced across devices? These are just a few of the things we look for in a podcast app. But this isn’t about our favorite apps, it’s about yours! We want to know what app you trust for your podcast listening. Here’s how you can participate in our voting:

How to vote

  1. Upvote the comment that mentions your pick.
  2. If no one has mentioned your pick write your own comment.

It’s as simple as that. Next week we will compile the results and release the top five apps according to your votes. In order to get a good sample size we need your help in sharing this poll. Tweet it, post it on Facebook, share it on Google+, pin it on Pinterest, or whatever you like to do. Alert your favorite developers so they can vote! Let the voting begin! May the best podcast app win!

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