Phandroid » Handsets http://phandroid.com Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Wed, 01 Apr 2015 01:07:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 T-Mobile’s Lollipop update for the LG G3 now available, but not rolling out over-the-air http://phandroid.com/2015/03/31/t-mobile-lg-g3-android-lollipop-update-download/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/31/t-mobile-lg-g3-android-lollipop-update-download/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 22:39:02 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162442 LG-G3-Software

After the Lollipop update for the LG G3 entered into T-Mobile’s “testing phase” early last week, we knew it was only a matter of time before it officially began hitting devices. Sure enough, Android 5.0.1 is now finally ready for the T-Mobile LG G3, but not in the way many of you are used to.

The update isn’t pushing out over-the-air, so you can’t update from just your phone alone. Instead, you’ll need to update the T-Mobile LG G3 via LG’s Mobile Support Tool (download it here). This means you’ll have to download LG’s updating software to your desktop computer and like an animal, connect your device via USB in order to apply the update.

LG G3 Lollipop Android 5.0.1 update

We’re not sure how long the update will only be available in this way, but it’s kinda neat that a manufacturer is giving users the option to update early with this method rather than waiting around for a carrier to push out new software to their device. Again, it’s entirely possible the update — which at the time of writing, still hasn’t been green lit by T-Mobile — will be rolling out to G3s in the coming hours/days/weeks. So, if this process is too much for you, just sit tight. Lollipop will be here soon enough.

[T-Mobile Support]

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HTC One M9 drop and full water submersion tests make us cringe [VIDEOS] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/31/htc-one-m9-drop-test-water-submersion-test-video/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/31/htc-one-m9-drop-test-water-submersion-test-video/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 21:16:31 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162434 HTC One M9 cracked display

We still have a few more days before you can officially mosey into a store and leave with a shiny new HTC One M9 in your pocket. After we saw the Samsung Galaxy S6’s durability put to the test, it’s now time for the the HTC One M9 to suffer the same fate.

Our latest double feature is brought to you by Phil Esposito and the twisted minds over at TechSmartt who wasted no time in taking up HTC on their new Uh Oh protection policy. We know most devices these days feature some level of water resistance, normally just enough to survive a few minutes out in the rain or a quick splash into a puddle.

HTC already told us, like last year’s One M8, the One M9 is rated for IPX3. This means it’s splash proof, but isn’t meant to be fully immersed in water. But what happens if (heaven forbid) your brand new HTC One M9 takes a dive into your toilet? Well, according to the video below, it might be salvageable even if swimming around for 20+ minutes (the Galaxy S6 hit a similar time before kicking the bucket). Check out the video down below to see for yourself.

Now, we know the HTC One M9 can survive a quick dip in water — but what about when it slips out of your hand and comes into contact with cold, hard concrete. Once again, we have another video showing you this worse case scenario, illustrating exactly what happens when you drop the HTC One M9 from a series of different heights. The result? A few dings, dents, chips, and eventually… a broken display. No surprise there.

But all in all, the HTC One M9 held up rather well. Because the glass is kind of floating towards the middle of the device (thank goodness for the boom sound speakers, right?), a big drop onto its corner wont actually crack the display. It will, however, leave a nasty dent in the body.

While situations like this are enough to make any smartphone lover cringe, there’s a certain peace of mind that comes with knowing that no matter what happens to your HTC One M9 — whether it’s dropped, doused, or set on fire — HTC’s Uh Oh protection has you covered.

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LG’s next event happens April 28th in 6 different cities, & it should finally bring us the LG G4 http://phandroid.com/2015/03/31/lg-g4-event/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/31/lg-g4-event/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 12:41:44 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162370 lg g4 event invite

LG has finally set a date for their first big event since CES 2015. The company has announced an April 28th shindig where they want us “see the great” and “feel the great.” We imagine this event will serve as the launching pad for the LG G4, especially since it’s being simultaneously held in 6 different cities (New York, London, Paris, Seoul, Singapore and Istanbul) and because LG has yet to bring us their flagship contender for 2015.

We still don’t know what, exactly, to expect out of LG for the G4. Recent leaks have shown that the device will adopt a design similar to that of the LG G3 of yesteryear and the LG G Flex 2 revealed at CES a few months ago. That said, leaks aren’t always reliable — ask @evleaks – and we could end up seeing something totally different.

One thing to note about the invitation being sent to press is that it looks like a leather book cover, such as one you’d find on a premium notebook. Does this mean the LG G4 will have that same faux leather with stiching we loved (or hated) on Samsung’s 2013 phones? That’s a slim possibility, but our bet is that — if this invite is indeed showing a notebook in its background — it’s teasing the Note variant of the LG G4 that will come with a stylus.

Or it could just be that LG’s PR team wanted to use a nice looking background, and we’re talking a whole lot of something about a whole lot of nothing. Either way we’ll know what the company is planning for sure once April 28th rolls around. Mark your calendars!

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Watch the Galaxy S6 Edge survive 20 minutes under water and crush this chick’s nuts [VIDEOS] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/31/samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-water-submersion-nut-cracker-video/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/31/samsung-galaxy-s6-edge-water-submersion-nut-cracker-video/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 04:28:21 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162365 Samung Galaxy S6 Edge water submerged

By now you know the story: a new phone is released and in a made rush for views, countless YouTubers come out of the woodwork and put the phone through a variety of “stress tests.” This is all in an effort to determine build quality by subjecting the phone to a series of drop tests, or even its water resistance by submerging it in water.

Like most Android devices these days, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge doesn’t advertise any kind of IP rating. It’s actually one of the few areas the phone was left wanting. But just because you wont find an Ingress rating on the phone, doesn’t mean it wont survive a quick dip in a puddle, or even a drop in a toilet. Most phones feature some level of water resistance, so it’s to be expected that the Galaxy S6 Edge would last a few minutes submerged in a bowl of water. But over 20 minutes? That’s pretty crazy. Check out TechSmartt’s video below for proof.

As a bonus, we found another video — presumably from the same chick that threw the Galaxy S6 to the floor like a firecracker — this time crushing some walnuts using the Galaxy S6 Edge as a hammer, on top of the regular Galaxy S6. We should warn you. The 240p video is not for the squeamish.

Thanks, @PsiQo1!

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The HTC One (M7) is receiving Android 5.0 Lollipop tomorrow on AT&T http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/att-htc-one-m7-android-50-lollipop-update/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/att-htc-one-m7-android-50-lollipop-update/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 23:11:47 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162359 HTC One M7 thin case DSC01079

Heads up HTC One (M7) owners on AT&T. HTC Product Manager Mo Versi revealed today on Twitter that Android 5.0 Lollipop has officially been green lit by AT&T and that One owners can expect a rollout starting tomorrow, March 31st.

We don’t pretend to know how the update process works (each device has its own unique hardware and presents its own set of challenges), but this is sure to piss off HTC One M8 owners who are still waiting for the update on their device. Of course, we see things in a different light. With the M7 receiving Lollipop tomorrow, that has to mean that the M8 isn’t too far behind.

In any case, it’s nice to see HTC making a continued effort at transparency and keeping their customers in the loop.

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Red leather option for Moto X (2nd Gen) now available in Moto Maker http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/moto-x-2nd-gen-2014-red-leather/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/moto-x-2nd-gen-2014-red-leather/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 20:04:21 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162341 Red Leather Moto X 2nd Gen featured

We took a look at all of Motorola’s custom leather options for the Moto X (2nd Gen) when we got a tour of their headquarters last year. They had most of their bases covered: black, natural (light tan), cognac (darker brown), and navy blue. More recently they added football leather option, but it was (and still is) exclusive to the Verizon model.

Moto X read leather motomaker

Today, they’ve officially added a new red leather option for all Moto X models and as usual, it comes with the normal +$25 premium. Motorola calls it a “rich red hue,” even if the option on Moto Maker shows something a lot more toned and darker than that. We’re guessing you’ll want to see some photos in real life before pulling the trigger, although our lead image above should give you a better indication of what you’ll be getting.

[Moto Maker]

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Sony Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact and Z3 Tablet Lollipop upgrade spreads to NA and more EU countries http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/sony-xperia-z3-family-lollipop/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/sony-xperia-z3-family-lollipop/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 18:54:01 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162327 sony xperia android lollipop

Sony today announced that the Android 5.0 Lollipop upgrade for the Sony Xperia Z3, Sony Xperia Z3 Compact and the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet would start to reach more regions as soon as today, including those in North America and many more countries throughout Europe (it was previously only available in Nordic and Baltic countries).

As most other OEMs have done with Lollipop, Sony integrates the best of the new update’s features — including notifications on the lock screen, mult-user support and a new notification shade — with the suite of software they already provide. That beloved software has also been upgraded with a Material Design look and feel across the board for those who are into that sort of thing.

Want the upgrade? You’ll have to have a computer handy as this is an over-the-wire process. Download Sony’s upgrade tool here (PC and Mac only, sorry Linux folks) and connect your smartphone, and it should find and download the necessary firmware to get you up and running on Lollipop.

Sony also took this opportunity to confirm that the Xperia T2 Ultra and the Xperia C3 will eventually get aboard the Lollipop train. There’s nothing to worry about for folks of other Xperia Z devices — even the very first one — as the company previously announced all of them would eventually see the new drags. Let us know how the upgrade is treating you once it’s hit your smartphone!

[via Sony]

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Verizon LG G2 now receiving Lollipop http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/lg-g2-vzw-lollipop/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/lg-g2-vzw-lollipop/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 17:35:44 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162317 lg g2 lollipop vzw

A new Lollipop upgrade is rolling in for users of Verizon’s LG G2. It’ll take you to version VS98039A, and aside from the usual Lollipop bits — like improved notification panel and lock screen notifications — it’ll bring about a flat new user interface as featured on the LG G3, as well as new-style Lollipop navigation buttons.

Other new features include searchable settings, an “avoid bad WiFi connection” feature to make sure you don’t connect to WiFi networks that don’t have an internet connection, the ability to “pin” apps to make it so that you can only use that one app until it’s unpinned, rearrangeable navigation buttons, and floating action buttons for the clock, contacts, email, messaging and music apps.

You can check out the full update notes over at AndroidForums.com, but if you’re just interested in getting this bad boy loaded onto your phone simply head to Settings > About Phone and check for the update. Make sure your battery is comfortable charged and that you’re on a WiFi network to make sure things go according to plan.

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What happens when the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is slammed to the ground like a firecracker? [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/galaxy-s6-drop-test/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/galaxy-s6-drop-test/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:39:19 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162311 Samsung Galaxy S6 Gorilla Glass 4

The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge’s front and rear are slathered in glass, and many folks reveled in fear of what could happen should the unfortunate accident occur. Would it shatter into pieces made to look like the grotesque work of demon-like entities?

Well, one brave (or rich, or crazy) person decided to find out for himself. A video uploaded to Chinese video sharing site Youku shows someone slamming their Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge onto cold, hard pavement as if it were a contact firecracker the likes of which you’ve probably played around with as a kid.

The result? It actually came out completely unscathed. Not a single crack is to be had with all that glass, likely a testament to the super strong Gorilla Glass 4 being used. That doesn’t mean the Samsung Galaxy S6 is indestructible — no smartphone is — but if you were wondering if the occasional accidental drop would instantly result in irreversible damage then those fears should now effectively be put to rest.

Of course, that doesn’t give you cause to be careless once you finally receive your $700+ piece of circuitry so we’d still recommend slapping a case on and, you know, not being clumsy. Check the video out above.

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HTC officially launches the One E9+ with 5.5-inch Quad HD display and 20 megapixel camera http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/htc-one-e9-plus-official/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/htc-one-e9-plus-official/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 14:01:02 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162292

Oddly enough, HTC has introduced a new phone that’s supposed to be an upgraded version of another phone that doesn’t yet officially exist. It’s the HTC One E9++, a 5.5-inch device with 2560 x 1440 resolution. It also sports a 20 megapixel camera on the rear, an UltraPixel camera on the front, 3GB of RAM and MediaTek’s 64-bit 8-core MT6795M chipset.

Compare that to the regular version of this phone — the HTC One E9 — which we’re expecting to launch with just a 13 megapixel camera, 1080p resolution and 2GB of RAM. We’d assumed HTC would look to wait until their April 8th event in Beijing to reveal this device up alongside the HTC One M9+, but it appears HTC wants to give the M9+ a stage of its own.

The E9+ isn’t likely to travel far outside of China from the starting gate, though there’s a possibility we’ll see it or its lower grade sibling made available for other markets. As it stands HTC hasn’t yet mentioned anything in terms of availability so it’d be wise to wait for official word. In the meantime let us know if you wouldn’t mind this low-cost option up against something like the HTC One M9 for your 2015 smartphone.

[via HTC]

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T-Mobile Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge shipments starting to pop up for some lucky pre-orderers http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/samsung-galaxy-s6-early-shipment/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/samsung-galaxy-s6-early-shipment/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:38:18 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162291 Sasmung Galaxy S6 Calendar Clock app icon DSC08966

Did you happen to pre-order a Samsung Galaxy S6 or Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge from T-Mobile this past Friday? If so, be sure to start checking your doorsteps: some lucky souls are starting to receive their shipment early.

One lucky XDA user posted shots of the unit he was lucky to receive as early as 8am Saturday morning. Early shipments aren’t unheard of, especially when it comes to T-Mobile. The company typically sends them out as soon as they can, though Samsung’s wishes of a global April 10th launch might mean this is simply an error.

Either way, if there is even the tiniest chance that your device could go out sooner than expected then you won’t want to miss it, so keep your eye on your doorstep leading up to the big day (and that goes for the rest of you non-Magenta users, too).

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HTC One M9 Review [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/htc-one-m9-review-video/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/30/htc-one-m9-review-video/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 12:00:50 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162158 htc-one-m9-front-software

In 2013, HTC launched the One, a device that defined their vision of an Android flagship rooted in strong design and build quality and relying on powerful hardware and a slimmed-down Sense interface. Two years later HTC continues to refine the formula with the HTC One M9, a smartphone that borrows heavily from the past in the hopes that it might push us more firmly into the future.

Design and Build

htc-one-m9-frontal

A lot has been made of the iterative nature of the HTC One M9 — we need look no further than the name. But let’s dispel the idea that ‘iterative’ is a pejorative and dispense with the cliches: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. With the One M7 and the One M8, it was hard to talk about either device without at least a precursory mention of their superior design and build. The One M9 is no different, mostly picking up where the One M8 left off while reaching back to the One M7 for refinement. The One M9 has the grippier feel of the latter while being as comfortable as the former in hand. Some will be put off by a sharp edge that replaces the curved design of the One M8, but we didn’t take much issue with it.

In fact, the average consumer would be hard pressed to spot the differences between the One M8 and One M9 in a glance. The changes really are subtle ones.

The power button that has been relocated to the side of the device under the volume rocker. This makes it more easily reached than if it were placed on the top of the device, but we still took some issue with its placement. The volume rocker has been separated into two separate buttons, both pretty close in size to the power button. The power button gets a textured finish to make it easier to feel out, but it’s was still easy to find yourself seeking one button and pressing the other. Perhaps it’s the positioning of the button below the volume rocker — we would have preferred it either be placed above or simply on the opposite side of the device.

htc-one-m9-edge htc-one-m9-frontal htc-one-m9-rear-straight HTC-one-m9-ultrapixel htc-one-m9-chin htc-one-m9-power-button

A one-piece metal front houses the One M9’s BoomSound speakers, UltraPixel camera, and 5-inch display. It’s a small touch that will be overlooked by most, but it is a departure from the One M8. With that model, the speaker grills were inserts. With the One M9 everything is machined from a single piece of “jewelry grade” aluminum.

The rear of the device is perhaps most noticeable altered, ditching the UltraPixel camera in favor of a traditional 20MP sensor now housed in a raised enclosure topped with a piece of durable sapphire glass.

Hardware

HTC went all in on the build quality of the One M9, but there was no tradeoff when it comes to hardware. The One M9 is a flagship phone in every sense of the word, utilizing the latest and greatest components to push one seriously powerful device.

HTC One M9 Specs

Processing Qualcomm MDM 8994 Snapdragon 810
RAM 3GB DDR3
Storage 32GB internal, microSD expandable up to 128GB
Display 5.0-inch 1080p Super LCD3
Camera 20.7MP rear with dual-LED flash/4MP UltraPixel front-facing
Dimensions 5.69 x 2.74 x 0.38″
Weight 5.54 oz.

Display

htc-one-m9-display

The 1080p resolution of the One M9’s 5-inch display leaves us a little wanting, at least on paper. While other major flagship devices have opted to upgrade to 2K resolution, HTC has stood pat with a display identical to the one featured on last year’s One M8.  The thing is, we would challenge anyone in a blind test to take issue with the One M9’s pixel density. Yes, 1080p lacks the buzz of 2K and seems like an ancient technology in 2015, but when we are dealing with a 5-inch viewing area the difference between the 441 ppi of the One M9 and the 577 ppi of the Samung Galaxy S6 is negligible.

On the other hand, the One M9’s LCD3 hardware seemed to lack a bit of vibrancy and depth and contrast of color. Blacks could have been blacker. Colors could have popped with more brightness. Perhaps this is merely the result of our eyes becoming too accustomed to the often exaggerated color palettes of Super AMOLED displays. Either way, it is hard to call this a knock on the One M9. Rather, it’s more an issue of personal preference.

Performance

htc-one-m9-orcs

The One M9 handles its software with deftness thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 enclosed within its metal shell. The octa-core processor coupled with 3GB of RAM makes for one of the fastest Android devices in recent memory. Apps and menus would open so fast that we would often have to wait for the network to catch up, resulting in staring at a quite a few blank windows as data loaded.

Here’s the catch: it does result on a device that tends to run a little warm when put through its paces.

We first got a hint of heat during initial setup while downloading and updating dozens of apps from the Google Play Store. The phone’s propensity to double as a radiator was more apparent during heavy gaming sessions. The worst of it seemed to occur when charging the device. The heat was never so bad as to cause concern, and the device was never too hot to handle. In fact, there was something comforting about the soft warmth.

And yes, the One M9 also gets hot while running benchmark tests, the results of which are included below for those curious.

AnTuTu 3DMark Ice Storm GeekBench
one-m9-antutu one-m9-3dmark one-m9-geekbench

BoomSound speakers

HTC’s stereo BoomSound speakers are back, enhanced by Dolby Digital Audio (with two audio profiles: Music and Theater) and offering even louder audio output than the One M8. It’s impressive, to say the least, in terms of volume, and there is a surprising amount of depth in the audio reproduction, but ultimately we are still dealing a pair of pretty small (though larger than the average smartphone) speakers packed into a tight metal chassis.

htc-one-m9-chin

BoomSound will not replace a good portable speaker like a Jambox or the Braven BRV-X, but it’s will make due for casual listening at home or in small groups, or if you just want to enjoy a movie or other video without the need to wear headphones.

Software

htc-one-m9-software-angle

With the One M9, HTC continues to move toward a software experience more true to its Android roots — in this case the most lightweight version of HTC’s custom Sense UI. While the interface itself relies more heavily on the enhancements inherent in Google’s Android Lollipop OS, HTC has focused much of their efforts with Sense 7.0 on user customization.

Sense 7.0

Sense 7.0 is continues HTC’s evolution by devolution, stripping away much of the interface’s gaudy scaffolding in favor of something more familiar. It plays to the strengths of Google’s Android Lollipop operating system while offering just enough in the way of tweaks and features to differentiate it from the competition.

htc-sense-7-notification htc-sense-7-apps htc-blinkfeed-one-m9 htc-sense-7-quick-settings htc-sense-7-settings htc-sense-7-recent

You get Lollipop standards like a Material Design base with smooth animations and an emphasis on color and contrast, notifications filtered and sorted by priority, and improved quick settings including quick access to a flashlight toggle. But you also get a bit of polish from HTC with added perks like the ability to customize, rearrange, and add to the handset’s software navigation buttons. For instance, you could remove the multitasking button and replace with one that allows quick access to device settings, or you could choose to have both at the same time.

HTC Themes

HTC has made theming a central part of the One M9 experience, and users are given a surprising amount of flexibility in adapting their homescreen to better suit their tastes. Users can browse a wide-ranging selection of pre-made themes or pick and choose items from a catalog of wallpapers, icons, and fonts to create their own custom look. Even better, visiting HTC’s Themes landing page on a desktop opens up even greater possibilities, allowing for themes that make use of alternate versions of Android’s software navigation buttons and HTC’s clock widget.

one-m9-theme-2 one-m9-theme-1 one-m9-theme-4 one-m9-theme-3

One cool trick allows the user to generate a theme around a chosen wallpaper. The One M9’s Themes app will analyze the wallpaper’s content and use it to create a custom color scheme from which to build a totally unique look.

Sense Home

htc-sense-home

A new Sense Home widget focuses on tailoring your device to your location. It determines the apps you use most at locales like home or work and surfaces them for quick access. This feature relies heavily on tracking your location and learning from your habits, so it starts off by offering a selection of apps HTC believe would be most suited for a particular situation. It will slowly pick up on your habits, but thankfully you can also simply drag and drop the apps of your choosing into each category (choices are Home, Work, and Out).

Sense Home also provides a selection of suggested apps to download and install, but for the most part these were relegated to pretty mainstream services. We could see the feature being a nice touch if it had the capability of surfacing those rare yet useful apps one might otherwise overlook, but we were presented with something more akin to a top apps page on Google Play. We mostly ignored these suggestions. For anyone wishing to ignore Sense Home as a whole, the widget can easily be removed from the homescreen altogether.

HTC BlinkFeed

htc-one-m9-blinkfeed

HTC’s BlinkFeed is still present from past Sense iterations (swipe left from the main homescreen), and it learns a new trick, offering location-based suggestions from sites Yelp and Foursquare. The suggestions, much like with the Sense Home widget, are supposed to be personalized, but that personal touch did seem a little lacking. The suggestions presented read more like generic recommendations based solely on proximity and rating.

The suggested items can be turned off, but we didn’t find them too overbearing mixed in with the variety of other content BlinkFeed offers (a selection of news outlets and blogs, your social streams). Otherwise, it’s a familiar BlinkFeed experience that is actually quite useful once you get accustomed to it.

Camera

That camera also represents one of the biggest hardware departures from last year’s One model. In 2014, HTC was eager to abandon the megapixel war in favor of their UltraPixel sensor, a camera designed to perform well on its own merits despite a deceptively low megapixel count. With the One M9, however, HTC returns to a traditional sensor in the hopes that megapixels sell, and we’ve got 20 of them here.

Unfortunately, this camera is one of the more disappointing aspects of the new One. It’s not outright terrible, and in the right conditions it is capable of producing some stunning shots, but it struggles in lowlight situations and photos can often appear dull or grainy.

htc-one-m9-camera-sample-1 htc-one-m9-camera-sample-2 htc-one-m9-camera-sample-3 htc-one-m9-camera-sample-4 htc-one-m9-camera-sample-5 htc-one-m9-camera-sample-6 htc-one-m9-camera-sample-7 htc-one-m9-camera-sample-8 htc-one-m9-camera-sample-9 htc-one-m9-camera-sample-10

The one thing HTC’s camera does have going for it is a pretty slick software interface. Swiping up or down on the display will cycle through photo modes including panorama and the front-facing camera. Tapping on a particular part of the image will focus. And while these features make it easy to jump right in and snap some shots, the real power of the camera is its wide range of manual adjustments, which include white balance, ISO, and other settings typically found on “pro” camera rigs. Using these settings we were able to squeeze the most out of the One M9’s underperforming image sensor.

The UltraPixel sensor does return for the One M9’s front-facing shooter, and it makes for a very worthy selfie camera perfectly capable for late night group shots in a dimly lit bar. 4K video support is also embedded in the HTC One M9 for fans of ultra HD resolution video, but it’s a far cry from cinema-quality results.

Battery

one-m9-battery

The 2840mAh battery was strong, offering pretty standard uptime during average use. The power cell can conceivably get you through the day with anywhere from 13-15 hours of use before needing to hit the charger. The minute you start really pushing that Snapdragon 810 processor things change, however. Hours of intense gaming or HD video streaming will quickly take their toll on the One M9. In these situations you might be lucky to get 8-10 hours of use.

The good news is the One M9 includes a few features to help you get the most out of your battery. For one, there is the battery saver modes that come stock as part of Android 5.0. There is also support for Quick Charge 2.0, which provides as much as 60% charge in as little as 30 minutes, but HTC has made the bizarre decision to not include a Quick Charge-compatible wall charger out of the box.

Conclusion

htc-one-m9-rear-angle

Is the HTC One M9 iterative? Yes. Does it lack the flash of a curved display or fingerprint sensor or other gimmicks found in competing Android flagships? Yes. Is that necessarily a bad thing? The One M9 puts design above all else, and in that respect it could still be crowned the best on the market. With strong hardware and improved software, the One M9 makes a case for the best overall Android device, as well.

The Good

  • Gorgeous design and premium build
  • Sense 7.0 is a perfect union of Android Lollipop and customization options
  • Top-notch hardware for great performance

The Bad

  • Battery and display are not a marked improvement over last year’s One M8
  • 20MP camera does not live up to its pixel count
  • Has a tendency to run a little hot when pushed

The Bottom Line: 4.25/5

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Create your own Sense 7 themes for the HTC One M9 using their handy web tool http://phandroid.com/2015/03/27/htc-one-m9-sense-7-themes-web-tool/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/27/htc-one-m9-sense-7-themes-web-tool/#comments Sat, 28 Mar 2015 02:40:47 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162280 HTC Themes landing

If you’ve got a little time to kill this weekend, why not create a theme for the now available HTC One M9? HTC recently launched a handy web tool which allows anyone — both novices and pros alike — to build their own Sense 7 theme. The site is pretty intuitive and easy to use, while at the same time providing enough customizable UI elements that you can take it as far as you’d like.

HTC Themes 2

You can pick different wallpapers (or your own) for placement on several HTC apps: home screen, lock screen, app drawer, Dot View app, or messaging apps — then tweak all the colors and icons to your liking. From there, you can even change up the sounds and font, then save everything to your account and post online for other Sense 7 users to download. Veteran themers can try out HTC Themes’ Maker Pro section to really get in depth.

According the landing page, HTC Themes will soon have its own app for theme creation on the go, although it’s currently linking to the BlinkFeed app on Google Play. In either case, HTC Themes is something to check out while you debate picking up an HTC One M9.

[HTC Themes]

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HTC One M9 teardown shows how difficult it is to repair a broken display [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/27/diy-how-to-repair-htc-one-m9-lcd-screen-display/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/27/diy-how-to-repair-htc-one-m9-lcd-screen-display/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 22:27:05 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162268 HTC One M9 teardown

HTC’s “Uh Oh” protection policy for the HTC One M9 is just another way the manufacturer is giving you peace of mind during your first 12 months of ownerships. Should you crack the display, drop the device in the toilet, or run over it with a car — HTC’s got you covered. The problem? They’ll only do it once.

Those who are little more accident prone — or perhaps just have really bad luck — you may be wondering what happens if you break your HTC One M9 again during this 12-month time frame. Well, you can always pay out the nose to have someone repair it, or you can save a few ducats by attempting to do it yourself.

For anyone thinking about going the DIY route, you may find repairing something as common as the display on the HTC One M9 is a lot more trouble than it’s worth. At least that’s what this handy teardown video brought to us by the folks at pwrdbykyank is showing us.

The lengthy 35-minute video shows that while removing the back of the HTC One M9 is easy peasy, it’s getting at the the display that’s much more difficult. First, you’ll have to remove a variety of screws and tabs, then the main board, and then the battery. It’s only after that you’ll be able to remove the display connector connecting the LCD display. Once that’s been disconnected, you’ll need to heat up the screen (to loosen the adhesive) and use a standard plunger tool to pop out the display from the frame (18:50).

Exhausted yet? We sure are. To be fair, the Samsung Galaxy S6 was no cakewalk either. We have to admit, we’re certainly glad HTC is willing to repair the device completely free of charge during the first year. Whether or not that’s incentive enough to choose the HTC One M9 over the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is up to you.

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This GIF wonderfully illustrates the evolution of Samsung’s Galaxy S line http://phandroid.com/2015/03/27/samsung-galaxy-s-line-evolution-gif/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/27/samsung-galaxy-s-line-evolution-gif/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 20:24:18 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=162253 Samsung Galaxy S evolution

(Click image to play GIF)

It’s hard to believe that original Samsung Galaxy S was announced all the way back in March of 2010 without an LED flash or even 1080p video recording. Since then, the device has slowly evolved every year, eventually reaching the 6th iteration, the premium Samsung Galaxy S6 we see today.

The folks at GadgetLove are at it again, compiling every Galaxy S6 iteration into a single, mighty morphing GIF. Mesmerizing, isn’t it? While Samsung has largely kept to the same “Galaxy S” design language throughout the years, sometimes it’s easy to forget how far we’ve come since 2010. One thing the GIF doesn’t show? How Samsung ditched the removable battery and SD card slot in the Galaxy S6.

Check out our original Samsung Galaxy S review right here. Anyone out there own every Galaxy iteration?

[Interactive version: GADGETLOVE]

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