Phandroid » Handsets Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Fri, 25 Apr 2014 01:44:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 OnePlus One ‘Smash the Past” contest sees hopefuls smashing their phones prematurely Thu, 24 Apr 2014 23:38:14 +0000 Smash the Past landing page

You gotta give it to OnePlus. For being a newcomer to the industry, they’ve managed to make quite a name for themselves and it didn’t even take spending a sh*t ton of money to do it. There’s no question they’re offering a compelling product with the OnePlus One, undercutting the big dogs and still offering a phone with more bang for the buck. But it’s OnePlus’ grassroots marketing techniques that are raising eyebrows for some.

Take their “Smash the Past” contest for instance. The promotion — which doesn’t officially kick off for another 12 more hours — offers the upcoming OnePlus One smartphone at an extremely discounted price of only $1. The catch? You’ll have to smash your old smartphone to get it.

As we told you guys yesterday, you’ll first have to sign up for the chance to be randomly selected. Once chosen, you’ll then have the opportunity to prove your love for the OnePlus One by destroying your old smartphone via whatever means necessary. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re already seeing a few OnePlus One hopefuls jump the gun, smashing their smartphones without first reading the entry rules. It’s painful to watch, but you’ll find video proof below.

Again, you’re supposed to sign up for an invite first, then smash your phone — not the other way around. Now, we’re sure a few of the people in these videos didn’t damage their primary phone, probably some dusty old ones they had laying around the house. That still doesn’t make it any less painful.

And before you run over to their channels and leave them all kinds of nasty insults (seriously, don’t do that), we think OnePlus could have exercised a teensy bit more caution when advertising a promotion like this. We’re still waiting around for full entry rules which, according to the Smash the Past landing page, says will be revealed in 12 hours time. In the meantime, hang on before putting those old phones on the chopping block. Those looking to participate, you can sign up for the Smash the Past contest via the link below.

[OnePlus Smash the Past signups | via Reddit]

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Report: Galaxy S5 outsold iPhone 5S on launch weekend (but does it mean anything?) Thu, 24 Apr 2014 12:30:33 +0000 Word on the wire is that Samsung’s 2014 flagship did better on its opening weekend than Apple’s iPhone 5S did on its respective launch. That word comes from IQMetrix, whose study was based on sample data from over 15,000 retail locations in North America.

According to them, the Samsung Galaxy S5 accounted for 25% and 18% of all total phones sold in the US and Canada respectively on its global launch weekend of April 11th through the 13th, 2014. The iPhone 5S, meanwhile, did 18% and 13% in those same areas.

galaxy s5 vs iphone 5s sales

One might quickly come to the conclusion that the Samsung Galaxy S5 completely “pwns” the iPhone 5S, but there’s a bit to be said about these numbers. For starters, the two devices launched six months apart. Six months is a long time in the consumer tech market, and with changing seasons come changing demands.

Of course, the iPhone 5S launching at the edge of the start of the holiday season versus the Spring launch of the Galaxy S5 might lead you to believe that the iPhone 5S is simply weak — holiday sales should be stronger by default, no?

This detour from typical trends could be explained by the upgrade cycles each fanbase is tied to. The feeling is that there are more iPhone owners on the original two-year upgrade path going from the original iPhone, to the iPhone 3G, to the iPhone 4, and then on to the iPhone 5.


Likewise, Samsung likely has more people on their original bi-yearly upgrade cycle, from the Samsung Galaxy S, to the Samsung Galaxy S3, then on to the Samsung Galaxy S5. Such a path would indicate more Samsung Galaxy fans were looking to upgrade to a Galaxy S5 this year vs more iPhone fans looking to go for a 5S.

Of course, recent changes to carriers’ early upgrade options might have had a hand in changing the scale, but there’s no way to tell what the numbers look like without any hard data from carriers.

Something else that could explain this victory for Samsung? Perhaps it’s because this is the first time they’ve had a true simultaneous global launch. Apple has been doing it since the beginning of time, but this is Samsung’s first time launching around the globe on the same day.

Samsung hasn’t even been able to launch on all carriers in the US on the same exact day before the Galaxy S5, so one could argue they’ve had the potential to match or exceed iPhone’s opening day numbers all along. After all, Android devices have outsold iOS devices by a large number across the globe, and Samsung sits atop that Android totem pole with a lead wider than the Grand Canyon.

Speculation is speculation, though, and numbers can tell any story you want them to if they aren’t backed up by hard data from the horses’ mouths. That said, we doubt Samsung is going to be pulling teeth trying to validate this success — they’re happy to have it no matter how they got it. Read the full infographic at the jump.

[via IQMetrix]

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Red HTC One M8 headed to Verizon [LEAK] Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:15:59 +0000 HTC One M8 Red Verizon Wireless

Our friend @evleaks is tipping off a new color variant of the HTC One M8, coming soon to Verizon Wireless in a flashy red paint job. The aluminum smartphone is only currently available in silver or gun metal gray varieties on Verizon, so the addition of a bright red version should liven things up a bit.

We see OEMs do this all the time, an effort to keep the blogs buzzing about their latest flagships. Seeing as how last year’s model also launched in a variety of colors, we’d say there’s a good chance we’ll also see the M8 in blue and gold at some point in the future. We’ll keep an eye out.


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HTC One M8 receives Extreme Power Saving Mode and camera enhancements update in Canada Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:45:55 +0000 HTC One M8 extreme power saving mode

Our Android brothers and sister in Canada are now receiving a nice little software update for the HTC One M8. The folks at MobileSyrup have received reports — and screenshots — from Canadian One M8′s getting hit with software build 1.55.631.4, which aside from camera and gallery enhancements, introduces HTC’s Extreme Power Saving Mode for the handset.

HTC One M8 1.55.631.4

The Extreme Power Saving Mode was actually included in overseas versions of the One M8, but had to undergo FCC approval before it could be added to devices here in the states. Something to do with ensuring the phone was able to still make emergency calls while in a low-power state. The feature is actually very similar to the one we find in the Samsung Galaxy S5, introducing an extremely simplified homescreen which, no doubt, limits background apps. This could prove helpful in those emergency situations when you need to keep your phone on, but still want to receive/make phone calls in a moments notice.

No word on when the update will hit more US-based HTC One M8s (apparently, the Sprint M8 on 1.54.651.8 already has Extreme Power Saving mode), but we’ll keep you updated. Get it? I’ll be here all week…

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Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 camera showdown at! Wed, 23 Apr 2014 19:43:40 +0000 What good is a 16 megapixel ISOCELL camera sensor if you can’t share the results of its might? That’s why folks have filed into the Samsung Galaxy S5 section at to share off all the great shots they’ve been taking with the device’s camera.

Camera: Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8

The thread is chock full of users posting all the samples you can handle. Whether you’re still on the fence about a purchase decision or just want to take it all in, you should head over there right now (make an account if you haven’t already) and check it out. (And post some shots of your own if you have them!)

Want even more? How about this awesome head-to-head showdown forum member mach1man did, pitting the Galaxy S5′s camera against the HTC One M8.

You may think he’s doing this for the sole purpose of showing off his awesome jeep, but the further you go the more interesting things get (including low light shots inside, full high-noon sun shots, overcast shots, and more). Head over there, view all the shots and let us know who you think takes the camera crown.

That’s not all that’s going on, though. Check out some of these other awesome threads bulging with friendly discussion:

We’ve merely scratched the surface of everything that’s over there, so don’t waste any time in checking all of it out.’s Galaxy S5 section is the place to be if you have a question about the phone, have some awesome news to share, or just want to kick back and chit chat with fellow enthusiasts who own the device. Do yourself a favor and make sure you’re part of the conversation.

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AT&T HTC One M8 owners can’t redeem 50GB of free Google Drive storage until May Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:52:27 +0000 HTC Advantage Benefits

As part of HTC Advantage, the Taiwanese manufacturer’s ‘benefits package’ offered to customers who have recently purchased one of their new handsets, HTC was offering 50GB of free Google Drive storage. A generous amount of cloud storage for sure, but one that currently excludes AT&T branded One M8s. Why? Well, we can’t be exactly sure what the problem is. HTC is calling it a “minor technical error” but hopes to have the promotion up and running by mid-May.

Dear HTC Customers and Enthusiasts,

A minor technical error has temporarily deactivated the Google Drive cloud storage offer for the AT&T HTC One (M8). Please be aware that we are working to fix this error, and the 50GB of Google Drive storage space will be available by Mid-May for this device.

Thank you for your patience, and we hope you are enjoying your new HTC One (M8).


Ed Kuhner
Vice President Customer Experience

Still unclear is if AT&T One M8 owners who are already using Drive will need to do any additional steps to activate the promo, or if everything will be handled behind the scenes. We’ll keep you posted.

[HTC Advantage]

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More Samsung Galaxy K (Galaxy S5 Zoom) pictures leak, and it doesn’t look bad Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:56:35 +0000 Samsung is gearing up to announce a follow-up to last year’s Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom next week, and more new photos of the thing have leaked. We don’t get any front-side shots of the Samsung Galaxy K, though we imagine those who are interested in this are more concerned about what’s sitting on the back.


That nice, big zoom sensor is right where it should be, and while it doesn’t fit flush inside the rest of the chassis, it looks a lot more natural than the wavy shape of last year’s model.

The device appears to be sporting some sort of clear case in these photos. We’re assuming that’s not standard with the device as the first leaked shot of this thing didn’t have such a case. It looks bulky because of it, but the device actually seems to have the slim form factor Samsung is expected to promise.


Not in the know about what they’re announced April 29th? Here’s everything we know about its specs so far:

  • 4.8-inch Super AMOLED 720p display
  • Samsung Exynos 5 5260 hexa-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 20-megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom and Xenon flash
  • 2-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat.

Not the most ground-breaking device in terms of performance, but we imagine those interested in this device only care about the imaging equipment attached to its backside. All eyes will be on Singapore next week, so circle back for the full details once they’re finally made available.

[Baidu via SamMobile]

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OnePlus One size and specs draw inexplicable anger Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:26:52 +0000 The CyanogenMod based OnePlus One phone has just been announced along with a pretty crazy price and equally crazy promotion. But what we find craziest is a bizarre backlash against a specific OnePlus One spec announced: the dimensions.

Last month the company released a promotional image of the OnePlus One covered by the Sony Z1, insinuating the OnePlus One had smaller dimensions.You can see the OnePlus One barely peeking out from the sides – so we knew it would be slightly wider – and based on the angle of the picture no assumptions could be made about the thickness or height.

After all was said and done, here are the dimensions of the OnePlus One compared to some key competitors:

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 4.44.22 AM

It’s taller and wider than both the Sony Z1 and Oppo Find 7 and also taller than the Galaxy Note 3. Suddenly, for some inexplicable reason, that’s cause for chaos and a reason for disbanding the fabric of the universe. You can find a prime example of this on a thread titled “This company is founded on lies” on the OnePlus Forums and a discussion of the same on Reddit.

This isn’t an isolated incident, either: across many different forums and sites we’ve seen a multitude of people bash the company for being unfair, misleading, and lying about the OnePlus One in regards to the dimensions and specs. Unless this is a targeted attempt by OnePlus One’s competitors to discredit and troll the launch, I’m not sure where all the hate is coming from.

Let’s get a few things clear:

  • OnePlus never made claims that weren’t true… they posted a picture, people made assumptions, and are now holding OnePlus to words that other people put in their mouth.
  • Starting at $299, nobody should have anything to complain about
  • Especially a few millimeters here and there, which is exactly the difference. Unless these complainers saw this stat on a spec sheet, they’d never  know the difference
  • The people complaining are welcome to a refund. What’s that you say? They haven’t paid for anything yet? Oh… I see…

Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. The complaint is so absurd that I’m finding it hard to rule out some type of foul play.

I’m really excited about the OnePlus One and I’m sure our OnePlus One Forums will be heating up in no time. I’m not very excited to see people breaking their phones for a chance to get One, but I’ll just sit on the sidelines and hope someone tosses me an invite.

Hint, hint?

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You’ll have to smash your current phone for an early chance to buy the OnePlus One Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:01:58 +0000   Talk about the OnePlus One at | Pricing and Availability | Are you buying?


In case you didn’t catch wind of it in our OnePlus One announcement post, we finally have an idea how many units are going to be available for its April 25th launch, as well as what you need to do to get it.

OnePlus is inviting people to apply for a chance to smash their OnePlus One, only 100 of which will be available. This is off-putting for sure, but OnePlus intends to sweeten the publicity stunt by making the device just $1 for those lucky 100 souls.

Not interested in smashing your phone? Worried you won’t be able to get one? There may be hope yet. OnePlus is giving the winners an invite code of their own to distribute. You’ll have to pay full price for the OnePlus One ($300 for the 16GB version and $350 for 32GB), but that comes with the added trade-off of not having to defile your current piece of mobile tech.

You’d better start buttering the palms of OnePlus One enthusiasts everywhere, because there’s no telling how long it’ll take to get more chances to buy this phone. Read all about the device right here, then head to the OnePlus One Phone Smash site if you don’t mind putting your current device to rest.

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OnePlus One price and release date revealed; starts at $299 Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:01:36 +0000  Talk about the OnePlus One at | How to buy it Are you buying?


So we know what it is and what it looks like, and we’ve even had the displeasure of knowing how you’ll be able to get one. Need pricing and availability information? Here it is laid out nice and neat:

  • $299/€269 for 16GB Silk White version
  • $349/€299 for 64GB Sandstone Black version
  • Available in the following countries:
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Denmark
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Hong Kong
    • Italy
    • Netherlands
    • Portugal
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Taiwan
    • United Kingdom
    • United States
  • First 100 units available for $1 April 25th via the Phone Smash promotion. Read all about that right here.

And that’s that, folks. While that 100 unit cap is small, those users will also be treated to an invitation of their own to distribute to eager consumers (though they’ll have to pay the full retail price for that privilege).

We imagine OnePlus won’t drag their feet on making more invitations available either through contests or the Phone Smash program, though, so relax and be patient if you don’t end up being lucky enough to grab one right away. Understand all that? Then be sure to head here and read more about the OnePlus One with CyanogenMod.

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Are you buying the OnePlus One? [POLL] Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:01:17 +0000  Talk about the OnePlus One at | Pricing and Availability | How to buy it


We’ve finally learned everything we need to know about the OnePlus One. Everything is peachy keen aside from an annoying purchase process. It can be had as cheap as $300, a price tag that certainly cannot be matched by any other device in its class. The question is simple then — are you buying one?

Sure, you have to be lucky enough to be one of 100 people selected to smash their phone for a chance to buy the OnePlus One for $1 (or be diligent enough to pry an invite away from someone who has been selected to purchase the device right away), but for its cost-to-performance ratio it’s probably considered just a small nuisance in the grand scheme of things.

Read up on everything, then circle back to drop your vote in the poll below. Don’t forget to follow that up with a comment if you wish to share the reasoning for your eventual decision.

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OnePlus One officially, finally and fully unveiled Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:00:12 +0000 Talk about the OnePlus One at | Pricing and Availability | Are you buying?

02 It’s been a veeeery long and arguably frustrating wait, but the OnePlus One has finally been unveiled for the world to see. The beaut you see up above is the first device built specifically for CyanogenMod, and while the tactic of trickled specs kept us on the edge of our seats, there’s nothing quite like seeing a full spec listing.

OnePlus One Specs

Here’s everything that’ll be packed inside:

  • 5.5-inch JDI display with 1080p HD resolution
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.5GHz chipset
  • 3GB of LP-DDR3 RAM clocked at 1866MHz
  • Between 16GB and 64GB of internal storage
  • 13 megapixel Sony Exmor IMX 214 f/2.0 aperture sensor with 4K video recording and dual LED flash, 5 megapixel front sensor
  • 3,100mAh lithium polymer battery
  • dual-band WiFi AC, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS w/ GLONASS, NFC
  • microUSB 2.0, multi-colored LED notification light and a 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Android 4.4 KitKat with CyanogenMod 11S
  • 152.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm, 162 g

OnePlus One Software and Features

That last one is the big kicker, because it’s the software where OnePlus and CyanogenMod’s values truly shine. Their boisterous condemnation of carrier bloatware and unnecessary features were paramount to creating a device users would want. Well, that and a device that packs as much cutting edge silicon that it can inside a 5.5-inch frame.

08 01 03 07

CyanogenMod features all the key staples of the existing after-market ROM, except it has a different, special coat of pain designed specifically for the OnePlus One. A staggering thousand or so themes will be available for you to customize with thanks to the built-in themes engine.

Secure encrypted texting between other CyanogenMod or TextSecure users ensures privacy. Privacy Guard lets you control which apps get access to which data. We’ll even be treated to a feature that allows you to activate your phone’s voice commands without having to touch it.

It’s all part of CyanogenMod’s latest commitment — to be open, secure, and extremely customizable. Seems they hit all the marks on this one.

OnePlus One Pricing and Availability

So when? Where? How much? And how to buy it? Thankfully they aren’t pussyfooting with that information. The device will be coming to

10 09 06 04

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and the United States. The 16GB Silk White model will run you an absolutely insane $299/€269, while the 64GB Sandstone Black can be had for $349/€299.

We honestly thought they’d go with the $399.99 price point to stay under their goal of delivering a device that costs less than $400, but this is a whole different level of value. Unfortunately the “how” of it all is still based on an invite only system.

Aside from the handful of users who have already gotten an invite code through a recent OnePlus One forum contest, users will be able to get a chance to “smash” their phone. Dubbed the OnePlus One Phone Smash, the company will select 100 users — at random — to smash their phones and buy the OnePlus One.

Doesn’t make sense if you were planning to trade your current phone in to pay for the device, right? That’s why those same 100 people will be able to grab it for a mere dollar.

Anyone beyond that will need an invite for now, so you’d better make friends with one of those 100 lucky people as they’ll be the only ones with invite codes to buy the phone at full price. It’s not the most popular system among our readership, but hey — for what you’re getting at the cost you’re paying, there’s little else to complain about.

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Pricing for OnePlus One 16GB and 64GB models may have leaked ahead of tonight’s announcement Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:59:19 +0000 OnePlus One BabySkin back

Leading all the way up until its launch, the folks at OnePlus haven’t exactly been shy on revealing many of the hardware specs coming bundled inside their upcoming flagship, the OnePlus One. And while CEO Pete Lau has mentioned in the past that their smartphone would definitely be sold for under $400, but we weren’t sure if that meant $350, or was marketing speak for $399.99.\

While that part is still up in the air, the folks at GizmoChina havereceived a leaked screenshot, allegedly showing pricing for both the 16GB and 64GB OnePlus One models. Looks like we could (unofficially) be looking at about $353 for the 16GB model (2199.99 RMB), and $417 for the 64GB version (2,599.99 RMB). Pretty impressive given there sheer amount of hardware being offered for the price. In comparison, the HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5 can be found for around $650 off-contract.

OnePlus One price

Of course, we’ll let the OnePlus guys make the final US and European pricing for the phone official and the best part is we wont have to wait much longer. The OnePlus One will be unveiled tonight, at 11:30pm PDT / 2:30am EDT. OnePlus recommends following their Twitter account here, or the live coverage in their forum here for the latest from the event.

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HTC Droid DNA receiving Android 4.4.2 KitKat and Sense 5.5 on April 24th Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:47:38 +0000 HTC Droid DNA Verizon DSC05836

Let’s play a game: how many Android devices can you list that launched back in 2012, and have found themselves updated to Android 4.4.2 KitKat? Not very many. Well, joining that illustrious list this week — on April 24th, to be exact — will be the HTC DROID DNA for Verizon Wireless. HTC’s Executive Director of Product Management revealed the good news on Twitter this afternoon, also adding that Sense 5.5 will come along with the firmware upgrade as well.

Droid DNA owners are breathing a sigh of relief. It’s been a long time coming, and after facing initial delays in getting Android 4.2.2 to the device, HTC remained committed to updating the DNA to KitKat. A testament to HTC’s new commitment to support their flagship devices with major software releases (even if the Droid DNA launched a few months ahead of the One line).

In a time when 720p was still the standard, HTC smashed convention, launching the first phone in the US with a full 1080p display. Some said it was overkill, but my, how time flies. It’s nice to see the DNA still holds a special place in HTC’s heart, just don’t expect any major firmware upgrades from here on out. HTC’s will have done their part, breathing new life into Droid DNA, most likely for the last time.


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LG G3 screenshots leak again, LG’s fresh new user interface has us drooling Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:54:19 +0000 lg-g3-android-apps-macro-970x646-c

We honestly weren’t sure we could suffer through another flagship iteration using LG’s stale old user interface. What was good during the age of Ice Cream Sandwich isn’t sitting so well with us anymore, especially after seeing what rival OEMs like HTC and Samsung are bringing to the table. The good news? It looks like LG has finally gotten the hint, and for upcoming LG G3, will be giving their UI a much needed facelift.


Old vs new

The folks at Digital Trends have nabbed some screenshots taken from the upcoming LG G3, confirming once again not only a 1440×2560 resolution display, but a departure from LG’s previous skeuomorphic design. Instead, we find a design much more in tune with what we’re seeing in iOS 7 (round, bright colored settings icons), and a much more flat, minimal icon set. We have to admit, it looks leaps and bounds better than before.


Old vs new

Apparently, a refreshed UI isn’t the only trick LG has up their sleeves for the G3, with a new “Concierge” supposedly in the works as well (because voice controlled personal assistants are all the rage these days). You can see a brief glimpse of their concierge in action in the weather widget, where concierge is recommending the user bring an umbrella. According to sources, other contextual based information will be displayed here, similar to Google Now.


No word on when — or even if — LG will get around to updating their older devices to this new UI. Typically, LG drags their feet when it comes to software updates on older devices, so don’t go holding your breath. We’ll keep you updated.

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