Phandroid » Polls Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Tue, 27 Jan 2015 04:03:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why is Facebook Messenger a separate app? Zuckerberg explains Fri, 07 Nov 2014 14:39:07 +0000 facebook messenger

Facebook has never made the most sensible or popular changes to their apps over the years. In fact, almost all of their changes are met with choruses of discontent and anguish. One such change was the split of Messenger from the main app into its own little world. It made little sense at the time, but Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg sure felt it was the right decision and despite the outrage from millions of the social network’s users he wasn’t going to budge.

mark zuckerberg

The company has long danced around the question of “why” with a collection of vague responses, but the head honcho finally decided to speak on it in a more open manner. Zuckerberg tackled the issue during his first ever public Q&A session with an explanation that actually makes more sense than you may think:

Asking everyone in our community to install a new app is a big ask. I appreciate that that was work and required friction. We wanted to do this because we believe that this is a better experience. Messaging is becoming increasingly important. On mobile, each app can only focus on doing one thing well, we think.

The primary purpose of the Facebook app is News Feed. Messaging was this behavior people were doing more and more. 10 billion messages are sent per day, but in order to get to it you had to wait for the app to load and go to a separate tab. We saw that the top messaging apps people were using were their own app. These apps that are fast and just focused on messaging. You’re probably messaging people 15 times per day. Having to go into an app and take a bunch of steps to get to messaging is a lot of friction.

Messaging is one of the few things people do more than social networking. In some countries 85 percent of people are on Facebook, but 95 percent of people use SMS or messaging. Asking folks to install another app is a short term painful thing, but if we wanted to focus on serving this well, we had to build a dedicated and focused experience. We build for the whole community. Why wouldn’t we let people choose to install the app on their own at their own pace? The reason is that what we’re trying to do is build a service that’s good for everyone. Because Messenger is faster and more focused, if you’re using it, you respond to messages faster, we’ve found.

The reason I say it makes sense? You needn’t look much further than the company who makes the very mobile operating system we talk about on Phandroid each and every day. Google could have easily merged Hangouts with the Google+ or Gmail apps on Android and iOS, especially considering the service it originally spawned from — Google Talk — was only accessible while using Gmail or a few of Google’s other web-based products.


Instead, Google decided to make Hangouts its own experience, and that could be a contributing factor to why it’s grown to be what it is now. Hangouts can be the simple messaging platform or SMS alternative you need it to be, or you can use it to conduct big group chats, video conference calls and even place free calls to countries around the world. While all that same goodness could have come to Hangouts in any form, having it in its own app keeps all of Google’s other apps from being overly confusing or bloated, and it makes it easier to highlight Hangouts’ value-packed feature set.

Looking at Facebook, there’s no reason anyone should blame them for wanting to do the same. Facebook’s viability as a messaging platform is growing each and every day, even if only for the sheer fact that it’s more likely that your friends and family are using it compared to messaging-focused services like GroupMe or WhatsApp. Facebook knows this, and they want to leverage that position to grow the service beyond a simple messaging tool to augment the base social experience. If they feel this is the way to do it, then we can’t say we know any better.

It’s easy to berate Facebook whenever they make sweeping changes and force users to adapt instead of giving them choice. In fact, it’s almost always a bad thing when choice is taken out of the equation. But in this instance, I can’t say I disagree with Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation as to why they’ve split Messenger off into its own app and forced everyone to get used to it.

And now that I think about it, I probably do enjoy Facebook Messenger a lot more now that I don’t have to venture into the messy app Facebook has become. That’s another story for another day, though. For now, we want to hear your thoughts on Zuckerberg’s explanation. Whether or not you agree, be sure to drop a line in the comments and — in the spirit of voting season — participate in the poll below.

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Will you buy the Nexus 6? [POLL] Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:06:37 +0000 nexus-6-desktop

It wasn’t the flashiest of unveilings, but the long-awaited Nexus 6 is finally here. We won’t be able to get our hands on it for a few more weeks, however, which gives us plenty of time to decide if it’s the next must-have Android handset.

The latest Nexus has a lot going for it in that area, the most prominent being its massive 6-inch AMOLED display with its crisp QHD resolution. The phone also includes a powerful Snapdragon 805 SoC with Adreno 420 GPU, a heaping helping of RAM at 3GB, and a 13MP rear camera with such enhancements as optical image stabilization. Throw in Turbo Charge for a quick battery boost and the pièce de résistance, Android Lollipop, and it would appear there is a new king in the Android realm.

Not so fast. The Nexus 6 won’t be for everyone. Its phablet form factor could turn away buyers wary about upgrading to a phone with such a large footprint. And for fans of low-cost unlocked devices, the N6 seems ready to buck the trend with Motorola revealing an off-contract price of $650. All major US carriers have plans to host the Nexus 6 on their networks, however. This fact, at least, will give buyers subsidized options to alleviate the high cost of going unlocked.

The handset won’t go up for pre-order until later this month (a specific date hasn’t been announced), but we want to get your knee-jerk reaction to Google’s announcement. Is the Nexus 6 your next Android device?

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Leather Moto X colors compared: which one is best? [PHOTOS] Fri, 05 Sep 2014 08:18:21 +0000 By now you’ve heard all about the Moto X, know it’s specs, price and availability, and have seen it in action. What you haven’t been able to decipher, though, is how those sexy leather backs look in real life, how they compare, how they feel, if they’re durable, and which one looks best. Allow us to help.


Above you’ll see 3 of the 4 color options for the leather backed Moto X:

  • Cognac
  • Natural
  • Navy

The 4th option is black leather and it will only be available, “in-store with select carriers,” but not online through Moto Maker. We’ve requested details on this color option restriction and are waiting to hear back from Motorola. But essentially, if you’re purchasing online, you’re choosing from Natural leather (light brown), Cognac leather (medium brown), and Navy leather (almost black).


How each look depends dramatically on the lighting. Compare the above photos to the one below and you’ll see what we mean. This aside, we’ve tried to select photos that best represent how we feel these leathers look in real life, an important distinction when making an online purchase.


Moto X with Navy Leather Back


The Navy backed Moto X was nice, but personally my least favorite. The dark color made it less noticeable as genuine leather and it almost looked black. The darker the leather the easier to imitate as faux leather, so comparing this to something like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, it still doesn’t stand out as much as you’d hope.

But given the hometown Chicago crowd it was nice to see the navy leather, red accents, and custom engraving that gave props to the Chicago Bears NFL team and fans. And it’s worth noting: if you’re looking for a great engraving, the darker navy leather seemed to provide a much better surface.

Moto X with Natural Leather



The lightest of the leather shades is called natural: it looked and felt the most natural and was undeniably genuine leather. Definitely a great looking piece of craftmanship. There was one potentially small yet potentially big downside: scuffing and scratching being more visible.

When feeling the texture of the leather back, Chris rubbed his nail against the leather surface and it created a very visible scuff, the looks of which I didn’t feel were too attractive.




But maybe that’s just part of the “breaking in” process. Some of the best looking clothes and fashion accessories look best with noticeable distress, so much that many style-focused brands purposefully distress items ahead of time. We won’t know if this is the case until the public has spent some time with the leather-backed Moto X in various colors, but we felt it worth mentioning as an early observation.

Moto X with Cognac Leather

This was my personal favorite of the three colors we previewed.


It was light enough to attract attention and stylistically provide that undeniable genuine leather look, feel, touch, and even smell- but dark enough to seem like it would better hide scuffing and scraping. That’s an early assumption I’m making, so please take other accounts into consideration- just my personal thoughts on the matter.

I’m not exactly the most prestigious of style aficionados, but I also feel like it would better match a greater percentage of… okay, maybe I’m thinking too much into this. I’ll just say the Cognac leather is definitely my favorite.

Which Moto X leather color option do you like best?


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Moto 360 vs Samsung Gear S vs LG G Watch R: which looks best? [POLL] Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:32:35 +0000 One look at the most recently announced smartwatches from LG, Samsung, and Motorola tells you the chunky, geeky smartwatches we’ve come to know and hate seem to be a thing of the past. Each company got a bit antsy by announcing their latest smart watch products well ahead of IFA Berlin. Consumers will soon have a stylish selection of smartwatches the likes of which we’ve never seen before, but which one takes the cake?

LG G Watch R

On LG’s side, they officially confirmed the circular LG G Watch R (find a hearty LG G Watch R image gallery here) that seems to be a direct answer to Motorola’s attention-grabbing Moto 360.


The LG G Watch R is upping the ante just a tad in terms of sheer performance with its 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 chipset. Other key specs include:

  • 1.3-inch P-OLED Display (320 x 320)
  • 4GB Storage
  • 512MB RAM
  • 410mAh Battery
  • IP67 Certification

For more, check out the full LG G Watch R Specs.

Samsung Gear S

Samsung decided to go with a more traditional form factor with the Samsung Gear S, though it stands out by having a curved display (don’t see that too often in a smart watch) and its own dedicated 3G radios.


Some important notes on the Gear S:

  • It runs Tizen OS, not Android
  • It also comes in White
  • 2-inch Super AMOLED display at 480 x 360

Could Samsung’s decision on the white band be in anticipation of Apple making a similar move?

Moto 360

This is the one that started the whole “Round Smartwatch” Android Wear craze, yet it’s the only of the three whose specs we still don’t know.

Moto 360 gif

When it was first unveiled, it seemed there wasn’t a single thing on the planet like it. Now, just days ahead of its launch, it’s got some sizeable competition.

Which one looks best?

With that, IFA just effectively became a big fatal 4-way brawl (if you’re counting the ASUS ZenWatch that was officially announced but has yet to be shown in full glory). Each of these devices has reasons for folks to be excited, but we’re curious to hear what you think about their design in particular. LG and Motorola’s options certainly are eye-popping, though the Gear S doesn’t look too bad either. Which of the 3 do you link looks best?

Moto 360 gif Samsung Gear S_Blue Black_3 lg-g-watch-r-6

Because smartwatches are also fashion accessories, a greater proportion of the purchase decision will be put on their design, but let’s not overlook their functionality. Jumping into the silicon, the devices all stack up fairly well against each other, though there are enough differences to note when you go to make your purchase decision this fall.

Don’t judge a watch by its face

The LG G Watch R is upping the ante just a tad in terms of sheer performance with its 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 chipset. The Gear S’s bigger display and higher resolution could be a winning factor for some, though the G Watch R’s display should look just as crisp at its small size and round form factor. The Moto 360 boasts a slightly bigger display than the G Watch R at 1.5 inches, though the resolution is slightly lower at 320 x 290.

Which to choose, which to choose?

The design will undoubtedly play a huge role in your decision, but let’s be honest- there are more factors that come into play.

So that brings us to the ultimate question: which smart watch will end up getting your money? Let us know in the comments below! Don’t forget to circle back next week starting September 3rd as we’ll be getting up close and personal with many of these options ourselves.

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Would you buy a rugged Casio G-Shock smart watch if it was revitalized with Android Wear? [POLL] Mon, 04 Aug 2014 13:14:29 +0000 Ask most people who they think started the smart watch revolution, and many would likely point to Pebble’s initial eInk-based offering as the pioneer. As true as that may be for more contemporary options, Casio would beg to differ — they’ve been making moves in the “smart” wristwatch arena for a few fair years now, and came along just as soon as products from Sony and Motorola’s respective camps. The Japanese company has a long standing line of Bluetooth-equipped watches that can send and receive data to and from Android and iOS devices.

casio g-shock GBX6900B-1_xlarge

Those watches — many of which exist in Casio’s storied G-Shock line — aren’t quite that flexible: you’ll get very thin notifications about incoming messages and calls, and they also send limited workout information to a smartphone companion app of theirs. It doesn’t let you get down and dirty quite like Android Wear, Samsung’s Tizen watches or the Pebble, but it works. What if we told you they’d be looking to eventually up the ante?

The company has recently updated their trademark for the lineup, and its description is chock full of smart watch features that many of the market’s latest options boast. References to “controlling music playback on a mobile device or computer” and other typical smart watch uses can be found littered throughout. Here is just a snippet of what you’d find should you venture over to the USPTO:

Software for use in sensing proximity and transmitting location notifications between a timepiece, wrist watch or wearable device and a computer, mobile telephone, mobile device or other electronic apparatus; Software for controlling music or media functions on a computer, mobile telephone, mobile device or other electronic apparatus from a timepiece, wrist watch or wearable device; Software for sending, receiving and controlling call, email, event, calendar or activity messaging and alerts between a timepiece, wrist watch or wearable device and a computer, mobile telephone, mobile device or other electronic apparatus

And all of that is before they even make mention of the trademark being for an actual time piece. Sounds like all the makings of some of the latest smart watches on the market.

We’re not sure what Casio could offer in the software department that we haven’t already seen from the aforementioned competition, but one thing we have yet to see is a smart watch with the same toughness and tenacity that Casio’s G-Shock line has come to be known for. I certainly wouldn’t mind an ultra rugged smart watch, especially considering how much more exposed to the elements that class of devices is poised to be compared to a smartphone.

Whether Casio’s updated trademark is a sign of things to come or them wanting to make sure their existing options are protected from copyright intruders remains to be seen, but considering the company’s unexpected trek into the smartphone arena on the backs of Verizon and Android we wouldn’t put anything past them. Would you want to buy a Casio G-Shock if it ran Android Wear? Hop to the poll below, and leave a comment letting us know if you’d pass on today’s options for something a bit more tough.

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How are you liking your Android Wear watch so far? [POLL] Sat, 12 Jul 2014 14:00:30 +0000  

LG G Watch Android Wear DSC06106

Earlier this week patient Android fans were greeted with shiny new smartwatches. The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, which went on sale back at Google I/O, finally arrived on door steps. All week we’ve been seeing new apps, tips, and discoveries from the vibrant group of Android Wear early adopters. If you’re a member of that group we want to know how you’re liking everything so far.

While many of us wait for the Moto 360 we have to live vicariously through those of you who already have an Android Wear device. We have so many questions for you! Are you happy with your purchase? Do you find yourself pulling out your phone less? How is battery life? What apps are you using? Has anyone asked you about your watch? What is your favorite thing about Android Wear?

If you don’t feel like answering all of those questions we have an easier poll for you below. Submit your response and tell us a little about your experience so far. Hopefully we can get a good discussion going and maybe share some tips and tricks. If you’re interested in talking to fellow users be sure to check out the G Watch and Gear Live forums.

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Are you buying an Android Wear smartwatch today? [POLL] Wed, 25 Jun 2014 23:40:27 +0000 The first batch of Android Wear smartwatches are finally available for purchase today. The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live are the two lucky pieces of wrist-bound gadgetry being offered up over in the Google Play Store. We’re sad to see Motorola’s Moto 360 wasn’t ready to join the party (especially since it was the first Android Wear smartwatch revealed, and perhaps the best looking one of them all).

lg g watch gear live google play

Now is the moment of truth: are you going to buy one? You have the LG G Watch for $230 with a nice, sleek design. The Samsung Gear Live also doesn’t look bad with its design cues borrowed from Samsung’s Tizen-based Gear lineup — it doesn’t hurt that it’s $30 cheaper than LG’s offering.

I’m personally opting to hold out for the Moto 360 simply because I can’t resist its good looks and circular design. Chris has already submitted his order for an LG G Watch in black simply because he’s the most impulsive buyer you’ll ever know. I kid, Chris.


Now we want to hear from you, so leave a vote in the poll below and be sure to let us know why you chose whichever smartwatch you’ve chosen with a comment down below!

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What will Android 5.0 “L” be called? [POLL] Tue, 24 Jun 2014 19:29:32 +0000 Android L

The hype beast is alive and well. We are less than 24 hours away from Google I/O 2014, and the rumors are swirling like a tornado. Less than 12 hours ago the idea of Android “L” being announced at I/O was considered highly unlikely. Now, thanks to some quotes from Android chief Sundar Pichai, we will be expecting it.

There is still one big question to be answered when it comes to Android 5.0: what the heck will the “L” stand for? As I’m sure you are well aware, Google uses a dessert theme for naming Android versions. Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jellybean, and KitKat have been used up to now. The two popular choices for “L” are lollipop and Lemonheads.

Lollipop would be a more traditional Android name, but with last year’s KitKat theme we can’t rule out name brands. So, wise Phandroids, which one will it be? Does Google go back to the traditional generic dessert names, or do they continue to pair up with candy companies? Let us know in the poll below and state your case in the comments!

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Are you buying the LG G3? [POLL] Tue, 27 May 2014 17:59:07 +0000 Talk about the LG G3 at

lg g3 5

So the LG G3 is finally official (even though we’ve had an idea of what to expect for weeks now). All the info is out on the table, and you should be able to buy it at nearly any major carrier. The question is simple now: will you be buying one?

It faces competition from not only the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the HTC One M8, but also quirky offerings from the likes of Oppo and OnePlus. The smartphone scene is quite crowded this year, so it’s sure to be a tough decision for many folks. Drop a vote in the poll below and let us know if you’ll be grabbing one. If not, be sure to stop by the comments and tell us which phone has your attention instead!

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HTC One (2014) vs HTC One (2013) – was it a worthy upgrade? [POLL] Wed, 26 Mar 2014 03:03:23 +0000 HTC One M8 vs HTC One M7

You’ve already seen our quick battle between HTC One M8 and Samsung Galaxy S5 — two respective heavy weights in their category for 2014’s baddest smartphones. It was a close battle, one that — as least at the time of this writing — saw the HTC One M8 taking a small lead. While that’s all fine and dandy, we know a few of you are current HTC One (2013) owners and are probably wondering exactly how the new and “improved” model fares against its older brother. Let’s take a closer look.

Build quality and Design

HTC One M8 2014 vs M7 2013

HTC has long been known for the build quality, and cutting edge design. Some of the most beautiful smartphones to ever grace this earth have been HTC devices. The original HTC One (2013) was no different. Featuring an aluminum finish and (almost) zero gap construction, it was a phone unrivaled by other Androids on the market (especially those being offered by Samsung). Refreshing to say the least.

For 2014, the HTC One M8 further builds upon HTC’s reputation, offering something improved yet familiar. Now, instead of the plastic filling from the original, HTC has extended the aluminum to reach fully around the sides. This helps give the appearance of a solid unibody design. Even the finish of the aluminum has been improved. It’s now has a brushed, slightly glossy texture. If there ever was a pinnacle of modern smartphone design and style, the HTC One M8 would be it. Well, for the most part.

One area that must be mentioned while we’re talking about design (you knew it was coming): that awful bezel. Along the bottom of the device, the familiar HTC logo can be found resting on the black bezel, a remnant of the original HTC One’s capacitive buttons. Trying to keep up with the times — and in an effort to better follow Android’s design guidelines — the HTC M8 now features software buttons. While great, in theory, these buttons encroach on some of that valuable screen real estate. This otherwise tarnishes what would have been a perfect smartphone design and, worst case scenario, will be a deal breaker for some.

Perhaps one last testament to the HTC One M8’s build quality is a YouTube video from TechSmartt. In the video, the phone is completely submerged in a sink full of water for a full 2 hours. Now, the phone doesn’t advertise water resistance of any kind, or even an IP rating, but after watching that video, HTC certainly had us fooled. Top notch craftsmanship right there.


htc one m8 hands-on 4

Both models feature the exact same 1920x1080p SCLD3 displays. HTC managed to bring the original One’s 4.7-inch display up to 5-inches in the One M8, meaning the old one technically has a higher dpi, although your eyes aren’t likely to tell the difference. Other than that, it seems they’re evenly matched. Which is a good thing mind you, the last thing we need or wanted to see were those exorbitant 2K displays being offered by other OEMs. No, thank you.

Processor, Performance and Battery

HTC One battery life double charge

Here’s where the obvious improvements take place. Like any good iteration, the chipset and other performance related hardware is likely to improve over the previous model. The original HTC One (2013) was one of the first devices to introduce a Snapdragon 600 processor. In our day to day use, it was snappy, and we experienced no lag that would take away from the user experience of the device.

To help with multitasking, 2GB of RAMs did a good job and keeping memory free, and 32GB/64GB internal storage options meant enough elbow room to store all your media. Battery life, while good, relied on their One (2013)’s 2,300mAh battery. Although it seemed small, the combination of processor and software tweaks would take you easily through a 15 hour day.

Qualcomm snapdragon-801-soc

For the HTC One M8, HTC turns to Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 801 processor, an improvement even over the Snapdragon 800 we saw some devices launching with towards the end of last year. We’ll need to see how it matches up to the One (2013) in day-to-day usage, but expect a noticeable improvement in overall speed and fluidity of the OS. Unfortunately, HTC seems to have played it safe in the RAM department, opting for the exact same exact 2GB of DDR2 RAM for the One M8. While it’s disappointing to not see them choose, at the very lest, DDR3, we’re sure it will be more than enough for today’s applications.

Internal storage options also remain the same, but to in an effort to deal with negative feedback over the original One’s lack of memory expansion, the One M8’s storage can further be increased — all the way up to 128GB via micro SD. That’s a whole lotta storage. Battery capacity was also increased to 2,600mAh. Once again, it seems like HTC played it safe, possibly choosing design over function. Not to worry, we’re sure the improvements in the Snapdragon 801 will take the device even further.

Unfortunately neither the old or new HTC One feature wireless charging, something we’ve grown accustomed to from recent devices like the Nexus 5 (or even the HTC DROID DNA). Major bummer there. What they did improve on the charging side of things was Qualcomm’s all new Quick Charge 2.0 technology. Devices that would normally take 3 hours to fully charge can now be charged in a little over an hour. Sounds great, right? Not too fast. The supplied charger that comes with the HTC One M8 still only supports Quick Charge 1.0, the older version. To get the full benefits, you’ll have to wait until Quick Charge 2.0 adapters are released later this year. Another bummer.

Software and Features

Sense 6.0 HTC One

In the original HTC One, HTC introduced an all new version of their custom Android software dubbed Sense 5. Addressing concerns that their software was typically bloated and had a noticeable lag on performance, Sense 5 was a complete re-imagining of their software. It was leaner, meaner, and in some cases, felt even faster than stock Android. HTC raised the bar for manufacturer UIs and we loved it. Aside from performance improvements, Sense 5 brought with it noticeable improvements to apps like the camera software, a new RSS-type launcher HTC called “BlinkFeed,” and enhanced camera and gallery features.

For the HTC One M8, HTC is introducing the latest version of their custom software: Sense 6.0. BlinkFeed and Zoe captures make a return, along with a plethora of new gesture options dubbed “Motion Sense.” With Motion Sense, users can double tap their display to unlock, or swipe to immediately open up their camera app. These can be further tweaked in the settings app, so if you don’t like ‘em, simply turn them off.

Probably the best part about Sense 6 is that HTC has now modularized many of their system applications, dumping them into the Google Play Store for later updating. This means that complete system updates are no longer needed to update HTC specific apps — they can now be updated all on their own.

Also worth noting is that Sense 6 — along with many of its features — will also be arriving on the older HTC One, coming in a future software update. Let’s just hope they leave those software buttons at the door.

htc one m8 hands-on 14

Can’t talk about features without mentioning the HTC One’s most standout one: its BoomSound stereo front facing speakers. For the HTC One M8, HTC was able to add multi-band amps, resulting in a 25% increase in volume. And yes, “Beats” makes another appearance in the software settings for the M8, just like last year’s model. The result are the best speakers you’ve ever heard from a smartphone, ones that fire at both your ears (the way the good lord intended).


htc one m8 hands-on 5

The original HTC One introduced a new kind of mobile camera tech HTC called their “UltraPixel” camera. What it meant was, despite being a lower resolution 4MP, the camera was able to capture more light than a traditional smartphone camera. So, pictures snapped indoors or in dimly lit restaurants typically looked much better and brighter than those taken with other cameras. We can attest to this, as you may have seen in our original HTC One review here.

For the One M8, HTC is reintroducing the 4MP UltraPixel camera, but this time it’s bringing along a friend to the party. The second additional lens doesn’t really capture images, it’s just there to help the M8 focus quicker and add post image editing abilities like changing the depth of field after the shots been taken. Whatever your thoughts are on the feature, I think we can all agree it’s great to see the effort taken to bring mobile photography to that next level. Imagine if something like this was offered on something the size of a DSLR? Keep doing what you do, HTC and we’ll applaud you for it.

htc one m8 hands-on 10

While the main camera itself performs well (quick to fire, color is accurate, etc.) the fact that it’s only 4MP means it faces the same problems as least year’s version. Don’t expect to crop or zoom in very much on snapped photos. If you do, you wont be happy with the result. But that’s okay. The majority of the time we’re using our smartphone it’s to take pictures of our lunch, loved ones (up close), or distant photos of the sunset — not trying to zoom in on a pimple or far away street sign. For 99% of what you’ll be using the HTC One M8’s camera for, it’ll perform just fine and even better than others on the market thanks to the improved low light shooting. Sounds like a worthwhile trade-off when you think about it.

And where one might take off a few points due to the lower resolution rear camera, the HTC One M8 gains many of these back with a 5MP wide angle “selfie” camera. Yes, folks. The front facing camera has a higher resolution shooter than the rear camera. Hows that for irony? If my Instagram feed is any indication, I’d say a lot of girls are going to be very happy with the new front facing camera (and the fellas as well).

What’s your take?

htc one m8 dot view case 8

In the end, there is no perfect smartphone. HTC even mentioned in their latest commercial that they didn’t build a phone for “everyone,” just a phone those who “demand more.” Whether or not the HTC M8 — both in hardware and software — was able to live up to this claim us up to you. Was it a big enough leap over the previous year’s model, we’d have to say in many ways, yes. It builds on the original HTC One design, refining it enough to give it a leg up on the competition, and making it a worthy upgrade to the HTC One (2013). Now that you’ve seen the differences for yourself, would you say the HTC One M8 was a worthy sequel to the HTC One (2013)? Voice your thoughts in the comments, and cast your vote in our poll below.

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Are you buying the all new HTC One M8? [POLL] Tue, 25 Mar 2014 16:07:42 +0000 Talk about the all new HTC One M8 at!

So HTC has finally taken the wraps off of the all new HTC One, and the moment of truth is here — will you be buying one? Many are already pondering that very question over at, and we certainly wouldn’t mind hearing from the Phandroid faithful.

The all new HTC One is an all-metal device with a 5-inch 1080p HD display, Snapdragon 801 processor, HTC Duo UltraPixel camera, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and more. You can find more of the juicy details over at the announcement post, so be sure to check that out if you aren’t up to speed on what it’s bringing to the table.

Drop a vote in the poll. Whether you’re already scrounging up your pennies or passing on the HTC One for something else, we want to know why! Be sure to head to the comments and let us know why you chose whichever path you chose.

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Is the Moto 360 the sexiest smart watch ever? [POLL] Wed, 19 Mar 2014 18:12:36 +0000 Discuss Android Wear and the Moto 360 on Android Forums!


One thing that’s sucked about this whole smart watch craze over the past couple of years is that people seemed to be OK with the fact that they looked like horrible gadget rejects from Power Rangers. Sure, they’re for geeky people, but that doesn’t mean they should look geeky.

But things have been improving as of late, and we’re happy about that. We might have even settled with the beautiful Sony SmartWatch 2, but then Motorola went and introduced the Moto 360 as one of the first Android Wear smart watches.

This beauty had most of your jaws dropping yesterday, and for good reason. Finally, a smart watch crafted by engineers who wanted to make something that could fit an elegant ensemble as well as it could improve your digital life. Finally, something that doesn’t have four edges sharper than the steak knives in my kitchen drawer. Finally, a watch that doesn’t activate our gag reflexes the moment we glance at it.

All over-exaggerations aside, the Moto 360 is one pretty smart watch, but do you think it’s the sexiest out there? We covered a whole lot of them in our top 20 smart watches post yesterday in case you needed a quick reminder of what the competition looks like. If so, let us know in the poll below. If not, well, we want to hear what you think could take that particular ribbon home. Don’t forget to leave a comment elaborating on your thoughts!

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Will your next smartphone be a Motorola? [POLL] Thu, 30 Jan 2014 12:59:57 +0000 When Google first announced the purchase of Motorola, we weren’t sure what was going to come of it. Motorola still had a short pipeline to power through at that point, but eventually got to a point where they could begin work on their first line of smartphones that seemed to be influenced by Google themselves. The result was the Moto X, Moto G and Verizon’s exclusive DROID line-up.

The phones were heralded for light user interface customization, great battery life and very useful features that anyone could appreciate. Motorola’s swift upgrades to KitKat across all their latest phones added about 1,000 more brownie points, and everyone suddenly found themselves in love with “the Google company.”

Motorola a Lenovo Company

Will that change for you? I’m asking because of the news yesterday that Google would be selling off the remainders of Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for just $2.91 billion. While Lenovo hasn’t yet detailed their plans for their new purchase, we can’t be totally sure they’ll impact Motorola the same way Google did. In the same breath, we can’t we be sure they’ll allow Motorola to continue operating as a separate entity.

Many would point to the Chinese company’s adoption of IBM’s ThinkPad line as proof that they’ll want to roll Motorola’s products under their own brand name, but it’s important to remember that this situation is different. Lenovo didn’t just buy a line of products — they bought an entire company.

So I pose to you this question: will your next smartphone be a Motorola phone? Has your desire to back Motorola suddenly waned now that Google’s name is no longer associated with the company? If Motorola continued down the same path they’re on in terms of compelling and solid smartphone offerings, yet did it under Lenovo’s brand, would you still buy?

As a DROID MAXX owner myself, I can’t say I wasn’t taken aback by the news, and I can’t say I didn’t immediately second guess my previous plans to stick with Motorola from here on out. That said, being an owner of three different solid Lenovo laptops in the past makes me willing to give the company a real chance to show me what they’ll be doing with ol’ Moto in the months and years to come before I pass absolute judgment. Let us know how you feel in the poll and comments section below

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Would you buy a Motorola phone if they had early access to Android updates? [POLL] Mon, 20 Jan 2014 17:24:51 +0000 When Android 4.4 KitKat launched, we were surprised to see that the Moto X got the upgrade before most Nexus devices. It wasn’t a huge gap between the rollouts, but the fact that any non-Nexus device got it before any others was astonishing. Some suspected Motorola might have had privileged access to the update ahead of other OEMs thanks to their new parent company Google.

Motorola Logo

Interestingly enough, TrustedReviews posted an appalling headline earlier “confirming” as much. Here’s what the headline originally satated:

Motorola CEO confirms Google will prioritise Android updates for Motorola phones

And here’s a line from the source:

If you’re going to buy an Android phone you’ll get the fastest Android updates on Motorola. What do we want people to say about Motorola in 2-3 years?

That we are constantly proving that software is key. We want them to say Motorola stands for quality and value. That I can’t get a better smartphone at that price-point and then in the higher price products it’s that I have more choice.

That line alone doesn’t seem to convey that Motorola is getting priority access. Indeed, the headline was changed to reflect Woodside’s comments more accurately, which don’t actually state Motorola gets early access to upgrades.

But Woodside’s comments are still quite interesting. Such a confident statement, coupled with what seemed to be lightning fast upgrades to Android 4.4 KitKat on the Moto X, Moto G, and the 2013 DROID phones, would make anyone believe Motorola is receiving special treatment.

It’s entirely possible that other factors could be in play, of course. Motorola’s “keep it simple, stupid” approach to software these days probably makes it easier for them to implement and test new versions of Android than other OEMS. That said, they still do use a great deal of custom software in their latest phones, so it’s still amazing to see them able to get a stable upgrade out ahead of any Nexus device.


While we might not ever get a clear answer about it (that would tick some pretty big manufacturers off), one thing’s for sure — Motorola fans certainly won’t be complaining anytime soon. Would you make your next phone a Motorola phone if you found out they had access to newer versions of Android before anyone else? Let us know with a quick line in the comments section, as well as a vote in the poll below!

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Is Samsung’s new tablet UI a rip-off of Windows Metro UI? [POLL] Tue, 07 Jan 2014 23:41:35 +0000 samsung-magazine-ux

You might have noticed that Samsung is using a new user interface for their Magazine UX on the latest Galaxy tablet devices (hands-on of which we have right here). We didn’t want to say anything before, but it looks like the word got out — it looks quite familiar. We’re talking about a light hint of Microsoft’s Metro UI used in Windows 8+ devices.

While it’s clearly not exactly the same, you have to wonder if Samsung borrowed some design elements from Microsoft to craft this new user interface. Our friend Joe from WinSource suspects Samsung did it to create a product that lends itself more to the business users that the latest Galaxy TabPro and Galaxy NotePro tablets are catered toward.

While no one can say for sure, we’re sure everyone has their own opinion. Personally, I think Samsung did borrow a bit from Microsoft, though they obviously used the power and flexibility of Android to create an experience that’s more useful than that of default Metro. Most of all, though, I think I’m just glad that they aren’t interested in trying to emulate Apple (though some supposed upcoming changes to TouchWiz seem to suggest they’ve dipped back into that trend for the phone side of things).

How about you? Drop a vote in the poll below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments section right afterward.

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