Phandroid » Polls Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:24:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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.

]]> 50
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.

]]> 95
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!

]]> 58
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

]]> 142
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!

]]> 92
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.

]]> 68
First Moto G ad hits YouTube as Verizon confirms plan to carry it, but will you buy it? [POLL] Wed, 13 Nov 2013 20:04:53 +0000 Earlier this morning, Motorola announced an affordable new smartphone that would give people a decent experience for under $200 unlocked. It’s the Moto G, a 4.5-inch 720p handset with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 5MP camera and more. Don’t worry in case you missed it — Motorola’s first ad hopes to be enough to get you to see just how big this value proposition is.

To top all of that off, the first major carrier to announce plans to carry the device happened to be… Verizon? That’s right — Big Red is looking to offer this thing in early Q1 2014, though you’ll only be able to get it as a pre-paid smartphone through their network.

Of course, this comes with one unfortunate caveat — without any 4G LTE radios, the Moto G has to stick to Verizon’s EVDO 3G network. While their 3G network isn’t horrible, it certainly isn’t holding a candle to what AT&T and T-Mobile have been able to do with HSPA+.

If you’re going with the Moto G for your smartphone then Verizon doesn’t look to be the best carrier to stick with. That they’re only offering this on prepaid accounts makes it that much easier for you to find a carrier that it would make a lot more sense on. Where will you look to use your Moto G?

]]> 38
Do you hate the new Google+ YouTube comments? Mon, 11 Nov 2013 18:22:37 +0000 YouTube update with Google Plus comments

Having the biggest video streaming site is no small accomplishment, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. When we heard Google+ comments were being integrated to YouTube, we could only assume people would either love it or hate it. Commenting is one of the most important factors in YouTube, and messing up that part would be catastrophic.

Well, it is all going downhill at YouTube right now. And we have to turn our heads when one of the most popular posts of the month is the announcement that this new commenting system had launched. What happens when we read the comments? We find out people hate it! Literally… it’s hard to find ONE positive opinion in our post’s 700+ comments.

What is so bad about the new Google+ comments?

First and foremost, not everyone wants to use Google+. YouTube has been a giant since its release; it quickly became the largest video community in the world and has been able to keep that title. When companies reach that point it’s very hard for people to migrate, so Google may feel like they have the power to force people to use their services.

Google+ is being pushed very hard by the Search Giant. They want to integrate it with all its services; first with Google Talk, Blogger, Google and others – now with YouTube. And it can be impossible to fully use YouTube without having a linked Google+ account. At the very least, not using Google+ will make life harder for you in the YouTube realms.

Users can’t comment without Google+, YouTube channels and Google+ comments are getting mixed up, setting up the account is getting confusing and there is no way to avoid all of this.

Could Google+ have been good?

GooglePlus banner

I believe things would have been better if Google handled it all with better care. Google+ comments are not so bad in Blogger, for example. The feature is an option, so you can opt out of Google+ comments in there. Also, you can leave comments as a guest. More importantly, Blogger actually benefits from comments being posted to Google+ (if you use it). YouTube getting comments all over Google+ just creates a bunch of noise.

What do you think?

We doubt Google will be taking the Google+ comments off of YouTube. Who knows, though – a huge part of the YouTube community is extremely upset over these changes. We don’t know, though. We wouldn’t hold our breath on it.

With that being said, what do you think about all of this? Do you hate the comments? Do you think Google will somehow fix it? Participate in the poll and sound off your opinions in the comments below? Maybe Google+ comments are here to stay. If that were the case, how do you think Google could improve them to make us all happy?

]]> 341
Moto X vs HTC One vs Galaxy S4 vs iPhone 5 – Which phone is best? Thu, 01 Aug 2013 20:30:31 +0000 moto-x-vs-htc-one-galaxy-s4-iphone-5

Click for larger image

Officially unveiled only moments ago, the upcoming Motorola Moto X definitely faces some stiff competition. In a smartphone market that’s being dominated by Samsung and Apple, does the Moto X have what it takes to capture the hearts — and wallets — of consumers the world over? There’s no question both Motorola and Google have a lot riding on the X. Not only is the X Motorola’s first Google influenced smartphone, but one of their first devices to launch across all major US carriers. That being said, you’re no doubt wondering how the X stacks up to current heavyweights like the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, and even (heaven help you) the Apple iPhone 5. Let’s take a look.

Motorola Moto X

Moto X high-res


Believe it or not, the Motorola Moto X is the first smartphone built here in the US. While that may not sound like a big deal to those living overseas, this is pretty huge for those in the US and typically, smartphone manufacturers like Samsung and even US-based Apple outsource all their device manufacturing to other countries. More like brownie points, we can’t be sure how much this will influence the buying decisions of Americans, but it’s definitely something to consider.

The Moto X also features Motorola’s new X8 “mobile computing system” that, while only technically a dual-core processor, features a powerful GPU for gaming, and 2 separate co-processors for handling a variety of X’s sensors. This means the X can handle Facebook and gaming, while also operating in a super low-power state when sleeping for optimal battery life.

Bored with all these Android devices that all look the same? Want to express your individuality? Well, the Moto X is the first Android smartphone to make that happen. Motorola has built a special online customizing center dubbed “Moto Maker” that allows customers to jump in, and design a smartphone in a variety of color options to fit their individual style. Killer feature? Not really. Cool? Most definitely.


The Motorola X’s biggest weakness is one that most consumers will most likely never notice. Under the hood, the X doesn’t feature the ridiculously high-end specs of rivals, coming equipped with only a 720p display, dual-core processor, and adequate storage options. While this is easily trumped by other high-end devices like the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4, the X should have little trouble mopping the floor with upcoming Mini variants of these devices, with the X being nearly the same size.




The HTC One is still regarded by many as the best Android device to date. With a plethora of smartphones on the market and the uber popular Galaxy-line taking up a good portion of that, really, that’s saying a lot. Widely seen as the underdog in the smartphone world, HTC pulled a Hail Mary with the One, equipping the device with every high-end spec imaginable. Aluminum body, full 1080p HD display, all new version of Sense, great low-light camera, and front facing stereo speakers. There’s little here not to love.


While the HTC One offers a lot, it doesn’t feature the flexibility that some Android users have come to expect from their devices. No micro SD slot means you’re confined to the One’s 32GB/64GB of internal storage, and non-removable battery means bulky portable chargers are the only option for keeping the device juiced up on-the-go. Don’t forget that, at the time of this writing, the One is still running on an older version of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and while 4.2.2 is promised in the future, 4.3 has already been released.

Samsung Galaxy S4



The Samsung Galaxy S4 is arguably the best device the Korean manufacturer has ever built. Featuring a 1080p full HD display, SD card slot, removable battery, and more software features than you can shake a stick at, the Galaxy S4 is the veritable Swiss Army Knife of smartphones. The fact that Samsung is pouring countless dollars into advertising the Galaxy S4 means more people will have one and greater app compatibility. Combine all of this with Samsung’s dedication to supporting new and older devices with timely Android updates and you have the makings of a real winner.


Of course, while Samsung’s countless software features may sound great, the OS has become bogged down by many features you’ll likely never use. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, TouchWiz has become stale and the Galaxy S4′s glossy plastic build materials make for a device that feels cheap, no matter how many tricks it has up its sleeve.

Apple iPhone 5

Iphone 5 ios7


Alright, so I think we all know this is an Android focused blog — there’s no denying that. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to automatically bash the Apple iPhone 5, which admittedly, has a lot going for it. It’s currently one of the most popular smartphones on the planet, and because of this, is likely a strong contender to anyone considering a new smartphone.

Apple recently overhauled the system software with iOS7 and while it’s not quite ready for prime time, they did a good job at finally updating the OS to the 21st century. The best part? Both the older iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 will get the update at the same time. Because of the very tightly knit and closed ecosystem, you can find more quality apps and games on iOS than any other platform. For wanna-be photogs, the iPhone 5 still has one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, though it remains to be seen if it can outperform the Moto X’s new “Clear Pixel” 10MP camera.


Keep in mind the iPhone 5 isn’t smartphone perfection (as some would have you believe). The tiny, low resolution display is best suited for teens and young people with still perfect vision. If you want a smartphone you don’t have to hold to your nose, the Moto X or other options remain the best choice. Apple’s closed OS means iOS is always one step behind Android devices, which get better with multiple updates and enhanced features throughout the year.


Really, only you can decide what phone is best for you. With that being said, we’re curious; Exactly which one of these smartphones do you find is best in its class? Vote in our poll, leave a comment as to why, and don’t forget to visit the Moto X forum where you can chat with others about the X and voice your excitement (or displeasure) with Moto’s latest flagship.

]]> 224
Recon Jet smart glasses sell out early because people can actually buy them [POLL] Tue, 23 Jul 2013 13:07:36 +0000 We’ve heard a lot about the Recon Jet in recent weeks. It’s a pair of smart glasses that has all sorts of sensors for recording location, speed, elevation and more. The game uses various communication radios to interface with Android phones and iPhones, including ANT+, WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled hardware.

With ANT+, it gives you the ability to track stuff like heart rate monitors during a workout so you can keep track of that stuff without having to look away (think mountain biking or jogging). And more than just fitness, it’ll also keep you up to date on things like incoming SMS messages and allow you to see incoming call data without having to whip your phone out.

Well, this interesting little Google Glass competitor has already sold out well ahead of its February 2014 launch, and there’s a simple reason for that — it’s actually available to buy. Google Glass is very exciting and has a lot of potential, but only a few thousand people were allowed to buy them so far, and the $1,500 price tag for the Explorer Edition made for an even bigger entry barrier than there is for the $600 Recon Jet.

So what does this tell us? It tells us there definitely is a market for these things, and with the right capabilities, marketing and price, Google Glass can tap into this market just as effectively. Consumer production for Google Glass is supposed to ramp up in time for a release either by the end of this year or for early next year, so only time will tell if Glass has people just as excited as they seem to be for the Recon Jet.

With that, I’m curious — while most of you wouldn’t buy a pair of Glass for $1,500 right now, we’re wondering if you’d consider it for the $600 that the Recon Jets are going for. If not, what price would you pay for them? Sound off in the comments section below, drop a vote in the poll, and be sure to check the Recon Jet out in more detail over at Recon Instruments’ website.

]]> 28
Samsung might soon introduce the first Galaxy-branded flip phone — would you buy it? [POLL] Tue, 16 Jul 2013 20:52:00 +0000 Whenever you think of a flip phone, you think back to the old dumbphones of yesteryear. Even if you’re still living in the age of dumbphones, it’s hard to find something of the sort these days — it’s either a slider phone or a candybar phone of some sort. What if I were to tell you Samsung could be attempting to bring the classic form factor back with modern features?

New rumors are swirling around regarding a device called the Samsung Galaxy Folder, an Android 4.2.2 device that would employ that Motorola RAZR-esque form factor we all fell in love with a decade ago. This wouldn’t be the first Android phone of its sort, of course, with offerings from other companies seeding the market in very limited capacity.

samsung w2013 flip smartphone

Still, the magnitude of the Galaxy brand being attached to it has our interests piqued. You’re probably wondering what sort of specs Samsung would shove into the thing. If the rumors are to be believed, we can expect:

  • WVGA resolution touch screen
  • 1.2GHz Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor
  • LTE
  • Android 4.2.2
  • a numerical keypad

It’s obviously straddling the less sexy line between mid-range and entry level. The Galaxy Folder is said to be headed to South Korean carriers this August, but would you buy it if it ever made its way outside of Asia? Dream with me for a minute. What if this phone had:

  • a 4-inch 720p display
  • a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • an 8 megapixel camera with 1080p HD video recording
  • a 2 megapixel front camera

You know, your typical “OMG I want that beast” smartphone in this day and age. I have some news for you — something like this already exists by the South Korean OEM. Remember the Jackie Chan-endorsed Samsung W2013 (pictured above)?

That phone is also a dual-screen Android-based flip phone, except it has a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, an 8 megapixel camera, a 2 megapixel front camera, 16GB of internal storage and more. The difference is that phone wasn’t marketed with Galaxy branding, so much of the world probably didn’t notice.

I personally wouldn’t prefer to revive this archaic form factor. It has a special place in many of our hearts, but so did bell bottoms and typewriters. (Though, to be fair, there are some people still collecting typewriters… and bell bottoms.)

Obviously Samsung’s Asian fan base would value this smartphone more than anyone else as character-based languages are harder to type out on traditional keyboards. But if this thing had the guts to compete with the best of the best like the W2013 does, would you welcome a return to what now seems like a retro form factor? Drop a vote in the poll below, and leave a comment letting us know how you feel.

[via DDaily]

]]> 57
Google IO 2013 video highlights: was this year a home run or snoozer? [POLL] Thu, 16 May 2013 03:19:22 +0000 There were a lot of totally new apps and services announced today during the Google IO keynote address, and where we’ve been covering all of them throughout the day, we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss a thing. That’s why we’ve put them all together in one place, wrapping up all of today’s biggest announcements into a single post. We’ve got some nice highlight videos from all of today’s events, so sit back and check ‘em out.

900 Million Android Devices Activated to Date

Because Android is an open mobile OS, it means just about anyone can install it to whatever device they want. With that, comes device activations growing an exponential rate — 900 million in this year alone. Can’t stop this Android train from tootin’ along its path for world domination.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition Announced

It was one of the day’s bigger announcements: a Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition. It’s the same device you know and love only without all those “gimmicky” features TouchWiz (er, Nature UX) brings. The device will go on sale in June for $650.

Google Play Game Services Announced

Google has officially announced a new Google Play Services API, one we all know as Google Play Games. Google Play Games will introduce services developers can build into their games to provide an all new gaming experience that features things like cloud-saving, achievements and leader boards, low-latency multiplayer matchmaking and more

Google Play Music All Access Announced

Google has officially announced its new music streaming service. The service will come as part of Google Play Music, and gets a sub tag called All Access. With All Access, you’ll get immediate and instant access to millions of tracks in the Google Play Store.

Google Play for Education Initiative Announced

Perhaps one of the more unappreciated parts of the Google IO press conference was Google’s education initiative. El Goog is building a Play Store specially for teachers and students, giving those in the education field an avenue to find apps, games and content that will help in the ever-important process of educating the world’s youth.

Google+ Update Brings New UI, Hangouts, and Easy Photo Editing

Google has announced a ton of new features for its social networking service, Google+. Emphasis has been put on the main stream, Google+ Hangouts, and Google’s photo features.

Google Maps Update Brings All New Revamped UI

Google introduces an all new Maps experience for Android users and the desktop at Google IO 2013. Here are all the details, coming soon to Android devices and the web this summer. Early access invite page can also be found here as well.

Now that you’ve been brought up to speed on Google IO 2013, we want to hear what you think. We’ve been reading through your comments on many of today’s announcements and not everything has been 100% kosher. There are a lot of changes and with changes comes resistance. Taking into account there was no new “X Phone” announcements, or even a new version of Android (not even 4.3 Jelly Bean), in your honest opinion: would you guys say Google IO 2013 was a home run, or complete snoozefest? After you take our poll, let us know why in the comments.

]]> 76
Samsung Galaxy S4 vs. HTC One Thu, 25 Apr 2013 15:34:19 +0000

The Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One are sure to be two of this year’s hottest handsets, and many buyers will be faced with a decision between the two. With both devices on hand, it seemed like a no-brainer to pit the phones head-to-head in an effort to decide which is really the better buy. If you want more in-depth coverage of each handset, check out our full Galaxy S4 review and HTC One review. What follows here is a quick look at the key points of comparison, but deciding which device holds the edge wasn’t always easy.

Quick Jump: Design | Display | SoftwareCamera | Benchmarks | Battery Life | Conclusion

Design and Build Quality

The Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One are both marvels of engineering, cramming a host of high-powered hardware into smartphone shells that continue to get thinner, lighter, and more durable. Despite a larger 5-inch display, the Galaxy S4 actually manages to come in smaller in most areas than the One with its 4.7-inch screen.

The Galaxy S4 measures 5.38 x 2.75 x 0.31 inches, while the One measures 5.41 x 2.69 x 0.37 in. The S4 is lighter at 4.59 ounces, while the One weighs a hair over 5 ounces. Overall, however, device size is a wash. You won’t notice the extra tenths of an inch or the half ounce weight difference.

Where the two devices really differ is in the quality of build. Samsung decided to stick with a design close to last year’s Galaxy S3, and the result seems a bit lazy. HTC’s engineers, however, put in some real man hours in designing the One, even coming up with new manufacturing techniques along the way.

Samsung continues to stick with plastic as the main build material for their premium smartphones. While it does afford certain benefits like a removable battery and the ability to attach a flip cover, the handset feels a bit cheap. The One however, feels like a solid, well-built piece of tech. Gapless unibody construction utilizing metal as the main material makes the phone as much a joy to look at and hold in the hand as it is to use.

Edge: HTC One


Both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One feature displays pushing Full HD 1920 x 1080p resolution, though they vary in size and technology. The Galaxy S4 sports a 5-inch Super AMOLED display. At 1080p resolution, it’s a first of its kind. The One carries a 4.7-inch Super LCD3.

Both are capable of reproducing 16 million colors, and both gain durability via Gorilla Glass construction (Gorilla Glass 2 on the One and Gorilla Glass 3 on the GS4). Due to the smaller screen size, the One features a higher pixel density of 469 ppi compared to the 441 ppi found on the Galaxy S4.

In a head-to-head comparison, deciding which phone got the edge was difficult. At full brightness the Galaxy S4′s Super AMOLED display offered a richness of color and contrast, while the HTC One looked a tad bit washed out. Color reproduction was slightly different between the two, most noticeable in the green spectrum. The HTC One seemed a bit truer to life, but the Galaxy S4 did a better job of reproducing darker shades.

Edge: Samsung Galaxy S4


The Samsung Galaxy S4 runs Android 4.2.2. The HTC One comes with a slightly older version, Android 4.1.2. But each features its own proprietary user interface on top of Google’s Jelly Bean platform. For the Galaxy S4, that’s Samsung’s TouchWiz. For the One, HTC Sense 5.

Both feature some major upgrades over older versions of the same software. For the Galaxy S4, this includes some new hands-free user input methods as well as a smattering of updated apps, including the newly consolidated Samsung Hub content ecosystem for purchasing music, books, video and more. Samsung has always favored a slightly cartoony, bubbly appearance for its UI, and it remains that way with the GS4.

Sense 5 also features its fair share of updates, including an overhauled homescreen interface, a revamped gallery showcasing your pictures and videos in beautiful fashion (though a bit confusing and clunk at times), and an improved keyboard. HTC has really slimmed down Sense in this case, but it looks as sleek and stunning as ever.

Both gain universal remote functionality by way of built-in infrared blasters and new TV guide software. Samsung’s WatchOn and HTC’s TV app give you a view at what’s currently playing, offer recommendations, and allow you to easily control your home theater setup right from your smartphone. You’ll never lose the remote again.

The intricacies of each platform make it nearly impossible to compare both directly, as this portion mostly comes down to user preference. For a more in-depth look at what to expect from each, check out the software section of our full HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 reviews.

Edge: Toss-up


As has been the case with most recent HTC phones, audio is highlighted on the One. With Beats integration and new BoomSound dual-front facing speakers. For Samsung, audio is less of a focus, but they have introduced Group Play music, which turns a hoard of Gs4 handset into a roving sound system.

But it’s hard to argue with what HTC has done, bringing a true stereo audio experience to a smartphone and giving users the option to enhance said audio with Beats technology. To get a stereo experience with the Galaxy S4, you will need multiple devices, and that won’t always be an option in most cases.

Edge: HTC One


Samsung and HTC have really upped the ante with the cameras featured in the Galaxy S4 and One. Samsung deploys a 13MP sensor with LED flash capable of capturing 1080p video, while HTC has gone a more innovative route and introduced us to the first “UltraPixel” camera. That camera stacks a set of 4MP sensors on top of each other, stitching together a final result that is touted as providing better low-light shooting and greater depth of color and contrast.

In real-world testing, the Galaxy S4 outperformed the HTC One in outdoor, daylight conditions. The One, however, had a better handle on low-light and indoor situations. In terms of video, it’s a toss up. Both cameras offer image stabilization, but each had its flaws. The One’s stabilization is always-on, but it didn’t make a huge difference in our test videos. Samsung allows the feature to be toggled with the S4, but again, it didn’t produce a huge difference in video quality.

Both cameras offer various shooting modes, filters, and more. HTC introduced its Zoe motion images with the One, while Samsung brings new features like dual-camera shooting (front and rear camera at the same time) and Eraser mode for removing unwanted subjects from photos automatically. In the end, the Galaxy S4 offered a more robust software experience, but it was hard to determine the true winner in terms of picture quality.

Edge: Toss-up


Both the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 come in several different storage options. The One is available with either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, while the Galaxy S4 comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB flavors. The Galaxy S4, however, can gain an additional 64GB of storage via a microSD card. The One offers no support for expandable memory.

In an ideal world, all options would be available to all consumers, but unfortunately this is not the case. Depending on carrier considerations or whether or not the device is unlocked, users may have to settle for less storage than would be ideal. This makes the expandable storage of the Galaxy S4 an appealing choice for some.

Edge: Samsung Galaxy S4


The quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 was at the heart of both devices we tested. The Galaxy S4 is available in some regions with Samsung’s new Exynos 5 Octa chipset, but for the sake of this comparison we will leave that version of the device out. The One’s CPU is clocked at 1.7GHz, while the GS4 is turned up to the max at 1.9GHz. As expected, the benchmarks were neck-and-neck.

Running multiple tests on several benchmarking apps available from the Google Play Store (including AnTuTu, Quadrant, and NeneMark 2), there was no clear-cut winner. Sometimes the Galaxy S4 [results above] forged ahead, others the One (despite its lower clock speed)[results below]. What the tests say to us is that you can’t go wrong with the performance either phone affords.

Edge: Toss-up

Battery Life

Both the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One feature sizable batteries that should power through a normal day’s use with no problem. The Galaxy S4 has a slightly chunkier power cell at 2,600 mAh while the HTC One comes in at 2,300 mAh. The GS4 features a removable batter, while the One’s battery is sealed within the device.

In normal testing, both were able to squeeze out 10-16 hours of use. Of course, taking full advantage of all the features available on both devices ultimately leads to a dramatic reduction in up time. For those doing a lot of gaming, streaming, web browsing, etc., battery power can quickly drain. But that sort of binging isn’t the typical daily use for most people.

While the Galaxy S4 ekes out a few extra minutes of power overall, both are perfectly capable of taking you from waking up in the morning to passing out at night without the need to seek a charger. The GS4 gets kudos for its removable battery (for those that like to carry a spare).

Edge: Toss-up


In our full reviews, we rated the HTC One just a hair higher than the Samsung Galaxy S4. In our head-to-head comparisons, however, the results were dead even. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Design & Build Quality – HTC One
  • Display – Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Software – Toss-up
  • Audio – HTC One
  • Camera – Toss-up
  • Storage – Samsung Galaxy S4
  • Benchmarks – Toss-up
  • Battery Life – Toss-up

Which phone should I buy?

In the end, you can’t go wrong when choosing between the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4. Any number of the above categories could have resulted in a tie, and many will come down to personal preference. On top of that, all categories aren’t necessarily equal for each buyer, nor is it a cut-and-dry decision when it comes down to things like software. For someone seeking the sleekest combination of power and beauty, the HTC One is the way to go. If a big, bright and beautiful display along with innovative user interface options is your thing, look no further than the Galaxy S4.

But which is the choice for you? Sound off in our poll below to decide the real winner!

]]> 196
In what pocket do you keep your phone? [POLL] Mon, 25 Mar 2013 20:33:23 +0000 Everyone has their own method to mobile phone madness, including a typical “go to” pocket. Sometimes it’s a right handed vs. left handed thing. Sometimes it’s an “any pocket except where my keys are” thing. Maybe you carry a purse, or a murse, wear cargo pants, or wear a fisherman’s jacket with seemingly infinite pockets. Regardless of your situation, we want to know: in what pocket do you typically keep your phone?

I used to religiously keep my phone in my front right pocket. I’m right handed. Keys, which I access far less often, in my front left pocket. And wallet in my back left pocket. I’m not sure exactly when, but at some point in the past year, I converted. I know keep my phone in my back right pocket.

I think a lot of it has to do with easy access: I’m pulling my phone out so often that twisting it out of my back pocket seems more smooth and easy. And when I go to sit down, I often lay it on the table to see visual indications of new messages. Or, as people don’t do often enough, I’ll pull out my phone before sitting, turn off the ringer, and then slip it in my front pocket. I’ll admit. I often just sit on my phone, too. So far no harm, no foul.

In what pocket we keep our phone is a very small decision which, by now, has become subconscious to most people. But where do you fit in the spectrum of mobile phone pocket stuffing? This unscientific study should be interesting, if nothing else.

]]> 143
What is your Google Reader replacement? [POLL] Sat, 23 Mar 2013 21:31:18 +0000

Finding out Google Reader is to be shut down felt like a punch in the stomach to hundreds of thousands of users. The service offers a clean, simple way to organize and read news. Many of us have never even thought about the idea of ever switching to another RSS reader, but now we simply have to get used to the idea and find a replacement by July 1st.

The decision has been made and odds are no petition will change that at this point. So it is about time we shake our heads for a second and snap out of our denial – We need to find a solution. At Phandroid, we religiously use Google Reader for work, so you are not alone in the search for the next best option!

Though many may not know about them, there are some great solutions out there. I (and hundreds of thousands of other users) like Feedly because it offers a very similar experience to Google Reader, but it also has a great design and awesome options for those looking for an more aesthetically pleasing experience. The “Today” section features images and descriptions of your top news. There are also many themes available and a series of social features.

The Old Reader and NewsBlur are also great as simple RSS feeds. If you prefer the more graphic-intense and shiny readers, you can go for options like Flipboard, Pulse and even Google Currents. The only problem with such options is that it is harder to go through a longer list of news. They are good if you only follow a few sources.

Many of you are also going with Feedly, but we would be interested to see how the numbers are looking. Participate in the poll and let us know what your favorite Google Reader replacement is, and why!

]]> 79