Phandroid Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Fri, 27 Mar 2015 22:58:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 HTC One M9 teardown shows how difficult it is to repair a broken display [VIDEO] Fri, 27 Mar 2015 22:27:05 +0000 HTC One M9 teardown

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

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

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

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

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

]]> 0
This GIF wonderfully illustrates the evolution of Samsung’s Galaxy S line Fri, 27 Mar 2015 20:24:18 +0000 Samsung Galaxy S evolution

(Click image to play GIF)

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

The folks at GadgetLove are at it again, compiling every Galaxy S6 iteration into a single, mighty morphing GIF. Mesmerizing, isn’t it? While Samsung has largely kept to the same “Galaxy S” design language throughout the years, sometimes it’s easy to forget how far we’ve come since 2010. Anyone out there own every Galaxy S iteration?

Check out our original Samsung Galaxy S review right here.

[Interactive version: GADGETLOVE]

]]> 0
DOWNLOAD: All of the stock wallpapers from the HTC One M9+ (Quad HD) Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:50:59 +0000 HTC-One-M9-Plus-01

We don’t expect the HTC One M9+ to have many different wallpapers compared to the flagship that was officially released today, but they did have to be upscaled to Quad HD resolution. Here’s the full set of wallpapers swiped straight from the HTC One M9+ we’re expecting HTC to announce in April (click to enlarge):

2015 - 1

2015 - 2

2015 - 3

2015 - 4

2015 - 5

2015 - 6

2015 - 7

2015 - 8

2015 - 9

2015 - 10

2015 - 11

2015 - 12

2015 - 13

2015 - 14

2015 - 15

2015 - 16

[via Google+]

]]> 0
Test drive the HTC One M9 at select Best Buy locations, see for yourself if it’s worth the hype Fri, 27 Mar 2015 18:29:03 +0000 HTC One M9 wild 1

Sometimes seeing is believing. When it comes to the HTC One M9, it’s definitely one of the most beautiful Android devices to date (it has been since the One M8). The premium aluminum materials, 2-tone finish, and polished edges, pick one up and you’ll feel the difference right away. HTC knows this and it’s why you’ll soon be able to give the One M9 a whirl at your local Best Buy.

We know, everyone has been coming down kind of hard on HTC for nearly recycling last year’s design. But it’s not entirely unheard of in mobile. Take a look at the last few Sony Xperia flagships, LG’s devices, or even Samsung’s, and you’ll have a hard time telling them apart from their latest. We loved the way the HTC One M9 felt in the hand when we played around with it at Mobile World Congress and quite honestly, we think you will too.

If you’re on the fence about which new Android to buy this year — the HTC One M9 or the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge — it seems Best Buy has you covered. For store availability (you’ll want to call ahead of time to make sure they have a display set up), you can check out Best Buy’s HTC One M9 landing page here.

]]> 0
Here’s where you can buy the HTC One M9 online for Sprint, AT&T or unlocked today Fri, 27 Mar 2015 17:12:26 +0000 HTC One M9 custom nav bar DSC08928

March 27th has finally arrived, folks — this is the day you can buy an HTC One M9. We’ve already asked which of the two big heavy hitters for 2015 you’re buying, and if you voted for HTC’s pride and joy then here’s where and how you can buy it. There are two routes you can go:

Without contract

T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T variants for the HTC One M9 in Gunmetal Grey and Silver are available for $649.99 each. The developer edition, which ships with an unlockable bootloader, can be had in those same colors for the same price. There’s also the network-unlocked edition that will come in Grey, Silver and Gold options for

With contract

Only AT&T and Sprint are offering the device with contract for shipping today. T-Mobile will offer it at some point down the line, while Verizon has no current plans to offer the device through HTC’s online store (though we know they will be holding an early April launch of their own).

AT&T has it for $200 on a two-year contract or $23.64 per month through AT&T Next 24. Meanwhile, Sprint will offer it for the same price on-contract, and $20 per month for 24 months through Sprint Easy Pay.

You can take a look at all of these options by starting at HTC’s online storefront right here. Let us know if you order one!

]]> 0
Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain expansion will launch April 2nd Fri, 27 Mar 2015 16:06:58 +0000 hearthstone blackrock mountain

Blizzard has announced that their highly-anticipated expansion pack for popular card game Hearthstone — dubbed Blackrock Mountain — will officially launch April 2nd. The previous launch window given was simply “next month” so we weren’t expecting it so soon after the calendar turns.

Blackrock Mountain will be handled similarly to Hearthstone’s first expansion Curse of Naxxramas. Cards will be released in the form of weekly “wings” where you will face a horde of enemies and bosses to unlock new cards.

There will be 5 wings total, and the new card count sits at a comfortable 31. Each wing costs $6.99, but those who don’t mind parting ways with in-game gold can also buy them for 700g. There’s also the option of preordering the entire lot for $24.99, a move that will net you an exclusive Blackrock-themed card back.

Blackrock Mountain centers around the neverending struggle between Dragons and the other fiery evils that claim the volcano as their home, all the while disturbing the covenant of dwarfs in the taverns throughout. As such, the Dragon card classification will get a vast majority of the attention here as Blizzard looks to add new cards to that pool and create a lot more synergy for those who prefer to play them.

Sounds like an exciting change of pace that should affect the meta in a big way once all the cards are made available. Be sure to download Hearthstone for your Android tablet right here (it’s free to play) if you aren’t already addicted.

]]> 0
OnePlus’s “game-changing” announcement isn’t a games console — it’s a drone, apparently Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:20:04 +0000 oneplus game changer start

OnePlus really threw us for a loop. They’ve been teasing a “game-changing” announcement for a couple of weeks now. “Start a new game.” “For the fun of it.” “You’re in control.” They even used a photo of a pair of hands seemingly holding an invisible gaming controller for that last one.

oneplus game changer control

Surely this can be nothing other than a gaming console, right? Wrong — well, wrong according to OnePlus’s Carl Pei, anyway. The company nonchalantly confirmed in an Ask Me Anything session on reddit that they’d be revealing a gaming drone dubbed the DR-1. Carl Pei even posted a convincing branding image for the thing:

oneplus dr-1 drone

But even though this information is coming from the horse’s mouth, we’re going to take this one with a grain of salt for a few different reasons.

  1. We’re dangerously close to April Fools day.
  2. We’ve never seen a company tease an announcement and then “leak” their own information.
  3. It’s OnePlus.
  4. It’s OnePlus.

Those last couple of points weren’t duplicated in err — this company’s marketing tactics have been questionable since their conception, and we wouldn’t put anything past them. We’re electing to wait until that April-scheduled announcement before we put all our eggs into the “drone” basket, but this is the story they’re dishing out in the interim. You guys believe them?

]]> 0
New HTC One E9+ renders reveal 3 different color variants Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:36:58 +0000 htc one e9 plus 2

Much like the HTC One M9+ will be to the HTC One M9, HTC is apparently planning on making a Plus variant of the HTC One E9. Upleaks revealed new renders of that device today, and gave us a look at three of its expected color variants in the process.

As we’ve seen before, the device will have a plastic-based backplate rather than the full unibody metal design of the M9, though it should still have a fair bit of metal in its chassis. Specs for the base model of the HTC One E9 are rumored to be a 5.5-inch Quad HD display (2560 x 1440), a 20 megapixel camera, 3GB of RAM and a MediaTek chipset, though we aren’t yet sure which areas the two will differ.

HTC is expected to announce one or both of these devices at an upcoming “More Than One” event in Beijing that was recently scheduled. It’s possible we’ll also see the HTC One M9+ debuted at that same event, which is said to come with a slightly bigger display 5.2-inch display, a fingerprint scanner and dual cameras on the rear compared to the HTC One M9’s 5-inch display, lack of a fingerprint scanner and a lone 20 megapixel camera sensor.

htc one e9 plus 3

htc one e9 plus 1

]]> 0
Surprise: OnePlus One’s Lollipop updates are delayed Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:27:34 +0000 oneplus one lollipop

OnePlus made a commitment to get CyanogenMod 12S and OxygenOS out to OnePlus One users by the end of this month. They promised that a failure to do so would result in a phone giveaway to show how serious they were to that commitment.

Aaaaannd it looks like they’re giving away phones. OnePlus One held another Ask Me Anything session on the Android subreddit, and when asked about the Lollipop-based upgrades promised they had some unfortunate news to share: they aren’t positive they’ll be ready in time.

OnePlus says they have stable firmware ready to go and things are running as smoothly as they ought to be, but unforeseen delays in the certification process might extend the timeline a bit further than they originally anticipated. As such, they confirmed they will be giving away at least 5 OnePlus One units. That doesn’t sound like a whole lot to part ways with for a manufacturer, but when you have profit margins as slim as OnePlus’s it’s a pretty big deal.

Perhaps more troubling is that they aren’t willing to give us another estimated release date, but perhaps they’ve learned a valuable lesson in all this and have adopted Cyanogen’s old way of thinking: no ETAs on OTAs, and it’ll be ready when it’s ready. OnePlus One says to stay on the lookout for more information in the days to come.

]]> 0
For the second time in under a year, HTC’s lead designer leaves the company Fri, 27 Mar 2015 12:41:13 +0000 jonah becker

Whether it’s due to stagnant visions on smartphone design or something as simple as the inevitable motions of life, for one reason or another HTC has yet again lost their lead product designer. Jonah Becker announced his departure from the company today.

Becker was part of One & Co., a design firm that was acquired by HTC about 6 years ago. His business partner Scott Croyle had been the vice president of industrial design since the deal was made back in 2008, and Becker found himself promoted to that position once Croyle vacated it.

HTC logo DSC08945

So what’s next? HTC has already decided to slot creative director Daniel Hundt into the role and focus on product design for mobile devices. Meanwhile, the lone remaining figurehead from One & Co. — Claude Zellweger — will continue in the role he has played as lead designer for HTC’s connected devices (such as the HTC RE Camera, Vive and Grip).

We can confirm that Jonah Becker has left HTC; he had been with the Company since HTC acquired One & Co over six years ago. We would like to thank Jonah for his work with HTC, and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. He has been succeeded by Daniel Hundt, based in our San Francisco design office.

Many will likely jump to conclusions and point to the underwhelming response of the HTC One M9 as the driving force behind this move, but it’s never wise to speculate. It’s important to remember that HTC is going through a very significant shift from the top down, with Cher Wang — co-founder to the Taiwanese company — having been announced as Peter Chou’s successor just a week ago. We imagine many more changes in executive management are on tap, and we’d do well not to overreact.

[via Engadget]

]]> 0
First photos of the alleged LG G4 Note leaked in the wild, complete with fancy new stylus Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:34:59 +0000 LG G4 Note leak

An XDA member has leaked, what appear to be photos of the the upcoming LG G4 Note. At least that’s what he’s calling it. The photos show a phone unlike previous LG devices we’ve seen, mainly the fact that it’s now got, what the leaker claims is a Galaxy Note-like stylus up on top.

It’s entirely possible LG repurposed what would normally be an antenna slot on Korean handsets with a stylus for the US version. That, or it’s an purely dedicated slot like on the LG G3 Stylus which LG announced last year. Running what that, we do know LG recently trademarked the “G Pen,” let alone the name G4 Note makes it easy to assume LG is gunning for Samsung’s Galaxy Note line.

LG G4 Note leak 2

He also goes on to mention that he’s currently testing the device on T-Mobile’s network (you can see their 4G LTE icon in the status bar) and that the phone has received several software updates and is still very buggy.

Hopefully he’ll be answering more questions in the thread on XDA. In the meantime, we’re going to continue scanning these photos for any more clues. What do you guys think?

UPDATE: After people started telling him the phone in his possession was a Korean model with an antenna, the OP set the record straight and added a photo of the pull-out stylus.

LG G4 Note stylus leak

[XDA Developers]

]]> 0
The HTC One M9 and M8 look so much alike, not even HTC can tell them apart Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:12:04 +0000 Check out everything you need to know about the HTC One M9

HTC One M9 Facebook post

After numerous leaks — including an exclusive of our very own — suggested HTC would be more-or-less revising the design of the HTC One M8 for the all new HTC One M9 instead of drastically changing it, many were taken aback to find out the leaks were true. Especially considering @evleaks came out of nowhere with some beautiful renders of the device next to its bigger brother, the HTC One M9+.

In the end, the cold reality was a 2015 flagship that looked nearly identical to its predecessor, save for the back which features a new square camera and other very subtle tweaks. No matter how much HTC says to the contrary, the phone looks so close to last year’s HTC One M8 that even HTC is having trouble telling them apart.

We stumbled across a sponsored post from HTC’s Facebook page which was supposed to show off the BoomSound speakers on the One M9, but actually pictured last year’s One M8 instead. Ouch. Of course, we wanted to give HTC the benefit of the doubt. Maybe this was just an ad touting their One line’s BoomSound speakers only? Unfortunately, the text accompanying the photo clearly makes mention of the HTC One M9 in hashtag form. And if HTC can’t tell the 2 apart, how do they expect anyone else to?

Now, we understand comparisons made with auto makers who build upon the design of a flagship car line. A Corvette will always look like a Corvette and a Porsche, a Porsche. But in the case of the HTC One M9 and M8, maybe they were too close for their own good. Especially considering the great lengths their biggest competitor (Samsung) went through to revise their flagship Galaxy line.


]]> 0
The Nexus Player is now officially available for purchase in the UK via the Google Store Thu, 26 Mar 2015 22:17:24 +0000 nexus-player-artsy-2

The Nexus Player was officially announced and made available in October/November of last year, but it’s only today that our Android friends across the pond can now buy it from the Google Store.

The tiny set top box can now be picked up for a mere 80 quid, allowing you to infuse your television with Android TV smarts. If casual gaming is more your thing, you can also find the official gamepad — sold separately — for a £35.

If the Google Store isn’t your thing, you can also find the Nexus Player at Currys PC World, John Lewis, and, of course, Amazon. If you’re still on the fence, don’t forget to check out our full Nexus Player review right here.

]]> 0
Nexus 6 now available in 6 new countries from the Google Store Thu, 26 Mar 2015 21:15:16 +0000 Nexus_6_Cloud_White

It was only a few weeks ago that Google moved all their hardware off of the Play Store and into their all new Google Store (their merchandise store has since been relocated). While the Nexus 5 was officially EOL’d, during this transition, that doesn’t mean they’re giving up on expanding availability of the rest of their hardware around the world.

In fact, starting today you can now purchase the Nexus 6 in 6 all new countries around the world: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, and Portugal. This brings the running list up to 21 countries where the Nexus 6 can be purchased directly from Google, here’s the full list:

Nexus 6 country availability (green = new)

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom

[Google Store Help]

]]> 0
Pre-order the HTC One M9 from Verizon on April 1st, hits stores April 10th Thu, 26 Mar 2015 20:03:12 +0000 Verizon HTC One M9

After we learned that you’ll be able to officially buy the HTC One M9 (unlocked model) direct from HTC starting tonight, Verizon is now chiming in with their own availability. The nation’s largest carrier has announced that pre-sales for their version of the HTC One M9 will begin on April 1st — no, this is not a joke — with an official launch taking place on April 10th.

Both colors will be available (2-tone gold/silver, or metal black) for only $200 with a 2-year agreement, or $25 a month for 2 years with Verizon Edge payment plan. Verizon also notes that their version will support Advance Calling 1.0 out of the box for HD Voice and Video Calling to other compatible smartphones on their network.


]]> 0