Phandroid http://phandroid.com Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:47:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 “Android Pay” likely to be introduced as a full-blown wireless payments platform at Google I/O http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/android-pay-news/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/android-pay-news/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:46:19 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160630 Nexus 7 Google Wallet 2

Before you freak out, no — Google Wallet is not dying. In fact, it might actually get better. Google’s Sundar Pichai spoke at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this morning about the company’s plans for mobile payments in the future. This comes at a time where Apple and now Samsung have thrown their hats into the arena with exciting platforms of their own.

Google Wallet in the now slightly pales in comparison to those guys, but Android Pay will hopefully look to change that. The first thing to know is that Android Pay won’t actually replace Google Wallet.

Instead it’s a full-blown payment platform and API that Google and third-party developers alike can tap into. Google Wallet will likely still exist as its own app and service, but Google will use Android Pay as the backbone. Don’t like Google Wallet? Another developer could come along and do things differently, but still enjoy the same secure backbone that Google uses with little issue and you’d be free to give that service a go if you so wish.

For its part, Google says they aren’t necessarily threatened by Samsung’s move to enter the wireless payment space. In fact, Google hopes the two can work together in some way and get the idea of wireless payments into the hands, pockets and minds of more people. Google has a leg up on Samsung thanks to their acquisition of Softcard (formerly ISIS) which is already backed by most of the United Stats’ major carriers.

Unfortunately that’s all we know at this point. We’re not sure what other plans Google has to affect the wireless payment scenes in a powerful way, but we should be treated to more details once Google I/O arrives.

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How to create custom themes on the HTC One M9 [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/htc-one-m9-custom-themes/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/htc-one-m9-custom-themes/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:42:43 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160633 HTC One M9 Themes app

In our hands-on with the HTC One M9 we talked about the new software features in Sense 7. They added a new widget that identifies where you are and shows the apps you will need, smart folders, and a cool new way to create custom themes. HTC has used themes in the past, but in Sense 7 they’re making it really easy for everyone to create super personalized themes.

The HTC One M9 comes with a bunch of pre-installed themes out of the box, but if you’re not a fan of those you can create your own. In fact, Sense 7 can create a personalized theme for you. All you have to do is take a photo. Sense will then identify colors from that photo and change accent colors, icons, and even system sounds. Here you can see a theme Chris made from a photo of flowers.

HTC-One-M9-Custom-Theme-Final

As we mentioned above, there are a number of pre-installed themes to choose from. You can check those out in the gallery below. We love the level of customization HTC has added to Sense. Android is great for customizing, and this makes it really easy. Check out the video below to see how to create a custom theme from a photo. Would you use this feature?

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Google’s Sundar Pichai confirms plans to launch an MVNO wireless carrier and their motive behind it http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/google-carrier-mvno/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/google-carrier-mvno/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:14:03 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160617 Google-HQ_logo

Before we had our bit of morning fun over at the Android booth, Google’s Sundar Pichai — who heads the Chrome and Android teams — took to the stage at the Mobile World Congress opening keynote. The full talk was quite interesting and chock full of discussion about the now and the future.

Most of what you care about is in the future. Thankfully Pichai confirmed a few different rumors we’d been hearing since 2014 and earlier. The biggest confirmation was that Google certainly is exploring opportunities to introduce a new wireless service that leverages WiFi technology to facilitate ultra affordable mobile service.

Google’s not trying to become the next Verizon, nor do they expect to. Instead, the company will look to work with those carriers in an effort to help push connectivity and network stability forward.

Solving issues like seamless hand-offs between WiFi and cellular and the ability to have two calls automatically reconnect in the event of a drop are just a couple of the things Google wants to explore in their venture. We know it’s not purely about money — Google’s revenue stream is healthy enough as is — so we know their motives are fueled by their never-ending desire to innovate.

Google didn’t confirm who they’d be working with to get this off the ground (rumors suggest Sprint and T-Mobile are likely candidates), but the company will hopefully have more formal details to share at Google I/O later this year.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Fingerprint Scanner is now as good as the iPhone 6 [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/samsung-galaxy-s6-fingerprint-scanner-iphone-6/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/samsung-galaxy-s6-fingerprint-scanner-iphone-6/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:58:32 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160598 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge DSC08451

Apple introduced “Touch ID” on the iPhone 5s back in 2013. Not to be outdone by Apple, Samsung also introduced a fingerprint scanner on their next device. The problem with Samsung’s implementation was it didn’t work quite like the iPhone. You had to do a weird swiping motion instead of just holding your finger on the home button. The Samsung Galaxy S6 fixes this problem.

Setting up a new fingerprint on the Galaxy S6 is remarkably similar to how it’s done on the iPhone. You’re asked to press and remove your finger in a variety of orientations so it can learn your entire fingerprint. After successfully scanning your fingerprint it will ask you to set up a backup pin code, and then you’re all set. This is where it get’s much better.

All you have to do is press the home button once to wake up the phone and then leave your finger on the button and the lock screen will fade away. It’s very quick and definitely a lot easier than drawing a pattern or typing in a password or pin code. This is the way a fingerprint scanner should work, and we’re really glad Samsung fixed it. See it in action below.

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Watch the Samsung Galaxy S6 press conference in 60 seconds [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/watch-the-samsung-galaxy-s6-press-conference-in-60-seconds-video/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/watch-the-samsung-galaxy-s6-press-conference-in-60-seconds-video/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:38:25 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160588 samsung whats next mwc galaxy s6

Not able to catch Samsung’s 45 minute unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge? Thankfully the company has condensed the entire event down into a 60 second highlight reel. It’ll dish out all the basic details you need to know about Samsung’s 2015 flagships.

If you need more, be sure to slice a bit of time out of your schedule later today and circle back to Phandroid.com. We’re posting comparisons, feature highlights, hands-on and more all throughout the day so you don’t want to miss a thing!

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Qualcomm’s 3D fingerprint scanner could finally allow Samsung to ditch physical home buttons [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/qualcomm-sense-id/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/qualcomm-sense-id/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:12:23 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160576 qualcomm-snapdragon

Alongside an announcement that they’ve teamed up with CyanogenMod, Qualcomm had some other interesting news to share this morning. The first bit of news pertains to the next generation of Snapdragon.

The details are scarce at the moment, but we’re told to expect Snapdragon “820” to be built with a FinFET 14nm or 16nm process, which would make for a physically smaller die that uses less power. Qualcomm will also be taking this opportunity to introduce their own mobile 64-bit CPU architecture named “Kryo,” which is a custom ARM v8-A chip. Sampling will begin later this year, which should mean first devices will start to use the new chipset as soon as this time next year.

But that’s not even the most exciting news out of Qualcomm today. The company announced a new fingerprint scanning technology that utilizes 3D imaging through supersonic waves to capture a user’s fingerprint instead of 2D-based sensors currently used by the likes of Samsung and Apple.

Dubbed “Sense ID,” the fingerprint scanner’s ability to capture a print using supersonic waves enables the scanner to be used even if the scanner’s surface is covered by plastic, glass and metal. Imagine a device that doesn’t require a physical home button or any other visible, tangible part that the user has to interface with in order to enable fingerprint scanning — !%&* just got real.

Samsung currently uses Synaptics’ surface area fingerprint scanner for the Samsung Galaxy S6. As you’ll see in our quick video showing the feature it doesn’t require you to swipe anymore, but it does still require a physical surface (and we suspect that’s the main reason Samsung still uses physical home buttons aside from visual differentiation). Apple would wet itself if Samsung could finally meet everyone’s wishes to ditch that button and place a scanner beneath a small bezel area unseen by the user.

More than just practicality and design, the ultrasonic 3D imaging also makes Qualcomm’s implementation more secure. The sensor’s ability to map the surface area — including the depth of the ridges and all the other unique imperfections in your fingers — makes it harder for no-gooders to spoof a 2D pattern based on your fingerprint.

Qualcomm says some of their current chips (namely the Snapdragon 810 and the Snapdragon 425) already support Sense ID, so device manufacturers planning to use their latest silicon will have the option to put these scanners inside forthcoming phones without much issue. Qualcomm is also working on a standalone solution for even more flexibility.

As good as the fingerprint scanning technology on the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 is right now, Qualcomm’s innovative take on it has us looking forward. We can’t wait to see who’ll be the first to take advantage.

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Watch this: Samsung’s new screen-off animation in slow motion [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/samsungs-touchwiz-screen-off-animation/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/samsungs-touchwiz-screen-off-animation/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:09:52 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160578 screenoff

Android 5.0 Lollipop introduced a new screen-off animation on Nexus devices. The fan-favorite CRT effect was replaced with a more subtle black and white fade. We’ve been curious to see if Android manufacturers use this new animation, or opt to make their own. On the Samsung Galaxy S6 we decided to tweak the animations to their slowest speed and check it out.

As you can see in the GIF above they’ve gone with a screen splitting effect that starts from the center and goes outward. It’s like a transition effect you would see in a video editing program. In the video below you can also see the animation for opening apps, which is similar to what you see on Nexus devices. At the end of the day they’re just animations. Yay or nay?

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Watch us get Androidified at MWC 2015 http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/watch-us-get-androidified-at-mwc-2015/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/watch-us-get-androidified-at-mwc-2015/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:59:43 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160574 Android booth MWC 2015 DSC08511

Androidifying yourself is nothing new. The app has existed for quite some time and Google continues to utilize the resulting Android caricatures in advertising and media. This year at MWC 2015 they are inviting all attendees to Androidify themselves, offering custom badges and tote bags to commemorate the experience. Naturally, it’s one of the first things we had to do upon setting foot inside the show gates.

It’s hard to miss the giant Android head that adorns Google’s outdoor booth. We went right inside and got to work on making our Android counterparts by way of several large touchscreens adorning the walls. You can see the end result in the above video.

androidify-front-entrance Android booth MWC 2015 DSC08504 androidify-chris-finished androidify-chris-customizing androidify-chris-customizing-3 android-pins-list android-pins-map Android Be Together Not The Same DSC08507 ]]>
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A look at the new “Edge Screen” features on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/edge-screen-features-on-the-samsung-galaxy-s6-edge/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/edge-screen-features-on-the-samsung-galaxy-s6-edge/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:35:31 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160553 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen settings DSC08583

The original Galaxy Note Edge was Samsung’s first attempt at a curved edge display. It could be used as a ruler, or to display a stopwatch, flashlight, sports scores, app shortcuts, and more. The idea was cool, but the execution was not there yet. With the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge they’ve put the curved display on both sides and added some much nicer special features.

Instead of special apps for the edge display they’ve added shortcuts for your favorite contacts and cool color coded notifications. When you swipe in from the side you’ll see a vertical list of your favorite contacts, each with their own color. If you tap on a contact you’ll have the option to call them or send SMS.

When a notification arrives from one of these contacts you’ll see a subtle colored line on the edge of the display. Swipe on the line to pull out the notification and you’ll see a cool effect (pictured above). Here you can see the contents of the notification and take action to reply. The best feature comes when you set the Edge on its face. When a notification arrives the entire Edge screen will glow with the color of the contact.

You can also set up the Edge screen to show a “Information stream” of the time, weather, and certain notifications, and it can be used as a “Night clock.” Samsung has done a great job at turning what was originally seen as a gimmick into something people will actually use. Sometimes less is more. How do you like the Galaxy S6 Edge? Is it better than the Galaxy Note Edge?

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen settings DSC08594 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen settings DSC08593 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen settings DSC08587 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen settings DSC08586 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen settings DSC08585 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen settings DSC08584 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge screen settings DSC08583 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge options 5 ]]>
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Hands-on with Samsung’s new Galaxy S6 Edge cases http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/samsungs-galaxy-s6-cases-hands-on/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/samsungs-galaxy-s6-cases-hands-on/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:30:16 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160568 Samsung Galaxy S6 flip case open DSC08607

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge offers a unique new form factor, so it goes without saying we will see some interesting cases for the new flagship. Samsung will offer a few options out of the gate, including a new take on their S-View flip cover case as well as a lightweight plastic shell case.

The updated flip case features a translucent front providing a full-frontal view of the S6 display. Just as with previous Samsung flip covers, the phone can detect when the case is shut and displays a power-friendly clock and notification widget for at-a-glance updates. Lifting the cover will launch directly into your Galaxy S6 homescreen (provided you don’t have a screen lock enabled).

The case is curved to match the phone’s display and snaps snugly to the rear to offer 360 degrees of protection. We missed the presence of a magnetic clasp or other secure closure mechanism. The flip cover has a tendency to flap around freely otherwise.

Samsung Galaxy S6 cases DSC08597

Samsung’s other case option for the S6 Edge is more or less the rear of the folio case without its flipping front — that is, a standard plastic shell case that snaps on over the rear of the device. The minimalist cases offer basic protection while showcasing the design of the device.

Samsung’s snap-on rear cases are transparent while the S6 Edge folio case is available in a selection of colors to match those of the Galaxy S6. All should be available at launch.

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Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6: camera sample comparison http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/galaxy-s6-vs-iphone-6-camera-comparison/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/galaxy-s6-vs-iphone-6-camera-comparison/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:45:03 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160546 Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge DSC08468

We’ve already seen how the Samsung Galaxy S6 compares to the iPhone 6 in terms of its physical attributes, but we wanted to get an even better idea of how the two devices stacked up in terms of performance. Using what we had on hand, we put the camera of each phone to the test.

[In all subsequent test images, the Galaxy S6 appears first followed by the iPhone 6. Click to make each larger.]

Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo8-S6Backwards

Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo8-S6Backwards-IPHONEVERSION

The immediate takeaway? There is definitely a difference in default white balance for the two. You can decide for yourself, but the iPhone 6 certainly has a more natural-looking color profile. The whites captured by the GS6 take on a off-white, almost yellow hue.

Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo11-DSLR Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo11-DSLR-IPHONEVERSION

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The Galaxy S6 on the whole seems to produce images that are slightly darker than its iPhone counterpart, a quality that is very apparent given the shooting conditions we had (lots of bright lighting, a tony of shiny/reflective white surfaces). The impression is that the iPhone 6 camera is a bit more effortless than the Galaxy S6 when it comes to point-and-shoot photography. For the S6, getting the perfect shot will likely take a bit more fiddling around with settings and scene.

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Galaxy-S6-vs-iPhone6-Photo2-Lollipops-crop-IPHONEVERSION

One area where the S6’s camera excels is resolution. The phone’s 16MP shooter provides clarity beyond the iPhone’s sensor at close zoom levels. You can see a comparison in the two images above.

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The Galaxy S6 clearly offered the better front facing camera, as seen in the side-by-side photos above. Strangely, the selfie cam didn’t seem as plagued by white balance issues, and it offers photos of superbly higher resolution and clarity than that of the iPhone. Compare to the images of Chris’ mug just prior to the front-facing shots. Captured with the rear camera, they give a good comparison of how the skin tone and other colors look across the two devices and their multiple camera sensors.

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Above is the best we could get to replicating lowlight conditions at Samsung’s demo stations (we tucked the above Android pins into a cabinet). As you can see, this was far from the darkest of shooting conditions, but the iPhone 6 (right) was a bit more up to the task than the Galaxy S6.

The final photographic results are important, but there are other things that go into making a smartphone camera unique or useful. As with previous releases, Samsung offer far more robust camera software than Apple, giving users a plethora of options. The scene settings and other tweaks add flexibility to the GS6 that isn’t really present with the iPhone 6 (though Apple has slowly been beefing up the software side of their camera in recent releases). The Galaxy S6 also promises super fast shooting with a camera app that Samsung claims can be launched in 0.7 seconds after double-tapping the phone’s home button.

A camera’s performance often comes down to how you use it, so mileage will always vary. While we think it’s pretty clear that Apple’s phone plays nicer with lighting and gives us photos with truer whites, it can’t match the clarity or versatility of the Galaxy S6. Check out more camera samples below.

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Cyanogen gets a new look, a new tone and a new business partner in Qualcomm http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/new-cyanogen-branding/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/new-cyanogen-branding/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:43:56 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160552 cyanogenmod new logo

It’s no secret Cyanogen could use a change of pace and scenery after the company’s public falling out with OnePlus One and the controversy that spawned of the Micromax deal in India. Cyanogen wants to turn the page from not only that, but from their core roots of security, customization and their open-source ideals.

The company wants to grow and evolve in a way that’s more inviting for, well, everyone. Their new logo, look and website — shots of which you can see above and below — supposedly embodies their new values, but to us it’s just a fresh (and pretty) coat of paint.

cyanogenmod new site logo

What we really care about is their new found commitment to users, openness (not just in the open-source way) and a “democratic” approach to building an operating system, community and ecosystem. It’s a natural step forward for a company which publicly wants to “take Android away from Google.”

That’s not to say they want Google to simply hand over the rights to the operating system — that’s an insane notion — but they want to create a platform for manufacturers, developers and users to use Android on their products without having to worry about the hijinks that often come along with it.

We’re referring to Google Play Services and the need to adhere by Google’s strict licensing terms in order to get the “best” Android experience. It’s their belief (and ours, too) that the “best” Android experience shouldn’t have to be limited to those with enough resources and clout to gain access to Google’s apps and services. It’s that approach to building CyanogenMod that could help the company mature and reach new heights that we have yet to see from someone with their grassroots background.

cyanogenmod history

With all of this comes a new partnership with Qualcomm that will have the company’s ROM installed on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon reference design devices going forward. The partnership only covers reference designs from the Snapdragon 400 and Snapdragon 600 series to start, and there’s nothing that says the deal can’t expand to the top-line 800 series down the line.

In case you’re not aware, a reference device is a development device for manufacturers and developers to use for application and platform testing. They’re often tricked out with industry standard specs, but the cost of entry is typically higher than a similar device at retail and they don’t have the looks to be a viable everyday smartphone for most users.

They also don’t ship with a very exciting operating system, that being a barebones version of AOSP. This partnership will change that and give developers a platform just as exciting to use as the device they’re using it on.

We’re sure it’s Cyanogen’s hope that the partnership will inspire device manufacturers and developers to embrace CyanogenMod as not just a viable development environment, but also as a platform that they can potentially build their products with. Best of luck to them in achieving that goal.

[via Cyanogen]

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Hands-on with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/hands-on-samsung-galaxy-s6-and-galaxy-s6-edge/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/hands-on-samsung-galaxy-s6-and-galaxy-s6-edge/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:13:57 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160471 AndroidForums.com Discussion: Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge

We finally got some personal time with the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. These two devices are identical in almost every way. The Edge has one big difference, which of course is the curved display on the long edges. This time Samsung hasn’t used that area for a special display, but it can still do some cool stuff, and makes swiping from the edge a lot easier.

The big story with the S6 and Edge is the brand new design. Gone is the faux metal and plastic. Samsung has replaced those old materials with glass on the front and back and metal around the edges. Many people have accused the devices of taking cues from the iPhone, but you can’t say it’s not a huge improvement. They’ve also added built-in wireless charging for Qi and PMA, which is a super handy addition.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge DSC08490

As mentioned above, these devices are almost identical. They both have 2560 x 1440 Super AMOLED HD displays, 16MP cameras (5MP on front), Samsung Exynos processors, 3GB of RAM, and 2550 mAh batteries. You can check out the full spec sheet for the Galaxy S6 here and the Galaxy S6 Edge right here.

On the software side of things there have been some improvements to TouchWiz. Samsung was very proud about how they’ve cut down on features by “40%.” You know when someone brags about removing features there were some problems. The best new software feature might be the super fast camera. It’s always running in the background so it can be launched in less than a second with a double-tap of the home button.

The funny thing with this new generation of devices is the Edge might be the most attractive option. The previous Edge looked lopsided with a curved display on only one side. The S6 Edge might be the most ergonomic phone on the market. The curved display on both edges make it very comfortable to hold. The curves just add to the overall sleekness of Samsung’s new design. Check out our hands-on video to get a feel for this new device.

Which new Samsung Galaxy device do you like the most? Would you get the Edge over the standard S6 model?

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Hands-on with the new HTC One M9 [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/hands-on-htc-one-m9/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/hands-on-htc-one-m9/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 13:46:34 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160389 Talk about the HTC One M9 at AndroidForums.com!

Yesterday the HTC One M9 was officially announced at Mobile World Congress. We were in attendance at the event, and we had a chance to check out the device in person. The One M9 looks a lot like the One M8. In fact, it’s pretty much identical. From the front they look the same, but the back and insides are what set the M9 apart.

Specs are a very important part of any phone, but even more so for the One M9. Since HTC didn’t change the outer design they have put all the focus on the specs and software. The M9 has a 5-inch 1080p display, 20.7MP camera (2 “UltraPixel” front), Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor, and 2840mAh battery. Check out the full HTC One M9 specs here.

HTC One M9 DSC08389

On the software side you’re getting Android 5.0.2 and Sense 7. Like the design of the M9, there aren’t many visual changes in Sense 7, but the functionality has big changes. The biggest change is a new “Sense Home” widget that you’ll find on the home screen by default. HTC tries to predict what apps you’ll need for certain situations and put them in this widget.

If your phone detects that you’re at work it can fill up the widget with productivity apps, and when you’re home it will display entertainment apps. At least that’s the general idea. If you don’t want HTC to try to figure all of this out for you it can be set up manually. There are also “Smart Folders” that automatically organize things for you.

Another cool new software feature is custom navigation buttons. By default you have back, home, and recent, but you can add a virtual power button, notification shade shortcut, fullscreen button, and quick settings, and more. It’s a really cool idea that we’d love to see more manufacturers embrace.

The One M9 lacks the excitement of previous HTC phones, but this is still an excellent device. The M9 will be one of the top devices of 2015. Do you think HTC did enough to improve from the M8? Will you be buying the HTC One M9? Let us know what you think about this device!

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The most iPhone-ish feature of the Galaxy S6 http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/iphone6-galaxy-s6-similarity/ http://phandroid.com/2015/03/02/iphone6-galaxy-s6-similarity/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:14:09 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160530 The Apple and Samsung battle has been going on for years… in their marketing jargon, in the legal system, and in the court of public opinion. The two juggernauts constantly try to one-up each other yet aren’t afraid to borrow good ideas, a combination that has helped speed innovation and bring the best-of-the-best to consumers. So has the Galaxy S6 borrowed anything from Apple and the latest iPhone 6?

The Galaxy S6 is a huge diversion from previous Samsung devices, implementing a fixed position battery that cannot be removed which also means there is no expandable storage. The plastic is gone in favor of premium metal. The device is one solid piece of awesome. It’s probably the best device Samsung has ever made, but even the Sammiest of Samsung fanboys would have a hard time denying that one particular Galaxy S6 feature looks particularly iPhone-ish.

Samsung Galaxy S6 S5 iPhone 6 DSC08559

The three phones shown above (from top to bottom):

It’s pretty clear that in the move from the Galaxy S5 to the iPhone 6, Samsung agreed that Apple was doing some things right in terms of component placement and design. I’m not sure I even have to explain… but just to briefly summarize.

  • Samsung moved the headphone jack from the top of the phone to the bottom of the phone, mirroring the iPhone 6
  • Samsung did away with their waterproofing so there is no longer a cover to the MicroUSB port
  • The speaker was moved from the rear of the device to the bottom, mirroring the iPhone 6
  • The speaker “grill” holes look very similarly circular

Samsung Galaxy S6 S5 iPhone 6 DSC08563

Samsung Galaxy S6 S5 iPhone 6 DSC08560

I’m sure this will be argued endlessly, until of course the iPhone 7 or Galaxy S7 or next DilemmaGate arrives. Perhaps we’re throwing fuel on the fire, but hey, we think it’s an interesting observation and one worthy of discussing. Regardless, after playing with the Galaxy S6 for several hours now, it’s easily one of the most beautiful phones – and maybe the best phone – I’ve ever used in my life. I’ll let Apple and Samsung figure out on what merit that came to be.

What do you think about these similar design choices? Is Samsung getting risky? Are the companies artificially inflating a Jay-Z vs. Nas style feud that helps both of their art grow exponentially? Did I just date myself and are you still even reading this?

I’m sure you’ll let me know all that and more in the comments below.

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