Phandroid http://phandroid.com Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Wed, 03 Sep 2014 01:16:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 HTC now offering 100GB of free Google Drive storage for One M8, One Max, One Remix and more http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/htc-google-drive-100gb-free-cloud-storage/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/htc-google-drive-100gb-free-cloud-storage/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 01:10:00 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=148046 htc-one-m8-colors

It’s one of our favorite HTC perks: getting a free bump in cloud storage for doing nothing. Back in the day, you may remember when HTC teamed up with Dropbox for bonus cloud storage after purchasing one of their devices. More recently, it’s Google supplying the cloud storage, offering up a bonus 50GB as part of the “HTC Advantage.”

Today, HTC announced that they’ll now be doubling that number, providing a grand total of 100GB of Google Drive storage on top of whatever you have now. The bonus applies to newer HTC devices like the HTC One M8, HTC One Max, HTC One Remix, HTC Desire 816, or HTC Desire 610.

In case you’re wondering, the additional bump in cloud storage is guaranteed for 2 years, after which you’ll need to pay up or simply make do with Google’s 15GB of free storage. When it comes to other devices, HTC says specific 2013 models (HTC One, HTC Butterfly S, HTC One Mini and HTC Desire 601) get a 25GB increase in Drive storage after upgrading to to Sense 5+ or 6. It’s not much, but better than nothing.

To claim your Google Drive storage, simply open the Google Drive app on your phone and redeem the offer that pops up. Those already enjoying the previous 50GB offer will only see a nice little 50GB bump. Cheers.

[Google]

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Sony Xperia Z3 leaks in copper alongside new E Ink SmartBand http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/sony-xperia-z3-copper-e-ink-smartband-leak/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/sony-xperia-z3-copper-e-ink-smartband-leak/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:04:57 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=148041 Sony-Xperia-Z3-Copper

Earlier today we saw a few images of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact leak out onto the interwebs ahead of Sony’s IFA event scheduled for tomorrow. While the Z3 Compact showed a wide range of colors — black, white, orange, and green — it seems Sony could have a color reserved solely for its bigger brother, the Sony Xperia Z3.

Shown in a leaked promo image for the device, the Sony Xperia Z3 is pictured with an interesting copper paint job, different from the usual gold/white color trend we’ve seen in recent months. What’s more is you’ll notice a still unannounced wearable featuring an E Ink display, rumored to launch as the “SmartBand Talk.”

Sony SmartBand Talk E Ink

No word on what kind of functionality Sony’s SmartBand will offer (looks more like a fitness band than full fledged smartwatch), but with an E Ink display, you can bet the selling feature will be on its battery life. We wont have to wait much longer before we learn more. Sony’s IFA keynote is tomorrow at 10AM PT, so stay tuned for more.

[Xperia Blog]

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Verizon HTC One M7 receiving Android 4.4.3 and Extreme Power Saving mode this week http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/verizon-htc-one-m7-android-443-update/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/verizon-htc-one-m7-android-443-update/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:52:36 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=148037 HTC One M7 thin case DSC01079

As HTC continues to support their older flagship line — the original HTC One (M7) — the manufacturer’s US base of operations announced today on Twitter that they have received approval from Verizon regarding their Android 4.4.3 update.

Aside from being infused with the same OpenSSL security fixes as you’ll find on stock Android 4.4.4 devices, One M7 users can also look forward to HTC’s Extreme Power Saving mode — a feature you simply can’t get on stock Android.

No word on the exact day the rollout will begin, but keep an eye out. It’s going to be a busy week.

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Leaked: Sony’s E-mount compatible APS-C sized lens camera for Android devices http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/leaked-sonys-e-mount-compatible-aps-c-sized-lens-camera-for-android-devices/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/leaked-sonys-e-mount-compatible-aps-c-sized-lens-camera-for-android-devices/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:58:14 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=148027 Sony QX1 featured

After Sony’s IFA invite hinted as much, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to find the manufacturer has been hard at work on an all new lens camera. Last year’s models — the QX10 and QX100 — were met with relatively fair reviews, but it seems Sony could be changing things up for this year.

The folks at Sony Alpha Rumors nabbed the leak showing press renders for the all new Sony QX1, an attachable APS-C sensor for mobile devices. Unlike last year’s models which were essentially an entire camera squeezed inside a lens-style body, the QX1 ditches the lens completely and accepts the same Sony E-mount lenses as the Sony a500, a600, and NEX 5T or other NEX interchangeable lens cameras. This opens up a new world of possibilities when shooting from your mobile device.

Sony-ILCE-QX1

The real question on everyone’s mind is how much Sony was able to cut on costs by essentially stripping away one of the more expensive components in digital cameras: their display. According to sources, the Sony QX1 will retail for around $400 body-only, or $650 with a 16-50mm lens. Of course, for those who’ve already invested in Sony’s mirrorless cameras (that’s really who Sony is targeting here) all those lenses will work just fine on the QX1.

Sony QX1 back

Tomorrow is Sony’s IFA event in Berlin, where we’re sure to learn more about the Sony QX1 and more. Stay tuned.

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Android Deals: $200 off the Galaxy S5, 75% savings on Jump Desktop, and more http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/android-deals-200-off-the-galaxy-s5-75-savings-on-jump-desktop-and-more/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/android-deals-200-off-the-galaxy-s5-75-savings-on-jump-desktop-and-more/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:32:37 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=148014 deals

What’s in the old Android Deals goody bag this week? How about savings on a new Galaxy S5 or LG G Watch? Steep discounts on remote desktop software for Android and Disney’s Castle of Illusion? We’ve even got the tipoff on some audiobook and eBook deals that will give your brain a bit of exercise. Remember, all deals were active at time of posting but they won’t last forever. Read on and act quick to save.

Hardware & Accessories

Samsung Galaxy S5 wood DSC05783

Take $200 off the price of an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S5 for AT&T. Normally priced at $649.99 off-contract, Samsung’s latest flagship device can be yours for only $449.99 as part of eBay’s Daily Deals. The savings of over 30% also include free shipping. Act fast before supplies run out and this deal ends. [eBay]

Get a 50% discount on a 4G-compatible Nexus 7 with 32GB of storage and pick up this Jelly Bean-powered tablet for only $159.99. Google’s 7-inch slate features an HD display and will soon be among the first to receive the highly-anticipated Android L update. [eBay]

Save $50 on an LG G Watch when you buy from Best Buy and be among the first to own an Android Wear-powered smartwatch. This smartphone companion and stylish timepiece sees its regular price of $229.99 slashed to $17.99. [Best Buy]

Become a master at presentations with the discounted X-Presenter Smart bundle. For $23.99 (50% off the regular price), you get the X-Presenter Smart Laser laser pointer and USB dongle, which turns any smartphone with a headphone jack and the X-Presenter app into the ultimate presentation tool. [AndroidArea]

Knock more than 50% off the price of select ruggedized cases for all the latest Android smartphones. These protective cases are reduced to prices as low as $10 and are available for handsets like the LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5, and HTC One M8. [Amazon: LG G3, Galaxy S5, One M8]

Apps & Games

redesign_jump_mf

75% Jump Desktop for Android: Control your desktop from anywhere with your Android phone using Jump Desktop. This easy-to-use remote desktop software for mobile devices gives you access to all of your applications and files without the need to lug around a laptop or log into a PC. [AndroidDeals]

Apps

Games

Music & Media

4-hour-chef

Download The Four-Hour Chef audiobook for free and improve your culinary skills almost instantly while learning valuable lessons that could even better your life beyond the kitchen. Tim Ferriss guides you through the building blocks of cooking in this free release normally priced at $20. [AndroidArea]

Save 85% on a selection of eBooks for Students and get ready for the new school year (or do some learning on your own time). With over 1000 titles to choose from, there is a little something for everyone. [Amazon]

Music Singles

Music Albums

Music Compilations

Movies

TV Shows

[Find any great deals not included here? Be sure to send them our way or share in the comments below!]

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This Amazingly secure Android phone was able to discover fake cell phone towers http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/cryptophone-500/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/cryptophone-500/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:09:21 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=148012 BMI Salaf Ramadan Promo (A5 Flyer)

We’ve always been suspicious of folks being able to snoop in on phone conversations or intercept data, but there isn’t much we can do to prove that happening or to prevent the foul act. One secure phone seems to have changed that, however.

ESD America’s GSMK Cryptophone 500 (which is basically a Samsung Galaxy S3 with custom software and security) is device said to be used by many international and corporate organizations as well as private clients who demand more privacy and security. It was taken on a roadtrip from south Florida to North Carolina. Here’s the sales pitch for the phone to potential buyers:

A truly secure communication device must not only protect its communication links, it must also be able to withstand attacks against the device itself. To achieve this, all GSMK CryptoPhone secure mobile phones are based on a “hardened” operating system with granular security management and streamlined, security-optimized components and communication stacks. The hardened operating system reliably protects the device against outside attacks, thus offering true 360-degree protection when it counts most.

CryptoPhone-CP500-01

Said “hardened” operating system is Android, and it’s been loaded up with security apps and solutions for those who require more than your elementary PIN number.

Along the way, ESD was able to use a built-in function that allows them to monitor and identify the cellular towers it connects to — they found that they’d encountered 8 of them in that sizable drive, many of which sat upon government buildings. They weren’t able to pinpoint the origin of the interceptors, though considering those things are expensive to acquire and assemble we’re sure they had to come from some pretty authoritative entities.

WLS reports that a phone connected to one of these non-carrier towers could be subject to eavesdropping, as well as vulnerable to malware and/or spyware that can be loaded up remotely. It’s a scary thought, though we’re not sure any of it would be used maliciously if they’re of government origin.

We all know the NSA and Department of Homeland Security have the capability and permission to intercept calls to protect the country from potential terrorist threats, so it’s not at all surprising to learn such devices are in use. The scary part is the fact that you can randomly hop onto said networks at any time for seemingly no reason.

It’s important to note that any phone is susceptible to hopping onto these networks, and not just Android phones like WLS suggests. Android isn’t some security nightmare — it actually seems to be a hero here, as we’re sure no iPhone or Windows Phone has the capability to detect fake towers like the Cryptophone 500 did.

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Sony Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact leak shows off full hardware specs and fun new colors http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/sony-xperia-z3-and-z3-compact-leak-shows-off-full-hardware-specs-and-fun-new-colors/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/sony-xperia-z3-and-z3-compact-leak-shows-off-full-hardware-specs-and-fun-new-colors/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:49:19 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=148013 Sony-Xperia-Z3-Compact_1

We’re barely a day away from Sony’s big IFA 2014 unveiling in Berlin but before the manufacturer even has the chance to make anything official, leaks of their upcoming devices continue to spill out onto the interwebs. Today, the folks at the Ausdroid have gotten their hands on some exceptionally nice images of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, pictured as it shows off it’s more petite size in a wide range of color options.

Sony-Xperia-Z3-Compact_2

Sony-Xperia-Z3-Compact_3

While we’re pretty sure all the colors shown — white, black, green, and orange — wont be available in every market, it’s nice to see Sony being more upfront about color options instead of releasing them a few months into a device’s life cycle. According to the tipster, the Xperia Z3 Compact will feature a smaller 4.6-inch 720p display, 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor, 20.7MP camera, and 2600mAh battery. All this in a size that wont stretch your pockets.

Sony Xperia Z3 specs sticker leak

When it comes to the full-sized Sony Xperia Z3, we’ve seen enough leaks in the past to know what we can expect when it become official. Sure enough, today’s leak from the Xperia Blog looks like what we’ve seen before, only this time it seems Sony may have included full hardware specs listed off on the back of this unit. It’s like this test unit was screaming to be leaked. Here’s what is being listed on the window sticker:

Display
5.2” 1080p FHD IPS display
sRBG 130%
TRILUMINOS Display, X-Reality for mobile
600cd brightness

Camera and video
4K video capture and output
1/2.3” 20MP Exmor RS
ISO: 12800 photo / 3200 video
2MP Exmor R front camera

Audio
Stereo Speakers Digital Noise Cancelling HP (HeadPhone) support
Hi-Res Audio
Dual Output
Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE HX)

Performance
MSM8974AC 2.5GHz Quad Core
3GB RAM
16GB eMMC internal storage
Micro SD card slot
Charging pin with magnet

Colours
Black, White, Copper

Size
146.5mm x 72.4mm x 7.5mm

Weight
154 grams

Battery
3100mAh battery
Sony STAMINA mode with 2.0 day stamina

Durability & Design
IP55/IP58 dust proof & water proof

Connectivity
NFC
MHL 3.0

Network
LTE

Everything here seems to check out but we will say, we still find it a shame that in this day and age, a manufacturer can launch a flagship smartphone with barely 16GB of internal storage — micro SD slot or not. It’s actually one of the few gripes I had with the previous model, the Sony Xperia Z2.

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Google plans to update Android Wear watches early and often; first roadmap of features outlined http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/android-wear-updates/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/android-wear-updates/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 16:25:53 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=148006 LG G Watch Android Wear DSC06105

One of Google’s visions with Android Wear was to provide a platform that would allow everyone to get timely updates no matter which device they bought. They’ve gone as far as mandating a block on deep customization by OEMs, effectively eliminating the possibility of OEMs using custom skins that might hold updates back.

All of that is because Google obviously wants to grow the Android Wear platform fast in its infancy. Engineering director David Singleton spoke to CNet about future upgrade plans, noting that they want the updates to be both plentiful and fast. Going into detail, Google mentioned one of the first things they wanted to implement is support for GPS without the need to pair to an Android phone. This is certainly an important factor for the horde of smart watches with 3G radios we’ll eventually see.

Google also mentioned adding support for pairing a Bluetooth headset directly with a smart watch, so you can listen to tunes that are loaded up on the smart watch itself or from a streaming app. Rounding the list of things they want to do is an API for custom watch faces. For the more immediate future, Google says an incoming update this week will improve voice commands and the navigation experience.

Google didn’t go into grave detail about much else, though we’re sure they have many more features lined up to help push Android Wear to the next level in a few short months. Let us know what you’d eventually like to see in the comments below.

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ASUS to undercut competition with sub-$199 price point for ZenWatch Android Wear smart watch http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/asus-zenwatch-price/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/asus-zenwatch-price/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:58:03 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=148002 asus zenwatch

ASUS is often a brand you can count on to deliver lower prices while still offering a good deal of quality. They could be looking to continue that trend with their Android Wear-based ZenWatch smart watch. CEO Jerry Shen confirmed to FocusTaiwan that the company would be looking to target a price tag beneath $199. This would effectively make it the cheapest Android Wear smart watch on the market as the cheapest available right now is Samsung’s Gear Live ($200).

Unfortunately we don’t know much else about the device, though Shen mentioned you could use it by itself or with an Android phone if you so choose. We’re not sure if that’s a tip to possible 3G radios, but the CEO did make it a point to mention that the device would enable the user with more features when paired.

Beyond that, what we’re to see once ASUS takes to Berlin tomorrow is still up in the air. We know the smart watch most certainly won’t be circular if their latest teasers are anything to go by, though whether or not that’ll matter more than its attractive price tag remains to be seen. We’ll be a lot more knowledgeable at some point tomorrow.

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Meizu officially launches MX4: 5.36-inch 1080p display, 8-core CPU, 20 megapixel camera and more http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/meizu-mx-4-official/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/meizu-mx-4-official/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:31:17 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147998 meizu-mx4-565x480

Meizu has officially launched their latest flagship smartphone — the Meizu MX4. The device is absolutely ridiculous in the specs department, and it doesn’t look too bad on the outside either. Here’s what you can look forward to should you buy the $300 wonder (currently available for pre-order from OppoMart):

  • 5.36-inch 1920 x 1152 display
  • 2.2GHz MediaTek MT6595 octo-core processor
  • 20.7 megapixel rear Sony camera, 2.0 megapixel front Sony camera
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB, 32GB or 64GB storage
  • Android 4.4 KitKat with Flyme 4.0
  • 3,100mAh battery
  • 144 x 75.2 x 8.9mm, 147g

That doesn’t sound bad at all for $300, right? The phone is machined with an aluminum alloy material, and also has 2.36mm thin bezels — not quite edge-to-edge, but not so shabby, either.

Uortunately the device is already out of stock (not surprising at that price tag), but OppoMart is sure to be getting more in stock in due time. Meizu’s products might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they won themselves a few new fans with this release. The MX4 is set to ship later this month, so let us know if you’ll be looking to purchase one in the near future.

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Samsung introduces Swarovski-encrusted Gear S (because crystals make everything look better) http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/gear-s-swarovski/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/02/gear-s-swarovski/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:20:04 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147994 samsung gear s swarovski

Swarovski crystals on a smartphone? Meh. On a smart watch? Why, now you’re talking Samsung! The company has introduced a version of the Samsung Gear S that has Swarovski crystals encrusted on the watch band. The new blingage gives the Gear S an eye-catching look, and looks perfect for anyone concerned with style.

The Gear S didn’t need much help on its own with a curved display design that makes it stand out from other smart watches. Samsung says the device is made with a completely new Swarovski product called Crystal Fine Mesh (obviously not to be confused with fine crystal meth).

In case you didn’t catch the news last week, the Gear S is Samsung’s first smart watch with dedicated 3G radios, meaning you can use data and make calls with the device without having to be paired up to a smartphone via Bluetooth. It doesn’t offer much more than that over their other Tizen-based smart watches, though that might be reason enough for someone to throw hard-earned dollars at it.

Samsung didn’t have any pricing info to share, but we at least know you’ll be able to find it on their website and in one of their few Samsung Experience retail stores starting next month. Samsung also let slip that their next flagship device will also see some Swarovski love, and we’re all but certain they’re talking about the Galaxy Note 4. We should be hearing a LOT more from the South Korean company tomorrow.

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Let’s talk about how terrible Comcast is (and how afraid Time Warner customers should be) http://phandroid.com/2014/09/01/dear-comcast-please-stop/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/01/dear-comcast-please-stop/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 17:00:31 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147989 raging baby

There’s no secret Comcast isn’t the world’s most favorite internet service provider. Heck, they probably don’t even have the` favor of a few innocent souls who don’t know the difference between dial-up and fiber. There’s no shortage of Comcast horror stories on the internet. We’re not sure why Comcast is so bad, but they are. And it’s about time we put a spotlight on some of the most troubling testimonials you’ll ever see.

This young man was put on hold by a customer service rep. By the grace of some supernatural source he actually waited. On the phone. For 3 hours. No one came back after said time, so he ended up being on hold until their customer service line was closed.

Granted, he most likely would have been able to get back through if he’d hung up and called back (could be a technical error), but it’s still remarkable. Power to those who can wait on hold for 3 full hours and not end up with your phone smashed to bit in the corner of a dark, cold room.

Here’s an hour and change of horrible customer service goodness courtesy of this guy on Reddit. The guy was passed around by customer service reps like a cheese plate at an awkward social gathering:

This fellow’s story in particular is interesting: not only is Comcast showing sings of environmental irresponsibility, but they’re overcharging for service that he didn’t even have. That they failed to rectify their own mistake months after the fact is enough for a grand ol’ face palm.

And the list goes on and on. Granted, there are likely just as many folks who are perfectly fine with the service they’re receiving from Comcast, and you can find horror stories about any fairly large company if you look hard enough, but Comcast’s name is by far the most cursed in the industry.

The saddest part is that despite all the outcries from customers, it appears Comcast hasn’t done a thing to help alleviate some of these complaints over the years. It’s even more startling when you think about the fact that some of these folks don’t even have better options — despite the issues, Comcast is still the best they can get.

It’s a problem that has plagued the American wireline industry for quite some time. Companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable have a pretty significant stranglehold on many key markets, and while regional providers and the might of AT&T have tried to test their stomping grounds they still can’t offer enough to put a significant dent into those companies’ market share.

fiber-cable

Speaking of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the two are about to become a couple. A thing. A conglomerate that we all should be deathly afraid of. It’s a scary thought that absolutely should have you quivering in your boots. As a long-time Time Warner Cable customer for the past 14 years, I think I can speak with authority when I say they’re no different.

Quality of service has consistently declined since the early days I’ve had them. Some days I wake up and wonder if I’ll even be able to sign onto Phandroid.com and pump out articles. Customer service has gotten a bit better, but they still don’t give you the attention and care that a homely regional provider seems to be able to. And let’s not even get started on prices increasing year after year without any considerable improvements in service.

Sure, I could have gone with the only (and I do mean only) viable alternative in my area in AT&T Uverse, but their speeds don’t meet my professional needs, nor does DSL technology excite me quite like a traditional cable connections. Add to that fact that AT&T’s “half the cost of competition” price tag they like to advertise only lasts for the first 12 months of service (after which they become just as expensive as Time Warner) and there just hasn’t been anyone better.

But don’t let Time Warner take that quote out of context in one of their cheesy ads — there’s no one better because there’s NO ONE ELSE PERIOD. I long for the day that the Milwaukee, WI area finally gets a stout competitor that can keep these cable companies on their heels, but until then this is the reality we have to live in.

So yes, Comcast users, I do understand where you’re coming from. I understand the frustration. And as one bad company gets ready to merge with another I’m close to considering internet suicide.

It sucks, and the only thing we can do is to continue to express our distaste unless you’re fortunate enough to live in a market where you can vote with your wallet. Here’s to hoping something like Verizon FiOS or Google Fiber journeys to the rest of the country before Comcast and Time Warner are able to get a devastating death grip on the internet business here in America.

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Best new Android games from August 2014 http://phandroid.com/2014/09/01/best-android-games-august-2014/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/01/best-android-games-august-2014/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:00:35 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147874 august

Games, games, games. So many games came out this last month. Some simple, others complex. We even had a game from the now infamous developer of Flappy Bird. What more could you ask for? In case you were too busy enjoying the summer weather, we have compiled a list of the best games from August. These are the ones you should check out and download. Enjoy!

ALONE

ALONE

ALONE is a handcrafted, intense survival journey through space. Navigate caves, rip through rocky debris, dodge rocks and comets and test your endurance as you pursue ever higher scores in this ultra fast, procedural runner. This game has hours of action filled gameplay across three unlockable difficulty levels and two awesome bonus modes. It’s available for $1.99.

Amazing Brick

amazing brick

Do you like Flappy Bird? Let me rephrase that. Do you know about Flappy Bird? Of course you do. Amazing Brick is a similar style of game, but it doesn’t make you want to rip your hair out. All you do is tap to go up through obstacles. It’s very minimally designed, but a lot of fun. It’s available for free from the Play Store.

Back to Bed

back to bed

Back to Bed is a 3D puzzle game set in a unique and artistic dream world, wherein you guide the sleepwalker Bob to the safety of his bed. To achieve this, you must take control of Bob’s subconscious guardian named Subob. The pair travels through a surreal and painting-like dream world, filled with objects used to guide Bob towards the Bed, but also dangers that must be avoided. Grab this game for $4.00.

Bik

bik

Bik is a retro-style adventure game that takes inspiration from classic point-and-click adventure games. The game follows a young boy who is abducted by aliens while on a camping trip. After joining forces with two friendly alien mercenaries, Bik escapes from his abductors and tries to find his way home. Tons of fun happens to Bik and his friends along the way. Download Bik for $1.99.

Calculords

calculords

Innovative collectible card gaming combined with number puzzles and turn-based tactical combat.  Earth has been destroyed by the evil Hate Bit and you are the Last Star Nerd. Clever use of numbers lets you deploy starships, soldiers, tanks, aliens, and devastating tactics. You’ll have to be several kinds of brilliant to save what’s left of space. Calulords is very unique and fun. It can be yours for $2.99.

Crazy Taxi City Rush

crazu taxi rush

Drive crazy in SEGA’s all-new Crazy Taxi. Race through the city to deliver your passengers on-time; the crazier you drive the higher your rewards. That’s right, the crazier you drive the more rewards you get. It is called Crazy Taxi after all. This new Crazi Taxi games also allows you to fully customize your cab. Are you craaaazy enough to download this game for free?

Dragon Quest IV

dragon 4

Dragon Quest IV, the first installment in the Zenithian Trilogy, is now out for Android. This epic adventure, unfolding over five unique chapters, each focusing on a different cast of characters, can now be enjoyed on your phone. Enter a fantasy world of sword, magic, and monsters with over 40 hours of gameplay. Buy it for $14.99 and never be asked for money again.

Five Nights at Freddy’s

five freddy

Welcome to your new summer job at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, where kids and parents alike come for entertainment and food as far as the eye can see! The main attraction is Freddy Fazbear, of course; and his two friends. They are animatronic robots, programmed to please the crowds. As simple as this game is it’s very frightening. Download it for $2.99 if you dare.

King of Dragon Pass

dragon pass

Create your own epic saga of conflict, mythology and community! Rule your own clan, take important strategic decisions, win battles and expand the territory of your people. This game is a unique mix of RPG and strategy. Everything in King of Dragon Pass is about choice and control. Choose your counsel carefully, sign diplomatic agreements or declare war on nearby clans. All of this can be yours for $9.99.

Madden NFL Mobile

madden nfl mobile controls

Many football gamers have likely already drain hours of their time into Madden NFL 15 for consoles as it launched this past Tuesday. But what if  you’re away from home and need that football fix? EA Sports has a pretty decent gift for you: Madden NFL Mobile. We’ve had a few days to sink our teeth into it and determine whether this is the pigskin simulator that your phone or tablet deserves. Check out our review and then download it for free.

MOUNTAIN

MOUNTAIN Image10

Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you were a mountain? No? Well, in MOUNTAIN that  is exactly what you do. You are a mountain. That’s pretty much all there is to it. Nothing you do really matters. Sound like fun? For $1 it’s all yours.

Skulls of the Shogun

shogun

Crush your enemies and eat their skulls! Skulls of the Shogun is a fast-paced turn-based strategy game, supercharged with fighting-game flair and double-stuffed with a serious sense of humor. Enter the Samurai Afterlife and join forces with undead warriors, magical monks, and mighty mustachioed samurai generals! This awesome game can be yours for just $1.99.

Surgeon Simulator

surgeon simulator android

Ever wanted to be a deadly surgeon that didn’t know an artery from a bone? Fancy cutting into some poor schmuck who thinks he’s about to get a quality operation only to die on the operating table? Me neither, but we can at least experience that harrowing, twisted situation in digital form. Surgeon Similar puts the buzz saw and scalpel into your hands. If you’re up to the task it will cost you $5.99.

Swing Copter

swing copters watermark

Swing Copters can be seen as a spiritual successor to Flappy Bird. Instead of trying to make your way through pipes and obstacles on a horizontal axis, you’re now trying to do much of the same going vertical in a helicopter. It’s still very difficult, though the latest update made it much easier. Swing Copters is free if you dare to get addicted.

Time Tangle

time tangle

Time Tangle is another great game based on the cartoon Adventure Time. In thi sgame you punch stuff, do infinite quests, rescue your friends, beat beastly bad guys, and enjoy awesome cutscenes with your favorite characters. Run, punch, rinse, repeat. If you’re in for an adventure you can grab this game for $2.99.

WWE SuperCard

wwe supercard

WWE SuperCard puts the power of WWE Superstars, Legends, and Divas in your hands by bringing the hard-hitting, larger-than-life action of WWE to mobile in a brand new card battle game! Collect your favorite WWE Superstars, Divas, Legends and Managers. Take your five-man team online against other players to test your skills. Play for free if you’re ready!

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Best Android Phones [September 2014] http://phandroid.com/2014/09/01/best-android-phones-september-2014/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/01/best-android-phones-september-2014/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 13:00:41 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147870 best-phones-hero

As summer winds down we are once again ranking our favorite Android phones. Some familiar names made our list, but which handset came out on top? Will the fall’s big announcements shake things up in the coming weeks? Read on to find out.

Previously: AugustJuly | June | May | April | March | February

5. Sony Xperia Z2

Sony Xperia Z2 Damaged_1

When a phone spends six weeks at the bottom of the ocean and somehow emerges with only cosmetic damage it makes it pretty hard to leave it off of our best phones list. Alright, we weren’t planning on dropping the Z2 from the rankings, ocean floor adventures or not, but it is a testament to this phone’s strong design. It looks great, it’s waterproof, and it packs the hardware (HD display, quad-core processing, etc.) to match up with any other device on this list.

4. Nexus 5

Nexus 5 shortcuts DSC05736

If you want to own a smartphone that will be among the first to see the Android L update, the Nexus 5 remains the best option currently on the market. While we anticipate some new Nexus hardware from Google and its partners, the N5 remains a solid workhorse device, and you can’t really complain about the $350 price tag, either. If you’re savvy, this one has been going on sale plenty lately and could see a price drop in the coming months during the lead up to the rumored Nexus 6.

3. Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5 hand DSC05788

While the whole Ice Bucket Challenge thing might have been in poor taste, we won’t hold it against the Galaxy S5. This handset remains perhaps the most popular Android smartphone in the court of public opinion and is a great buy for those looking for top-notch hardware in a universally supported device. It also boasts a few features other smartphones have slacked on, including a fingerprint scanner and hear rate sensor.

2. HTC One M8

HTC-One-M8-Style

The One M8 features great design and the hardware to compliment it, so much so that HTC decided to double-down and release a Windows Phone version of the device. We’ll stick with the original, Android-infused version, though, with its sleek Sense software UltraPixel camera, and more.

1. LG G3

LG-G3-Front

We love the LG G3, but don’t take our word for it. The phone is on track to be LG’s first ever handset to break the 10 million units sold mark. There’s good reason for it, to. The G3’s focus on simplicity brings its sheer power to the forefront and highlights features like a Quad HD display, laser autofocus, and much more.

Honorable Mentions

HTC One Remix 8

We don’t have room for ever phone in our top five. Here are the devices that barely missed the cut.

  1. Xiaomi Mi4 — Xiaomi isn’t a household name, but they have caught our attention with their latest Mi4, a powerful handset at a reasonable price.
  2. OnePlus One — OnePlus hasn’t made the brightest marketing decisions, but there is a reason that folks are clamoring simply for the chance to receive an invite to buy this elusive smartphone.
  3. Oppo Find 7a — On par with the OnePlus One, the Find 7a is another option for folks seeking an affordable off-contract buy.
  4. Moto X — The X remains one of the world’s only “customizable” smartphones with factory options like woodgrain and more, but the rumored X+1 threatens its spot on our list.
  5. HTC One Remix — This Verizon exclusive is a mini version of the HTC One M8, but it impresses almost as much as its big brother.

Phones to Look Forward To

Perhaps the phone you are looking for hasn’t been released yet. In that case, here are a couple newly announced devices that have yet to make it to store shelves (but should soon).

Sharp Aquos Crystal

sharp-aquos-crystal-7

A Sprint exclusive announced a few weeks back, the Aquos Crystal makes up for mid-range specs with it’s nearly bezel-free display and sub-$250 off-contract pricing. It won’t compete head-to-head with the flagship devices from other manufacturers, but it looks pretty damn nice (just check out our hands-on) and could be a tempting option for Sprint subscribers. A release should be imminent, though an official date remains unknown.

LG G Stylus

lg-g3-stylus-3

If you didn’t guess already based on the name, the LG G Stylus indeed comes with a stylus and on the surface looks like it is positioned as a Galaxy Note 4 competitor. That’s only partially true, as the G Stylus dials back the specs quite a bit. What it lacks in power we expect it to make up for in pricing, however.

Rumor Mill

Several long-standing rumors will be satisfied in a mere matter of days, and we can’t wait. Here are the upcoming but unannounced phones everyone has been buzzing about.

Moto X+1 & DROID Turbo

Moto X active notifications

The long-rumored Moto X+1 should finally go official as part of an event Motorola has planned for September 4th, finally bringing us answers to all of our burning questions as they pertain to the handset. Will the phone feature 3D recognition and optical zoom? Will it feature even more customization options than its predecessor? We may also get answers in regards to the recently rumored Motorola DROID Turbo for Verizon, but we aren’t holding our breath.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

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IFA 2014 will host one of its biggest launches on September 3rd, when we expect to see the Galaxy Note 4 in all of its glory. Samsung has been steadily teasing this one for the past several weeks, and aside from the typical upgrades we are also expecting new and improved fingerprint scanning capabilities. Will this one have us forgetting about the Galaxy S5?

Nexus 6

Nexus-Shamu

The Nexus 6 feels like the Android world’s white whale, only in this case it’s more of an orca. Yes, we’ve been talking for months about when we might catch a glimpse of this Nexus 5 followup, codenamed ‘Shamu,’ but we’re still waiting. At least the leaks keep coming, including a full rundown of specs that claim this Motorola-made handset will feature a Snapdragon 805 SoC, 3GB RAM, and a 13MP camera.

Amazon Best Sellers

As always, we’ve perused Amazon’s list of best selling smartphones for yet even more options. If the phone wasn’t already on our list but has been selling like hot cakes on Amazon, you will find it listed below (often at insane price markdowns).

  1. Amazon Fire Phone
  2. LG G2
  3. Samsung Galaxy S4
  4. Samsung Galaxy S3
  5. Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
  6. Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
  7. HTC One M7
  8. Samsung Galaxy Mega
  9. Samsung Galaxy Note 3
  10. Samsung Galaxy Note II

What Say You?

Do you have a bone to pick with our current phone rankings? While September’s big announcements are sure to shake things up, let us know how you would rank things as they sit now. Sound off in the comments below!

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Happy Labor Day! http://phandroid.com/2014/09/01/happy-labor-day/ http://phandroid.com/2014/09/01/happy-labor-day/#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:00:09 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=147819 happy_labor_

It’s Labor Day for those of us in the United States. It’s the unofficial official closure to summer. Many students are already headed back to school. Barbecue pits will be HOT. To those celebrating this fine holiday with us, Happy Labor Day! We hope you enjoy your day and have as much fun as you can!

To those outside of the United States, we’ll be taking a short break to recharge our batteries ahead of all the IFA goodness going down this week. Fret not, though, because we’ll be right here tomorrow bright and early to bring you all the latest in the world of Android. Have a good one folks!

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