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X-Mini WE Speaker Review

Android Guys - Sun, 04/20/2014 - 1:00pm
X-mini WE Product Images (1)

Following up on our post on the X-mini series, I had a chance to play with the X-Mini WE speaker for a few weeks. I’ll admit, I was pleasantly surprised. X-mini’s slogan is “Sound Beyond Size” and this miniature speaker had giant sized sound.

The X-Mini WE unit I reviewed was the version that had both Bluetooth and NFC. Two simple functions to make using the speaker as simple as taping the your devices together and flipping a switch.

When the package finally arrived, I could not wait to open it. Curiously inside I found this small little cube. I should have figured, I mean the speaker is called the “X-Mini”. To give you an idea of how small, let’s say the total package was about the size of a Rubik’s cube. Inside I found some basic instructions, a strap for the speaker, an I ♥ X-Mini sticker, and a nice little cable array. This cable had three connections, one being a USB for charging, a Micro-USB to go to the speaker for charging, and an audio cable. The interesting thing about this is that you would connect the audio cable to a laptop, and the cable system converts the analog audio into the Micro-USB that plug into the speaker for charging. This eliminates the need for two audio cables, which if you ask me is a plus.

Now that the speaker and accessories are out of the box, you have to imagine the size of this speaker. It is small. I truthfully did not expect much. It is only 48mm x 40mm with a weight of 48 grams. Even with the added functionality of both Bluetooth and NFC, this version only weighs 4 grams more than the non-Bluetooth/NFC version. It is small and light which means it is very portable. You can literally attach it on your keychain or carry it in your pocket. Despite the miniature size, the device seems very durable. I would think it could survive a couple drops without shattering into a million pieces.

As duly noted, the size on this device is one of the tiniest speakers I’ve ever seen. Let’s take a look and see what was jammed into the inner workers of this little beast:

X-Mini WE:

Dimensions: 48mm x 40mm
Net Weight: 48g
Speaker: Magnetically Shielded 31mm (3.6Ω)
Loudspeaker Output: 1.5W
Frequency Response: 200Hz-20kHz
Signal-to-Noise: ≥80dB
Distortion: ≤0.3%
Playback Time: Up to 6 hours
Battery Capacity: 230mAh
Battery Charging Voltage: 5V (USB)
Battery Charge Time: Minimum of 1.5 hours

Bluetooth Specifications:

Operating Frequency Range: 2.4GHz – 2.48GHz
Wireless Range: Up to 10 meters/33 feet
Bluetooth Compliant: v3.0 (with one-tap-pair NFC)
Bluetooth Profile Support: A2DP Stereo
Bluetooth Playback Time: Up to 4 hours

For some comparison on size, I’ve taken a picture of the speaker lined up with a large sized paperclip. The second picture shows the width versus the same paperclip.

X-Mini WE Size Comparison

X-Mini WE Size Comparison against a large paperclip

X-Mini WE Width Comparison against a large paperclip

X-Mini WE Width Comparison against a large paperclip

 

The only thing about speakers though is that while size matters for portability, the sound quality is ultimately what will make people buy or not buy this product. Getting sound out of my product was a little troublesome at first. I have two cell phones and a tablet. I was not easily able to pair the speaker with any of them on the first shot. I had to do multiple attempts, which included turning on and off the Bluetooth, turning on and off the speaker, and finally it would pair with the device I was looking for. I was never able to get it to pair with the device using NFC for the first time. I’ve always had to connect it directly via Bluetooth for the initial connection. Considering I had problems with all three of my devices, I would like to think that it was not user error. I will admit though, after the rocky initial pairing of the device, once the device was paired, reconnecting the device using NFC was amazingly easy especially compared to how difficult the initial pairing was. It was literally tap the bottom of the speaker against my device and three seconds later sound is coming from the speaker.

So now that it is connect, what song do I play? I pump on some Aerosmith with the song of choice being Mama Kin. I figured it being one of my favorite songs it would give me great comparison on what I am used to hearing versus what this speaker is playing. The sound is muffled. It sounds “OK” but it is not very clear and really not what I expected, not to mention the volume was a lot lower than advertised. That’s when I noticed that I was supposed to remove that little rubber cap on the top of the device. Apparently that is there to protect the speaker and must be removed before enjoying the music (insert DOH! here).

X-Mini WE Top Off

X-Mini WE with the rubber top removed

 

What a difference a rubber lid makes… Seriously. The sound comes blaring through this little speaker about double as loud as I ever expected. I have now listened to about 12 hours worth of music on this speaker since Xmi Pte Ltd was nice enough to send me one to review. I have gotten a decent amount of airplay out of the speaker and must say that the playback times and charge time seem to be pretty accurate depending on various factors. I averaged about three and a half hours per charge, which is probably due to the fact that I have had it on full blast every time the speaker was on. The only negative I found with the quality of sound is that I, as did our reviewer in the X-Mini ME hands on, found that the bass was a little lacking. This may be a trade-off due to the size of the speaker, but I will admit, it was not that big of a deal, especially if you are looking for a small size but loud speaker.

Overall I feel that this is a solid device. Price-wise, if you purchase it from Amazon, it is astonishingly only $39.99. I am giving this item 4.5 out of 5 stars. I deducted a half a star for the difficulties with connecting via Bluetooth initially and because it does need a small boost in bass. Other than those minor details this is an amazing device that offers durability, portability and sound volume that you would expect out of a larger speaker. The best part about it is that the price matches the size. If you are looking for a small speaker that you can pop out to enjoy tunes or watch a video on-the-go for under $50, then X-Mini WE is the portable speaker for you.

The X-Mini WE is available on the X-Mini Store or for $39.99 on Amazon.

The post X-Mini WE Speaker Review appeared first on AndroidGuys.

Android 4.4.3 update for Sony Z Ultra GPe referenced by Bluetooth SIG

Android and Me - Sun, 04/20/2014 - 10:09am

Google hasn’t made any official announcements regarding Android 4.4.3, but lately there seems to be an increasing number of leaks and references that tease the update.

Just days after Sprint announced an Android 4.4.3 update for the Nexus 5, a Bluetooth Special Interest Group page with a reference to the update has been discovered. The entry is for the Sony Z Ultra Google Play edition, and it includes a mention of software version “KTU72.S1.3013.” Sprint’s reference to Android 4.4.3 hinted at a software build that also began with “KTU,” meaning that this Bluetooth SIG page is likely referencing a version of Android 4.4.3 for the Z Ultra GPe.

Since Google hasn’t actually announced Android 4.4.3, it’s not yet clear exactly what goodies the update might bring. However, a recently-leaked changelog suggested that it’ll be a maintenance release with bug fixes for things like Bluetooth, random reboots, Wi-Fi auto-connect and camera-related tweaks. Here’s to hoping that, now that we’re seeing references to Android 4.4.3 pop up more frequently, the official push isn’t too far off.

Motorola Moto G Getting a Little Brother?

Android Guys - Sun, 04/20/2014 - 1:53am
moto e

Amongst all the speculation surrounding the allegedly upcoming Motorola flagship (currently coined “X+1″ by the media), another new Moto phone is purportedly in the works.  Though this model is on the other end of the model spectrum, and is expected to reside just under the existing Moto G in terms of specs and affordability.

Currently dubbed “Moto-E” by the Italian site androidworld.it, this new model further emphasizes the “more phone for everyone” mantra brought on by the Moto G and arguably the Nexus 4 before that.  The spec comparison reads as such:

Moto-E (Moto-G)

  • Display: 4.3″ (4.5″)
  • Processor: 12.GHz dual-core (1.2 GHz quad-core)
  • RAM: 1GB (1GB)
  • Internal storage: 4GB (8GB)
  • Rear camera: 5MP (5MP)
  • Front camera: None (1.3MP)
  • Battery: 1900mAh (2070mAh)

The height and width appear almost identical; the one noticeable dimension is the depth of the device.  At 6.2mm, it appears to be almost half of the Moto G, which checks in at 11.6.  This sveltness will definitely be appealing to a lot of potential buyers.

The distribution plans for this phone is not mentioned, but it can be deduced that Motorola would have a very similar game plan; meaning pretty much worldwide.

The post Motorola Moto G Getting a Little Brother? appeared first on AndroidGuys.

OnePlus One and its StyleSwap covers leak out days before official debut

Android and Me - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 11:40pm

OnePlus has been steadily trickling out details of its upcoming One smartphone in recent months in order to build up hype for the device. The company is set to finally reveal the One on April 23, but it looks like we don’t have to wait until then to get a peek at it.

Some images have leaked out that claim to show the OnePlus One, depicting a device with a curved top and bottom and a black face. The design of the One is somewhat reminiscent of the Oppo Find 7, which isn’t a huge surprise since OnePlus CEO Pete Lau used to work for Oppo.

oneplusonestyleswapaam

In addition to the OnePlus itself, the device’s StyleSwap covers have been revealed. These covers will be available in Silk, Sandstone, Denim, Bamboo and Kevlar textures and will allow OnePlus One owners to make their device a bit more personal.

But wait, there’s more! Some new screenshots of CyanogenMod 11S, the software that’ll power the OnePlus One, have also emerged. CyanogenMod 11S is a special version of the CyanogenMod Android ROM and was created specifically for the OnePlus One.

cyanogenmod11saam

The screenshots show the CyanogenMod 11S lock screen, which is similar to the image that leaked out last month, and show the time, date, weather and battery level. Other screenshots show the CyanogenMod 11S home screen and a “Themes” menu with several software customization options.

Now that we’ve finally gotten a peek at the OnePlus One and the software that it’ll run, what do you think? Are any of you considering buying the device when it goes up for sale?

Via: Android Central
Sources: Android AuthorityOnePlus BBS

[Bonus Round] LEGO Star Wars Microfighters, Bomb Buds, And Mini Warriors

Android Police - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 5:49pm

nexusae0_bonusicon_thumbWelcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a Lego game that's even cuter than ordinary Lego games, a Worms clone with some options, and an interesting mix of real-time strategy and lane defense.

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[Bonus Round] LEGO Star Wars Microfighters, Bomb Buds, And Mini Warriors was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



TripIt Travel Organizer Gets A New Phone User Interface And Gingerbread Support In Version 3.5

Android Police - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 5:01pm

unnamed (10)For anyone who likes a nice structured itinerary for their weekend Vegas bender, TripIt is a handy app that combines flight, public transit, hotel, and restaurant info in to a tight little scheduling interface. And to make said interface even more tight, TripIt has revised the UI in the latest build. Well, at least some of the UI - from what we can tell, you'll only see the spiffy new blue-tinted screens if you're using a phone.

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TripIt Travel Organizer Gets A New Phone User Interface And Gingerbread Support In Version 3.5 was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



AllCast Receiver App For The Fire TV Now Available In The Amazon Appstore

Android Police - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 4:17pm

unnamedNow footloose and fancy free, or at least self-employed and unencumbered, Koushik "Koush" Dutta is expanding his popular AllCast streaming app to Amazon's new Fire TV set-top box. Unlike the Chromecast, Xbox, Roku, Apple TV, and various other gadgets with relatively open streaming profiles, the Fire TV needs a separate app to receive content from your phone or tablet. Just install AllCast on both and you should be good to go for local video and audio streaming.

Done With This Post? You Might Also Like These:

AllCast Receiver App For The Fire TV Now Available In The Amazon Appstore was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



Google Issues Refunds And An Extra $5 Play Store Credit To Android Users Who Bought The Phony 'Virus Shield' App

Android Police - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 3:09pm

unnamed (1)One of the more far-reaching Android Police stories this year was our exclusive write-up of Virus Shield, an impressively popular anti-virus app that managed to make it to the top of the Play Store's sales charts in less than a week, despite the fact that it did absolutely nothing. After digging into the app's code, Artem Russakovskii and various Android Police readers found that it was nothing more than a few images and a toggle.

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Google Issues Refunds And An Extra $5 Play Store Credit To Android Users Who Bought The Phony 'Virus Shield' App was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



KitKat for the Verizon LG G2 now rolling out over the air

Phandroid - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 2:53pm

LG G2 Verizon Wireless

After reporting yesterday that the KitKat update for the Verizon Wireless LG G2 was finally ready — but only accessible via LG’s installer for Windows PCs — that same update is now officially available and rolling out over the air. If you haven’t been prompted (and don’t feel like hassling with plugging in/installing extra software), you can now jump into your Settings > About phone > Software update > Check new > to pull the update on your G2 manually.

Verizon LG G2 KitKat OTA update

Having rolled out for all other major US carriers), Verizon’s LG G2 finally joins its brothers and sisters in the winners circle. Aside from bringing all the usual KitKat goodies, you should see some minor improvements to LG’s UI, as well as compatibility with KitKat-only apps like Google’s recently released Google Camera app. Enjoy!

OnePlus One Hardware Leaked In Photos, Along With CyanogenMod 11S Screenshots

Android Police - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 2:21pm

oneplus thumbOnePlus has been amazingly and infuriatingly evasive when it comes to their much-hyped One phone, bordering on "bloody cheeky" with their series of faux-viral specification and schedule reveals. Perhaps one of their hardware or marketing partners got as fed up with waiting as we are, because a full set of convincing photos and renders has been leaked via a Chinese forum.

QQ截图20140419132119-1024x368

03-UXiGMhb-1024x608

The set of photos shows what looks like a pretty standard high-end phone, with the interesting addition of a variety of removable"StyleSwap" back covers, including various covers made of (or at least covered in) wood, carbon fiber, and denim.

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OnePlus One Hardware Leaked In Photos, Along With CyanogenMod 11S Screenshots was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



[Hurry Up] AT&T Selling 'Certified Like-New' Galaxy Note 3s Online For $249.99 Off Contract, Probably A Mistake

Android Police - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 2:16pm

galaxy_note_3

If you want a Note 3 but don't want to pay top dollar for it, you might be in luck. Though this is almost certainly a mistake, AT&T is presently selling refurbished Galaxy Note 3s in both black and white via its website for $249.99 off contract, or $99.99 with a two-year agreement.

note_3_deal

Of course, there's no guarantee that AT&T will honor your order and actually ship the device, but if it does, you will have bragging rights for a long time to come.

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[Hurry Up] AT&T Selling 'Certified Like-New' Galaxy Note 3s Online For $249.99 Off Contract, Probably A Mistake was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



[Deal Alert] Refurbished Nexus 7 (2013) WiFi 16GB For $149.99 Shipped On eBay Daily Deals

Android Police - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 1:31pm

nexus_7_2013

If you've been waiting for a good opportunity to join the Nexus 7 party, now is as good a time as you're likely to find in the near future. If you head over to eBay Daily Deals, you can pick up a factory-refurbished WiFI-only Nexus 7 for just $149.99. This is the 2nd generation (2013) model and comes with a 90-day manufacturer warranty.

ebay_n72013

This price tag gives you roughly 35% off of the regular $229.99 MSRP for a brand new model.

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[Deal Alert] Refurbished Nexus 7 (2013) WiFi 16GB For $149.99 Shipped On eBay Daily Deals was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



[Weekend Poll] Did You Register To Attend Google I/O?

Android Police - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 11:26am

nexusae0_iopluspage

It's the Googliest time of the year again - I/O is on the horizon. Registration closed as of yesterday (Friday), and I/O 2014 brought a whole new system in to deal with the demand for tickets: a lottery.

nexusae0_iopluspage

While it may seem a bit odd to some to have to be randomly selected for the right to spend $900 (or $300 for students / faculty) to go to a developer (and designer!) conference, Google I/O registration has sold out in minutes in previous years - even after Google has raised the cost of attendance substantially.

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[Weekend Poll] Did You Register To Attend Google I/O? was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



HTC One (M8) Review: A Big Bet On Small Changes

Android Police - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 10:49am

wm_DSC03536

I loved the HTC One M7. Last year, it really did feel like a new breed of Android phone - bringing premium materials, a modernized interface, an innovative (if controversial) camera, and those trademark Boomsound speakers. The One M7 felt fresh in almost every way - it felt vital, it felt relevant.

The One M8 seeks to tame some of the raw newness - to build on it, soften up the edges, and modernize it.

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HTC One (M8) Review: A Big Bet On Small Changes was written by the awesome team at Android Police.



8 things I hate about the Samsung Galaxy S5

Phandroid - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 9:36am

Samsung Galaxy S5 back DSC05780

WARNING: Loads of opinion ahead, leave your fanboyism at the door. If you’re looking for a honest opinion, please proceed.

With that out of the way, I just want to say I understand well that there is no such thing as the “perfect” smartphone. Like my mother used to tell me, you’ll never find the perfect woman, only the perfect woman for you. Because, Android is a wonderful mess right now, manufacturers put a lot of time and effort into offering their unique versions of Android, that simply put — aren’t for everyone. Having owned the Samsung Galaxy S5 for a full week now, I think it’s time to stop beating around the bush: this phone simply isn’t for me.

Bu don’t get me wrong, I tried to make it work, I wanted to make it work. Despite my friends and family warning me that buying the Galaxy S5 would only end in heartbreak, I went against their better judgement and purchased the phone anyway. Why? There were only 2 features on my mind: SAMOLED display, and the high-resolution ISOCELL camera. Like a great pair of…. eyes on a woman, they’re all I saw. Everything else? I figured that would work itself out. “I could always put a case over it and TouchWiz is all new,” I told myself. Boy, was I wrong. May I present to you, my list of top 8 things I hate about the Samsung Galaxy S5.

1. TouchWiz Lag

I like to think of myself as a patient man. Whether it’s kids, pets, or the ‘ol gf, it takes a lot to get under my skin. But one area I absolutely have zero patience for is in my electronics. Laptop, camera, you name it. Having owned a HTC One (M7), Nexus 5, and an LG G2 for all these months, maybe I’ve just been spoiled by snappy, lag-free performance. Who knows.

What I do know is that there is something horribly wrong with the fact that you can have a phone with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, software based on the the newest, lightest version of Android yet (KitKat), and yet still somehow serve users a piping hot plate of lag on a silver platter. It takes a special kind of “software” to mess that up.

Whether it’s waking up the phone from a sleeping state, waiting for the keyboard to popup or catch up with typing, opening the multitasking menu or applications — lag, lag, mother-effin-lag. I couldn’t handle it. I kid you not, I was having nightmares that my phone was getting laggier and laggier, only to wake up and find myself in cold sweats.

Is a .8 second lag going to kill you? Probably not. But I paid too damn much for this phone only to have to”suffer” with lackluster performance. Still don’t believe me? See this video here. I mean, what’s the point of upgrading to a faster processor, when you don’t actually reap any of the benefits? The Galaxy S5 is Lag City. Population: you.

2. Limited Internal Storage

Galaxy S5 Storage constraints

External storage is great — when there are apps that actually support. Aside from KitKat making things fun with the way apps handle external storage, finding applications other than games that can actually be moved to the SD card is rare. Sure, you can always root and move everything to the SD card, but that’s a topic for another time. You can have a 128GB UHS 1 micro SD card in the phone, but a 16GB Galaxy S5 — the only version currently offered by US carriers — sucks. There’s no way around it, and I don’t understand how this was overlooked.

3. Touchscreen Sensitivity

Galaxy S5

No, I’m not saying the Galaxy S5′s display isn’t responsive enough. The problem I’m have is that that it’s too responsive. I know, that sounds like a silly thing complain about, but when you type as quickly as I do, the phone is registering screen taps/long presses I never meant it to. In fact, I thought for a minute there I was losing my mind. Really, who would notice something like this?

I think this might have something to do with S5′s new “Air gesture” feature that allows you to interact with the display, without actually touching it. This also means the phone can register screen presses even while wearing gloves — a great feature for sure — but not when it messes with normal use. There is a reason, after all, they included an option to disable it. But even when disabled, it’s far too sensitive (note: I’ve had it disabled since day 1). A great idea, just one better left on paper.

4. Camera

Sony A7 vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Woah, woah, woah. I’m not saying the Galaxy S5 camera isn’t great. It is. But my problem is it only performs well in the most ideal of situations. Taking it out on a bright Spring day, shooting some pics of the kids by the pool, it performs wonderfully. Images are razor sharp.

My issue? As soon as you lose some of that light — shooting indoors on a cloudy day, or a dimly lit restaurant, etc. — everything turns to absolute sh*t. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at my comparison photo above. One side you have a picture I snapped with my full frame camera to show you exactly how much light was actually in this scene. On the right is how well the Galaxy S5 handles in the smallest dip in light: like a muddy mess. Not good. In fact, there were many a times, my Nexus 5 performed better than the Galaxy S5. Don’t believe me? Check out this image here.

5. S Emoji

Galaxy S5 emoji

You’d think that having the system wide emoji support in KitKat would be great new feature, but not when you see what Samsung’s done with them. Say hello to the most hideous emoji’s this side of the iPhone. Like some kind of bastardized version AOL smileys meets Lisa Frank, they look horribly out of place on Samsung’s new minimal interface. What I don’t get is, why even change them? What was so wrong with Android’s stock emoji that you had to create these abominations? Not cool.

6. Chrome Bezel

Samsung Galaxy S5 water logo wm DSC05776
Like many of the items on this list, this ones more a subjective opinion. So let me just say, I abhor chrome. I don’t want it near my electronics, I don’t like it on my rims, and I sure as heck can’t stand it on my smartphone. I thought we left this behind with the original Galaxy S? Whenever I see it, it reminds me of 1950′s future and not modern smartphone design we see on devices like the HTC One M8.

Besides its looks (which I found myself wanting to sand paper away or Plasti-Dip over), the chrome rim around the side of the phone is actually raised, creating a lip around the glass. Everyone praised the Nexus 4 for including beveled edges on the sides of the display (something we also saw in the HTC Sensation back in the day). This ensured sliding the ever growing UI elements from the sides of the display was always a pleasurable experience. The Galaxy S5 is the complete opposite of that.

7. USB Flap / No Wireless Charging

DSC05798

Until USB 3.1, becomes the new standard, it’s bad enough we have to put some level of thought or concentration into getting our USB cable inserted correctly into our smartphones. If you thought that was annoying, how about not being able to access this port until you first removed a plastic flap? I get why it’s there, I do. In order to IP67 certify the Galaxy S5, some ports would need to be covered. But it doesn’t make it any more convenient.

Besides needing a healthy amount of fingernail to get the damn thing open, the real problem I have with the S Flap, is it wouldn’t even be an issue if Samsung simply included wireless charging with the device. Sure, you could always spend an extra $30 and order one direct from Samsung, but why should you have to? It’s because between the fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor, Samsung had to cut those “little” features no one really cares about (sarcasm).

8. Fingerprint Scanner Home Button

Galaxy S5 Fingerprint Reader

When Apple introduced the fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5S, for the most part, it was done well. Offering a medium level of security, you were able to press the home button as you’d normally do, but this time it’d only take you to the homescreen if it recognized your fingerprint. Great for keeping snooping eyes out of your phone, sure it wasn’t full proof, but it was enough security for most cases.

As we all know, the Galaxy S5 uses a similar security feature, with a new fingerprint scanner found in the home button. Only problem is in their implementation, you actually have to slide your finger across the home button, not simply press it. Why is this a pain in the ass? Because this means every time you go to unlock your phone, you’ll have to use 2 hands to do it. Once again, I know it sounds crazy to complain about, but think of all the times you’re using your phone with only 1 hand available. Holding a beer, your gf’s hand, walking the dog, eating. Requiring 2 hands to simply unlock your phone is a major oversight, and one that should have never made it out of R&D.

Samsung Galaxy S5  back cover removed DSC05768

Before I leave you, I just want to remind that this is merely the opinion of a single lonely blogger (no matter how right it is). Also, there are a lot of things I like about the Galaxy S5 that many of you may find more valuable than the minor annoyances listed here. Things like the small bezels, battery life, the Super AMOLED display (along with saturation controls), camera (when shooting in daylight), super quick 2A charging, removable battery, or its weather proofing.

Those are all great things, wonderful things about the Galaxy S5. But unfortunately, things that for me couldn’t outweigh the “bad.” Come tomorrow I’ll be packing up my Samsung Galaxy S5, heading on over to my local T-Mobile, and eating their ridiculous $50 restocking fee. Here’s to the Next Big Thing.

My Galaxy S5 isn’t as water resistant as I thought

Phandroid - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 8:46am

Ever since it was announced people have been asking- how waterproof  is the Galaxy S5? As seen in our full review, its weather resistance is one of its best new features. Or at least it’s supposed to be. This morning I woke up to find my front and rear camera had some odd bubbles forming all over each lens.

s5-water-damage-back

S5-water-damage-front

That doesn’t look good. At all. So we tested a picture.

S5-water-damage-selfie

And a screencap of the screen for safe measure.

S5-water-damage-selfiescreencap

Samsung describes the S5 as “resistant to sweat, rain, liquids, sand and dust, so your phone is protected for any activity and situation,” but the technical designation is IP67 Certification. That means water damage should not be possible in liquid immersion up to 1 meter.

I subjected my Galaxy S5 to liquid submersion twice:

Galaxy S5 in Toilet

 Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8

That was several days ago.

I’m the first to admit that waterproof and water resistant are two different things, and I would normally never purposefully put my phone in harms way, but IP67 designates that this phone should not face water damage under these circumstances. Testing these types of things is why we do these reviews.

The Galaxy S5 is very good about reminding you close your charger door snugly and make sure your battery cover is snapped on COMPLETELY before continuing. This is a message you shouldn’t dismiss (although it allows you to) because the reminder is a good one. I can say with confidence that during both water tests my phone back cover and battery port were completely secured.

Somehow, though, water snuck its way into my battery.

S5-water-damage-battery

After cleaning it off, snapping the cover back on, and firing up the camera… the drama continued.

S5-water-damage-camera-error

Twenty minutes later the camera begun loading again, but not without bubbletastic cloudiness ensuing.

So now I’m at a crossroads. This seems like a problem that will not correct itself. It also seems like a hard case to prove the water damage didn’t happen due to fault of my own. I could have separated the battery cover and gone deep sea diving for all they know.

I joke of course, but these types of water tests have been popping up all over the web, with some people even going swimming with the device.

I’m not exactly sure how this happened or how the story will end, but I felt it was a development worth sharing. I want to point out that this has been MY experience but in no way am I claiming it’s indicative of a Galaxy S5 problem as a whole. Have any other Galaxy S5 owners had similar situations? Has your Galaxy S5 been put to the water test? Head on over the Galaxy S5 Forums to share your stories!

HTC One M8 update hits Verizon, brings connectivity fixes and gallery improvements

Phandroid - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 7:10am

At least one carrier isn’t wasting any time pushing out software updates for the  HTC One M8, making sure what could be the year’s top phone stays in tip top shape. Software update 1.55.605.2 for the HTC One M8 has just begun rolling out to Verizon customers.

htc-one-m8-update-phandroid

The list of improvements:

  • ERI Update to remove the roaming indicator icon displayed on some HTC One M8 devices(Out of Box)
  • Resolved issue related to webpage and application connection errors in certain conditions
  • Bluetooth connectivity improvements
  • Gallery- Integrated a new Copy/Paste feature
  • Gallery- Mute/Edit buttons on the Video Highlights tile
  • Improved sync behavior while closing the flip with Dot matrix case

To download the HTC One M8 update 1.55.605.2 on Verizon, navigate to your phone’s settings, scroll to the bottom and click “Software Update”, then “Check New” and it should be waiting for you.

Are there any HTC One M8 customers eagerly awaiting the above bug fixes and additions?

[Via HTC One M8 Forums]

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Color Cables: Glow in the Dark, Charge & Sync Cables Review

Android Guys - Sat, 04/19/2014 - 5:52am
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You may have caught our preview post of a great Indiegogo campaign that caught our attention, and the kind guys over at Color Cables sent us a few review units over to check out.

Functionality

Let me set the scene for you – it’s 11pm, the baby is asleep in the cot and the 10% battery remaining warning has just flashed up on your device. You need your charger but it’s pitch black; can’t turn the light on to find the charger cable for fear of waking the little one it’s taken oh so long to get to sleep. Here’s where Color Cables steps in!

Harnessing the light it has absorbed during the day from sunlight and also artificial light, the Color Cables emit a glow, easily illuminating them in a dark room.

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The cables can charge and sync a variety of different devices depending on the connector you purchase. Micro-USB, 30-Pin, and Lightning connectors are all available to cater for the range of latest devices.

Design

The Color Cables are extremely well made and feel very solid, with the connectors slotting easily into the device and fit snug. I’ve used some very bad cables where the connectors hang halfway out of the port and feel very flimsy; the Color Cables do not disappoint in their build quality.

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The cables come in a range of different colors and lengths at varying prices, but all offer the charge and sync feature, as well as harnessing light to offer a glow. The Color Cables do not work out of the box, and that’s understandable given they have to harness the available light in order to then emit it when it detects darkness. It took around 48 hours for it to absorb sufficient light to work, but I had to move one of my other chargers since it never glowed presumably because it wasn’t getting the necessary light during the day.

Overall, the cable is a simple but great idea that is executed extremely well and they function exactly as you would expect the Color Cables to, offering accessibility without compromising charge time or functionality.

If you like the look of the Color Cables then be sure to check out their website. Stick around at AndroidGuys as we’ll be giving some of these charging cables away over the next few days.

The post Color Cables: Glow in the Dark, Charge & Sync Cables Review appeared first on AndroidGuys.

CyanogenMod 11S – OnePlus One UI showcased

Android Guys - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 11:38pm
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Carl Pei of OnePlus took to the official OnePlus forums to put a bit of clarity around all the OnePlus rumors that have been making the rounds around the Internet recently, and by doing so revealed some images of the device UI.

There has been a lot of speculation and excitement about the operating system of the OnePlus One. As you know, we’ve been working with the Cyanogen team on this product for quite some time, starting from when OnePlus was just an idea. Both teams have been deeply involved in both the software and the hardware parts of the experience, and it’s been an amazing ride so far.

Although we’re still running pre-production versions of CyanogenMod 11S, I’d still like to share with you some of the things that the Cyanogen team has been working on.

The new stuff is pretty cool, so here’s a taste of what’s to come.

If you don’t like the new default UI of CyanogenMod 11S, then you can always just select the previous theme in the settings menu to return to the standard CyanogenMod look and feel we’re all used to.

Thoughts?

SOURCE: Phandroid

The post CyanogenMod 11S – OnePlus One UI showcased appeared first on AndroidGuys.

CyanogenMod 11S – OnePlus One UI showcased for all to see

Phandroid - Fri, 04/18/2014 - 9:33pm

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Earlier tonight we saw a supposed leak of the upcoming OnePlus One. The leak included press renders of the phone, a variety of back covers, and supposedly depicted the phones upcoming UI. Carl Pei of OnePlus took to the official OnePlus forums moments ago to put an end to the rumors running rampant this evening:

There has been a lot of speculation and excitement about the operating system of the OnePlus One. As you know, we’ve been working with the Cyanogen team on this product for quite some time, starting from when OnePlus was just an idea. Both teams have been deeply involved in both the software and the hardware parts of the experience, and it’s been an amazing ride so far.

Although we’re still running pre-production versions of CyanogenMod 11S, I’d still like to share with you some of the things that the Cyanogen team has been working on.

The new stuff is pretty cool, so here’s a taste of what’s to come.

Screenshot_2014-04-19-10-35-50 Screenshot_2014-04-19-10-35-15 Screenshot_2014-04-19-10-27-44 Screenshot_2014-04-19-10-27-31

So there you have it – the default UI of CyanogenMod 11S. If you’re not a fan of CM’s new UI for Android, Steve Kondik has confirmed in the past that if you’d like to go back to the standard CM and Android Holo UI, you can. Just as shown above, visit CM’s Theme settings and select as much or as little Holo as you heart desires.

EDIT: I reached out to Carl asking for a screenshot with software keys. Here it is!

Screenshot_2014-04-19-11-24-25

What do you think of the OnePlus One’s UI and CyanogenMod 11S? Let us know in the comments.

Source: OnePlus

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