Category Archives: Android

Apple vs samsung – battle of the benchmarks

Samsung have been accused of cheating benchmarks with its recent flagship devices – namely the Note3. I find this interesting as there seems to arising a bit of a witch hunt against Samsung. Samsung is no different to any other company in that it tries to get the best out of its products. It seems to me that whilst samsung are one of the premier manufacturers of smartphones, they have yet to achieve the status of Apple. What I mean by this is that Apple is almost untouchable. The Apple brand is enormous and enjoys a very healthy fan base. Anything with the Apple brand on it is assumed to be better than everything else. Apple could quite literally put their brand on a turd and people would still flock in their thousands to purchase it. Because of this spectacular following Apple are considered untouchable. People are so In love with the brand that they can’t bear to have it criticised.
I recently showed my HTC One to a colleague at work and she said “it’s not iphone though is it?”. This just proves my point. Narrow minded people who haven’t the slightest clue about the latest technologies and innovations will just automatically assume that the iPhone is the greatest thing since sliced bread. This is because of the Apple brand. Samsung – as the now largest manufacturer of smartphones – have also had phenomenal success in recent years, particularly with the Galaxy range. However, they are not as big of a brand as Apple. Apple is fashionable and trendy where is Samsung is perhaps not. So my point is that samsung do not enjoy the same following as Apple and therefore are likely to be subjected to a lot more criticism. Until samsung finds itself in a place where people would actually sell their own grandparents to buy their latest phone then they are not going to enjoy the success of their major competitor.
Samsung doesn’t yet have the immunity of Apple. Apple can do no wrong by its fans but Samsung has yet to achieve that status.

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HTC One Max gets closer

Rumours surrounding HTC’s new flagship the One Max have heated up in recent days. The companies new phablet is likely to sport a huge 5.9 inch 1080p LCD display, 2GB RAM and the now slightly outdated Snapdragon 600 processor (as found in the original HTC One). It would be nice to see a Snapdragon 800 inside but popular opinion is that this is likely to be the less powerful processor. A previous rumour suggested the device would include a finger print reader but we will have to wait and see. Keeping in line with the HTC One and One mini the One Max is also very likely to be built around an aluminium chassis. Expect an official announcement at IFA 2013.

Picture from Via The Verge and from Sina Weibo.

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HTC One review

The HTC One has been one of the most hotly anticipated smartphones of the year so far. HTC have put a lot of effort into the One and are hoping that it can help turn the company around after what has been a disastrous few years. I have owned this phone for about 5 months and this review is a summary of my first hand experience using the device daily.

Build and design.

Well the HTC one is easily the nicest phone to come from HTC, possibly one of the nicest phones full stop. The device is clad between two precision cut pieces of aluminium with a strip of durable solid plastic running around the edges. There is a streamlined volume rocker on the right hand side and a power/lock switch on the top left. Also on the top is a well placed 3.5mm headphone jack. There is nothing on the left side and on the bottom is situated the connector port. The majority of the front is taken up by the gorgeous 4.7 inch full HD LCD display with a stereo speaker above and below. There is no denying that this is a beautiful handset. In my opinion this is the finest looking Android in existence. It has a lovely weight to it and feels brilliantly solid to hold. One gripe is that the power switch should be on the side for easier single handed operation. Also some may complain about the lack of removable battery and memory card slot. Personally I think these sacrifices are easily justified considering how beautiful the device is. HTC have done an excellent job in the design department.

Power and spec

As mentioned the One sports a gorgeous 4.7 inch full HD LCD display. This equates to 469 pixels per inch (ppi) and is simply stunning. Which is better between this and the Amoled display used in the Samsung Galaxy S4 will simply come down to preference. Colours are nice and bright and clarity is excellent. Sunlight legibility is also pretty good. The device is powered by a snapdragon 600 processor with an Adreno 320 GPU in the graphics department. This is all supported by a decent 2GB of RAM. This all makes for a very speedy experience. I have experienced little to no lag in the operating system and switching between apps is buttery smooth. The Adreno 320 eats through most apps and games although in more demanding games such as the newly released Asphalt 8 I have noticed a slight bit of lag when things get busy. This is not however anywhere near being unplayable. The sound pumped out from the amplified stereo speakers is great and coupled with Beats this makes for a great experience. One not so good feature of the phone is the battery. Whilst its not terrible it certainly doesn’t have the best battery life. When playing graphically demanding games the battery will completely run down in just a few hours. It also runs quite warm but this is normal because of the metal construction.

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Camera

The camera on the HTC One is of the new ultra pixel variety. This means that although HTC have opted for a 4mp sensor, each pixel is much bigger and can subsequently capture more light. Picture quality is pretty good and low light images come out well. I have found the camera problematic in strong light situations particularly outside and the sensor does seem to get a little overloaded when the sun is strong. You are not going to get the level of detail like with higher pixel cameras but this camera can certainly hold its own. If your into sharing images via Facebook and Instagram etc then this camera will be perfect for you. If on the other hand you want to take large high resolution images then perhaps this is not for you. The One is also capable of filming in 1080p HD and it does a good job at it. I am happy with the camera overall but it is certainly not the best on the market.

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Software

My HTC One is running on Android 4.2. Again this is buttery smooth and I have yet to experience a single system crash. HTC does a great job with Android and makes menus easy to read and more accessible. The main menu gets loads of functionality as you can organise apps either alphabetically, by most recent apps or custom. You can also increase the amount of apps on view and search directly from the menu. A nice addition is the new BlinkFeed. This is basically like Flipboard and allows you to access all your favourite news feeds and social network feeds all from one place. It’s not quite as good as Flipboard but I’m sure it will be improved with future updates. BlinkFeed also acts as your default home screen. HTC sense has always been my favourite OS skin. I always find it buttery smooth and easy on the eye. I also find it helps so much with album art work when copying music to your phone. This always seems so much more difficult on samsung devices.

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Conclusion

I absolutely love my HTC One. It’s such a beautiful handset. For me it’s the best all round Android on the market right now. Whilst the Samsung Galaxy S4 may beat it in some benchmarks, if you want an all round brilliant smartphone then the One is the one! It’s combination of exceptional design and features make it the real device to beat. It’s also reliable. Whilst still at the top of its game, smartphones such as the LG G2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are just on the horizon. These use Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 800 processor and will really top the benchmarks! For now though the HTC One is more than adequate.

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Samsung galaxy s4 arrives.

The mighty Samsung Galaxy S4 is now available. You’ll be lucky to get your hands on one this weekend however. The huge demand for the device means you may have to wait a while. O2 are offering the device for free on a 24 month £37 per month contract, with EE doing a similar plan but for £41 per month with a £79.99 one off payment. Vodafone are offering the device for free for £41 per month and 3 are doing 24 month contacts ranging between £35 and £37 and with a £49.99 one off charge. Unless your desperate to get on 4G right away and don’t mind paying EE’s extortionate prices then I would suggest you wait until further in the year when the other 4G networks are up and running. Prices will be much more competitive and you will get a much better deal.

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HTC One is official

Yesterday HTC officially launched its hotly anticipated flagship ‘One’. The device features a stunning 4.7 inch Super LCD 3 screen with a whopping 469 ppi (pixels per inch). As expected the One is based around a powerhouse Qualcomm quad-core processor of the Krait 300 variety (as seen in the LG Optimus G Pro). An Adreno 320 GPU will keep things ticking over nicely in the graphics departments and 2GB RAM will should make operation buttery smooth.

ImageThe camera HTC have opted for is an interesting choice. HTC have broken out of the pixels race and instead opted for a 4 mega pixel snapper. Each pixel we be about twice as large as standard smartphone camera pixels and HTC reckon this will allow in more light thus allowing for better low light performance and better overall picture quality.

As if these specs aren’t enough, the device looks totally stunning with its curved back and aluminium casing. i’m sure you will agree the HTC One looks amazing. Then next question is when can I have one?

HTC one leaks….again

A further picture of HTC’s up and coming flagship ‘one’ leaks again, this time its in black. Previously thought to be known as the M7, the new device will likely sport a full HD display, 2GB of ram, a modern quad core processor and a 13MP camera. Expect the device to be unveild at HTC’s press conference on February 19th. Lets just hope this phone has enough to turn around HTC’s troubling sales figures. It does looks a lot like the love child of the iPhone 5 and Blackberry’s Z10!

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Leak courtesy of evleaks.

Samsung Galaxy S4 inbound!

Did you know that Samsung have already sold around 100 million Galaxy S3’s to date? In fact Sammy’s premium smartphone is even outselling the iPhone 5 here in the Uk. For those of you who have just invested in the latest Galaxy S device you might not be so please to learn that the S4 may be just around the corner. Latest rumours suggest the new device will be announced on March 15th (my birthday incidentally) with an April release date.

Leaked Samsung Galaxy S4?

The latest incarnation is rumoured to sport a full 1080p Super Amoled display, an 8 core processor and 2 gigs of RAM. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little excited! It will be interesting to see what Samsung will do about build quality. Opponents of the S2 and S3 argue that the build materials are a little cheap feeling. Personally I disagree but only time will tell wether Samsung will move away from an all plastic construction. You can check out my video reviews of the Samsung Galaxy S 2 and 3 on my YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/thefutureproofed

Google Nexus 4 sales hit 1 million

Well it’s official! Google nexus 4 sales have passed the 1 million mark. The LG built Google Nexus 4 has been selling like hot cakes. Not surprising considering the device is being sold at cost. The Nexus super phone will cost you a mere £239 in the UK for the 8GB model and £279 for the 16GB. As well as the monetary cost you may have to sacrifice a kidney to get on the waiting list!