HTC Mobiles

HTC Mobiles

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HTC Droid DNA Android 4.4, Sense 5.5 update scheduled for April 24

If you’re still carrying around the HTC Droid DNA as your daily driver, we have some great news for you. Verizon has completed certification testing of the Android 4.4.2 update and is planning on releasing the new software build to the phone on April 24th. Along with the Android 4.4.2 new features like NFC Tap & Pay, cloud printing and Bluetooth profiles, the bump up the HTC Sense 5.5 with enhancements to BlinkFeed, Video Highlights, camera improvements and an updated keyboard which now includes hundreds of emoji.

It’s nice to see HTC release such a massive update to a phone that’s already 18 months old. We’ll keep an eye out to see if any new features are included in the update once it starts rolling out in a few days.


Google may be tapping HTC to build premium 8-inch Nexus tablet

Google might be making some big changes with its next Nexus tablet by switching over to a larger 8-inch slate created by HTC.

Hit-or-miss DigiTimes reported Google has employed HTC to develop the new Nexus 8 tablet, which may come out sometime between July and September.

Sources from the upstream supply chain explained the internet search giant is considering a new design for its slate, and therefore it’s decided to split from Asus, which has manufactured the last two generations of Nexus 7 devices.

Supposedly the break is mutual as sources claimed Asus also wanted out due to the third-generation tablet restrictions Google had put in place. Now with the relationship severed, Asus supposedly will now be able to push “its own-brand tablets and smartphones fully.”
Tablets for all

This isn’t the first time Google has switched manufacturers. Previously Google employed Samsung to develop its early smartphones before switching to LG to produce the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5.

What’s more, this purported partnership slots in perfectly with HTC’s plans to “disrupt” the traditional design of tablets and smartwatches. In February, we also heard that HTC had won the rights to produce a “high-end” Nexus tablet.

A Nexus 8 tablet has been said to arrive by mid-2014, which corroborates with the new details from the upstream supply sources. What little else we know is the tablet could feature an Intel Bay Trail-T processor, and rumors suggest Google’s next tablet could feature a resolution bump of 2560 x 1600.

It’s just a over a month until Google I/O where we will hopefully see these early reports of a new Nexus 8, and possibly Nexus 10, bear fruit. Until then, stay tuned to this space.


HTC hires Paul Golden, the man behind the Samsung ‘Galaxy’ brand

HTC One is probably the best smartphone from the Taiwanese company till date, however, even with its high end specs and interactive software features, the company has not been doing so well. HTC reported three straight quarters of operating losses and the company is desperately looking for ways to improve its financial standing.

But things might change in favor of HTC in the coming months as Bloomberg confirms that HTC hired Paul Golden, the former head of marketing at Samsung. It is said that Paul was one of the key individuals who developed and marketed the ‘Galaxy’ brand which has helped the company sell millions of smartphones worldwide.

With this hiring, HTC has strengthened its marketing team which may improve the company’s overall marketing efforts.

HTC’s Ineffective Marketing Strategies

In the past, HTC has not really focused on the marketing aspects of a product, which has adversely affected the company’s sales. Its market share and the overall sales have declined steadily showing that the company’s marketing efforts have not really been effective.

However, the company realizes this particular flaw and they have already hired famous actors like Gary Oldman and Robert Downey Jr. to promote their high end flagships.

“We just have to communicate well with our customers,” said Cher Wang, HTC’s Chairman in an interview at HTCs Taipei headquarters. “I believe if we can communicate better, we will do better.”

So, the company is looking to improve its overall sales by improving their marketing efforts.

Paul Golden’s Role in the Rise of the ‘Galaxy’ Brand

Golden was with Samsung from 2008 to 2012, the crucial period where the company transformed into the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. According to his LinkedIn profile, he created and launched the Galaxy brand name for Samsung. So, having an individual with such varied experience may help HTC strengthen its own brand name.

According to HTC, the company will appoint him as an advisor to Chairman Wer Chang and he will report directly to him on all matters. However, the appointment is not a long term one and currently, he is hired on a three month contract basis.

Samsung has always been two steps ahead of HTC in terms of sales and marketing. Hence, with a great product like the HTC One M8 in their hands, the company would be trying hard to improve their marketing efforts to bridge the gap between the two companies.


HTC One M8 plastic version coming tips rumor

HTC launched its new high-end smartphone not too long ago called the HTC One M8. We reviewed the HTC One M8 recently and found it to be a nice device with a few quirks that will likely be addressed in future updates. If you like the idea of the M8, but buying a high-end smartphone isn’t in the cards for you; a new version of the One M8 has been tipped.

This version claims to be cheaper than the One M8 available right now. Currently you can buy the One M8 for $199 with a new contract at a participating carrier. If you want the device without a contract, you will pay $640. Those wanting an unlocked One M8 will need to cough up $699. Those are certainly not cheap prices.

The new version of the One M8 that is rumored will have a cheaper price by shedding the aluminum enclosure that the current generation of the smartphone uses. Rather than having an aluminum case, the new cheaper version would use plastic. The rumor about the plastic phone claims that other than the swap of the aluminum case for plastic, the two versions will be identical.

The best news is that the unlocked plastic bodied HTC One M8 is tipped to sell for $483 unlocked. It’s hard to believe that simply changing from a metal case to plastic will chop that much off the price of the smartphone. If the plastic case is high quality many shoppers would gladly save some money and go with the plastic version of the One M8 smartphone. A plastic cased HTC One M8 was also rumored back in February.


HTC One M8 Mini release reinforced for May

The HTC One M8 has recently become available but there has been no official word yet on an HTC One M8 mini. However, evidence has been mounting just lately and today the idea of an HTC One M8 mini release in May has been reinforced.

After the HTC One was followed with an HTC One mini last year, plenty of people have been hoping to see a One M8 mini this year. Last month we discussed the growing indications that this phone was in the pipeline, and at the end of the month we told how one UK carrier had confirmed the phone was on the way. The same carrier even gave a release timeframe of May although HTC had still not formally introduced the phone.

Now a new report from HTC’s home country of Taiwan also states that the HTC One M8 mini will release there at some point in May, and this seems to give nice reassurance that the phone really is not too far from availability. If the mini version is anything like as popular as the One M8 then there should be plenty of buyers. Are you hoping for an official unveiling of the HTC One M8 mini soon?

HTC One M8 Claims Best Smartphone Title

Want to know which is the best smartphone? Well, we’ve made it simple: it’s the HTC One M8, and it’s beaten the Samsung Galaxy S5 into second place.

Choosing a pocket companion for the next two years can be a tricky thing, which is why we’ve got the definitive best smartphones list, based on TechRadar’s in-depth reviews.

And this year has been a real belter for those who love a phone, with all of 2014′s contenders showing promise and power. The HTC One M8 is the clear winner for its combination of design, power and innovation. Trust us, you’ll see what we mean when you pick it up for the first time.

That doesn’t mean that the competition is poor – in years gone by, a phone of the Galaxy S5′s quality would have swept the board, coming as it does with a great performance, a waterproof chassis, and a fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor too.

More to come

That’s just the start of it though, as we’re still waiting to see what the Sony Xperia Z2 brings to the table and whether LG can follow up the surprise hit of the G2 with the cleverly-named LG G3, while Samsung will be hoping its powerful Galaxy Note 4 will provide a small distraction from the iPhone 6 bandwagon. We expect to see all these handsets (Sony aside) later in the year.

Apple needs the iPhone 6 to fly – while the 5S is still one of the top-selling models in the world, it’s no longer in our top five. The competition has surpassed Cupertino’s flagship in terms of specs, power and design.

But we don’t expect a brand like Apple to sit by and watch better phones emerge, which is why we’re really excited to see what the iPhone 6 brings.

So there you have it – head on over to our best phone rankings to see which is best for you – we’ve got all prices and screen sizes covered, so if you’re not partial to the metal unibody of the One M8, you’re sure to find your next handset in there somewhere.


HTC One M8 vs Apple iPhone 5s: Which is better?

Which is better, the Apple iPhone 5s or the brand new HTC One M8? We compare these two premium handsets, both flagship smartphones, to see which boasts the most value.

Get your outraged comments at the ready chaps, because today we’re pitting the shiny new HTC One M8 against Apple’s flagship phone, the iPhone 5s. It’s Android vs iOS in a grudge match from hell, with the very best of both worlds entering the ring…

HTC One M8 vs Apple iPhone 5s: Design

Neither HTC nor Apple took many risks with their new flagship phones when it came to look and feel. The HTC One M8’s design is very close to the original HTC One M7, except that metal plate now stretches right around the handset – and the freshly-brushed aluminum surface is absolutely gorgeous. A definite step up, even if the tweaks are purely aesthetic.

Meanwhile, the Apple iPhone 5s sports an almost identical body to the iPhone 5, retaining that ‘stretched’ look and the half-shiny, half-matt rear end. Some tech junkies might be getting iPhone fatigue by now, with most iterations rocking a very similar frame, but there’s no denying it’s still a very good looking phone.

In terms of pure desirability, HTC is our personal pick of the pair. Of course, there’s more to life than good looks, and you’ll also want to consider size. The HTC One M8 is bigger than the iPhone in every dimension, with its 5-inch screen dwarfing Apple’s 4-incher. Surprisingly, the One M8 is even a little chunkier – that sleek, curved finish is rather deceptive – so if you want a compact phone to slip inside your favourite figure-hugging jeans, the iPhone 5s is your best bet.

The iPhone 5s also boasts an awesome feature that’s missing on the HTC One – the fingerprint scanner, which is cunningly built into the home button. The scanner works surprisingly well, accurately reading your print almost 100% of the time, so it’s a quick and cool alternative to entering a PIN code every time. Best of all, you can register a few different prints (up to five in all), so you can enroll a number of users on a single phone.

HTC One M8 vs Apple iPhone 5s: Screen and media

Providing you don’t mind your mobile being a bit of a handful, the HTC One M8’s spacious display is a better way to take in a movie on the go, especially given the Full HD 1080p resolution. The iPhone 5s’ Retina screen is still crisp and colourful, and produces brighter images than the One, but that extra space really does make the viewing experience more comfortable.

While the One M8 comes in 16GB and 32GB flavours, it also boasts a memory card slot for expanding and carrying around all of your music, movies and more. The iPhone goes all the way up to a very tasty 64GB, but it doesn’t boast expandable memory – so you’re stuck with what you opt for. And that 64GB model ain’t cheap…

HTC One M8 vs Apple iPhone 5s: Performance and apps

Performance-wise, the HTC One and the iPhone 5s will happily run everything you throw at them, and there’s no danger of either of them being out of date in the near future. The iPhone 5s has the honour of being the first handset to boast a 64-bit processor, compared with the One M8’s 32-bit chip, but that doesn’t really make a difference right now – that’ll become more important when phones pack more memory, and we start to see 64-bit apps emerging en masse.

Speaking of apps, Apple is still the king. The Google Play store is an excellent and well-stocked effort, but the App Store edges it out with a fuller range of creativity software and some brilliant exclusive games. So, this round to Apple.

HTC One M8 vs Apple iPhone 5s: Battery life

As for battery life, the iPhone 5s is a jump up from previous models, comfortably lasting over a day even with constant hammering. However, the HTC One M8 comfortably wins this round with a solid two days of life per charge. All-round a sterling effort, with only LG’s G2 handset coming close.

HTC One M8 vs Apple iPhone 5s: Cameras

On to cameras, and the iPhone 5s beats the HTC One in terms of pure specs, with an 8-megapixel snapper versus the HTC’s measly 4-megapixel effort. In close-up shots, both cameras perform fantastically well, capturing rich colours and minutiae detail, but wider scenes look sharper with the iPhone’s camera.

HTC One M8 (left) vs Apple iPhone 5s (right)

However, the HTC One’s camera has the benefit of larger sensors which suck up more light, meaning photos in dingy locations like pubs are brighter and more attractive.

Both phones pack in a couple of cool individual camera features – for instance, the HTC One M8’s dual lenses mean you can change a photo’s focus after you’ve shot it, while the iPhone boasts a retroactive slow-motion mode for video.

Overall, both cameras are great for everyday shots, but the HTC One’s low-light performance makes it our personal pick.

HTC One M8 vs Apple iPhone 5s: Experience

Of course, what it all comes down to is that age-old battle, Android versus iOS. Both operating systems have their pros and cons, with iOS rocking a clean, simple interface, and Android boasting greater customisation and personalisation with the likes of desktop widgets. Of course, HTC has buried Android under its Sixth Sense interface, giving it a very distinctive look, while adding even more features like the BlinkFeed news streamer.

Here at Recombu Towers we’re big fans of HTC’s dense look and feel, but if you prefer a simple, no-fuss experience, or are new to smartphones, you’ll probably get on better with the iPhone 5s.

HTC One M8 vs Apple iPhone 5s: Verdict

The HTC One M8 and the Apple iPhone 5s are two of the best flagship mobiles you can buy right now, but which one should you splash your cash on? Well, we personally think the HTC One M8 provides better value, with its glorious 1080p screen, snazzy camera features and gorgeous design, but the iPhone 5s is still the better option for smartphone newbies and anyone who wants a streamlined experience in a more compact form.


Gold Coloured HTC One M8 now on sale

Do you prefer your smartphone with a touch of bling? If you were after an HTC One M8, but were waiting for the gold colour to emerge shining in the spring sunlight, then you need wait no longer.

The freshly released One M8 comes in three colours – silver, gun metal grey, and gold, but the latter wasn’t actually out until now. The golden phone comes courtesy of Carphone Warehouse, which has the handset on sale in stores and online.

According to Trusted Reviews, a spokesperson for Carphone Warehouse said: “HTC’s Amber Gold is a very tasteful colour option and fits the premium feel and unique metal design of the HTC One M8 perfectly.”

Yes, the precise variant of the colour is “amber” gold, which makes it sound even more posh – and indeed the gold version of the M8 does actually look quite neat. Though let’s face it, the M8 is such a well-crafted work of smartphone art that it would be difficult to take the wind out of its aesthetic sails.


HTC uploads Dot View app to the Play Store for fast updates in the future

HTC is taking a page out of Motorola’s book and uploading one of its system apps to the Play Store. The app is HTC Dot View, which allows support for the HTC Dot View case that you’ve probably seen for the all new HTC One. The case has a flip cover style front, but it’s covered in holes. The display shines through those holes in a retro dot style.

The benefit of having the app on the Play Store is that HTC doesn’t have to wait until it has a full system update ready to expand the functionality of Dot View. The app can be updated on the Play Store and users can download it immediately, allowing for far faster updates with new features and bug fixes. Motorola has done this with multiple apps for the Moto X and various DROID devices, including Active Display and the Gallery, and it has worked incredibly well.

If you’re the proud owner of a brand new HTC One M8, you already have this app installed. But when it’s updated, you’ll be prompted to update it just like any other app. Sadly, its compatibility is limited to only the M8, so M7 users need not apply.


HTC proves customer focus: quick updates for HTC phones

HTC recently released the HTC One M8 to replace last year’s HTC One M7 model. The live broadcast highlighted all the great new features of this premium device. While the 5-inch LCD display, 5MP front camera, and the Nano SIM card slot are all definitely going to improve the functionality of the phone, it’s the company’s direction in customer loyalty that may have stolen the show.

The HTC One (M8) was recently released in its March 25th launch. HTC announced all the new specs and updates that the newest version of their flagship has to offer including: dual rear cameras, Sense 6.0 UI, Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 801 processor for blazing speed, and new motion gestures. However, the phone itself wasn’t the most surprising thing about the launch.

HTC reminded the mobile community why it has a bright future: customer loyalty.

HTC announced that the M8 was going to be available for customers to order immediately from select distributors. HTC may have been late to announcing and revealing to the world what the M8 has to offer, but they beat the competitors to the punch in making their device available.

OS updates

What about all of the customers who purchased the last year’s HTC One (M7)? What if they are happy with their phone, or they want to upgrade but haven’t made the move to new phone upgrade plans with their carriers? What if they simply can’t afford to upgrade to the M8 yet?

If making the new M8 available the same day as its launch wasn’t enough, HTC also announced that anyone who purchased the M7 would be getting the upgraded OS that comes standard with the M8 later this Spring–just to show how much they care about their customers.

Maybe that isn’t a big deal to some, but I’m sure that all those M7 customers that love their phone care. And, because of this, they appreciate HTC’s devotion to them, the customer. Yes, there will be a little waiting. The current ETA to the OS upgrade for M7 owners is late Spring, but that’s a lot better than most previous iterations of a phone.

It can literally take years for last year’s model to get OS updates as a company focuses on their newest models. HTC is bringing that update in mere months. HTC is doing more than just making a good phone great. They are bringing a customer focused company to the forefront in the mobile device industry.

Does HTC’s customer focused stance make you want to switch to their devices? Does HTC have a shot at becoming a new leader in mobile innovation? Does the customer focused approach stand a chance at bringing HTC out of the red and into making profits again? I’d love to hear your opinion.


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