Category Archives: Phone Reviews

HTC makes the One A9s official – 5" metal midranger with cheaper pricing than the A9

HTC makes the One A9s official - 5" metal midranger with cheaper pricing than the A9

Last year, HTC released a mucho simpático One A9 – a fine looking, compact midranger that was crafted out of metal before it was cool for the category. Many saw it as an iPhone wannabe, but we beg to differ, it was pretty much a chicken and egg question at the time. Now, at IFA 2016, HTC unveiled the A9’s successor, or, rather, regressor, called.. you’d never guess it.. One A9s. Tick-tock cycles for the win.

The HTC One A9s doesn’t look that much different from the metal A9, but the “s” definitely doesn’t stand for “speed,” or any upgrades, for that matter. It is rather the more affordable sibling of the A9, with a 5″ HD LCD display, a MediaTek Helio P10 processor, 2/3 GB of RAM, depending on the configuration, and a 2300mAh battery. The 5 MP selfie camera now sits on the left, just like the 13 MP rear camera, while on the One A9 the rear shooter had a central position.

Fossil launches four new hybrid smartwatches: Q Nate, Q Crewmaster, Q Gazer and Q Tailor

Fossil launches four new hybrid smartwatches: Q Nate, Q Crewmaster, Q Gazer and Q Tailor

US-based company Fossil has just unveiled a new set of Q series hybrid smartwatches: Q Nate, Q Crewmaster, Q Gazer and Q Tailor. All four smartwatches will be available later this month for prices starting at $175.

Although the hybrid smartwatches announced by Fossil might look like ordinary watches, they have been beefed-up with lots of smart connectivity features, including sleep monitoring, filtered notifications with vibrations and dial animations, as well as Q LINK functionality controlled by bottom pusher (ring my phone, take a photo, control my music).

Each of these four hybrid smartwatches should provide up to 6-month battery life (based on usage). Speaking of battery, Fossil mentions they come with coin cell battery, which is easy to change with tool.

Naturally, Fossil’s smartwatches benefit from Bluetooth wireless technology, but they also come with Activity Integration including Google Fit, UA Record by Under Armour, UP by Jawbone and Apple Health app.

The smartwatches also offer features like custom goal settings, automatic time zone, alarm, and second time zone. They are compatible with Android 4.4 and up or iOS 8.2 and later (at least iPhone 5).

Fossil Q Nate, Q Crewmaster, Q Gazer and Q Tailor provide owners with a wide range of personalization options as well, including interchangeable straps in leather, silicone and stainless steel.

As mentioned, all four hybrid smartwatches will be available for prices starting at $175, beginning September 26. However, customers will be able to pre-order them starting September 14.

YouCam Fun lets you add effects and text to live video and selfies

YouCam Fun lets you morph your face with real time pic effects and filters and make the silliest selfies! The Face cam lets you add stickers, live filters, photo effects and more to your face, all in real time.

Feel free to add text to pictures and videos, morph your face, and cut out your face to see yourself on fancy backgrounds. The app can even beautify you instantly with its automatic beauty editor.

The app features plenty of stickers and effects for your face, while photo effects include new hairstyles, animal faces, costumes, and other good stuff! Stickers and text on live video are supported too, with video effects that make every frame fun.

Photo Fun also brings
face effects, such as Frames, Backgrounds, Light Leak, Scratch and Grunge. This way, you can create almost any vibe you want.

YouCam Fun is available on Android and iOS.

High demand for Galaxy Note 7 puts pressure on supply chain, Samsung boosts production

This isn’t the first time a Samsung flagship is in high demand, so one would think the South Korean company took all precautions to fulfill all pre-orders and have the necessary stock needed for launch.

However, it doesn’t seem like Samsung has been able to cope with the strong demand for the Galaxy Note 7, which is the main reason the phablet has been slightly delayed in several European markets.

According to a new report, the strong initial sales of the Galaxy Note 7 are putting the pressure on the supply chain, and seems to have caused stock constraints all over the globe. Although this could mean a solid financial quarter for Samsung, it could very well mean disaster if the South Korean company does not manage to quickly ramp up production of its flagship to meed the strong demand.

A Samsung official confirmed that due to the unexpected high number of pre-orders, the Galaxy Note 7’s release in some markets needed to be adjusted. The official also said that his company has already boosted production at the secret locations where the Galaxy Note 7 is manufactured, so the supply shortage should be only a temporary problem for Samsung.

The history seems to be in Samsung’s favor since the company almost never confronted with supply shortages in the long term.

In the same piece of news, analysts predict that Samsung could sell up to 15 million Galaxy Note 7 units by the end of the year, which is quite a lot considering the Galaxy Note 5 only sold around 9 million units in 2015.

The Galaxy Note 7 has been met with favorable reviews from the media, which determined many analysts to revise their forecasts over the number of units sold during 2016. That, and the fact that Samsung said it won’t have any issues with the curved display production.

Alively lets you stream videos to select friends without taking up storage space

Masterminded by former Facebook Live manager Vadim Lavrusik, Alively is an app that makes it easy and fun to capture and share moments privately with your friends via live or recorded video. You can broadcast live video by selecting a friend or group of friends who you want to share with, or simply begin recording and add friends to share during, or after you’re done.

The catch is that only people you chose can watch your livestream and comment as it’s happening, or after the matter. There is no like and dislike system, just comments. Having space on your smartphone is no issue, as Alively uploads and stores video in the cloud, not taking up any storage on your phone.

Alively is designed to capture high quality video with live interactions, regardless of your internet connection. You’ll get to see when friends are watching or commenting while you’re sharing live. If your friends aren’t on Alively, you can send them videos through SMS – they will get a text with the video caption and a link to watch it on a mobile page.

Alively also allows for uploading and sharing videos from the Camera Roll, letting you upload videos from your phone to share them with your friends, or free up space.

The app is free and currently exclusive to iOS.

BBC and Finnish developer team up for a series of Top Gear mobile games

BBC and Finnish developer team up for a series of Top Gear mobile games

Top Gear, the famous British TV series about cars, is about to get a series of games for mobile devices. BBC Worldwide has decided to offer the Top Gear license to a Finnish developer that goes by the name of Motorious Entertainment.

The studio specialized in mobile games comprises of veterans of the gaming industry, people who worked for well-known mobile, PC and console projects like the FlatOut series, Sega Rally, Ridge Racer Unbounded and Brawl Bolts.

With the newly licensed Top Gear IP, Motorious confirmed the upcoming release of no less than three mobile games, which will be available on the Android and iOS platforms.

The first game with a working title, Top Gear the Road Trip, is supposed to be launched at the end of 2016. The other two are scheduled for release in 2017.

In Top Gear the Road Trip players will take on a road trip and play through some familiar favorites, including launching the Reliant Robin Space Shuttle into space, Amphibious Cars, Car Football and Toyota Hilux Destruction.

According to developers, the game features casual match three control mechanics, as players will progress on a map that will allow them to visit countries like England, France and Italy during their road trip saga.

Also, Top Gear the Road Trip will feature puzzle races that players will have to win in order to advance further. Strategy, planning and car tuning are absolutely necessary to make your road trip as long and relaxing as possible.

The game will definitely come with some sort of leaderboards since developers confirmed that Top Gear the Road Trip will allow players to try to beat their own records and challenge their friends as well. You will also be be able to unlock different Top Gear challenge levels, which will vary by performance.

Android Nougat 7.1 on the way? Might launch with Nexus Marlin/Sailfish

Android Nougat 7.1 on the way? Might launch with Nexus Marlin/Sailfish

The roll-out of Android 7.0 Nougat began on August 22, but the Internet is already buzzing about a possible Android 7.1 update that might be closer than we thought. Since Google has promised to adopt a more regular maintenance update cycle with Nougat, hardcore Android fans are now speculating that the 7.1 update might launch with the upcoming Marlin and Sailfish HTC-build Nexus phones.

The excitement was spurred by a screenshot showing Android version 7.1 listed in the crash and report filter section of Google’s developer console. Given that Google has promised that the developer preview of Nougat Maintenance Release 1 (MR1) will be available sometime this fall, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to assume that the final release would bump the version to 7.1, as MR1 is likely to bring quite a few things to the table.

The initial report on Reddit was followed by a tweet from David Ruddock of Android Police, claiming that the new Nexus phones will launch with Android 7.1, which is confirmed to be Nougat’s MR1 release.

The user who started the Android 7.1 thread on Reddit also posted a screenshot of the statistics page for one of his apps, showing 115 installs on Android 7.1 and 4 installs on Android O. This was followed by another redditor, claiming to be working at XDA, posting a screenshot of website visits filtered by OS, showing 162 hits from Android 7.1 and 105 hits from devices running version 7.1.1. Those were complemented by a handful of visits from strange, and likely fake, versions of Android, such as 6.7.1 and 7.1.9. The latter, including Android O, are likely version numbers spoofed by editing the build.prop files of current Android builds. Versions 7.1 and 7.1.1, however, might be legitimate and under testing from Google.

Android 7.0 Nougat review: refocusing on what’s truly important

While it’s not a customization feature in itself, the Settings app now boasts a hamburger menu that allows for an easy and quick navigation throughout its numerous menus.

We can’t say this one gets our blood flowing, but it’s definitely a useful thing to have, especially given that Google has implemented it so nicely.

See, once you fire up the Settings app, there is no indication that you such a menu even exists. Go into a certain menu, however, and the hamburger icon will immediately pop up in the top left, indicating that you can access a navigation menu by swiping left. Pretty intuitive, if you ask us.