Looking to pick up a high-end unlocked phone that won’t tear your wallet to pieces? A retailer on Ebay is selling both the HTC One M8 and Galaxy Alpha, both refurbished, for $299 each. They both have at&t radios and are the 32GB versions. The bonus? FREE SHIPPING, if you choose economy.
Deals like these only come so often, and even though Samsung and HTC both have flagships planned to be announced in the coming weeks, these are both still fantastic phones. Hit the links below to check out their Ebay pages.
The post Huge Deal: HTC One M8 and Galaxy Alpha refurbished for $299 each appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Last summer, HTC promised the One (M8) would be updated to Android L within 90 days of the release of the L source code to HTC. That term expires on February 3, and it looks that HTC will hold its promise, at least for users of One (M8) in Europe.
HTC communications executive Jeff Gordon teased the release of Lollipop to European variants of the M8 on Twitter:
HTC One (M8) owners in Europe, have a sweet tooth this morning? Check your software updates!
— Jeff Gordon (@urbanstrata) January 28, 2015
Several users on Twitter and Reddit are confirming the arrival of the OTA update in Europe, as well as the Middle East. According to noted HTC ROM developer and leaker LlabTooFeR, the updated software version is 4.16.401.10 and the update weighs in at 780MB.
HTC rolled out Lollipop to the developer and unlocked versions of the One (M8) earlier this month, but now the rollout is going out to carrier versions. As always, these rollouts go out in waves, and depending on your carrier (and luck), it may take a while before the OTA hits your phone. But it doesn’t hurt checking manually from the About Phone section.
There aren’t many visual changes, but core features like lockscreen notifications, floating notifications, the redesigned notification dropdown, and the new recent activities interface are all present.
Have you received the OTA on your One M8?
HTC really hit a homerun with its HTC One design in 2013, and followed it up with another winner, the HTC One M8, in 2014. Although the design of both devices is gorgeous, some people are wondering if it might be getting a bit repetitive. These worries were exacerbated by news this week that HTC would be changing very little between its 2014 M8 model and its upcoming 2015 M9 model. This information, however, has proven to be false.
The M9, or Hima, will have some changes to the back of the device, with only one lens peeking out from its unibody, as opposed to two like the M8. However, the real changes will be on the front. The front camera should be larger and placed in the center of the top of the device, along with one of the two BoomSound speakers, the other of which will be on the bottom of the device. The bezels will be shrunk as well, with the glass panel stretching from the left side of the screen to the right.
These are just a few changes to the design, but more are sure to come as we learn more about the HTC One M9. HTC is historically very good at hiding crucial details, so we may have to be patient. What do you think about these changes? Are you looking for something more, or will this satisfy the design critic inside you? Leave a comment below, and share your opinion!
Source: HTC Source
Come comment on this article: HTC to Depart Slightly from Past Flagship Designs
This week was all about rumors, as a steady stream of details about Samsung’s and HTC’s next flagships trickled out. We have a good idea of what to expect from the One M9/Hima, with key details including a 20MP camera, larger battery, and an iterative design. Samsung did a little better at keeping the Galaxy S6 under wraps, but we still got a few juicy tidbits about the phone’s design and specifications. In other news, the Snapdragon 810 was in the spotlight, WhatsApp launched its first desktop client and banned 3rd party clients, Google’s plan to become a carrier leaked, and Cyanogen’s CEO revealed his vision of a Google-free operating system.
Inside AA HQ
It was a quiet week behind the scenes at AA HQ, with few public-facing changes, but quite a lot of work going on in the background. We’ve made some changes to the AA homepage, replacing the “hero menu” with a carousel showcasing our most recent videos. Our YouTube team is doing such a great job churning out great videos, that we feel this change will bring you more value in the long run.
We’re also ramping up our sister sites SoundGuys.com and TabTimes.com, with more news coverage and featured pieces, and adding some team members to bring you great content. We still have a long way to go with these properties, but we’re confident we can make them reference websites in their respective niches, just like AA is your source for all things Android.
Today, we’re giving out a Nexus 6 in our weekly sweepstakes! Throw your name in the hat here. Good luck!
Friday Debate podcast
The stuff you shouldn’t miss
Here are some interesting posts for your Sunday reading:
- Review: Lanh does his best to break the rugged Sonim XP7
- Review: How is Samsung’s new batch of metal mid-rangers? We review the Galaxy A5
- Feature: Microsoft announced some cool things this week. We look at how Android is impacted
- Review: Jewels from Asia: we review the Meizu MX4 Pro
- Feature: Andrew ponders the implications of Google entering the wireless industry
- Feature: Simon weighs the pros and cons of a potential Samsung-Blackberry marriage
- Opinion: Bogdan looks at HTC’s year ahead and why it’s time for the company to grow again
Top news of the week
And here are the top news in the Android world this week:
HTC One M9 rumors
- Alleged HTC One M9 “Hima” pics leak, possibly prototype version
- Bloomberg: One M9 to feature 20MP rear camera, smartwatch coming along
- Alleged HTC M9 “Hima” cases leaked (updated)
- More details about the HTC One M9/Hima emerge
- Samsung drops Snapdragon 810 in favor of Exynos for Galaxy S6 – Bloomberg
- Qualcomm’s 2015 roadmap reportedly outed, rumored to bring Snapdragon 820
- LG denies G Flex 2 and Snapdragon 810 overheating issues
- (Updated) WhatsApp begins crackdown on unlicensed 3rd party clients
- WhatsApp comes to the desktop, with a catch
Galaxy S6 rumors
- Rumor: Samsung Galaxy S6 to launch at MWC 2015, but no LG G4
- More details about Galaxy S6 edge’s special features surface
- Rumor: Galaxy S6 could feature glass back panel and non-removable battery
Google going wireless
Cyanogen’s fighting words
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HTC’s story is one of ups and downs. Since its founding in 1997, the company made the jump from contract manufacturing (think today’s Foxconn) to successfully selling devices under its own brand. In the 2000s, HTC quickly climbed to the top of the mobile industry, thanks in part to an early bet on Android. But the good times didn’t last – market share, profits, prestige… it all went away, and HTC found itself struggling to stay relevant, pushed in a corner by Apple, and especially Samsung.
In the past two years, HTC has been as down as a company can be without closing down or selling out. “We’ve been through hell, but we survived,” an executive told us during one of the company’s regular Frequencies meetups. But can HTC do more than just survive? Can it thrive again?
“We’ve been through hell, but we survived”
If you believe HTC’s communication head Jeff Gordon, 2015 will be a great year for the Taiwanese company, thanks to the “best ever” product lineup and some “huge surprises.” Yes, 2014 was supposed to be a “positive” year too, and while cutting costs and increasing revenue in Q4 were positive developments, last year wasn’t what HTC had hoped for. With that said, 2015 shapes up to be different. March 1, the day the new One is set to launch, could be the day HTC begins its symbolic comeback.
On the financial side, HTC already managed to stabilize by streamlining its portfolio, outsourcing some of its production, and other cost cutting measures. While painful, these measures allowed HTC to turn a (tiny) profit in the last three quarters of 2014. More importantly, after three years of falling revenue, HTC managed to increase its quarterly sales in Q4 2014. We’ll see if the trend continues in Q1 2015, but signs are positive.
Financial health is a reflection of a company’s product strength, and on this front as well, HTC seems to be going steady. The One flagship series isn’t a hot seller, but HTC seems to have carved a niche for itself, with its focus on design and premium build. Mind share is strong, and when people talk about attractive phones, the M8 comes up inevitably. Perhaps more important than the top of the line, the mid-range is strong as well. HTC calls phones like the Desire Eye and the Desire 820 “premium mid-range” and it has a point – these are some of the best phones you can get without spending flagship money. And the strength extends down-range, even though HTC hasn’t really tried to compete in the budget category.
More reasons to be optimistic are in the pipeline. Due at MWC in Barcelona, the One M9/Hima will bring a few tweaks to the series’ iconic design, and a big upgrade in a key area – camera. Multiple reports point toward a 20MP camera – HTC is done with the UltraPixel experiment and with the gimmicky depth sensor found on the M8. That’s great news – the inconsistent camera experience was one of the reasons the One (M8) only scored a special mention in our best Android smartphones roundup. The M9 shapes up to be a very well balanced device that combines premium design with solid specs and a refined software experience.
HTC is not just a phone company anymore
But HTC is not just a phone company anymore. There’s talk of a smartwatch (or at least a fitness band) launching along the M9 on March 1. If HTC manages to apply some of its design prowess to the wearables category (where design is probably the #1 differentiator), it could have a hit on its hands. Also, at CES, the company talked about its ambition to connect all aspects of our lives, from our health to our homes. The whimsical Re camera is a step in that direction, though perhaps not the most promising one.
Then there are the tablets. The Nexus 9 isn’t a popular device, the way the affordable Nexus 7 was before it. But HTC probably sees the Nexus 9 as a brand enhancer, rather than a moneymaker. HTC will surely follow up with its own brand tablet, perhaps as soon as MWC. The tablet category isn’t growing explosively anymore, but for HTC, expanding in this area is still vital, after years of relying exclusively on phone sales.
To wrap up: a refined flagship; a solid mid-range; new tablets; new wearables; expansion beyond mobile; slowly improving financials. These are all reasons to be excited for HTC in 2015. What about the pitfalls?
The mobile landscape in 2015 is more competitive and complex than ever. HTC was a victim of Samsung’s cutthroat tactics, but now the Korean giant is getting a taste of its own medicine from Xiaomi. Things are in flux, and that means both opportunity and danger for tiny HTC. Because odd as it may sound, HTC is a small player – with a 0.9% sales share, it ranked 16th in Strategy Analytics’ global tracker in Q3 2014, behind Oppo and Vivo. It sold 25 times fewer phones than the leader, Samsung.
HTC’s slice of the market is thinner than ever
As a small fish in a large, crowded pond, HTC needs to put out great devices, but it also has to convince buyers that its products are better than competitors from Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, Lenovo/Motorola, and countless others. That requires smart marketing (an area where HTC struggled in the past, by its own admission), a flair for what consumers want, and the willingness to sacrifice profits. That’s clearly a challenge for a company that lacks the luxury of having a large, diversified group at its back, ready to support it with resources and money.
Turbulent as it may be, the current situation could give HTC the chance to snatch back some of the market share it lost so quickly since 2011. Is it now or never? Nobody can say for sure, but it’s hard to imagine HTC surviving for much longer without returning to real growth. Some voices are already calling for selling out to some cash-flush competitor hungry for international recognition. So, from that perspective, HTC’s only chance is to go up.
Apple trumped all other smartphone manufacturers last quarter based on consumers activating a device. The usual Android foes were all far behind Apple with Samsung leading the way. Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) conducted a survey with five hundred subjects in the United States and aimed to find which phone brands were most popular among activations. The devices, both old and new, were activated between October and December of last year.
Samsung trailed Apple by 24% and that was the closest any company came to catching the clan in Cupertino. After that, the numbers dropped off significantly. The third place company was LG with 11% and Motorola finished fourth at 4%. Rounding out the bottom was HTC (2%), Nokia (2%), Amazon (1%), and “other” with 4%. BlackBerry, who may or may not be facing an acquisition in the near future, had no activations from the survey.
Josh Lowitz, the co-founder of CIRP, explained that the loyalty of Apple customers is far greater than that of Samsung and LG’s. He said:
“iPhones drew from loyal Apple customers, with 86% of buyers upgrading from an older iPhone. Samsung and LG saw far lower loyalty rates, with 25% of Samsung owners and 18% of LG owners who activated a phone in the quarter switching to an iPhone.”
Come comment on this article: Survey finds 50% of phones activated last quarter came from Apple, 26% from Samsung
While we have been enjoying the search for leaked photos and information about HTC’s next flagship smartphone, expected to be revealed at MWC 2015, HTC is busy taking care of all the steps needed to bring a product to market. One of those steps is obtaining the variety of certifications needed for a device. HTC is on top of those items as certifications for a couple wireless technologies included in the device have been obtained.
The HTC One M9 actually received certification for NFC back in December. Although the model name HTC One M9, or HTC Hima, the model numbers OPJA that are listed have been accepted as the new device’s model number series. More recently, on January 9, 2015, HTC devices with model numbers starting with OPJA received several Wi-Fi certifications from the Wi-Fi Alliance. These included certifications for a, b, and g on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
We still have not seen an entry show up in the FCC database for the new HTC devices, but those are probably not far behind. Although hunting through certification body databases is not as fun as finding leaked images, the entries do represent important steps in the path to market.
source: HTC Source
Come comment on this article: HTC One M9 obtains Wi-Fi and NFC certifications
It has been rumored that HTC will unveil a smartwatch at Mobile Work Congress in early March, but Forbes is reporting that’s a no go. If you remember, HTC announced their partnership with Under Armour at CES for fitness bands that would be compatible with UA Record. Since that announcement was made, it’s more than likely they would show a product out of that partnership rather than an Android Wear smartwatch.
HTC could still show an Android Wear smartwatch, but it’s unlikely at this point. You can expect a heavy does of Under Armour marketing for both this new fitness band as well as with the new One (M9). I would imagine new UA Record software will be present on the phone as well.
Let’s hope that HTC doesn’t make this band only compatible with HTC phones because that would be a major mistake.
Come comment on this article: No smartwatch from HTC at Mobile World Congress, but there will be a fitness tracker
AnTuTu, one of the most trusted and stable benchmarking app recently released a report on the top most popular smartphones of 2014. What can be a better way to bid adieu to 2014 than knowing how smartphones performed against each other? We got to see some new names in this year and though being new, they too didn’t fail to amaze.
So, we will kick off with how smartphones are ranked globally first. Xiaomi, currently in the lead, snatched the global market share by 16.90% with its Mi4. Last to last year that is in 2013, Xiaomi was in second place and so, indeed it has progressed since then. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S5 being the second and third in the list also got a market share of 15.69% and 15.55% respectively. Not bad Samsung. Some notable runner ups were the Asus Zenfone 5, Meizu MX4 and OnePlus One.
Comparing 2013 with 2014, we see that only Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Google Nexus 5 are the ones which really progressed. On taking a deeper look at the smartphone rankings country-wise, it was the newest OnePlus One that has managed to capture global interest more than Xiaomi. Xiaomi’s large global market share is mostly because of its popularity in Mainland China. It also stands to prove that China is growing to become a big smartphone market.
Keeping these statistics in mind, I noticed a new trend. That is the rise of Chinese OEMs. Definitely, if we group all the Chinese firms together, they will form a large market share. Also, Samsung held the largest global market share with four of its devices in the top 10. And where the hell are you? Sony? LG? HTC? I don’t see them anywhere on the global list. They sure need to pump out some serious efforts or else this year will also go in vain.
LlabTooFeR, a recognized contributer at XDA has recently developed a new custom ROM based off of Lollipop with Sense 6.0 named MaximusHD. The dev is widely known for making mods, tweaks and software developments especially for HTC devices. This time around it was HTC One M7’s turn to get the lollipop flavour.
MaximusHD has a nice overall outlook and almost identical resemblance to the stock HTC’s Lollipop update. It includes all the stock features as well as some “extra features”. Some notable ones being the ability to remove unneeded apps, ability to install additional mods and improved audio/video capabilities. The ROM is also pre-rooted so that you can start restoring your app backups almost instantly. It comes with enhanced battery management at the core based on Google’s Project ‘Volta’ so that you won’t need to be power-conscious all the time.
Updated Kernel and OEM apps are also some of the highlights. Although it has been announced that the M7 will be getting an official lollipop update from HTC, but for those who just can’t wait, here you go. For further info on how to install this ROM please be sure to check out the XDA thread which states all the required steps and prerequisites in a very crystal clear way.
As always, be sure to back everything up including your ROM before you start messing around with your phone just so if anything goes wrong, you can always roll back to stock.