Categories
Mobile News Reviews

OnePlus 2 review – the new “flagship killer” smartphone of 2015

OnePlus 2 is the newest Chinese 2016 Flagship Killer, but is it really worthy of this title already? We shall see next year. For now, it seems that this device could be a 2015 flagship killer, if not for some of its own shortcomings. Its best features are the beautiful display with a solid build and its low price for the features it offers. On the other side of the barricade are its heat up issues, the lack of a microSD, fast charging and NFC.

 

 

OnePlus 2 flagship killer

 

Design and display

 

OnePlus 2 is a well-earned step-up from OnePlus One, replacing its plastic body with a sturdy metal frame and a grainy grey back frame made of stronger plastic. If you are not pleased with the regular back cover, you can choose a bamboo, rosewood or dark apricot wood or Kevlar one for an additional $27. The display is relatively well-sized at 5.5 inches with full HD resolution at 401 ppi. The viewing angles are pretty good,with vivid colors and crispy brightness.

 

OnePlus 2

 

 

The device is a bit on the thick side, at 9.9mm, and it weighs a bit too, at 175grams or 6.17oz.

 

An important addition to the OnePlus 2 is the fingerprint scanner below the display. This digit reader is different from the likes of iPhone and Samsung because it does not require you to swipe your print on it. All you have to do is hold your finger on the reader and it will recognize you. You can register up to five fingerprints on the phone and you should register thumbs and index fingers too, for unlocking when holding the phone and unlocking it when it is laying down respectively. You should know that you cannot pay in shops with this phone yet; the fingerprint scanner function can just be used as an unlocker method.

 

OnePlus 2 size

 

 

OnePlus 2 has an USB Type-C connector that you can safely use to charge your phone. This is the latest connection type and it will become available to more and more smartphones in the future, so it’s a good thing to have. It is reversible and Plus 2 remains in history as the first world-wide selling phone with Type-C connectivity.

 

Hardware, camera and OS

OnePlus 2 is packed with the usual 2015 flagship hardware and then some. What we have here is an 1.8GHz octa-core Snapdragon 810 SoC accompanied by 4 GB of RAM. There’s a lot of power involved, which can also mean problems. The processor packs some heat but it also gets overheated at times – not as high as other Snapdragon 810-packed devices like HTC One M9 – but it still gets hot when extensively used.

 

Performance-wise, the device runs very well, with some little drawbacks like the home button tardiness that will be fixed in a future OTA. The user experience is fluid and fast, but it seems like the device could do so much more.

 

 

OnePlus 2 camera

 

 

OnePlus 2 has a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing snapper. The One specs were the same, but you can clearly see some differences when it comes to image quality. The rear camera now has laser autofocus and optical image stabilization. The camera has a simple app with a user-friendly interface and basic features like Beauty, Clear image and HDR. The resulting images are pleasing and on par with similarly-specked offerings on the market.

 

OnePlus 2 is running on an Android 5.1.1 OS with its own skin on top, Oxygen OS. There are similarities between stock Android and OxygenOS because OnePlus has kept most of the stock functionality of Google’s operating system while improving its performance with more features such as Shelf – a secondary home screen. There are some drawbacks to this OS, for example the text message client which shows your messages and the messages your received from your responder in separate windows.

 

OnePlus 2 hardware

 

 

Battery

 

OnePlus 2 has a 3,300 mAh battery, an upgrade from the 3,100 mAh cell OnePlus One has. Since the screen size and resolution remain the same as with the previous model, power consumption should be stable, even if we are dealing with a more powerful SoC. Since the device does not have fast or wireless charging, you will be looking at long charging sessions for your device. You get a full day of usage even when you intensively use your phone, at least for starters. The biggest power-consumer on the Plus 2 is Android itself, which means there is not much you can do to improve your battery life.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

OnePlus managed to construct another hit and it does live up to its motto “Never Settle”. OnePlus 2 builds on its predecessor and it does not lose its appeal, with a decent price, great hardware improvements and a budget-friendly price for a flagship-wannabe. It feels more premium, it is stronger and sturdier and its OS is pretty promising too.

 

It is not flawless though, as Plus 2 does sport some issues when it comes to the fingerprint reader and the home button, and with some confusing software options. It does not have a microSD slot, which means you will have to deal with 16/64GB of storage and the lack of fast charging may be an issue for some people too.

 

OnePlus 2 price

 

 

You can find OnePLus 2 selling for prices starting at $329. You can purchase it directly from OnePlus or from online stores. Sadly, the device still sells through the invite system, but it is much less restrictive than it was with OnePlus One.

 

Source: OnePlus, GSM Arena

 

Categories
News Updates/Software

HTC HD2 – a 6-year old device – gets Marshmallow update!

When you find that perfect smartphone you never want to let go of, even when other newer and shinier flagships come along, you just want it to last you forever and maybe support updates for the next 10 years. HTC HD2 is one of those devices, at least for folks at XDA Devs, because the device just got support for Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This is not an official update, but it is a stable version nonetheless. A stable version of the most recent Google software that you can install on your six-year old device!

 

HTC HD2

 

 

HTC HD2 is a modestly packed device, at least to our current standards. It packs a single-core 1GHz processor paired with 512MB of RAM, a 4.3-inch screen running at 480×800 pixel resolution and Windows Mobile 6.5. It is definitely nothing like a Samsung Galaxy S6 or a Nexus 6P but, for its time, it worked very well.

 

The update is not an official one, but a manually installed one from XDA Developers. If you still have one of these bad boys and you want to try the Marshmallow experience on it, go ahead and visit the source link below.

 

Source: XDA Developers

 

Categories
Mobile News Reviews

HTC One A9 review: preview for an intriguing flagship

HTC One A9 was announced and officially showed up today and it may very well just be the company’s last attempt at salvation. We all know HTC is not doing so well financially speaking lately, and this new flagship is aiming to change that. But, over the past few weeks, leaks after leaks kept sprouting and A9 became the mockery of the Internet because of its uncanny resemblance to an iPhone device. But is this the truth about the smartphone or is there more to it than looks?

 

HTC One A9

 

 

Starting today, you can pre-order an HTC One A9 starting at $399 as the device itself launches in the first week of November. Could this two-flagships a year shtick actually save HTC’s remaining hold on the market, considering that One M9 was received with mixed credits this spring?

 

HTC One A9 – details, specs and marshmallows

 

This smartphone is branded as a flagship even though most of the specs don’t scream flagship to the market. HTC skipped the Snapdragon 800+ turmoil and instead chose a Snapdragon 617 octa-core clocked in tandem at 1.5/1.2 GHz. The processor is accompanied by 2/3GB of RAM and variable internal storage from 16 GB to 32 GB. The storage can be upgraded though, thanks to the microSD card slot on the left edge of the device. You can even format the card to act as an extension of the internal storage thanks to the Android 6.0 OS version the phone rolls out with.

 

HTC One A9 has a fingerprint scanner just below the screen, which makes authentication and payments easy. The device is powered by a 2,150 mAh battery that lasts pretty much, according to first views of the smartphone. There is also word of a cleaner and more improved custom Sense interface on some models where users can uninstall pre-installed apps if they don’t find them useful.

 

HTC One A9 1

 

 

When it comes to its screen, One A9 sports a 5-inch , 1080p screen with AMOLED protection – one of the first for HTC in a long time – which can be set in a bright setting for consumer appeal or in a sRGB mode. There is no Quad HD screen on this “flagship” but, at this price, chances were quasi-existent.

 

One important feature missing from HTC One A9 are the front-facing Boomsound speakers that are replaced by a single grill on the bottom edge. When you use headphones you will be able to enjoy the Dolby amplifier that intensifies tracks.

 

HTC smart

 

 

When it comes to photography potency, we are talking about a 13MP primary camera situated on the top middle of the device, accompanied by optical image stabilization and a Pro Mode complete with RAW image capture. Add a front-facing Ultra-Pixel unit and we’re set.

 

The One A9 supports Rapid Charge 2.0 and it will supposedly get Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 in the future, when standard accessories become available. You also get NFC which should make Android Pay easy as pie.

 

HTC One A9 specs

 

HTC design choices

 

When it comes to design, HTC One A9 is reminiscent of an iPhone, no wonder it became known as an iPhone copy. The similarities include an all-metal chassis, one speaker, the round camera setup at the back plus the two polycarbonate antenna bands that, in all fairness, were first used by HTC even if most of the world forgot all about it. On the front you will also find the home button, very similar to a Samsung device detail. Overall, the device does not look that much like a different device because the great fit and finish manage to distinguish it from a bunch of similar smartphones.

 

Conclusions

 

HTC One A9 is trying to sell as a flagship and the company is strongly pushing towards it. But will it succeed or is it too late? We shall see. The device will be available in four colors: topaz gold, carbon gray, opal silver and deep garnet, at least according to images and press releases.

 

HTC A9

 

 

You can already pre-order the device in the US, Germany, UK and other countries, but prices and models differ greatly. Some even say that other flagship devices offer much better specs at similar prices. Will you consider buying one of HTC’s most recent flagships this year?

 

Source: HTC

Categories
News

LG V10 officially announced: creativity measured in displays and cameras

LG V10 was finally officially launched, and the device looks better than any LG smartphone could… depending on who you ask. The previous leaks were all (mostly) true and the device looks like a good contender on the flagship market. The dual front facing camera and the secondary display are all there, but what do they really mean? Let’s see!

 

LG V10

 

 

What innovations does LG V10 bring to the table?

 

The key-points for this smartphone are the dual-front shooters and the secondary display, the front cameras are destined for 120-degree selfies because they can capture wide-angle photos with a minimum of distortion. They can also be used in creating a tri-view video where all three cameras can record images at the same time.

 

Secondary display – how does it work?

 

LG V10 was heavily teased in a video where a young lady has her bangs chopped off in a high-fashion manner. It appears that that is how the secondary display is attached to the primary one, right next to the dual cameras on the front. It can always be used , even when the primary screen is off, or it can be programmed to at as a dedicated launching area for some apps which works even when the main screen is on. The secondary display can also be useful inside specific apps like in the camera app, where you can get some controls on the mini-display.

 

LG V10 secodnary screen

 

 

LG made a point out of using the secondary screen as a notifier and this way you can continue to enjoy whatever you are doing on the main screen at the same time.

 

On a side-note, LG V10 ‘s main camera has a new trick of its own: it can capture videos manually, which means that it gives users manual control over HD, FHD and UHD video creation.

 

LG V10 official spec list:

 

[box type=”shadow”]

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 Processor
  • Display: Main – 5.7-inch QHD IPS Quantum Display (2560 x 1440 / 513ppi)
  • Display: Secondary – 2.1-inch IPS Quantum Display (160 x 1040 / 513ppi)
  • Memory: 4GB LPDDR3 RAM / 64GB eMMC ROM / microSD (up to 2TB)
  • Camera: Rear – 16MP with F1.8 Aperture / OIS 2.0
  • Camera: Front – 5MP Dual Lens (80-degrees Standard Angle / 120-degrees Wide Angle)
  • Battery: 3,000mAh (removable)
  • OS: Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • Size: 159.6 x 79.3 x 8.6mm
  • Weight: 192g
  • Network: LTE-A Cat. 6
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a, b, g, n, ac / Bluetooth 4.1 / NFC / USB 2.0
  • Colors: Space Black / Luxe White / Modern Beige / Ocean Blue / Opal Blue

 

[/box]

 

 

LG’s new smartphone will be available in the US at AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, but its release date has not been made public yet.

 

Source: LG Newsroom

Categories
News Updates/Software

CyanogenMod plans on producing Lollipop 5.0 builds by next month

CyanogenMod plans on bringing the Lollipop experience to all Android devices, as we find out from recent documents. It appears that nightlies could make their appearance as soon as next month.

The source code first appeared on AOSP at the beginning of November, but it took a while for all the bits to show up. There is still a lot to do when it comes to CM features and the proverbial material look whereas some ROM aspects may be completely rethought.

Some older smartphones and tablets will be cut off from the builds, but most will be included. The first nightlies will be buggy as expected, so don’t wait too eager for your Lollipop-based CM build as fast as possible, unless you love bugs.

Source: CyanogenMod