HTC Sense Home Arrives for One M7 & M8 via Google Play Updates

Continuing their trend of delivering updates to services via app updates, HTC has unleashed Sense 7 for the M7 and the M8.

One of the more anticipated new features from the M9, Sense Home provides easy tools to customize and skin the Sense skin overlay on HTC handsets. They’re also building a community around sharing wallpapers and skins.

Sense is also more predictive now and, like launcher Aviate, it will try to offer up apps and services you might want to use in that moment, while also using your location for restaurant suggestions.

It’s also a nice consideration that this functionality is coming not only to last year’s M8, but is running pretty snappily on my two year old M7.

Hit the Google Play store for an update!

iFixIt Gives HTC One M9 a Low Score for Repairability

iFixIt is home to some of the most detailed (and humorous) gadget dis-assembly posts on the internet. Diving into the minutiae of what it takes to tear down, repair, and reconstruct our precious phones, tablets, and laptops.

The challenge for the iFixIt team was to see if HTC had improved upon the build of the M8 in being difficult to repair. It would seem that the hardware similarities between the M8 and M9 are more than just skin deep, as the M9 receives a “2 out of 10”, making it one of the more difficult phones to repair on the market today.

Highlights include a difficult to replace screen and a battery glued to the rear wall of the phone.

If you want to see what’s actually inside your magic glowing rectangle, I would highly recommend checking out one of their tear down guides.

HTC One M9 Teardown – iFixIt

Choices! HTC One M9 on AT&T Shipping March 27 or Samsung Galaxy S6 Pre-Order?

Decisions decisions…

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AT&T announced their plans and pricing for two of the most anticipated Android phones of the year. The HTC One M9 will be available starting tomorrow, March 27th for $0 down on AT&T Next, $199.99 for a two year contract, or $708.99 off contract. HTC’s newest flagship will be available to ship SAME DAY if orders are placed before 1pm Central time.

Or…

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Also on March 27th, you can pre-order the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge. The 32GB GS6 will cost you $22.84 on Next 24, and the Edge will cost a bit more: $27.17 on Next 24. AT&T declined to give two year or off contract pricing in their press releases.

So. Are you going to grab the HTC which will ship tomorrow, or will you be putting your money down on a Samsung which will ship next month?

You can get more info on both phones below.

Continue reading “Choices! HTC One M9 on AT&T Shipping March 27 or Samsung Galaxy S6 Pre-Order?”

MWC2015: Galaxy S6 & Samsung Pay! HTC One M9 & RE Vive VR Headset! Announcement Reactions!

It’s been a crazy start to MWC 2015 with a pair of killer announcements from Samsung and HTC! New smartphones, mobile payment systems, and a VR headset! What were your first reactions to the news? Drop a comment below!

HTC Announces One M9 and RE Vive VR Headset with Valve Partnership

HTC took the wraps off their next flagship smartphone and showcased partnerships with Valve and Under Armour for a new VR headset and fitness tracker respectively.

Screenshot (12)The One M9 has been leaked and discussed, but we now have confirmation that the shell will be very similar to last years M8. We’re treated to the same 5″ LCD 1080p display covered in Gorilla Glass 4. We’ll get 3GB of RAM and 32GB of built in storage with an SD card slot which supports up to a 128GB card. Those BoomSound speakers return, everything we’ve enjoyed from the M8 is back.

What’s new is the Qualcomm 810 chipset will be powering this new phone. Should be interesting to see how performance is managed in an all metal phone with an HD display.

Screenshot (13)HTC has also updated the camera, walking away from the gimmicky dual sensor shooter on the M8, to a single larger 20MP rear shooter. It’s expected that this camera and chipset should deliver UHD video, 60fps 1080p, and a high speed slow motion mode, but we’ll have to wait for devices to confirm that.

Lastly, it looks like HTC has finally seen the light on ergonomics, and joined the rest of the Smartphone world in moving the power button to the side of the phone.

Partnering with Under Armour, HTC also took the wraps off of the Grip fitness tracker. Looking a bit like a Nike Fuel or Gear Fit. The P-OLED display should provide decent battery life, and the entire build is sweat and water resistant.

Perhaps the most exciting announcement from HTC however was watching them step into the world of Virtual Reality headsets with the RE Vive. Partnering with Valve, the headset is a high end competitor to Samsung’s Gear VR. Instead of using a phone as the display, Vive is a self contained unit with dual 1200×1080 resolution displays with 90Hz refresh rates providing smoother and faster responses than Oculus which pumps out 75Hz.

Over 70 sensors on board track not only movement, but when paired with a pair of SteamVR base stations, it will create a 15 by 15 foot action area. Instead of being tethered to one spot, Vive will track your movement.

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Vive will ship with a pair of game controllers, but we still don’t have details on price, shipping dates, or how this unit will be powered. Will HTC require an HTC phone? Will this be a standalone product? We’re all waiting to find out!

You can catch the full HTC Press conference below!

OtterBox Leak Points to Camera Refinements on HTC One M9

HTC One M9 Otterbox LeakWe still don’t have a lot of information on what will be coming for HTC’s next flagship phone. No confirmation on screen size or resolution. We don’t even know yet if it will use Qualcomm’s new 810 chipset.

This leaked line up of cases from OtterBox however do show some detail as to what we might expect from HTC. Cut outs show they’ll be keeping the front facing stereo speakers. Also the button arrangement looks like HTC will yet again be “inspired” by Nokia, which would be a welcome change from the top mounted power buttons on the M7 and M8.

Most interesting however is the large square-ish cutout for the rear camera. We don’t see a secondary port for a duo camera sensor.

My biggest complaint with the M8 came from the camera quality, walking away from Optical Image Stabilization (a feature which greatly improves video and low light photos) in favor of a fun gimmick which developers never really embraced. We obviously don’t know the particulars of what will go into HTC’s next camera, but a return to a single sensor with OIS would be a welcome change.

And I’m always glad to see accessory manufacturers ready to support new phones. OtterBox’s Commuter case has seen regular rotation on my M8.

We’ll need to wait until March for the full scoop! What are you hoping to see in HTC’s next flagship phone? Drop us a comment below!

Informal Poll: Is HTC’s Rap Video So Bad It’s Good?

Now I LOVES me some schlock. The best “bad” media is made from passionate people, who really believed in their project, but lacked the resources to properly execute.

That’s maybe why I’m torn on HTC’s “funny” rap video here. I’d imagine that HTC has enough cash to compete with the budget of a single Digital Short from SNL, right? Trying to make something look “bad” or “low budget” is a tricky thing to pull off. It’s like asking a singer to purposely sing off key.  It’ll never be as funny as someone who knows they’re a terrible singer belting their favorite karaoke jam at the top of their lungs.

Or maybe I’m wrong, and HTC’s delivered a masterpiece. Your comments below will certainly be appreciated…

HTC Hot Deals Every Tuesday – Half Priced Nexus 9 Tablet and One M8 Phones

htc hot deals 2014 nexus 9 one m8 re cameraIt’s the season of giving and HTC is playing Santa.

Every Tuesday starting now through December, HTC will be running crazy savings on a limited quantity of phones and tablets. If you’re ready to jump in at 12pm Eastern, you might be able to score a Nexus 9 for half price ($199), or take $350 off a no-contract M8. It looks like each deal will only stock around 200 units for the day, so you better be quick with your browser.

Happy hunting folks!

HTC Hot Deals