HTC One A9 Benchmarks Leaked

Despite HTC’s struggling financial position, the company is set to unveil the world’s most powerful handset featuring a deca-core MediaTek Helio X20 processor clocked at 1.96 GHz, 4GB RAM and 1920×1080 or 2560×1440, 5-5 inch screen. Unfortunately, there’s no information regarding the cameras, battery capacity or internal ROM but this should be revealed in the coming months. Although, we do know that the device will run Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and set for a December 2015 release. The image below contains details of the handset’s single-core and multi-core performance in Geekbench: 

The numbers here are fairly interesting and compare rather well to other top-tier Android handsets. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge attained a multi-core score of 4394 while the HTC One M9 reached 2926. As you can see, the HTC One A9’s performance is staggering and the benchmarks look extremely promising. In terms of single-core performance, the HTC One A9 is outperformed by the HTC Nexus 9 which features an NVIDIA Tegra K1 Denver CPU running at 2449 MHz. Although it does come in second place and beats the S6 Edge which benched at 1311.

Overall, the HTC One A9 from initial renders look absolutely stunning and its performance should make it the fastest handset ever devised. Hopefully, this handset can turn around HTC’s financial fortunes.

Thank you PocketNow for providing us with this information.

HTC Hoping Focus On Budget Smartphones Will Bring Profit In 2014

It is certainly no secret that Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC has been going through tough times in the past few years. 27 consecutive months of falling year-on-year revenue have seen HTC squeezed out of the mobile market by Samsung, Apple, LG and other vendors. HTC’s latest announcements showed that January sales for 2014 slid a staggering 38% compared to a year earlier. Total sales were just $356 million for HTC in January 2014.

Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston claims HTC’s decline has been rapid; having 10% of the smartphone market two years ago to just under 2% today. The latest news from the AFR reveals HTC has finally come up with a plan to reverse its ailing fortunes. Unsurprisingly HTC is hoping to climb out of its financial abyss by expanding its product lines in the budget and mainstream market segments. No longer will HTC try and compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple in the high end smartphone market but instead it will be taking on its rivals in the less glamorous budget market segments. It is well known HTC has invested a lot of time and money into the HTC One series of phones with minimal sales success and so a change in strategy is needed.

“The problem with us last year was we only concentrated on our flagship. We missed a huge chunk of the mid-tier market,” said co-founder and chairwoman Cher Wang, speaking to Reuters in an interview in New York last week alongside Mr Chang.

Do HTC have what it takes to turn their own fortunes around? Only time will tell…

Image courtesy of HTC

HTC One Max Spotted in Public

The most wanted phone that has the word “leaks” attributed alongside its name is undoubtedly the HTC One Max, according to recent statistics. However, multiple photos of the One Max “taking a stroll” in the public were made public today. The facts point out that the One Max is a huge phablet, and also that it has a fingerprint reader at the back, below the camera module. And people love it.

The fingerprint sensor at the back understandably garners most of the attention, with the rest of the device nearly identical to the normal-sized sibling, the HTC One. The Beats logo is gone too, after the two companies ended their partnership with HTC selling back their stake. Also, a retail posting of the HTC One Max finally confirms all of its internal specifications. It lists the 5.9 inch (Super LCD 3) display and the 1080 x 1920 resolution (FHD) featured on it. It also confirms the 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 processor powering the device, a disappointment for those who were hoping for the 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 to be under the hood. 16GB of native storage is listed as is the UltraPixel camera. And a very un-HTC-like 3300mAh battery is also confirmed to be powering the phablet.

There are only a few days left until HTC  officially reveals their first phablet, so hang in there.

Thank you NextPowerUp and PhanAndroid for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of NextPowerUp and PhanAndroid.

Blue HTC One Now Available In The UK and Blue One Mini To Arrive Shortly

The blue HTC One launched in the US last month, and now the handset is available in the UK from mobile retailer the Carphone Warehouse. The Blue HTC One is available with a number of different carriers through the mobile retailer, the handset is available from free on contracts which start at £32 per month. The Carphone Warehouse are offering the Blue HTC One with all of the major UK carriers, the list includes EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three.

Hardware wise the handset has the same specifications as the existing model, which include Android Jelly Bean, and a 4.7 inch full high-definition display. The display on the HTC one comes with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, the handset is powered by a quad-core 1.7 GHz Snapdragon 600 processor from Qualcomm, and it also features an Adreno 320 GPU. The devices features 2GB of RAM and a choice of either 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage, it also features HTC’s new Ultrapixel camera.

There are no details as yet on when the blue HTC One will be available off contract SIM free, however it should be made available in time.

Thank you Geeky Gadgets for providing us with this information.

Images  courtesy of Geeky Gadgets.

HTC One Gold Unibody Priced at $4,420

For those who are willing to spend thousands of dollars on black-marketed iPhone 5S “Champagne” trim, and mistakenly referring to it as “the gold iPhone,” you might as well step the tempo by a few notches and cash out £2,750 (US $4,420) on a HTC One that’s unmistakably gold. To clarify a few things, the HTC One Gold Unibody is not related to the gold – “colored” HTC One, which could see a wider launch later this year.

HTC UK announced five genuine gold unibody HTC One smartphones for all of the country, priced at that scorching price. Gold dons pretty much all parts aluminium does on the original, including its panels, and main frame. We’re talking about solid sheets of 18-karat gold here, not electroplated aluminium. The black mast line coupled with the piano black front bezel contrasts gold in way Sam Sparro would more than approve of.

The device was made in a partnership with Goldgenie, who has actually been selling gold, platinum, and rose gold HTC One units for a few months now. Sure, they are overpriced and only millionaire enthusiasts should think about buying one, but they are always available if you have the resources.

To be noted however, there will be only 5 HTC One Gold Unibody devices worldwide, so if you truly are thinking of buying one, you best start scraping your bank accounts early.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Galaxy Gear To Work With Other Android Devices Besides The Note 3

When they unveiled the Galaxy Gear, Samsung announced that it can exclusively pair with only the newly released Galaxy Note 3, and other devices such as the Galaxy S4 after receiving a software update. There has not been any word about any update for android devices, especially Samsung android device, to make the Galaxy Gear compatible with something else rather than the Galaxy Note 3.

It comes to no surprise that the Korean electronics company lied about that. But who would not try to hide the compatibility options available for the device if you are a company like Samsung which wants to sell its newly released toys. Recently, a developer from the  XDA Developers forums was successful in modifying and then installing the Galaxy Gear compatibility app onto his HTC One, which was running on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. He reported that every single feature was working, except for S-Voice.

However, after installing the same app on a HTC One with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the Galaxy Gear remained incompatible. To mention here is that the app installed on the Android 4.2.2 HTC was installed by another developer and it is not yet clear if the issue is the app itself or the Android version. But of course, the results of the first test still remain valid.

It comes to the conclusion that Samsung has intentionally restricted the Galaxy Gear to be compatible only with the Galaxy Note 3. But since the Android platform is open-source and developers can easily “play” with the software, it is a matter of time until an unofficial version of the app that is compatible with multiple Android devices surfaces.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of NextPowerUp.


Android 4.3 And Sense 5 Rolls Out For HTC Evo 4G LTE Next Year

Jason Mackenzie, president of HTC America, announced on Twitter that the EVO 4G LTE on Sprint will receive Android 4.3 and Sense 5 by the end of 2013. A few days ago, a known HTC insider claimed that the chances of a HTC EVO 4G LTE update in the future were diminishing thanks to a lack of movement behind the scenes.

Fortunately, in this case, it appears that his fears were unnecessary because HTC itself has gone on the record to confirm an update for the HTC EVO 4G LTE later on this year and it’s not the update that many have been hoping for. Some good news for Evo 4G users since the main focus lately was only on HTC One and Droid DNA.

It is good to see that HTC is heading into a good direction here. The struggling Taiwanese manufacturer is not only being more open and transparent about its future update plans, but it’s also actually updating devices that are more than a year old. Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G LTE, which arrived shortly after the HTC One X on AT&T, is currently running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, an update that it received last December.

Thank you Android Central and GottaBeMobile for providing us with this information.

HTC Facing Patent Dispute With Nokia Over HTC One Internals

The Wall Street Journal reports that HTC is facing a legal challenge from Nokia over a couple Nokia’s patents which HTC apparently use within the HTC One design. HTC has to fix a part of the design which uses Nokia patents that relate to methods of improving reception and transmission of radio components. If HTC does not change the design of the HTC One and other smartphones that use the Nokia patents it will either have to pay license fees to Nokia or face an import ban in the USA where the ITC ruling is upheld.

Nokia recently won that ruling with the ITC courts in the USA about a week ago and HTC has been forced into working with Qualcomm to redesign the radio transmission improvement mechanism for the HTC One and other affected handsets. HTC has until January to fix the problem or face an import ban in the USA and potentially face further action in any other countries where Nokia take legal action.

Image courtesy of HTC

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean Available for HTC One Handsets

Great news for HTC One users as the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updated has started to be available for OTA download. It is reported also that the HTC One will run smoother and faster with the new 4.3 OS than the Samsung competitor, the Galaxy S4.

The update started to become available to unlocked HTC One devices on the 28th of September and carrier locked phones will soon be given the update later on (if not already received). It is worth noting that Android 4.4 KitKat will soon be available in October, so updates are on the roll for android users.

The main improvements that users will see in the new Android 4.3 update for HTC One are:

  • Improved colour contrast in low-light environments using the camera
  • New battery charging animation in power-off state
  • Video highlights can now feature soundtracks
  • New radios
  • Several bug fixes
  • Improved overall system performance

Aside from the modifications and improvements provided by HTC to the One smartphone, the new firmware features several Jelly Bean goodies from the Android 4.3 version.

Some features owners should expect from the new software update are as follows:

  • OpenGL ES 3.0 version for realistic and high performance 3D graphics rendering
  • Virtual surround sound powered by Fraunhofer Cingo – Beats Audio technology may have overridden this
  • Bluetooth Low Energy and compatibility with Bluetooth Smart accessories
  • Improved dial pad functionality with Autocomplete
  • Better keyboard and text input
  • Wi-Fi only location scanning
  • Disabled apps tab found in the “Settings > Applications”
  • Additional language support
  • Enhanced photo daydream
  • Faster switching from the lock screen

Thank you and IBTimes for providing us with this information.


Samsung to Launch Curved OLED Smartphone in October

Samsung is preparing to launch a revolutionary curved OLED screen device, codenamed “Youm” this October. This news comes after Samsung announcing the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note 3 model with curved display.

According to The Inquirer, DJ Lee, head of strategic marketing for Samsung Mobile spilled word of the announcement to Reuters, saying, “We plan to introduce a smartphone with a curved display in South Korea in October.”

The “Youm” device is rumored to feature a 5.5 inch display and given its curved surface, the size in 2D could appear compact and closer to a 5-inch displays. Since Samsung is looking to score big on the aesthetics front by releasing a cutting-edge display, maybe it could even be enough to change user perspective away from the iPhone 5S and HTC One. The  manufacturing of the curved OLED panel for the device has solely been done by Samsung, and even demonstrated its prototypes at this year’s International CES.

In the meantime, the Galaxy S5 development codenamed Project Design 3.0 is still in progress.

Thank you NextPowerUp and The Inquirer for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

HTC One Will Get Android 4.3 Update This Month

According to Jason Mackenzie, HTC America President, HTC is on schedule to release the Android 4.3 update for the HTC One flagship smartphone this month.

“good news is that with Sense you are always ahead of the times. no change to announce on 4.3 schedule. thanks…eu team is working on schedule and will update soon. Thanks for your patience” Said Mackenzie on Twitter.

Over at GSM Arena they have already published a screenshot of the HTC One running Android 4.3 confirming  the update. No other details on the exact release date are confirmed but HTC are expected to roll the update out before the end of this month. Both North America and Europe should get the update at the same time.

Image courtesy of GSM Arena

HTC Has Already Sold 5 Million One Smartphones

It is generally known the HTC have struggled in the past few years with turning profit and it has lost a lot of its smartphone business to the likes of Samsung and other Android smartphone vendors.  Yet with the HTC One they seem to have turned a corner and have managed to ship nearly 5 million of the HTC One smartphones, according to Android Central, so far despite encountering some supply issues for the first month.

While this is hardly on par with Samsung selling nearly 10 million Galaxy S4 units in under a month, it is still a lot better than HTC have done for a while. I think this just goes to show that any company can sell big if they make a nice enough phone. The HTC One is a well respected smartphone with a particular selling point being the sturdy build quality from aluminium construction.

Whether you like HTC or not their turnaround is going to be vital to keeping competition active in the Android smartphone market, now the HTC product design team have the mammoth task of replicating the same success in the low and mid range market segments of the smartphone market.

What are your thoughts on HTC’s One? Are you one of the 5 million owners?

Image courtesy of HTC

Kodera Latest To Jump Ship at HTC

As initially reported by The Verge, Kouji Kodera, the Chief Product Officer at HTC has left the company. He is only the latest of a string of ship jumpers to abruptly leave the company over the past three months.

“HTC has lost a number of employees in rapid succession — most recently Jason Gordon, the company’s vice president of global communications. Other fresh departures include global retail marketing manager Rebecca Rowland, director of digital marketing John Starkweather, and product strategy manager Eric Lin.”-The Verge

Coinciding with the global launch of the HTC One makes Kodera’s departure quite disconcerting. Once considered the key contender against the iPhone, the HTC One has had its hand’s full taking on giant Samsung with little luck. Sales for 2012 were shoddy at best.

“Investors have taken notice, as they tend to do (eventually) and HTC’s share prices have fallen to $288 from $432 this time last year on the Taiwan exchange.”

HTC’s sales slump is blamed on a range of things: poor overall sales for the entire Smartphone market of 2012, too much Chinese competition, internal problems within the company and the debacle of the HTC First. The ‘Facebook’ phone that Facebook “had originally signaled its intention to launch the downloadable version of Facebook Home on a significant delay, giving the First some period of exclusivity. Instead, Facebook changed course and made Home available as a Play download the same week that the First launched.”-TheVerge

HTC has banked a lot on the One and with Kodera the latest to leave questions arise as to the future of HTC.

Intel Dual Core Lenovo Ideaphone K900 Coming May 6th

Lenovo unveiled the Ideaphone K900 way back at CES 2013 in January and it was said to be the first Intel “Clover Trail” powered smartphone on the market. The device is now ready to be sold to consumers and will be available from May the 6th.

Lenovo’s Ideaphone K900 is powered by a dual core 2GHz Atom Z2580 Intel Clover Trail processor, a PowerVR SGX544 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The 5.5 inch 1080p display sports a whopping 440+ PPI and is basically on par with all the latest flagship 1080p smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z and LG Optimus G Pro.

The operating system of choice is Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. The Lenovo Ideaphone K900 supports wireless display technology allowing it to stream content directly to a TV wirelessly. Super fast charging mode also enables the smartphone to charge fully in around 90 minutes. The camera on the Lenovo K900 is 13 megapixels with a Sony Exmor RS lens, which is the same camera as featured on the Sony Xperia Z. This means you should get really excellent camera quality.

Lenovo’s 6.9mm thick flagship Intel smartphone is still awaiting an official price but this will be revealed on Monday May the 6th when the product is launched in China. Expect it to be priced similarly to its competitors. More detailed specifications can be found here courtesy of GSM Arena.

What are your thoughts on this beast of a smartphone from Lenovo?


Lumia 920 Trumps Galaxy S4 And Others In Low Light Camera Test

When it comes down to smartphone cameras, it doesn’t take a genius to see that they are improving very rapidly over time in terms of their quality. Modern smartphones offer picture quality similar or better than that on some discrete point and shoot cameras, except in a much smaller and more convenient form factor. However, low lighting is something people rarely pay attention to and it is important given the fact few smartphones utilise strong flashes, so low-lit photographs are frequently taken.

Over at Recombu they have been putting some high end smartphone cameras through their paces. They took the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, Nokia Lumia 720 and 920 smartphones and conducted a low lighting camera test. You can see the image results above, Recombu decided that the smartphones performed in the following order of best to worst:

  • Nokia Lumia 920
  • Nokia Lumia 720
  • HTC One
  • Sony Xperia Z
  • Samsung Galaxy S4

The Nokia Lumia 920 only has an 8.7MP camera but it shows the most detail under low lighting conditions and offers a very good white balance. The Nokia Lumia offers a 6.7MP camera with an f/1.9 lens and again has a strong white balance likes its bigger brother. HTC’s One did reasonably well as like the Lumia 920 and 720 it offered optical image stabilisation. The Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony Xperia Z both offered poor optical image stabilisation and had weak white balances, described as delivery “the noisiest shots of the bunch”.

So definitely some very interesting results. While the Xperia Z and Galaxy S4 may trump many other smartphones in daylight photography, under low lighting it can be seen as performing very poorly. What are your thoughts on these low light testing results? If you are interested in higher resolution test images then please check out the source for that.


Samsung Galaxy S4 Gets 8/10 Repairability Score From iFixIt

iFixIt are renowned for their deconstruction of modern consumer gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. Their most recent deconstruction sees them take a look at perhaps  what will be the hottest smartphone release of this year, the Samsung Galaxy S4.

The results are actually quite surprising as we are normally used to most high end smartphones being next to impossible to disassemble, resulting in repairs being impossible. The most recent example of that is the HTC One which got the worst iFixIt repairability score possible, with 1 out of 10. The Samsung Galaxy S4 scored an impressive eight out of ten for the repairability score.

The only downside of the Galaxy S4 was that the screen is fused to the front glass meaning the only way to “repair” a damaged display or front glass is by replacing both, which is certainly not going to be cheap.

You can see full details of the teardown at the source. What do you think of the Samsung Galaxy S4 having a good repairability score? Is it essential that expensive high end smartphones can be repaired? Or would you rather just have an “Apple-style service” where if something major breaks you just get given a brand new handset?


HTC One Gets Worst Possible Repairability Score From iFixit

iFixit are a company that take modern consumer gadgets such as mobile phones and tablets, then attempt to disassemble them and put them back together. They are experts in their field and in doing these “fixability” tests they are able to determine how easily a consumer might be able to repair a broken or damaged consumer gadget. The latest device to receive the iFixit treatment is the new HTC One. However, it isn’t good news for HTC users as the One phone scored the lowest possible one out of ten.

The handset was difficult to repair right from the outset with even the job of opening the phone’s casing being nearly impossible without damaging it. Opening was possible in the end but resulted in permanent damage to the bezel surrounding the screen. The teardown found the battery buried beneath the motherboard and adhered to the midframe making the “simple” task of replacing the battery not-so-simple. Delicate copper shielding covering many components also makes accessing other components tricky and potentially damaging.

However, there is a silver lining to the whole story which is that iFixit said it was one of the most durable phones they have tested. Improved durability should mean less breakages and ultimately no need to actually take the device apart and repair it. Despite criticisms of repairability the HTC One is still regarded as one of the best Android handsets on the market, being the most advanced Android Smartphone up until Samsung recently released the Galaxy S4.

You can read the full iFixit teardown here.