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Video: A First Look at the Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio

Posted by Kellex November - 27 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

The Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio is the first official accessory available for Google’s new tablet. It’s also more than likely going to be the most expensive. At $129, this Bluetooth-connected keyboard-case-combo is going to be tough for most to justify buying without any knowledge of its capabilities, quality, etc., so we went ahead and took the plunge for you, just like we do with almost all of the important Nexus accessories.

To kick off our coverage of the Keyboard Folio, we wanted to first put together an overview/first look and tour of the device, so that we are all on the same page and know exactly what we are dealing with here. This is also a chance for us to share initial impressions, many of which tend to stick through to the end of a review cycle. 

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While you will hear more in-depth impressions in the video below, I will just say this – this Keyboard Folio feels very premium, but I already have some minor concerns in terms of how the case fits on the tablet when closed. Overall, though, the typing experience doesn’t seem bad (but will take a lot more testing), there are handy shortcuts built in for navigation around your tablet that I already appreciate, sleep-to-wake is there, and the two different viewing angles both seem well thought out.

Is it worth $129? Well, I don’t know how I will ever be able to help you justify that kind of cash for a Bluetooth keyboard, but we should at least know where it falls on the Outrageous Meter after a week or so of use.

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Video: A First Look at the Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio is a post from: Droid Life

HTC slashes Re camera price for Black Friday

Posted by wicked November - 26 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

HTC may be new in the digital camera business but it’s determined to bring the Re camera to the market. Yes, HTC wants to make more sense by lowering the price of the periscope-shaped camera this Black Friday weekend. The device has just rolled out a few weeks ago and we’re not sure how the public is receiving the camera but HTC is willing to make it more affordable.

The unusual HTC RE is not your ordinary compact camera. It actually redefines mobile camera experience. It looks weird alright but HTC wants to make mobile photography better with this one. Specs include a 16MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, f/2.8 aperture lens, 146 degrees ultra-wide angle, and 1080p video recording at 30 fps. The camera device can be integrated with mobile devices.

HTC first listed RE at $199 but from Black Friday to Cyber Monday, it will be available for half the price–down to $99.99. That’s good news for those who’ve been wanting to get a RE but don’t want to spend a couple hundred of dollars on a weird-looking gadget. Offer is good while supplies last so you might as well get one now online and in-store from Best Buy, AT&T, or Verizon. We’re not sure though how many units HTC is preparing for this Black Friday though.

VIA: Slashgear

Nexus 9’s Keyboard Folio Now In-Stock and Shipping From Google Play for $129

Posted by Kellex November - 25 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Look! The HTC Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio is finally available for purchase on Google Play! At $129, it certainly isn’t cheap, but it does attach magnetically and wirelessly to your tablet, so that its mechanical keys can let you “type with confidence.” It also lasts for up to five months on a single charge, which is kind of neat, and it should offer some sort of screen protection.

But dat price doe.

Any takers? We ordered one, as we almost always do with Nexus accessories, so we’ll report back shortly with our thoughts.

Play Link ($129)

Nexus 9’s Keyboard Folio Now In-Stock and Shipping From Google Play for $129 is a post from: Droid Life

HTC offering the RE Camera for 50% off on Black Friday

Posted by wicked November - 25 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

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It seems HTC is joining in on the Black Friday fun, offering up the RE Camera for only $99.

The RE Camera has been an interesting endeavor for HTC. It’s not quite a GoPro, but it’s still more portable than a run-of-the-mill smartphone camera. At launch, the company began offering the RE for $199, and we have yet to see a price drop until now.

Beginning November 27th at 9pm PT and ending December 1st at 9pm PT (or whenever inventory runs out), the camera will be available for only $99. You can buy it from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or Best Buy’s websites, or purchase it in-store at Verizon, AT&T, or Best Buy.

One of the major initial complaints with the RE Camera was the price, so I think I speak for everyone when I say, “Good going, HTC. This is finally the right price.” Don’t get us wrong, the camera is good. It’s portable, takes great photos, and feels great in the hand. So we’re really happy to see HTC get the price right, even if it’s only temporarily.

What are your thoughts on the RE Camera’s current price? Do you think $199 is what it should be sold for? Also, are you going to take advantage of the Black Friday deal? Let us hear your thoughts!

[Deal] HTC RE Camera available for $99 from November 27 to December 1

Posted by wicked November - 25 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

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Today, purchasing a RE Camera directly from HTC will net bar and suction mounts at no extra cost. The total with the deal is $199. You may want to wait, though, as HTC is running a 50% discount on Thanksgiving Day. Options to purchase the RE Camera online for $99 include HTC, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Best Buy. Alternatively, Verizon, AT&T, and Best Buy stores will carry the device in retail stores.

This deal begins on November 27 (9:00PM PT) and runs through December 1 (9:00PM PT), but inventory is expected to run out before then. Keep a credit or debit card nearby the Thanksgiving table to ensure you don’t miss out.

Come comment on this article: [Deal] HTC RE Camera available for $99 from November 27 to December 1

HTC RE Camera Will be 50% Off Over the Black Friday Weekend

Posted by Kellex November - 25 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

HTC is taking its “Hot Deals” series into Black Friday with a weekend-long price slashing of its new stand-alone camera, the RE. The GoPro-like hand held shooter normally retails for $199, but starting at 9PM Pacific on Thanksgiving (November 27), you will be able to buy one for $99, which is 50% off.

The deal runs from Thanksgiving through December 1 at 9PM Pacific, while supplies last. 

You will be able to take advantage of the deal from a variety of retailers, including HTC’s online store, Verizon, AT&T, Best Buy, and T-Mobile’s websites. Verizon, AT&T and Best Buy will also have the RE, with price slashed, in stores.

We have one in house at the moment and are still putting it through its paces, but at $99, I can’t help but tell you to consider it. The RE is super easy to shoot with, takes decent pictures and video, and works with just about any Android or iOS device. This is one of those accessories – when priced at $99 – you buy just to have around for those times when you want to be able to snap a lot of photos, but don’t want to pull out your phone or DSLR. Seriously, for $99, consider it.

HTC RE Camera Will be 50% Off Over the Black Friday Weekend is a post from: Droid Life

HTC Desire Eye Review: Welcome to the (selfie) machine

Posted by wicked November - 22 - 2014 - Saturday Comments Off

Marketed as the “phone made for selfies”, the HTC Desire Eye forges a new path for HTC. It’s not all metal, and definitely not a flagship device. After leaning on the One series for two years, HTC is now looking to the mid-range segment, dominated by younger buyers stateside. Is the Desire Eye a new phone that can compete with the likes of a Moto G? Better yet, can it keep pace with an iPhone 5S, or 5C? The short answer: almost.

Hardware

The Desire Eye isn’t an HTC phone like you’ve come to expect one to be. It’s not metal, and the design philosophy found on HTC’s flagship One (M8) is missing. The Desire Eye is a pill, more closely resembling an iPhone 6 than an HTC One.

It’s also plastic. Very plastic. The entire phone, save for the screen and camera/flash assemblies, is plastic. It’s not the sheen stuff you’ll find on a One (E8), though. It’s a matte finish, with a colorful accent around the edge. It looks youthful and bright.

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You do get front-facing speakers, though they’re housed in this odd gap around the screen where it doesn’t quite meet the plastic shell. The sound isn’t branded as “Boomsound”, either, which should tell you it’s lacking. It is. The gap looks more like a manufacturing fault than a speaker grille.

The plastic might be matte, but it’s not “cheap” as I’d define it. The colored band around the edge is a different plastic-y material, and has a very slightly tacky grip. If anything here is “cheap”, it’s the screen not meeting the plastic bezel on the top and bottom flush.

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The “Desire Eye” name doesn’t hide what HTC’s goal is here, and that’s pics. Lots of pics. The front and rear camera are identical 13MP shooters, so you’re not going to struggle with the decision to take a blind-side selfie or suffer the poor quality of a front-facing cam.

That does mean you’ll have a massive camera staring at you all the time, though, so keep that in mind. If you like your device fronts to be clean and uninterrupted, the Desire Eye won’t please you.

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For the spec-hungry, here’s the full list of what you’ll find with the Desire Eye. It’s basically a re-packaged HTC One:

Display: 5.2-inch, 1080 x 1920, 424 ppi
Processor: Snapdragon 80, quad-core, 2.3GHz
GPU: Adreno 330
RAM: 2 GB
Memory: 16 GB, expandable via micro SD (up to 128GB)
Camera: 13 MP, 4208 x 3120, autofocus, dual-flash (front and back)
OS: Android 4.4.2

Software

There isn’t much more we can say about HTC’s software. They’ve properly democratized their services into apps, and their Android overlay, dubbed “Sense”, makes sense. Blinkfeed, which is a social hub of sorts, is still pretty awesome, even for a purist like me.

HTC has made just enough tweaks to Android to make it their own, but still keep it very “Android”. Sense is one of the only Android skins I see both newbies and seasoned vets falling for, and that says a lot.

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Benchmarks

You want ‘em, we’ll give ‘em to ya. I always run benchmarks, and present them without comment. They speak for themselves.

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Camera

This is what you’re all here to see, right? Front or rear, you can’t really miss with the Desire Eye’s cameras. I’ve taken selfies, and even used the front-facing cam to take some traditionally “rear-facing camera” pics in an attempt to “spoof” it, if you will.

I tried to find a vulnerability, hoping the marketing chatter of the cameras being identical was all talk. It’s not. The front-facing camera is pretty special. It’s not perfect by any means, but it will definitely get the job done.

Below is a gallery of both front and rear pics, front-facing pics tagged accordingly. I left my face out of the mix to give a better idea of what the selfie cam was capable of. The Desire Eye takes really good selfies, but the point here was to make a point about how good the camera is without duck-lips and sorority girl group poses.

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Downside

The Desire Eye is a solid phone, through and through. It’s not perfect, though.

The volume and power buttons on the right side are very slightly raised, and are made of the same plastic-ish material as the band. I’d be fine with their having a bit more pronouncement, and even taking on a more rubber-y feel. The opposite side of the phone houses your SIM and microSD card tray, and are a pain to get into.

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HTC claims the Desire Eye is waterproof, but the screen gap where the speakers are is still concerning. Unless they’ve gone with Liquipel to coat every component involved coated, I won’t be taking this for a swim.

The screen isn’t quite as good as I’d hoped for, and seems muted; almost like a sheen is over it all the time. It just doesn’t “pop”, and that’s a shame. When you have two really great cameras, it’s a let-down to not have pics accurately displayed on-screen.

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Verdict

The Desire Eye is meant for people who want to take great pics, and that crowd will like it quite a bit. If you find yourself snapping pics all day, every day, the Desire Eye is for you.

I really do enjoy the design aesthetics, too. The rear is delightfully toned-down, sparse save for the typical branding and camera/flash duo and tiny microphone hole. The red band (on my tester, at least) around the edge is pretty neat, too.

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I don’t mind plastic one bit, either. Though metal phones are the rage, the Desire Eye wisely takes most of the flagship guts and slaps them into a plastic shell, giving you a really good phone and a positive bank account balance.

The screen is the only real loser here. The muted color tones disappoint, and that gap still looks more like a manufacturing flaw than speakers. Desire Eye’s screen just isn’t my favorite, but blacks are true to form and yellows look yellow. It’s not terrible, it’s just not great. The pixel density is fine, but the odd opaque overtone just puts me off.

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The camera duo are really nice, though. You’ll find a better rear-facing camera elsewhere, but you won’t find a better duo of cameras anywhere. If you’ve ever gone to snap a selfie or groupie and thought “man, this picture is going to SUCK because of this stupid camera”, the Desire Eye is worth your consideration in a big way. The Desire Eye is also spec-heavy, which is a huge plus.

The Desire Eye is a really good phone, and could put HTC on the “upper-tier-but-still-mid-range” map. I hope it does, too. Of all the mid-range devices around, the Desire Eye is the one that will find a dedicated audience. Unless you’re going to buy an HTC One (M8) or LG G3, the Desire Eye is worth a hard look.

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You can find the Desire Eye at AT&T, with subsidized plans starting at $149.99.

Lollipop update for HTC One (M8) Google Play Edition delayed

Posted by wicked November - 21 - 2014 - Friday Comments Off

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HTC promised the One (M8) Google Play Edition would receive the Lollipop update today, but unfortunately it’s being held back due to the need to “re-spin” it. That can only mean that there was a bug that Google felt was big enough to stop it. I know this is bad news, but the fact that a major bug was caught is actually good news right? No word on exactly when we can expect the update to hit, but my guess is next week.

source: @moversi

Come comment on this article: Lollipop update for HTC One (M8) Google Play Edition delayed

HTC One M8 running Lollipop and Sense 6.0 leaked

Posted by wicked November - 20 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Some more exclusive screenshots of Android 5.0 and Sense 6.0 running on HTC One M8 is making the rounds in the Internet. A certain @LlabTooFeR posted the photo on Twitter, giving us an idea about the look of the current HTC flagship smartphone bearing the latest Android platform and Sense user interface.

We know this one is coming and we already mentioned yesterday that the HTC One M8 Google Play edition and the HTC One M7 are getting a taste of Lollipop this Friday. Well, this isn’t the first screenshot leaked as we also saw a few images last October. If you’re planning to get an HTC One M8, then maybe now is the right time. You just have to wait for a few days or weeks for this smartphone to be made available officially.

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Note that HTC is a bit slow in releasing the latest Sense 6.0 for other HTC smartphones. The AT&T One Mini and Verizon One Max received the latest Sense last August, the HTC One mini last July, and the AT&T HTC One M7 and the Verizon version the previous month.

SOURCE: ALlabTooFeR

HTC’s Lollipop-based Sense leaks in first screenshots

Posted by wicked November - 20 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

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The first images of HTC’s implementation of Android 5.0 Lollipop made their way to the web, showing HTC’s take on the recent apps interface and notifications dropdown.

The screenshots below are courtesy of LlabTooFeR, a custom ROM developer that has frequently leaked HTC-related information in the past. According to the leaker, the screens show Lollipop with HTC’s proprietary Sense 6 overlay running on a One (M8). Version 6 of Sense debuted on the M8 back in spring, though it’s possible that HTC will introduce an intermediary Sense 6.5 release to go with the Lollipop update. Sense 7 is only due next year with the One (M8)’s successor.

The screens show how HTC plans to skin the lockscreen, notification dropdown, quick settings, and recent apps overview screens – the general aesthetic is more restrained, with shades of gray replacing Google’s bold color choice. That aside, this is unmistakably Lollipop. Also worth noting is that HTC kept its own nav bar buttons, instead of adopting the new triangle/circle/square combo from stock Lollipop.

HTC promised it would release the Lollipop update for its top devices within three months of the availability of the Android 5.0 source code. The countdown clock is ticking. This year, many OEMs seem to be trying really hard to be among the first to put out Lollipop, and hopefully HTC will beat its own deadline by a margin.

What do you think of these initial screenshots? Like what HTC has done with Lollipop?

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