Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Why I won’t be getting an HTC One S or X

May 19, 2012

htconesWell my friends, the decision time has come and gone. The decision has been made.

I thought long and hard as to whether I should get the HTC One S or X and I’m just not ‘feeling the love’ for the new One series of handsets.

It’s time for a new experience.

Since the Desire range of phones has now hung up its coat I was quite excited in the build up to the new One series. Great previews, impressive performance, lovely displays and ICS out the box. What’s not to like? Well nothing really but what’s to love? Again, nothing.

Having had a rooted Desire S for as long as I can remember having it I’ve had and played with ICS with Sense for a long time. Upon rushing to the shops to try out the latest One series devices I was somewhat underwhelmed. “Oh” I thought. “Well, this is just the same as my Desire S but slightly bigger and minus a removable battery.”

So, I’d like to just list a few reasons I’m not getting one of the new HTC One series phones.

Battery

I must admit the removable battery was a big thing for me. Why haven’t HTC included in their latest line up? I decided to hold out and wait to see what Samsung offered with their new handset and, thankfully, they have included the ability to replace the battery at will. I don’t want to have to worry about where my next power source is coming from. If I have a spare battery to hand I never need to worry.

I often come home and have around 40/50% battery remaining. This is fine to carry me through the night without too much messing around but what if I want to watch a video or listen to some music whilst browsing the web? I would almost definitely have to replace the battery before the night is over. I don’t want to be tethered to a wire whilst doing these things. It’s a lot easier to just swap my battery over when I get in and I’ve got 100% ready to go.

Interface

HTC Sense is great – I have no problem with it (apart from it being a bit slow). It has everything I’ve needed at the touch of a button but it just feels a bit old-hat now. I want to try something new and Samsung’s Touch Whiz interface is likely to be the one I try. I’ve heard plenty of bad things about it but then people have plenty bad to say about HTC’s Sense as well.

Design

There was something about the design of the One S and One X which didn’t really get the juices going.

One S – The One S just looks like my Desire S but with a slightly bigger screen. OK I know the innards are very good but it’s just like the same body on new hardware.

One X – The One X I don’t mind the look of too much. It does look slightly cheap in the white version but the carbon/grey version just looks like a HUGE version of the Desire S. Not pretty really.

The design of the Galaxy S3 just looks nicer. It looks clean, solid and fresh. The ‘pebble like’ smoothness and curves

Camera

Samsung are known for having good lenses in their phones and I trust their new sensor will be better than HTC’s. I have always managed with my Desire S’ camera but it’s never felt quite there in terms of being a great photo producer. The new HTC One series both have great cameras but sadly Samsung’s Galaxy S3 matches this.

Innovation

samsunggalaxys3

I think Samsung really have put more effort into the S3 when compared to HTC with the One series. OK so you can take photos whilst recording a video (big deal – who really wants to do this?) and um.. well you’ve got Sense 4 but what else? What other little software features will make you go ‘wow’ ?

The Galaxy S3 has some really nice sounding features all of which start with the letter ‘S’. The one I’m most interested in is the “Smart Stay” (great translation btw guys) which keeps the screen on if it detects you’re looking at the phone. How many times have you had the screen turn off when you’re reading a web page?

Another nice little feature is the “Smart alert” which will vibrate the phone slightly when you pick it up if you have a missed call/message. How useful would that be? It’d save you constantly unlocking your phone and checking your status bar.

It’s these little innovations that interest me. I’m not bothered about “S Voice” or sharing photos instantly on network sites. Who wants to really stand around and talk to their phone as if it’s quicker than just pressing a single icon on your home screen?

So there are just a few reasons I will be jumping off the lovely and enjoyable HTC ship and joining the Samsung crew. This doesn’t make me a bad person, just someone looking for something a bit new.

happyface

So what does this mean for the Desire Fanatics site? Well I’ll still be here (unless I go under a bus) and am always happy to help out if and when I can. I’ll still post up any new videos I make and if you need someone to chat to just drop me a line. I will be setting up a new Blog which you can find here so do check it out (if you want)

It’s been a great 2 years and I want to thank every one of you for making this a fun and enjoyable experience. Anyone who has ever read one of my articles, commented on a video or sent me some hate mail – I love you all.

Jon

The HTC One X – So close yet so far

April 6, 2012

Well, I’ve been patient enough to wait for the HTC One X to come out and thought I’d go have a look at it seeing as my contract with T-Mobile is now up (has it really been 2 years since I started this blog?!).

I went to my local T-Mobile store to check it out and jesus – it’s huge!

The offer I had from T-Mobile retentions was to stick at my current £10/month tarrif (100 minutes, unlimited texts/Internet) and pay £260 for the handset – not a bad deal at all really considering how much the phone is worth.

Anyway, I went and checked it out in the O2 shop (where they had a non-dummy version) and it was a lovely device but just incredibly big compared to what I’m used to. I’m not saying I wouldn’t get used to the lovely 4.7″ screen but it is quite a big jump up from the Desire S.

I was all ready to buy the handset from T-Mobile and do a HTC One X Vs HTC Desire S comparison review and video but they didn’t have the handset in white sadly. If they had, I would have been writing a very different post.

I know white phones are a bit ‘ooh look at me’ but I felt like I wanted a change from the usual black colour of my Desire S. So anyway, I didn’t go for it in the end. I think I’m going to hold out and see what Samsung have to offer with the Samsung Galaxy S3 handset which will hopefully be officially announced on the 22nd May.

Patience hurts sometimes.

Goodbye Android Market :( Hello Google Play :)

March 7, 2012

Yes my friends, it’s true. It’s over. The Android Market is no more. But wait; Google Play launched today and guess what? It’s pretty much the same as the Android Market. Phew.

Googe Play is here today

Googe Play is here today

image[/caption]

I wasn’t a fan of the name Google Play I must be honest. I think however it’ll probably grow on me.

Apparently, the name Android Market was not descriptive enough for…um…let’s call them simple people… too geeky-sounding perhaps? But either way, Google Play is coming to your handset and there’s nothing you can do about it*

So what will you notice? Well, not much to be honest. A new icon, new name and ‘all your entertainment in one place’. Google Play is to bring in Google Music to the app (not currently available in the UK) and then your Google Play app will be your central hub for entertainment.

Here is is in Google’s own words:

[Google Plus is] a digital entertainment destination where you can find, enjoy and share your favorite music, movies, books and apps on the web and on your Android phone or tablet. Google Play is entirely cloud-based so all your music, movies, books and apps are stored online, always available to you, and you never have to worry about losing them or moving them again.”

Basically it’s the same as before but a bit different – that doesn’t really make sense does it?

I think this lovely video will explain things a bit better:

Google Play released in the UK today! March 2012

So what do you have to do to get it? Well nothing actually. Your phone will update itself and rename things next time you load Android Market up so there’s nothing to do on your behalf. It’s currently rolling out across the US and UK so expect to see it soon.

*unless you throw your phone in a fish tank

Android Market Update – UK users can now rent films (and buy books)!

October 23, 2011

Well it’s been a long time coming for us UK users but you can now rent films from the Android Market (version 3.1.5)!

You should notice a new link in the Market to “Films”. Click on this and it’ll take you through to the rentals section. Films vary from 99p to £3.49 and there are some quite ‘new’ films in there.

Books are also now available to purchase but the prices vary quite a bit but they’re definitely worth checking out.

Note to root users: Film rentals do not work on rooted devices 😦 (yet). I assume this is because root access could possibly allow you to save the movie file and back it up somewhere else. Obviously this would be illegal because you are only paying to rent the film.

Android Market Update - Rent films and buy books 2Android Market Update - Rent films and buy books 1Android Market Update - Rent films and buy books 4


Day 3 without my HTC Desire S and with my Nokia N95

August 10, 2011

It's old, it's chunky but it's damn good

Well, it’s been 3 days since I sent off my HTC Desire S for repair and going back to my N95 hasn’t caused as many problems as I feared it might.

Firstly – wow: what a fantastic little phone. I remember it was good but had forgotten just how good it was.

The thing I’ve missed since getting a Desire is definitely the physical buttons for texting. I send a lot of texts and can  type very quickly with physical buttons andb T9 turned on. I can still type fast on a touch screen but nowhere near as quick as on a keypad. The other benefit of having a keypad is you can type whilst not looking at the phone. I’m not trying to show off honest! This is something I could and still can do with the phone. Because you can tell which button is where you can easily type whilst walking along and not looking at the screen. Granted you may have a few predictive errors but you learn to know which words need correcting after a while.

Secondly, the two speakers on this handset are awesome. I hate saying awesome but there is not other word to describe them. Compared to the Desire’s and Desire S’ single small speaker they win hands down.

The next thing to talk about is apps. Have I missed any apps? Yes, of course I have. Nokia phones and their current Ovi Store just don’t compare to the Android Market at all. That being said however I was surprised to find nearly all I needed was freely available. From Tweets60 for Twitter to Spotify and the BBC iPlayer I found everything I’d need to keep me by for the next few days.

I think, in all honesty, the thing that would stop me from using this phone permanently are as follows:

No wireless syncing – Data such as contacts and bookmarks can’t be synced over the air. I managed to find a great app called GoogaSync which I have on a 14 day trial (long enough for the time I’ll be using it) which syncs with my Google calendar. It brings back memories of the days with Nokia PC Suite and the likes. This was never ideal. Having my Desire sync constantly over the air so all my data is backed up and current really is something I would hate living without.

Speed – the speed of the phone does show its age in comparison to newer handsets. Boot-up time is extremely quick and takes around 15 seconds compare to around 60 for the Desire. It does obviously have a lot less to load. The web browser is incredibly slow and basically unusable on any site that isn’t tailored for a mobile handset.

Apps – although we can all live without apps it’s not as fun is it? The Ovi Store will close soon and then the older Nokia phones will have to rely on websites to get their new (or old?) games and apps. This is a shame because you can already tell developers have pretty much stopped developing for it. Spotify although works very well is not as up to date as the Android version (scrobbling is not supported). The cost of some of the applications are extortionate as well.

At the end of the day there is obviously no way I’d give up my Desire S. Everything is just less clunky and more “up to date”. I’ll probably still keep my N95 just for old times sake (and to put my Orange SIM in for Orange Wednesdays) but I am looking forward to my repaired Desire S being back with me soon.

HTC Desire S USB-bricked? Only charges via USB

August 5, 2011

HTC USB Sync cableWell, I found out last night that the USB port on my HTC Desire S may be “bricked”. I think the term bricked means not working correctly which it most certainly isn’t.

The symptoms are that plugging in with a USB cable to a computer only charges the phone. I cannot connect it as a disk drive or use HTC Sync etc anymore.

The reason I only noticed this the other day was because like most people – I don’t ever need to connect my Desire to a computer. Everything syncing wirelessly means the days of cables have all but gone. The reason I was trying to was because I wanted to try and root the phone.

I have tried several suggestions to fix this: different USB cables, USB ports, computers (PC and Mac), turning “fast boot” off, taking the battery out, taking the memory card out, ticking the box to ask the phone to prompt what type of connection I want when plugged in to USB — and nothing has helped.

I contacted HTC who told me to install the drivers on my PC to get a connection…hmh….argghhhh! How stupid can they be?

Anyway, the main thing is the phone is still under warranty. The person I brought it from on eBay included the original receipt/delivery note with the handset to I should be OK to get it repaired. The only problem is the receipt being in someone else’s name. The T-Mobile shop I phoned said I’d have to get the phone transferred into my name. I phoned T-Mobile customer service and they said I could just take it into the shop and get it repaired. Who do I trust? I think I may just have to take it in tomorrow and see what they say.

Let’s hope I just don’t brick the whole phone when I try and root it at some point 😉

[Update 6th August]

Just an update:

The T-Mobile store were useless. They wouldn’t help at all. Contacted the original eBay seller to ask them to try and transfer the phone into my name but T-Mobile wouldn’t comply!

Out of desperation (after experiencing their awful e-mail support) I gave HTC a call on their Global Warranty Service hotline: (+44 1279 206906)

The service was outstanding. Asked a few questions, didn’t patronise me and they spoke English I could understand!! Less than 10 minutes on the phone to them and he’d already booked UPS to come and collect the phone to be repaired this Monday from 1pm (from my work address too).

T-Mobile: USELESS
HTC phone support: AMAZING.

3 (Three) UK announce the HTC Desire S for April

March 6, 2011

3 Three LogoJoining the O2 bandwagon, Three have now also announced that the HTC Desire S will be heading to their network in April. Although no date is set you can subscribe to receive a notification when the phone starts to ship.

No pricing plans yet but I’ll be sure to post some up when they come out. Being an ex-3 customer they often have some very very good deals…

 

 

 

 

HTC Desire 2 shots leaked – front camera, Gingerbread 2.3.1 and 3 mics!

February 6, 2011

Wow, not a year since the HTC Desire was launched in the UK and shots of it’s successor are already floating around the net.

PocketNow.com reported earlier this morning that the phone actually has 3 mics as well – probably for noise cancellation which the original Desire didn’t get (although the Nexus One did). This was one of the things that kept the price down.

The Desire 2 has a front facing camera and a super AMOLED capacitive touch screen. It also seems the hardware buttons we’ve been used to on the bottom of the phone have been removed in favour of touch-screen ones. Is this a good thing or bad? Reports from Nexus One users originally were that they weren’t very responsive. Hopefully HTC have tweaked things a bit but I think I prefer something I can actually press. Expect it to run the latest Android Gingerbread operating system 2.3.1.

No other details yet but expect an announcement at the 2011 Mobile World Congress the week after next. In the mean time, feast your eyes on these:

 

HTC Desire 2 Saga

HTC Desire 2 Saga 2

Android App Test: JuiceDefender HTC Desire Battery Test/Tips

February 3, 2011

Today I’m going to best testing out the excellent little app JuiceDefender to see just how much battery it can save me on my HTC Desire.

Usual phone settings apply (see below). JuiceDefender running with default ‘out the box’ settings.

Here is how my HTC Desire is configured:
Fully charged at 9am.
Screen: Medium brightness (auto brightness off)
WiFi: ON (Wireless N enabled but will not be used at work as we currently only have 802.11b/g)
Syncing: ON (2 Gmail accounts and FriendStream – see below)
Bluetooth: OFF
GPS: OFF
FriendStream: ON (Twitter updating every 15 minutes and Facebook every 1 hour)
Wallpaper: Set to Live as per the previous test but didn’t mention.
2G/3G Data: Enabled  with network mode set to automatic and data roaming enabled

I’m going to compare the battery level with my previous Froyo test to get a rough idea on how much it’s helping. Old scores will be in square brackets

9:00 100% Will be listening to Grooveshark on my way in to work

10:00 98%! Not bad so far. Have been e-mailing lots (as my computer is currently out of action) and made a phone call

11:00 95% [92%] Still looking good, have sent plenty of e-mails and checking tweets and Facebook

12:00 90% Have only used 10% of the battery in 3 hours which isn’t bad considering the usage. I have still been e-mailing, Facebooking and tweeting since 11.

13:00 82% [78%] A bit of a jump here. I was listening to FM Radio on the walk back home for lunch and have been eBaying quite heavily (PKT Auctions app). I’ve noticed a few quirks with how JuiceDefender works. One example is that it will disable your volume keys when the screen is locked. This isn’t a huge problem unless you’re listening to music but it’s obviously one of the ways it saves your battery. (Phone usage should go back to normal after lunch as I have now fixed my computer ;))

14:00 78% Only light usage since the last update.

15:00 74% Again, haven’t used the phone much. Checked e-mail and tweets a few times.

16:00 71% More general use of the phone in the last hour, only lost 3%

17:00 69% [60%] Not bad going in the last hour, only down by 3%. Comparing this to the last test I can see that JuiceDefender has done a great job at saving me some power. Knowing that at the end of a working day and some quite heavy usage is reassuring. At the rate the phone has been discharging I know it could still get through a whole night out without being charged.

18:00 64% The walk home and some tweeting hasn’t caused a huge problem. Will be reporting again later on tonight.

22:45 53% left [34%] Well, nearly 14 hours on and I still have over half my battery left! I can certainly conclude from this initial test that JuiceDefender has done a great job at saving power on my phone. I will leave my phone on overnight and see what I end up with in the morning. (JuiceDefender will be disabled along with all syncing activities.)

HTC Desire JuiceDefender Test

Here's the proof!

[Update 04/02/2011] My phone has now been away from a power source for over 28.5 hours and I still have 18% left! I’ll see how long I can push it for the rest of the day!

[Update] I thought I’d include my Battery Saving Tips video now you’ve read through this article. It’ll show you how to save even more power when using your phone

[Update Oct 2011] I’ve also just reviewed this app on YouTube; you can check it out below

The HTC Desire – a year on. Android Vs Symbian

January 30, 2011

OK so it’s been nearly 365 days (a year) since I drove well over 60 miles to pick up my HTC Desire.

Being a Symbian man through-and-through, little did I know it was to change the way I lived and worked.


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