Monthly Archives: August 2011

Featured Review: HTC Desire 816 (Virgin Mobile)

Aug 30th AT 2:07 PM


HTC has always made beautiful handsets with great build quality. It’s one thing I really like about HTC and is why I’m always on their side to pull through. Last year, HTC stuck to their word and only put out one device, well they put out a mini and a phablet of that device as well, but for the most part it was one flagship. This year they’ve also kept to one flagship, but what they’ve done differently, is they are releasing various mid-range and low-end smartphones under their popular Desire brand. The Desire 610, which we looked at a few months ago.

Now it’s time to take a look at the HTC Desire 816, which is a bit larger Desire smartphone and available here in the US on Virgin Mobile. For a mid-range smartphone, it’s actually quite good. And if you’ve had a look at the Desire 816 yourself, you’ll be quite surprised with it. So let’s have  a look at it.


  • 5.5-inch 1280×720 resolution Super LCD2 Display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • 8GB of storage with a microSD card slot
  • 13MP camera on the back
  • 5MP front-facing camera
  • Android 4.4.2 KitKat
  • Sense 6.0
  • 2600mAh battery
  • GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100
  • LTE 800 / 900 / 1800 / 2600 – EMEA version
  • LTE 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 – Asia version



The hardware isn’t my favorite, but it does look really nice. I do wish they had went with a matte finish for the back, as the glossy plastic is a huge fingerprint magnet and doesn’t look as appealing to me. However, the sides and the front are matte. You do have Boomsound on the Desire 816, but it’s not as great as on the HTC One M8, One Mini 2 or the One Remix. The bezels are actually a bit smaller than I expected from HTC. It’s a big phone but it doesn’t feel all that big. That could be due to how thin it really is though.


On the left side there’s your power button and volume rocker. Up top is your 3.5mm headphone jack, on the right side is your MicroSD and SIM card slot while the bottom has your micro USB port. On the back is your 13MP camera with flash, and the front has your two Boomsound speakers and a front-facing camera.

As far as performance goes, it’s not bad. I’m actually a big fan of the Snapdragon 400. As it is a mid-range processor, but it’s a very good processor at the same time. I’ve used a handful of devices with the Snapdragon 400 inside, including the HTC  One Remix and last year’s One Mini. And the performance on the Desire 816 definitely holds up to those devices. With HTC’s light overlay, it really does fly. I’ve had no issues with games, or even switching through apps. And all that is with just 1.5GB of RAM on board.


The display isn’t the best, but it’s also not the worst. When you think about a 720p display on a 5.5-inch display, you think it’s going to be terrible. Well it’s not that bad. Now on a 6.1-inch display it’s worse. At times you can see the pixels, but not all the time. I mostly saw it on white backgrounds at full brightness. Which I don’t use full brightness that often, so it wasn’t a big deal to me.

Battery Life

The Desire 816 actually had pretty good battery life. I was able to easily get through a full day, even on Virgin Mobile’s network.

Screenshot 2014-08-28 13.05.33


The software is basically identical to the HTC One M8 and One Remix which we reviewed recently. You’ve even got all the Zoe features in the gallery that they took out of the HTC One Remix. You’ve still got Blinkfeed on the left side of the homescreen, and I still love Blinkfeed. As well as the vertical app drawer, which I’m less in love with, actually. There’s really not a whole lot to say in terms of software here as it is just Sense 6.0 which we’ve reviewed about 3 times already this year, and nothing’s really changed. Although I will say that Sense 6 does look even nicer on the larger display, but that’s just my opinion.

As far as pre-installed software goes, we’ve got Amazon, Mobile ID, My Account, POLARIS Office 5, Qualcomm IZat, Scribble, and Voicemail. That’s about it. And that’s about what we’d expect from a Sprint device. I know it’s on Virgin Mobile, but Sprint does own Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile anyways.



It’s a decent 13MP shooter. It could be better, but for the price, it’s not bad at all. In the gallery, you do have all the normal stuff like Zoe features and even most of the camera features you saw on the HTC One M8. You can add filters, frames, and add some effects. The effects include skin smoothing, lighting, face contour as well as Eye enhancer and a few other things.


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If you’re on Virgin Mobile, this is a great device to check out. Especially if you like front-facing speakers and HTC’s build quality. If you’re not on Virgin Mobile, I’d suggest checking their coverage before heading to Virgin Mobile and picking up the HTC Desire 816. As they do run on Sprint’s network so it may not work well for everyone. With that said, the specs are good, the software is great and the price is perfect. A win-win smartphone from HTC and Virgin Mobile.

The post Featured Review: HTC Desire 816 (Virgin Mobile) appeared first on |.

Get Your Tasks Organized on Android Wear with Agenda Wear

Aug 30th AT 2:00 PM

Agenda Wear

Having a checklist of things you need to do is something we all can find useful at times. Because of this, if one were to do a quick Play Store search for keywords such as ‘checklist,’ a plethora of apps dedicated to keeping your life organized can be found. Of course, this vast amount of apps can also be partly because of how long the Android OS has been around, with new apps being added to the store each day.

Android Wear on the other hand, had its inception mere five months ago, with only a handful of devices rocking the OS right now. So if you’ve been struggling to find an app for your wrist to keep your life in check, you may want to check out Agenda Wear.

Developed by XDA Senior Member quentin330, Agenda Wear is an app for your Android Wear device that lets you set and display reminders. As of now, up to 50 events can be set with the app, and they can’t be more than one month in advance to the current date. Your upcoming events are inserted through the app on your Android device, and are then synced with your Android Wear device every 15 minutes.

Currently in its beta phase, Agenda Wear is a simple yet practical app that does its job well. If you would like to give it a try or check out its development progress, head over to the Agenda Wear original thread for more information and download.

The post Get Your Tasks Organized on Android Wear with Agenda Wear appeared first on xda-developers.

Intel Welcomes Senior Qualcomm Executive To The Team

Aug 30th AT 1:40 PM

AH Intel Logo 1.2


Intel has been struggling as of late in many different aspects of their company. PC sales are stalling and developing chips for mobile devices have yet to take off. In an attempt to fix these issues, Intel has hired someone with experience in mobile devices, as well as other areas- ex-Qualcomm senior executive Amir Faintuch.

Intel failed to stay ahead of the curve when smartphones started to gain ground. Instead, Qualcomm became one of the more preferred companies for the special chips needed to operate a mobile device-system on chips or SoCs. The popularity of Qualcomm throughout the mobile industries has given Faintuch a great deal of experience in the field. Which is part of the reason that Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich decided to bring Faintuch on board. Faintuch’s history at Qualcomm includes the oversight of networking for the company as well as being the president of Qualcomm Atheros.

When Faintuch starts working for Intel, he’ll be working amongst the top executives as the president and co-general manager of the Platform Engineering Group. Former leader of the group Josh Walden will also be joining Faintuch. Intel spokesman, Chuck Mulloy, announced the new addition as well as saying, “We want to accelerate our success rate with SoCs and get the designs aligned and the roadmaps aligned to do that,” Mulloy continued to say, “We’ve made good progress but there’s more to be done. Amir has extensive management experience and a strong resume.”

Hiring from the competition isn’t really like Intel, but this could just be another sign of the state of the company. However, in response to the news, Qualcomm has made no other comment but to confirm the Faintuch leaving Qualcomm. However, this isn’t the first time the two companies have seen employees switch sides. Back in 2012, Anand Chandrasekher, a senior executive at Intel for 25 years left and went to Qualcomm.

This is just another one of the many changes that Krzanich has made since taking over Intel in 2013. Another untraditional move has been to allow other chipmakers access to Intel’s factories for a price. Intel has also teamed up with a company called Rockchip who specializes in SoC. Together Intel and Rockchip will be making chipsets for low-end Android tablets.


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Sponsored App Review: InstaRepost

Aug 30th AT 1:03 PM


Description: InstaRepost is an Android app that does exactly what you think it does, it helps you repost your favorite photos on Instagram. It’s sort of like a more advanced version of just reposting a photo on Instagram and can help you repost a user’s photo or video without taking it from them and calling it your own. You can add cool features like stickers to your repost as well as the original poster’s username, both of which are nice touches that work well. More than that though, InstaRepost works great as an alternative client and you can browse through your likes, search for new photos and more, an especially nice feature for those using tablets.

How it Works: Just like the official Instagram app, you’ll need to download InstaRepost from the Play Store. However, you don’t need to have the original Instagram app installed at all to make use of this.

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You’ll need to login with your Instagram nickname (your username, not your email address) before you can get started. You can however, still browse photos and download them without logging in.

2014-08-23 11.51.33

Right after you’ve installed the app, you can go ahead and start using InstaRepost as you would any other Instagram app taking a look at your feed as you would with the proper Instagram app.

2014-08-28 08.02.21

You can like something with InstaRepost like I have done with this cute picture of a Pug and you can also browse your likes and favorites with the app, too.

2014-08-28 08.21.28

When reposting something with InstaRepost, you’ll see the user’s name in the bottom left as well as a watermark at the top-right.

2014-08-28 08.03.39

You can also choose to repost videos as well, something that other similar apps don’t seem to feature.

2014-08-28 08.05.44

As we covered earlier, InstaRepost is also a great alternative Instagram app, which means you can easily search for your favorite things as you would on the website or through the official app. Here I have searched for cat posts.

2014-08-28 08.06.18

When you find something you like, you can also save it to your device’s internal storage, as well a share the image to Facebook or Twitter right from the app.

2014-08-28 08.06.40

Opinion: In the day of Instagram and Vine, people really love to reshare things so that their social circles can enjoy the same photo or video that they enjoyed earlier. However, a lot of the time this is a simple resharing, but with InstaRepost, you can add stickers to your photo to make your little stamp on things and you can still leave the original username of the person who took the photo on there. Something that I think is a nice addition, as those who take photos should be remembered for their original work. InstaRepost also works brilliantly on tablets, giving users a way to browse their favorite posts on a larger display, something that otherwise wouldn’t be possible with the official app. It’s more than just an app to repost things as you can download these images to your device as well as browse your Instagram likes and more.


  • Speed (4/5) – InstaRepost is quick and reposting something doesn’t take long at all.
  • Features (4/5) – It serves a simple purpose, but it’s not just about reposting. You can use InstaRepost as a full Instagram client and you can download and share posts to whichever networks you wish and you can even repost videos with this.
  • Theme (4/5) – The app is good-looking and makes it easier for tablet users to browse their feed as well as reshare their favorites on a daily basis.
  • Overall (4/5) – With a good-looking app that works well on tablets, and a repost menu that adds things like stickers and such, InstaRepost is a great app for those keen Instagrammers to try out.


  • InstaRepost is easy to use and everything runs nice and quickly.
  • You can easily download images and videos to your phone or tablet’s storage as well.
  • InstaRepost is a nice alternative to the official Instagram app and really works great on tablets.
  • Perfect for those that share a lot of stuff, but want to share things with a little more meaning and fun.


  • To make the most of the app, you’ll need to pay for the extra reposting features.
  • Needs the official Instagram app installed to share things to other networks.

Conclusion: InstaRepost is an app that does more than just allow users to repost images and videos, the tablet app is a great way to get Instagram on your larger displays and it makes for a great third-party client. The team is always working to add new features and you can take a look at their website for more info. It’s nice to be able to search through your users as well as find tags to browse through, and being able to share these Instagram posts to any other app like Facebook or Twitter is nice and you can always download images and videos for your own use through InstaRepost as well, which is nice to see.


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WhatsApp Brings Android Wear Support out of Beta

Aug 30th AT 12:52 PM

AH whatsapp 1.0

Many of you that use Whatsapp (which is a very popular messaging app owned by Facebook), may have noticed that there was update last night or this morning (depending on your timezone). Well that update brought something important to the app, and that’s Android Wear support. So now you will be able to reply to your contacts when they send messages to you, without picking up your phone.

The update will allow to read, reply and swipe away messages straight from your wrist. Prior to the update, you could swipe away messages, but you couldn’t reply to them. So I actually had them muted on my G Watch as it was unnecessary to me. But it’s great to see more and more apps adding Android Wear support. Soon Android Wear will have more apps than Tizen, which Samsung touts as having over a thousand apps. Now I’m not sure how many are apps you’d want to use, but they do have that many for their smartwatches.

The Whatsapp update works on Android 2.1 and above. However, Android Wear only works with devices running Android 4.3 and above – that’s due to Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy – so you’ll need to have Android 4.3 or above to be able to use Whatsapp with Android Wear. And after using it a bit, it’s definitely awesome to be able to respond to your friends straight from your watch. It’s one less reason to pull out your phone.

Whatsapp was recently bought by Facebook, so it’s surprising to see them adding Android Wear support to their app, but it is definitely welcomed as it is one of the biggest messaging apps around right now. How many of you are using Whatsapp and Android Wear? Are you excited to see this integration finally become available? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.


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Moto X+1 With A Leather Back Poses For The Camera

Aug 30th AT 12:44 PM

Moto X+1 leather back leak

Motorola’s event in Chicago is less than a week away and the leaks just keep on coming. This time around we have an alleged Moto X+1 posing for the camera with a leather back, courtesy of TK Tech News. As you can see in the image below, the device goes hand in hand with the previous leaks, at least as far as its back side goes. You can see the texture on the back and it also seems like it has been scuffed every so slightly, worn leather look anyone? That would be cool, maybe not for everyone, but I’d certainly appreciate it and I believe I’m not alone on this. One more thing to notice here is the back logo, it’s black and gray here, in the previous render leak by @evleaks the logo was black on black and white on gray (white logo, gray background). This time around we get a black logo on a grey background, could this mean we’ll get customizable logo’s as part of Moto Maker? These are already 3 different combinations of Motorola’s back logo, so it seems logical.

According to the leaks GFXBench benchmark results, Moto X+1 will sport a 5.2-inch 1080p (1920 x 1080) display and will be powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor with Adreno 330 GPU. The device will reportedly come with 2GB of RAM for your multitasking needs, a 12-megapixel camera on the back along with a 2-megapixel front-facing shooter. 16GB of internal storage was also mentioned (other options will probably be available as well) as well as Android 4.4.4 KitKat as the operating system (version) of choice.

Motorola will unveil Moto X+1 along with Moto G and Moto 360 smartwatch at their event in Chicago on September 3rd. We’ve seen many leaks and rumors thus far and we probably know the majority of details when it comes to the Moto X+1, though Motorola might yet surprise us. Either way, the event is close, less than a week away so we’ll find out everything soon enough. Anyone interested in the Moto X+1? Would you like to have a leather back and customizable logo option as part of Moto Maker?

The post Moto X+1 With A Leather Back Poses For The Camera appeared first on |.

WhatsApp Update With Android Wear Support Is Now Available For Non-Beta Users

Aug 30th AT 12:30 PM


WhatsApp was surprisingly quick off the draw after the release of Android Wear, updating its sideloaded beta app with Wear support early this month. Now the 2.11.362 update is available on the general play store release, so even users who don't want to use the beta (or who don't know about it) can get richer WhatsApp chat notifications on their wrists. Huzzah!


The update to the main app includes most of the standard Wear messaging stuff: full long message viewing, nested/stacked messages with sliding navigation between them, and the usual reply via voice option.

WhatsApp Update With Android Wear Support Is Now Available For Non-Beta Users was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Deal: Philips DOT Wireless Portable Bluetooth Splash Proof Speaker – $50.24

Aug 30th AT 12:27 PM


Right now, Amazon has the Philips DOT Wireless Bluetooth Speaker on sale for just $50.24. It’s actually not in stock until September 1st, which is Monday. It’s available in black, blue and pink. Built-in microphone for hands-free phone call. Convenient auto-sensor for music on/off. Audio-in for easy portable music playback.

Philips DOT Wireless Portable Bluetooth Splash Proof Speaker SB2000P/37

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Featured Review: Kyocera Brigadier (Verizon Wireless)

Aug 30th AT 12:11 PM


I have to say, it’s not often that a manufacturer sends us a smartphone and tells us to try and break their display. So that’s exactly what we did. You can check out our Sapphire Display test video, if you haven’t already. Basically Kyocera sent us a jar of rocks, wool, a knife and a few other items to attempt to scratch up the display. Kyocera’s Brigadier has a Sapphire display, which looks good, but that’s not the point of it. The point of it is to be nearly indestructible. And it appears to be just that. But what else does the Kyocera Brigadier have up it’s sleeve? Well let’s take a look.


  • 4.5-inch 1280×720 Sapphire Crystal Glass Display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, quad-core clocked at 1.4GHz
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 16GB of storage with a microSD card slot
  • 8MP rear camera
  • 2MP front-facing camera
  • Android 4.4.2 Kitkat
  • 3100mAh battery



There’s nothing really fancy about the Brigadier. It’s a mid-range phone with a really rugged exterior. Which is great for those that are contractors or something like that and need a smartphone that can take some bumps. Some of the sides are rubber while other parts of plastic. But it can take a pretty good drop onto the street or sidewalk. Obviously it’ll have some scraps on the edge, but it’ll still work fine and take less damage than most other phones. Which is a big deal, I think.


On the front you’ve got your physical home button, back and recents buttons as well. There’s also a front-facing camera up top. On the top we’ve got a power button, headphone jack – under a flap of course – and a speaker button. Which only works when in a phone call, which I found a bit odd, but whatever it’s there. On the left side we’ve got the volume rocker and a dedicated button which can be mapped to do anything you want. I use it for the camera. On the left side is your microSD and SIM card slot. The bottom has your micro USB port under a flap.


Performance is about what you’d expect from a Snapdragon 400 processor. I’ve used so many devices with a Snapdragon 400 over the past year or so and the power it gives it’s devices is amazing. Especially considering it’s a mid-range processor. No lag whatsoever here. Which is always great, but even better when an OEM has their own skin over top of Android.

We’ve got a 4.5-inch 720p display, so it’s not the best. But at 4.5-inches the PPI is still pretty high and thus it looks good. Not amazing, but good. I can’t see any pixels, which is the big thing I care about. The big deal here is the Sapphire Crystal display though.


It’s amazing. But you could have figured that out with the 3100mAh battery and the 4.5-inch 720p display, right? You can definitely get through a full day and then some with the Kyocera Brigadier. Even on LTE or 3G networks.

Screenshot 2014-08-28 12.20.37


The software may look a lot different on the Kyocera Brigadier, but it really isn’t all that different than stock Android. Think of it as a new color scheme on top of stock Android. The app drawer has the same functionality, and looks the same except for some different animations and colors. However the notification drawer and quick settings toggles all look exactly the same as stock Android. Same with settings. It’s set up the same as stock Android, but it’s got a white/gray background instead of black.



The camera on the Kyocera Brigadier isn’t the best, but it’s better than others we’ve seen. We’ve got plenty of pictures below for you to check out.

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Basically, if you are accident prone, or work at a construction site, etc., then you’re going to want this phone. As it can really take a beating. Otherwise, I’d suggest picking up another device with better specs. Because while these specs aren’t terrible, in about a year you’ll really notice that they aren’t the best.

The post Featured Review: Kyocera Brigadier (Verizon Wireless) appeared first on |.

11 best new Android apps released in August 2014

Aug 30th AT 12:00 PM

August is coming to a close and that means a lot of things are about to happen. IFA is going to show us most of the autumn lineup of smartphones, people are going back to school, and the holiday season is officially almost here. Before all those exciting things happen, let’s take a look at the best new Android apps released in August of 2014.

Blur Launcher icon new Android appsBlur – A Launcher Replacement

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Blur is a new application from the makers of EvolveSMS and Talon for Twitter. It brings with it Google Now Launcher style functionality and alongside Google Now, it allows users and app devs to create cards and customize the experience. It’s brand new but it’s definitely worth a shot if you like Google Now Launcher but wish it could do other things too.
Get it on Google Play

Device Unlock new android appsDevice Unlock

[Price: Free]
T-Mobile’s Device Unlock app is in its infancy right now but it’s primed to be a must have app for T-Mobile subscribers. The app’s premise is simple. It will unlock your device to work on other networks. For now the selection of phones it supports is very slim but eventually it should support more so keep your eye on it.
Get it on Google Play
Device Unlock new Android apps

Duet new Android appsDuet

[Price: Free / $3.00]
Duet is a fun minimal brain teaser game where you control two balls that revolve around a central point. You must spin the balls to avoid obstacles and continue on. The game features a bunch of levels for free and you can get more stuff if you fork out the $3.00 for the full version. It’s a lot of fun and the core game is free to play so why not try it?
Get it on Google Play

Google News and Weather new android appsGoogle News and Weather

[Price: Free]
The once dead Google News & Weather has come back to life and is now available in the Google Play Store. The revived app also comes with a brand new card UI that brings a modern touch to the old app. It’s free in the Google Play Store right now if you want to give the revamped news and weather app a try.
Get it on Google Play
Google News and Weather

Guardians of the Galaxy TUW new Android appsGuardians of the Galaxy: TUW

[Price: $2.99]
One of the best summer blockbusters of the year also came accompanied by a pretty decent mobile game. This is an action adventure game that also has some RPG elements. There are no in app purchases which will appeal to a number of gamers and it’s pretty cheap all things considered.
Get it on Google Play

hangar best new android appsHangar

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
Hangar is an application that essentially puts a small app dock in your notification pane so you can get to your favorite apps more quickly. It’s a great tool for minimalists who don’t like apps on their home screen or people who heavily multitask. You can customize it yourself or let the app choose based on your tastes.
Get it on Google Play
hangouts smart app shortcuts

Locket Lock Screen best new android appsLocket Lock Screen

[Price: Free]
Everyone remembers Locket Lock Screen as the app that used to let you tap on advertisements on your lock screen to earn money. Now it’s marching to a different tune as a news aggregator lock screen replacement. It’ll feed you news you want straight to your lock screen for you to check out every time you turn your device screen on. It’s in beta, but it’s also free so it’s worth checking out.
Get it on Google Play
locket lock screen new android apps review

Surgeon Simulator new Android appsSurgeon Simulator

[Price: $5.99]
Surgeon Simulator is already a classic on PC but it’s not available for Android. In this slightly twisted surgeon game, you’re supposed to operate on people and save their lives. Keywords there are supposed to. In reality you can do pretty much whatever you want and you can have a lot of admittedly grotesque fun with it. It’s a paid game but there are no in app purchases.
Get it on Google Play

Swing Copters new Android appsSwing Copters

[Price: Free with in app purchases]
While I personally dislike this game, I can’t deny that its popularity and ability to kill time by making you hate yourself is something to truly behold. It’s not a fun game but it isn’t not fun if that makes sense. It’s free to play and you can hate yourself right along with all the rest of us who have played it.
Get it on Google Play

TapPath icon new android appsTapPath

[Price: $0.99]
TapPath is a potentially useful application that allows you to control how your device reacts to tapping on links. For instance, a single tap will open the link in a browser while a double tap may add it to Evernote and a triple tap will let you share it on social media. The possibilities are nearly endless and if you deal with third party links a lot then you should totally have TapPath.
Get it on Google Play

Wally best new android appsWally

[Price: Free]
Last and certainly not least this month is Wally. This is a beautifully designed wallpaper app that really shows off the elegance of material design. It has a really good wallpaper selection and it’s just really fun to use. If you want some new wallpapers, give this app a shot.
Get it on Google Play

Wrap up

If there were any more awesome apps released in August of 2014 that you’d like to talk about, leave us a comment below and tell us about it!