Review: The HTC U Ultra

The HTC U Ultra, designed for U, is the latest phone from HTC that is uniquely different from their previous phones. Moving away from the unibody metal signature look, the U Ultra boldly plonks for glass that has been made popular by the like of Samsung. I might miss the industrial look of the HTC One series, but the U Ultra with the new Liquid Surface looks good in a refreshing way, especially the brighter colours like blue and turquoise. The way it catches light and shimmers like a piece of jewellery is stunning. Let’s dive deeper with the phone.
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Google Pixel & Pixel XL is out! (Bye Nexus)

The rumor has been proven true – the Google Nexus line is officially dead. Yep, bye Nexus, as Google just introduced two Google Pixel smartphone, namely the Pixel & Pixel XL (a href = “http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeanbaptiste/2016/10/05/the-pixel-smartphone-is-actually-made-by-htc-not-google/#6aa1a1d54ac9″>made by HTC).

Specification of Pixel & Pixel XL

  • 5-inch Full HD / 5.5-inch Quad-HD AMOLED display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 32GB/128GB storage
  • 12.3-megapixel camera with f/2.0, 1.55um pixels
  • 8-megapixel-front-facing camera
  • 3.5mm headphone jack (Rejoice my friends!)
  • 2,770 mAh / 3,450 mAh
  • Android 7.1 Nougat with new Pixel Launcher, Google Assistant and Google Magic
  • Google Daydream (VR)

Unlike last year Nexus 5X v 6P where there is a significant difference between the specification (eg. Snapdragon 808 v Snapdragon 810). The Pixel line has similar specification so you are able to get the same amount of power regardless of which model you chose. An interesting thing to note is that both Pixel & Pixel XL are smaller than previously Nexus 5X & Nexus 6P in term of screen size, which should be more suitable for one hand usage.

The Pixel comes in three colour – Quite Black, Really Blue & Very Silver (Yes it’s not a hoax).
The end of Nexus line also means the end of affordable stock Google devices, the 32GB Pixel costs US$649 and goes up to US$869 for the XL with 128GB.

With the HTC struggle to bring in HTC 10 into local market for months, we are highly doubtful that Pixel will be available in local market in near future.

HTC One E9+ Available in Singapore

The HTC One E9+ dual sim will be available this weekend in Singapore (29th August 2015). The bigger sibling to the HTC One E9 offers the same sleek, sophistication with a 5.5″ 2K large display, paired with good specs, at a mid-range level price.

Tech Specs

  • Mediatek Helio X10 Octa-core 2 GHz
  • 3 GB RAM
  • Dimensions 156.5 x 76.5 x 7.5 mm (6.16 x 3.01 x 0.30 in)
  • Weight 150 g (5.29 oz)
  • 2K (2560 x 1440) 5.5″ Display
  • Front facing ultrapixel camera
  • 20 MP rear facing camera, 4K video recording
  • BoomSound with Dolby Audio Surround
  • 32GB Internal Storage, with microSD slot

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Review: The Beautifully Crafted HTC One M9

HTC One M9 goes on sale in Singapore this weekend. Described as a classic yet timeless celebration of beauty and elegance that combines high end style and performance, the HTC One M9 is quite the head turner. While it looks largely similar to its predecessor, that’s not a bad thing as the HTC One series ranks highly due to it’s crafted, all metal body design. There are still a number of hardware and software updates compared to last year version, and in this review, we will cover the new features introduced for the One M9.

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[MWC15] The HTC One M9 Ain't that Bad

The HTC One M9 was announced yesterday, the successor to the HTC One M8. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the mantra adopted once again. While a significant majority are complaining that the design is stale, I think that’s harsh as the One M8 was one of the nicest looking Android phones last year and the M9 retains the similar looks, with minor improvements all around. It may not warrant an upgrade if you are holding on to a current gen HTC One M8, especially if you are satisfied with the camera, but otherwise the One M9 should be in contention as one of the better phones in 2015.

The HTC One M9 Retains the Same Good Looks

The design on the One M8 was excellent, and HTC chose to continue with it. Many people are upset with HTC’s lack of change, but the fact of the matter is that the design is still good. Perhaps, a phone is as much a fashion statement as a tech gadget, and for the design to remain largely the same after two seasons is a serious fashion faux pas.

One interesting feature on the design consideration is from The Verge, who did an interview with HTC chief designer.

From the front, you might be hard pressed to distinguish between the two phones. The One M9 is just slightly slimmer and lighter. The back is a little more obvious, with the squarish camera lens, and a less aggressive curve on the back for better ergonomics. The power button is now relocated from the top to the right for easier activation. This was an improvement that HTC did on the Desire Eye as well. Other improvements also see the separation of the volume button into two separate buttons, textured surface on the power button, and dual finish color tones.

The main gripe of the HTC One M8 remains. That is the waste of the bezel space with the HTC logo. That’s a lot of front surface territory that is not utilized, but it is due to the screen electronics and also the BoomSound speakers. But I much prefer the inclusion of BoomSound over the additional bezel space required. It is a pity that the HTC One M7 (two generations ago) actually utilised the space better as hardware capacitive buttons instead.

Another disappointment in terms of design was the continued use of the Dot Case. I think it’s quite the ugly accessory for a sleek phone. It just doesn’t match. One improvement is the transparent back that protects your phone without hiding it from the world.

Four reasons to pick the HTC One M9 over the Samsung Galaxy S6

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