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DL Daily Driver: The Android Phones We’re Using Today

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In this business, we change phones a lot. From one month to the next, we could go through three phones or we may be waiting for the next wave, which means we’re locked into a single personal favorite for an extended amount of time. Since we are always testing the next thing, readers often wonder what’s in our pocket at the moment. In the past, you’d have to guess based on photos we feature in posts or by hearing us talk about them on the DL Show. And that’s why this post has been born.

This is our DL Daily Driver list. It’s a list of the phones we’re using at the moment, along with the launcher we prefer, 5 apps we can’t live without, and a quick note or two on why this phone is along for the ride (even if temporarily).

We will also update this post regularly, assuming we continue to change phones regularly. We’ll even toss a shortcut to the post in our sidebar on the main page, so that you can quickly find it.


 

g3 review-14

Kellen

Current phone:  LG G3 (AT&T)

Launcher:  Stock LG launcher

5 must-have apps:  Instagram, theScore, Plex, Pushbullet, Talon.

Why this phone:  We just got done with our LG G3 review and I can already tell you that I don’t plan on leaving it any time soon. Motorola will have something to consider soon, but LG has essentially created the phone of the year here.

Previous phone:  OnePlus One, Sony Xperia Z2; HTC One (M8) (Verizon); Samsung Galaxy S5 (Verizon)

Last Updated July 21, 2014.


htc one m8

Tim

Current phone:  HTC One “M8″ (AT&T)

Launcher:  Nova Launcher.

5 must-have apps:  Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, QuizUp, Timely.

Why this phone:  Until I can purchase the LG G3 on AT&T, I will be rocking HTC’s 2014 flagship. The reason I choose this device over the Galaxy S5 or Nexus 5 is mostly because of the hardware and software. The GS5 is just too buggy for me, and as for the Nexus 5, its camera sucks. The M8 offers a decent shooter, snappy performance, and the all-powerful BoomSound speakers.

Previous phone:  LG G3 (Korean model)

Last Updated July 7, 2014.


phones-1

Eric

Current phone:  Moto X (Verizon)

Launcher:  Nova Launcher

5 must-have apps:  Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Cerberus, Mailbox.

Why this phone:  I upgraded to the Moto X the week that it was launched. The best parts about the phone are the software that Motorola put into it. I use Active Display, Touchless Control and other apps on a daily basis. Battery life is awesome, but the camera is pretty poor. I have also noticed the dual-core processor lagging in simple tasks whenever the battery is low. Other than that, great phone.


lg g2

Kyle

Current phone:  LG G2 (Verizon)

Launcher:  Google Now Launcher

5 must-have apps:  Pushbullet, Keep, Office Mobile, Mint, Twitter.

Why this phone:  I traded in my Galaxy S4 for an LG G2 last month, and it feels like a huge step up. It’s minimalistic (tiny bezel, no physical home button), feels solid in the hand (it doesn’t creak like the GS4 did), takes outstanding photographs, and has excellent battery life. Perhaps the one thing I miss is Samsung’s excellent OLED technology – the brightness and viewing angles of the G2′s panel are definitely inferior – but I otherwise can’t complain.


  • Bassun

    Can anyone share the wallpaper used on Kellen’s Sony Xperia Z2?

  • Nathaniel McAuliffe

    Where did you get the Z2?? Loving the reviews of it and hoping to get it to replace my Bionic.

  • ki11ak3nn

    Hoping to make my daily driver the OnePlus One pretty soon. If not I’m sure I’ll be going the route of the M8.

  • http://www.Nave360.com Sebastian Gorgon

    Respect Kellen.

  • tdurden64111

    What’s with all you noobs and Nova? Apex or GTFO.

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  • Ethan Besbris

    HTC One (M8) on Verizon w/ Unlimited LTE. Rooted, S-Off. Bootloader Unlocked.

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  • Alex siuda

    no one using the htc m8?! or even going back to it?!

  • Rob Schoenfeld

    This site is becoming one of my favorite go to’s for daily news and articles. Well Done my friends. I’ve used the following Android device as daily drivers: Nexus One, Samsung Galaxy, My Touch 4g, LG G2X, HTC Sensation, Moto Droid X, Moto Razr Maxx, Galaxy S3, HTC Droid DNA, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S4, LG G2, and now the HTC One M8. By far my two favorite phone have been the Nexus One, LG G2, and HTC One M8.

  • Mel

    Still using a Nexus One with CM. Works fine as a daily driver, but its time to upgrade.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/PhilHamlin Phil Hamlin

    Mailbox as a must-have app?

    I installed this the day it came to android and almost immediately uninstalled it. I can’t live without Gmail’s intelligent categorization into social, promotions, etc.

  • Bryan

    I’d be curious to know why Kellen left the Moto X for the Nexus 5. What finally won you over? I love my Moto X, just curious to what the Nexus 5 has.

    • Nikuliai

      Size, “after reviewing the M8 the X just looked like a toy”, the N5 is more like middle ground being still an amazing phone (wouldn’t trade my X tho)

      It does have better camera too btw :B

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      I’d say the display. Love the full HD LCD on the N5. Camera also slightly better.

      • Josh Meade

        I prefer the Amoled display on the x with deeper blacks and more saturated colors

    • Josh Meade

      Personally I would go with the gn5 if I weren’t on Verizon bbut I would miss having an amoled display and a great bass punches speaker…

  • Nicholas Ruiz

    Battery life on the S5 needs help? It’s one of the best things about the device. I can get through two days with medium use. Easily a full 24 hours with heavy use. Not to mention the two battery saving modes that could stretch it out even longer.

    • Nikuliai

      I got 2 days too with my X with medium use before KitKat, 3 when brand new (but the battery is less durable now), considering the size of the S5 battery I would expect a little more life, especially considering I’m using active display and I have voice controls and the twist thing on my X

      I can’t talk about battery saving modes since I never use those :B

  • Bionicman

    Just started using Plex. always heard how good it was but never tried it until recently and i’m very impressed. especially with Chromecast support it rocks!

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      My favorite app right now. :)

  • MikeD675

    Hopefully they can get the Xperia Z2 to review.

  • IcerC

    So Eric, why Cerberus when you already have both android device manager and Motorola’s built in lost device finder?

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Eric Rees

      Cerberus offers a LOT more options and features that come in handy when locating a presumably stolen phone. Not just the location, but many other nifty things.

  • annaarron

    Anyhow Samsung Gakaxy S5 is fails to impress their users… see here goo.gl/oGoRqD

  • DanWazz

    Remember when the only color android phones came in were black/dark silver?

  • Jes Marwaha

    Nexus 5? :(

  • MichaelFranz

    Have you ever thought of going back to the OG droid for a few days just to remember what it was like to have single core, under 1GHz, cheap display and slide keyboard.

    only to remember how great this was back when it dropped :)

    And not to forget, only 3G speeds

    • SplashMTN

      I turned mine on about a month ago and it was at least a minute, but probably more like 2, before I could do anything on it – including unlock it. I’m not sure what launcher I was running, but it was so slow. Makes me really appreciate how far we’ve come in the last 4 years.

    • calculatorwatch

      I remember only pain from my last few months with the OG Droid. Too many different roms and kernals and useless apps slowed it to a crawl. And not just a crawl, a zombie-with-both-legs-and-one-arm-blown-off crawl.

      It makes me feel better whenever I’m waiting for the GNex to do something. I think wow this is slow, but at least it’s not THAT slow.

      • T_Dizzle

        Factory reset then run CM11 and you’re good to go with the GNex.

        • calculatorwatch

          Yeah I really shouldn’t complain. I got the phone because it would be easy to unlock and I haven’t done anything to it yet. I bet with some work I could keep it running for another year.

          • T_Dizzle

            The only reason I upgraded recently is because even with a new battery it couldn’t last a day anymore plus it had LTE and other connectivity issues.

  • Sergio Bridgett

    no Note 3 love makes me sad.

    • jim

      Love my Note 3. Not sure if I will ever root and custom it

    • Rod

      Not everyone digs cheap build and recycled plastic.

    • JeffColorado

      Awful camera, at least for a phone that expensive. My sister hates the camera too, but loves the Note 3 otherwise.

  • Jeremy_Bowling

    This is HTC’s problem in a nutshell. Great reviews, everybody loves the build quality but few people want it as their daily driver.

    • Jeff Miller

      I do….until Moto reveals there next phone, AKA Moto X2

    • Tyler Lawhon

      It’s not so much that, but at the time of writing this, everyone was already done with the m8 review and had moved on to the s5 review. Also, if this had been written a week or so ago Tim and Kellen would’ve both said HTC

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Eric Rees

      I’d use it as my daily driver if I had the money to buy one right now.

    • Johnny Steele

      I got it pretty much because of this. I was tired of fighting for it at my store against the Galaxy. So, I bought it! And I absolutely love it.

  • Sjschwar

    The website is called droid life, yet no one uses a droid…

    • Jeff Miller

      They all use Android..you are the one talking about Verizon marketing of the droid.

    • Pedro

      Maybe the DROID line isn’t worthy of a daily driver, if you have access to any phone.

    • rodney11ride

      Droid maxx HD… You guys

  • akazerotime

    Where is Picolas?

  • Steve

    Gotta send my phone in to Sony for repair, may be there up to 14 business days….any chance you can lend me a T-Mobile compatible phone to use in the meantime? I’ll pay for shipping both ways! Maybe I should start a phone rental service for folks in this situation…

  • mo

    I guess the S5 wins the current flagship contest among the DL staff.

    • Nikuliai

      just one more week tho :B

  • Ray

    Ron =iPhone 5

    • http://droid-life.com/ Rthvk

      c.

      iPhone 5c. ;)

  • http://droid-life.com/ Rthvk

    5 Verizon Logos in that featured image ;)

    • El_Big_CHRIS

      Verizon sure loves its logos

    • glidewells

      And that was on one device ;-)

      • Dorian Brooks

        You win the internets for the day :-)

      • michael arazan

        thanks for giving my first smile today

    • Rob Schoenfeld

      Verizon has the best network. It’s hard not to use them, cheaper isn’t always better.

  • Jared Denman

    Ron: iPhone and my next phone will be an iPhone…. But check out this amazing Moto X! Stay classy Ron! :)

    • Rodeojones000

      These comments were never funny.

      • Pedro

        10:1 upvotes proves you… wrong.

        • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

          Yes, the majority is always right.

          • Nikuliai

            It is… or it will kill you and then be right, or at least that’s what History books say

    • Nikuliai

      I think Apple is (or was, not really in the loop with the last iOS) a pretty good OEM IF you don’t care about the system being closed, I like to mess around with my phones so I’d never go iOS but they have solid features, they lack some key features too, but the overall package is good, so I get why Ron stays with Apple, I don’t particularly like the system but I get why some like it, I got way more customization in Android, but we do lose many things in the way

      • BenG

        I’m actually very interested to see what apple will do with their “iPhablet” I’m hoping they come up with some cool software features to use the extra real estate, I would be surprised if it’s just a big iPhone, and like it or not once Apple does something it generally becomes industry standard. Also it sounds like they might have some cool hardware for their “iWatch” from the rumors and unlike Samsung Apple won’t throw a halfassed product out there and hope it works, I would almost guarantee it will be the best smartwatch when it launches.

        • Nikuliai

          I’m kinda looking forward to the watch, the i(phablet/phone/pad) doesn’t interest me that much because I always found kind of a pain in the ass to share things without having to send it to the cloud, and besides I’m not that into big phones, the X fits right into my pocket and that’s comfy for me, although if I were to ignore that I would hope Apple goes with some cool software functionalities like the ones in the Note 3, that’s the only high end samsung device I kinda praise, they added useful stuff for work on that thing, so I guess a phablet like that would be interesting.

          The watch is a hype to me, I want them to release theirs, I’m most likely gonna go Moto anyway but I wanna see what are they going to offer, I’m not gonna switch to iOS but I would hope the watch is compatible with both OS like the Pebble since it attacks a bigger market (and gives me more options… to me right now the only player doing the right things in watches is Motorola, and I’m most likely gonna get that watch, but it’s nice to see some competition first)

          • BenG

            The tech fanboy in me really wants to get a smartwatch, but the rational side of me says they’re not ready for prime time yet. The way its sounding to me the iWatch might be what the Samsung Fit should of been. The Moto360 is sexy as hell but for me personally I think I want some fitness sensors plus I guess it might have a UV sensor and I’m pasty so if it could tell me i’m getting sunburned go inside that’d be great. I’m like you though there is no way I’m switching my phone to iOS.

          • Nikuliai

            same here, I know it won’t be their prime, I even bought a new analog watch (crappy, but beautiful and similar in size) just to keep me from buying a smartwatch (I was really horny with the chinese extra cheap android watches) and it worked to some extent, but I don’t think I’m gonna be able to resist that sexyness lol

            I share the fitness sensors parts, but to be honest I still wouldn’t use it while exercising unless I’m running, I know sweating a lot doesn’t do much good to the metal in the watch, it’ll most likely be stainless and IP67, but still, it’s expensive, I’m gonna take care of it, I think I’m gonna get a HR band if I want HR tracking since most cellphone OEMs don’t really know how to make a decent heart rate monitor, I don’t really trust a monitor on the “watch” side of my wrist so I’m most likely gonna pass on that part (I want it but I get that it’s not really that important to non runners and I’m not a runner, I do static cycling, weights and now the kinect nike program, which is pretty awesome, but you don’t really move from home)

            The UV sensor idea is really cool btw, that would be awesome to have (I had UV11+ since december to march here tho so it would ring all the time), it would be really useful to a bigger crowd

            Btw I really liked the Moov, Kellen threw the link in another post’s comment section and it looks pretty awesome
            http://preorder.moov.cc/

          • Thomas

            OMG…Your comments are wayyyy tooooo f..cking lonnnnng

          • Nikuliai

            yup…

        • Elliot Kotis

          LOL. Just LOL. Apple doesnt come up with any good features now.

  • http://BGR.COM/ riggs

    No M8 love?

    • Nikuliai

      not really S5 love either, they are just using it because they’re reviewing it, I feel like those 2 are good phones but lack something to keep me interested, and it looks like that’s the case too with them

  • qudwls6933

    Where is Ron??

    • Thomas

      Like you really have to ask ;)

    • Tony Byatt

      HA!

    • mo

      It’s the iPhone (probably every generation). At least that’s what he said some time ago.

  • rawson815

    Like this a lot I think this should become a droid life thing once a month or two

  • Joe Bertolino

    Dog ate my Galaxy. I’m using an OG Incredible. WHATWHAT

    • discopunkk

      The OG Incredible is still my favorite phone I’ve owned. I just loved everything about it, except Sense. But it had S-Off so I never had to see it again.

    • Dick Ripple

      Man, that phone was my pride and joy back in the day. It kicks ass with CM7 and launcher pro.

  • mcdonsco

    Kyles comment on the lg g2 specifically not being creaky baffle me as that was one of the things I didn’t like about the g2, It WAS creaky.

    • Jeremy_Bowling

      I thought that was interesting as well. Just swapped my S4 for an S5 and neither of them are creaky. Maybe he got one with a bad back cover?

      • Jay Ochs

        my S3 was creaky, with body-shifting issue. my S4 was creaky as all hell around the edges bc of the taped-on chrome ring. my GS5 was creaky because of, yet again, the body-shifting issue.

        my G2 is 100% solid in the hand, with no noises, creaks, and it actually feels like a well-built device, unlike the s3/s5. S4 was better feeling than both.

        • Rod

          G2 is cheaply built with low-cost plastic.

          Don’t let be fooled.

    • Ronald Lockwich

      That’s what I’m hating about my One M8…too creaky.

  • bwb2185

    No one using a Nexus 5 interesting….

    • Cheese Sandwich

      Kellen said he can’t wait to get back to his Nexus 5. He just needs to finish the s5 review first.

      • bwb2185

        Still no one is using a N5 today

        • MichaelFranz

          simply for review purposes. If you asked this question 2 month ago or 2 weeks from now you would see it on there.

          • bwb2185

            Probably

      • Maxim∑

        so he hates the S5 that much lol

        • JBartcaps

          Did you read what he wrote?

          • Maxim∑

            no lol.. read it now

          • Pedro

            Bah. Why bother reading when you can comment on the article?

    • Marcus

      Kellen said he will be going back ASAP right after the S5

  • realfoxm

    Maybe a poll for us?