Death of Phablet.

The “phablet” is dead. You can stop saying that word. Stop putting tablet and phone together. There is no longer a category of phones that blurs the line between phone and small tablet. They are now all just phones. Big ones. Because you told manufacturers that you wanted them to be big – all of them.

It wasn’t all that long ago that the phone industry was getting clowned on by Steve Jobs, who referred to phones like the Droid X and its 4.3-inch display as “Hummers.” How silly does that sound now, when you consider the fact that just yesterday, LG announced that it had received final approval for mass production on its latest display, which weighs in at 5.5-inches and will be featured in its next flagship phone, the G3. Keep in mind that LG released a “phablet” in 2013 with a 5.5-inch display, called the Optimus G Pro. And let’s not forget that the Samsung Galaxy S5 sports a 5.1-inch display, yet the world thought they were mad in 2011 when they introduced the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note “phablet.”  (more…)

I Hate Today’s Smartphones.

They are all too damn big. Bigger, bigger, bigger. Bigger is better. Bigger means more value. Bigger means more will buy them. Bigger. BIGGER.

BIGGER.

I can’t stand it. Outside of Motorola and Apple, no one wants to make a phone you can actually use anymore. Well, use with one hand efficiently that is. It’s one giant race to see who can do it bigger, with more pixels and megapixels and inches and batteries. Why? Stop it already, Samsung, LG, Sony, Oppo, and the rest of you. I don’t want to use two hands just to control my smartphone.  (more…)

HTC, You are Guilty of Gimmicks Just as Much as Samsung is, Maybe Even Worse

HTC cracks me up. Because they are fighting for their lives, they’ll say anything at this point to try and win you over. Whether that’s by claiming to reinvent the smartphone or by attempting to re-create the camera with the “UltraPixel” or calling out Samsung for pushing out a couple of gimmicks instead of innovating , they want to be loud and in-your-face. Let’s be clear though – there isn’t anything wrong with a little trash talking, but if we’re being brutally honest here, HTC is guilty of just as many gimmicks as Samsung. And that includes their new HTC One (M8), which may contain the mother of all gimmicks.  (more…)

Reader Opinion: If You Bought the HTC One (M8), Tell Us Your Thoughts

Since HTC decided to be awesome and make the One (M8) available the same day they announced it, we know that a few of you currently have the device in hand. With that being said, we know there is an even greater number of folks who are still undecided as to whether the M8 would be a good purchase. Who better to trust with such a decision than the fine DL reader community, right?  (more…)

Rapid Fire Thoughts on the New HTC One (M8)

Both Tim and I have had the HTC One (M8) in our possession for 24 hours now. We have taken the phone through an unboxing and quick tour, showed off the Dot View Flip Cover, and are deep diving into preparations for a full review. But before we get there, all sorts of initial thoughts have run through my mind about this 2014 flagship from the Taiwanese manufacturer that I wanted to share. Some good, some bad.

Below, since this is by no means a full assessment of the phone, I’ve put together a bunch of quick hitters that touch on things like the randomness of HTC using “(M8)” in the name, how much I love on-screen buttons, and how confusing it is that HTC and Google want you to pay $699 for the Google Play Edition.

We’ll have more later, but here are some initial thoughts.  (more…)

Solving Advertising Revenue on Android [Opinion]

Google has come a long way from their humble Stanford beginnings, but the search giant is still an advertising company at heart. Google is not making their billions by selling Nexus devices; they are making the vast majority of their money on advertisements. It is because of those advertisement sales that Google is able to be as ambitious as they are with projects like Android, Loon, and Glass, but that success is a double edged sword.

Google, like many other advertising companies, has been working through the how to make money from advertisements on mobile devices. While Apple may have ushered in the modern smartphone era with the iPhone, it was Google who commoditized it with Android. Taking Microsoft and Palm’s licensing model and twisting it, Google offered Android to device manufacturers for free. This plan solved the first major problem Google faced when entering the smartphone market, gaining market share, but it did nothing to determine how to make money from advertising on mobile. (more…)

Why the Nike Fuelband SE Experience Sucks Without an Android App

Last month, Nike introduced the world to its new fitness band, the FuelBand SE, as a follow-up to its original wearable activity tracker. I was excited at the time even though the story of the original FuelBand in relation to Android users is not a pretty one, to say the least. With the introduction of the newest version and its brand new feature-packed iOS app, I had high hopes of Nike seeing the light or at least recognizing that Android is the most popular and widespread mobile operating system on the planet. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to care because Android manufacturers aren’t Apple. I didn’t make that up, their VP of  Digital Sport actually said that. So once again, there is no Android experience for the Nike FuelBand SE, only a web portal that fails to provide access to any of the new useful features that are included in the iOS app.

But you know what, I still bought the damn thing.  (more…)

Waking From the Nexus Dream [Opinion]

nexus logo

Last week on the Droid Life Show I mentioned that I don’t think Nexus devices really matter anymore. With the Nexus 5’s release just around the corner, a lot of readers became very defensive of the Nexus program. Call me self-absorbed or too worried about what people think about me (I’m working on it), but I read through every comment on our site and YouTube regarding my statements. After reading through the comments and listening to our discussion on the show again I’ve decided to try to go into more detail about why I feel this way about the Nexus program. It’s not that I hate Android or Nexus phones, but rather that I believe they could mean so much more than they do today. (more…)