I don’t know who we should put more of the blame on – Apple for their chamfered edges and metal design choices with the iPhone, or Samsung for using the cheapest feeling plastics on the planet to build their smartphones with, but people seem to refer to all plastic embodied phones as “cheap” these days. The Nexus 5 certainly doesn’t feel cheap, neither do the G3 or Moto X or OnePlus One, yet they are all made of plastic. But here we are today, talking about Samsung’s new Galaxy Alpha with its metal banding, chamfered edges, and “premium” design, because metal means premium, or something.
I can tell you one thing I know for sure about metal phones – they can be insanely slippery and frustrating to deal with. I spent more than enough time with HTC’s last two flagship phones, the One (M7) and One (M8), both of which were unusable at times because of their lack of grip. Apple could have worked some different metal magic with the iPhone to make it less slippery, but I sort of doubt it. iPhones just happen to be small smartphones that are easily held, whereas Android phones are all oversized and at times tough to hold anyway.
You also have to worry about radio issues with metal phones, wear and tear, weight, etc. In my opinion, metal isn’t exactly the greatest material available for building smartphones.
So I’m curious about this metal thing. Is a metal phone or design that includes metal a requirement when you buy a phone? Is this whole “metal is premium” thing overblown by Apple-leaning tech journos? Feel free to vote below, then hit up the comments.
Back when the Galaxy Nexus was introduced, Google made it clear that they would rather not have to deal with micro SD cards in their Nexus devices or Android as a whole. Basically, they think the experience of dealing with one block of storage outweighs the experience of having removable storage.
Many manufacturers, outside of Samsung, adopted this philosophy shortly after Google made this known and removed micro SD slots from their phones for a couple of years. Then 2014 arrived and almost all major manufacturers have included a micro SD slot in their new phones, including HTC and LG. Both the LG G3 and HTC One (M8) have slots for expandable storage.
Our question to you is – how important is it that your phone have a micro SD slot? I think it’s safe to assume that manufacturers think you care or they wouldn’t have abandoned them only to bring them back as quickly. I can tell you that I appreciate the option to take storage with me from phone-to-phone, even with all of the cloud storage options available for free or little cost. But what about you? Would you pass on a phone if it didn’t have an SD card slot? Is it just an added bonus? Or does it even matter?
The phone pictured above is the 5.9-inch Oppo N1. It’s huge. The reason you are seeing this today is because the rumor of the month suggests that Motorola and Google have teamed up to produce the next Nexus phone as a 5.9-inch whale codenamed “shamu.” I know that you have all been waiting for Motorola to finally get their chance at a Nexus, but it’s pretty clear in the comments of our post this morning that you are torn based on the thought of holding a 5.9-inch phone on a daily basis. Some of you love oversized tablet-like phones, others despise them.
So, what are your thoughts on a 5.9-inch Motorola Nexus? Would you buy one? Would love to hear reasons for buying or passing in the comments.
While cruising through /r/Android on reddit, we came across an interesting poll, asking folks which Google app they would like to see receive a Material Design makeover next.
Now that we have Google+, Chrome Beta, and a bit of Google Play updated with the new UI, there is a long list of other Google applications that could use it. While all of these apps are completely functional in their current state, the inner fanboy in all of us would love to see all of them updated with the Material Design look, but the only question is, which one do we want next?
While my personal request would be for Google Play Music, Hangouts, and Gmail (maybe not in that order), we know that eventually all of these apps will receive a massive facelift.
Answer the poll below, then go ahead and give us a brief explanation as to why in the comments section.
Earlier this morning, NVIDIA announced the new SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Controller. These two devices are made specifically with gamers in mind, but the tablet itself should have any tech enthusiast most curious. Priced at $299 for the 16GB model, the SHIELD Tablet features a Tegra K1 processor with 2GB of RAM, a full 8″ HD display, as well as a complete stylus for any artists we may have among us.
Coupled with the SHIELD Controller, these units can provide an unparalleled mobile gaming experience, as well as a new way to play your PC games while hanging out on your couch, thanks to NVIDIA’s GameStream. The only downside to GameStream is that PC users will need a rig powered by an NVIDIA GeForce graphics card, but if you are already into gaming on your computer, there is a high probability that your rig already features one.
While last year’s SHIELD Portable didn’t quite take off as NVIDIA might have hoped, given its niche market of buyers (hardcore mobile gamers), we think that by NVIDIA essentially splitting that device into two separate products, the Tablet and Controller, they could see quite a bit more success among regular Android lovers who can choose to purchase only the tablet if they so desire.
Below, answer the poll question, then give us your take on the SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Controller. Was NVIDIA smart to introduce two separate products instead of an all-in-one, or should we hope that they also have plans for a “SHIELD 2″?
Choosing a wireless provider is important. Depending on where you live, you probably have multiple choices when making your selection, with most customers primarily concerned about pricing and network coverage.
From experience, we know that AT&T and Verizon offer the most in terms of coverage, but going beyond just having bars in your home, you want a phone you enjoy, too. Verizon is the exclusive carrier of the DROID lineup, while AT&T and Sprint have their fair share of exclusive colors and handsets gracing their networks. Many factors, including the ones we just listed, weigh in on a person or family’s decision to opt for a specific carrier.
The last time we asked this question back in September of 2013, Verizon customers showed up in force with 75% of the vote, beating out T-Mobile with 11% and AT&T with 6%. Surprisingly, only 4% of voters selected prepaid or other, which we hope has changed since September. After all, we have gone over the benefits of prepaid a few times.
Once you have answered the question, take a second to tell us why you are sticking with your current provider. Is it their coverage? Pricing? Device selection?
Even though the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live are available for purchase as the first ever Android Wear smartwatches, the majority of you have made it clear that the Moto 360 is all you care about. In fact, 70% of the DL community said in a poll that they are skipping the offerings from LG and Samsung to wait for Motorola’s circular wearable. That is a pretty astounding number, if you look at the complete results. Take a glance at that poll and you will see that more people (19%) said they aren’t interested at all in an Android Wear watch than the combined crowd that said they were buying either the G Watch (6%) or Gear Live (6%). It’s either Moto 360 or bust.
I can’t say I blame people for feeling this way. I shared plenty of my own thoughts on the Moto 360 earlier in the week, stating that it is the only smartwatch I am interested in because it looks like a beautifully designed watch first, yet has Android in the background as an added bonus.
As we have seen the G Watch ($229) and Gear Live ($199) go up for sale, we are potentially starting to get a feel for the price of the Moto 360. Well, we at least have a starting point, followed by a second level. We talked about this on the DL Show last night, but I am curious to know how much someone would be willing to pay for a premium Android Wear watch, with a circular stainless steel face and either a matching or leather band?
Motorola isn’t sharing specs or pricing, and as already denied that the $249 price point we saw through a Moto 360 contest is an accurate representation of the retail price. Does that mean we should go above $250, like $300? Or will it be even more pricey at $350 or $400? What would your max be?
*Note – I didn’t include a price under $200, because a price lower than $200 doesn’t seem realistic. The G Watch is made of pure, uninspired plastic and runs $229.
The first Android Wear watches are now available, so what do you think – are you buying one? As of today, you can pre-order the LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live and have them at your front door within a couple of weeks. Or are you holding out for the Moto 360, which Google would only continue to confirm is “coming this summer”? Or are you not interested at all?
It’s time for some I/O-related polls. First up – are you buying either the G Watch or Gear Live?