Noyze Volume Panel Brings Custom Level Controls With No Root Required

If bringing a custom touch to your volume controls has been on your mind, you may want to check out Noyze Volume Panel. With Noyze, which is basically an Xposed module made available with no root, free to download on Google Play, users can set a new place to control their volume, instead of the regular pop-up panel you would see on most Android devices.

Once enabled, there are a few custom themes to choose from, which include sliders on the top of your notification bar (pictured above), as well as floating panels that feature multiple sound controls. Heck, you can even choose to make it look like the ringer setting you would find on an iOS device.  (more…)

Samsung Galaxy Alpha “A5″ Shown Off in Leaked Photos

Photos of yet another upcoming Samsung device leaked this morning, courtesy of SamMobile. The pictures show off the latest device in the A series from the Samsung, being the Galaxy Alpha A5. The phone is much like its big brother, the Galaxy Alpha, but will instead be marketed as a mid-range device, featuring specs that make it suitable for that category.  (more…)

Moto X Review (2nd Generation)

Last year’s Moto X earned “Top Android Phone of 2013” honors from our staff even though it had some pretty major flaws. With its below-average 720p display and mostly-terrible camera, the overall package still bested the rest of smartphones in the game, thanks to its perfect size, Moto Maker customizations, and incredible software add-ons from Motorola. So what happens when Motorola takes what it created from last year’s best Android phone and tries to improve it in all areas, especially those two we just mentioned? You get the Moto X (2nd generation).

With generation two, Motorola has gone with a bigger 1080p display, because that’s what their research showed that people want. They also tossed in a 13MP camera, premium metal frame, and added options like Leather to Moto Maker, but managed to keep a phone that looks and acts very similar to last year’s model. So did Motorola get it right again? Let’s find out.

This is our Moto X (2nd generation) review.  (more…)

Galaxy Note 4 Now Available for Pre-Order From Verizon and AT&T

The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is now up for pre-order from the two biggest wireless carriers in the US. Both Verizon and AT&T went live with pre-orders late last night, so if you are ready to become one with the newest version of Samsung’s oversized phone, the time is now. Well, sort of now. This is just a pre-order, which means you won’t get your phone until October 17. But you get that already. I’ll stop rambling.

The links for each are below. Verizon appears to only be selling the black version at this time, whereas AT&T is offering either black or white.  (more…)

Question of the Day: Has Hardware Design Reached a Plateau?

In a recent discussion posted online between Vodafone and Warren Saunders, Sony’s UK and Ireland Sales Director, Saunders talks about the new Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact. Early in the talks, Saunders states that when it comes down to a buyer deciding between the larger Xperia Z3 and the smaller Z3 Compact, it’s simply, “a choice thing.” With almost identical internal specs, the question is, do buyers want a big phone or a not-so-big phone?

But more importantly, and the actual reason for this post, is that Saunders alludes to one very important theory within this discussion. To him, it appears that hardware/design innovations have essentially reached a plateau, and companies like Sony, will begin to focus more on a cohesive package across multiple devices.  (more…)

Samsung Launches $200 Guaranteed Total Trade-in Program for Galaxy Note 4

Starting tomorrow through October 17, which is the official launch date for the Galaxy Note 4, anyone who pre-orders Samsung’s latest device through any carrier or retailer is eligible for a guaranteed $200 total trade-in value on almost any working smartphone.

The process to receive your cash, which is listed on a new launch page from Samsung, looks somewhat difficult, but should not be over the heads of anyone who has ever filled out a mail-in rebate. It is essentially the same thing.  (more…)

5 Fresh Icon Packs: Alos, Sawyer, Etched, Balx, and Tenuix

Within days of posting our last “5 fresh icon packs” feature, another 10 or so quickly popped up on our radar to be featured in the next round-up. I feel like I say this almost every time, but icon designers just keep getting better and better even though you would figure that ideas from this scene would plateau or stall for a while. Thankfully, that hasn’t even come close to happening, which is evidenced by the five packs we have to feature today.

We have packs that carry a vintage vibe, others that put a better spin on Apple’s flat iOS theme, and even one that puts to use the floating circle button from Google’s Material Design. If you can’t find a pack in this round-up to slap on your phone, then I’m not sure you have any taste.  (more…)