Thursday Poll: What is the Android Phone of the Year?

2014 is less than two weeks from being officially in the books. It has been a solid year for smartphone tech, especially on Android, though I’m not sure this year carried the same weight or significance as years past. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good year and a bunch of really great smartphones were released that will last a long time, I just don’t know how many of them will be all that memorable in a couple of years from now. With that said, we still need to decide who came out on top.

We saw follow-up flagships from all of the major players, like Samsung, Google, Motorola, LG, Sony, and HTC. None of them really took any chances, but they all still delivered phones that you would have no difficulty finding supporters of. Beyond the standard crew, we also saw Sony finally enter the US market while its newest flagship was still fairly fresh, and OnePlus made a big splash while pissing people off along the way. Like I just said – there were a ton of options, all of which were good in their own right.

We will have our DL staff top lists here shortly, but for now, we want to know the DL reader phone of the year. Who are you taking?

What is the Android Phone of the Year?

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Video: First Look at the Nexus 9 Magic Cover

The Magic Cover for the Nexus 9 is finally in house! I don’t know why, but I have been struggling to remain patient while waiting for this cover to arrive. While not someone who typically buys cases for personal use, the idea behind this one had me hooked the minute I saw it. A single-sheet cover that attaches magnetically, looks beautiful, and can double as a stand? Who wouldn’t get excited about this?  (more…)

Download: Android “Lollipop” OTA Updates for Google Play Edition Devices (Updated: Galaxy S4)

With Android 5.0.1 and 5.0 OTA updates rolling out to most Nexus devices at this point, we wanted to make sure our Google Play Edition friends were caught up as well. The Android 5.0 updates have been rolling out to the G Pad 8.3 and Z Ultra for a couple of days now, but we are just now getting updates for the One (M7) and One (M8) after a couple of delays.

As we have done with Nexus updates for years, we have put together a list of direct downloads for you below for your Google Play Edition device. We currently do not have Moto G or Galaxy S4 updates, but will hope to add them soon. (more…)

Nexus 9 Magic Cover Now Available on Google Play in All Colors

Earlier, we told you that HTC was finally selling one of the Nexus 9’s Magic Covers, but only in Coral Amethyst. Well, hopefully you didn’t give in and place an order because Google Play now has all four colors (black, lime stone, mint indigo, and coral amethyst) in stock, all of which are shipping in 1-2 days.

Yep, all four. Go get ‘em.  (more…)

HTC Desire EYE Quick Review

While HTC appears to be content on throwing its limited marketing budget towards its flagship One lineup, you can tell the company still loves working on more affordable devices. From my experience with most of their smartphones, they do pay attention to the smaller details when creating a phone, and the latest HTC phone I have handled, the Desire EYE, is yet another enjoyable device from the Taiwan-based manufacturer.

In the eyes of consumers, HTC may appear to be struggling, but they have never slacked in the hardware design department. The Desire Eye caught my eye immediately, with its bold coloring, and massive front-facing camera. To a more untrained eye, who might not be familiar with practically every phone on the market, the Eye may resemble an older iPhone. To me, this is a good thing, as I have never been one to deny that Apple has great looking hardware.

Already having quite a bit on our table, coupled with the fact that the Desire EYE is not a flagship device for HTC, we decided to take this phone for a brief test spin, if only to allow for everyone who was curious to have our thoughts on the device.

This is our Desire EYE quick review.  (more…)

Nexus 9 LTE Now Available From Google Play Too

This morning, T-Mobile announced that it was the first carrier to begin selling the Nexus 9 LTE for Google’s suggested price of $599. While they may still have the exclusivity on carrier availability, Google has gone ahead and started selling the LTE model through Google Play as well.

For $599, you can grab the LTE-ready Nexus 9 with 32GB of storage. It ships by December 19.  (more…)

Nexus 9 Magic Cover in Coral Available From HTC (Updated: Google Play Too)

The Nexus 9 “Magic Cover” or “Cover” or “2-in-1 Stand,” an accessory that I have been impatiently waiting for because I want that magnetically multi-fold magic-ness, is finally available, though only in one color and only directly from HTC. If you cruise over to HTC’s Nexus 9 page (link below), you can buy the Nexus 9’s Cover in Coral Amethyst (“Amtheyst”) for $39.99.  (more…)