Say Hi To The HTC One M9

With the giants in smartphone production lording over the field, the generally smaller players tend to be overlooked, if not completely forgotten. This is rather unfortunate since some of the better phones in town are actually created by lesser-known manufacturers. A good example of this would be the HTC One M9.

Hopefully our review will give you the much needed info to sway your decision of whether or not to upgrade. If it does, make sure you cash in on your old HTC One M8 by selling it online for some easy extra cash. Of course you could always chuck it on eBay, but we recently found Sold My Device who have a fantastic phone buyback service for HTC devices.

Released as the flagship product of HTC during the early part of the year, the M9 is a follow up to the HTC One M8. The phone enjoyed considerable success when it was initially made available. Thus, it was only fitting to come up with an equally stylish mobile gadget as a follow-through project.

Given this, not too many changes in terms of design can be expected from the HTC One M9. Presumably, HTC does not want to introduce major modifications in the M9. As such, it decided to retain the basic design of the M8 even as HTC claims that this is revolutionary and even compares this to the world-renowned Porsche. Of course, the claim is highly disputable, but that is an entirely different story.

In any case, a few upgrades can still be seen if the M9 is examined more closely. For example, the phone sports a coating that is completely resistant to scratches. The built-in anodized aluminum is responsible for this. For people who love to hold on to their phones, but wants these to remain clean as a whistle, the M9 should ably fit the bill.

Given its generally smaller size, the HTC One M9 can also be gripped a lot easier. It also happens to be lighter especially when compared to the M8. However, the size and the weight of the phone are not the only reasons the M9 is able to produce that easy-grip sensation. The edge of the phone has that extra flip which provides the needed stop to enable easier and faster holding.

The downside to this flip though is that it can get caught up in small pocket lines when the phone is placed inside. Damage both to the pocket and to the phone thus becomes a distinct possibility. Nevertheless, such scenarios tend to be a bit extreme.

Camera-wise, the HTC One M9 has a larger screen resolution than its predecessor. In terms of quality, however, nothing much has changed, and many M8 users will hardly have any major difficulty trying to familiarize themselves with the M9. OF course, the fact that the rear camera of the M8 serves as the M9 front camera can be an initial cause of confusion, but that can be easily resolved given constant use of the phone.

An interesting feature here is the phone speakers with HTC introducing Dolby Stereo systems. Dolby has undoubtedly set a name in the sound system field and its entry into the smartphone business is something worth watching out for. As to whether it can further enhance the reputation of HTC, specifically its M9 phone model, is still a big question mark.

Overall, the HTC One M9 should come down as one smartphone worth looking into, especially for loyal M8 users who may want to experience using an upgraded model. New customers, meanwhile, will definitely find the M9 a generally good catch.

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New App Enabling Smartphone use with Gestures

Professor Otmar Hilliges and his staff at ETH Zurich have developed a new app enabling users to operate their smartphone with gestures. This development expands the range of potential interactions with such devices.

It does seem slightly odd at first: you hold the phone in one hand, and move the other in the air above its built-in camera making gestures that resemble sign language. Sometimes you move your index finger to the left, sometimes to the right. You can spread out your fingers, or imitate a pair of pliers or the firing of a pistol. These gestures are not, however, intended for communicating with deaf people; they are for controlling your smartphone.

By mimicking the firing of a pistol, for example, a user can switch to another browser tab, change the map’s view from satellite to standard, or shoot down enemy planes in a game. Spreading out your fingers magnifies a section of a map or scrolls the page of a book forwards.

All this gesturing wizardry is made possible by a new type of algorithm developed by Jie Song, a Master’s student in the working group headed by by Otmar Hilliges, Professor of Computer Science. The researchers presented the app to an audience of industry professionals at the UIST symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Intelligent programming uses computer memory

The program uses the smartphone’s built-in camera to register its environment. It does not evaluate depth or colour. The information it does register– the shape of the gesture, the parts of the hand– is reduced to a simple outline that is classified according to stored gestures. The program then executes the command associated with the gesture it observes. The program also recognises the hand’s distance from the camera and warns the user when the hand is either too close or too far away.

“Many movement-recognition programs need plenty of processor and memory power,” explains Hilliges, adding that their new algorithm uses a far smaller portion of computer memory and is thus ideal for smartphones. He believes the application is the first of its kind that can run on a smartphone. The app’s minimal processing footprint means it could also run on smart watches or in augmented-reality glasses.

More control

The program currently recognises six different gestures and executes their corresponding commands. Although the researchers have tested 16 outlines, this is not the app’s theoretical limit. What matters is that gestures generate unambiguous outlines. Gestures that resemble others are not suitable for this application. “To expand its functionality, we’re going to add further classification schemes to the program,” says the ETH researcher.

He is convinced that this new way of operating smartphones greatly increases the range of interactivity. The researcher’s objective is to keep the gestures as simple as possible, so that users can operate their smartphone effortlessly.

But will smartphone users want to adapt to this new style of interaction? Otmar Hilliges is confident they will. Gesture control will not replace touchscreen control, but supplement it. “People got used to operating computer games with their movements.” Touchscreens, Hilliges reminds us, also required a very long adjustment period before making a big impact in consumers’ lives. He is therefore certain that this application– or at least parts of it– will find its way onto the market.

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Another Great Droidlife Review – Moto Hint Overview, Tour, and Mini Review

Moto Hint Overview, Tour, and Mini Review by Droid Life

Just how very easy is it to get your brand-new Moto X Pure Version up and running on your service provider of choice? As very easy as swapping in a nano SIM from that carrier. Have activated service on AT&T? Just place your SIM in. Exact same thing with Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, or a range of prepaid carriers. Remember, the phone is totally opened with assisted bands for all the major United States service providers, so it must simply work out of the box.

Considering that we wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to obtain your new Moto X Pure Edition collaborating with your carrier of selection, we put together this quick video of a SIM swap from no SIM to AT&T to Verizon within an issue of mins. It’s amazing just how quickly you could get from one network to one more with this phone.

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