Shipping Forecast

In early December I decided to run the pending updates on my HTC M9, I usually let them build up for several days before installing them. However the following day the phone was acting a little odd so I decided to restart it. That’s when some of the core android files appeared to stop working altogether. So after following the clear cache reinstall applications, complete wipe and then a factory reset I gave up.

The ultimate result was that my phone was screwed. I contacted HTC using their online chat system (spoke to someone named Christine) and after walking through the same steps I had already taken (but you know in an official capacity this time). They ultimately came to the same conclusion as I had, it appeared that one of the updates had gone wrong and had updated into the recovery store.

So they raised a report to start the process for me to return it, only after waiting the allotted 2 days without any confirmation emails, I contacted them again to find out what the issues was, again Christine was on the chat client, (small world) after attempting to send the email, I eventually get it sent to another email address due to reasons. YAY

Only the email states, you will get two additional emails after this one, so I wait another day, then have to contact them again, this time I get another operator, I explain the issue again and we attempt to get the emails resent. Result! the first additional email arrives to my original email address, the next will be along shortly I’m promised.
No such luck, this goes on for another 2 sessions ( only one of which was with Christine) and eventually they have to send the packing label in the chat client as their system refuses to email it to me.

Wiley Fox

With Christmas fast approaching and me likely to be without a phone I decided that I would pick up a phone as a temporary measure. Now I didn’t need something that was going to run high end games, it pretty much needed to do the basics:

  • Phonecall & texts
  • Email & twitter
  • Music Playback
  • Bluetooth
  • Alarms

I have wanted to try the UK brand Wiley Fox out for some time so I bought the Spark+ which was actually on offer at the time, it’s the mid-range offering that seemed to offer a good product and a decent price, especially for a “temp” phone ( possible longer if HTC find issues).

The phone does everything that I need, can handle videos or streaming without too much effort, the screen is a 5 with an average resolution but doesn’t feel too cramped. The phones build quality is good and not overly plastic the camera is ok buy don’t expect any of the bells and whistles you get with high-end devices.

My HTC is apparently heading back to me soon so we’ll see if it’s fixed. Fingers crossed.

Pick a phone,any phone!

So I took the plunge and finally got a phone without a keyboard after quite a bit of debating I finally picked the HTC One, I’m pretty sure that without my Nexus last Christmas I wouldn’t have considered moving to touch-screen. Here is my thoughts and some of my reasoning.

The phone

HTC-ProductDetail-Hero-slide-04I have to admit the phone feels rather nice in your hand, the balance is perfect for me. As the case is built from a single piece of aluminium it’s alot lighter than I thought it would be. The only external buttons are the volume rocker and the power key, the power key placement is a little odd in that it’s on the top left and not right as it common with phone of this factor. But it soon became familiar practice to head to the left not right.

The resolution is very nice and the quality is rather better than I expected. There are dual front facing speakers with BoomSound which give a nice balanced sound over all the ranges. When these features are combined for example watching films on Netflix, the quality of the phone really stands out.

The OS

The HTC Sense brand of Android has taken a little getting used to, but as with anything there are new short-cuts and features to discover. Bear in mind that I have only used stock Android OS on my Nexus before now, so this in some cases feels like a step backwards as I find some things more limited.

The keyboard software is rather nice and I loaded up the stock Google one to compare, and there are a number of alterations that make it better suited to the Phone environment. The biggest feature that I will miss from my old phone will be configurable alerts on an app by app basis, as setting the Ringtone, Alerts & Alarm seems to be a little restrictive, I’m sure there is an app to help me somewhere.

Camera

The 4 UltraPixel camera is a mixed bag, perhaps it’s just my unfamiliarity with the camera but zooming doesn’t always result in good qulaity pictures. However I overlook that fact as the low-light pictures come out fantastically, which is good when your child isn’t fond of flashes on cameras.

There a number of addition features of the camera that drew me to this phone:

  • Zoe – this is a rather awesome piece of software, allowing for a short video instead of  a picture which allows you to remove moving objects & extract stills
  • Always smile looks good but I’ve yet to use it (I only know miserable people 😉
  • HD, Slow motion and highspeed video capture
  • Burst shots allow you to pick one to keep and remove the rest, ideal for toddlers

My case

As I travel on public transport for 10+ hours every week I wanted something tough enough for that and to also deal with my 3 year old too. Thankfully as this phone has been out for a little while there was a good range of cases on the market. In the end I opted for an Otterbox Defender which to be fair is more than I need, so I don’t by default use the outer case shell, but it’s always good to have the option there. Also the built in screen protector means I’m not worrying about it pealing off after a few weeks.

Picking a Phone

When I was trying to pick a new phone I read quite alot of reviews of the latest phones on the market.

The video below was the one that swayed my decision in the end, despite there being some incorrect information such as the camera quality and the ease of adding short-cuts, but maybe that was revised in the software since the video was filmed.  I am happy to say that I’m very please with my choice.