Android Central

Probably my favorite part of covering a major new device isn't the long-form review. It's not the "hands-on," and it's certainly not the gratuitous unboxing videos. It's not the page-view whoring "drop test" — spoiler: phones break when you drop them — and it's not battery tests that in no way reflect real-life use. No, for me where things really get fun are when we start to break down a phone feature by feature, explaining them in even more detail than we do in reviews.

We do it this way for a number of reasons. One of them is "space." Our HTC One M8 review weighed in at 6,000 words. (In the newspaper world I came from, stories were measured by length in column inches. I'd joke, badly, that really long stories had to be measured in pounds.) It simply becomes too unwieldy to go into great depth about every feature that needs to be explored for any phone. So, we break things out into separate stories. Volumes of reference material, if you will.

A side-effect of this is that anytime a new phone launches, there's a deluge of stories on that one device. It's happened before, it's happening now with the HTC One M8, and it'll happen again — in two weeks, in fact, when the Samsung Galaxy S5 goes on sale. It'll happen again later this year with new fare from Motorola and LG and, we presume, new Nexus tablets and phones.

That doesn't mean we've abandoned the news, which is what brings the hard-core audience back day after day. In fact, we're better positioned to be both a news source and reference desk than we've ever been. And you're starting to see the fruits of that labor. We've reworked our back-end to make it quicker and easier for us to do quick, easy stories that might not need more than a few sentences, freeing up more time (and head space) for more important pieces. And you're going to start seeing some new bylines here at and the other Mobile Nations sites, as we make it easier for the writers on all our sites to pitch in on the news — as well as educate themselves on platforms that might not be their daily driver.

More short-lived (but still important) news. More long-term (and even more important) reference content. Grow, or die.

And that's just the start of some really exciting changes this year. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

A few other thoughts on the week that was:

  • I almost hate to admit it, but I really enjoy how the Facebook app is displaying images and previewing videos now.
  • You gotta love how more manufacturers are offloading apps to Google Play, so that they can be updated without full system updates. We'll have to see how much of that Samsung does, or how much it does out of its own app store.
  • I have to RMA my Pebble Steel this week. I'll switch back to the original while I wait for the new one to arrive — but I have a feeling I'm not going to like the change.
  • I do miss the size and feel of the Moto X. And the Active Display. I don't miss the camera.
  • Interesting story on the mandating of "Powered by Android" on boot screens now. I wonder if it'll be added to the Verizon HTC One in a future update. (And why it's not there already, given that we first saw it on the Galaxy S5 a month ago.)
  • Seriously, this is a really good, cheap speaker.
  • Cosmos is so good. Even better is that my 7-year-old daughter is enjoying it, too.

That's it for this week. So much to do, so little time.


Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: And for our next trick ...


Every time you have the people complaining about too much coverage of x phone, of course those people are silent when their favorite phone gets all the coverage. I went and checked out the M8 on launch day and it's seriously nice, the camera seemed good though I only took a new pictures and my DNA doesn't set the bar high. I'm really excited for phones this year, can't wait for round two in the summer!

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+1 haha. Yeah, I haven't checked out the M8, yet. It looks like a great device, though.

I'm seriously debating switching to the Lumia 1520, however. I played around with it at an AT&T store yesterday, and it looks legit. The UI is refreshing, to say the least.

Decisions, decisions.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

Once you see the horrible apps available and how lacking it is in features you'll want to go back.

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I like windows phone but it is lacking some needed features right now and though I do agree with the fact that it will indeed gain some much needed features in the next update, I don't think it will be on par with Android for a while. The app selection is also not that good. I'm not talking about sheer volume, just quality.

Yeah, Windows Phone is definitely suffering from the chicken and egg syndrome.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

Well, I played around with it for awhile. It's a nice device. I'm definitely willing to give it a try as my daily driver. But, I'm not sure if I want to switch providers yet.

Also, I don't use many apps. Email, Web browsing, some YouTube. I think I could make the change. But, I'll always have a soft spot for Android.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

Although WP8 is great, it has its problems. Also, I'd wait until after the Nokia event thats happening soon.

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Yeah, that's probably the best course of action. Thanks, brother!

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

I think the 1520 is a great device. But GD that phone is a behemoth. At that size I would prefer just a cellular tablet as my main device.


I'd love to go the cellular tablet route, but all of the tablets sold in the States have that functionality stripped out (grrrr).

It is a big device, lol. But, it looks awesome and would be a welcome change.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

I love that device, if you go that direction I think you will as well. Yeah the lack of certain apps is annoying, but they can be replaced with others. when you jump ecosystems, things like that happen. outside of Sony, the camera is unparalleled in the Android world

+1 I was honestly surprised at how smooth it was. I'll definitely report back on when I make the switch. I'm waiting to see what gets revealed at BUILD on the 2nd.

For the record, I love the Note 3, despite its shortcomings. But, for what I've been using my phone for lately (business), I think I'll (and, maybe you, too) be better served by a larger Windows Phone device.

Also, it never hurts to learn more about the other operating systems.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

What do you consider short comings? As of the first, I'm being handed iphone/ longer the renegade of my company.....we have been bought out. So I will miss my note3, and I know what I will be missing on the business end, but interested to hear what you think is missing.

As awesome as this phone is, sometimes the bugs just get to me. Ever since the kitkat update, data acts weird and lag comes out of nowhere, amongst other things. Still a great device, but in my eyes, those are shortcomings.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

I'm still on 4.3, and I am soo glad. Dis-liking kit kat on my 12.2 note. Sd card thing actually bugged me today. Thanks for the follow up. Enjoy the better weather!

You're welcome, brother!! And thanks!!

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

I hear you. On stock kit Kat it has some issues. That is one of the reasons I am never stock on my personal phone. It doesn't seem to be just a Samsung thing though. I had an One last week as a tester and it didn't seem the same as it was on jb

You really should see the crap I don't post. Sorry if honesty offends you

"So much to do, so little time."

Spot on, Phil. So much is happening nowadays, there's no time for standing still. For me, it's been that way for the last few weeks, since arriving in Pensacola.

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

Yaaaay, me!! GO, ME!!

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

I'm not opposed to that, Kevin! =)

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

Damn, I'll be in California around then... =(

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

Thanks Phil for the weekend articles, not many sites lkike this post on the weekends, my favorite thing to do in the mornings is read this site.

So Phil, I've tried switching back to my M7 from my Moto X and the hand feel and lack of active notifications always sends me running back to the Moto X. How does the M8 feel compared to the other two?

Buy another phone!! You know you want to!! No one can resist the allure of a new phone!!

Posted via my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "Blessed" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Asus ROG"

You're right about Cosmos. Excellent. Couldn't imagine a better host for this type of show. Now they just need to make it so I can watch it on my Chromecast...
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