Sunday, December 21, 2014

HTC One M8 after 6 months of use - "With a great power comes a great responsibility"


Being one of the lucky owners of the HTC One M8 I decided to write a few more words about that Android powered beast. It’s been already 6 months since I use it as my daily device and during that time I believe I discovered all pros and cons of the HTC One M8. My previous full review can be found here - HTC One M8 - My point of (re)viewBelow I tried to summarize all my thoughts about the best Android device of the 2014.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Rooting Tools (1.0) for the HTC One M8 (3.28.401.9)


Here it is! Newest Rooting Tools 1.0 for the HTC One M8 3.28.401.9 system software just arrived. Don't want to flash any custom ROM but looking for a root access on your HTC One M8? No problem - it's what Rooting Tools are for! What's included?

HTC Google Play applications


It is now a common practice among different phone manufactures to re-distribute some of the system applications via Google Play store. Today we created a complete list of the HTC apps you can install on your HTC device. Keep in mind that to install and use some of them you might need to have a device running HTC Sense 6 launcher.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

HTC devices to receive Android 5.0 "Lollipop" update


Since quite a long time HTC is doing a great job in terms of having its high-end devices up to date with the latest Android OS version. And it's not different this time! The newest Android 5.0 Lollipop will be soon available for a number of HTC devices, including:


To be honest I can't wait to see my HTC One M8 running Android five dot zero. What's more - together with the new Android OS, HTC will most likely present refreshed version of the HTC Sense interface - HTC Sense 7.0. On the other hand, after latest Android 4.4.4 update (with HTC Sense 6.0) I ask myself - can this be even better?! Oh yes, I'm sure HTC will give us something stunning again!

Do you have any questions or comments? Feel free to share! Also, if you like this article, please use media sharing buttons (Twitter, G+, Facebook) below this post!


For latest news follow Android Revolution HD on popular social platforms:


New Rooting Tools (0.9) for the HTC One M8 (3.28.401.7)


Along with the latest Android 4.4.4 system dumps for the HTC One M8 we prepared an updated Rooting Tools 0.9 for the newest 3.28.401.7 system software. What's included?
  • [boot.img] disabled ro.adb.secure and ro.secure
  • [boot.img] disabled USB debugging icon on statusbar
  • [boot.img] enabled USB debugging by default
  • [boot.img] init.d scripts support (system/etc/init.d)
  • [boot.img] removed trigger command to execute install_recovery.sh to prevent stock recovery from being re-installed after each system reboot
  • latest SuperSu application (Superuser.apk) and binaries (su, daemonsu) (chainifre)
  • proper init.d script to run daemonsu binary as a daemon
  • special wp_mod.ko kernel module to disable HTC system RW protection (flar2)
  • proper init.d script to insert the wp_mod.ko module into the kernel
  • busybox
  • sysrw/sysro binaries for quick system partition re-mount
Device rooted with the above method should have no problems installing latest official OTA update because:

a) OTA update checks for files integrity, but it doesn't check if any extra files were added to the system partition.
b) OTA update doesn't check the integrity of the boot.img, so you can even flash a custom kernel if you want.

boot.img source: 3.28.401.7
target device: HTC One M8 (0P6B10000)
target device OS version: 3.28.401.7

Download:
Rooting Tools are available for download here. More details and discussion about Rooting Tools can be found on my XDA thread.

If you are a power user and a custom ROMs flasher, you can also grab the latest Android Revolution HD based on the 3.28.401.6 update with many extra goodies under the hood.

All above files can be accessed via Downloads Page on my blog.

Do you have any questions or comments? Feel free to share! Also, if you like this article, please use media sharing buttons (Twitter, G+, Facebook) below this post!


For latest news follow Android Revolution HD on popular social platforms:

HTC One M8 Android 4.4.4 latest system dumps [3.28.401.7]


Few days ago HTC has officially started rolling out the newest Android 4.4.4 update for the HTC One M8. The newest system version is tagged as 3.28.401.7 and it brings a lot of improvements system wide, including:

  • improved rear camera image output, completely new edge/sharpness/noise algorithm,
  • other camera improvements, including HTC's EYE experience camera features
  • support for hardware video codec
  • bluetooth improvements
  • car drive mode improvements
  • HTC backup improvements
  • thermal system improvements
  • many audio related fixes and improvements
  • overall performance improvements
  • improved battery life
  • updated kernel
  • and many many more under the hood...
If you don't want to wait for the OTA notification you can already flash latest system dumps.  For more details please visit my XDA thread.

If you are a power user and a custom ROMs flasher, you can also grab the latest Android Revolution HD based on the 3.28.401.6 update with many extra goodies under the hood.

Finally, if you only want to root your device and keep the rest stock, feel free to visit my XDA thread with a special rooting tools.

All above files can be accessed via Downloads Page on my blog.

Do you have any questions or comments? Feel free to share! Also, if you like this article, please use media sharing buttons (Twitter, G+, Facebook) below this post!


For latest news follow Android Revolution HD on popular social platforms:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

HTC One M8 3.28.401.6 new firmware details


While the new OTA update for the HTC One M8 is still hot & fresh (HTC One M8 received Android 4.4.4 update with HTC EYE camera experience!) we decided to take a quick look at the new firmware package included in the 3.28.401.6 update. There are few interesting changes in there!

HTC One M8 received Android 4.4.4 update with HTC EYE camera experience!


While Samsung is still in love with Android 4.4.2 (Android version from 2013), HTC recently released Android 4.4.4 update for the HTC One M8. Even if the most recent software version up to date was Android 4.4.3 (still newer than Samsung), the number of changes in the new update is quite impressive. The new OTA update elevates the software version to 3.28.401.6 and apparently brings a lot of fixes, changes and improvements. Here are some of them spotted until now:

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

How to: Fix a random reboots on the HTC One M8


Some time ago I described a method to format the /data partition on the HTC One (M7) - How to: Fix a corrupted DATA partition on the HTC One. This method is suitable for more HTC devices (all with EXT4 support) and with the mkfs.ext4 tool you can format system and cache partitions as well. All you need to know is the proper /dev/block/mmcblk0pXY number of the partition you want to format.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My fight with Samsung - part 1.


It is a common knowledge that the theory is one thing and the practice is sometimes completely different. Today I've felt on my own skin how Samsung is trying to fool its customers. Keep on reading and please share this on any of your social network.

Monday, July 28, 2014

HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 latest system dumps [2.22.401.4]



Today HTC has officially started rolling out the newest Android 4.4.3 update (with Android 4.4.4 security fixes included) for the HTC One M8. The newest system version is tagged as 2.22.401.4 and it brings a lot of improvements system wide. Some of them we already mentioned here and here.

If you don't want to wait for the OTA notification you can already flash latest system dumps.  For more details please visit my XDA thread.

If you are a power user and a custom ROMs flasher, you can also grab the latest Android Revolution HD based on the 2.22.401.4 update with many extra goodies under the hood.

Finally, if you only want to root your device and keep the rest stock, feel free to visit my XDA thread with a special rooting tools.

All above files can be accessed via Downloads Page on my blog.

Do you have any questions or comments? Feel free to share! Also, if you like this article, please use media sharing buttons (Twitter, G+, Facebook) below this post!


For latest news follow Android Revolution HD on popular social platforms:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

HTC decides to skip Android 4.4.4 update. OTA based on 4.4.3 + security fix coming soon


International version of the HTC One M8 is currently running Android 4.4.2 (1.54.401.10) but this will change very soon. According to the confirmed information, the new over-the-air (OTA) update with Android 4.4.3 will start rolling out late next week for the 0P6B10000 variant of the HTC One M8 with the following CID numbers: 

HTC__001, HTC__E11, HTC__102, HTC__203, HTC__405, HTC__Y13, HTC__304, HTC__A07, HTC__002, HTC__016, HTC__032, HTC__J15, HTC__M27, HTC__A48, HTC__K18.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

HTC One M8 - My point of (re)view


HTC One M8; the newest HTC high-end device! You have probably read plenty of reviews around the internet. Is there anything else that can be discovered or described? Depending on the point of view some aspects can be more or less important. I will try to point out some of the major differences between the HTC One M7 and the HTC One M8 together with describing some of the features I find to be advantages or disadvantages.

Look and feel
That is the part I don’t really want to focus on too much. Not because I don’t find the newest design bad or anything – on the contrary – I just see no reason to use any other word apart from “perfection”.

The screen size and overall dimensions of the device, in my opinion are optimal. I have no difficulties using the device with just one hand. However, if you want to type fast using the stock keyboard, using both thumbs might be better, especially for typing accuracy. The 5-inch display is made using SLCD3 technology, the same we’ve seen in the HTC One (M7). The pixel density is a little bit lower – 441ppi (M8) vs 468ppi (M7) but comparing the devices side by side you won’t say that M8’s display is not as good – it is actually better. Colours are deeper and the screen brightness is higher too on the HTC One M8. But what is more important, is that the screen sensitivity is way better too. According to GSM Arena, “46ms is all it takes for the One M8 to recognize your touch input; the first phone to go under 50ms”. That is quite an impressive result and something I have always wanted to see in Android smartphones. And these are not just purely academic calculations – I actually felt the difference the first time I used the HTC One M8.


Frankly, until the HTC One M8 came out, my favourite HTC phone when it comes to the design was the HTC One X. Of course I was impressed with the HTC One M7 design line, but for me it was sort of too square. Maybe I didn't even realize it by then, but now it is obvious to me – HTC One M8 with its more rounded corners was a perfect move from HTC. It just feels great in the hand and it hurts me badly when I have to place my device into any kind of case. This phone is not meant to be placed in any plastic or rubber case. It is like asking Adriana Lima to wear a mask. Seriously.

So we have a bigger and a brighter screen with great sensitivity. The shape of the phone is ideal. What else could be improved in that area? Two things. Firstly, the screen is covered with the newest Gorilla Glass 3 technology. That is another step forward from its older brother, HTC One M7, which has Gorilla Glass 2. The other, and more important thing can sound a little bit prosaic. It is the power button. In the HTC One M7 it was placed on the top left-hand side of the metal uni-body. In the HTC One M8 it is placed on the opposite side. Such a cosmetic change, but for me, personally, it is much easier to access when holding the device in just one hand. As a side note, for power-users it is also a benefit. Entering the bootloader (vol down + power) is now easier when volume buttons and power button are almost next to each other.

Concluding this chapter I can honestly say that HTC One M8 is simply elegant. I used to love the design of the Sony Xperia Z1 but that was in the HTC One M7 times. Now that impression is gone and I truly think that HTC One M8 is the best looking phone on the market.

Design summary:
  • 5-inch Full HD 1080p SLCD3 @ 441PPI
  • Improved screen sensitivity (vs HTC One M7)
  • Gorilla Glass 3 (vs Gorilla Glass 2 on HTC One M7)
  • Thin, metal and solid construction
  • Zero-gaps uni-body design
  • Improved buttons location
  • Elegant style with perfectly rounded corners

Hardware

Ever since the HTC One M8 came out I've heard some arguments, that this device is not a revolution, more like an evolution and it is not worth upgrading from the HTC One M7. As much as I need to agree that HTC One M8 is an evolution, I can’t agree with the statement that it is not worth upgrading from its older brother. Of course – this is not a revolution. It could be, if not for the HTC One M7. A jump from HTC One X to HTC One M8 would be a true revolution, but also not from the global market stand point – more like inside the portfolio of the HTC as a company.

It’s not a mystery that hardware-wise there is nothing spectacular in the HTC One M8. All the hardware components are the best currently available of course, but also used by other phones manufacturers. So what makes the HTC One M8 so special? The fact that the best hardware is packed inside the most beautiful body. But we’ve been there already, so let’s take a look at the hardware details and let me prove to you that the HTC One M8 is worth upgrading to from the HTC One M7.

The heart of the HTC One M8 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon S801 SoC. Some may say it’s just a minor upgrade from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, but it’s definitely a big upgrade from the S600 in the HTC One M7.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC | Picture source: www.qualcomm.com
Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 SoC | Picture source: www.qualcomm.com
Snapdragon 801 uses TSMC's 28nm “HPm” (Krait 400) technology which is the highest standard available among TSMC 28nm variants, while HTC One M7 is known to be based on 28nm “LP” (Krait 300) technology. 28HPm can provide better speed and performance than 28LP. This also allows higher CPU frequency speeds (up to 2.5 GHz per core on the S801 SoC).

Picture source: www.tsmc.com
Next major improvement between the M7 and the M8 is related to the RAM memory. Both S600 and S801 support LPDDR3, but back in 2013 HTC decided to use LPDDR2 memory in the HTC One M7. The LPDDR3 RAM in the HTC One M8 offers higher data rate, greater bandwidth, better power efficiency, and higher memory density. LPDDR3 achieves a data rate of 1600 MT/s and utilizes key new technologies: write-leveling and command/address training, optional on-die termination (ODT), and low-I/O capacitance. LPDDR3 supports both package-on-package (PoP) and discrete packaging types. Generally speaking, RAM memory management on the HTC One M8 is much better, even though both M7 and M8 are equipped with the same amount (2GB) of RAM.

It’s also worth mentioning that the S801 SoC is available in two variants: 8974-AB (up to 2.26 GHz) and 8974-AC (up to 2.5 GHz). The first one is available world-wide, except for the Chinese market, where you can buy the AC version.

Another big difference between the M7 and the M8 is the Adreno GPU. The Adreno 330 available in the HTC One M8 has a few improvements over the older Adreno 320 (HTC One M7): arithmetic logic unit (ALU) – 24 in the M7 vs 32 in the M8; higher clock speed – 400 MHz in the M7 vs 578 MHz in the M8 and the pixel fillrate 3.2 GP/s in the M7 vs 3.6 GP/s in the M8. With an Adreno 330 GPU it’s hardly possible to find any game that will not run smoothly. And this surely won’t change any time soon.

Speaking of games there is one very important aspect of having an aluminium phone body. Heat dissipation on the HTC One M8 is really fantastic. This is noticeable because the HTC One M8 is possibly the only S801 device where the GPU doesn't throttle while gaming. A proper thermal system (which includes software solutions) is as important as GPU power. Without efficient heat dissipation you would never be able to use the full capabilities of the GPU or CPU.

Together with CPU, RAM and GPU improvements there are changes related to the connectivity as well (4G LTE category 3 on the M7 vs 4G LTE Advanced category 4 on the M8).

Picture source: www.radio-electronics.com
Finally, one question comes to mind: Snapdragon 801 added support for eMMC 5.0 (embedded Multi-Media Controller) storage technology but HTC decided to use older, eMMC 4.51 technology. Bummer! But there is a good news about the storage memory too! HTC gathered feedback and listened to the users – microSD card support is back. HTC (alongside Google) tried to change market habits, but lost this little battle. The lack of microSD card support was a deal-breaker for many users, who chose Samsung devices instead. Adding back external card support was a perfect step from HTC and apparently it didn't have any negative impact on the design. HTC kept its zero-gaps uni-body design. Perfect.

Picture source: www.datalight.com
Hardware summary:
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (vs Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 on HTC One M7)
  • 4 x Krait 400 @ 2.26 GHz (vs4 x Krait 300 @ 1.7 GHz on HTC One M7)
  • LPDDR3 RAM @ 933 MHz (vs LPDDR2 RAM @ 600 MHz on HTC One M7)
  • Adreno 330 GPU @ 578 MHz (vs Adreno 320 GPU @ 400 MHz on HTC One M7)
  • LTE category 4 (vs LTE category 3 on HTC One M7)
  • Both M8 and M7 support NFC, IR, MHL and GPS + Glonass
  • microSD card support (vs no microSD card support on HTC One M7)
  • Increased battery capacity: 2,600 mAh (vs 2,300 mAh on HTC One M7)
  • DSP: Hexagon V50 up to 800 MHz (vs V40 up to 600 MHz on HTC One M7)
  • Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 2.0 technology (vs 1.0 on HTC One M7)

Camera

UltraPixel is already very well-known and appreciated technology by end-users. Our camera specialist Stonelaughter has already written a few bits about what he thinks of Pixels and Pixellation and Cameras in Phones. In the HTC One M8 HTC decided to continue following that road and they improved the UltraPixel technology even more. The HTC One M8 is equipped with 2.0 um, sensor size 1/3”, ƒ/2.0, 28mm lens together with HTC ImageChip 2. It also has a secondary rear camera responsible for capturing depth information. How does this work? Once you take a picture you can add multiple effects including UFocus (re-focusing), Foregrounder (Sketch, Zoom Blur, Cartoon and Colorize), Seasons (background effects), and Dimension Plus (the picture gets the “3D” effect). Honestly saying I’ve never seen such a variety of options to edit a picture after capture in any other smartphone.






Of course nothing can replace a true DSLR camera, but let’s be honest here – you can’t hide a DSLR in your pocket. Also, hardware is not everything. HTC did an amazing job when it comes to the camera software too. Playing with all these camera features is real fun and the effects are great!

Camera summary:

  • HTC ImageChip 2 (vs HTC ImageChip 1 on HTC One M7)
  • Secondary read camera responsible for capturing depth information
  • DSLR functionality like artistic depth-of-field in photos and other effects
  • BSI, 2.0 um pixel size, 1/3” sensor size, f/2.0, 28mm lens

Software

HTC One M8 uses the HTC Sense 6.0 interface. I don’t want to focus much on the UI itself because we’ll probably see HTC Sense 6.5 this year. The HTC One M7 is already updated to HTC Sense 6.0 too, but keep in mind that at some point the M7 will stop receiving updates, while HTC One M8 will still get a few more.

Of course the new UI is completely refreshed with new icons, animations and minor features, but there are 2 features worth mentioning that I really like: the ability to change themes, and “Extreme power saving mode”.

There are 4 themes you can use: each gives you a different colour experience in various elements of the user interface. With the 4th theme (last one, at the bottom) you can pretty much achieve the colour palette we all know from HTC Sense 5.0/5.5.



The "Extreme power saving mode"  is even more interesting! It shuts off all of the power eating applications and leaves your phone able to make/take calls, and send texts. With Extreme power saving mode on, the battery loses about 1% of life every three hours. HTC claims that the setting will let your phone run up to 40% longer. The regular "Power Saving" mode is still present, but of course it's not as effective as the "extreme" version. The regular power saver reduces the CPU usage (by half), screen brightness, turns off vibration feedback and puts data connections to sleep when the screen is off.

Software summary:


  • Android 4.4.2 (actually) with Android 4.4.4 coming soon
  • HTC Sense 6.0
  • Great camera software
  • Possibility to change UI themes
  • "Power Saving Mode" and "Extreme Power Saving Mode"
  • Fast and smooth UI without any lags
  • Not too bloated (in contrary to Samsung)
  • System R/W protection - kernel wp_mod.ko module is needed for rooted users

Conclusion

Is it worth upgrading from the HTC One M7 to the HTC One M8? Yes, it really is! The newest high-end device from HTC is better in every aspect: better and bigger screen covered with Gorilla Glass 3, improved design, bigger battery (with greatly extended battery life even in normal use), newer hardware (CPU, GPU, LPDDR3, LTE module, microSD card support and more), the newest software including longer update support, great camera with depth sensor and HTC ImageChip 2.

I believe that the HTC One M8 is the best looking phone I've ever had. Due to top hardware components it performs well in every situation, including heavy gaming. The UI is very well optimized so forget about any lags. HTC One M8 is representative of a new era of Android smartphones. The “legendary” iPhone is no longer a pioneer in terms of touch panel sensitivity or UI smoothness. If you are looking for a powerful device with endless features, a true multimedia monster - HTC One M8 is the right choice.


Do you have any questions or comments? Feel free to share! Also, if you like this article, please use media sharing buttons (Twitter, G+, Facebook) below this post!


For latest news follow Android Revolution HD on popular social platforms:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Incoming Android 4.4.3 with HTC Sense 6.1 for the HTC One M8

HTC has been working hard to keep the HTC One M8 at the cutting edge. These days, one of the crucial strategy element in the war between smartphones companies is to keep their top devices bundled with the latest Android OS.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Inspire Envy: the HTC One M8

The HTC One M8 is not just a „better HTC One” as some might think. Honestly saying, I’ve been thinking the same way before I had a chance to hold this beauty in my hand for a first time. Let's put aside the hardware specification for now. Before I’ll review the newest HTC One M8 let me show you some close, high quality pictures of the youngest HTC piece of art.

Friday, May 2, 2014

How to: Enable Harman & Kardon sound effect of the HTC One M8

Just few days ago HTC announced the new HTC One (M8) Harman & Kardon Edition. The HTC One (M8) Harman & Kardon edition has been designed for consumers who appreciate high-quality audio and want the best smartphone on the market without compromise. It’s a special edition of the critically acclaimed HTC One (M8) that builds upon the iconic all-metal design in a new brushed black finish with champagne accents, and is another example of HTC’s commitment to offer the best audio experience on a smartphone.

Today we present you how to enjoy this revolutionary audio experience on your “regular” HTC One (M8).

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sense 6 Toolbox for HTC One & HTC One M8


Happy day for all users who love to customize their HTC Sense UI! Sense 6 Toolbox (previously Sense 5 Toolbox) is known to be the best and the most advanced tool to customize your Sense 5/6 based device. It’s based on Xposed eco-system and it allows you to change a lot of settings of the user interface, including colour schemes and different layout styles.

More details can be found here ---> Sense 6 Toolbox with Android Revolution HD

Thursday, April 10, 2014

HTC Sense 6.0 Bluetooth security "issue" explained

Bluetooth is not a new technology and has long been associated with hands free headsets but with newer devices over the last few years it has obviously evolved into a technology that connects to printers, headphones, speakers, cars and of course other phones.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Week with the HTC One (M8) by Kevin


After attending the London Launch on 25th March I switched from my 2013 HTC One M7 to a new, 2014 HTC One M8. I've been using it as a regular phone now for a week, and although I am not a technical reviewer, I wanted to share my first impressions.

From all the leaks and gossip circulating before the launch I was expecting a natural progression from the One to the new One, and in many ways that is what I now have in my hand. The HTC One M8 is not a complete reinvention in the way that its predecessor was. It is a carefully planned evolution of the already iconic M7, and the beginning of a progression which I hope will continue for some time.