Dear Manufacturers: Bring Back The Thick Phone…

If there is one trend in mobile that EVERYONE seems to be partaking in lately, it’s bigger phones with more screen real estate. The second, and almost as popular trend is making phones as thin as possible. Whether this means they have a bulging camera, or an inferior design, thin has taken on the phablet as the silliest design concept ever invented. Remember the days of the Zoolander phone, where they were trying to make one as tiny as possible? Now it seems that big and flat is the design trend of the masses. What they don’t think about is what you give up to give that new device that slim line and how much better a device could be with a bit more heft to it.

For example, I’m currently holding a shiny, gold Galaxy Note 5. It measures a meager .3” thick and weighs just 6 ounces. That’s crazy for a device that offers so much power to be so thin. Which makes one wonder, that if they had just made it as thick as it is with the Spigen Neo Hybrid Carbon case is, how much more could they have done? The case adds a solid 1/16”-1/8” of thickness to the phone. If that space could be appropriated to the battery, that would mean a full 2.5 cubic inches of room that could be used to increase the capacity of the battery. This could theoretically mean a 4000mAh battery instead of a 3000 mAh battery would be used in the device. That would mean an additional 2-4 hours of screen on time without using a power saving mode. All for an 1/8” used correctly.

Manufacturers have become so intent on building the ‘perfect’ feeling phone, that they’ve forgotten that the first thing most people do is throw a thick, protective case on the device. If they took the route that many of the backup battery/case companies did, and built this into the design of the device, you would see a major improvement in devices lasting through a full day of use, rather than just making it from charger to charger throughout the day. The Alegant Galaxy Note 5 Battery Case is a great example of how they can ‘blow up’ the device and get a solid look to it. This particular battery adds 4200mAh of power to the device without adding more than a 1/4” of bulk to it.

Perhaps we can stop the talk of creating the thinnest phone ever by creating the longest lasting phones since Nokia ruled the planet. Maybe they will start putting a premium on power instead of ultra-thin designs. Everyone will like them for that one, even if it’s not the most fashion forward look on the planet.

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Republic Wireless Cuts $30 From Moto G Pricing

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If you were looking at making the leap to the hybrid calling champions, Republic Wireless, this could be the day to do it. For a very limited time, you can receive the Moto G (3rd Gen.) for $199 for the 16GB or $179 for the 8GB models.The G is a solid competitor in the entry to mid level Android market and at these prices, the device is something of a bargain. When you combine the sub $200 price point of the 16GB model along with the monthly savings that Republic delivers to their customers, it almost becomes too simple to make the jump.

The Republic Wireless won’t last forever, but it’s a great time to jump in and give them a test drive. With monthly plans from $10 a month, the savings will add up very quickly for you and anyone else that needs a great deal on a smartphone.

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Unlimited Voice And Text To US And Mexico For Under $20 A Month

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If you are a user with friends south of the border that you love to chat and text with, our friends at FreedomPop have a deal for you. Yesterday, the folks down in Hollywood launched a new program that includes unlimited talk and text to the US and Mexico. To make it even better, you get a virtual US and Mexico phone number. The $19.99 monthly price tag is a small price to pay for unlimited talk and text, but when you add the 500MB of included data to the mix, it becomes a major value. You can expand that data for free using the FreedomPop Freedom Friends and Data Earning programs.

To make the deal even sweeter, you can land a Kyocera Hydro Icon at 85% off list price with the current deal. Of course, it wouldn’t be right to not have a free month of service to offset the cost of the device, so that’s thrown in also. The features of the plan are highlighted below. If you think you’re ready to experience a $20 a month cell bill that includes all the calling and texting you can dish out to your friends stateside and in Mexico, then hit the link below for more details.

Main Features:
– Unlimited Talk & Text to the US
– Unlimited Talk to Mexico landline & mobile
– 500 MB of data each month
– Virtual Mexico phone number in addition to your US number
– No contracts & no credit checks
– Visual Voicemail
– WiFi calling & texting from anywhere

Link: FreedomPop

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Is A “10” Enough To Save Face?

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In 2013, HTC revolutionized the smartphone market with the HTC One. Later dubbed the One M7, the device was followed up with the M8, which offered modest upgrades over the original M7, but took a few features off the the board that really impacted the performance of the device. The M9, or the 2015 successor to the M8 was supposed address each of these shortcomings and really stir things up in the industry one more time. Unfortunately, the M9 was met with a barrage of bad press and horrible user experiences. From blurry photos and bad camera compression to battery woes and overheating issues, the M9 was a perfect storm of one disaster after another. It went from savior device to industry joke in a matter of a few blog posts.

Fast forward to April 12, 2016 and the next generation of HTC’s flagship device, the 10, and once again, HTC is out in full force touting that everything that was wrong with the M9 has been fixed in their latest offering. The issue that we have a journalists, or even just a public place for you to read our opinions, is can we believe them or not? Time after time, they have told us that this is the great One, and time after time, we’ve been let down. What makes this time different?

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Starting with the build, the 10 is back with an all aluminum body. Crafted a bit different, but more of the same that made the original so comfortable in the hand. So far, so good, but there’s a long way to go to get things back on track here. After steering us to UltraPixels in 2013, HTC did an about face from them in 2015 for the M9. For two years, they told us how amazing UP’s were and how we couldn’t live without them. Then they told us to ignore that and more was better. Now, we’re back on the UP bandwagon. We think this is definitely the right move. Sure, the UP cameras blow out a bit of the highlight in bright outdoor photos, but it’s always better to blow out a bit than lose all the details in the dark. Great move HTC. This UltraPixel model comes in at a whopping 12UP, or enough to zoom 200% over the original M7’s images. Still not a 41MP zoom, but it’s an amazing start.

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Moving on to the audio portion of our program, HTC has worked hard embedding 24-bit Hi-Res audio into the device. The experience should be magnificent, though we will hold off until we get a few FLAC tracks going on one. The performance of the 10 is also a center stage item. Each component of the 10 has been fine tuned to make the experience perfect. On top of this, HTC’s performance tuning has translated into a battery that can last for days instead of hours. Again, we will want to get one in our hot little hands for more testing before we substantiate these claims, but it sure looks good on paper.

Of course, had we not heard this all before, multiple times from HTC, it would be much easier to take all of this in and throw a serious party. Unfortunately, the “customization” was something left over from the M9 days. So is the 24-bit Audio support, the “best BoomSound ever” and best design ever. When the two previous best ever’s have left us wanting, what makes HTC so sure that we will part with the $699 for one of these when we can grab 2 of the Samsung S7’s for the same price from our local carrier?

We will have to wait and see what carrier support ends up happening, but for now, we will leave you with this: if the claims that HTC is making this time are true, this could be the best smartphone they have put out in 4 years. They don’t have the marketing dollars to compete with Samsung, but for now, the HTC 10 looks like a true winner on paper. You can check out the link below for more information.

http://www.htc.com/us/smartphones/htc-10/

We Think This Should Be The Un-Carrier’s Next Big Deal

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T-Mobile has certainly done quite a bit to turn the cellular industry on its ear, but what should be their next big thing? They already ditched service contracts in favor of device payments. They offer data free streaming of many music Apps and video services. They even offer rollover data for certain plans. So, what on earth could be the next big thing? Well, if we had it our way, T-Mobile will implement – FREE DATA FOR GAMING!

Yes, after streaming services, gaming is the most data intensive service that the average smartphone user enjoys. For example, Last month, my personal device racked up 565MB in Slacker Radio data, 851MB in YouTube and just 3.27MB in Google Play Music.  Yet the three games that I play the most, used 1.37GB (Golf Star), 821MB {Bowling King) and 75.71MB (Darts Match). So, if I were on the 6GB plan, I would have spent 1/3+ of my data allotment just playing those three games for the month. The bad part is that that magical LTE data isn’t even needed for logging on to a gaming service, so let’s bring that back to reality and make this the next “UN” move.

If you play games like Candy Crush, Cut The Rope, Angry Birds or anything that requires a log in to Google Services, you are using data to play. If T-Mobile makes their next move “Un-Gaming” data, it would make a huge difference in the overall impact that your data has in your life. Sure, they might need to figure out a way to do it, but even if they made the Google Services games the first step, (these are the games that show you logging into Google Play at the beginning,) it would be a huge saver to consumers. So, John, here’s your idea, now run with it.

Once You Go Wireless, You’ll Never Go Back

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If you have one of those amazing new devices in your hand with Qi charging, especially fast Qi charging, you want to make sure that you have everything in your hands that will take advantage of that amazing cable free charging experience. We’ve all seen the furniture adaptations and the stands for the desktop, but have you ever considered snagging a gorgeous vent holder that will charge your phone on the go, in the car?

That’s right, the Qi-Finity Fast Wireless Car Dock is available from Amazon for just under $40. The Qi-Finity uses your existing fast charge 2.0 USB plug to run its fast charging Qi plate back while holding your device securely in place when you drive. The very well built vent clips clamp to either side or vertical vent systems and have a solid hold. Fitting devices all the way up to the Samsung Note 5, the Qi-Finity seems to be a great fit for most larger devices. There have been some reports that the wireless sensor is a bit low in the device to get so certain models, so make sure to check out reviews with your individual device prior to ordering.

The Qi-Finity Fast Charging Wireless Car Dock is available from Amazon for $36.99 and features an 83% 4-5 star rating. Don’t forget you can order the QC 2.0 USB adapter at the same time and use code MNBXDSUK at checkout to save 10%. Just hit the link below and enjoy full wireless charging solution for your vehicle.

Links: Qi-Finity Fast Charging Wireless Car DockQC 2.0 USB adapter

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